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Contents Contents June 2014 • Vol.XXV No.3
Departments Departments 9 INPUT Are The Loudness Wars Over? By Derek Sylwesterzak
10 SIGNALS InfoComm Ready For 2014 Run In Vegas; Sound Devices Announces New Appointments; Thorvin Electronics Now Distributing Barix In Canada; Ron Pilon Joins KV2 As Director Of Sales For Canada; Intellimix & AVL Land Canadian Distribution For Midas, Klark Teknik & Turbosound … and more news inside.
18 PROFILE Paul Alegado Ron Tarrant Cynthia Wong
22 PRODUCT TESTS Universal Audio Apollo Twin DUO Sonic Farm Audio Creamer Plus iZotope Iris Resonant Sound Library
44 PRODUCTS Lectrosonics User-Assembled SRb Series Dual-Channel Receivers; Midas XL48 Preamp; SSL C100 HD Plus Broadcast Console; Yorkville Parasource Active Subwoofers; Shure SM35 Performance Headset Microphone … and more products inside.
53 ADVERTISERS’ INDEX 56 SOUND ADVICE 58 ITINERARY 60 CLASSIFIEDS 62 PROJECT FILE Cover Photo: St. Peter Catholic Church in Omaha, NE by Robert Ervin, Ervin Photography. Contents Photo: Studio C at Phase One Studios in Toronto.
Features LIVENING THE ACOUSTIC CHARACTER AT
26 ST. PETER CATHOLIC CHURCH By Kevin Young Providing optimal sound reinforcement in houses of worship is often a matter of balancing acoustic and aesthetic considerations, particularly in classic liturgical spaces like St. Peter Catholic Church in Omaha, NE, which during a recent revamp added new reinforcement technologies while treating the room to actually make it even livelier.
REVOLUTIONARY SOUND DESIGN FOR DISNEY’S
30 ALADDIN AT TORONTO’S ED MIRVISH THEATRE By Alan Hardiman Disney’s musical Aladdin, which recently wrapped up a successful six-week outof-town tryout at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre in preparation for its current Broadway run, is the newest and perhaps largest stage production ever to be propelled by a source-oriented reinforcement approach to sound design.
Features TORONTO’S ICONIC PHASE ONE STUDIOS REACHES A MAJOR MILESTONE
34 PHASE 40 By Anthony Altomare In the intensely competitive Toronto studio market that has long been defined by rapidly changing trends, there has been one constant over the past 40 years that has stood the test of time: the now iconic Phase One Studios
FROM AUDITORIUMS TO ARENAS – CROSS-CANADA WITH
38 CITY & COLOUR By Andrew King When City & Colour last hit Canadian highways in support of 2011’s Little Hell, the band made a conscious effort to hit soft-seat theatres that provided the right level of intimacy and ambience. This spring, however, the band’s profile has propelled them to major arena stages across the country, making for a few new audiocentric considerations.
editor ANDREW KING firstname.lastname@example.org assistant editor MICHAEL RAINE email@example.com contributing writers ANTHONY ALTOMARE, KEVIN DIETZ, ALAN HARDIMAN, PAUL LAU, FRANK LOCKWOOD, RYAN McCAMBRIDGE, RYAN SHUVERA, DEREK SYLWESTERZAK, KEVIN YOUNG production manager KAREN BASHURA firstname.lastname@example.org art director JULIE FLEMING email@example.com publisher JIM NORRIS firstname.lastname@example.org consumer services director MAUREEN JACK email@example.com
business services representative BRENDAN MCMULLIN firstname.lastname@example.org business manager LIZ BLACK email@example.com computer services coordinator ELIZABETH READING firstname.lastname@example.org marketing services coordinator MELISSA LOSIER email@example.com administration assistant ELIZABETH ZACHAR firstname.lastname@example.org advertisers’ index For more information on products advertised in Professional Sound, please see page 53 or visit www.professional-sound.com. Send all press releases and news to: email@example.com. Professional Sound is published bi-monthly by Norris-Whitney Communications Inc. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission from the publisher. Subscription rates: Canada - 1 year $20.33, 2 years $37.67, 3 years $56.00. Outside Canada - 1 year $26.95, 2 years $42.95, 3 years $60.95. Single copies: $5.00. Canadian residents add 5% GST, HST (13%), BC (12%), NS (15%) to be added where applicable. To change your subscription address, please send your new address with your old address to Subscription Dep’t., Professional Sound, at least six weeks before moving. Unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork are welcome but Professional Sound takes no responsibility for the return of such items. Printed in Canada. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO.0040069300, RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO CIRCULATION DEPT., 4056 DORCHESTER RD., #202, NIAGARA FALLS, ON L2E 6M9, 905-374-8878, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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HHB Communications Canada Ltd. 416-867-9000 firstname.lastname@example.org www. hhbcanada.com
By Derek Sylwesterzak
hen is “loud” not loud enough? When it’s processed through iTunes Sound Check. I recently had the pleasure of spending a very productive and informative day with Bob Katz, one of our industry’s most creatively active mastering gurus. Producer Lanny Williamson and I had just spent the better part of a year working on a great pop country album with a hot new recording artist named Kalsey Kulyk. Because of our total involvement in the project and pride in its outcome, the mastering had to be exemplary.
After considering all of the alternatives, Bob Katz became our only choice. With great anticipation, I flew down to Orlando, FL to soak in the vibe of this legendary dude. Other than making my mixes louder, we wanted nothing done to change or degrade the project. Another huge side benefit of the trip was the opportunity to pick Bob’s brain about this whole mastering thing, and more importantly, the emerging technologies in our industry that will change the way we look at and deal with loudness. Car rentals, hotel bookings, and Italian dinner aside, the trip was all business. Bob is a pro with a very clear vision and complete dedication to giving the client exactly what they require. Fortunately, our mandate was to do what was best for the artist and the project, which he did with a smile. With great respect for the effort and hard work that went into the album, and relentless hours of mixing, Bob nailed every track, pushed things to the max, and
then added his special sauce – including an expander concept that actually threw me for a bit of a loop, though I love what it did! Throughout the day, we discussed the direction of the industry and his vision for technologies that are going to be of great meaning to us all. As soon as my plane landed back in Canada, CD master in hand, I headed to the Beach Audio to take a listen to what Bob and I had crafted. To my amazement, the master sounded very similar to what I had taken down. The dynamics were mostly as I mixed them, the transients were very much in tact, the tones were directly in line with our vision for the project, and above all, the mix and imagery didn’t change. Lanny and I were thrilled. Next, we wanted to compare the levels of our work to other commercially released “hit” CDs in the same genre. Understandably, Bob’s master was a few dB below the competition to allow for greater dynamics and clean transients. Sadly, to some untrained ears, this difference in level is enough to dismiss the quieter master as inferior. But match the levels between the two and take a closer and more critical listen. At identical loudness, the hyper compressed “hit” CD sounds small, lifeless, and distorted. All of these qualities, or lack thereof, become blatantly apparent when directly compared to a product that wasn’t mashed with a peak limiter. This finding was not only a bit of a surprise, but a relief and a welcome benefit for my style of work. As a mixer, one of my primary concerns is to make sure that my product translates to every listening system worldwide. To verify this, we enabled Sound Check in iTunes and converted the “hit” CD and our new Katz master to the iTunes lossy format. Although I did not enjoy hearing the format degrade the fidelity of our project, I must say that compared to the competition, we were in really great shape. One of the important things that Bob had emphasized is that heavy brick wall limiting on a master converted to MP3 would have a very negative effect on the converted file. In fact, we found that the hyper-compressed material sounded doubly small, lifeless, and distorted as a result of not only the format conversion, but also because of the loudness normalization.
But here’s the icing on the cake. When comparing the overall level of our work with material mastered somewhat louder, our work had a noticeable edge in overall level. It was actually cleaner, punchier – and louder! The harder you work to turn up your master, the harder loudness normalization will work against you to turn you down, and not in a nice way. Our Sound Check tests revealed that highly compressed and painfully loud masters increase distortion, blur tonality and definition, affect transients, and lose overall volume. Sound Check beneficially seems to have little effect on less compressed product, allowing you to preserve dynamics, have a sharper, cleaner point and impact to drums, retain more solid bass, and maintain the correct vocal presence in the mix. It goes without saying that the CD as an audio playback medium is all but dead. Just check out HMV – you’ll really have to search to find music CDs in amongst the movies, T-shirts, and video games. Today’s listeners want to consume music through digital downloads and online streaming. Thankfully, a good portion of these services offer some sort of loudness normalization technology, making the front end crushing of the signal completely unnecessary. As this becomes the norm, over compression of quality product will become a thing of the past. If your goal were to produce a loud master, I would strongly encourage you to consider the future of loudness normalization. Bob Katz has already declared the loudness wars over as a direct result of Sound Check and iTunes radio, and I heartily agree. It is quite likely that in the not too distant future, Sound Check will be on by default, so there will be no incentive to master a record loud. And be aware that broadcasters have extensive leveling devices that hit everything to maintain maximum signal, so there is absolutely no reason to smash your product to service them. And finally, the silly little “my CD is louder than yours” thing never should have happened in the first place, but fortunately for all concerned, the end seems to be near. In the past, heavy compression appeared to be an advantage in the loudness wars. Now, that’s more than questionable.
Derek Sylwesterzak is chief engineer at The BEACH Advanced Audio Production Inc. and heads up music and film mixing services. The BEACH has been Alberta’s mainstay in audio production since 1989, hosting international recording artists and broadcast and film projects. Musically speaking, Derek is an experienced producer who has worked with Ben E. King, Nas, Common, Finger Eleven, Paul Brandt, Kalsey Kulyk, and Our Lady Peace, to name but a few. He is also the only 7.1 surround sound mixing engineer in the province. www.soundslikearecord.com. Professional Sound 9
InfoComm will celebrate its 75 th anniversary at the annual trade show being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from June 14-20, with the show floor opening on the 18 th . With around 950 exhibiting companies, 35,000plus attendees expected, and InfoComm providing the usual complement of educational and networking components, the show offers something for AV professionals in every arm of the industry. As part of the InfoComm Show, the Unified Communications and Collaboration Solutions Summit will take place June 17-20. The conference will address audio conferencing, video/telepresence, conferencing, managed services cloud, mobility, BYOD, unified communications, and collaborative technologies. 10 Professional Sound
As always, there will be audio demo rooms to test the latest products and InfoComm University will offer training and hands-on workshops. “Demand for AV technology, including control systems, conferencing, digital signage, and networked audio has increased dramatically in the built environment,” says InfoComm Executive Director and CEO David Labuskes, CTS, RCDD. “Audiences expect to be amazed at live events. This interest has resulted in a thriving show, and I’m certain that InfoComm 2014 attendees will experience technologies that they haven’t seen anywhere else.” For more information, including a complete schedule and exhibitor list, go to www.infocommshow.org.
Thorvin Electronics Now Distributing Barix Je a
n-M arc La nge
in As the company aims to increase its presence in Canada, Barix has appointed Thorvin Electronics as its new Canadian distributor. “Everything is moving toward IP today and our AV dealers are increasingly working to move paging and background music systems to the network – a core Barix strength,” says Jean-Marc Langevin, VP and sales manager at Thorvin Electronics. “There is a synergy between Barix and other product lines in the Thorvin Electronics portfolio that creates exceptional growth opportunities for end users across multiple business verticals,” adds Ronni Guggenheim, CEO, Barix. “We believe that Thorvin Electronics has the broadest range of solutions in Canada to help businesses and organizations move audio across IP networks with better efficiency, quality, and reliability.” For more information, contact Thorvin Electronics: 905-829-3040, email@example.com, www.thorvinelectronics.com.
Intellimix Now Distributing Midas, Klark Teknik & Turbosound
Intellimix and AVL Media Group have been appointed the new exclusive Canadian distributor for Midas, Klark Teknik, and Turbosound. In a statement, Intellimix President Steve Kosters says, “For over 40 years, Midas and Klark Teknik have repeatedly shown award-winning innovation and leadership in the world of high end professional audio, producing landmark products that have defined and shaped the live industry. Turbosound’s unique designs have been developed around unorthodox principles, resulting in a special harmony between high technology in its purest form and a natural approach to the art of acoustical and electronic engineering.” For more information, contact Intellimix Corp.: 514-457-9663, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.intellimix.com.
(L-R) Steve Barber, Terry Larouche & Justin Gauthier of Intellimix.
Avid Everywhere Unveiled
Avid President & CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr.
At Avid Connect 2014, company president and CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. unveiled a new product strategy and first wave of solutions as part of Avid Everywhere. According to the company, Avid Everywhere will make the full workflow interoperable in order to help broadcast, video, and audio professionals connect with audiences in more powerful, efficient, collaborative, and profitable ways. This will be done through: streamlining workflows and enhancing collaboration using the MediaCentral Platform; creating, managing, distributing, and monetizing content using new applications; and deploying solutions with flexibility, choice, and security. For more information, go to www.avid.com.
Professional Sound 11
Meyer Sound Appoints VP of Marketing & Communications
Meyer Sound has appointed Karen Ames to the newly created position of VP of marketing and communications. Joining the company’s senior leadership team to head up its global marketing and communications strategy, Ames is charged with the overall leadership for corporate communications, marketing, advertising and sponsorships, social media, public relations, philanthropy, and public affairs. As part of this restructuring, Ames heads a marketing team that includes Jodi Hughes, who assumes the director of marketing position, and Rachel Archibald, who drives strategic Karen Ames marketing initiatives such as competitive research, market development, and industry alliances. For more information, contact Meyer Sound: 855-641-3288, www.meyersound.com. 12 Professional Sound
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has released the attendance figures for the 2014 NAB Show, which took place April 5-10 in Las Vegas. The NAB reports that total registered attendance for the 2014 show was 98,015, an uptick of more than four per cent from 2013’s total of 93,850. Exhibit space was also up more than seven per cent from the previous year, with the event comprising 1,746 exhibiting companies spanning 945,000 net sq. ft. of exhibit space. International attendees accounted for 25,989 of the total with 159 countries represented. At the show, NAB CEO and President Gordon Smith called on federal regulators to develop a National Broadcast Plan during his keynote address, saying that policymakers should develop a holistic regulatory approach that ensures radio and television broadcasters are not disadvantaged in the marketplace due to government bias towards other forms of media. Next year’s NAB Show will take place April 11-16, 2015 in Las Vegas. For more information, go to www.nabshow.com.
Chandler Limited Celebrates 15 Years
Chandler Limited, known for its signal processing and related music and audio products, is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Wade Goeke, Chandler Limited’s founder, owner, and chief product designer, started the company in 1999 while living in North Hollywood, CA. He worked a “day job” and during nights and weekends would be in his workshop, which at the time was a walk-in closet in the house he rented. “In those days,” Goeke says, “it was just me experimenting and learning. This was before I realized that, to run a business, you have to pay employees and do all the things adults do. I had a great time at it and, in the process, the whole idea of building a company started to take shape.” “My first sale was six LTD-1 preamp EQs,” Goeke recalls, “which gave me some money to get more parts and move forward. After (L-R) Judy Goeke, Wade Goeke & Dale Goeke that, I was selling units one at a time out of my house in North Hollywood to whoever would try them. It was touch and go and, every so often, I would have to borrow money from my parents or sell one of my prized vintage pieces I had collected in order to keep everything going.” Now based in Shell Rock, IA, Chandler introduced the TG1 Limiter in 2001 and shortly afterward introduced the TG2 Pre Amp/DI.“These two products represented significant growth for the company,” says Goeke, “and both of these continue to be important products for us.” For more information, contact Chandler Limited: 319-885-4200, support@ chandlerlimited.com, www.chandlerlimited.com.
Photos: Robb Cohen
Attendance Up At 2014 NAB Show
Freeman Audio Visual Canada Makes Waste Diversion Champions List
Raquel Cole Wins Nimbus Recording Competition
Freeman Audio Visual Canada has made the REfficient Waste Diversion Champions list, which recognizes companies that have reached impressive levels of reusing, buying, reselling, and recycling surplus assets. REfficient is an online marketplace that allows companies to buy telecom, A/V, and IT equipment at a discount from sustainable sources. The Waste Diversion Champions program recognized 29 companies that have diverted at least 1,000 lbs. from landfills in the last year through buying, reusing, reselling, or recycling their surplus assets. With three program recognition levels, Freeman Audio Visual Canada is included in the Master Level, which means it has diverted 10,000-99,999 lbs. from landfills. For more information, go to www.freemanav-ca.com.
Vernon, BC-based singer-songwriter Raquel Cole is the winner of the 2014 Nimbus Recording Competition and will receive a three song, commercially-releasable recording produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered at the Nimbus studios. For more information, contact Nimbus: 604-875-8998, info@nimbusrecording. com, www.nimbusrecording.com.
