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Contents Features Bringing
The Book Of Mormon Beyond Broadway
On The Road With
By Kevin Young Since its initial run on Broadway, The Book of Mormon has garnered nine Tony Awards – including Best Musical, Score, and Sound Design – five 2011 Drama Desk Awards, and generally, had audiences rolling in the aisles in cities worldwide, including Toronto, where the touring production recently rolled into the iconic Princess of Wales Theatre.
Tegan & Sara
Arenas, Amphitheatres & All Ages Clubs
Departments 9 Input The Current Landscape Of Wireless Regulations In Canada By Colin Bernard
August 2013 Vol.XXIV No.4
10 Signals InfoComm Sets Records With 2013 Edition; Sami Midani Joins Soundcraft Canada; ADI Now Exclusive Canadian Distributor For SM Pro Audio; AMX Canada Appoints Patricia Carr As Ontario Regional Sales Manager; AES Preparing For 135th International Convention … and more news inside. 53 Advertisers’ Index 56 Sound Advice 58 Itinerary 60 Classifieds 62 Project File Cover Photo: Mark Evans & Derrick Williams in The Book Of Mormon First National Tour by Joan Marcus, 2013. Contents Photo: Sam Roberts of Sam Roberts Band at the CBCMusic.ca Festival by Cathy Irving.
18 Profile Roseline Boire John Drake Donny DaSilva 22 Product Tests Soundcraft Si Expression 3 Digital Console PMC twotwo.5 Loudspeaker Monitors Pivitec Personal Monitor Mixing System 44 Products SSL C10 Compact Broadcast Console With V4 Software; Bel Digital Audio BMA1-E16SHD Audio Monitor; Optocore MADI Switches; Revlolabs Executive HD MaxSecure Wireless Microphone System; Sennheiser HDVD 800 Headphone Amplifier … and more products inside.
By Andrew King PS had the chance to catch FOH engineer Scottie Baldwin and monitor engineer Craig Brittain during a break between dates on Tegan and Sara’s tour supporting 2013’s Heartthrob to talk about their approach to mixing a band with such a diverse catalog on one hell of a lengthy jaunt.
From Stage To Your Stereo At The
By Kevin Young Featuring a diverse array of acts, including headliners Of Monsters And Men and Sam Roberts Band, the first annual CBCMusic.ca Festival has proven itself a welcome addition to Toronto’s busy summer festival season – and one that fans who couldn’t be at Echo Beach could still enjoy.
A Revamped Rig For The Main Room At The
Chan Centre For The Performing Arts
By Andrew King Most special about the Chan Centre at UBC is the acoustically, architecturally, and aesthetically pristine Chan Shun Concert Hall; a room that would impress even the least artisticallyminded visitor and absolutely floor a plethora of performers, especially now with its new sound reinforcement system, monitor package, and fibre optic network.
ANDREW KING firstname.lastname@example.org assistant editor MICHAEL RAINE email@example.com
COLIN BERNARD, GREG DAWSON, MARK DESLOGES, PETER JANIS, TRAVIS MILES, MIKE SARACINO, ALEXANDRA STAVROULLAKIS, KEVIN YOUNG art director JULIE FLEMING firstname.lastname@example.org
consumer services director MAUREEN JACK email@example.com
JIM NORRIS firstname.lastname@example.org
business services representative RYAN DAVID email@example.com
business manager LIZ BLACK firstname.lastname@example.org
marketing services coordinator MELISSA LOSIER email@example.com
computer services coordinator BETH READING firstname.lastname@example.org
administrative assistant HEATHER DUNCANSON email@example.com
For more information on products advertised in Professional Sound, please see page 53 or visit www.professional-sound.com. Professional Sound is published bi-monthly by Norris-Whitney Communications Inc. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission from the publisher. Subscription rates: Canada - 1 year $20.33, 2 years $37.67, 3 years $56.00. Outside Canada - 1 year $26.95, 2 years $42.95, 3 years $60.95. Single copies: $5.00. Canadian residents add 5% GST, HST (13%), 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., 4056 DORCHESTER RD., #202, NIAGARA FALLS, ON L2E 6M9, 905-374-8878, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Keeps getting better...
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
www.digico.biz DiGiCo is distributed in Canada by GerrAudio Distribution • 613.342.6999 • www.gerr.com • firstname.lastname@example.org iPad is a registered trademark of Apple. Waves is a registered TRADEMARK of Waves Audio ltd.
Exploring The Current Climate Of RF Regulations In Canada By Colin Bernard So here we are again, summer 2013 and our wireless industry is as busy as ever! This article is an extended update from my last “peek under the hood” of the macro RF spectrum. What we know from where we left off in my last article (“Wireless Microphone System Frequency Coordination & Planning Primer: The Latest Developments” from Sound Advice, PS June 2012) is this: The FCC in the U.S. has adopted new rules and opened opportunities for new unlicensed “white space devices,” known as WSDs, for future use in the broadcast 470-698 MHz TV bands, while establishing essential protections to prevent interference to broadcasting and licensed wireless microphones. New developments, certain lobbyists, and the FCC are trying to claim even more of this valuable UHF “beach real estate” TV white space spectrum as part of the U.S. National Broadband Plan. Critical Hollywood and Broadway applications as well as film and video production houses are therefore encouraged to get licenses for their wireless microphones, or at least register them in a special database, in order to be protected once the WSB devices hit the market.Traditionally, film and broadcast wireless users in the U.S. have always been required to have licenses under the FCC Part 74 legislation. There is no longer any license required for users with wireless mics operating under 50 mW in the U.S., but there is less protection, too. Now, back to Canada and the facts available as of today, and Industry Canada’s present regulations. There is an Industry Canada document, CPC 2-1-11 (www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst. nsf/eng/sf08883.html), that covers the use of Low-Power Radio Apparatus (LPA), that clearly outlines the licensing procedure for wireless microphones provided that the equipment has been certified in accordance with Industry Canada doc RSS-123. (www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf01323.html). Bottom line here is, if you are operating in Canada in the 470-698 MHz bandwidth, your certified equipment falls under RSS-123 and is subject to licensing. If you have not done so already, inquiries concerning licensing requirements should be directed to Industry Canada’s regional and district offices located geographically closest to your area of operation. For a list of IC offices and contact info, visit: www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/ eng/sf01742.html. In January 2010, Industry Canada permanently allocated the UHF chunks TV CHs 63 and 64 (764-776 MHz) and TV CHs 68
and 69 (794-806 MHz) for “exclusive public safety use for fire depts., first responder status, etc.” on Bulletin ref SAB-001-10. As a result, no wireless microphone users as of March 31, 2011, are permitted to operate here. (This date was further extended to March 31, 2013). Understandably, Industry Canada has a zero tolerance policy approach to wireless microphone users, especially in the larger urban cities like Toronto and Montreal, who continue to operate in these frequency bands. The remaining bands above 698 MHz not allocated to public safety are currently being auctioned off to the cell phone service providers. We, as an industry, are NOT permitted to operate in these bands and they are not licensable either. Apparently, a few AV companies who were pre-warned to migrate their rental stock to the 470-698 MHZ band and didn’t comply were fined a five-figure amount this year, according to a well-respected industry insider. The RF spectrum available to us is definitely shrinking, but there is no need to panic as there are plenty of “pockets” of UHF spectrum in the 470-698 MHz bandwidth that will remain available to us in Canada. It’s imperative, however, to contact your professional wireless dealers/wireless manufacturers/pro RF rental houses for more assistance, frequency bandwidth planning, and, ultimately, a set of actual dedicated frequencies that they can provide. They can also assist in the application process of how to get a license. There’s more to come in Part 2 of this article regarding licensing and Canada’s evolving plans in respect to an ultimate roll out of unlicensed WSDs and our own WSD database administrators. At a conference in Ottawa this past May, Industry Canada informed me that they assure us of their full commitment to work as closely as possible with our industry and maintain ongoing communication and consultation as these new “white space technologies” evolve. Those who hold licenses, Industry Canada assures me, will be able to have their frequencies registered in future special WSD databases. More to follow and have a great summer business season. We will run a second part in a future issue as further developments evolve.
Colin Bernard is an industry veteran with 24 years in pro audio in Canada and seven years prior to that managing Sennheiser South Africa, followed by a stint managing the Pro Audio Dept. of Neumann and Sennheiser in Canada. As the Director of Canadian Operations of Lectrosonics Canada since 2006, Colin specializes in supporting all aspects of the design, sale, deployment, and implementation of wireless microphones, IFB, IEM, and DSP automixer systems in the broadcast, film, theatre, staging, touring, and AV markets. He is always willing to discuss and help out with RF management, so you can contact him at 416-768-2220 or email@example.com.
Professional Sound 9
InfoComm Sets Records With 2013 Edition
Approximately 35,100 professionals from over 110 countries attended InfoComm 2013, the annual conference and exhibition for professional audiovisual buyers and sellers worldwide, held June 8-14 in Orlando, FL. This represents a 2.5 per cent increase in attendance over InfoComm 2012. Additionally, there were 937 exhibitors occupying more than 470,000 sq. ft. of exhibit and special events space. This year, 150 AV professionals passed the Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) exam onsite, a new record, while 25 passed the CTS-D exam and 15 earned the CTS-I credential. “It was the best InfoComm show I’ve been to in years,” begins Brock McGinnis of Westbury National. “I arrived early so I could tour the audio demo rooms on Tuesday afternoon as well as take in the fabulous opening keynote presentation on Innovation by Jeremy Gutsche (of TrendHunter.com). And, having avoided pre-booking appointments, I was able to spend a lot of time on the show floor looking at new products and technologies that could benefit our clients.” InfoComm 2014 is set to run from June 18-20 in Las Vegas. For more information, visit www.infocommshow.org.
Sami Midani Joins Soundcraft Canada
Sami Midani has joined the sales team at Soundcraft Canada. Midani has worked for 25 years in the field of A/V integration, most recently acting as National Sales Director of the now-defunct A/V division of Martech. He will be responsible for the Quebec and Ottawa regions, working with Arif Nathu, whose responsibilities will now be concentrated on the Montreal region. Jean-Louis Blanchard, VP Sales at Soundcraft Canada, comments: “I have known Sami for a long time and I know our clients will appreciate his energy and professionalism. His knowledge of our products, both audio as well as video, will be an important asset.” Midani adds, “I have great respect for this company and their team [and] appreciate the quality and breadth of the portfolio I have been offered. I eagerly look forward to working with our network of dealers and installers … on their projects.” Midani can be contacted at 418-880-0511 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.soundcraft-canada.com. 10 Professional Sound
ADI Now Exclusive Canadian Distributor For SM Pro Audio
Australia’s SM Pro Audio and Audio Distributors International (ADI) have announced an exclusive distribution agreement for Canada commencing Aug. 15, 2013. Recently, SM Pro Audio has expanded its global distribution business and a dedicated distributor covering multiple channels in Canada was a necessary step in that process, according to the company. “SM Pro Audio is proud to partner with ADI. They have a wealth of experience and can broaden our reach into both the pro audio and MI markets,” explains Michael Jago, International Sales Manager for SM Pro Audio.“ADI’s strong technical support, local stock availability, and renowned levels of marketing and brand awareness will help us to grow in an important market like Canada.” “I’ve had my eyeball on SM Pro Audio for some time now and always felt that they had a refreshingly novel approach to product development and a certain originality that appealed to me,” adds ADI President Richard Lasnier. For more information, contact ADI: 450-449-8177, email@example.com, www.adi-online.net.
ADI President Richard Lasnier.
(L-R) AVL’s sales team, Terry Larouche, Justin Gauthier & Philippe Arseneault.
AVL Media Group Now Canadian Distributor For Turbosound’s Milan Series
AVL Media Group, a division of Intellimix Corp., has been appointed as exclusive Canadian distributor of Turbosound’s new Milan line of portable speakers. “Turbosound is an upper level brand in the marketplace and has a tremendous history. Now that Behringer has bought Turbosound and has transferred the production over to China, there are some great quality products being offered at tremendous pricing,” AVL President Steve Kosters tells PS. “The marketplace is who’s going to benefit from this because now you’ll be able to buy high level products at very affordable pricing.” Turbosound’s other professional series will continue to be distributed by Erikson Pro. For more information, contact AVL Media Group: 514-457-9663, salesinfo@ avlmediagroup.com, www.avlmediagroup.com. Professional Sound 11
PLASA London Introduces AudioLab For 2013 Show
PLASA Events has revealed the details of AudioLab 2013, the new attraction that will see the creation of a new pro audio arena, theatre, and interactive lab as part of PLASA London 2013. Taking place at ExCeL London for the first time, PLASA London (renamed from the previous PLASA Show) will be held Oct. 6-9, 2013. The AudioLab Arena is a purpose-built space for large-format loudspeaker demonstrations, shoot-outs of club sound and PA systems, and private exclusive demo rooms. The new AudioLab Theatre is an audio school with three expert classes; Live Sound, Installed Sound, and The Sound Business. The third new attraction is AudioLab Interactive, a myth-busting laboratory where visitors can see live experiments on a range of pro audio equipment. Created in conjunction with audio consultancy RH Consulting, AudioLab Interactive gathers pro audio experts from around the world to test pro audio theory. The program includes experiments entitled: “Who Says Audio Latency Is A Problem?”; “Let’s Blow Up Some Amplifiers!”; “What Happens During an Emergency?”; “Which Network Sounds Better?”; “You Think You Know What You’re Listening To?”; and “What Really Causes Interference?” For more information and descriptions of each of the AudioLab Interactive experiments, go to www.plasashow.com.
AMX Canada Appoints Patricia Carr As Ontario Regional Sales Manager
AMX Canada has announced the hiring of Patricia Carr as its new Ontario Regional Sales Manager. “Patricia is a tremendous addition to our team,” says Jean-Pierre Xenopoulos, Director of Sales for AMX Canada. “She has an excellent reputation for customer service and a great deal of experience working with premium, limited-distribution brands like AMX. We feel she’s exactly the right person to help our customers deliver better AV systems and increase market share.” “I’m very excited to be representing AMX,” adds Carr. “And to be back in the AV contracting market with such a fabulous product portfolio and a company that’s really committed to providing the ‘right now’ customer service that contractors need.” Carr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-489-5142 (office), or 416-457-0758 (mobile). For more information, contact AMX Canada: 866-320-9451, www.amx.ca.
Contact Distribution Appoints New Sales Manager For Eastern Canada Contact Distribution has announced that Louis-Philippe Boiteau has assumed Territorial Sales Manager duties for Eastern Canada, covering Quebec, Atlantic Canada, and the National Capital Region. Based out of his home office in Mirabel, QC, Boiteau will be working with the company’s network of contractors and resellers as well as consulting firms, technicians, and significant venue personnel introducing himself and new solutions to the various markets that Contact Distribution services. Bill Coons, Director of Contact Distribution, comments, “There are a number of traits we consider mandatory for a sales manager to be successful as a pro audio representative – passionate, energetic, knowledgeable, and credible. He’s got soul and that makes him want perfection and that’s what our manufacturers and customers require and expect.” Boiteau can be reached at email@example.com, at 514-830-8141, or via Contact Distribution’s website at www.contactdistribution.com. 12 Professional Sound
Calgary Ready For CITT Rendez-Vous 2013 Members of the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology (CITT) are heading to Calgary for the 2013 CITT Rendez-vous Annual Conference and Tradeshow. Taking place at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium from Aug. 15-18, this year’s event has reverted back to the previous schedule and has moved the Thursday forum to Sunday morning. The conference offers full days of sessions, backstage tours, and social events, with more intense workshops and certification courses held two days prior to the conference. The industry trade show will be featured Friday, Aug. 16. Indepth sessions are scheduled on Friday morning, including a backstage tour of the Pirate of Penzance outdoor set in the East Village. Saturday, Aug. 17 is dedicated to professional development, and Sunday, Aug. 18 will offer panel discussions. Rendez-vous is also the occasion for CITT’s Annual General Meeting. This is a chance for CITT members to learn more about what the organisation has been doing over the year and to review the annual reports and financial statement. Evening social events include the opening night Junk Challenge, the Swag Bingo Live Auction, and the CITT Awards Banquet. For more information on CITT Rendez-vous 2013, including show schedule and conference sessions, contact CITT: 888-2713383, FAX 613-482-1212, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.citt.org.
LDI 2013 Returning To Sin City The 2013 LDI Tradeshow and Conference is returning to Las Vegas, NV for the second of a three-year run at the Las Vegas Convention Centre. The exhibits will be open from Nov. 22-24 while the Backstage Las Vegas tours will run from the 18th to 20th. The LDInsitute training sessions will run Nov. 18-24 and the LDInnovation and Technology Conference runs from the 21st to the 24th. Returning for the 2013 show are the Live Design Mater Classes, which include Concert Sound Master Classes. For more information as it becomes available, go to www.ldishow.com.
