PAG Canada Ltd. 1-866-9 PAG CAN (972-4226) â€˘ E-mail: sales@PAGcanada.com
Contents February 2014
9 Input An Invitation To Creativity By Curtis Craig
10 Signals InfoComm Celebrates 75 Years With New Board & Major IT Sponsor; AVW-TELAV Rebrands As Freeman Audio Visual; HHB Canada Now Distributing Black Lion Audio; Jennifer Carr Joins PAG Canada As Western Rep; En Coulisse Put On Hiatus For 2014 … and more news inside. 18 Profile Dr. Sean Olive Jon Matthews Rahim Nathu
30 COLLÈGE BORÉAL
An Innovative Approach To Campus Facility Design At By Alan Hardiman Collège Boréal in Sudbury, ON, has built a stunning, multi-purpose performance space to train students in stage and production management, as well as backstage techn ologies such as sound and lighting design, video projection, technical direction, art design, and set construction. We’ve got the scoop on how this innovative facility came to be.
34 RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM OF CANADA
53 Advertisers’ Index 56 Sound Advice 58 Itinerary
S T 38 N E M T R A P E D 60 Classifieds
62 Project File
Cover Photo: John Paul Tremblay (Julian), Mike Smith (Bubbles) & Rob Wells (Ricky) of Trailer Park Boys at The Hideout Studios in Halifax by Lenny Mullins, HypePhotographic.com.
On Set & In Studio With The Trailer Park Boys
By Andrew King One of Canada’s most successful media franchises is returning to both the big and small screen in 2014. PS takes you behind the scenes at the park and into post-production with the audio crew and cast for the upcoming third feature film and eighth season of Trailer Park Boys.
22 Product Tests Mackie 1604VLZ4 16-Channel Console KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors Steinberg Cubase 7.5 Digital Audio Workstation 44 Products SSL Matrix2 Console; Ashly nX 400 & 800 W Model Amplifiers; Meyer Sound MJF-210 Stage Monitor; Focusrite Red 1 500 Mic Preamp; IsoAcoustics ISOL8R430 Studio Monitor Stand … and more products inside.
THE BOYS ARE BACK
A Steady Stream Of Multimedia For
By Andrew King Toronto’s brand new Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is comprised of a total of 12,500 sq. m., 5.7 million litres of water, and over 15,000 fresh and saltwater creatures from around the world. Multiple zones of audio and visual elements are employed to enhance the visitor experience by both educating and entertaining guests of all ages.
Improving The Audio Infrastructure at The
VERNON & DISTRICT PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE By Andrew King The Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre prides itself on bringing top-tier productions to one of B.C.’s smaller markets. Recently, the venue revamped its audio infrastructure with both the integration process and final product providing a boost to the local community.
S E R U T A FE
Contents Photo: The multi-purpose performance space at Sudbury, ON’s Collège Boréal courtesy of Century Group Inc. Constructors.
editor ANDREW KING email@example.com assistant editor MICHAEL RAINE firstname.lastname@example.org contributing writers GRAHAM CLARKE, CURTIS CRAIG, MARK DESLOGES, ALAN HARDIMAN, RYAN MCCAMBRIDGE, JOE MULLEN, ERIC PRICE production manager KAREN BASHURA email@example.com art director JULIE FLEMING firstname.lastname@example.org publisher JIM NORRIS email@example.com consumer services director MAUREEN JACK firstname.lastname@example.org business services representative RYAN DAVID email@example.com business manager LIZ BLACK firstname.lastname@example.org computer services coordinator ELIZABETH READING email@example.com marketing services coordinator MELISSA LOSIER firstname.lastname@example.org administration assistant HEATHER DUNCANSON email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, email@example.com.
HEAD OFFICE 4056 Dorchester Rd., #202, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6M9 905-374-8878-3471, FAX 888-665-1307, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nor.com US MAILING ADDRESS 4600 Witmer Industrial Estates, #6, Niagara Falls, NY 14305 6 Professional Sound
An Invitation To By Curtis Craig
y t i v i t a e r C
ll of us that work in professional audio are constantly looking around at which options are available for our various applications, how new innovations will help our workflow, and how different technologies can be combined in new and creative ways. We read and read, explore online, look at demo sites, hear one piece of equipment or another, and yet still wonder what kind of real-world results can be realized. For those who work in theatre and other live sound settings, the opportunities to come together and explore these options while also networking and sharing ideas with our peers, educators, and manufacturers are relatively few. USITT’s Sound Design Commission is creating such an opportunity, and I would like to invite you to join us in Fort Worth, TX for some brisket, a beverage, and a few great days of all things theatre sound related. Theatre sound encompasses a wide variety of sound techniques, from the engineering of multichannel playback systems to the building of soundscapes and the mixing of musicals. The Sound Design & Technology Commission, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic group of USITT members who happen to have an audio addiction, are looking for more professionals to become part of the dialogue – the cornerstone of all information sharing. The goal with this year’s Conference & Stage Expo is to offer more than a typical professional conference, and that goal will be achieved with SoundLab. SoundLab was an idea for a space where audio education could be the focus, instead of individual manufacturers showing off their wares. We are creating an environment where manufacturers would be comfortable putting their equipment side by side in order for everyone to learn and, ultimately, make our industry better. The inaugural SoundLab took place in Long Beach, CA at the USITT Conference in
2012. Considering that conference’s location, we created that SoundLab to focus on the ideas of multichannel audio and entertainment design. We had no idea to what extent the manufacturers would be willing to support the project. When we approached individual companies, we were delighted to find out that they were not only willing, but eager to support our efforts. Following the success of the inaugural SoundLab and the incredible support of the manufacturers and USITT, we continue to evolve the original idea and are happy to present this year’s SoundLab with a focus on live sound. By leveraging the tremendous resources of the arena attached to the Fort Worth Convention Center as the venue for SoundLab, we are planning on a full slate of programming on live sound for the theatre. In addition to a variety of master classes and demonstrations, this edition of SoundLab will bring a unique learning opportunity to attendees: actual live performances. A daily open session with live musicians performing onstage will allow participants to mix front-of-house, adjust monitors, or just sit in on the instruction and guidance given by their professional peers, educators, and manufacturer's representatives.