KV2 Audio Creates Canadian Division, Appoints Director Of Sales
KV2 Audio has announced the appointment of Ron Pilon as director of sales for Canada. He will front a new distribution arm for the company under the name of KV2 Audio Canada. Pilon previously worked at Yorkville Sound for over 13 years and climbed to the position of export sales manager before leaving in 2012 to join Monster Cable Inc. Dave Croxton, director of sales and marketing for KV2 Audio, comments, “It’s great to have Ron onboard to drive the redevelopment of the Canadian market for KV2 Audio. With the opening of KV2 Audio Canada we are looking to rebuild the brand with better stock availability and improved customer service. We believe this investment by the company will give Canadian customers of KV2 Audio greater confidence in the brand and the reassurance they have a local office and warehousing of stock and parts to support them.” Pilon can be reached at ronpilon@kv2 audio.com. For more information, contact KV2 Audio: +420-383-809-320, info@kv2 audio.com, www.kv2audio.com. Professional Sound 13
Online Registration Open For CITT’s Rendez-vous 2014
Online delegate registration is now open for the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology (CITT)’s annual Rendez-vous trade show and conference, which will be held at the Ottawa Convention Centre from Aug. 14-16, 2014. The conference offers three days of sessions, workshops, backstage tours, social events, and networking opportunities in addition to a trade show, which allows suppliers and manufacturers to showcase new products and stage technologies. Rendez-vous 2014 will be hosting a larger trade show with longer visiting hours over a two-day span from Aug. 15-16, while pre-conference workshops will be replaced with hands-on training. Social events will include the opening night Meet & Greet Junk Challenge and the popular Swag Bingo Live Auction on the Friday night following the trade show. The Friday Corporate Luncheon will precede the opening of the 24th trade show and the Brown Bag Lunch Talk is back on the Thursday. As well, the CITT Awards Banquet will honour those individuals and companies who have excelled in their field of live performance in Canada. For more information, contact CITT: 613-482-1165, email@example.com, www.citt.org.
Crestron Names New President/CEO & Vice Chairman/COO
Crestron founder George Feldstein has named Randy Klein as the company’s new president and CEO. Klein has been in the AV and technology industry throughout his professional career, and with Crestron for 25 years. “Crestron is my life and my passion,” Klein says. “Moving forward, I see nothing but opportunity for Crestron and I look forward to continued growth and success.” A d d i t i o n a l l y, Feldstein has named Dan Feldstein, who Crestron President & CEO has been with the Randy Klein company for over 20 years, as the new vice chairman and COO. “Since the day Crestron was founded, we have never wavered from my father’s vision,” Dan Feldstein says. “Randy has always shared that vision and over the years has truly become a member of the family. I can’t think of anyone I’d Crestron Vice Chairman & COO Dan Feldstein rather work with as we drive Crestron towards the future.” For more information, go to www.crestron.com. 14 Professional Sound
Wieslaw Woszczyk delivers the keynote speech at the 136th AES Convention.
AES 136 Experiences Big Attendance Boost
The 136th Audio Engineering Society Convention, which took place April 26-29, 2014 in Berlin, Germany, experienced a significant boost in attendance over AES’s previous European convention. The total of 1,259 attendees for the 136th Convention was more than double the attendance of the 134th AES Convention held in Rome, Italy in 2013. The 137th AES Convention will take place in Los Angeles, CA from Oct. 9-12, 2014. The next European AES Convention will take place in Warsaw, Poland in the spring of 2015. For more information, go to www.aes.org.
Over $50,000 Raised For NSCA Education Foundation
The NSCA Education Foundation has announced that the fundraising challenge initiated by Shure has been met and more than $50,000 has been raised for the NSCA Education Foundation. Shure pledged a matching contribution of $25,000 in an effort to bolster the AV industry’s commitment to protecting the next generation of systems integration professionals. The challenge was issued in September 2013 and ended on March 1, 2014 and manufacturers and industry members stepped forward with donations, raising $15,400 by the end of February 2014. During NSCA’s Business & Leadership Conference, Surgex pledged to bridge the remaining gap with a $10,000 donation. For more information, go to www.nscafoundation.org.
HHB Now Distributing Merging Technologies HHB Communications Canada has announced its appointment as the full line product distributor for Merging Technologies in HHB Canada’s Norman Verrall (left) & Dave Dysart Canada as of July 1, 2014. Commenting on the appointment, Chris Hollebone, Merging’s distribution sales manager, says, “HHB presents an excellent mix of direct sales and systems integration combined with a strong dealer network across Canada. The company has a good mix of brands that support rather than conflict with our own and has demonstrated that it has an excellent marketing plan. Merging products have been selling well in North America and we believe that HHB will accelerate our growth in all market sectors.” Dave Dysart, HHB Canada’s president, adds, “Merging has an exciting range of products and core technologies and we feel we can achieve significant success with Pyramix, Horus, and Ovation as well as the other products in the Merging stable. We are honoured to join the Merging family.” For more information, contact HHB Communications Canada: 416-867-9000, FAX 416-867-1080, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.hhbcanada.com.
Johanne Bélanger Being Inducted Into M+IT Hall Of Fame
Johanne Bélanger, president of the Canada division of Freeman Audio Visual, will be inducted into Meetings + Incentive Travel (M+IT)’s 2014 Hall of Fame in the Industry Builder category. The Hall recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in the Canadian meetings and incentive travel industry. “The judges were deeply impressed by Johanne’s initiatives to make Freeman Audio Visual a socially responsible company and her leadership and involvement in the creation of the Events for Communities of Sustainability (ECOS) ProjJohanne Bélanger ect with MPI chapters across Canada,” says Lori Smith, editor of Meetings + Incentive Travel. “They also wanted to recognize and honour Johanne’s ongoing efforts as an advocate for women striving for leadership roles in the audio visual sector for live events.” For more information, visit www.freemanav-ca.com.
Martin Audio Opens New MLA Production Facilities
Martin Audio recently opened new MLA facilities in Britain that include production and assembly areas, quality control and testing, along with additional warehousing. The facilities are designed for MLA, MLA Compact, and the new MLA Mini and to improve Martin Audio’s overall service to its customers. The company says the principles of “5S” were introduced as an integral part of the new development. 5S originated in Japan and stands for the Japanese words seiri (tidiness), seiton (orderliness), seiso (cleanliness), seiketsu (standardization), and shitsuke (discipline), and the concept is meant to improve efficiency, service, and safety. Alongside the production elements, the new facilities will also house Martin Audio’s training sessions for both MLA and OmniLine. For more information, go to www.martin-audio.com. Professional Sound 15
Webinar Participation Professional Sound recently surveyed Canadian Audio Professionals about their experiences with webinars. Here are some of the results.
Have you ever participated in a webinar? Yes, from an association............12.50% Yes, from a manufacturer..........41.67%
Yes, from both a manufacturer & associaton.......16.67% No...............................................29.17% If you have partaken in a webinar, was it a positive and useful experience? Absolutely........................44% Somewhat......................39% Not really........................11% Not at all............................6%
Photo: University of Lethbridge
Alberta Students Place Second In Fantastic Scholarship Recording Competition
A student team from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta was named the runner-up in Shure’s 10th annual Fantastic Scholarship Recording Competition. (L-R) Jamison Humeny, Jake Hills, Sam Walker-Kierluk, The U of L team consisted of digital audio arts majors Jamison Humeny, Jake Hills, Shae Brossard & Nicholas Goodman. Sam Walker-Kierluk, Shae Brossard, and Nicholas Goodman and was under the direction of Assistant Professor Thilo Schaller. Their composition was entitled “Don’t Let Me Go,” which was written by music major Nicholas Zambon. The winning team was from Middle Tennessee State University for their original composition, “In My Head.” For more information and to hear the winning song, go to www.shure.com.
Radial Takes On Distribution, Sales & Marketing Of Jensen Iso-Max Range
Radial Engineering has taken on the global sales, marketing, and distribution of Jensen’s Iso-Max range of isolators that provide ground isolation and noise abatement for audio and video in broadcast, home theatre, and commercial AV applications. Radial President Peter Janis explains how the agreement came about:“A few years ago, Jensen decided to take a similar route to ours by producing a range of plug-and-play solutions under the Iso-Max range. Jensen recently came to the conclusion that unless there are feet on the street telling dealers and contractors that the product exists, they would miss out on a huge opportunity. This led to discussions which culminated in Radial taking over the sales and marketing side of the business. Over the coming months, we will be setting up retail and contractor Peter Janis partners, independent reps in the United States and Canada, and formalizing exclusive agreements with distributors around the globe.” For more information, contact Radial Engineering: 604-942-1001, email@example.com, www.radialeng.com. 16 Professional Sound
Jennifer Carr Joins Kramer As Accounts Manager For Western Canada
Kramer Electronics Canada has welcomed Jennifer Carr to the team as its accounts manager for Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. “We are very pleased to have Jennifer join the team here at Kramer Canada. To find an individual with her level of marketplace knowledge and respect of the local dealers was a difficult task, but I believe we have found the right person to help us manage our growth in the territory,” says John Milne, president of Kramer Canada. Carr can be reached by phone at 780982-9960 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Technical support will continue to be supplied by the team at the Kramer main office in Burlington, ON. The main contact is Steve Agnello, product support specialist, who can be reached at 866-7269921 or email@example.com. For more information, contact Kramer Electronics Canada: 905-592-9739, info@ kramercanada.ca, www.kramercanada.ca
Riedel Names New Director Of R&D
Riedel Communications has announced the appointment of Jiou-Pahn Lee as director of R&D. In this role, Lee will be responsible for exploring and developing new technologies and evaluating their impact on achieving business goals. He will also be a member of the management Jiou-Pahn Lee board. Lee most recently served as VP of engineering and technical director at Clear-Com, where he was in charge of a culturally diverse product development organization with multiple sites located in the U.K., U.S., and Canada. For more information, go to www.riedel.net.
CDJ Show Holds Successful Inaugural Calgary Event On May 4, 2014 at the BMO Centre in Calgary, the Canadian DJ Show held its first ever Western Canadian event. The show featured educational seminars and Q&As, gear exhibits and hands-on demos, and the DMC Canada regional competition for Alberta. CDJ Show co-founder and head organizer Ryan Schroeyens tells PS that the Calgary event was as well or slightly better attended than the first Toronto CDJ Show, with attendees coming from across the western provinces as well as Ontario and the Northwest Territories. Schroeyens says that Tommie Sunshine’s Q&A was a definite highlight, as was DMC Canada’s Alberta Regional Competition presented by Rane. The winner was Dustin Def of Calgary, who will go on to compete at the Canadian National DMC Championship. In addition to the gear expo, other show features included educational sessions covering everything from music-making technologies and production to self-promotion. For more information on the Calgary CDJ Show and the fall 2014 Toronto CDJ Show as it becomes available, go to www.cdjshow.com.
Professional Sound 17
By Ryan Shuvera
o get a taste of what Ron Tarrant does – that is, what he does during the day – you just have to put Toronto’s KISS 92.5 FM on your radio or laptop. It’s not the commercial music, talking, or even the ads you’re listening for; it’s the on-air branding and promotions for 92.5 that feature his fingerprints. Tarrant’s official job title is “imaging producer and sound designer” for the station, though he admits it might be misleading. “A lot of people are like, ‘What does an imaging producer do?’” he says with a chuckle. He also does basic station imaging work for 55 other Rogersowned radio stations across Canada, helping with things like re-launches and major promotions. “If [a station] needs a basic face lift, we do that out of Toronto,” he explains. Tarrant jumped into the radio world right out of high school. “It sounds really cheesy, but I went to radio school when I was 17,” he shares. He figured at the time that trying to make it as a full-time musician would be tough, so after a tour of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), he decided radio was “the second best thing” and enrolled in the program. That wasn’t his first encounter with the wonders of sound and production, though. Tarrant’s father was a musician himself, so the house was always filled with different gear and recording equipment. “I was messing around with digital mixers when I was, like, 10 years old and became fascinated with production and producing,” he shares. “I would hear stuff on the radio and wonder, ‘How did they make that?’ That’s how I kind of got playing guitar and got into the whole music thing, which eventually led into radio and the whole production side of things.” While he hails from Calgary, Tarrant has bounced between Alberta and Toronto, lending his services to various stations. His journey to his current home of Toronto included stops in Airdrie and Edmonton, AB before leaving Calgary, where he worked at Sportsnet 960 The Fan, the official radio station of the Calgary Flames. At The Fan, he had the opportunity to work with a childhood hero of his – then Flames captain, Jarome Iginla. Tarrant has been playing hockey since he was three years old, so to have Iginla come in to the studio to record was a big moment. “It’s like, ‘I idolize you and now you’re in my studio and I’m making stuff for you… This is not reality.’” But despite the soft spot for the Flames and their longtime number 12, Tarrant admits his favourite team is actually the Ducks, dating back to the seasons with Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya. As for now, imaging work for radio stations across the country is only half of Tarrant’s life. He’s also a full-time musician and currently performs under the name Lost In Film. At 25 years old, he’s already a veteran of life on the road. He’s been playing music seriously since he was 16 and says he’s familiar with the less glamorous side of the business where you’re “eating hot dogs at gas stations at four in the morning.” Prior to his solo venture, he played in the bands Broken Ride and Mars & Venus, which offered the opportunity to tour with Canadian favourites like Our Lady Peace, Thornley, and Seether. He’s performed at Canadian Music Week (CMW) for the past
five years – which he says almost always ranks as one of the best weeks of his life. In fact, in 2013, he won the Regional Canadian Radio Star Award for Best Song for the Broken Ride track “Run.” Some of the biggest highlights of Tarrant’s career, though, have come in the past few months. He relocated to Toronto, which was a goal of his since he entered the radio business and made his first visit to the city to play CMW. He recently released his first Lost In Film album, which Tarrant wrote and produced himself. He also won two International Radio and Production Awards for his work at KISS, and a Canadian Music Week Gold-Crystal Award. Like a lot of people in the business, he’s heard all the talk about radio being a thing of the past, but he’s not buying it just yet. “When Sirius and XM came out, everyone was kind of thinking that was the death of local radio, but everyone is still tuning in,” he says, adding that work ethic is a big part of it. “It’s the people that are putting in the 80-hour work weeks, doing it because they love it – I think those are the people that advance in this industry when everyone else is stating, ‘Radio’s dying; don’t even try.’” Words like “downtime” are not part of Tarrant’s vocabulary, but he’s fine with that. “It’s not really work when it’s your passion,” he says. Whether it’s music or production, there are plenty of ways you can hear Tarrant on the radio; in fact, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard something he’s created without even knowing it.
Ryan Shuvera is a music journalist and an avid music fan. He loves to talk and write about all things music related. He has a passion for Canadian music and can be found lost in the stacks of used book and record stores when not writing. Follow him on Twitter @ryebread891. 18 Professional Sound
Cynthia Wong By Ryan Shuvera
t’s not just music junkies and film fanatics that appreciate the value of high quality sound and video anymore. With a screen in every hand and a bud in every ear, a good portion of the population is now cognizant of what delivers their content. “Back in the day, AV was like the last thing anyone would think about for a project,” says Cynthia Wong, a senior account manager with GTA-based firm RP Dynamics. The company does AV design and integration work for government, corporate, worship, and entertainment facilities, as well as rentals and productions. “But it’s been really cool to see how AV has become a more important part of any project because there are screens and videos everywhere you go and everyone wants the best visuals and sound.” In her current position, Wong assesses the needs of a prospective client and the requirements of a particular venue, then designs an AV system, runs it by her team at RP, and then anxiously awaits word as to whether or not her bid is chosen. It’s not the quality of her product or the strength of her team that gets her anxious, though – she’s quite confident in those. Instead, it’s the anticipation of potentially developing a new business relationship. It’s no surprise, then, when she says that “closing deals is one of the best parts of my job.” Wong says there was never really a moment or turning point where she knew she had to get into the business of audio and visual design and construction – that’s just always been the case. She is originally from Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, and attended an American school while growing up. During junior high and high school she worked for her father, “running around and doing a bit of everything.” Her father owned a theatre production company that imported different technologies from North America, so she was always playing around with different gadgets. Since she was learning English in school, one of her common tasks was interpreting instructions for other workers. Wong came to Canada to complete her bachelor of arts degree in commerce and economics from the University of Toronto at Scarborough. Afterwards, she went to Sheridan College and received a diploma in computer science technology. She has also completed numerous industry courses and has maintained her CTS designation. Although she is well educated in a traditional sense, she says some of the most important training she received was informal and just came from learning on the job while working for her father in Taiwan and over the years at RP. Wong returned to Taiwan with her husband for a short period of time before coming back to Toronto and eventually joining RP in 2001. While back in Taiwan, she started singing and doing sound for her church. This was an important period in her journey to RP because it let her see, hear, and feel why audio
quality is so critical in so many applications. “Bad sound is really just annoying,” she says bluntly, referring to her experiences as a vocalist. “When you can’t hear the other band members and you’re performing, it’s not fun.” Wong enjoyed doing sound for her church so much that when she returned to Canada, she started doing sound for three different churches. That experience has been invaluable to her work at RP Dynamics as she not only needs to consider the AV requirements of the venue, but must also empathize with and understand the needs of the group putting on the show or event. While she gets to return to Taipei regularly, it’s the diversity and multiculturalism of Toronto that keeps her there. “You can experience many different cultures without having to go too far,” she says. That also presents a range of different projects for her to work on, which she says “makes the job exciting.” Besides her parents and her brother, who is a celebrity in China, one thing that pulls her back home often is the scuba diving. “I love scuba diving in Taiwan; it’s a hidden jewel with so much to see,” she says. She also likes speeding around the racetrack in her spare time – a fact that makes it understandable that Toronto traffic is one of her pet peeves. So if you happen to be at the track watching vehicles speed by doing laps, watch out for the car with the best sound system. It may very well be Cynthia Wong in the driver’s seat, off to close a deal.