Whites Digital Sales & Service CEO Paul Bronfman.
CinequipWhite Renamed Whites Digital Sales & Service Paul Bronfman, Chairman/CEO of Comweb Corp. and William F. White International, has announced the creation of a new company name for CinequipWhite Inc., effective immediately to reflect the company’s emphasis on expanded digital offerings. Based in Toronto, Whites Digital Sales & Service Inc. will continue to provide customized sales and technical solutions to the broadcast, theatrical, and live entertainment industries across Canada. Larry Lavoie, who has served as CinequipWhite GM for over two years, will continue to manage the newly named operation headquartered in its present location in Toronto. For more information, go to www. whites.com. Professional Sound 13
AES Preparing For 135th International Convention The Audio Engineering Society (AES) will be celebrating its 65 th anniversary at the AES 135th International Convention, to be held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City from Oct. 18-20, 2013. Once again, the standards committee meetings bring the top engineers and system designers together to iron out interoperability wrinkles and create the basic rules for pro and consumer audio systems. As well, AES has partnerships with organizations like NARAS, which will result in events like the Grammy Soundtable with artists and engineer/producers discussing their craft. A returning event, first held at the 133rd AES Convention, is the Project Studio Expo, which provides a weekend of training clinics taught by industry leaders on miking, recording, mixing, publishing, and other practical skills. There will also be the AES Paper Program, with presentations by some of the world’s top audio researchers on subjects such as loudness, spatial audio, audio semantics, networked audio, forensic audio, signal processing, live sound applications, product design, mobile and game audio, and more. AES has launched the AES New York 2013 app for iOS and Android devices. The app will offer attendees up-to-the-minute speaker, exhibitor, and event information. It will also allow attendees to create a personalized show schedule and set and receive reminders and alerts.
Engineer/p roducer/ DJ Young G uru & music tech nology expert Crai g Anderton at AES 133.
For more information as it becomes available, contact AES: 212-661-8528, FAX 212-682-0477, www.aes.org.
Outline Marks 40 Years Of Manufacturing
Vintage Outline products, circa 1970.
Italian speaker system maker Outline, S.r.l., is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013. The company was formed in 1973 by Guido Noselli. In 1976, Noselli recruited Giorgio Biffi (now Outline’s CEO), who joined as International Sales Director. Biffi’s commercial skills and passion for audio combined with Guido’s design and engineering skills enabled the company to grow at home and overseas. The 1970s also brought the start of the modern professional sound reinforcement business as large music festivals grew in popularity alongside the development of the international concert touring circuit. As the need to deliver quality audio to ever-increasing numbers of people grew, Outline refined and developed many of the design concepts from its club-oriented products into portable loudspeaker systems capable of delivering the power and audio quality necessary for major events. Guido Noselli passed away in 2006 and the company is now owned by Biffi and Noselli’s two sons, Michele and Stefano. For more information, contact Outline North America LLC: 516-249-0013, FAX 516-249-8870, email@example.com, www.outlinearray.com. 14 Professional Sound
CCBE Hosting Career Development-Themed Fall Conference
From Sept. 26-29, the Central Canada Broadcast Engineers (CCBE) will hold its annual Fall Conference once again at Horseshoe Resort in Barrie, ON. This year’s conference will begin a new trend for the CCBE moving forward. The CCBE will take on a Career Development Conference (CDC) theme and will commence with the Thursday workshop from Nautel presenting a NV/VS Training Session. Paper Sessions run a full day on the Friday and then for two half days on Saturday and Sunday. As part of the CDC theme, the CCBE executive will run a delegation-wide discussion on Friday afternoon that will involve both executive and delegate participation. On the Saturday there will a barbeque lunch and golf outing for all attendees and in the evening will be the Banquet and Gala Awards dinner. For more information, go to www.ccbe.ca.
Techni+Contact Now Distributing beyerdynamic Pro Audio Techni+Contact Canada has been appointed as exclusive Canadian distributor for beyerdynamic’s Professional Audio product lines. beyerdynamic GmbH & Co. KG manufactures its lines of headphones, microphones, headsets, and conference systems in Heilbronn, Germany. “We are very confident in the growth of both companies’ business,” reads a statement from Techni+Contact. “Through this appointment, we look forward to a long and successful partnership with beyerdynamic. This agreement also strengthens Techni+Contact Canada Ltd’s ability to provide a complete solution to meet the needs of its dealer base.” For more information, contact Techni+Contact Canada Limited: 800-361-9451, FAX 800-268-5243, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.technicontact.com. Techni+Contact’s Jean-Pierre Xenopoulos, Director of Sales; Claude Legault, President & Julie Legault, VP, Director of Operations.
Professional Sound 15
Professional Sound Mobile Devices Survey
PS surveyed audio professionals to find out how/if they are using mobile devices in their audio rigs and how they would like them to be used in the future. Here are the results…
TOA Canada Names New President
TOA Canada Corporation has announced the appointment of Yasuyuki Takahashi as its new President. Presently, Takahashi holds the positions of GM of North & Central America Business Department, International Business Division of TOA Corporation and President of TOA Electronics Inc. Takahashi will be based in New Jersey, dividing his time between the United States, Canada, and all of North and Central America. Alan Burgess, Administration Manager, and Rico Lucia, National Sales Manager, both based at TOA Canada Corporation, will now report to Takahashi. For more information, contact TOA Canada Corporation: 905-564-3570, www. TOAcanada.com.
McBride Loudspeaker Now Distributor For Celestion
McBride Loudspeaker has been named Celestion’s Canadian distribution partner. The company will be distributing Celestion’s entire range, including HF compression drivers and LF drivers for pro audio applications, as well as Celestion’s guitar loudspeakers. “Celestion clearly offers an excellent selection of both pro sound component and guitar loudspeakers, and we’re excited to be representing them in Canada,” comments company President Terry McBride. “We recognize there is a significant demand for Celestion within Canada and look forward to providing fast and easy access for Canadians to the entire product range.” For more information, contact McBride Loudspeaker: 800-3636336, www.loudspeakers.ca. 16 Professional Sound
Do you currently use mobile devices, namely smart phones and/or tablets, as part of your recording or live sound set-up? (Integrated with your audio equipment, and not stand-alone for scheduling, planning, etc.) Always . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.71% Often. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.65% Sometimes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35.29% Rarely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.88% Never. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26.47% In which area do you use mobile devices for your audio work? Studio setting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.76% Live setting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44.12% Both. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23.53% Other. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20.59% When did you first try integrating mobile devices into your set-up? 5 or more years ago. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.76% 3-4 years ago . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23.53% 1-2 years ago. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26.47% In the past year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.65% Never. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20.59% Over the next two years, do you plan to make mobile devices a more integral part of your set-up? Absolutely. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41.18% Most likely. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23.53% Perhaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.65% Not likely. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.82% No. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.82% With which of the following product categories do you integrate mobile devices? Check any that apply: FOH audio mixing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50% Monitor mixing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32.35% Recording consoles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.76% Instruments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20.59% Meters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.65% Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.88% Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26.47% Other. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23.53%
How would you like to see the use of mobile devices evolve over the next five years with regards to professional audio equipment? “More apps from all the big software companies we know like Smaart and Lake and better integration of them in Dante world.” “Wireless/Bluetooth control of audio devices and audio recording.” “I would like to see manufactures decide on a standard Transfer Protocol so that we no longer have 10 devices with 10 different languages eating switches to communicate with computers. As well, better mobile platforms that would allow full control of whatever devices are attached via Wi-Fi.” “More integration and development of apps and interfacing with existing technology.” “Easier and bigger flash storage. I use an iPad for stage guitar FX and the iPhone for recording song ideas. I would be excited to see the iPad as a control surface for Logic.”
DPA Appoints Niels Jørgen Øhrgaard As Executive VP of Sales DPA Microphones has appointed Niels Jørgen Øhrgaard as its new Executive VP of Sales. Øhrgaard joins DPA Microphones from Reson, where he was Executive VP of Global Sales and Marketing. “DPA’s microphone products have an international reputation for audio accuracy, reliability, and superb engineering and this heritage offers enormous potential for the company to grow its global business,” says Øhrgaard. “I hope that my experience in dealing with strategic sales will ensure the profitability of the company and extend that profitability to DPA’s partners around the world.” For more information on DPA Microphones, go to www.dpamicrophones.com.
Sound Devices Names New VP Of Sales & Global Sales Director
Sound Devices has announced two internal promotions, naming Pat McConnell as VP of Sales and Ed Capp as Global Sales Director. McConnell joined the company last year while Capp is a 10-year veteran of the Sound Devices sales team. Capp has developed Sound Devices’ strength in Asia as well as the Southern California market. “Ed and Pat are a great sales team and together they manage Sound Devices’ presence throughout the world,” says Matt Anderson, President of Sound Devices. “As the Sound Devices product lines become more and more technical, it is critical that our sales team is led by knowledgeable individuals who are immersed in the changing audio and video technology landscape. We are very excited to continue to grow our sales force and look forward to both Ed and Pat’s future contributions to the company.” For more information, go to www.sounddevices.com.
… Electra Partners has acquired mixing console manufacturer Allen & Heath from D&M Holdings. Electra Private Equity PLC and Allen & Heath’s management have provided £43 million of equity and debt. Allen & Heath’s existing team and distribution networks will remain in place. Allen & Heath products are distributed in Canada by Erikson Pro. www.eriksonpro.com. Professional Sound 17
ProFile Donny DaSilva By Travis Miles
was always intrigued by the recording process and the ability to capture the essence of a live performance,” says Donny DaSilva with a passionate conviction – a conviction more than evident when he talks about music, recording, and his job as Studio Manager at Noble Street Studios in Toronto. At Noble Street – which has been up and running for just over two years and has already outputted such albums as Billy Talent’s Dead Silence, The Tragically Hip’s Now for Plan A, and Barenaked Ladies’ Grinning Streak and recorded such artists as Drake, Feist, and Arkells – DaSilva has many responsibilities. He is in charge of acquiring clientele, scheduling, co o rd i n at i n g , s t a ff i n g , i nvo i c i n g , marketing, updating, as well as training new team members and delegating tasks. “Studio culture is extremely important to me,” he says, noting one of the key components to his job. “Staff members are a studio’s ambassadors and greatest asset. Equipment, acoustics, and aesthetics are important, but the culture and the staff are what ultimately keep clients coming back.” DaSilva says he discovered his passion for recording at a very young age. His father was a musician in a Portuguese band that would frequently record their songs at the family’s home. DaSilva followed suit and started playing in his own band when he was 12. Recording that band in his father’s studio was the initial spark that led him to where he is today. “I was far more excited about recording my band than being a musician in the group,” he recalls with a chuckle. “It was a pivotal point in my life because it was ultimately what led me down a path that excited me.” Upon entering high school, DaSilva helped start up the school’s recording program. “The school studio had an
18 Professional Sound
eight-track reel-to-reel and I recorded many bands there,” he says. “My music teacher, Greg DeSousa, who I guess saw something in me, recommended that I do a co-op placement with his old student Vic Florencia.” He was 16 when he landed his co-op placement at a Toronto recording studio where Florencia had a staff engineering position and refers to Florencia as one of his most influential mentors. “I learned a great deal there,” he says, “and that solidified that this was the career I wanted to pursue.” After graduating high school, DaSilva went to Fanshawe College in London, ON and completed the two-year Music Industry Arts program. Then came the biggest obstacle in his career path, which he refers to as “getting his foot in the door.” After a few years of assisting at various studios and working as a freelance engineer, DaSilva was hired at Phase One Studios in Toronto in 2000, four years after graduating from Fanshawe. He landed a job as the studio’s manager and says he “put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into that facility.” He credits a lot of his present success to the years he spent at Phase One under the guiding hand of the studio’s owner, Barry Lubotta. “He believed in me, took me under his wing, and taught me a tremendous amount about the business. He was
instrumental in making me the person and the manager I am today,” he confides. While at Phase One, DaSilva had the opportunity to work on world-class recordings with such artists as the Black Eyed Peas, Bono, Herbie Hancock, Sting, Rush, and Rihanna, to name only a few. DaSilva is a self-described “family man,” and his devotion to those close to him is quite apparent when discussing the topic. He would say his greatest success is in striking a balance between his personal and professional lives. Today, DaSilva is 10 years married, has two children, and loves his job at Noble Street. “The most fulfilling part of my job is listening back to the incredible performances we have recorded,” he says with calculated sincerity. “It is one thing to see a band live, but it is another to capture their performance in a studio.” DaSilva says that the work hasn’t stopped since the day Noble Street opened, and possible expansions to the 8,000 sq. ft. facilities are on the horizon, which would be sure to maintain that trend. “I’m always excited about the future,” DaSilva says. “The music scene in Toronto is vibrant and it’s a pleasure to facilitate this incredible talent. I’m excited about being the best we can be and capturing some phenomenal moments.”
Travis Miles is a former Editorial Assistant at Professional Sound.
ProFile John & his wife, Iris.
John Drake By Travis Miles
ound used to be my hobby; now it’s my profession.” Like many people in the industry, John Drake had his first experience as a sound technician when he was a teenager. “I worked on a special project when I was in high school,” he recalls, and then laughs: “That special project was to gather up, categorize, service, and organize all of the AV equipment for the school.” Today, he heads up Design and Contract Sales for Pro Sound and Stage Lighting Limited, but says he can actually take on a number of titles, “depending on the time of day.” Located in Langley, BC, Pro Sound and Stage Lighting is an audio, video, lighting, and communications integration firm serving clients all across Western Canada. Some of Drake’s primary responsibilities with the company include overseeing personnel, designing systems, responding to vendors, and managing general sales. But his workload doesn’t end there, as he is an avid volunteer, a husband, a father of four, and a grandfather. Drake says that mixing sound started as a teenage hobby and over the years began consuming more and more of his time. “I was doing a lot of mixing in churches and a lot of similar volunteer-type work,” he says. Having studied math, physics, chemistry, and biology extensively while in high school, Drake attended the now defunct Pacific Vocational Institute and later BCIT in Burnaby, BC to further his study and support his job as a business machine repairman. “I carried a tool kit for a number of years,” he recalls. “That’s how I earned my bread and butter while I was volunteering, and learning all there is to learn about what I do today.” Drake says his favourite aspect of working at Pro Sound is “taking on a challenge and being able to find a solution that fits it.” He goes on to say that the best projects are those that aren’t unduly restricted by budget and where the client is open to good communication, collaboration, and cooperation. Outside of work, Drake stays involved with sound and lighting design while volunteering with non-governmental organization Helps in Action. Working with the foundation, Drake has designed and installed AV systems for less fortunate communities across the globe. Recalling a trip to install a sound system for a church in the Congo, Drake says, “In a third world country, you have to accept the fact that text book standards will not be met. At first, I was hoping to have laid out a better system, but the people at the church were ecstatic. They had never heard anything so good. It really puts it into perspective to how lucky we are to have the kinds of technologies we have here.” 20 Professional Sound
Currently, Drake is very busy with Helps in Action, as the organization has projects in Uganda, Congo, New Zealand, and in inner city Miami on the go. Using the current inner city Miami church project as an example, Drake explains how working for Pro Sound can help his volunteer work with Helps in Action. “You have a lot of people with big hearts that want to reach out to the inner city, but they don’t have the knowledge. Because of what we do professionally, I was able to contact a reputable company there to go in and do the final set up after we had done the design, and guided other volunteers through the hard work of installing.” Between Pro Sound, Helps in Action, and his family, Drake doesn’t have much recreational time. When he does find time to unwind, however, he finds solace in the outdoors and, more recently, in woodworking. “In that last five years, I have started a few woodworking projects,” he shares. “What I do professionally is very intensive on the brain, so anything I can do with my hands to relieve some of that stress is beneficial.” Drake says his balancing act simply wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for teamwork – in the office, in the field, and at home. “I can’t do everything myself. It always takes a good team, whether I am working with Pro Sound or volunteering … It’s less about me and more about us. Without teamwork, you can’t accomplish anything,” he states. “The more you do, the more you appreciate the team around you.”
Travis Miles is a former Editorial Assistant at Professional Sound.