Ryan Shuvera is a music journalist and an avid music fan. He loves to talk and write about all things music related. He has a passion for Canadian music and can be found lost in the stacks of used book and record stores when not writing. Follow him on Twitter @ryebread891. 20 Professional Sound
Paul Alegado By Ryan Shuvera
ots of people love to tinker with cars. Everything from changing spark plugs to transmission overhauls can excite the mechanical buff the way setting up a transmitter for an iPod or installing body-shaking subwoofers can excite the audio masters. It seems fitting, then, that tinkering with a car audio system was Paul Alegado’s introduction to the world of sound engineering. “When I was teenager working on car audio, I would install stereo decks, take cars apart to install loud speakers, and even build custom speaker cabinets,” Alegado tells PS. He says that work was responsible for his understanding of the foundational concepts of sound, “such as frequency response, stereo imaging, and especially sound pressure levels.” Once he’d caught the sound bug, it never went away. Alegado went to the University of Florida and received a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, still building speaker enclosures in his spare time. He went home to Hawaii afterwards and started working for a sound contractor. “Although my university schooling did touch on a few aspects of sound and video systems,” he notes, “my real professional training came from years of working with more experienced individuals – mentors, if you will.” After a few years of working with the contractor, Alegado had the opportunity to move to Toronto where he worked for a few different contractors before joining up with Engineering Harmonics in 1999, one of the country’s leading audio and video consulting firms. He now works out of Vancouver and is the company’s manager for Western Canada, helping to grow the company’s profile and business on that side of the country while still designing systems for various applications. Alegado’s job has taken him around the world and he is grateful for the opportunity to see different places and meet new people. “I have been fortunate enough to visit many places, from cities in Canada and the U.S.A. to Greece, the Philippines, and even Trinidad,” he says. “I have also had the fortune of working on all kinds of projects, from theatres to arenas to churches to hotels to corporate boardrooms to museums and beyond. This has given me an appreciation for good sound that is needed by all these types of venues.” Like a lot of experts in industries that are heavily rooted in technology, Alegado says that one of his greatest challenges is keeping pace with the industry’s innovations. He doesn’t just blindly ride the wave, though; he’s learned how to handle the flash and theatrics of the technological world. He says the best people in the business are able to tell whether new technologies are valid or just hype. “I often find technologies billed as the next game changer, and then see them disappear in a few years,” he says. “I believe patience is crucial
in our industry. We can’t just be jumping on the bandwagon.” Alegado says one of the most important principles that drives him is humility. “I understand that there are and will always be people who know more than me on any given topic, and I treasure any advice given to me,” he offers. “Furthermore, I am always happy to share what knowledge I have with others, especially those who may be new to the sound profession.” On that note, he says he is more than thankful for his wife, Myrtle, and daughter, Noelani, who were willing to move from her home city of Toronto to Vancouver in support of Alegado and his career. To help himself relax and get away from the office mindset, Alegado likes to hit the links with a nice set of clubs and hit the court for some pickup basketball. He also likes to pick up the guitar and create his own kinds of smooth sounds. He is a devout and active member of his church, called Iglesia Ni Cristo. “Interestingly,” he says, “because of my travels, I have had the opportunity to attend worship services in different cities. This has given me a unique appreciation of speech intelligibility and how important it is in a religious setting. As other parishioners have questioned, 'If I didn't understand what was said, did I really attend the service?'" Technology, travel, and interesting, supportive people have shaped Alegado’s career thus far, and his success is proof that your passion can literally take you around the world.
Ryan Shuvera is a music journalist and an avid music fan. He loves to talk and write about all things music related. He has a passion for Canadian music and can be found lost in the stacks of used book and record stores when not writing. Follow him on Twitter @ryebread891. Professional Sound 21
Universal Audio Apollo Twin DUO Audio Interface
By Ryan McCambridge ’ve never hidden my affections towards Universal Audio and its UAD plug-ins. For the sake of full disclosure, I own an Apollo QUAD, the larger sibling to the Apollo Twin on review, which sparked my enthusiasm for trying out the new addition to the Apollo line. My rack-mounted Apollo lives in my studio and suits my life as an engineer, but being an artist/writer as well – one who is constantly travelling and collaborating in other people’s studios – the Apollo Twin piqued my interest as a great way of accessing UAD plug-ins and having some basic I/O while on the move. The connectivity of the Apollo Twin is fairly straightforward: two Neutrik combo input jacks on the back with an additional Hi-Z instrument input on the front, which makes a lot of sense from an ergonomic standpoint. The outputs are all balanced 1/4-in. consisting of monitor left and right, as well as two extra line outputs. Even though that makes two inputs and four outputs onboard, impressively, there is also an optical in, allowing for an additional eight inputs via ADAT optical (with S/MUX for high-sample rates) or two channels of S/PDIF optical with sample rate conversion. All of this runs through the same 24bit, 192 kHz audio conversion offered by the other Apollos, which I’ve always found quite stable and accurate. There is a headphone output on the front, which brings the Apollo Twin I/O up to 10 x 6 simultaneous channels, connected to the computer via the incredible speed of Thunderbolt. Unfortunately, there is only one Thunderbolt port, which means that you can’t have other Thunderbolt devices chained after it. That said, there are third party devices available to augment the connectivity on a Mac/Apollo Twin combo. The Apollo Twin also doesn’t include a Thunderbolt cable, which I’m told is because they want you to be able to choose your own length, but I admit that it is a bit of a nuisance. For those who are unaware, the philosophy behind the UAD plug-in system is to transfer the processing of plug-ins to dedicated DSP. This helps free up the computer’s processing for other tasks like operating the DAW and assures the user a certain number of plug-in instances. The
user also has the ability to record with plug-ins inserted in the Apollo mixer at very low latency, a feature unique to the Apollo family. The Apollo Twin comes in two versions, based on the amount of DSP processing. I was reviewing the Apollo Twin DUO, which has two processors, but there is also a SOLO model with only one. What really sets the Apollo Twin apart is what UA calls Unison technology. In conjunction with the Unison specific UAD plugins, the two transparent mic preamps can employ impedance and gain structure matching to emulate classics like the Neve 1073, API 212L, and UA 610. This effectively means that with near-zero latency the user can record through these classic emulations to their DAW as though they were using the hardware versions. I’ll cut to the chase: Unison is impressive. I concentrated on the new Neve 1073 plug-in since that’s the preamp that I’m most accustomed to. The digitally controlled analog mic preamps are naturally very transparent but the instant the Neve 1073 Unison plug-in was applied, a very surreal sonic morphing happened where the high end darkened and the low end thickened, resulting in that classic Neve sound. The gain structure felt right, which was much more noticeable the more that I pushed it, and the EQ was pretty bang on, which didn’t surprise me given the amount of time that I’ve spent using the original UAD Neve plug-in. I know everyone wants me to answer the golden question: “Does it sound exactly like a Neve 1073?” I didn’t have a chance to do a direct A/B comparison, but the reality that so many gear-chasers tend to avoid is the amount of variance in hardware preamps. The Neve 1073 has its own sound but it’s not always exact because there are so many variables in what makes a piece of hardware what it is. That uniqueness is the very nature of vintage. So with that as a preface, yes, it sounds
very Neve-like, just like the other Unison preamps sound very much like their hardware equivalents. But the bottom line is that we have gravitated to using these preamps because they impart a feel to what they record and I think that UA has done an incredible job of capturing that. The trade-off is that the Unison plug-ins are more processor intensive than most other UAD plug-ins. It’s difficult to find a fault big enough to not whole-heartedly recommend the Apollo Twin. Approaching the recommendation as an audio professional, I can’t think of a better interface for a singer/ songwriter or someone who is mixing sessions that have fewer than 30 or 40 tracks. That’s not to say that you couldn’t work with a larger session, but with a DUO you might find yourself wanting more DSP. At $795 (SOLO) and $1,025 (DUO) I think that the Apollo Twin is very fairly priced, and given that you can increase your DSP with a UAD Satellite, some people might find that more desirable than one of the larger Apollos. Currently, the Apollo Twin will only run on a Mac, but I imagine that you can bank on PC compatibility coming soon. Though I am a Mac user, I look forward to more people getting access to Universal Audio’s newest offering because there’s no denying that the features packed into the Apollo Twin mark the future of recording technology.
Ryan McCambridge is a freelance producer, engineer, and writer from Toronto. He is the creator of the production blog Bit Crushing and the frontman of A Calmer Collision. Ryan’s Websites: www.bitcrushing.com, www.acalmercollision.com, Twitter: @RyanMcCambridge. 22 Professional Sound
Sonic Farm Audio Creamer Plus Pentode Preamp By Kevin Dietz
he Creamer Plus – or “C+” as it’s often referred – is a tube and transformer driven two-channel microphone preamp and line-driver (more on that feature later). Designed and manufactured in Vancouver, the C+ features selectable tube modes (triode or pentode), solid state or transformer output, as well as Fat and Air shelving EQ switches, boosting at 400 or 600 Hz, and 2.2 or 7 kHz, respectively. The unit also features a high pass filter, and low/medium/ high microphone impedance selection. As you can see, this unit is feature rich, resulting in a variety of tonal options, most of which are derived from the very nature of the circuitry itself. The C+ design philosophy states: “…we wanted a coloured preamp – something that is transparent yet warm, coloured but not fuzzy or dirty, and fat without losing definition.” To my ears, this is a perfect description of the C+ sound – undoubtedly warm and round, but without being mushy or hazy. The top end is clear, albeit smooth and somewhat rounded, but in a very musical way. The selectable options of two tube modes and solid state or transformer output modes offer additional tonal options – the triode and pentode tube modes, resulting in more even harmonics (triode) or more odd harmonics (pentode), and the transformer output, resulting in a punchier, more focused overall sound. These settings are quickly and easily auditioned on the C+, and allow one to quickly find the combination that best suits the source. IN USE All of the technical info is great, but how does it sound? Well, pretty much exactly as described! The Creamer’s fat, warm, thick sound is reminiscent of the classic Neve
80-Series preamp sound, which is what I used as a comparison. The preamps sound big and clear, imparting a fat tone. The Creamer Plus mic preamps excelled on any source, be it drum overheads, grand piano, bass, or vocals. The selection of the transformer output (which I gravitated toward a lot) resulted in a similar character to the classic Neve sound that we all know and love. I found that the Creamer had a similar weight and thickness to the Neve 80 series preamp, but with a more open top end. And, with all of the other tonal options available on the unit (triode/pentode tube modes, high/low boosts, solid state or transformer output), the Creamer Plus stands out with a character of its own. An interesting feature (or perhaps lack thereof) of the C+ is the omission of a dedicated input level control for the mic preamp. Instead, a -15dB pad and +6dB input transformer gain step-up switch are employed, which also alter the microphone input impedance. A continuously variable output level knob is used to control the level going to your DAW. According to the user manual, the purpose of this design feature is to avoid high-frequency phase shift and to provide a more pure signal path. Although this is not what we’re typically used to as far as gain staging, and does take some getting used to, the resulting input levels are not hotter or quieter than what one would typically expect. The output level knob allows for precise adjustment of signal going to tape. Another interesting feature of the Creamer Plus is its ability to accept line level signal. The purpose of this design feature is to run program material through the unit’s tube and transformer circuitry, allowing one to take advantage of its inherent sound (useful for warming up
digital signal, i.e. across the mix bus of an ITB or digital FOH mixing set-up). My first test of the C+ was precisely that – across the mix bus, mixing five rock songs that I had recorded on a Neve 8032 console. The tracks were summed through the console’s monitor section and the Creamer Plus was inserted on the mix bus. Mixing into the C+, I found myself using less bus compression than I normally would to achieve the “glue” effect. The C+ seems to impart a nice subtle compression quality; not in a rhythmic or dynamic way like a bus compressor, but more so in the overall tonality and frequency spectrum. Selecting the output transformer noticeably tightened up the low end and added some punch and low-mid clarity to the mix. Auditioning the Fat and Air EQ functions yielded some nice overall mix EQ options. I ended up using the Air EQ for a subtle shelving boost at 7 kHz. Applying the Creamer to ITB mixes that were already finished gave the same results, although it was apparent that it was best to mix into the Creamer from the start as opposed to simply applying it to an entire mix after the fact. Between the Creamer’s two tube modes, two output options, and onboard shelving EQ options, a variety of tonal colours can be achieved – not to mention quickly and easily auditioned. These functions, along with the inherent musical colouration derived from its circuitry and architecture, make the Creamer Plus a great option for any recording engineer seeking a high quality, musically coloured preamp, with the added bonus of use on the mix bus. Clearly, Sonic Farm Audio has designed a unique product that finds itself very useful in the age of digital recording and mixing.
Kevin Dietz is a recording and mixing engineer based out of Toronto. As Head Engineer of Metalworks Studios, he’s worked with artists such as Alexisonfire, Protest the Hero, Placebo, and The Cranberries. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Professional Sound 23
iZotope Iris & Resonant Sound Library By Paul Lau
here to begin? Trying to relay exactly what iZotope’s Iris actually is would be like trying to describe the intricacies of a Rembrandt or Picasso piece – yet it’s as clever and simple to operate as an Etch A Sketch. The first thing that came to mind while I was exploring Iris’ interfaces and features was the word “unique” – particularly regarding its design and functionality. This isn’t just a typical sound library that lets you pick a cool clip and use it; it’s a creative tool that should excite you and inspire you to develop and create your own original sounds. The layout is sleek and organized in a way that allows you to have up to three different samples loaded at a time, along with a sub-oscillator waveform. This allows you to blend different samples and create some cool, original content. So what are some of the other unique and standout elements Iris offers? When I first saw the way the samples are displayed in Iris, it felt rather unfamiliar to me. I’m used to only a waveform view that is displayed by amplitude and time, but with iZotope’s Spectrogram, the sound is displayed by time, amplitude, and frequency, which are visually represented through brightness in 2D view and through both brightness and height in 3D. This allows users to see when the sound happens, which harmonics are present, and how strong they are. You can also view sound in the traiditional waveform view via a slider in the bottom left that allows you to balance your ideal view of the audio file. Some options in the display allow you to have just one sample displayed at a time, which you can alter and edit, and then you can also have all displayed, which for me was the most useful. Here you can see the action! You can load quite simply from a pull-down menu called Sample Folders, each of which has individual files so you can start building your own creative sound/ blend and layers. I also explored the patches, which have preset layers and blends of very interesting and usable sounds. On the left side of the interface, there are a number of visual
selection tools such as the “Lasso” for freehand drawing, “Brush” for more fluid selections with adjustable brush sizes, and the “Magic Wand” for selecting whole regions with similar spectral profiles. These are very easy to use and all you have to do is grab a tool and sweep over the waveform and something audibly different happens instantaneously. You can also zoom, rearrange, invert, loop reverse, and pitchshift. Another way of altering and editing your sample sound is through a set of synthesizer controls, which include envelope shaping, a tempo-synced LFO, and ADSR controls. There is also a global filter envelope and LFO for entire patches. With that said, iZotope has also included a number of DSP effects like distortion, chorus, delay, reverb, and filters to add to the colour of your sound. Iris is very open-ended and can load any sample waveform from a previous library or newly-created sample to rejuvenate within the program. So who is the ideal user for Iris? Everyone from musicians and composers to engineers and sound designers. You don’t need a designated physical keyboard hooked up. If you simply want to design new sounds and create soundscapes, you can do so with the onscreen keyboard and a mouse; however, you wouldn’t be able to play chords – just single notes – and you
won’t get the most out of the Pitch and Mod wheel controls. The Iris is also standalone or can be used as a plug-in. The New Resonant Library is the latest addition to a stellar library of samples and sounds from iZotope, comprised of acoustically inspired patches. The Resonant library is definitely more percussive in its characteristics, with samples drawing from the family of bells, glockenspiels, kalimbas, and vibraphones. There are also unusual sounds based on cans, tubes, and lampshades and also featuring metal, wood, plastic, and other pitched percussion sources. What always astounds me is the sheer dedication it must take to gather these samples and acquire the clearest and most precise recordings. The Resonant library is just another arsenal of starting points that should launch you onto a path of inspiration and creativity. iZotope’s Iris offers a true blend of intuitive musical technology and visual editing, and while the technical specifics of what’s going on “under the hood” could be overwhelming to some less-advanced users, the user experience is very simple and the manipulation of the visual representation of the spectrogram is key. The ultimate highlight is the end result – what you hear when you create something you’ve never heard, or that nobody else has heard for that matter. Now that is priceless.