Roseline Boire By Alexandra Stavroullakis
t was famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart that said, “The lure of flying is the lure of beauty.” Roseline Boire has taken a few pages from Earhart’s book and believes that true beauty can be found in both her personal and professional lives. Working with Sennheiser Canada as Marketing and Sales Manager, she focuses on the company’s customer base, trying to give them the best product experience possible. She says better sound creates better emotions, and if she can make a difference in how someone enjoys a sound product, she has done her job. “No matter what kind of sound, whether you prefer heavy metal, classical, or country, it doesn’t matter. Getting the best sound will bring you the emotion you are looking for. Creating that connection for people is very important to me,” Boire explains. She attended the Université de Montreal in Quebec after high school to study advertising, marketing, and e-commerce. After graduation, she spent time in a variety of different industries, working in a similar capacity. When the opportunity to join the team at Sennheiser arose, Boire saw the sound industry as a new experience. “Sennheiser really took a chance with me because I wasn’t coming from the technical side, but I was willing to give it a try. Sound was a brand new game for me.” Boire says her most fulfilling moment working with the company to date was an initiative with Sennheiser endorsers Simple Plan that took place during the band’s 2005 Canadian tour. Sennheiser and Simple Plan joined forces to give hearing-impaired fans a chance to experience their first concert. Boire explains: “There’s no way for them to hear the music [without assistive listening technology],” she says of the youngsters that took part, “so none of them had been to a show before.” She recalls seeing the children enjoying live music for the first time. Although the event took place years ago, she says the experience helped connect the children – most of whom have kept in contact over the years. Boire looks back fondly at the event as a perfect moment in her career. She says succinctly, with a slight smile: “Bringing music to people who were never able to hear it before is pure magic.” Always wanting to learn and grow both personally and professionally, Boire recalls the day she discovered a passion for another new undertaking – yet another borrowed from Earhart. Flying frequently alongside Sennheiser Canada President Jean Langlais on his personal plane, Boire says she decided to take a safety and landing course in case of an emergency. After taking the 12-hour course in flight, Boire and her instructor flew over the Saint Lawrence River. “The river was covered with snow. I remember the water was so turquoise; the colour was absolutely gorgeous. Right then I knew…” She immediately turned to her instructor begging to become a pilot. She was hooked. “Canada is a beautiful country when you drive, but when you fly, the world is yours.” Boire has seen the Toronto islands, Quebec City, and Parliament Hill in Ottawa from her pilot’s eye view. She says she falls further in love with flight the more she is in the air. When describing herself, Boire says she is a very dynamic person. “Others would say I am energetic, but they would also
say I have a mothering personality. I’m always trying to make sure everyone is happy,” she says. Boire lives in Montreal with her three children, Myriam, Mathieu, and Marc-Olivier, and their pets – a cat and a bearded dragon. “We also have a lot of music in my house,” she laughs, explaining that each of her children plays a different musical instrument – Myriam plays violin, Mathieu the drums, and MarcOlivier the guitar. “I have very talented children; I love to watch them perform,” says their built-in cheering section. Boire obviously has a passion for music, especially that of Pink; she says she’s simply “obsessed” with the rebellious star’s output. “I just love her; I love all her songs. She is very talented.” Boire recently had a chance to see the artist perform live and says she hopes it’s not the last time. You’ll be able to spot Boire at a variety of concerts this summer, including the recently wrapped Amnesia RockFest in Montebello and Montreal’s eclectic Osheaga Festival, happening in August. “Believe me, I will be wearing my earplugs,” she laughs. “Everyone at those concerts is having the time of their lives, so they are great events to attend.” Both RockFest and Osheaga employ a slew of gear from Sennheiser and their distributed brands, too, which makes it even more alluring for Boire to attend – a chance to gain real-world feedback and see people enjoying the products first-hand. “You are working with passionate people,” she says of the audio industry, “so you try to give them the tools to create what they want.” And in the case of an event like Osheaga, RockFest, or the many other large-scale events with Sennheiser on stage, it’s actually creating what tens of thousands of music fans want, too.
Alexandra Stavroullakis is a former Editorial Assistant with Professional Sound. Professional Sound 21
Pivitec Personal Monitor Mixing System By Mark Desloges
As technology continues to develop, artists’ demands and expectations when it comes to their monitoring mixes have expanded to a level previously thought impossible. Whereas once these musicians were strictly subject to the mix that the monitor engineer, or even the FOH engineer, would provide for them, now, performers can take on the role of monitor engineer, choosing the channels and levels they want in their mix from a screen in front of them as opposed to having to navigate a console. Presently, there are a few personal monitoring products on the market. Many are analog, most need hard wiring, and all require proprietary control surface hardware. Enter the line of personal monitoring system components manufactured by Pivitec. Like other personal monitoring systems, there is a certain amount of hardware that you will need to wire onstage, though unlike most other solutions, it is controlled wirelessly via any Apple iOS-enabled device through the use of Pivitec’s V2 Mix Pro control app, which is remarkably simple to set-up and use. Musicians are now able to take the reins of their own mix on a familiar platform. Here’s a quick rundown of the series of hardware that I tested: the e16i input module is a 1 RU module that accepts up to 16 analog inputs and hooks into the console's direct outs. It is used in conjunction with the e10SW-P 10-port managed GbE PoE switch, which is connected to an everyday WiFi router and can send audio and power to up to eight e32 Personal Mixers via Cat-5 cable. Then, via the V2 Mix app, it can be connected wirelessly to an e32 to offer control of your own individual monitor mix and can be outputted to the built-in headphone amplifier in balanced stereo for in-ear monitors, a classic wedge speaker, or both. The app has 32 faders on two pages, allowing the use of two e16s
and yielding a fairly complicated mix. The e32 boasts a 3.5 mm input for inputting external tracks or click tracks locally to the mix. There’s also a 22-port switch available for bigger systems, expanding the number of individual mixes to hundreds. The most important component of this system that I want to highlight is how simple it is to operate – quite literally plugand-play. Through the simple connection of a few units over Cat-5 cable and basic management of one wireless network on an iOS device, you are up and running. This must have been no simple task on the company’s end, and is reportedly the product of years of research and development. Realistically, this system doesn’t require a detailed understanding of electronics or analog audio components, just a basic understanding of interconnections and gain structure. If you can set up a wireless network using a simple router, you can connect, configure, and operate the Pivitec monitoring system. Speaking from experience, it has the sophistication and sound quality to appease seasoned audio professionals, but can be utilized to its potential by the vast majority of weekend warrior musicians – a great balance. The software is as easy to digest and is as user-intuitive as the hardware pieces. The layout is extremely straightforward, with only the crucial components at your fingertips. Users have the ability to easily manage the levels on each channel, as well as the pan with the option to mute. There
is also a master volume for your personal mixer, as well as a limiter that I pleasantly found to be more of a compressor that will act as a limiter when the threshold is pushed to the extreme. I enjoy how the software platform isn’t congested with useless or obscure features that would render it cumbersome; however, the audio geek in me looks forward to what might lie ahead in future updates to the app. The last thing I want to point out is the high quality of the analog audio components used in this series of products. These are not toys. They are serious workhorses with serious parts to back them up. I consider myself to be quite the audiophile and am quite picky when it comes to how equipment actually sounds beyond a fancy feature set. That being said, I was very pleased with how warm and crisp the audio delivered from the Pivitec system was. Obviously what you put on the backend of the system will determine its final acoustic characteristics; however, I will say that I referenced it on speakers that I know well and use often and was impressed. This system is worth a listen. If you are looking for a creative new approach to personal monitor mixing, I would highly suggest looking at this product. As a colleague of mine recently stated, “Before you know it, everyone’s just going to be mixing shows from iPads and laptops.” This is where the role of the engineer changes slightly to match the requirements of modern sound.
Mark Desloges is an audio technician at Tour Tech East and freelance live sound engineer/production manager. In his many years of professional touring, he has crossed Canada, the United States, and China. He has shared the road with acts such as Cancer Bats, Classified, and Johnny Reid. He can be reached at email@example.com. 22 Professional Sound
PMC twotwo.5 Loudspeaker Monitors By Michael Saracino
n a recording studio, the monitors are the last link in a chain that demands consistent excellence. A great performance captured with great microphones and preamps paired with excellent outboard or plug-in processing can be marred in mixing if the sound coming out of those monitors is poor and inaccurate. The U.K.-manufactured twotwo.5 monitors from PMC are a solid choice in terms of transparency in a compact form factor and the bass response belies the 5-in. woofer size. Out of the box, these speakers have a sleek and stylish appearance without being overly flashy and none of the exterior materials appear cheap. The back panel has both an analog and digital XLR input as well as an unbalanced RCA-phono input. In terms of amplification, there are two class D amplifiers, a 50-watt amp feeding the tweeter, and 150-watt amp feeding the woofer. A high-quality DSP engine operating at a 96 kHz sample rate is at the heart of these sophisticated speakers. Inside the digital menu you will find an input trim (adjustable from -8dB to +7.87dB), analog input sensitivity (+4dB to +20dB), input source selection, and a number of equalization options. An excellent feature of the DSP engine is creating precise user equalization presets. There are both high- and lowfrequency shelving EQs with a +/- 4dB range in 0.125dB increments as well as a low frequency roll off with selectable frequency options (50, 80, 120, 150, or 200 Hz). This comes in handy when dealing with rooms with less-than-perfect acoustic responses or in situations where speaker placement is forcibly less than optimal. Another intelligent feature is the RJ45 (Ethernet) in/out connectors on the monitors, which allow for control of volume data and pass through of digital audio from the previous speaker in the chain. There is also a built-in limiter and, when activated, the white badge on the front panel changes to red to indicate the need to reduce input level. But let’s go beyond specs and into realworld use. Set up was a breeze, especially
considering many digital menu systems can be unnecessarily cumbersome. I found everything I needed quickly without riffling through a manual or scratching my head in frustration. Our control room is well treated acoustically, but having equalization options at 1/8th of a decibel was helpful in making minor acoustic adjustments. The RJ45 connection was convenient in that my tweaks to the first speaker in the chain carried over to the second. I’ve had experience with a wide array of high quality studio monitors and these twotwo.5s certainly hold their own against what I’ve heard – including many models with bigger drivers. What became instantly apparent is the transparency, articulation, and perhaps most notably, the wide dispersion. We have a large control room at the studio (over 600 sq. ft.) with seating for six against the rear wall and two chairs in the optimal listening/mix position. The widened dispersion (equating to a wide sweet spot) allows for everyone in the room to enjoy a tonally accurate mix, not just the engineer and principal client, which is fantastic. Theses speakers are designed for either vertical or horizontal positioning with a rotating badge, increasing versatility for placement – especially when space is an issue. In addition to mixing a new EP I’m
producing, I referenced a number of old Pro Tools sessions that were previously mixed and automated on our main studio monitors. On the twotwo.5s, everything carried over excellently and perhaps in even better detail, less a little of the extended lows from an 8-in. woofer. Spatial imaging was well above par and I got the sense that, given more time with these monitors, I could improve on older mixes in terms of depth and spacing via subtle delays because of the detail they reveal. As a producer/engineer, it all comes down to what I hear, and the more revealing a monitor, the better I can do my job. Put that fact in tandem with an intelligent DSP engine that can help to combat sub par placement or acoustics and these speakers can improve mixes for a wealth of producers/engineers in any scenario. To sum up my feelings about these monitors, the DSP engine combined with the actual quality of the speaker design makes them a very attractive choice, but if it were me, I would opt for the two.two.8s as I’d prefer the lower bass and dB/SPL handling. That said, these speakers are brilliant for the 5-in. size. I’d consider the two. two.5s for my home Pro Tools system and then finalize things on a pair of two.two.8’s in the studio. Quality construction and intelligent design are well paired here and there is a clear and definable reason why many professionals use PMC monitors.
Michael Saracino Producer/Co-Owner, Winding Path Media, www.windingpathmedia.com Singer/Songwriter, www.michaelsaracino.ca Professional Sound 23
Soundcraft Si Expression 3 Digital Mixing Console By Mark Desloges
ou would not believe how often the topic of analog versus digital still comes up when I am talking to club owners, school A/V heads and theatre teachers, house of worship volunteers, and weekend warriors about audio consoles. In years past, this was usually regarding how the two compare in terms of audio quality. In recent years, though, the focus of the conversation has seemingly turned towards the topic of ease of use. There are a lot of really good sounding consoles out there; however, there is also a reservation from those working smallerscale productions about practicality and ease of use. The last thing anyone wants to do is invest a hefty sum into a digital board that sounds amazing but nobody has any idea how to properly use. Over the years, I’ve jumped behind the reins of many a digital console to mix with very little time to spend exploring the full feature set and learning the ins and outs. Sometimes I have a system tech to explain it to me, sometimes I don’t. And on some occasions, I have someone with me, but we literally aren’t speaking the same language. When I got my hands on the 32-channel Soundcraft Si Expression 3 (the Expression 1 comes with 16 channels and the Expression 2 with 24), I was on my own. I received it the day before I was set to mix a show at the Halifax Jazz Festival and wanted to give it a try at a club where I’ve been mixing for six years – my stomping ground – to get a good feel for it. So to prepare, I took it home, set it on my coffee table, and started noodling. I was geared up for the long haul, strapped in and ready to whip out the manual and get down and dirty to make sure I walked into my gig fully understanding the board I was going to be mixing on.
To my amazement, despite having no previous knowledge of the console or how to use it, I was up and rolling within minutes. As I started going through the motions, I was surprised at how simple the layout was. As an example, I needed to know how to assign channels to each monitor mix. The Expression 3 has a button for each mix that, when pressed, automatically puts the console in flip fader mode for that mix. When the same mix button is pressed for a second time consecutively, the console reverts back to the main mix. Simple as that; you’re mixing monitors at the push of a button. Taking this a step further, when you are working in flip fader mode, every fader is backlit with a green LED to indicate that you are in fact working with a monitor mix. This theme is revisited in other console functions such as the BSS GEQ, which backlights the faders in red when you are adjusting the main EQ. I’d also like to note that each channel has indicator lights for the gates and comp ressors by the channel input meter. The Si Expression 3 is remarkably visually intuitive with lights to help the user understand exactly which function is being manipulated. Some highlights and specs worth mentioning: the board’s four assignable fader layers, the instant access keys, and function focus, which displays names, numbers, and values for any control that’s moved or key that’s pressed. The board offers four line inputs, a colour touch-screen interface, 66 possible mix channels, pre and post selection per input and per bus, and 20 sub-group or aux busses in addition to four
FX busses, eight matrix busses, and both L/R and centre mix busses. The last thing I’ll point out is the builtin Lexicon effects engine. You are able to select and use four different effects out of a bank of Lexicon’s well-known presets. When the different effects buttons are pressed, they also take the console into flip fader mode, backlighting the faders to blue to show the user that they are working outside of the main mix. The little detail I enjoy is that if you assign a tap delay to say, FX4, the corresponding button will flash blue to show the user the tempo. What most impressed me about this console is that everything you need is at your fingertips in an easy-to-navigate layout made extremely intuitive via the colour-coded backlighting. Another thing that really struck me was the low price tag, and how good it sounded for said price tag. I had a blast mixing on this console. As I get older and mix on more and more digital desks in more places around the world, I hope that when I’m far from home and the only people that know the sound system I’m set to operate don’t speak English, that more of the consoles that I come across make mixing sound both easy and fun, the way the Si Expression 3 did.
Mark Desloges is an audio technician at Tour Tech East and freelance live sound engineer/production manager. In his many years of professional touring, he has crossed Canada, the United States, and China. He has shared the road with acts such as Cancer Bats, Classified, and Johnny Reid. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 24 Professional Sound
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The Bo Photo: Joan Marcus, 2013
Mark Evans in The Book of Mormon First National Tour 26 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
When The Book of Mormon was reviewed during its run in the U.K., it was described as “indecently funny” by the London Evening Standard, “brash, crude, offensive,” by The Independent, and – perhaps most colourfully – as having “crashed into the West End like a drunken, lecherous potty mouthed yob at a Claridge’s high tea,” by Alun Palmer of The Mirror Online. Created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park fame in collaboration with composer/lyricist Robert Lopez, The Book of Mormon tells the story of two young, highly optimistic Mormons who travel to a remote village in Uganda as mission aries. Their mission: share the religious text, The Book of Mormon, with the locals. The challenge: with a warlord to contend with and things like famine, poverty, AIDS, and war to concern them, embracing a new religion isn’t terribly high on the locals’ list of priorities. Generally, the LDS church and Mormon community has taken the musical in stride and hasn’t actively protested against The Book of Mormon. Granted, typically protest tends to draw attention
Photo: Joan Marcus, 2013
The Book of Mormon First National Tour Company.
o k Of o r m o n M o B Beyond Broadway
rather than deter attendance. And frankly, with or without any accompanying outrage, the show has become a huge success, receiving massive critical acclaim since opening on Broadway at New York City’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre in 2011. Since then, the show has garnered nine Tony Awards – including Best Musical, Score, and Sound Design – five 2011 Drama Desk Awards, and generally, had audiences rolling in the aisles in London, Chicago, and Toronto, among other destinations worldwide. Each show is somewhat different, says Cody Spenser, Associate to the show’s Sound Designer, Brian Ronan. That’s something Parker, Stone, and director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw all encourage, thus allowing the leads in various productions a certain amount of freedom of interpretation. Ultimately, every production is phenomenal, Spencer adds, and in the end, the subtle changes make the show even more pleasurable to work on. Spencer has worked with Ronan since 2009, initially as A2
By Kevin Young
on American Idiot, the musical based on Green Day’s album of the same name. While Spencer wasn’t involved in the original Broadway iteration of The Book of Mormon, he has worked on the subsequent productions in other places. “Brian did some interesting things on Broadway,” Spencer says. “It’s a small house, but all the points are very high, so you lose a lot of high end because the speakers are shooting down so far. You have to get the vocals over the laughter and if you don’t have the headroom to do that then you can’t make the jokes land. If someone can’t hear a joke in a balcony, they’re not getting the show. We really have to make sure there’s consistency on the tour in these vastly different theatres, but we have some great people on the road really taking care of that,” he says, referencing touring engineer Chad Parsley and his A2, Jeff McWay. Another challenge was ensuring the audio infrastructure didn’t detract from the show’s scenic elements; in particular, a large sta tue of the Angel Moroni at the top of the “show portal” – a false proscenium that resembles a Mormon Tabernacle. “That meant our centre cluster had to be above that. Usually, we want it to be at PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 27
Photo: Joan Marcus, 2013
M f O ook ing
ark Evans wkins, M Phyre Ha er John O’Neill ph & Christo of Mormon First ok in The Bo ur. To National
24 ft., so we had to do some very tight down fills up in the centre to fill in the seats right up front.” For this show, he continues, owing to the sheer size of the false proscenium, they also went a little wider with side arrays than they normally would in order to keep the sightlines clean. In addition to the false proscenium, the costume design for the show presented challenges – specifically in terms of placing mics discreetly on performers and achieving optimal reproduction of their voices. Generally, they’ve been using Sennheiser MK-2s and DPA 4061s for the cast, but have increasingly used smaller MK-1s as the tour has progressed. “We don’t really do a side rig unless someone’s bald,” Spencer says. “We always a use a centre rig, because their voice is going to sound better. In Chicago, we have one character, the general, who has an eye patch and, literally, we put a MK-1 in his eye patch.” Additionally, they have to provide a number of microphones for various hats the cast wears to ensure that, regardless of what’s going on onstage, the show’s jokes and song lyrics come across with absolute clarity. “We spent a lot of time on that.” Like the show itself, the solutions they’ve come up with to meet the challenges of each venue have evolved, and include adding microphones to the Chicago and Toronto versions to enhance the show’s tap dance numbers. “As opposed to relying on mics on the edge of the stage, we now have mics that are run down the legs of the actors. That makes a huge difference. The Broadway theatre was a little bit of a smaller house and in the bigger rooms on tour, we couldn’t really push the tap mics.” 28 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
n o m or
oad nd Br o y e B
Since, they’ve also revisited their approach to the Broadway show to apply what they’ve discovered while working the London show and on the tour. “When we discover new things in different settings, we take them back to the Broadway show so it’s consistent.” Initially, at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, Ronan used an L-Acoustics dV-DOSC modular line source loudspeaker system – a horizontal centre array of nine dV-DOSC cabs mounted above the proscenium with two arrays of six dV-DOSC to each side of the stage to cover the mezzanine. Two five-cabinet delay arrays were also hung from the FOH lighting truss to cover the balcony and, for low frequency support, a cluster of three dV-SUBs in a cardioid configuration – with the middle sub rotated 180-degrees – was flown between the delays. The flown sub cluster allowed Ronan to provide more low frequency support to the balcony areas without blowing people away in the front while limiting the amount of low sub energy hitting the stage itself. Additionally, two dV-SUBs – one per side – were placed on the orchestra floor. For the tour, the dV-DOSC elements have been replaced entirely by L-Acoustics KARA loudspeaker systems, which have made it easier to get around the scenic elements while also allowing Ronan and Spencer to add more loudspeakers to the centre cluster when necessary – up to 24 in total. “The KARAs are amazing; they make the show so much tighter. We usually use about 16 to get nice even coverage through the mezzanine and the orchestra level and they help us make the room tighter and avoid wasting any energy on the sides,” Spencer says. Additionally, there are left/right towers with 13 KARAs per side – five for the orchestra level, four for the mezzanine, and four for the balcony.
“One element of the show that’s difficult to deal with on tour is a voice that comes from the back of house at the top of the show. It’s as if someone’s talking to the person on stage from the back of the house. When you have an orchestra, mezzanine, and balcony, you have to have coverage on every floor.” While traveling with surround elements isn’t as easy as it used to be, he continues, they do carry two types of surround systems; one made up of Meyer UPAs to place in the back corners of the venue and another comprised of EAW JF 80s. Six UPJunior Ultra Compact VariO Loudpeakers are also deployed as front fills. “Then we have two UPJuniors to fill in the corners where the KARAs don’t hit and a couple of UPA and UPA-2s in case we need them, but we rarely use those.” Two L-Acoustics SB-18s placed on the proscenium beneath the KARA arrays provide the low frequency support. “We some times have a second pair, but for Toronto, we only use the two.” The loudspeaker systems are monitored and driven by nine LA8 amplified controllers that run L-Acoustics’ LA Network Manager software. A DiGiCo UB MADI interface is used to route QLab to a DiGiCo SD7 at FOH. “The UB MADI interface is a very small device,” Spencer says. “It’s literally USB to 48 channels of MADI in and out, so we have 48 outputs on QLab if we want them. And being completely digital gives us the ability to have much smaller QLab racks. It’s nice and simple.” On some shows, he adds, they’re running at 96 k and others at 48 k, depending on whether DiGiCo Racks or the newer SD-Racks are deployed. For monitoring, a DiGiCo SD10-24 is deployed backstage. A variety of loudspeaker and video screens are also located on and off the stage proper, so regardless of where the performers are – on stage, backstage, or even in their quick-change booths switching costumes – they can see the conductor on the program feed and nail their vocal parts. All audio gear, with the exception of a Fractal Axe-FX II for guitar processing, is provided by East Rutherford, NJ-based Masque Sound, where both Sloan and Ronan apprenticed early in their careers. At nine pieces, the orchestra for the show is relatively compact and is comprised of two keyboardists, a bassist, guitarist, and drummer, and a wind, trumpet, trombone, and string player. While many sound effects are generated from FOH, others are triggered via an onstage drum pad. “We actually started out running more effects from FOH, but we moved some back to the drummer and it just worked great,” Spencer says. “From the drum pad we have a main L/R channel that has all the percussion and effects he uses, and then we have an effects channel we can control entirely separately from that.” Deploying the Fractal Axe-FX 2 processor made the job of working with the band that much easier, Spencer adds: “Most of the time, an associate sound designer does not work with the band, but Brian really likes to be hands-on with them.” On tour, the Fractal provides a versatile solution that adds a greater degree of consistency to the sound of the band city-to-city. “Musicians inevitably like to tinker and this really makes our life easier because we know things won’t change. We’re even using Fractal on American Idiot now – where we used to have two 4x10 cabinets and Marshall heads.” In fact, the transition from analog guitar amps and processing to digital solutions was made that much easier by Spencer’s initial work on American Idiot. “On that show I had phenomenal guitar rigs to work with and Green Day’s guitar techs – some of the best in the industry – looking over my shoulder and teaching me to tech guitars. I was lucky to have that experience because when we moved to the digital world I had a lot more working knowledge to rely on.” Kevin Young is a Toronto-based musician and freelance writer.
Mixing The Book Of Mormon On The Road As with the sound design, the central challenge of mixing the show is the constant stream of jokes, says Parsley, explaining that people laughing heavily, heartily, and often adds to the natural dynamic of the show, for which it’s necessary to compensate. The Dallas, TX-based engineer first joined the show as mixer in December 2012. When speaking to Professional Sound, Parsley was mixing five of the shows per week at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto. While intelligibility is a key concern in any pro duction, in the case of shows like The Sound of Music or Annie, for example, audiences are generally very familiar with the dialogue, songs, and lyrics. “Book of Mormon being a new work, people haven’t read the book and seen the movie and the show three times. We’re presenting something new and because this is a modern composition, the orchestration is very rich and detailed.” As the tour has progressed, they’ve had to learn to manipulate the audio package according to the needs of each venue, he says. “We did Denver for tech, then it immediately went to L.A.’s Pantages Theatre and then to San Francisco to The Curran, which is such a small theatre we couldn’t put in most of the package.” In Toronto, he explains, they were lucky to have a complete existing under-balcony and surround system, which allowed them to “pretty much put the cluster and towers in and run with what the house had.” “Brian uses the centre cluster as a strong fill for the orchestra and the first few rows of the balcony. We’ll take as much out of the cluster as we can get. We generally like it to start picking up on the third or fourth row right as the front fills tail off. We want it to be strong through the majority of the orchestra level and catch the first five or six rows of the balcony. That’s what we’re aiming for. In Toronto, we could only fit in five boxes [for the centre cluster], but we were lucky Toronto isn’t a terribly wide house. Had it been much larger, we would have had some issues, because we rely so much on the centre fill.” In the Princess of Wales, the KARAs in the towers were set up in the same 13-box configuration des cribed by Spencer. “So, basically, we end up with front fills for the first few rows, the UPJuniors to catch where the front fills aren’t covering, and then you’re into the five-box orchestra section of the array.” The towers are 23 ft. tall, come in sections of approximately 8 ft., and each section of the array sits in its own yoke and gimbal structure so they can be used to cover the respective audience areas uniformly. “At FOH, generally we’ll take everything the house has as far as under-balconies and delays.” They also carry the previously mentioned six UPAs and 12 JF80s for surrounds, and mix and match them according to the requirements of each venue. In the Princess of Wales Theatre, the room is larger and the balconies deeper than New York, but there were already double rows of Meyer UPMs installed for the balconies. Without those elements, though, Parsley says: “We would not have had enough to cover all of the balconies and would have had to supplement what we were carrying. It’s a real solid install at the Princess of Wales and we just tied into it.” PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 29
Tegan On The Road With
While each of Tegan and Sara’s records since their 1999 debut full-length, Under Feet Like Ours, has incorporated a wider breadth of sonic influence and musical maturity than its predecessor, their latest release, this year’s Heartthrob, is perhaps their most notable musical deviation to date.
While much of their previous output offered a pure take on rock and roll, usually centred around electric and acoustic guitars with a stripped-down set-up and the odd subtle synth sounds, Heartthrob finds the twin sisters Quin playing with the conventions of modern pop. It’s also their highest-charting effort to date, resulting in a relative boost to the band’s live draw. Tegan and Sara have been steadily touring since September 2012 – even prior to their latest release – and, over the course of what will soon be a year on the road, have headlined shows at clubs and iconic concert halls on several continents, performed major festivals like Coachella and Osheaga, and, most recently, supported .fun on the band’s Most Nights arena tour of North America.
Scottie Baldwin FOH Engineer
Professional Sound: So how did it come to be you’d be joining Tegan and Sara on this lengthy trek? Have you worked with the band before? Scottie Baldwin: I was asked to work with Tegan and Sara when they were moving into this album cycle and wanted a pop-oriented mix. I have a lot of experience translating an album into a live performance sound.
PS: You’ve mixed quite a few major acts in your time. What would you say is most unique about your approach to mixing Tegan and Sara vs. other acts you’ve worked with recently? SB: Tegan and Sara pose an interesting challenge that I had not yet faced in my career – identical twins with identical vocal chords. I have since learned to distinguish the subtle differences in timbre, vibrato, and enunciation in their voices, but the rudimentary architecture is still the same. Not only that, but they both play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or keyboards at the same time so there is a lot of real estate that is being taken up in the same area of the bandwidth. Managing this instrumentation and vocals that are all competing for the same space was the biggest hurdle in keeping clarity and depth in the mix. For example, when Tegan is singing the melody and Sara is on the major third [harmony], when they both go to a unison vocal on the chorus, it can really pop the vocals up in the mix. That normally doesn’t happen as singers have differences in the aforementioned fundamentals of their voices, but with identical twins, it’s another story. 30 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
Indeed, it’s been a long stint with a very diverse list of dates and venues, and the band’s crew – including FOH engineer Scottie Baldwin (Lady Gaga, Prince) and Monitor Engineer Craig Brittain (Michael Bublé, Theory of a Deadman) – has weathered it quite well thanks to their years of experience, skill sets, and a versatile audio package from Vancouver’s Gearforce.
Professional Sound had the chance to catch Baldwin and Brittain during a weeklong break between dates to talk about their approach to mixing a band with such a diverse catalog on one hell of a lengthy jaunt.
Arenas, Amphitheatres & All-Ages Clubs
By Andrew King. Photos by Lindsey Byrnes.
Tegan & Sara Quin onstage
PS: Their last few albums, in particular, have had touches of new wave and synth pop. Are you working with many samples and cues on this run, or is it pretty straightahead rock and roll in style? SB: There are three different elements of the mix with Tegan and Sara: the newer pop-oriented sound, the harder edged indierock sound, and the acoustic performances. When I offered them the choice of me mixing the show with an overall sound that was similar in nature to everything else in the set or making everything sound as it does on the respective records and truer to the original album sound, they both wanted the latter. This was good news to me, as most artists to whom I pose this question want the live performance to sound like their latest record. Tegan and Sara were very conscious of making their material sound true to the original recording. That is a brave choice because it is easier to lose the listener’s attention with the production styles changing on a song-by-song basis, but it pays off in the end.
SB: I always look at a schedule of dates and local production capabilities to help determine what best keeps the integrity of the sound for both the audience as well as what the musicians are feeling onstage from the FOH mix. Because we are covering so many different and somewhat tertiary markets on this album cycle, I keep things as simple as possible.
PS: You’re touring with your own FOH rig and, through out the tour, have been hooking into a pretty wide variety of systems in a wide variety of international destinations. How did you plan what to carry to maximize your portability, versatility, and flexibility considering that?
PS: Part way through this tour, you made the switch from a Yamaha PM5D to the company’s newer CL3. What informed the decision and how has it impacted your workflow to date? SB: The decision was made for a number of reasons. Initially,
PS: Are there any inherent challenges that come with that kind of schedule – mixing headline gigs in decentsized clubs or halls through to arena shows through to huge open-air festivals? How do they inform the way you approach this gig? SB: The only thing that changes between the different venues is the interface with the system sizes. The approach to the mix stays the same, always. Musical direction can be more important in the grand scheme when it comes to venue size, but for me, it is about translating the performance into audible and physical energy for the audience.
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 31
T it was because I prefer the workflow of Yamaha desks. Some consider Yamaha desks too simple on the surface but their capability is quite the contrary. Also, I like the colourization of sound the new CL series provides and candidly speaking, the desk is about tenth on the scale of importance. More important is system time alignment, EQ, volume between zones, microphone choice, mic technique, musical direction, musician ability, the engineer’s understanding of the musical, technical, and relational approach to the material... The list goes on and on. Only then comes how the choice of audio console relates those elements to the display of music. I’ve been a Yamaha user from my first experiences on the PM1D. PS: Tell me about the team you’ve got on the road with you. How have you collectively ensured a smooth workflow night in and night out? SB: One of my first questions, if not the first, before taking over Tegan and Sara was, “Who is the monitor engineer?” I swear that I found out more about Craig Brittain than he knows about himself by the time I flew to NYC for rehearsals. The relationship of monitor and FOH engineers is critical, especially when the band is all on in-ear monitors.
Everyone I called about Craig said he was a real pro. I’ve worked with a lot of monitor engineers in my time – in the five years I mixed Prince there were 33 monitor engineers alone! Craig and I hit it off right from the start. We have a similar approach to the engineering and I try to provide Craig with the same feel from
FOH every night. We are not carrying system engineers, so Craig and I have quite a bit more ground to cover on a daily basis. We get help from production manager Paul McManus, who is an audio engineer in his own right. Having Paul helps when we’ve got so many systems with which to interface on a regular basis.
FOH engineer Scottie Baldwin at the Yamaha CL3.