Paul Lau B.Sc. Musician/Producer/MIDI & Digital Audio Specialist (www.DocAudioTech.com). Managing Director of PowerMusic5Records (www.powermusic5.com). Member of the cool Christian pop band Scatter17 (www.scatter17.com). 24 Professional Sound
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Adding To The Acoustic Character Of
St. Peter Catholic Chu
By Kevin Young. Photos by Robert Ervin, Ervin Photography
roviding optimal sound reinforcement in houses of worship is often a matter of balancing acoustic and aesthetic considerations, particularly in classic liturgical spaces like the St. Peter Catholic Church in Omaha, NE. St. Peter is a historic, neo-classical building originally dedicated in 1926 that served a thriving community for many years; however, over time, membership declined and the church fell into disrepair. After Father Damien Cook became pastor in 2004, though, an effort was made to revitalize the church. “Pastor Cook made changes,” begins Zachary Turner, St. Peter’s musical director. “We practice high liturgical pageantry for our masses, and that attracts a diverse group of people from Omaha and beyond.” Now, he adds, the church serves an English
26 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
congregation, a large Hispanic congregation, is used by the local Vietnamese community, and ministers to approximately 2,200 households in all. As a result, a comprehensive overhaul of the building was necessary, as was the replacement of the pre-existing audio infrastructure with a system in which Tannoy compact loudspeaker arrays figured prominently – a system designed by DSH Audio Visions LLC (DSH-AV) of Milwaukee. The church has a capacity of 650700 people and on any given weekend holds three masses in English, two in Spanish, and one in Vietnamese. Additionally, Vespers and baptisms are celebrated on Sunday, and catechism and other special masses on Saturdays. “There are also regular weekday masses, so we’re very busy,” Turner says.
As musical director at St. Peter, Turner plans and co-ordinates liturgies, rehearses with choirs and cantors, and leads and accompanies masses and other events such as weddings and funerals. In short, he deals with anything related to sound, including the maintenance of the sound system and the loudspeaker assembly that provides sound reinforcement of the church’s carillon bells. When Turner began working at St. Peter in 2011, the existing audio system barely met the church’s needs. “There were six loudspeakers – two small speakers that sat atop the north wall and several smaller units on a ledge above that. My predecessor had also installed a loudspeaker in the choir loft to project the choir, musicians, and cantors, but because of where the speakers were located, there
were challenges. Also, there was carpeting and acoustic ceiling tiles, so the room was quite dry. It was frustrating and the loudspeaker in the choir loft was prone to a lot of feedback, but that was a problem with all of the units.” While large, evangelical churches tend to gravitate toward full concert sound systems, more traditional houses of worship like St. Peter typically require audio systems that are visually unobtrusive, but still provide high intelligibility for both spoken word and music in what are often extremely reverberant spaces. In fact, St. Peter underwent a complete artistic renovation, overseen by Rick Statz of Conrad Schmitt Studios, which inAdam Jacobs as A cluded a variety ofladdin aesthetic and structural changes that made the space even more reverberant than it had been previously.
Services at St. Peter involve choir, organ, and cantors as well as Gregorian chant. Consequently, the church needed a system that would create an acoustical structure with a good reverberation time to encourage participation by the congregation while delivering highly intelligible support of the spoken word. There were other considerations as well – providing spatially accurate reinforcement of the choir, cantors, and spoken word among them. That necessitated an approach that was very different from what is often applied to newer facilities and a system that not only preserves the acoustic environment of a classic liturgical space, but won’t detract from the aesthetics of the space. The initial stage of the renovation involved protecting subsequent interior work by replacing the church’s leaky roof. Then, in June 2013, St. Peter closed so that the interior could be overhauled completely. The result is spectacular and features a decorative scheme that relies heavily on descriptions of Heavenly Jerusalem from the Book of Revelation and images of the Temple from the Old Testament. It also pays tribute to the parish’s patron, St. Peter. “Because St. Peter was a fisherman, there are maritime symbols in the flooring and around the windows, and the new floor simulates waters flowing from Heavenly Jerusalem,” explains Turner. Other aesthetic alterations included the painting of passages of scripture on the walls and an image of celestial heaven that covers the entire ceiling. Additionally, the electrical system was upgraded to make it more efficient and cost effective while general and architectural fixtures were installed so the interior was shown off to even greater effect. “The renovation brought out details like our stained glass windows and other aspects of the church – the stations of the cross and wainscoting – that previously weren’t presented very well,” Turner says. “The interior is beautiful and with our new system, I think the sound matches that. It’s more inspiring for our congregation and allows them to more deeply worship and insert themselves in prayer. “In English masses, we use the choir and the organ, but we have a single cantor singing with organ accompaniment for some masses and needed an audio system that would support that for services in English, Latin, Vietnamese, and Spanish in a traditional manner,” Turner continues. “In terms of my own tastes, I prefer the more traditional liturgies and St. Peter’s fits that ticket. Also, being a musician, I am a bit traditional and wanted a bare bones aesthetic and a live sounding room.” Consequently, it was important to ensure any acoustical abatement was minimal in order to preserve the live quality
of the room so essential to the reproduction of the type of music performed at St. Peter. Essentially, the renovation allowed the church to provide more authentic “cathedral sound” for services as well as spatially accurate sound reinforcement. As part of the renovations, Conrad Schmitt removed the church’s carpet and acoustic tile ceiling in favour of quarry tile floors, which were installed by Twin City Marble and Tile. Various acoustic treatments were also provided, including plaster ceiling beams modeled by DSHAV and acoustic partner Scott Riedel Associates of Milwaukee and designed by Conrad Schmitt that run the length of the space to help break up reflections off the ceiling. Additional acoustic treatments in the form of 2-in. fibreglass wall panels were also installed at the rear of the nave underneath the choir loft and in the transepts opposite the sanctuary. Following the renovation, the room was far more live sounding, says audio system designer/design consultant David Hosbach, president of DSH-AV, who initially became involved in the project in 2008. “The goal,” he says, “was to provide high intelligibility for a large, open space while integrating the gear into the overall aesthetic so it was as inconspicuous as possible.” That led to the choice of an audio system comprised of Tannoy’s QFlex digitally steerable, multi-channel arrays and VLS passive column array loudspeakers. Two QFlex 64 16-ft. digitally steerable array systems were chosen for their directivity control and mounted approximately 10 ft. off the floor to the left and right of the sanctuary platform and provide reinforcement of sound coming from the platform itself. Hosbach and DSH specialize in this specific area of the house of worship market and although he considered a traditional horn loaded system at one point, aesthetically and acoustically, he believed digitally steerable arrays would be preferable in this case. “St. Peter is a classic liturgical environment with an RT of nearly four seconds on average and there’s a stark philosophical difference in terms of how you approach a project like St. Peter as opposed to a modern evangelical space,” he says. “I had never used QFlex before, but after they were demonstrated at my church – and, given Tannoy’s sound quality, reputation, and the QFlex array’s beam steering capabilities – I believed they would be the best solution for this project.” The approach taken at St. Peter does differ substantially from that undertaken in many cases, adds Tim Burkhart, Supervisor of Midwest Sound and Lighting’s Design Systems Group, the install firm on the project. “Often, you would attempt to deaden the room as much as possible. Here, it’s PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 27
2 x Tannoy QFlex 64 Digitally Steerable Line Arrays 2 x Tannoy VLS 7 Passive Array Loudspeakers 2 x Tannoy VLS 15 Passive Array Loudspeakers 3 x Tannoy Di5 DCT Compact Surface Speakers 4 x Atlas 70-Volt Horn/Drive Assembly (for bell tower) 2 x JBL Control Series (for narthex) 3 x Lowell SL-810-72 8” (for the sacristies & O’Brien Hall)
Mixing/Signal Processing 2 x Symnet Radius 12 in/8 out DSP Symnet ARC K1E, EX4 & SW4 Remotes Linksys Wireless Router for Symnet Crown CTS 600, DCI2/300 and DCI4/300 Amplifiers
Microphones/Wireless 2 x Shure ULXP14 UHF Wireless Beltpacks 2 x Shure MX153 Earworn Wired Microphones 3 x Earthworks FMR600 Gooseneck Microphones 2 x Earthworks FM360 Gooseneck Microphones 2 x Earthworks P30/C-W Gooseneck Microphones 4 x Audix MB5055 Cardioid Choir Microphones 1 x Shure Beta87A Solo Microphone 1 x Shure MX202WP/C Overhead Ambient Microphone/Pickup 3 x Whirlwind IMP2 DIs
28 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
hard surfaces and a very live environment, much like you’d expect in a European cathedral. We’ve been around a long time. Everybody is in the marketplace with a steerable line array of some sort, but we were impressed by the design of the Tannoy arrays from an electro-acoustic standpoint. They’re not just single way devices with multiple 4-in., full range speakers. They’re a true multi-way array and everyone who’s heard them commented that they cut off at the physical location you’d expect, based on the steering, while remaining very smooth and natural sounding. “Integrating loudspeaker systems into an architecturally attractive space is always challenging,” he continues, “but the Tannoy arrays are very compact, narrow loudspeakers, so they blend in nicely with the architectural features of the room.” To maintain consistency and similar sound quality for the rest of the loudspeaker system, Hosbach specified other Tannoy products – two passive VLS 7 arrays for sanctuary platform fill, a pair of VLS 15s to support music originating from the loft, and Tannoy Di5s for the choir loft as foldback for the choir and cantors. The VLS 7s were mounted on either side of the platform roughly 6 ft. behind – and aimed in the opposite direction of – the QFlex arrays to provide fill for those in
the sanctuary proper. Tannoy VLS 15 passive arrays were then mounted on the front of the choir loft rail at the rear of the church to reinforce the choir, cantors, and soloists. “That provides source realism, so the congregation perceives the music as coming from the loft,” Hosbach says. Again, the intent was to preserve a choral sound of the type that would typically be heard in a classical worship space, “to provide source realism for music coming from the loft so people would perceive it as coming from the loft.” Finally, the three Tannoy Di5 Dual Concentric loudspeakers, which were chosen for their compact footprint and wide dispersion, provide support for the choir and cantors and are installed on the loft balcony rail where the vertical coverage of the QFlex falls off. Hosbach has been working in audio since 1985, originally as an installer and later as a designer. “Having grown up in a conservative Lutheran environment where acoustic music is extremely important and spoken word is king, I have an understanding about the need to get audio done right in these spaces. And each space, owing to its unique architecture, requires something a little different.” Not only does Hosbach have experience in this area, but a passion for this
Tannoy QFlex 64 digitally-steerable array to left of statue. particular arm of the house of worship market. “There are unique challenges and opportunities in this situation and unless you’re familiar with what they need and why, it’s tough to understand them. It goes to what the denomination is looking for; some would call it a mystique, or a natural acoustic sound that complements the liturgical style. There’s nothing cookie cutter about these projects and you need to select the product that’s going to work most effectively for each application.” Crown CTS 600, DCI2/300, and DCI4/300 amplifiers were deployed to power the bell tower’s Atlas 70-volt loudspeaker assembly, the VLS 7s and auxiliary speakers (two JBL Control Series in the narthex and three Lowell SL-810-72 8-in. speakers for distributed audio) and the VLS 15s and DCi5s, respectively. Crown was chosen primarily because the amplifiers could be switched between 8 Ohm
and 70 volt modes easily, Hosbach says: “So I didn’t have to worry about which amplifier fits where. Based on the load needed, we could just switch the channel.” Two Symetrix Symnet Radius 12-in/8out DSP digital mixing and control systems were also deployed. One is located in the choir loft and the other in the main amp rack in the sacristy and connected via Cat 5. The design also incorporated wired remote controls – a combination of Symnet ARC K1E, EX4, and SW4s that provide individual microphone control, the ability to select different presets for various uses of the space, and precise signal routing and system tuning capabilities. “We’re using two of them because we have a number of inputs that needed to be taken care of in the sanctuary platform and in the choir loft. While we’re dealing with speech and music, the church did not want to see a mixing console, so all the
mixing, mic, and zone control is done from the Radius,” Hosbach says. That makes the system extremely user friendly, allowing Turner, his assistant, or the cantors themselves to activate the system and control volume without worrying about equalization or mixing. The remotes also provide control over the loudspeakers reinforcing St. Peter’s carillon bell system at the push of a button. Control that was accessible to anybody who might be called upon to use the system was essential, Hosbach says. “It was a major consideration and Symnet is not only extremely easy to configure and use, but the sound quality is outstanding.” Finally, a new microphone package comprised of Earthworks, Audix, and Shure products was specified: ear worn Shure MX153s used in conjunction with Shure ULXP wireless, as well as wired microphones for Father Cook – Earthworks gooseneck mics (SMR 600s and FM 360s) on the high and low altars. In addition, multiple Audix MB5055 cardioid microphones were provided for the choir, a Shure Beta87A for soloists, and a Shure MX202WP/C microphone – mounted roughly halfway between the loft and sanctuary close to the ceiling – to capture ambient sound. “The MX153 delivers nice, natural sound quality. You just plug it into the ULXP and you’re ready to go. They also have a comfortable fit over the ear,” Hosbach notes. “The Earthworks sound quality is second to none and on this project we couldn’t take any chances on sound quality or poor gain before feedback so they were important as well in this case. The Audix are very versatile and, having used them previously on choirs, I knew they’d be a good fit. As for the Beta87A, they had that already and it’s very good for soloists, so there was no reason to replace it.” Since the final calibration of the system in mid-January 2014, Turner says: “The audio system has enabled us to streamline everything and to provide high intelligibility for the spoken word in an acoustic setting that truly increases the participation of the congregation.” “The sound is clear, but still sounds like a cathedral type space. The combination of Tannoy loudspeakers and Symnet DSP provides extremely natural sound,” Hosbach adds. The result is subtle, acoustically and aesthetically. “It provides a reverberant ‘choral type’ sound, but with enough directivity control that there’s no question about people understanding the text.” n Kevin Young is a musician and freelance writer based in Toronto.
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 29
Revolutionary Sound Design For Disney’s By Alan Hardiman
At Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre
isney’s musical Aladdin, which recently wrapped up a successful six-week out-of-town tryout at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre in preparation for its current Broadway run at New York’s New Amsterdam Theatre, is the newest and perhaps largest stage production ever to be propelled by a source-oriented reinforcement approach to sound design. Sound designer Ken Travis realized his dream system using 40 wireless mics and eight channels of QLab sound effects routed through a Studer Vista 5 console and distributed through 192 TiMax matrixed output channels to more than 200 d&b audiotechnik loudspeakers arrayed throughout the theatre. “On this show I had more toys than usual,” Travis says excitedly. “Disney really wanted a cinematic sound design – a big immersive experience like you’d get on a Disney ride, but they didn’t want it to be distracting, so they gave me everything I asked for in order to achieve that. One of the sound mixers who worked on the animated film version of Aladdin sat with us one day and said, ‘I know how I would do this on a film, but how the heck are you doing it live?’” The system design enabled Travis to create new sound design elements that in the past were simply impossible. “A good example is the spooky voice in Jafar’s lair. We wanted the voice to be kind of creepy without making the audience aware that the sound was being manipulated to come from any particular direction. We just wanted to keep the voice moving and floating around your head. As he gets angry, it seems to come up from under your feet when the subwoofers start shaking the floor, and then the voice image goes right to the centre cluster,” he says. “By contrast, when Adam Jacobs as Aladdin sings the intimate little song ‘Proud of Your Boy,’ they wanted it to be all about him, so the sound has to image exactly to him. But a couple of scenes later, when we go to “A Friend Like Me” with James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie, it suddenly has to become very big throughout the theatre, with every bell and whistle you could ask for. “Then in the flying carpet scene, when Aladdin and Jasmine rise up in the air on the carpet, if you close your eyes, you can hear the audio going right up with it. We’ve sat with the actors when they got to watch it, and even they were like, ‘Wow! The voices are coming right from the actors’ mouths!’” Travis recalls.