PS: What were the key components that Scottie and Craig asked for? Did they outline everything in advance, or was there some back-and-forth between you and the touring team in terms of what might best suit the application? Rob Nevalainen: I’d been working with Chris Hibbins, who was the one-man production team with Tegan and Sara when they started out. We supplied a very small universal kit because Chris understood the benefits of carrying your gear, no matter what the scale of production was. They were touring in a van and carried a little console, mics, and stands. As they grew, we grew with them, providing an appropriately sized system for each step along the way. Chris has now moved on to management, but kept us involved. Craig started the rehearsals
32 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
with them last fall and was quite specific about the DiGiCo SD8. There aren’t any in Western Canada, so I thought it may be a good opportunity to get involved with DiGiCo, as it fits into our rental model. Craig had never tried the Shure PSM1000 IEMs, but I thought they would be a good fit for the level of touring they were preparing for. They wanted to build a system that was robust and foolproof on a day-to-day basis.
PS: This tour has almost lasted a year – some headlining dates, some support dates, some festival dates, Europe, Australia... Was that extensive routing taken into heavy consideration when the team was deciding what they’d be carrying with them and how it would be packaged? RN: As they are not as popular in all markets, they decided to have a very scalable system. In North America, they are able to
carry a much bigger touring package; in other parts of the world, they scale down to a minimal backline system to keep shipping costs low. Some of the markets they are going into for the first time, so they want to make sure they can do it economically.
PS: Speaking to the CL3, how did the switch from the PM5D work, logistically speaking? RN: Scottie started with them in January, and took our PM5D–RH for the first run. Once he settled in and was comfortable with the act, we began talking about moving to the new Yamaha platform. Reviews were very positive, with everybody commenting on how the audio quality had been upgraded. The band had a short break in February where we were able to make the swap without too many changes to the package. We sent the CL3 to Winnipeg and Scottie literally swapped it out in one
Gearforce Equipment Rentals day. He had full confidence that the changeover was going to be very positive, and I think he was right.
PS: Was there any training required on any components for Craig or Scottie prior to the run? RN: Craig began using Shure’s Wireless Workbench 6 and had a run through on that, but other than that, they were set. The CL3 uses the Centralogic mixing system that Yamaha developed a few years ago, and Scottie was already familiar with it. PS: What’s the feedback been from the road? RN: It’s been great. As the tour has been progressing, we’ve been fine-tuning the system, having recently purchased Luminex GigaCore 12 high-speed switchers to facilitate a live redundant backup for the CL3.
Monitor engineer Craig Brittain at the DiGiCo SD8.
Craig Brittain Monitor Engineer
PS: Same first question – how did you end up onboard for this lengthy string of dates? Craig Brittain: I actually toured with Tegan and Sara in 2004 through to 2006 during the So Jealous album cycle. Although I had been on the road with other acts before the girls, the experience and insight I gained during my time as both tour manager and FOH mixer with them was extremely valuable. In May of 2012, I completed a world tour with Michael Bublé and the opportunity to start mixing monitors for the upcoming Tegan and Sara tour was presented to me. As I’d maintained a friendship with both girls and others in the camp, it was a no-brainer to sign up and head out with them. I knew going into rehearsals and the initial tour legs that it was going to be a busy one, but we just seem to keep going and going… PS: Tell me about the band’s monitor set-up. Are you working mainly with IEMs, wedges, or a mix, and what makes the configuration ideal for the band? CB: At the start of rehearsals, everyone made a commitment to go solely on in-ear monitors, so we got all band members and both Tegan and Sara fitted for cus tom Westone ES3Xs. Although I have occasionally used some floor wedges on festival stages as a means to give an outdoor stage some ambience, we are 99.9 per cent in-ears. This particular con figuration seems to work quite well for us, as it offers a level of consistency through out the vast array of venues we are playing.
PS: You’re carrying an SD8 with you, along with some other key pieces. Tell me about the process of picking your touring package for this trek. What were the “musts” in terms of needs you had to meet? CB: My relationship with DiGiCo started back in 2007 when I started touring with D5s. I was so in love with the audio quality and the flexibility of the console that I’ve continued to spec DiGiCo products for whatever tour I may be on. I made a conscious decision at the start of our rehearsals to go with an SD8. Our vendor, Gearforce, backed this up and purchased the console for my needs. I truly believe it is the most musical and analog-sounding [digital] console on the market. I knew that both girls, as well as the band members, would be happy straight out of the gate with the overall sound of the mixes. PS: Speaking to your monitor mixes, is there anything particularly unique about what’s going on here? Since both sisters sing leads on different songs and regularly switch instruments, does that have any influence on how busy you are behind the desk? CB: In my experience, I usually find that there are one or two musicians on the stage who require a little more mixing during the show than the others. This is pretty much the case here. I mostly monitor Tegan’s mix throughout the night, while checking in on the others during key points in the show. I was very fortunate to be a part of two long rehearsal periods, which afforded me the opportunity to build tight snapshots for each song and band member.
PS: You’ve got a good complement of wireless gear out with you. How has RF coordination been throughout this tour, considering all of the different places and parts of the world you’re playing? CB: I was spoiled during my last few tours as I would normally have an RF guy out with me. I have always kept up on the evolving RF technology, and the various ways of scanning and staying on top of frequency allocation. That came in handy with me now being in charge of RF coordination as well as stage patch and monitor mixing. I think the Shure PSM 1000 series, with its dual diversity system and integration with Wireless Workbench 6, is a must-have on the road. I will generally open up WWB6 in the morning with a dedicated scanning pack and get a visual on what’s going on in the air. I always have a spare frequency available should something happen during the show. For the start of our next tour, with support and advice from Gearforce, I am going to be implementing the Axient Spectrum Management system. I am excited to see the real time monitoring through the AXT600 and Workbench 6. PS: What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to surmount on this tour, whether that’s directly regarding your monitor mix or even the indirect logistical challenges that come with something of this scale? CB: To be honest, I would say the biggest challenge thus far would be the couple of strange fly-in festival shows where I have not been able to be on my console of choice. Although I am quite competent on most digital desks, the girls and the band are used to their very specific mixes, and with a fraction of the time spent on other consoles, the mixes are different. It also doesn’t help that these were festival dates with no sound check. PS: Otherwise, how has the trek treated you thus far, all in all? Any definite highlights? CB: It has been a real treat to work and spend time with Scott, a mixer we are very fortunate to have on our team. It’s crazy that it has almost been a year since we began the first run of rehearsals in Vancouver. The time has really gone by fast, in part because we are a family out here – a close-knit band and crew with two amazing women at the lead. I say it quite often, but I am a fan of their entire catalog and truly enjoy every moment of each show. n
Andrew King is the Editor of Professional Sound. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 33
Photo: JJ Thompson/Media Needs
From Stage To Your Stereo At The
CBCMusic.ca Festival N at i o n a l B r oa d c a s t e r E n t e r s N e w E r a Of R e m o t e R e c o r d i n g By Kevin Young Sam Roberts of Sam Roberts Band closing out the festival.
While the amount of music available through CBCMusic.ca and its companion app – which streams 50 channels of music ranging from classical to metal and virtually everything in between – is substantial, there’s always room for more content. And what better way to capture that content than by throwing a party for 5,000 of your dedicated listeners and inviting some of their favourite bands to play? Featuring a diverse array of acts including Corb Lund, Kathleen Edwards, and Sloan as well as headliners Of Monsters And Men (the only international band on the bill) and Sam Roberts Band, the first annual CBCMusic.ca Festival has proven itself a welcome addition to events happening during Toronto’s busy summer festival season – and one that fans who couldn’t be at Echo Beach could still enjoy.
Location , Locati on, Lo cati o n
Unlike many other full-day summer concerts, the CBCMusic.ca Festival took place within striking distance of Toronto’s core at Echo Beach on the shore of Lake Ontario. Freshly opened in 2012, Echo Beach is an impressive venue, offering up great views of the Toronto skyline and, in front of the main stage, a carpet of sand that makes concertgoers feel like they’re actually on a beach. While the view from the festival’s B Stage isn’t quite as grand, the tangle of Ontario Place’s old multi-coloured water slides looming up behind it certainly provides a unique atmosphere. The concept of the festival was originated by Mark Steinmetz, Director – Music Programming/English Services for CBC Music. For the inaugural year of the festival, Echo Beach seems an ex cellent choice of venue for a number of reasons. Among them: its location and vibe, its comparatively modest 5,000-person capacity, and the fact that, like the nearby Molson Amphitheatre, it’s run by Live Nation and has semi-permanent infrastructure in place already. 34 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
In recent years, the content CBC records for broadcast and the way it’s distributed to Canadians has changed rapidly, says Ron Skinner, Head Music Producer, Recording, and Re-Mix Engineer for the festival and a 20-year veteran of the CBC. “Five years ago, we’d have done a live radio broadcast and then a rebroadcast later. Now, we’re doing a live stream, videotaping all the content, and airing it on radio and television as well as online as podcasts and streaming and downloadable content.” Similarly, the resources brought to bear on the show in an effort to meet the evolving listening habits of CBC’s audience and to capture and broadcast the day’s performances in a way that will draw more ears and eyes to CBCMusic.ca have also evolved substantially. Although Skinner’s role, the use of the content he deals with, and the technology deployed to capture it have changed exponentially over time, the core job is the same; record and mix the shows as efficiently and pristinely as possible and ensure nothing goes wrong during the process. To record the entire show, CBC deployed both its Toronto and Montreal-based mobile recording trucks to multi-track performances on the Main and B stages, respectively. The systems in each truck are different, Skinner explains: “The Toronto truck has an Avid System 5 console with 180 channels of DSP and is probably capable of handling more channels than the Montreal truck; that’s why we’re using it for the main stage, but both are capable of doing the same job.” Built roughly six years ago, the Toronto rig has a digital console and back end, but still runs analog snakes, which allowed the CBC to repurpose the analog infrastructure from the previous mobile rig and, ultimately, save on the cost of the rebuild. In the case of the Toronto mobile, the choice of console was prompted by the earlier replacement of a Neve Capricorn in the CBC studios with a System 5, which they felt was well suited to meet their needs and would also provide continuity of
run talkback and our ambient audience mics. Then the third is just for Of Monsters And Men. Because they’re currently touring, it would have been way more work for them to integrate with our festival patch than to just have their own dedicated channels.” The analog signals are converted by the Avid pres and recorded in Pro Tools, “but there’s also a Radar we use as a backup in case the Pro Tools rig dies,” Skinner adds. “Essentially, we’re taking a split of all the microphones on stage, which are provided by Clair Global. The only additional mics I put out are a pair of Neumann KM 84 cardioid mics and two Audio-Technica AT815b shotguns. They’re placed at the front lip of stage right and left for ambient audience sound. I like to keep things as simple as possible and by placing audience mics close to the mains, they’re actually ‘hearing’ the crowd and the sound from the live sound reinforcement system without any delay.” While mixing the show, Skinner, fellow mix engineer Doug Doctor (who mixed Of Monsters and Men specifically), and Ir ving
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workflow for those recording and mixing live performances and then later re-mixing them for broadcast. While continuity was a consideration when it came to mixing surfaces, the trucks required different technology when it came to near field loudspeakers. “The studios all have Genelec loudspeakers, but when we built the truck, about 20 of us got together and did some listening to pick the right speakers,” Skinner says. “There was a bit of a shoot out and we ended up with the KRK V8-2s because they simply worked best for the truck, but we do still use Genelecs for near field and surrounds. “Basically,” he continues, “we have a total of 120 lines we can run to the stage on three 40-channel cables with three-way splitters. For smaller events, we may run just one snake, but for this we’re using all three. One is a ‘festival patch’ shared by almost all of the main stage bands. The second we’re using to
Avid S ystem 5 Co n 80 mic preamp sole (108 ana iZ RAD log inp s) AR 2 uts, w ith S 4 -bit/96 kHz C SI & D 24 -tra Pro To o VD co m ck ls bo dr iv Nyquist S S L De H D 1 0 e s (x2) lta Link HHB C D M -R 882 ADI Inte rfa ce So ny C C D Dua D Play l Bu r n er Record KRK V8 e r (x3) -2 M o n it Genele c M o nit ors (mains) ors (ne Br ysto ar/sur r nA o u n d) Lexico n mplificatio n 480L D T.C. Ele ig ital E ctro nic ffects s System T.C. Ele ctronic 6000 Dig ital s M200 Effects Drawm 0 Digit e r Ma s System al E te rflo w BSS DP DC2476 ffects Proces R-402 sor Co SSL Lo g ic FX mpressor, DeE G 384 U REI 1 Ste reo sser, Peak Lim 176LN iter Co mpre (x4) Neve S sso r te Millenn reo Co mpre s sor Lim ia HV3 ite -D Avalo n AD 202 8 chann el M r ic Pre 2 D u al Avalo n Mon Vt 7 EQ (x2 37sp M o n o M o Mic Pre (x3 ) ) ic pre/ HME 2 co mpre -Cha ssor/ (w ith 4 nnel Wirele s s Clear Belt Pa HME 2 -Co m cks) -C Marant hannel Hard W z Apogee PMD 570 Re ire d Clear -Co co m Big Be n Sync r de r Clock
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 35
CBCMusic.ca Festival Audio Team Steve Glassman – Executive Producer
(L-R) Rick Starks, Kyle Kutasewich, Cathy Irving, Ron Skinner, Michel St-Pierre, Francois Goupil, Steve Sweeney & Doug Doctor.
Francois Goupil (recording in the Montreal mobile) depend on a live video cut of the show sent from CBC’s video truck and the feed from a small, remote controlled surveillance camera positioned upstage centre to keep an eye on things. The live streaming mix of the show is done in a separate space, Skinner explains, on a system that includes a Midas console with an SSL compressor for the main output and two CD recorders to capture portions of the band’s sets that may overlap with live onsite interviews being conducted between sets. “Then it all goes back to our master control in the CBC building via ISDN and, from there, out to stream.”