30 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
The key to both the pinpoint localization and immersive surround is the manipulation of image definitions created in three 64 x 64 TiMax Soundhubs, each image definition being a unique set of levels and delays from each individual microphone or effects input to each loudspeaker channel. As actors move from one of 14 pre-defined stage zones to another in any direction – left-right, front-back, and up-down – the preset image definitions morph seamlessly from one to another automatically in real time, following data input from the TiMax Tracker system. Unobtrusive 1-in. sq. radar tags worn by performers are tracked via time-of-arrival and angle-of-arrival by seven distributed PoE TiMax Tracker sensors, yielding positional information accurate to within 6 in. in any dimension. The Tracker information is input to the Soundhubs as a MIDI data stream, triggering each input’s image definition and the gradual transitions from one definition to another as each performer moves around the stage. Similarly, immersive and localized sound effects replayed from QLab are spatialized and steered via MIDI data from QLab that triggers dynamic delay-based pans preprogrammed using the TiMax PanSpace graphical object-based pan programming screen, which allows the designer to drag input icons around a set of image definitions superimposed on a .jpg image of the stage and theatre. The combination of using level and delay in the surround panning effects results in a more intimate feel to the dynamic sound field and much less awareness of the loudspeakers themselves. “Every single loudspeaker array and box in the house is time- and volume-curved for each zone. When performers travel from extreme right to extreme left, there’s about a 3 dB level difference, but the time shifts 14 ms. As they move vertically, up on the carpet for example, we’re subtracting time to the centre cluster,” Travis explains. Such small differences in the timing of delays from each zone to each loudspeaker permit each audience member to localize the performer accurately, no matter where they are seated, in contrast to conventional amplitude-based panning, which works well only for those seated near the centre line of the theatre. This aids in maintaining realism and clarity, and in eliminating audience stress, which can be caused by trying to figure out who is speaking or singing.
Adam Jacobs as Aladdin
The seeds of modern source-oriented reinforcement were sown in the 1980s, when English theatre sound designer Rick Clarke and others began to explore techniques of making sound appear to emanate from the lips of performers rather than from loudspeaker boxes. They were among a handful of pioneers who took advantage of the psychoacoustics of delay and the Haas effect to localize a sound image precisely, as the aural equivalent of a wellfocused spotlight. Davie Haydon, director of Out Board Electronics, developer of the TiMax2 Soundhub input-output level and delay matrix, explains that the first thing to realize about source-oriented reinforcement (SOR) is that it’s not panning. Instead, audio localization created using SOR makes the amplified sound actually appear to come from where the performers are on stage, such that more than 90 per cent of the audience is able to localize the voice back to the performer via Haas effect-based perceptual precedence, regardless of where they’re seated. Travis confirmed this out of his experience: “It works right up to the extreme seats, and areas such as the boxes. When you’re against the wall, of course you’re not going to get enough information from the loudspeakers in the middle of the theatre. But from those seats, they can’t see everything on stage either,” he says. Haydon adds that with conventional panning, the sound usually appears to come from the speakers, but biased to relate roughly to a performer’s position on stage. Level panning is also limited in its effect to people sitting near the centre line of the audience. In general, anyone sitting much off of the centre line will mostly perceive the sound to come from whichever stereo speaker channel is nearest to where they’re seated. This is a product of our brains localizing to the sound we hear first, not necessarily the loudest. “We are all programmed to do this as part of our primitive survival mechanisms, and we all do it within similar parameters,” he says. “We will localize even to a 1 ms early arrival, all the way up to about 25 ms, then our brain stops integrating the two arrivals and separates them out into an echo.” This localization effect, called the precedence or Haas Effect after the scientist who discovered it, works within a 6-8 dB level window. This means the first arrival can be up to 6-8 dB quieter than the second arrival and we’ll still localize to it. This is handy as it means we can actively apply this localization effect and at the same time achieve useful amplification. Haydon asserts that, “If we don’t control these different arrivals, they will control us. All the various natural delay offsets between the loudspeakers, performers, and the different seat positions cause widely different panoramic perceptions across the audience. You only have to move 13 in. to create a differential delay of 1 ms, causing significant image shift. Pan pots that just control level can’t fix this for more than a few audience members near the centre. You need to manage delays, and ideally control them differentially between every mic and every speaker, which requires a delay-matrix and a little cunning, coupled with a fairly simple understanding of the relevant physics and biology.”
Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 31
Photo: Deen Van Meer
“Arabian Nights” from Disney’s Aladdin.
DISTRIBUTED LOUDSPEAKER SYSTEM
Travis’s loudspeaker system design for Aladdin includes more than 200 d&b audiotechnik cabinets. The front left and right arrays are each comprised of eight d&b V8 cabinets, while the centre cluster includes six V8s and four V12s. Low frequency effects are handled by six V-Subs arrayed horizontally on the trusses and two J-Infra subs. Eight E5 lightweight two-way cabinets and two E12X compact subs handle front fill duties. Proscenium side fills are provided via a single E8 on each side. Sound is distributed throughout the three seating levels via 105 E5s and 42 E6s. The balcony is reinforced by a supplementary L-C-R system comprised of three full-range Q7s, while the orchestra has a pair of dedicated Ci7-TOP horn-loaded cabinets arrayed centre-left and centre-right. Foldback to the performers is distributed around the stage through 12 E8s, three E5s, and a pair of E12X subs. Power to the system is provided by 80 d&b D6 and 20 d&b D12 amplifiers. Travis prefers to use passive loudspeakers as opposed to active systems. “I like having an amplifier. It gives me a lot of flexibility to make a quick swap at the theatre. In fact, I made the decision to switch around a bunch of speakers one day just for my own interest, in order to tweak the system,” he says. Because his sound design involves very robust low frequency effects, such as the 20 Hz rumble that accompanies the ceiling collapse in the Cave of Wonders, he considered it prudent to conduct a seismic test prior to the show’s opening. “We broke three chandeliers with the subs during the tryout in Toronto, and we didn’t want to do that again in The New Amsterdam Theatre with its amazing plaster work. So we ramped the levels up over a few days, and then had it tested, and we got the OK. Nobody wants the ceiling to collapse,” he says. “I love the way d&b voices its boxes – you really don’t have to EQ them. There’s one EQ cut of about 2dB on the arrays at around 250 Hz to take care of the room, and one delay adjustment to align the sub array. Other than that, all the delays and EQs are done with TiMax,” Travis shares. Every TiMax Soundhub input features four-band parametric EQ, and beyond the level and delay adjustments provided to set image definitions in the matrix, there is a further control layer of level, delay, and eight-band parametric EQ on each of the 192 TiMax output channels. “A lot of people in the business have come up to us to ask how we’re doing it,” Travis adds. “We had a couple of producers in the audience, and they walked up to the console after the show and said, ‘That’s pretty impressive.’ They know it because they produce something like 10 shows a year, and they know the difference between just a proscenium show, and one where all of a sudden the sound’s moving everywhere.” 32 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie.
MIKING THE PERFORMERS
Several noteworthy elements in Travis’s approach to miking performers arose from the sheer number of costume changes and the proliferation of turbans. “In one scene alone, there are more than 70 costume changes in four minutes. Everyone’s putting on various turbans and taking others off, so anybody with a speaking part has a redundant mic built into a turban just in case it ever gets pulled out of position,” he says. “In fact, some people wear up to three mics at a time. My aesthetic is I never want to see a mic, and we run them a little high in the hairline so they get covered. Wherever possible, the transmitters are also fitted into the turbans.” Because the Genie is bald and doesn’t wear a turban, his mic is built into a prosthetic made for his chin. “He wears a DPA 4061 and a Sennheiser MKE-1 for redundancy. The only reason he can’t wear two DPAs is the weight, because of the way the prosthetic is attached. But you never see a mic on him at all,” he says. “We empower our actors to handle their own mics: we show them how to wear them, then take them to the console with a dresser and a hamper with all their costume changes in it, and we EQ each mic to get it right where we want it for each costume change. Then we let them hear what they sound like when the mic is not in the right place, and that makes them want to wear it correctly,” Travis explains. “I have an amazing team in Marie Renee Foucher and Bill Romanello taking care of the mics and RF; associate sound designer Alexander Hawthorn; FOH mixer Gabe Wood; and production audio by Lucas Indelicato,” he adds.
MOVING TO BROADWAY Courtney Reed as Princess Jasmine & Adam Jacobs as Aladdin.
How well did the Toronto tryout serve to prepare the show for its Broadway debut? “Moving from the Ed Mirvish Theatre into the New Amsterdam, all the math changed with the dimensions of the theatre, but what we learned from onstage was bang on,” Travis reports. “Toronto’s is a much wider and deeper house than New York’s, where we have half the depth and a narrower width. We started programming the New Amsterdam with the Toronto numbers and curves, and then fudged the very outsides of it for the smaller house. But within three days with actors on the stage, we felt that we were really close, with just a little fine-tuning for the extreme upstage corners. We played with the magic carpet a bit more in New York, just to get a little more movement to it. “One day, accidentally during rehearsal, we muted the surround system while we were working, and a cue got triggered, and the director immediately said, ‘What went wrong?’ He thought that maybe lighting had messed up, or that the set did something wrong. We realized instantly that we didn’t have all the surround speakers on, and all the effects felt flat. As soon as we turned the surrounds back on, everything else felt right again. It had nothing to do with the lighting cue being wrong; it was that all the bells and whistles are going around your head, and you kind of forget that they are there, yet they add so much more to it. “What we like about the system is that it never calls attention to itself, but it adds a ton. And we’re doing it on all three levels – the orchestra, mezzanine, and balcony all have the same system, so everyone gets the same show,” he says. “We learned how to operate TiMax quickly so that no one’s ever waiting on sound. We were pretty much always ahead of the curve. Aladdin is one of those shows where the director can play stump-the-sound designer. Go ahead; ask for n anything. This system is the Genie.” Alan Hardiman is Producer & Creative Director at Associated Buzz Creative, a media agency he founded based on 25 years as a sound editor & mixer for TV & film. He also writes extensively about sound and audio. His website is www.abcbuzz.com.
Photo: Deen Van Meer
Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann
TiMax2 SoundHub PanSpace effects programming screen (above) & TiMax Tracker calibration file (right) for Aladdin at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto.
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 33
PHASE ONE STUDIOS
3015 Kennedy Rd., Unit 10 Toronto, ON M1V 1E7 888-728-3333, email@example.com
S e n O e s a h P c i n o c I s ’ o t Toron
By Anthony Altomare
n the intensely competitive Toronto studio market that has been defined by rapidly changing trends, there has been one constant in the past 40 years that has stood the test of time. Over the last four decades, Phase One Studios has remained a longstanding force in the field by constantly adapting to the shifting landscape of the recording industry. As one of the last remaining major studios from Toronto’s golden age of audio, Phase One has managed to maintain its momentum by staying true to its hard-earned reputation. With a list of clients that ranges from the likes of KISS, Alice Cooper, Bono, Sting, and Keith Richards to contemporary mainstays like Rihanna and Black Eyed Peas – not to mention a heap of top-tier Canadian artists like Drake and Down With Webster – Phase One has solidified itself as one of the most reputable facilities in the country and a physical flashback to when large recording rooms ruled the market.
Phase One originally opened its doors in 1974 under the ownership of Doug Hill and Paul Gross. Hoping to capitalize on the momentum of the “Toronto sound” and the subsequent demand for larger recording spaces in Toronto, the pair began construction on the room now known as Studio A. Aided by legendary studio architect George Augspurger, the team built a recording space worthy of major-label talent. As word spread of the world-class recording facilities Phase One had to offer, it quickly became one of the leading studios not only in Ontario, but across Canada. It wasn’t long before household names began flocking to the premier recording outlet in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough. Over the course of the next 20 years, Phase One continued to draw artists of the highest calibre from all over North America and beyond, amassing quite the collection of gold and platinum records as a testament to the
quality recordings the studio was capable of. The success of Phase One continued well into the ‘90s, but by then, the record industry had evolved once again. A number of new highend recording studios had taken up residence in Toronto and its surrounding area, challenging the studio’s longtime market dominance. Along with growing competition in the area, Phase One was also faced with managing the ever-changing technology of the recording industry. By that time, many studios had already made the transition to mostly digital software and the convenience of high quality home recording was becoming a much more cost-effective option for musicians. The era of weekand month-long recording sessions had gone by the wayside, replaced by short bookings and hybrid sessions favoured by artists hoping to utilize the studio only for certain aspects of the process. By 1999, the studio that had once been on the cutting edge had begun to phase itself out.
Phase One’s Studio A, with custom linked Neve console.
e n o t s e l i M r o j a M A s e h c a e R e Studios PHASE TWO
Although Phase One continued to press on despite the challenges it and the industry at large were facing, some stakeholders feared the studio’s best years may have been behind it. After all, 20-plus years of rock and roll had taken its physical toll on the studio’s overall aesthetic, leaving it looking a tad worse for wear. It was then that Barry Lubotta, a Montreal native who had relocated to Toronto during the height of Phase One’s heyday, decided to purchase the aging beast. Lubotta was no stranger to the studio landscape. The former owner of a successful independent studio on the other side of town under the moniker Pizazzudio, Lubotta brought with him a vision that would propel Phase One from its dated, grungy, ‘70s era fame to a pristine, artist-friendly environment capable of catering to the ever-changing clientele of the future. The new owner wasted no time with an immediate overhaul. The studio had taken major abuse over the years and was in desperate need
of a facelift, but cosmetics weren’t the only changes Lubotta had in mind. Aggressive expansion was firmly on the agenda with the addition of more recording space, as was remodeling existing rooms and revamping gear. Lubotta recalls the first days of his ownership quite vividly, as months of construction would shape the future of Phase One. As the plans for the studio began to take shape, Lubotta made a decision to keep some aspects of the original rendering as a tribute to the roots of what had helped elevate Phase One to its iconic status over the years. “When we took over this place, it had 25 years of rock and roll history,” says Lubotta, reminiscing on those trying few months. “There was smoke residue everywhere; the equipment was full of tar – including deep inside the Neve console. There was a need for a major overhaul, and yet we decided to keep Studio A the same. Had we not, then you could say, ‘Well it’s not really Phase One,’ and what’s the point of having that name if there are no ties to the old studio?” As a whole, Phase One was centered on the historic
Studio A, but there was the potential for additional workspaces. By the time Lubotta finished his overhaul, the studio would house four separate recording and mixing rooms – quite the upgrade to the aging legend. “Studio B and C are nothing like what was here prior to the takeover and there was no studio D, but the big studio certainly is every bit what it was, and we like to think even better,” Lubotta says in summary. The decision to keep Studio A in its original form helped to anchor Phase One around the room, preserving a rich history of high-profile sessions and the unique and sought-after ambiance of the Augspurger design. “It’s still the classic quintessential recording room. We get a lot of people that come in and say ‘I was here in 1984’ or ‘I was here in 1992.’ Before my time, groups like KISS and Alice Cooper spent a lot of hours here and we heard all the stories,” Lubotta says with a smirk. “There were apparently some wild times that you couldn’t get away with today, but that history also represents a unique chapter in the story of a legendary studio.”
One step into the famed Augspurger room and the nostalgia of 40 years of rock and roll history hits you like a tidal wave. Studio A, the pride and joy of Phase One, has remained, for the most part, untouched since its creation in 1974. Besides a few cosmetic touch-ups, the room stands as a sort of tribute to the studio’s formative years. Designed by Augspurger for original owners Gross and Hill, the room has become highly sought after for its always musical sonic qualities – an amazing feat, considering the technology of the times. “In 1974 they didn’t build rooms like they do today. Today’s studios are just so well built, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily sound better. You’re never going to know how a room is going to sound until you finish it. Until you crank it up on that first day, you’re just not going to know how well suited it is for recording music,” says Lubotta. The ambiance of the room has helped it become a favourite of artists and producers alike. Big Sugar, Barenaked Ladies, Randy Bachman, Glass Tiger, and Anne Murray reprePROFESSIONAL SOUND • 35
sent just a small sample of the A-list clients that have tracked here over the years. Studio A houses three isolation booths for individual performance as well as a vast live area that has become known for its exceptional drum sound. “Just to get drums into the live room is a big reason why people are still coming to track here,” says Chief Engineer Jeff Pelletier. “I don’t think that when the room was built they took a ton of time designing it – you’re looking at a 40-yearold space, after all. Everything we know about modern studio acoustics was still in its infancy … but when you mic up this room and you have the right kit in there, it just translates really well, and you don’t have to guess where to put room mics. All of sudden, there’s your drum sound, and it always comes together really easily.” Mike Smith, senior engineer and tech, echoes the thoughts on the room. “Studio A has stood the test of time since the day it was built in 1974. It’s just got an iconic sound. There are some records today that I listen to and I think to myself, ‘I think the drums were done at Phase,’ because it just has a very distinct sound. People come from all over the world to record in that room.” 36 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
Mike rtin eau, Dajaun Ma
The all-original control room of Studio A is also a throwback to the golden years of the studio. Boasting two linked custom Neve Consoles that feature 18 1073s and 24 1084s, the 14-ft. recording desk stands alone as the centerpiece of the room. After all, “You can’t really go wrong with 44 channels of Neve!” exclaims Pelletier. Armed with an extensive array of current and vintage outboard equipment, the studio has the ability to tackle any session. Recent upgrades to the control room consist of Burl convertors, ushered in by the Eddie Kramer sessions. Despite the addition of new gear, the room will remain untouched to preserve the vintage atmosphere that has defined the space since the studio’s inception. As Pelletier states, “This room, this vibe, and this console are the reason why people know Phase One.” For Lubotta, a key principle in the reboot of Phase One was the ability to market the studio to a changing clientele. Following his acquisition, an immediate plan for redesign and construction was put in motion for the remainder of the building. Capitalizing on the potential of unused workspace, Lubotta added three additional rooms to the floor plan. Aided by designer Martin Pilchner of Pilchner Schoustal
Lubotta & Jef
International, Lubotta’s vision for the future was realized. Studios B, C, and D are now fully functional workspaces capable of catering to an artist or engineer’s individual needs. Equipped with industry leading consoles, including an API Legacy in Studio B and a newly acquired SSL Duality in Studio C, Phase One offers an array of options for virtually any recording application. Along with a collection of the finest digital technology, Phase One has not abandoned the analog technology that defined its past. In the last few years the studio has noticed a renewed interest in artists gravitating towards recording to tape when their budget allows them to do so. Armed with a Studer A800 MkIII 24 and 16-track 2-in. Studer 820 and 827 multitrack recorders as well as Studer A80 and Ampex ATR ½-in. two-tracks, the studio has made an effort to preserve and maintain tape technology for prospective clientele.
OVER THE YEARS
Under the leadership of Lubotta, Phase One experienced a renaissance of sorts, with a level of success not seen since the ‘70s and early ‘80s. “Over the 14 years I’ve been here, there is no doubt that the first five or six years were busiest. At that time it felt like we were the brand new studio in town. Even though it was still Phase One, we had a fresh vibe about us,” recalls Lubotta about his beginnings. Although he’s fully prepared for the future, Lubotta is the first to admit that the studio has experienced its fair share of ups and downs. In recent years, though, the studio has embraced the hybrid method of making records that many artists have become accustomed to. It is not uncommon to have artists booking shorter recording sessions and taking advantage of
THE GEAR & THE GOODS
Between its four studios, Phase One is chalk full of high-end vintage and cuttingedge recording equipment. Access the complete gear lists for Studios A, B, C, and D, plus great photos of the spaces and recent clients who have tracked in them at: www.phaseonestudios.com.
Phase 40Phase One Studios Reaches A Major Milestone
oni Toronto’s Ic
A’s live room. Mid-session in Studio
certain aspects of the studio for the key components of their recordings. “People used to come here for six weeks to eight weeks,” says Lubotta of the big-budget major label days. “Today, people come in for a week if you’re lucky.” So although the studio has embraced the current paradigm for large-format studios, its owner still promotes the idea of completing an entire recording project at his facility. “I always tell clients that, for their own benefit, they need a great sounding recording, first-rate mixing and mastering, and a quality pressing. Those are four areas where things can go wrong – and trust me, if just one is wrong, the entire project is compromised,” says Lubotta, who has his share of the kind of first-hand horror stories that keep professional engineers entertained. Although the trend of home recording continues as a viable option for the budgeted musician, Smith believes that the studio atmosphere will always manage to attract the appropriate clientele that values the quality of the studio recordings. “People are starting to realize now that they can only get so far in their basement,” he says. “They’re fighting a losing battle right off the top. These rooms are acoustically correct, and they’re designed to be that way. Your kitchen, on the other hand, isn’t.”
Although much of the success of Phase One can be attributed to its iconic Studio A, multiple Gold records, unmistakable sonic qualities, and vibrant history, one can’t overlook the most critical aspect of the future of the studio: its staff. Consisting of chief engineer Jeff Pelletier, senior engineer Mike Smith, engineer Dajaun Martineau, and junior engineers Mike Ho and Matt Snell, the current team at Phase One boasts a collective resume that would impress any potential client. In a realm that has, as Lubotta puts it, “become very much a service industry,” a competent, friendly staff is mandatory for client comfort and satisfaction. “We have one of the best teams here and that’s what really makes the studio,” says Smith. “It’s that personal connection with your client. I’ve always said, ‘Every engineer is not for every client, and every client is not for every engineer,’ and it’s always going to come down to that vibe, that connection.” That vibe has helped Phase One maintain its reputation as a frontrunner in the diverse studio landscape of the GTA. A collaborative staff approach has lent to the relaxed atmosphere that the studio offers. “The days of having a serious job description and hierarchy in a studio had to go,” says Pelletier of the structured
tudio egacy Console. le. so ConL acy API Legwith API B, th Studio B, wiS
approach of the past. “We can’t afford not to let people do what they do. That way everyone here feels like they’re contributing towards keeping the lights on.” As Smith expresses, the agenda of the studio remains unchanged since its inception, and this approach has led to its years of continued success. “It’s recording; it’s not rocket science and we’re not putting people on the moon. At the end of the day it’s all about vibe and personality. It’s supposed to be fun and it’s supposed to be a great time.”
Currently celebrating its 40th year of business, Lubotta says that his studio is better than ever. The past year has been a busy one for the crew at Phase One. Constant adaptation has been a staple of the agenda and a plan to springboard further into social media marketing is in the works. “We’ve finally got a really great staff that are all headed in the same direction,” says Pelletier. “This year we’re going to make a big push and put ourselves back on the map. I don’t think it’s as talked about these days what an awesome room this is, so we can’t just bank on the room having character, because we also do really great work here. We’ve made some big changes and this is going to be the year that we make a great push.”
Over the course of the next few years, Lubotta says Phase One will be dedicated towards drawing more of the A-list clientele the studio has been home to in the past. Planning for a 40th anniversary celebration is currently in the works, slated towards the end of the summer and the wrapup of touring season. Since his acquisition of the studio 14 years ago, Lubotta has taken a step back from the recording process. An analog aficionado, he says his engineers have taken the reigns and helped guide Phase One through the digital era. Although he is kept rather busy with the day-to-day functions of the studio, Lubotta still makes time every once in a while to re-visit his roots and produce an album for his in-house record label, Marshmellow Records. “I’m getting on. I’m 66 now and I still enjoy it, but time does march on. I still love coming in every day, and I love it when the studio is busy,” its owner enthuses. “I started in this industry as an audiophile, and if I didn’t still have that passion, I wouldn’t be putting so much time and work into this. I like to make great records when I can, and I’m trilled when something good comes out of here. If the music doesn’t connect with you, then n what else is there?” Anthony Altomare is a freelance writer and musician in the Niagara region. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 37
From Auditoriums To Arenas: Cross-Country With
City & Colour By Andrew King. Photos by Jessica Mees.
City & Colour’s Dallas Green onstage at Saskatoon, SK’s Credit Union Centre.
he last time Dallas Green and company crossed Canada on a City and Colour headlining tour was early 2012, supporting the previous year’s massively successful studio album Little Hell. The record had elevated the band’s profile to new heights, and it was shortly after its release that Green announced his departure from his until-then primary outlet, Alexisonfire, with the intention of focusing his attention solely on City and Colour. Thanks to the success of his two projects, Green had become a household name in his home country and was gaining major traction internationally. In 2010, he was hand picked to support Pink on some UK dates. Prior to Little Hell’s release in late April 2011, City and Colour sold out London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall. Just weeks before that, they had a Sydney show bumped up to a bigger venue, only to have it sell out and a second one added. It was somewhat surprising, then, when the venues for City and Colour’s 2012 Canadian tour were revealed, and many seemed rather humbly sized. The decision to perform in soft-seat auditoriums like Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Halifax’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, and Toronto’s iconic Massey Hall, which comprised the majority of the stops, was two fold. First, their intimate and serene environments are conducive to much of the emotional content in City and Colour’s work, and second – adhering to a common adage in show business – it’s better to fill a smaller venue than have empty seats in a larger one. After the release of City and Colour’s fourth full-length, The Hurry and the Harm, in the summer of 2013, though, the group’s draw had hit yet another new plateau, and when it came time for a cross-country Canadian trek in the spring of 2014, arenas were the only viable option to hold the hoards of music-hungry fans. The big barns necessitated big sound, and so for the 2014 outing, the band brought out a lion of a rig from Richmond, BC’s KiAN Concert Sound Services. As KiAN’s GM, Derek Mahaffey, explains, his company’s history with City and Colour’s longtime FOH engineer Stu Schuster dates back to Schuster’s days touring alongside Green in Alexisonfire, when they’d often run into Mahaffey and his colleagues on west coast stops. KiAN provided audio production for Victoria, BC’s Rock the Shores and the Salmon Arm, BC Roots and Blues
festivals in 2013, both of which featured City and Colour as a headliner and had KiAN’s Meyer Sound LEO system on their main stages. “Stu had mentioned the spring  tour at Roots and Blues and wanted to get a quote from us,” Mahaffey says. “He’s a laid back and easy going guy, and I know he had good experiences with our gear and our guys, so it was great to hear we’d be working together again this time out.” KiAN’s LEO system returned to Richmond mid-April after being out cross-Canada with Hedley on the Wild Live tour, and within 10 days was back on the road to the other end of the country for City and Colour’s first show at the Metro Centre in Halifax.
through sound check. Once the show starts, he’ll do a walk-around the venue during the first few songs of City and Colour’s set, and then make any necessary adjustments while Schuster is mixing – something the FOH engineer appreciates. “I tune with Dallas’ voice, so I don’t do a whole lot before the band walks on stage for sound check,” Schuster says. “Josh is used to that with me, and it’s nice to have someone that doesn’t get frustrated because of it.” He adds that their relationship is rooted in trust and a mutual respect for each other’s crafts. “Since I’m also the tour manager, there’s the off chance I may need to run out of FOH to take care of something on occasion,” Schuster adds. “It’s great that I can fully
City and Colour’s audio crew. (L-R) FOH system tech Josh Stevenson of KiAN Concert Sound Services, FOH engineer Stu Schuster, monitor engineer Jason Domine & monitor tech Jacob Elmer of KiAN.
Riding in tow with the rig were FOH systems engineer Josh Stevenson and monitor tech Jacob Elmer of KiAN. Stevenson and Schuster also go back to the Alexisonfire days, when Stevenson was working at a popular concert venue on Prince Edward Island. Since, the two have run into each other at shows and festivals and maintained a friendly relationship. Stevenson shares a rundown of the typical stop on the tour – loading in, ensuring his points are where he wants them, flying the rig, time aligning and tuning it, and then taking the performers
trust him to babysit my mix for me.” As for the rig itself, Stevenson opted for a cardioid flown sub pattern for the dozen Meyer 1100-LFCs, which are typically flown behind the main PA. “Most of the run is A-market arenas, which has been great,” Stevenson says. “They can handle the weight and I like to put as much in the air as I can.” He’s also got six 700-HP subs for the ground when needed. The decision to have the low frequency elements in the air was made to keep the sound off the stage and lessen the potential interference with the FOH
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 39
Gear at a Glance MAIN PA 30 x Meyer Sound LEO Boxes 2 x Meyer Sound MICA Boxes 12 x Meyer Sound 1100-LFC Subs (Flown when possible) 6 x Meyer Sound 700-HP Subs 6 x Meyer Sound M’elodie Boxes (Front Fill) 4 x Meyer Sound Callisto 616 Array Processors 1 x Meyer Sound AES Galileo 616 Loudspeaker Management System 1 x Meyer Sound SIM-3 System Analyzer 1 x Avid Profile 96-Input Console OUTFILL 24 x Meyer Sound MILO Boxes MONITORS 12 x Meyer Sound MJF-212A Monitor Cabinets 6 x Meyer Sound M’elodie Boxes (Side Fill) 2 x Meyer Sound 700-HP Subs (Side Fill) 1 x Meyer Sound 700-HP Subs (Drum Sub) 1 x Avid Profile 48 x 24 Console
PA. The only exception when it came to flying the 1100-LFCs was the stop at the Community Auditorium in Thunder Bay, ON, which, considering its capacity of just over 1,500, is more akin to the venues from the Little Hell tour. In fact, that’s the type of atmosphere they’re trying to capture through the audio and visuals on this trek despite the cold, concrete character of most arenas. The lighting and set elements go a long way towards achieving that, and fit quite well with the overall flow of City and Colour’s sets. “Everything is draped off – if they can put drape somewhere, they will, to make it feel more enclosed and intimate,” Stevenson explains. The benefits of that environment aren’t limited to the audience, either. “It actually helps me as a sound engineer,” he says. “The drape helps ensure the reverberations and slap-backs are kept to a minimum.” As for the LEO boxes, Stevenson tried to fly at least 12 per side to realize what be believes to be the system’s full potential. While the LEO solution is still relatively new to the market and KiAN is one of only a handful of current Canadian owners, the company has been using the package since early 2013, and Stevenson 40 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
Avid Profile at FOH.
has logged plenty of time in front of it. “It’s definitely a good rock and roll PA,” he says. “Everyone knows that when you go with Meyer, you’re getting the Meyer sound, but this takes it to a new level.” Schuster has enjoyed his experience with the rig thus far, despite it being a fairly new beast to him. “I honestly only used it once or twice before this run,” he admits. “There are times that it can feel a bit too directional, but Josh does an ace job of optimizing the rig and making my life easier.” In addition to the 30 LEO boxes on the road, Stevenson has a pair of MICAs and six M’elodies for front fill. Outfill is handled by a dozen MILOs per side. Schuster employs an Avid Profile to control the rig, with a dedicated stage rack for City and Colour, and a second devoted to opening act Half Moon Run, who actually had a higher input count than the headliner. Schuster is a longtime champion of the Midas Heritage when it comes to his console of choice; however, the convenience offered by the digital Avid Profile shared between the two acts made it the most efficient solution for this run. A unique element of the tour is that
City and Colour relies entirely on wedges for onstage monitoring. “Dallas comes from that real rock background with Alexisonfire, so he’s kind of grown accustomed to that,” Stevenson says. “Though it makes Stu’s job a bit tougher, because he’s got a lot more stage volume to deal with, but he’s always able to keep it kosher for the stage and the house.” The monitor rig that Elmer oversees consists of a dozen Meyer MJF-212A cabinets, with an additional six M’elodies and two 700-HPs for side fill, and a sole 700-HP as a sub for drummer Doug MacGregor. Monitor engineer Jason Domine drives the rig with an Avid Profile. Schuster is quick to credit Domine with eliminating a lot of the potential hassle that comes with a high onstage monitor count. “Jason has some golden ears, so I never have issues with wedges getting in my way.” On a similar note, he adds: “These guys are all really good musicians. They have good tones and we have a good team of techs that keep everything sounding good onstage. Not every band is as good at what they do.” It makes for an interesting dynamic that when City and Colour first came to prominence with the release of Some-
times in 2005, Green’s output shared similarities to heart-on-sleeve, strum-heavy singer songwriters like Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional; however, with each record since, his style has incorpor ated a much more significant alt-folk influence, with richer arrangements and more attention to detail and dynamics. The Hurry and the Harm is the pinnacle of this progress to date, and is more akin to acts like My Morning Jacket and Fleet Foxes than Green’s earlier contemporaries. Its overall sonic character is very organic, full of natural reverb and the sounds of fingers sliding up and down oxidized strings.
ther. “I don’t really listen to the records of the bands I work for,” he asserts. “I believe my copy of Dallas’ last record isn’t even mastered. When I first get them, I listen to them 20 or so times to learn the songs, but I don’t really revisit them. The live show is much different from the recorded experience. I don’t like having records so engrained in my head that I’m trying to mimic that in a live setting. [Recording] engineers have different styles, and I don’t want to just recreate that.” The group of musicians in the current iteration of City and Colour features: the aforementioned MacGregor behind the kit – a member of the recently-reunit-
Avid Profile for monitors side stage left.