Venue & Main Stage FOH
Supplied by Clair Global, the FOH system for the main stage included 24 Clair Vision loudspeakers, 12 BT-218 subwoofers, four P2 front fills, and the necessary amplification and processing. Additionally, Clair supplied a monitor rig consisting of 12 Clair 12AM monitors, two Clair R4 sidefills, an ML18 Drum Monitor, full mic kit with accessories, and power distribution. The only alteration made to the existing package for the CBC Music Festival, says Clair Account Manager Erik Paquette, was to swap out the Midas Heritage 3000 consoles normally used for FOH and monitors for a pair of Avid Profiles requested by the festival’s headliners. “The rig went in just a few days before the CBC Music Festival and will remain there throughout the summer,” he con tinues, explaining that one of the primary factors in the choice of elements for Echo Beach’s audio system was the challenge presented by the venue’s location. “The PA had to have enough output to battle the wind. That’s always a concern for outdoor shows, but Echo Beach is one of the windiest spots in the city.” Wind is never an audio engineer’s friend, particularly at shows like this where it not only interferes with the live experience, but can also make it difficult to capture the immediacy and excitement of the concert for rebroadcast. “People may be yelling and screaming and applauding,” Skinner says, “but the wind can take that away and make your audience sound much smaller.” And, given the fact the show sold out easily in advance of its May 25th run, the audience was anything but small and nothing less than extremely vocal and highly enthusiastic. Beyond wind, at an event like this, there are a lot of moving parts to co-ordinate and, therefore, a potentially greater margin for error than at smaller shows. But when we followed up with Skinner two days following the festival to ask how it all worked out, he simply says: “It was perfect. I was really surprised at how smoothly it went.” 36 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
Chantale Maynard – Coordinating Producer Ron Skinner – Head Music Producer/ Recording Engineer/Re-Mix Engineer Cathy Irving – Music Producer (Stage B) Francois Goupil – Recording Engineer (Stage B) Doug Doctor – Mix Engineer (Of Monsters and Men) Steve Sweeney – Assistant Engineer Kyle Kutasewich – Maintenance Engineer (Stage A) Michel St-Pierre – Maintenance Engineer (Stage B) Roberto Capretta – TV Audio & Communications Marianne Teminski – TV Technical Producer Ian Theriault – TV Audio Broadcast Technician Adam Tune – Location Sound Recordist Rick Starks – Broadcast Technician
Ultimately, Of Monsters And Men ended up using a com bination of the gear provided onsite and their own touring rig, which helped, he says: “And on the main stage, only one micro phone went down – the right overhead for Of Monsters and Men.” Bottom line, with seven bands on that stage alone, that’s just about as perfect as it gets. The largest issue they had to deal with was the loss of their ISDN connection for the live broadcast roughly 24 hours before show time. “It took a good part of the day to sort it out,” says Skinner, “but we got it back up and running.” For the CBC audio team and Skinner and Doctor in particular, however, mixing the live show was just the beginning of the work. “Now,” Skinner says, “I’ve got a lot of remixing to do.” A huge amount of content was generated during the CBCMusic.ca Festival, all of which will be used in different ways. “On show day, video was posted to CBC Music – one song from each of the main stage artists as well as a variety of back stage content created on site with many of the artists. All of the audio and video will be available to stream on CBC Music’s Concerts On Demand and on YouTube, and broadcast on Canada Live on Radio 1 and Radio 2, all of the concerts will be rebroadcast.” Additionally, in fall 2013, a video of the show will be featured on a new CBC television show, CBC Music Back Stage Pass. “I’m mixing 11 of the 12 bands from the Main and B stage and Doug Doctor is mixing Of Monsters and Men. His deadline is Wednesday morning and that goes to air on Thursday. The first band I’m mixing is Sam Roberts Band and that airs on Wednesday, so I have to deliver it on Tuesday for the show to be put together in time. So basically I’ll remix two bands a day for the next six days in our post-production facilities, Studio 210 and 211.” Both rooms, as previously mentioned, are also equipped with Avid System 5 consoles, so Skinner can recall his Main Stage mixes fairly easily. But since the B Stage was originally mixed on the Montreal truck’s Yamaha DM2000, he’ll have to start fresh with those. As far as his earlier concerns about the weather, well, just because it was a perfect day in terms of workflow, doesn’t mean it was the ideal day for an outdoor show. He’s still dealing with the wind, which ended up being even worse than anticipated. “We put windsocks on the mics, but even that wasn’t enough. That makes mixing a little more challenging, particularly when it comes to the ambient audience mics, but there are always ways around that. We had three different pairs of ambient mics – my shotguns and cardioids and the house ambient mics for the band’s IEMs – so we can duck one pair and still get enough from one of the other pairs when necessary. I’ve still got a long way to go, but it’s going well and I have to say it’s a lot of fun.” n
Although the CBC will maintain its mobile audio trucks in some regions, it has recently invested in new, far more compact multi-track recording rigs. The new rigs represent a departure for the CBC, a streamlining of their capabilities to record events virtually anywhere without sending a truck to the site. Designed and put together in 2013, the new systems are in large part a re action to the recent government cuts to the CBC. “We purchased two portable multi-track recording kits consisting of Optocore’s fibre optic digital snake and the SSL Live Recorder. One 48-track recorder will live in Winnipeg and serve central and western Canada; the other 32-track recorder will live in St. John’s and serve Newfoundland and Labrador,” explains Julie Harwood Sundell, Manager, Media Operations and Technology for CBC. “The SSL Live recorder has built-in Soundscape software that can be used for mixing after the recording. You can also save your project as a native Pro Tools file and easily import that into Pro Tools.” Unlike the trucks, the new rigs’ live mixing capabilities are more limited, Skinner says. “You can mix in the box, but that’s not an ideal way to mix. These are primarily for capturing multi-track recordings that will then be brought into the studios for mixing.” That said, he adds, for smaller set-ups and some classical music performances, for example, it will be possible to mix live – “in situations where it’s more about mic placement than processing and you have just a few microphones,” Skinner clarifies. The result is a lean package that’s been specified with cost-effectiveness in mind, can be flown commercially when necessary to serve communities virtually anywhere in the country, and may be integrated swiftly with any in-house audio infrastructure. The only cumbersome elements are the splitters/transformers, which in many cases the CBC, not the venue, will supply. “No matter how hard you try to go digital and keep things compact, there’s still going to be that analog front end to deal with,” Skinner says. Ultimately, these rigs have replaced a number of CBC’s mobile trucks, all of which were capable of recording and mixing at least 48 tracks of audio. “The trucks are still out there in Montreal, Halifax, Vancouver, and Toronto, but there used to be mobiles in Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and St. Johns,” Skinner says. “Essentially, these new systems were put in place so the recordings we’ve previously done in those regions can still be done.” In other words, this is a way for CBC to continue to fulfill its traditional mandate of representing and servicing communities across Canada effectively, within the confines placed on them by virtue of being a publicly funded company currently experiencing budget cuts.
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Clair Global Audio Package – Main Stage 24 Clair Vision Loudspeakers 12 Clair BT-218 Subwoofers 4 Clair P2 Front Fills 12 FOH Amplifier Racks 1 FOH Drive Rack 1 FOH Effects Rack 1 Midas Heritage 3000 FOH Console 1 Avid Profile FOH Console 12 Clair 12AM Monitors 2 Clair R4 Sidefill Loudspeakers 1 Clair ML18 Drum Monitor 2 Mon Amplifier Rack (4 Mix) 1 Mon Drive Rack 1 Midas Heritage 3000 MON Console 1 Avid Profile MON Console 1 Festival Microphone Package & Festival Microphone Stands Kit 1 Power Distribution 2 Stage Patch Kit
Kevin Young is a musician and freelance writer based in Toronto.
Photo: JJ Thompson/Media Needs
New Remote Recording Rigs
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 37
Most notably thanks to its striking cylindrical shape and lush botanical surroundings, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts has stood as one of the more intriguing landmarks on campus at the University of British Columbia since construction was complete in early 1997. Even more impressive, though, is the building’s interior – the beautiful balance of build materials in the open-plan public spaces, the much-lauded design of the ladies washroom, the versatile layout of the TELUS Studio Theatre… Most special, however, is the acoustically, architecturally, and aesthetically pristine Chan Shun Concert Hall – a room that would impress even the least artistically-minded visitor and absolutely floor a plethora of performers, from solo pianists to symphony players to jazz luminaries, bluegrass pickers, and even heralded public speakers and comedians. The centre’s original mandate was to both meet the needs of the UBC community and to provide an acoustically superior concert hall for its host city of Vancouver. The resulting structure – a collaboration between Bing Thom Architects, ARTEC Consultants of New York, and Theatre Projects Consultants – definitely delivered, though in recent years, the centre has been hosting an ever-widening array of acts and activities. In 2009, the centre’s administration launched a re-assessment of the Chan Shun Concert Hall’s existing reinforcement system, leading to an overhaul of the amplified sound system and the integration of a building-wide fibre optic network and video infrastructure. The resulting rig complements the space’s shape and natural reverb and is set to shine during the Chan Centre’s self-curated 2013/2014 season, featuring acts like the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, African chanteuse Rokia Traoré, and husband-and-wife banjo virtuosos Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn.
By Andrew King. Photos by Lloyd Balser.
In early 2009, the Chan Centre’s Co-Managing Director, Cameron McGill, placed a call to Engineering Harmonics’ Manager of Western Canada, Paul Alegado, to review the Chan Shun Concert Hall’s existing reinforcement system. “After a short meeting to review the scope of work and to see the hall, I submitted a proposal to perform a needs analysis review,” Alegado recalls. “Our proposal was accepted, and the ball started rolling from there.” The firm’s primary goal was to assess the existing system and provide recommendations based on both the present and projected needs of the hall. Key components outlined by Alegado included an upgrade to the centre loudspeaker cluster 38 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
Chan Centre Fo to provide intelligible audio throughout the entire hall – a lingering issue for engineers in amplified applications due to the hall’s lively acoustics – along with a permanent left-right performance system to support higher-volume performances and negate the need to, as had increasingly become the case, rent outside equipment. “The original PA was just a centre cluster; there was no left/right,” says Owen Schellenberger, the venue’s Technical Director who has been working at the Chan Centre full time for over a decade. “That simply wasn’t sellable to promoters.” Addressing that same concern, Alegado proposed an upgrade to digital desks for the FOH and monitor positions.
An upgrade to the AV infrastructure was proposed to support various new audio and video formats, including a new digital signage system for public and back-of-house spaces to show production video from the hall as well as to promote upcoming events and patch into the University’s campuswide signage content. Alegado’s proposal and associated cost estimate were used as the basis for a federal grant application – one that was eventually approved. With the plan in place and on paper, the Chan Centre and Engineering Harmonics opened the project to tender. In January 2013, Sapphire Sound, with offices in both Vancouver and Abbotsford, BC, was awarded the contract and the firm’s electrical contractors started work the first week of February. The timelines were tight, but all involved were seemingly up to the task. “To meet those timelines, we arranged to have most of
the product drop-shipped to the site to save us a few days,” explains Harold Wiens, President of Sapphire Sound. “It all arrived the day before we started rigging the left/right arrays.” Sapphire’s various crews onsite throughout the job were led by Project Manager John Powell. One major challenge the team faced was the many reflective surfaces that wrap the room and contribute to its highly reverberant acoustics. While the space is outfitted with retractable drapery that drastically dampens its acoustics, the aging centre cluster was originally intended to reinforce the classical, orchestral, and vocal performances befitting such a space; however, certain sections – especially those behind the stage, a choir loft occasionally sold as additional seating – were notoriously problematic. “We were often required to add loose elements to compensate,” shares Schellenberger, “which never really sat well with the acoustics of the space.” To combat this, Alegado outlined a digitally steerable
The Chan Centre’s Chan Shun Concert Hall.
A Revamped Rig For The Main Room At The
e For The Performing Arts array solution in a 360-degree configuration to maximize intelligibility, meaning sound could be focused to seating areas while avoiding the hard surfaces. Engineering Harmonics recommended Meyer Sound’s CAL solution, which was a new product at the time. “[CAL] demonstrated that it could achieve our goals, not only with regard to focusing audio, but also achieving the desired output levels.” This meant the cluster could also be employed as the centre channel for lowto medium-volume musical applications in tandem with the performance left/right arrays. The final solution employed three CAL 32 modules, with 32 individual speakers, amplifiers, and DSP units, and three
CAL 64 modules, with 64 each of the corresponding specs. The modules allow for manipulation of the beam splay from 5 to 30 degrees in 5-degree increments, and up or down 30 degrees on the vertical axis in 1-degree increments. “These were the first installed CAL systems in Canada, and were very interesting for us to install and commission,” remarks Wiens. “The amount of processing power of each module is remarkable and we were all very interested to hear what they sounded like for the first time. The intelligibility and control of each module is impressive, to say the least.” A challenge related to the centre cluster and left/right arrays, as Wiens explains, was the fact that they would all be PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 39
used at various trim heights. “Because of this,” he begins, “the arrays had to be configured with easily recallable presets to accommodate those heights.” This required hours of testing and tuning to optimize performance in various configurations. He elaborates: “The left/right winches are programmed to stop at the same locations so the line arrays keep the consistent trim height where the system is tuned. The centre channel system had a few more challenges. Together with Owen Schellenberger, Technical Director for the Chan Centre, four trim height locations were selected during the commissioning of the centre cluster. At each trim height, the CALs were digitally steered and tuned for that location and presets were stored on the Compass control software where they can easily be recalled by the operators.” Wiens also notes that west coast rep Shawn Hines and President Bob Snelgrove of GerrAudio, then Meyer Sound’s Canadian distributor, were instrumental in the implementation of the Meyer components, specifically the SIM analysis of the space and the tuning and programming of the CAL modules and Galileo loudspeaker management system. The final struggle pertaining to the centre cluster was that it would have to fit the existing hole in the overhead acoustic canopy, so that it could rise out of sight when not in use. “It
“Speaking to quality, this system is a marked improve ment,” says Lloyd Balser, Assistant Head Audio at the Chan Centre. “Any seat I’ve checked out has good coverage, and some are really superb. It’s really brought intelligibility through the roof; it’s so strong in that regard.” Balser and Schellenberger also note that, with both rigs on winches and pre-tuned at the various trim heights, set-up time for the typical show has been reduced to one-third of what it once was. In addition to size, the MINAs’ operational silence was a desirable trait – particularly notable in this case as the modules are self-powered but employ convection cooling. “Because of the acoustics of the space,” Alegado says, “any noise would simply be accentuated.” A digital desk was designated to drive the two rigs, and though ease of operation was a concern, so too was the venue’s increasing use as a roadhouse for visiting productions. Avid’s Profile platform was selected for both the main and monitor console, the latter driving the Chan Shun’s new complement of Adamson monitors and Lab.gruppen amps, purchased just prior to this most recent phase, and also mobile for use in the 275-capacity TELUS Studio Theatre. The choice to go digital was also made so the desks would sync harmoniously with the simultaneously-sold fibre
Right Meyer MICA performance array.
Front of centre cluster, with 3 Meyer Sound CAL 64 modules.
was only because of today’s technology this could be done,” Alegado notes. “Had the project been only five years earlier, I doubt that we could have been able to achieve our goals.” For the aforementioned performance arrays, a central stipulation was finding a loudspeaker small enough to fit in the available space while yielding the desired output and full-frequency sound. Several models were considered, and ultimately, Meyer Sound’s MINA compact array speakers were selected – just over 18 in. long. The performance system is comprised of 10 MINA boxes per side and boosted by one pair each of 500-HP and 700-HP subwoofers. Several UPM fullrange boxes are loaded under the balcony and at the front of the stage to round out the rig as fills. 40 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
network, allowing users of the centre’s various facilities to send or receive audio to and from other spaces and also ideal for remote recording and broadcast situations. “We knew that fibre would reject electromagnetic interference for those applications,” adds Schellenberger. An Optocore network solution with several MADI inter faces was proposed and implemented, based in large part on its success in a nearby venue – GM Place, home of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. “We reviewed the GM Place installation and found the fibre system very impressive,” Alegado says, also crediting Contact Distribution, Optocore’s Canadian distributor, for their support, service, and attention to detail. End points were placed throughout the Chan Centre
at the Chan Shun’s two mix positions, a broadcast position in the loading dock area, and one each in the TELUS Studio Theatre and Royal Bank Cinema – no easy feat considering the building’s existing infrastructure and interior design. “Because this was an existing facility, locating fibre endpoints was not as easy as simply pointing to rooms and saying, ‘I want it there,’” says Alegado. “An intimate knowledge of the existing conduit infrastructure was needed to determine where practical locations could be chosen with a minimum amount of additional conduit.” Those considerations presented a similar challenge when it came to the digital signage system – an entirely new aspect of the Chan Centre. A Crestron Digital Media 32 x 32 system was purchased and the existing RG-59 cabling was replaced by new RG-6 standard, as well as 3G-SDI-compliant patching and routing gear. The video infrastructure will also be a boon for campus initiatives such as commencement ceremonies or special lectures, which can be recorded in HD. “New signal pathways had to be designed to accommodate the desired display locations,” Alegado explains. “We were very sensitive to the existing interior design of the hall, especially the lobbies. Bare conduit on concrete walls wasn’t acceptable; special wire ways were required to minimize the visual impact
Alegado reiterates how modern technologies were instrumental in the completion of this project considering its rigid requirements and parameters. “It’s inspiring to see innovations in the AV industry that help us in system design,” he muses. “It should remind all of us as manufacturers, designers, and integrators that continuous collaboration is needed to design and build equipment that performs better, is easier to use, and yes, costs less.” Speaking more to “continuous collaboration,” Alegado adds: “It was impressive to see all the parties deeply involved in the design and implementation of the project. Everyone treated this as a ‘flagship’ project for their respective companies.” He attributes that to the Chan Centre being identified early on as a “complex project,” where “everyone put their best foot forward in the design and implementation.” Wiens adds that the project offered a wealth of resources to draw from for Sapphire’s future projects. “There are always things that can be learned from any new project we’re a part of, and the Chan Centre was no different,” he says. “We knew going in that there would be challenges because of the structure itself, the very busy schedule of the Chan Centre, and the scope of work. We have learned to surround ourselves with trusted experts, to stay focused on the details, and to bring
Back of centre cluster, with 3 Meyer Sound CAL 32 modules.
Avid Profile at the Chan Shun’s monitor position.
of the video and power signals going to the various displays in the lobbies.” Alegado shares that the overall design had to be flexible to accommodate the various events the hall plans to host, but still be simple to operate for its technical staff. “Easeof-use and education were major factors in the design and implementation of the sound and video systems,” he says. On the education front, in addition to training on certain components from the teams at Sapphire and GerrAudio, some of the Chan Centre’s regular operators received Avid training and certification through Coquitlam, BC’s Gearforce and Optocore training from Optocore and BroaMan support engineer Kari Eythorsson. 42 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
everything we have learned through our years of experience to make sure each project is successful.” From an administration point of view, Schellenberger shares that the enhanced quality and ease-of-use of the new systems makes the venue “that much more competitive” when it comes to attracting top-tier productions, and even for a space as acoustically rich and architecturally stunning as the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, being competitive is critical to ongoing success. Andrew King is the Editor of Professional Sound.
Bel Digital Audio BM-A1E16SHD Audio Monitor
Bel Digital Audio has expanded its range of 16-channel audio and HD video in-rack monitors with the introduction of the BM-A1E16SHD. It is a compact 1 U audio monitor capable of extracting and monitoring all 16 audio channels embedded in two 3G/HD or SD SDI video streams plus the ability to monitor multiple analog and digital sources. The BM-A1-E16SHD features a front panel display to enable quick configuration of the device and to provide signal status information. The selection of inputs can be monitored by use of a rotary control on the front panel. Selected inputs are then displayed on eight high-resolution multi-coloured LED bar graphs. Channels 1-8 are also provided as AES-3id and analog outputs on the rear panel. Inputs consist of a pair of auto-detecting 3G/HD/SD SDI inputs plus eight analog audio inputs and four AES-3id pairs. An SDI reclocked loop-through connector is provided enabling connection to downstream equipment. For more information, contact Sonotechnique PJL Inc.: 800-449-5919, FAX 514-332-5537, email@example.com, www.sonotechnique.ca.