This begs the question of how Schuster approaches his overall mix considering large arenas aren’t the most conducive environments to such sonic qualities. “I can’t say I have a definite approach,” he says bluntly. “I just listen to the room and trust my ears. There are changes you make to reverb settings and such, since those will come across much differently than when you’re working with a very acoustically-sound theatre. You’re obviously going to lose some of the intricacies you have in smaller settings as well.” Schuster says he doesn’t worry too much about making every seat in the house sound identical, since that’s never really achievable when you’re dealing with these types of houses. As for whether or not he bases his mix on the sound of the band’s most current release, or looks to recreate the sonic character of songs from different eras, his answer is somewhat surprising: it’s nei42 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
ed Constantines; bassist Jack Lawrence, whose pedigree includes The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs, and The Greenhornes; guitarist Dante Schwebel of Hacienda; and Yukon Blonde’s Matt Kelly on pedal steel, organ, and keyboards. Speaking to that, Schuster adds: “There have been multiple backing bands comprising City and Colour over the years and each one has brought a different dynamic to the songs. With this particular band, the songs are very different live from how they were recorded. They’re played differently, and Dallas often sings them differently.” Schuster’s intention is to capture the essence of the band onstage, rather than the original versions of the songs they’re performing. “I just try to keep it simple all night – no gates, minimal compression, just some reverb for effects. The changes are more based on how they’re playing; some songs need to be loud, and sometimes [Dallas is] up there solo and barely
using the vocal mic, which allows for very quiet moments.” It’s an approach that his clients seem to appreciate – and then some. “I’ve been mixing a band called Russian Circles on and off for years, and they always tell me that the weirder I get with the mix at FOH, the happier they are,” he shares. “So when I’m given that freedom, not having a strong memory of a record allows me more freedom.” As for other significant differences between this tour and his previous outings with City and Colour, Schuster says they’re relatively minimal. “We’ve added some channels, but they’re mostly channels we’ve had before,” he says; however, Kelly has a Wurlitzer electric piano out on the trek, which is a first, and for a unique tonal colour, one of Green’s acoustic guitars is being run through an amplifier miked with “a somewhat broken” microphone. While it wasn’t an extensively long run, Schuster says it was still crucial for the City and Colour camp that the technicians they bring out on the road are not only good at their jobs, but are also personable and social. “The KiAN guys have been great,” he says. “Josh and Jake, as well as Derek Mahaffey who arranged all of this with me, are a big part of the reason I tapped them for the tour.” Fitting, then, that when Stevenson spoke with PS, he was sitting on the sidelines of a pickup basketball game with the bands and their crews. “I’ve worked with a lot of these guys over the years, but never had the chance to do a full tour, so it’s been nice being out with people on the same wavelength – same age, similar backgrounds…” With the Canadian tour on the books, City and Colour is set to spend the summer pushing its profile in other parts of the world. A slot at the 2014 edition of Bonnaroo in mid-June will precede a headlining show at the famed Sydney Opera House and a top billing at Australia’s Splendour in the Grass festival. Considering the band’s impressive trajectory over the last few years, one can only wonder which venues will host the next Canadian tour – and how sizeable the production technologies package will need to be to fill them. n
Andrew King is the Editor of Professional Sound.
Dynaudio BM mkIII Series Monitors
Dynaudio Professional has launched its range of BM mkIII monitors. Made in Denmark like Dynaudio’s original BM range, the smaller BM Compact mkIII and BM5 mkIII models both feature expanded frequency response and SPL because of a combination of enhancements, including driver design and Class D amplifiers. Each includes an auto standby mode as well as both XLR and RCA input connectors for flexibility. The BM6 mkIII and BM12 mkIII have been re-voiced and now include Dynaudio Professional’s wave guide, which is designed to ensure precision when distributing high frequencies. Both of the BMS II subwoofers have also been further optimized to complement the mkIII near-field monitors. For more information, contact TC Group Americas: 519-745-1158, FAX 519-745-2364, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.tcgroup-americas.com.
Lectrosonics User-Assembled SRb Series Dual-Channel Receivers Lectrosonics has introduced user-assembled kits as a cost-saving alter-
native to its SRb Series dual-channel receivers. The kits reduce the cost versus finished products by approximately 50 per cent. Users take on the challenge of sorting, correctly identifying, placing, and soldering all the 1,100-plus parts. The SR Series Digital Hybrid Wireless diversity receivers offer two independent channels and fit into the standard video camera slots found on professional cameras. The two audio channels can feed separate inputs or can be mixed internally to feed a single input. The 5P variant is equipped with an external audio output for cameras that only have one audio input in the slot. Both audio channels can be connected with an external cable. Included in the kits are all the mechanical housing components such as metal parts, membrane keypad, screws, RF shields, nuts and washers, gaskets, and electronic components such as blank circuit boards, capacitors, resistors, transistors, diodes, microprocessors, DSPs, graphic LCD, and connectors. Two antennas in the correct frequency block are also in the kit. To save time, the electronic components for the RF circuit board and the audio circuit board are separated into two labeled bags. A detailed assembly instruction manual is also included in printed form and on a USB memory stick, along with an alcohol wipe and two yards of fine-gauge, lead-free solder. For more information, contact Lectrosonics Canada: 416-596-2202, FAX 416-596-6648, email@example.com, www.lectrosonics.com.
SSL C100 HD Plus Broadcast Console Solid State Logic has launched the C100 HD Plus digital broadcast
console, which is an enhanced version of the original C100 console. The C100 HD Plus large format, third generation digital broadcast console features redundant Blackrock processor cards in a 2 U rack that process 588 audio mix paths, with 256 channels of six-band EQ and 284 channels of dynamics with 512 channels of integrated MADI I/O. The centre section penthouse of the C100 HD Plus features a 10-in. screen, which can be used to display any HDMI video source and enables the user to select from a wide range of metering options. The console can be specified with SSL’s LMS-16 loudness monitoring system to provide 16 x 5.1 channel loudness and true peak monitoring. The control surface has also been re-designed to facilitate clearer channel identification. For more information, contact HHB Communications Canada: 416-867-9000, FAX 416-867-1080, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.hhbcanada.com. 44 Professional Sound
Midas XL48 Preamp
Midas has released the XL48, which combines eight XL4 mic preamps into a 1 U box, along with swept high and low pass filters, eight Midas XL8 A/D converters, and a super-low jitter 1 ppm clock. Additional features include eight-segment LED input meters, individual phantom power, polarity invert, and -20dB pad. All inputs are on Neutrik XLR and duplicated on 25-way D-sub connectors as standard. The XL48 features both analog and digital outputs in ADAT and AES/EBU format. All five outputs can be used simultaneously, making the XL48 a multifunction analog/digital mic splitter as well as adding the Midas touch to eight channels of the mix. Multiple clocking options are available, including external word clock and internal 96 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 48 kHz, and 44.1 kHz. Applications include portable recording rigs, analog and/or digital splits between consoles, or improving the input stage of an ordinary digital console with Midas mic preamps, convertors, and a reference-grade clock. For more information, contact PAG Canada: email@example.com, www.pagcanada.com.
Amadeus ML 8 Subwoofer French manufacturer Amadeus has released
the ML 8 ultra-compact subwoofer. The ML 8 is designed for space-limited installations or live use and is the smallest member of the ML Series that ranges from 8-in. to dual 18in. models. Each is available in passive, selfpowered, and EtherSound-enabled versions. The ML 8 is also built around a proprietary internal reinforcement structure designed to neutralize any standing waves and to suppress energy loss caused by vibrations. This construction technique is designed to cut the level of cabinet colouration of the sound using a combination of interlocking panels arranged in two perpendicular planes. The internal structure hosts several tuned notch resonators and an 8-in. transducer with a 3-in. ventilated voice coil, designed to reduce all forms of distortion and colouration. The ML 8 draws 600 W peak from the line under an 8-ohm impedance and produces 118dB peak SPL. For more information, go to www.amadeus-audio.com. Professional Sound 45
Yorkville Parasource Active Subwoofers Building on the Parasource Series powered loudspeaker line introduced in 2013, Yorkville
Sound has introduced a line of made-in-Canada companion active subwoofers All Parasource Series powered subwoofers use 15 mm birch plywood cabinet construction. An ultrathane painted finish, custom designed perforated all-metal grille, and all-metal handles are designed for long-term reliability. High power long excursion woofers and high efficiency Class-D amplifiers are used to make the subwoofers as compact and lightweight as possible. Available in three sizes and power levels, the single 12-in. 900 W Parasource PS12S sub is the ideal for the PS10P powered cabinet. For medium sized venues, there is the 1,000 W PS15S and Parasource PS12P full range cabinet. For larger applications, the PS18S 18-in. 1,200 W sub matches with the PS15P cabinet. For more information, contact Yorkville Sound: 905-837-8777, FAX 905-839-5776, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.yorkville.com.
Riedel CPX-AVB Expansion Card Riedel Communications has unveiled its CPX-AVB expansion card for the Riedel Artist 1100 series control panels. The CPX-AVB is a dedicated card that fits in the expansion slot of the Artist 1100 series OLED control panels. The card turns the control panel into an AVB-enabled device, in turn making the panelâ€™s ports available within the entire AVB network. The expansion card converts two Artist ports to the AVB network and vice versa. For more information, contact Riedel Communications: 514-299-1000, email@example.com, www.riedel.net.
NuGen Loudness Toolkit NuGen Audio has released the Loudness Toolkit. This bundle includes the VisLM
visual loudness metering plug-in, the ISL inter-sample true-peak limiter, the LMCorrect stand-alone loudness tool, the MultiMonitor loudness and true-peak monitoring software, and the LMB batch processing loudness correction tool. The VisLM plug-in, with objective loudness measurement, history, and logging facilities, provides an ITU, ATSC, and EBU standard-compliant way to measure, compare, and contrast loudness during production, broadcast, and post-production. The ISL is designed for controlling peak levels in audio signals from mono through to 5.1. The ISL offers a brick-wall solution, measuring inter-sample peaks and allowing the user to define the true-peak limit of the audio output. NuGen ISL True Peak Limiter The LM-Correct offers automatic, faster-than-real-time loudness analysis and correction while the MultiMonitor offers up to 16 individual loudness and true-peak meters in mono, stereo, and 5.1 formats for up to 96 individual audio channels. LMB is an off-line, file-based loudness analysis and correction program designed for rapid assessment and correction of files for loudness and true-peak content to ITU-R BS. 1770- and EBU R128-based specifications. For more information, contact Music Marketing: 416-789-7100, FAX 416-789-1667, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.musicmarketing.ca. 46 Professional Sound
Sonifex RB-DDA6A3 Digital Distribution Amplifier
Sonifex has added to its Redbox range with the introduction of the RB-DDA6A3 digital distribution amplifier. It is used for distributing AES3id digital audio, repeating both the audio data and the status information of the input whilst re-normalising to standard digital audio levels. The RB-DDA6A3 has a single BNC AES3id audio input that is distributed to six BNC AES3id audio outputs. Applications include distributing audio from a BluRay player to recorders or feeding multiple studios with an output from a master clock. It can accept input sample rates in the range of 30 kHz-100 kHz, and bit rates of 16, 20, and 24 bit. For more information, contact Sonotechnique: 514-332-6868, FAX 514-332-5537, email@example.com, www.sonotechnique.ca.
Meyer Sound HMS-15 Cinema Surround Loudspeaker Meyer Sound has introduced the self-powered HMS-15 cinema surround loudspeaker. The HMS-15 is designed for high-power, longer throw applications in cinema exhibition auditoriums as well as in post-production and screening rooms. While it offers performance in 5.1 and 7.1 formats, the HMS-15 is ideally suited for immersive formats such as Dolby Atmos and Barco Auro. Inside the cabinet, the HMS-15 houses a 15-in. long-excursion LF driver; a 3-in. diaphragm HF compression driver coupled to a consistent 80 degree H x 50 degree V horn; and two-channel amplification with active crossover, driver protection, and correction for phase and frequency response. It has a resultant frequency range of 50 Hz-18 kHz and a maximum peak SPL of 133dB (@ 1 m) with very low distortion. The HMS-15 can be mounted on walls or ceilings at fixed or adjustable angles with the optional wall-mount brackets or U-bracket. For more information, contact Meyer Sound Laboratories: 855-641-3288, FAX 510-486-8356, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.meyersound.com.
Professional Sound 47
Positive Grid Final Touch iPad Mastering System
Positive Grid has released the Final Touch mastering system for iPad. Final Touch combines seven mastering tools into one integrated system. The pre- and post-linear phase EQ modules consist of eight independent bands, each providing a choice of five types of parametric filters: hi-pass, low-shelf, peak, hi-shelf, and low-pass. The Dynamics module offers a flexible stereo/ mid-side multiband compressor/limiter. The Stereo Imaging module adjusts the width of a mix, corrects L/R channel imbalances, and checks mono compatibility. The Reverb module offers room, hall, and plate algorithms to sweeten overly dry mixes, providing continuously variable controls for independently adjusting pre-delay, decay time, early reflections, and room size. The Maximizer module limits peaks and raises the average level of the mix, thereby increasing perceived loudness. Comprehensive dither and noise-shaping options are also provided in this module. Final Touch is designed for iOS7 and requires an iPad 2 or newer to operate. For more information, go to www.positivegrid.com.
Radial JR2-DT Desktop Remote Switch
Radial Engineering is now shipping the JR2-DT, which is a dual function control switch that enables the user to A/B toggle devices from a desktop position or remotely mute the system. The compact JR2-DT features a choice of XLR and 1/4-in. remote outputs to suit various set-ups. There are two switches on the top panel: one switch is labelled A or B, the other mute. Each switch is a latching type that stays engaged until it is depressed a second time. Onboard LEDs illuminate to indicate the status. These derive their power from the Radial device that is connected, eliminating the need for batteries or local power supply. Construction is 16 gauge steel with powder coated finish. Like all Radial products, the JR2-DT is made in Canada. For more information, contact Radial Engineering: 604-942-1001, FAX 604-942-1010, email@example.com, www.radialeng.com.
Shure SM35 Performance Headset Microphone
Shure Incorporated has extended its line of SM microphones with the introduction of the SM35 Performance Headset Condenser Microphone for live sound applications. The SM35 has a tight, unidirectional cardioid polar pattern designed to provide rejection of off-axis sound sources to prevent feedback and signal bleed onstage. Locking snap-fit windscreens tame plosives, breath, and wind noise. The SM35 is available in standard TA4F (TQG) connectivity and is compatible with any Shure wireless bodypack. Also available is the SM35-XLR, which includes an inline RPM626 preamp for use in standard wired (XLR) applications. For more information, contact SF Marketing: 514-780-2070, FAX 514-780-2111, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sfm.ca.
48 Professional Sound
Rode Stereo Bar Microphone Mount
Rode Microphones is now shipping its new Stereo Bar for precision microphone mounting in stereo arrays. Spacing between the microphones is indicated on both sides at 10 cm, 15 cm, and 20 cm, as well as 17 cm distance for ORTF stereo technique. In the middle of the Stereo Bar is an angle indicator displaying 90 degrees for X-Y stereo arrays and 110 degrees for ORTF placement. Constructed from PC-ABS plastic, the bar can support the weight of two large diaphragm microphones at a capsule distance of up to 20 cm. Microphones are mounted via two removable 3/8-in. threads that slide along the bar, with spacers mounted below the bar that can be relocated to the top of the bar to configure stacked microphone pairs. When combined with Rodeâ€™s Pivot Adaptor accessory, the Stereo Bar can be tilted through 210 degrees. For more information, contact Audio Distributors International: 450-449-8177, FAX 450-449-8180, email@example.com, www.adi-online.net.
Professional Sound 49
Digigram LX- IP RAVENNA PCIe Sound Card Digigram has released the LX-IP RAVENNA PCIe sound card, which
is the company’s first RAVENNA/AES67-enabled product. Designed for ultra-low latency down to one audio sample per IP packet, up to 256 RAVENNA I/O channels from multiple RAVENNA streams, and a full MADI interface, the new card is suitable for high-density audio production or automation applications in radio and TV broadcast studios. The LX-IP sound card is designed to make it easy for users to record and play as many as 128/128 audio-over-IP RAVENNA channels simultaneously in and out of a desktop computer. It features ultra-low round-trip latency down to three milliseconds, interoperability with all AES67 requirements, an embedded 128 x 128 switching matrix, Grandmaster PTP clock abilities, and high redundancy assured by two gigabit Ethernet connections. As an option, an optical MADI interface may be directly connected to the embedded switching matrix to provide 64/64 inputs/outputs. For more information, contact Point Source Audio: 415-226-1122, FAX 415-520-2110, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.point-sourceaudio.com.
Grund GP Series Loudspeakers
Grund Audio Design has introduced the GP Series loudspeakers. With four models – the GP-08, GP-10, GP-12, and GP-15 – the GP loudspeakers are all two-way systems featuring a 1-in. compression driver mated with an 8-, 10-, 12-, or 15-in. weather treated low frequency transducer. Featuring reinforced, ribbed, two-piece moulded low flex enclosures, the new GP loudspeakers are designed to provide dynamic performance with good speech intelligibility and natural music reproduction characteristics. The loudspeakers are all self-powered and incorporate power amplifiers that range from 200-700 W. The GP loudspeakers feature XLR microphone, CD player, and line XLR inputs. The loudspeakers also feature individual volume controls for each input as well as master tone controls for output. For larger events, the GP loudspeakers feature isolated outputs for connecting multiple enclosures. For more information, contact Grundorf Corp.: 712-322-3900, FAX 712-322-3407, email@example.com, www.grundorf.com.
Pure Groove J1 High-Power Loudspeaker
Pure Groove Systems by Danley Sound Labs has released the J1 (Jericho Horn) highpower loudspeaker. One cabinet is designed to produce quality audio beyond 1,000 ft. from a true full range point source. The J1 houses six 18-in. drivers, six 6-in. mid-range drivers, and three 1.4-in. coaxial high frequency drivers. In total, it is 15 drivers working together to provide more than 145dB SPL. The J1 has a coverage pattern of 90 degrees H x 40 degrees V, an operating frequency range of 47 Hz-18 kHz +/-3dB, and a frequency range of 37 Hz-24 kHz -10dB. The J1 measures 60 x 45 x 28 in. and weighs 720 lbs. For more information, contact Danley Sound Labs: 770-535-0204, FAX 678-928-4010, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.danleysoundlabs.com. 50 Professional Sound
Yamaha QL Series Consoles
Yamaha QL 5
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems has launched the QL Series of consoles, which incorporates features from the CL Series, such as all-in-one mixing, processing, and routing capability for small- to medium-scale live tour sound, house of worship, corporate A/V, and speech applications. The QL Series includes the QL 5 (32+2 fader configuration) and QL 1 (16+2 fader configuration). The QL Series consoles feature built-in internal processors such as Yamaha VCM technology and the Portico 5033/5043 created in cooperation with Rupert Neve Designs. For a range of speech applications, built-in Dan Dugan Sound Design automatic mixing provides channel balance. QL features include port-to-port routing via built-in R Series input/outputs that can patch any input port to any output port so the QL console can function as a remote I/O device for any other QL or CL, touch and turn knob operation, and direct file compatibility between the QL and CL Series digital consoles (no need for Console File Converter to exchange files). QL consoles feature large touch-panel display and the same onboard Dante audio networking protocol that provides broad connectivity in CL consoles. For more information, contact Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems: 714-522-9011, FAX 714-522-9334, www.yamahaca.com.
Professional Sound 51
RF Venue Optix RF-To-Fibre Optic Conversion System
Wireless audio manufacturer RF Venue has released the RF Optix RF-to-fibre optic conversion system. The RF Optix system leverages the low cost, lossless characteristics of fibre optic cable over the characteristics of coaxial cables. The RF Optix system is offered as a single channel for connecting to one antenna or in a dual channel package for diversity antenna systems. The Install Package includes wall or rack mountable flanges and the Live Package includes a hard-shell carrying case. Both options include 10-ft. BNC to SMA adapter cables for connecting to antennas and wireless rack equipment. 9 V screw-on power supplies are also provided. Available accessories include 100 m single mode plenum fibre cables and 100 m indoor/outdoor reinforced fibre cables. For more information, contact RF Venue: 617-500-9096, FAX 617-752-1942, www.rfvenue.com.
Cerwin-Vega P1000X Powered Loudspeaker
Cerwin-Vega has unveiled its P1000X 10-in. powered loudspeaker, the latest addition to its P-Series Line. The P1000X is a more compact version of the original P1500X Loudspeaker. Featuring many of the same controls as its predecessor, the P1000X is a two-way, biamped, full-range bass-reflex speaker that employs a 10-in. woofer and high-frequency compression driver. Powered by a custom 1,000 W Class-D amp, the P1000X has a proprietary hemi-conical horn that provides enhanced sound clarity over an even and wide coverage area. A built-in mixer with multiple channels and I/O connections allows for simple setup, while enhanced EQ, Vega Bass boost, and high-pass filter controls enable exact tuning. The P1000X can be used as a single speaker for a small venue, set in pairs for a larger venue, or side mounted as a floor monitor. Its lightweight polymer enclosure includes a self-tightening pole cup, as well as ergonomic handles. Also included are built-in rigging points and a remote volume port. For more information, contact Erikson Audio: 514-457-2555, FAX 514-457-0055, info@ eriksonaudio.com, www.eriksonaudio.com. 52 Professional Sound
ADVERTISERS' INDEX JUNE 2014 PG. ADVERTISER 61
ALLEN & HEATH (ERIKSON PRO)
BLUE MICROPHONES (HHB CANADA)
FONICA (VELLONE COMMUNICATION)
KV2 AUDIO CANADA LTD.
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NWC MARKETING SERVICES
PRO AV GOLF THANK YOU
QUEST (ERIKSON COMMERCIAL)
QSC (SF MARKETING)
ROLAND SYSTEMS GROUP
SHURE PSM 1000 (SF MARKETING)
SHURE ULXD (SF MARKETING)
YAMAHA â€“ CL & QL SERIES
To view the digital version of Professional Sound, please go to www.professional-sound.com/online. Professional Sound 53
Sound Devices 970 Multi-Track Audio Recorder
Sound Devices has introduced the 970, its first dedicated audio-only rack-mounted solution. The 970 records 64 channels of monophonic or polyphonic 24-bit WAV files from any of its 144 available inputs. Inputs available include 64 channels of Ethernet-based Dante, 64 channels of optical or coaxial MADI, eight channels of line-level analog, and eight channels of AES digital. Any input can be assigned to any track. In addition, 32-track recording at 96 kHz is supported. The 970 records to any of four attached drives, which include two front-panel drive bays and two rear-panel e-SATA connected drives. Material can be recorded to multiple drives simultaneously or sequentially. With its built-in Ambient Recording Lockit time-code technology, the 970 can operate as a master clock. It can also slave or be jammed to any other time-code source. All common production time-code rates and modes are supported. The 970 also supports word clock synchronization from external word clock, video sync, MADI, or AES. For more information, contact Sound Devices: 608-524-0625, FAX 608-524-0655, email@example.com, www.sounddevices.com.
TOA RS-442 IP Intercom Switch Board TOA has released the RS-442 IP Inter-
com Switch Board, which is designed to be used with the N-8400RS four-wire substation interface unit via a Cat-5/6e (UTP) cable. It has four wires (two pairs of UTP cable) or Cat-5/6e. The connections include three switch connections, one speaker connection, and microphone open collector connection. Desired switch panels can be made to meet intended purposes by combining the RS-142 with the separately prepared operation panel having three switches to be used as call buttons. It can also be used in connection with the RS-481 optional handset. For more information, contact TOA Canada Corp.: 800-263-7639, sales@ toacanada.com, www.toacanada.com. 54 Professional Sound
Recording Healey Willan’s “The Reproaches” By Frank Lockwood The recordings described here were done at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Toronto from January to May, 2009. This article is based on a presentation given by Frank Lockwood to the AES Toronto chapter in January 2014.
Recording The Music
or the main choir pickup, I chose a pair of Neumann KM 140 microphones. Specifically for the pickup of the room sound, I chose the Pearl TL4 two-channel microphone. Its unique construction features two separate microphones mounted back-to-back, facing 180 degrees apart from each other. This microphone is extremely well suited for capturing room sound, when the capsules are oriented so that they face the side walls. Pickup of the performers here is de-emphasized, leaving that job for the main microphone array. The main pair was just behind the conductor’s position, and the choir was on the floor and the first step just by the communion rail.
In this flow chart, it all starts with the choir singing in the church sanctuary, shown bottom right. Their direct sound is picked up by the KM 140s and the reverberant sound is captured by the TL4. The microphone signals are amplified with the Millennia HV3D, digitized with the RME Fireface 800, and recorded by Pyramix in a series of takes. “The Reproaches” is written for two choirs of different sizes, which alternate line by line. Because of this, the piece was never performed in its entirety, as the intention all along was to assemble it during the post-production phase. In all, 50 takes were made, with the choir and microphones in the same positions. A great deal of care was taken with the tuning, so that edits could be performed without having to worry about sudden pitch shifts. Up to this point, this project conformed closely to the traditionally minimalist approach 56 Professional Sound
to classical music recording. Once the choir and the microphones were placed correctly and levels set, the sessions progressed through a series of takes, from which the best possible performances were selected to assemble the final presentation.
Dealing With Noise
In traditional classical music recording sessions, in order to reduce the intrusions from automobile and air traffic, heating and air handling, recording was done late at night with the heating turned off. As you might imagine, recording a choir shivering in their winter coats at 4 a.m. might not be the ideal way to capture the best performance, so we recorded in the evenings, and while we turned the thermostat down, we didn’t turn off the heat completely. As a result, the recordings contained noises from inside and outside of the building. St. Mary Magdalene is on a three-way stop intersection, so vehicles are forever slowing down, revving, and then moving off again. By turning the heat down, the building started to settle and shift, resulting in several creaks and thumps that occurred at random intervals. Even with the fans turned off, the heating system still made a persistent whir the whole time. I used iZotope RX to reduce or remove these noises entirely. The Spectral Repair tool is designed to address individual noises of short duration, and the Noise Reduction module reduces constant, long duration noise, such as fans or heating. The iZotope display shows a Spectrogram, where time is displayed left to right, and sound frequencies from low to high, from bottom to top. Louder sounds appear bright orange and quieter sounds are dark blue to black.
Once the operation is completed, you can see that the thump is removed, while the prevailing room ambience is left undisturbed.
Removing continuous noise, like that from the heating system, requires a different tool. Here, an isolated instance of the background noise is highlighted so that the Denoiser Tool can analyze its frequency contour, shown as the blue line in the small window in the middle of the display. The program goes through the whole file, reducing anything that is quieter than that line, but leaving anything louder untouched like the choir. The result is a choir performance in a much quieter church, allowing the listener to focus attention on the music more easily. I liken it to looking through a window before and after it has been washed.
Part 1 of this article appeared in the April 2014 issue of PS. Part 3, which will run in the August 2014 issue, will look at editing and processing the mix.
This first picture shows a short section where the gap between the end of one phrase and the beginning of the next is marred by a thump from somewhere in the building. You can see the vertical line near the middle of the display, followed by the trail of the reverberation.
An expanded version of this article, with audio examples and more pictures, can be found online at www.LockwoodARS.com/production. Frank Lockwood is the owner/operator of Lockwood ARS. Based in Toronto, he specializes in classical and acoustic music recording, editing, mixing, restoration, and mastering.
Industry Events & Shows
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2014 BICSI Fall Conference & Exhibition Anaheim, CA September 28-October 2, 2014 813-979-1991 www.bicsi.org AES 137th Convention Los Angeles, CA October 9-12, 2014 212-661-8528, FAX 212-682-0477 www.aes.org InfoComm Middle East & Africa Dubai, U.A.E. October 12-16, 2014 703-273-7200 www.infocomm-mea.com SMPTE Technical Conference & Exhibition 2014 Hollywood, CA October 20-23, 2014 914-761-1100, FAX 914-761-3115 www.smpte.org Rocky Mountain Audio Video Expo Denver, CO October 29-30, 2014 303-771-2000 email@example.com, www.avxpo.biz Integrated Systems Russia 2014 Moscow, Russia October 29-31, 2014 Tel.: +49-89-638-7929-0, FAX +49-89-638-7929-29 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.isrussia.ru
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EMPLOYMENT Sales Engineer - Roland Systems Group Mississauga, ON Job Description Join Roland Systems Group Canada and share your enthusiasm for innovative A/V products and systems in live performance, broadcast, and post production applications. Providing demonstrations, presentations, support, and training to customers and prospects, the successful candidate will also travel nationally and bring special focus to assigned territories, categories or applications. Through relevant product and application knowledge, this position will help develop sales of Roland professional audio and video products to designated Market Category(s). Typically with a national focus, the Sales Engineer will, through his/her own direct-tocustomer sales and support efforts, be effective in working with a variety of channel partners to increase both sales and market awareness of relevant Roland products. Desired Skills and Experience Candidates will have 5 years experience with A/V systems and services or equivalent. Related qualifications and experience in A/V retail, rental, systems design or support are highly valued. Assets could include bi-lingual (French or Spanish), technical knowledge, or sales and presentation skills. About this company: www.rolandsystemsgroup.ca Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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). 60 Professional Sound
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: email@example.com. Western Sales Representative Techni+Contact is looking for a dynamic and self-motivated individual interested in making an impact within a young and fast growing division.
The sales representative will be responsible for maintaining and developing new accounts, with a focus on promoting our commercial audio lines: Aviom, Beyerdynamic, Cambridge Sound Management, Peavey (Crest Audio, Architectural Acoustics, Media Matrix) in the British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba markets.
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Mexico City’s American School Foundation, a university preparatory school, recently built the Ángeles Espinosa Yglesias Fine Arts Center, which includes a 650-seat theatre that features box seats and a balcony. For the project, Showco SA de CV opted for an Adamson Metrix line array system. The left-right line array system consists of two Metrix-i Subs on the top, followed by eight Metrix-i and four Metrix-i W boxes for downfill. An additional four Metrix-i Ws were hung separately for front fill. The system is powered by Powersoft K3 DSP+AESOP amplifiers, rack-mounted and located on the bridge sound structure. At FOH, located in the balcony, is a Yamaha LS9 console. Audio Technica 5000 Series wireless microphone systems round out the audio package.
BC Place in Vancouver for the Heritage Classic between the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks. This year, for the first time, the NHL staged six regular season games in outdoor stadiums in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Vancouver, and Ann Arbor, MI. Tasked with mixing the live musical entertainment at the games for broadcast, Ron Reaves called on production provider Clair Nashville to supply a DiGiCo SD10 digital audio mixing console with two SD-Racks. Reaves mixed the music and fed it to NBC’s broadcast production engineer, who added it into the audio mix, and reports that the DiGiCo system’s Optocore fibre optic transport capabilities were critical to its successful operation at the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor. “As it turned out, it was the right choice, because I was 2,000 ft. from the stage,” says Reaves, noting that alternative brand consoles that utilize Ethernet over Cat-5 cable are capable of transmitting digital audio over distance of only 330 ft. or less.
George Olson, FOH engineer for George Strait Known as the “King of Country” and called a living legend by many, country music artist and producer George Strait is in the midst of his two-year The Cowboy Rides Away tour, which effectively marks his farewell to active touring. Capturing the live instruments on the trek are ribbon microphones from Royer Labs. Onstage Systems’ George Olson serves as the lead audio technician and FOH engineer for George Strait. “My first experience with the Royer mics occurred mid-way through our tour this year,” Olson explains. “I purchased a pair of R-101s, three R-121s, and a pair of R-122 microphones. I first used the mics for a concert at Houston’s Reliant Stadium in front of an audience of 80,000 people. They worked beautifully and from that point forward, I never looked back.” Olson used the Royer R-121 mono ribbon microphones on the guitar cabinets and a pair of Royer R-101 mono ribbon microphones to mic the pedal steel guitar player’s cabinet. He opted for a pair of R-122 active ribbon microphones for drum overheads. 62 Professional Sound
With only 426 seats, the Theatre du Rideau Vert is small, but it is a cornerstone of the cultural landscape in Montreal. Open since 1949, it is the oldest permanent French speaking theatre in Canada. Theatre du Rideau Vert turned to Mathieu Guilbault of Trizart Alliance to design its new audio system. “The idea was to have sound coming from everywhere, like a home theatre system in a real theatre space, while still being easy to use. Many audio companies have defined, and limited, rigging options. We needed custom brackets and flexibility when hanging loudspeakers, so d&b audiotechnik was a great choice for this design.” The new sound system draws from the White range xS-Series, which d&b offers for permanent installations. Though a compact venue, each show demands a number of audio cues, so the space was equipped with a mix of 10S, 10S-D, 12S-D, and 5S loudspeakers. 18S-SUBS, multiple amp channels, separate control systems for balcony and surround speakers, and plenty of rigging hardware completed the custom package.
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