TOA M-864D Digital Stereo Mixer
TOA Canada has introduced the M-864D, a 4 U rack mountable digital stereo mixer, which provides features such as analogfeel fader operation, remote controller operation, and fine-tuning of settings with GUI software. In addition, TOAâ€™s proprietary digital resonance technology enables sound quality adjustment at hotel banquet rooms, multipurpose halls, and other event-hosting facilities. Equipped with various function setting buttons and 14 analog volume faders, the M-864D can be operated without a PC or by connecting a PC or an optional remote control panel. Other sound control features include an Automatic Resonance Control (ARC) measurement and processing algorithm that optimizes speech and sound clarity for individual acoustic environments. For more information, contact TOA Canada Corporation: 800-263-7639, FAX 800-463-3569, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.toacanada.com.
Clear-Com RS-701 Beltpack
Clear-Com has released its RS-701 Beltpack, the first model in a new line of RS-700 Series wired, analog partyline beltpacks. With rugged ergonomic housing and quality audio, the unit is ideal for use in a variety of environments or applications. The RS-701 is a single channel beltpack, equipped with an XLR-3 line connector and combining high headroom with low-noise audio. Swappable microphone options, built-in limiters in the headsets, and the beltpackâ€™s wide dynamic range and audio contouring enable intelligible voice communication. All 700 Series beltpacks feature recessed rotary volume controls as well as Talk and Call keys that are guarded against accidental activation. An LED off mode is available for instances requiring complete darkness. For these situations, the switches are placed in easily accessible locations. Electrically, the entire 700 Series requires a lower operating current for additional beltpack drops; moreover, the beltpacks are built to be fully compatible with all Clear-Com legacy partyline systems and are protected against damage from accidental connection to other XLR-3 equipped digital systems, such as HelixNet. For more information, contact GerrAudio: 613-342-6999, email@example.com, www.gerr.com. 44 Professional Sound
RPG Diffusor Systems Quietstone Acoustic Treatments
RPG Quietstone & Quietstone Light (glass) acoustic treatment materials.
RPG Diffusor Systems has introduced the Quietstone and Quietstone Light, acoustic treatments formed from recycled stone aggregate or glass and designed for outdoor and indoor sports facilities. Stone aggregate Quietstone panels are best suited for outdoor traffic barriers and for controlling transportation noise. Quietstone consists of a porous absorbing stone and glass aggregate core panel that is glued onto wood furring strips with 1-in. or 2-in. fiberglass board set in between. Panel edges are typically molded in a 1/2-in. bevel profile. They can be integrally coloured to match light to medium tone colours. As well, edge termination options include 1/2-in. chamfer and square and are designed to withstand the wear and tear of high traffic areas. Quietstone is non-combustible and contains 10 per cent recycled materials. For more information, contact RPG Diffusor Systems Inc.: 301-249-0044, FAX 301-390-3602, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rpginc.com.
Technomad PowerChiton Amplifier Modules
Technomad has released upgraded versions of its PowerChiton series of outdoor, weatherproof amplifier modules. The compact and low profile PowerChiton amplifier modules, available in four power levels up to 1600 watts, can be installed on light poles and other surfaces at any height for co-location with loudspeakers. A new balanced input provides a choice of balanced and unbalanced connections, and three new integrated crossover filter options (350 Hz high-pass, 85 Hz high-pass, and 85Hz low-pass) allow users to optimize amplifier performance for the assigned speakers. Filter options are selected or changed by moving the preampto-amplifier cable from one preamp output to another. For more information, contact Technomad: 617-275-9989, www.technomad.com. Professional Sound 45
Optocore MADI Switches
Optocore has unveiled its new range of MADI Switches, which are designed to have very low power consumption, latency, and set-up time. Equipped with 10 or 18 ports of MADI, the switches allow distribution over Cat-5 cabling in addition to MADI-over-fibre and MADI-over-BNC. The RJ45 MADI ports introduce improved flexibility and simplified MADI connectivity while each switch has two redundant high-speed, 2 GB fibre uplink ports that switch and route 16 MADI streams and Ethernet to create larger switches for bigger infrastructures. Each port on the MADI Switch allows for a 64-in/64-out point-to-point connection, as well as 100 MB of Ethernet on one Cat5 cable. Also, the MADI Switch enables routing of each audio channel, providing a 640 x 640 matrix for the 10-port switch and a 1152 x 1152 matrix for the 18-port switch. For more information, contact Optocore North America Inc.: 416-287-5723, FAX 416-287-1204, email@example.com, www. optocore.com.
Atlona AT-HDCAT-8 Distribution Amplifier
Atlona is now shipping the AT-HDCAT-8 distribution amplifier. The HDCAT enables users to send one source to multiple displays up to 230 ft. away and has built-in audio loop outs to ensure all audio and video needs are met in zone and locally. The Atlona HDBaseT-Lite HDMI 2 x 8 Distribution Amplifier over a Single Category Cable is designed to allow users to pass any audio from 2 CH to uncompressed multi-channel and any video up to 1080p or 1920x1200. A built-in local HDMI loop out allows users to send their source to multiple HDCATs and use one source signal for up to eight daisy chains. Additional features include: optional redundant power supply; EDID learning mode; built-in S/PDIF and analog audio loop outs; support for pass through of all 3D formats; pass through support of all Lossy and Lossless audio (up to Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio); locking HDMI port; and field serviceable firmware port For more information, contact Pacific Cabling Solutions Ltd.: 800-946-0669, FAX 604-946-0609, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.pacificcabling.com.
SPL Crimson USB Audio Interface & Controller
Sound Performance Lab (SPL) has launched its Crimson USB audio interface and controller. Crimson combines a USB interface with high-quality preamps and a separate, fully-featured monitor controller. The 24-bit/192 kHz-capable Crimson has 30 I/O channels (10 recording and 20 playback); +/-18 V operational voltage (for professional levels up to +24dB); two boutiquelevel Class A, +/-30 V high-voltage mic preamps; two Hi-Z instrument preamps; two separate headphone amps (individually controllable); dual stereo speaker set connections (and control); monitor signal mix function (from playback and recording paths); MIDI input and output; plus USB 2.0 and S/PDIF input and output. For more information, contact SPL USA: 866-477-5872, email@example.com, www.spl-usa.com. 46 Professional Sound
Linear Acoustic AERO.2000 Audio/Loudness Manager
Linear Acoustic has released the AERO.2000, an audio/loudness manager based on the AERO.air. Program configurations include 5.1+2+Local plus 2+2+Local, providing support for 16 audio channels. A full-time LtRt or LoRo downmix of the main 5.1 channel program is also available. Professional audio metadata can be applied to AERO.2000 to minimize processing and control functions, or traditional AEROMAX processing and industry-standard UPMAX-II upmixing can be employed. A comprehensive TCP/IP remote control is included, providing full adjustment, ITU-R BS.1770-3 metres for all programs, return audio for remote monitoring, and an HTTP server for get/set control. Compensating video delay and dual redundant power supplies are standard. For more information, contact Telos Alliance: 216-241-7225, www.teloalliance.com.
PAS Threaded Rack Rail Clip Nut
Revolabs Executive HD MaxSecure Wireless Microphone System
Revolabs has launched the Executive HD MaxSecure wireless microphone system, which supports the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256) as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The Executive HD MaxSecure system provides 256-bit encryption using AES 256, meaning compliance with AES FIPS 140-2, and is designed for a heightened security level of the audio signal. Each Executive HD MaxSecure unit provides support for eight microphones and multiple units can be linked together to support up to 32 (Americas) or 40 (international) microphones per area. For more information, contact Revolabs Inc.: 978-610-4040, FAX 978-6104041, www.revolabs.com.
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Pro Audio Stash (PAS) has launched a new captive nut design; the Threaded Rack Rail Clip Nut. The PAS Clip Nuts contain a threaded extrusion that neatly slides over the square rack rails and clips closed. Once in place, the retaining bolt is then screwed through the Clip Nut to secure the rack device or panel into place. PASâ€™s Threaded Rack Rail Clip Nuts are available as standard in black or silver, and with M6, M5, or 10/32 threaded holes. For more information, contact Pro Audio Stash Canada: 512-992-0383, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.proau diostash.ca.
Wohler AMP1-16M & AMP2-E16V Audio Monitors
Wohler Technologies has unveiled new products from its AMP1 and AMP2 audio-monitoring systems. The AMP2-E16V 16-channel audio monitor supports Dolby E, DD+, and D decoding and has a complete suite of tools for analyzing and managing audio quality, level, loudness, metadata, and more. For applications requiring simple and compact low-cost solutions, there is the 16-channel 3G/HD/SD-SDI monitor, the AMP1-16M. The AMP1-16M is designed to provide instantaneous selection and summing of any grouping of SDI audio pairs. It features adjustable volume and balance controls, clear display of levels, and phase indications on 2.4-in. LED-backlit LCD displays, with configurations that can be created, saved, and recalled via Ethernet connection using a PC interface. For more information, contact Wohler Technologies Inc.: 510-870-0810, email@example.com, www.wohler.com.
Danley Sound Labs OS80 Outdoor Loudspeaker
Danley Sound Labs has released the OS80, a fully-weatherized outdoor loudspeaker. The OS80 uses Danleyâ€™s Synergy Horn technology. Unlike the Synergy Horn speakers, the OS80 is housed in an enclosure that is designed hold up in harsh weather. The Danley OS80â€™s coverage pattern is 80-degree conical with an operating frequency range that spans 113 Hz to 18 kHz (+/- 3dB). It has 101dB SPL sensitivity and a maximum output that rates 127dB SPL continuous and 133dB SPL program. A single high performance 12-in. driver and a single 1.4-in. driver energize the Synergy Horn and are hidden away inside a thermal molded poly-composite exterior measuring 32.25 in. high by 26 in. wide by 14.5 in. deep. Total weight is 51 lbs., and a U bracket is included with other flexible mounting options. For more information, contact Danley Sound Labs: 770-535-0204, FAX 678-928-4010, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.danleysoundlabs.com.
Professional Sound 49
Sennheiser HDVD 800 Headphone Amplifier
Sennheiser has released its HDVD 800 headphone amplifier. The HDVD 800 is able to connect with digital sources and is equipped with a Burr-Brown digital/analog converter (DAC) that converts digital audio data into analog signals with a resolution of 24 bits and a sampling rate of up to 192 kHz. This is designed to enable the HDVD 800 to transmit the entire frequency spectrum of high-end audio sources without any loss of frequencies. In addition to the symmetrical inputs, the HDVD 800 also has an asymmetrical input socket; incoming signals are symmetrized before further processing takes place. Digital sources can be connected to the rear of the unit via an XLR (AES/EBU) input, optical and coaxial (S/PDIF) digital inputs, or USB. For more information, contact Sennheiser Canada: 514-426-3013, FAX 514-426-3953, email@example.com, www.sennheiser.ca.
DPA d:dicate Recording Microphone Range
DPA Microphones has launched the d:dicate Recording Microphone range. The d:dicate range includes DPA’s modular MMC4018 supercardioid capsule, the counterpart to the MMC4018V capsule used in the company’s d:facto vocal microphone. d:dicate is also comprised of the MMC4007 high-SPL omnidirectional capsule, a modular version of the company’s 4007 microphone. Both capsules are entirely compatible with other d:dicate preamplifiers and are ideal for capturing sound from percussion and brass instruments, as well as for audio measurement purposes. Rounding out the d:dicate line are microphones from the DPA Reference Standard series, which has been absorbed into the d:dicate range. These include the modular 4000 and 2000 Series and variety of 4000 Series capsules, including the 4018 Supercardiod, 4017 Shotgun, 4015 Wide Cardioid, 4011 Cardioid, and 4006 Omnidirectional. 2000 Series Microphones that are in the line consist of two twin diaphragm capsules – the 2011 Cardioid and the 2006 Omnidirectional. All of the former Reference Standard capsules can be combined with the company’s preamps. For more information, contact DPA Microphones Inc.: 303-485-1025, FAX 303-4856470, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dpamicrophones.com.
L-Acoustics LA4X Amplified Controller
L-Acoustics has added the LA4X to its amplified controller series. The LA4X amplified controller is based on a four-input by fouroutput architecture and designed to combine the benefits of self-powered speaker packages with the flexibility of outboard DSP and amplification. The speaker management and amplification for L-Acoustics systems can operate in three different connectivity modes. The LA4X relies on a universal switch mode power supply suitable for mains from 90 V to 265 V. The SMPS features Power Factor Correction, which maximizes the amplifier efficiency and takes advantage of close to 100 per cent of the electrical power available with a high tolerance to unstable mains. Class D amplification circuits ensure the LA4X is energy-efficient for minimal heat dissipation. The LA4X inputs are available in analog or digital format. For more information, contact L-Acoustics US: 805-604-0577, FAX 805-604-0858, email@example.com, www.l-acoustics.com. 50 Professional Sound
SSL C10 HD Compact Broadcast Console With V4 Software
Solid State Logic has launched its V4 Software for the C10 HD Compact Broadcast Console. The C10 has a combination of large console power and features in a compact and intuitive package. In particular, a range of automated features and simplified controls make the C10 adaptable to environments where users of varying skill levels will operate the console. The V4 upgrade includes Function Key Macros, a feature which reduces the number of physical actions required to achieve specific tasks by allowing multiple two state console switching functions to be grouped as a Macro and then executed via soft keys, GPIs, and fader functions. Another feature is HyperRoute, which introduces to the SSL routing system an additional destination-based routing structure that has the benefit of displaying destination source assignments without having to re-navigate through the source-destination path. The consoleâ€™s new Assignable Delay Modules allows a total of 32 of the 64 available delays to be routed anywhere, including Aux and Monitor inserts, or external I/O destinations that pick up internal or external sources as inputs. As well, the maximum channel count available for C10 has been increased to 160 channels. For more information, contact HHB Communications Canada Limited: 416-867-9000, FAX 416-867-1080, sales@ hhbcanada.com, www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/canada.
Professional Sound 51
Riedel Connect AVB C8
Riedel AVB C8 & AVB A8 Interfaces
Riedel Communications has extended its line of AVB-capable products with the release of the Connect AVB (Audio Video Bridging) interfaces, the Connect A8 and Connect C8, which enable real-time transport of analog or AES3/EBU digital audio over AVB-capable local area networks (LANs). Intercom applications for Riedel’s AVB-capable products include matrix-tocontrol panel connections via LAN, audio distribution via LAN, matrix-to-matrix trunking connections via LAN, and distribution of digital party lines via LAN. The Connect AVB converts signals between AES and AVB standards. The Connect AVB modules can be used alone as a throw-down module or with a Riedel Smart Rack system. Built into a 9.5-in., 1 RU housing, the Connect AVB C8 offers eight AES connections on BNC. The device supports both bidirectional AES for intercom panels and unidirectional transport for broadcast AES. Riedel’s Connect AVB A8 provides eight analog inputs and outputs on RJ45 connectors. For more information, contact Riedel Communications Inc.: 818-241-4696, FAX 818-241-5927, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.riedel.net.
Rode i16 Surround Sound Microphone For iOS Devices
Rode has released the i16, a surround sound microphone for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that combines 16 microphone capsules to capture the user’s surrounding audio environment in broadcast quality. The new microphone uses Rode’s field recording app, Rode Rec, to record the 16 tracks simultaneously at up to 24-bit/96 kHz. The i16 has 16 individual gold-sputtered cardioid condenser capsules, which allow the user to record in either surround, stereo, mono, or a combination. The user can use that track to phase cancel any background noise. For more information, contact Audio Distributors International: 450-4498177, FAX 450-449-8180, i n fo @ a d i - o n l i n e . n e t , www.adi-online.net.
Ashly Audio nX Class D Amplifiers
Ashly Audio has launched the Ashly nX family of Class D amplifiers, designed to deliver up to 12,000 W of clean power while drawing less than 1 W in sleep mode. nX amplifiers are offered in four- or two-channel versions with selectable high-Z (70/100 V) or low-Z output on each channel. nX model variants include the addition of Ethernet control and onboard Protea DSP with load monitoring. There are three series of nX amps with feature sets that build upon each other. The base nX amplifiers are available in four- or two-channel models at 3000 W or 1500 W per channel (@ 2 Ohms) and feature a defeatable automatic sleep mode. nXe series amps add Ethernet control, serial data control, aux preamp outputs, programmable standby mode, preset recall, fault condition logic outputs, event scheduling, and optional network audio and digital audio capability (CobraNet or AES3). Finally, nXp series amps feature everything in nXe plus onboard 32-bit SHARC Protea DSP processing (48 or 96 kHz sampling rate) and precision swept load-impedance monitoring. For more information, contact Erikson Audio: 514-457-2555, email@example.com, www.eriksonaudio.com. 52 Professional Sound
ADVERTISERS' INDEX AUGUST 2013 PG. ADVERTISER
CELESTION (McBRIDE LOUDSPEAKER SOURCE LTD)
COMMUNITY (ERIKSON COMMERCIAL)
EMINENCE (McBRIDE LOUDSPEAKER SOURCE LTD.)
FONICA (VELLONE COMMUNICATION)
LINE 6 L3t (YORKVILLE)
LINE 6 XD-V (YORKVILLE)
LIQUID RYTHM (WAVE DNA)
RCF (SOUNDS DISTRIBUTION)
ROLAND SYSTEMS GROUP
YAMAHA – LS9
YAMAHA – CL SERIES
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Professional Sound 53
TSL PAM2 MK2 Multichannel Audio Monitoring Unit
TSL Professional Products has released the PAM2 MK2 multichannel audio monitoring unit, which now has new features from the Dolby CAT 1100 Decoding Card that enables the unit to measure loudness on two channels simultaneously. A recent addition to TSLâ€™s Precision Audio Monitoring range (PAM), the PAM2 MK2 includes a set of features for precision audio monitoring in numerous positions along the broadcast chain. It includes an SDI output connection to export display information to an external video monitor, a front-panel USB port for preset save/recall management, and an Ethernet port to provide network connectivity to system management software applications. The new feature enhancements for Dolbyâ€™s CAT 1100 module in the PAM2 MK2 include Loudness Range (LRA) and Leq metering as well as the ATSC and EBU loudness standards. For more information, contact HHB Communications Canada Limited: 416-867-9000, FAX 416867-1080, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/canada.
54 Professional Sound
Amplifying Orchestral Instruments At Rock Concert Levels PART 2 • By Peter Janis Part 1 of this article was published in the June 2013 issue of Professional Sound.
much tonal control for our purposes. We just wanted to get the signal into the console without mucking it up by mismatching the impedances. I thought we were going to have to have something custom made but is so happened that there was a solution in the works. Our first tests with the PZ-DI were impressive. The pickups required some EQ (I would say “the usual”) but the frequency response was great. Good frequency response, good dynamic range, good signal to noise... none of the issues that become apparent when impedances are mismatched.” Properly loading the piezo transforms the device into a truly functional transducer. In fact, it works so well, a new problem sets in: you get so much bottom end that you have to keep it under control. By inserting a variable high-pass filter into the signal chain, you can eliminate excessive bass and size the instrument to suit. Cleaning up excessive resonance eliminates low frequency modulation and enables the various instruments to better sit in the mix, making it easier to balance them as a whole. So whether you are mixing Celtic band in a club, a 50-piece pop orchestra in a park, or an eight-piece violin section next to the biggest
Killer Kick & Snare Sounds Part 1 By Greg Dawson
Here are some tips on how you can obtain crushing drum tones for various rock styles through a balance of live miking and triggering techniques. My goal is always to get as much sound from the original source as possible. This keeps my drums sounding organic and roomy. Here are some key ingredients for killer kick and snare sounds: Good Equipment To get started, use the best equipment available for what you’re trying to accomplish. A quality drum kit, or one which is appropriate to the task at hand, is key to getting the right vibe for the back bone of your recording. Fresh Skins New skins will almost always have a huge impact on the quality of the source tone. If a drummer goes into the studio and tells the producer, “I’ve only had these skins on for three months,” that’s not cool and it puts the quality of the recording in jeopardy right from the get-go. Triggers The first thing I do when starting a project is set up just the kick and snare drums, get my mics out, and create my own samples. I have the drummer sit down behind his or her kick or snare and begin recording single hits of each instrument. Of course, I make sure he or she is really smashing ‘em.
56 Professional Sound
drum kit in the world, piezo pickups can prove to be a suitable choice. Peter Janis is President of Radial Engineering Ltd., a manufacturer of professional audio products used for live touring and in 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.
Photo: Jess Baumung
A piezo is a contact pickup that captures the vibration of the instrument. It is typically connected to a preamp of sorts and the signal is processed like a microphone. But anyone who has tried a piezo pickup will tell you that, for the most part, they do not sound all that great. They tend to sound peaky, and with violin, they can sound shrill. The problem is not so much the piezo transducer, but the way it is loaded. During our research, we discovered that when you apply the typical load of a mixing console – say 10 k-ohms – on a piezo, it causes the bass and high frequencies to roll off, narrowing the response, and generates peaks in the mid-range. As you increase the load, it begins to flatten out. For years, electronic manufacturers have employed a one-size-fits-all 1 m-ohm input impedance as a means to satisfy as many sources as possible. As the impedance rises above 4 m-ohms, the response extends and flattens out further and seems to really sound great at around 10 meg-ohms. Rush FOH engineer Brad Madix continues: “We knew that impedance matching was going to be a problem right from the get-go. In the world of DIs, there are really not a lot of options for 10 m-ohm transducers. The preamps that the pickup manufacturers offer have too
Smash Your Drums! Now this one is critical. There is nothing I like better than a hard hitter in the studio. If you want punchy, in-your-face kicks and snares, you have to punish those drums. I’ve had the pleasure of recording and performing with Jordan Hastings (Alexisonfire, Cunter) – now here’s a guy who kills his drums and makes my job easy! Check out the October 2013 issue of Professional Sound for Part 2, in which Greg explains his miking and mixing techniques for recording drums.
Greg Dawson is a producer and the Owner of BWC Studios in Brampton, ON. He has worked with artists including Moneen, The End, Black Lungs, The Reason, Arkells, The Junction, and countless indie bands from all genres. He can be reached at: email@example.com.
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Industry Events & Shows CITT Rendez-Vous 2013
CEDIA Expo 2013
PALME / INSTALL / Broadcast & Media Tech Vietnam 2013
Calgary, AB August 15-18, 2013 888-271-3383, FAX 613-482-1212 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.citt.org
Denver, CO September 25-28, 2013 317-328-4336, FAX 317-735-4012 email@example.com, www.cedia.org
AES 51st International Conference on Loudspeakers & Headphones
NAB Small Market Television Exchange
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam November 6-8, 2013 +65-6411-7777, FAX +65-6411-7778, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.palmeseries.com/vietnam
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Integrate Expo 2013
Darling Harbour, Australia August 27-August 29, 2013 +612-9275-9200 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.integrate-expo.com
AES 52nd International Conference on Sound Field Control & Engineering & Perception Guilford, U.K. September 2-4, 2013 212-661-8528, FAX 212-682-0477 www.aes.org
Toronto, ON September 8-9, 2013 416-490-1871, FAX 866-524-0037 email@example.com, www.miac.net
The PAL Show 2013
Toronto, ON September 8-9, 2013 416-490-1871, FAX 866-524-0037 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.miac.net
IBC2013 Conference & Exhibition Amsterdam, Netherlands September 12-17, 2013 +44 0-20-7832-4100, FAX +44 0-20-7832-4130 www.ibc.org
2013 BICSI Fall Conference & Exhibition Las Vegas, NV September 15-19, 2013 813-979-1991 www.bicsi.org
Radio Show 2013
Orlando, FL September 18-20, 2013 www.radioshowweb.com
58 Professional Sound
Phoenix, AZ September 26-28, 2013 800-622-3976 email@example.com, www.nab.org
Barrie, ON September 26-29, 2013 800-481-4649, FAX 705-484-2112 www.ccbe.ca
London, U.K. October 6-9, 2013 212-244-1505, FAX 212-244-1502 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.plasashow.com
Prolight + Sound Shanghai
Shanghai, China October 10-13, 2013 +852-2238-9985 www.prolightsound-shanghai.com
NECA Convention & Trade Show 2013 Washington, DC October 12-15, 2013 301-215-4506, FAX 301-215-4553 email@example.com, www.necaconvention.org
AES 135th Convention
New York, NY October 17-20, 2013 212-661-8528, FAX 212-682-0477 www.aes.org
2013 SMPTE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition
Hollywood, CA October 21-24, 2013 914-761-1100, FAX 914-761-3115 www.smpte.org
2013 IES Annual Conference
Huntington Beach, CA October 26-29, 2013 212-248-5000, FAX 212-248-5017 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ies.org
Rocky Mountain Audio Video Expo
Denver, CO October 29-30, 2013 303-771-2000 email@example.com, www.avxpo.biz
LDI Show 2013
Las Vegas, NV November 22-24, 2013 215-489-9556, FAX 913-514-6420 www.ldishow.com
The NAMM Show 2014
Anaheim, CA January, 23-26, 2014 760-438-8001, FAX 760-438-7327 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.namm.org
2014 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition Orlando, FL February 2-6, 2014 813-979-1991 www.bicsi.org
Nashville, TN February 18-19, 2014 +44-0-207-370-8667 email@example.com, www.plasafocus.com
Frankfurt, Germany March 12-15, 2014 905-824-5017, FAX 905-824-5067 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.messefrankfurt.com
Las Vegas, NV March 24-27, 2014 516-439-5511, FAX 516-439-5512 email@example.com, www.cinemacon.com
2014 USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo
Fort Worth, TX March 26-29, 2014 800-938-7488, FAX 866-398-7488 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.usitt.org
Performances No One Forgets Build your complete intercom solution with Clear-Com.
A feature-rich wireless intercom in a two or four channel offering, the robust 2.4 GHz Tempest®2400 delivers reliable RF technologies to ensure uninterrupted wireless communication that is essential in critical live production applications.
The world’s first networked partyline system transmits high quality, all-digital audio on four intercom channels, plus program audio and power for 20 two-channel beltpacks over a single shielded, twisted-pair cable. All of this, along with simplified setup, easy maintenance and a highly durable design, makes HelixNet the most high performance and advanced partyline system for demanding productions.
HME DX210 ®
The exceptional 2.4 GHz HME DX210 wireless intercom provides two channels of communications and supports up to 15 beltpacks. The improved auto-nulling capability and expanded connectivity to two and four-wire systems makes HME DX210 a cost-effective wireless solution.
The unsurpassed Encore analog partyline intercom offers intuitive plug-and-play design and exceptional audio clarity with embedded “Clear-Com Sound”. Encore sets the worldwide standard for flexibility and reliability in wired communications for small to mid-sized applications. Copyright © 2013. Clear-Com, LLC. All rights reserved. ® Clear-Com, the Clear-Com logo, Clear-Com Encore, HelixNet, and HME are registered trademarks of HM Electronics, Inc. Tempest and Tempest logo are registered trademarks of CoachComm, LLC.
Clear-Com is distributed in Canada by GerrAudio Distribution • 613.342.6999 • www.gerr.com • email@example.com
Training for the Musical Trades Guitar Building and Repair Live Sound Recording Tube Amps C.N.C. Training Courses and Workshops Summit School of Guitar Building 6114 W. Island Hwy Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 2E2 www.luthiers-international.com 1-888-901-9903
Employment 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: email@example.com. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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@ bellnet.ca. www.intellimix.com www.avlmediagroup.com www.mixdynamix.com
Products NEED SPEAKERS? EMINENCE - B&C - PIONEER - PHILIPS MOTOROLA & tons more! Speakers, crossovers, cabinet hardware, wire, and connectors. Upgrade and/or build your own pro sound or guitar rig and save. WE STOCK SPEAKERS and related accessories for musical instrument, professional sound, home stereo, home theatre, commercial sound, and everything else in between. Visit us on the web and download our catalogues and price lists today. Dealer inquiries welcome. Q-COMPONENTS 638 Colby Dr., Waterloo, ON N2V 1A2 Toll free: 1-800-363-6336 www.loudspeakers.ca email@example.com Show Networks and Control Systems This completely revised, reorganized, and updated edition includes more than 30 new pages and dozens of brand new graphics, with dramatically expanded coverage of show networking technology and fresh real-world examples. Drawing upon his extensive experience in the field and classroom, author John Huntington clearly explains everything that goes on behind the scenes and inside the machines to bring bold visions to life in real-world settings. The book offers an in-depth examination of the control and networking technology used in lighting, lasers, sound, stage machinery, animatronics, special effects, and pyrotechnics for concerts, theme
parks, theatre, themed-retail, cruise ships, museums, interactive performing arts, and special events. If you work or have customers in the Live Events field, you have to read this book! Order today at MUSIC BOOKS PLUS www.musicbooksplus.com HUNT1 $49.97 plus s/h & tax 800-265-8481
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Websites MUSIC BOOKS PLUS – www.musicbooks plus.com. 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. www.musicbooksplus.com is optimized for mobile browsers, offering a safe, secure shopping experience, and ships worldwide.
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HHB Communications Canada Ltd. 416-867-9000 firstname.lastname@example.org www. hhbcanada.com Now distributed by HHB Canada - effective Sept. 1, 2013
Photo: Dustin Rabin Photography
When Canadian melodic punk rockers Billy Talent toured their home country, Delicate Productions provided the main PA while the band’s longtime collaborators Metalworks Production Group were in charge of monitors and FOH. The main PA was comprised of 14 Martin Audio MLA cabinets and one MLD (downfill) flown on each side of the stage with 12 W8LCs per side for left and right side PA, 12 MLX subs floor-stacked, and eight W8LM cabinets powered by MA 4.2 amplifiers along the downstage edge for in and out-fill. Says Audio Crew Chief Al Woods, “The MLA is a fabulous system, super easy to fly and extremely powerful. It sounds great and amazingly even throughout the venue. We get so used to other systems tailing off in bigger venues, but this fella’ never ceased to surprise.” (L-R) MLA Tech Kenny Kaiser, FOH/Monitor Tech Luke Purchase, Audio Crew Chief Al Woods, Billy Talent singer Ben Kowalewicz & FOH engineer Bob Strakele.
The sound team at the Parco Della Musica Auditorium in Rome, Italy selected DPA Microphones’ Reference Standard 4017 Shotgun Microphones to record the audio for a specially commissioned double DVD of two operas performed as part of the Santa Cecilia Opera Studio, a master programme devoted to Bel Canto. Sound engineer Giacomo De Caterini initially struggled to comply with the director’s instruction that there be no visible microphones or any microphones on the singers’ heads. Also, since backgrounds were being video projected, microphones hanging from the ceiling were also out of the question. That’s where the 4017s came in. De Caterini explains. “They were much more akin to a pair of traditional cardioids, and with the amazing ability to behave more like ‘wide cannons’ than strict shotguns. In other words, instead of the typically coloured audio that becomes almost unusable as soon as the pickup is slightly off-axis, these microphones delivered great audio that required minimal tweaks and remained readable and clean, even when picking up vocalists who were right at the back of the stage.” With a vision to create an intimate lounge for Broadway professionals and audiences, owners of New York’s 54 Below supper club recruited a cast of Broadway veterans to oversee its design, hospitality, and programming. Among them is Tony-nominated sound designer Peter Hylenski, who specified a Meyer Sound reinforcement system. The club presents up to three shows nightly in its main room, with all 144 seats within 24 ft. of the stage. “My biggest challenge was coming up with smooth, even coverage throughout the room considering its low ceiling and thrust stage,” says Hylenski. “I decided on a Meyer Sound solution based on the specific sizes and types of loudspeakers I would need to accomplish the design.” Hylenski’s system design comprises an inner ring of six UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers for stage-side tables, plus four distributed and discreetly mounted UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers to cover the balance of the room. Four under-stage 500-HP subwoofers provide tightly controlled low end, two UPM-1XP 48 V loudspeakers are deployable for foldback, and the entire system is governed by a Galileo loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor.
For location sound recordist Chris Watson’s work on Frozen Planet, the BAFTA awardwinning documentary series co-produced by the BBC and the Discovery Channel, he turned to Sound Devices’ 744T Recorder and MixPre Compact Field Mixer for his portable audio recording needs. Watson flew to the South Pole and also worked on the continent’s ice shelf and ice plateau, where it was -44 degrees Celsius on some occasions with a wind chill. “The reliability of my kit is absolutely paramount, especially when working in such remote locations,” says Watson. “If you go to the South Pole and the equipment doesn’t work, you have no way to fix or replace it, and you’ve wasted your time. The construction, portability, and reliability of my Sound Devices gear were fantastic. In fact, it was so cold that on several occasions I had to stop before my 744T did.” 62 Professional Sound