Each day’s onstage act will offer the opportunity to work on a different aspect of live performance, from musical theatre to rock and roll. Multiple manufacturers will supply equipment, including speaker systems and front-of-house consoles, for SoundLab, and experts will be available during open lab times. When the lab does not have a live musical event, it will be used for classes, workshops, and even offer open times for attendees to informally mix multitrack projects on large-format consoles, learn about the newest ideas in wireless microphones, and ask questions of the experts in the room. Imagine that – manufacturers truly working together to advance the state of education in our industry. For more information about USITT, its Sound Commission, and the Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Fort Worth, TX, visit www.usitt.org/2014. Curtis Craig is USITT’s Commissioner of the Sound Design & Technology Commission. He is an active freelance sound and media designer for theatre, and also heads the sound design program at the Pennsylvania State University. www.curtiscraig.com. Professional Sound 9
InfoComm Celebrates 75 Years With New Board & Major IT Sponsor As members of InfoComm International’s board of directors settle into their new roles and planning for the 2014 InfoComm Show gets into full gear, the organization’s executive and members are also celebrating its 75th anniversary. Established in 1939, InfoComm has grown from a small room of educational technologists into a 5,000-member-strong association that includes manufacturers, systems integrators, dealers and distributors, independent consultants, programmers, rental and staging companies, end users, and multimedia professionals from more than 80 countries. Leading InfoComm into this milestone year is Board of Directors President Johanne Bélanger, who is also president of Canadian firm Freeman Audio Visual (formerly AVWTELAV Audio Visual Solutions). Bélanger, along with the rest of the 2014 InfoComm board of directors, assumed her new role on Jan. 1. Bélanger, who has previously served as InfoComm’s secretary treasurer and president-elect, comments, “The past five years leading up to this commencement have given me the opportunity to gain much deeper insight into the composition and concerns of InfoComm International’s multifaceted global membership, while leading efforts to standardize practices as a representative of the rental and staging industry segment. I am honoured to step into the role of president and, with the support of my fellow board members, continue to enhance the quality and capacity of the association’s educational offerings, resources, and events.” As well, InfoComm has also announced that for the first time, Microsoft will be a platinum sponsor and occupy a significant exhibit at the 2014 InfoComm Show in Las Vegas, NV from June 18-20. For more show information as it becomes available, go to www.infocommshow.org. For more association information, contact InfoComm International: 703-273-7200, www.infocomm.org.
In Memory Of Steve Villeneuve (1951-2014)
Professional Sound regrets to report on the passing of Steve Villeneuve, a veteran of the pro audio industry who most recently served as the National Sales Manager for Audio Distributors International (ADI)’s pro division. Steve died of natural causes in early January. “All who knew Steve loved him and cherished him as a charismatic industry treasure appreciated for his work ethic, his enthusiasm, and his congenial personality,” comments ADI President Richard Lasnier about his colleague and close friend. “We who knew him closely loved him as a friend and mentor. We will miss him dearly.” As per Steve’s request, there was no wake or funeral service. We at Professional Sound extend sympathies to Steve’s family, friends, and peers in the industry.
10 Professional Sound
HHB Canada Now Distributing Black Lion Audio
HHB Communications Canada is now the exclusive Canadian distributor for Chicago, IL-based Black Lion Audio. “At Black Lion Audio, there is a consensus that having the right partners to sell your products is every bit as important as having the right products to sell,” says Neil Ziesing, head of worldwide sales at Black Lion. “It was obvious (L-R) Black Lion Audio’s JD Herrin, HHB Canada rep Pierre Beaupre, Black Lion’s Neil Ziesing & HHB Canada that HHB was the perfect distribution President Dave Dysart partner for us in Canada.” HHB Canada President Dave Dysart adds, “When my friend, Neil Ziesing, approached me with the offer to distribute Black Lion in Canada, I jumped at the opportunity. Classic designs, American manufacturing, and great value. We look forward to introducing Black Lion Audio to our extensive base of Canadian dealers.” For more information, contact HHB Communications Canada: 416-867-9000, email@example.com, www.hhbcanada.com.
Professional Sound 11
Photo: Jochen Günther
2014 Prolight + Sound Gearing Up For March Run The 2014 Prolight + Sound show in Frankfurt, Germany is taking place March 12-15, a month earlier than usual. The information and training events at Prolight + Sound 2014 will once again be held under the name Prolight + Sound Conference. This is subdivided into three main sections: event technology, media systems, and VDT Academy. The VDT Academy is an information event organized by the Association of German Sound Engineers. The Concert Sound Arena and the Live Sound Arena will showcase large-scale stage constructions and small- and large-scale PA systems operating in realistic conditions. Another expanding area is the presentations by manufacturers of large portable display systems, mobile stages, and tent systems, who can also be found on the outdoor exhibition area. For more information as it becomes available, go to www.prolight-sound.com.
IP audio and control specialist Barix has promoted its long-time head of technical sales, Domenico Gambino, to VP of sales. Gambino will report directly to Barix CEO Ronni Guggenheim. Gambino’s appointment will affect how Barix communicates with its customer base by merging channel sales, technical sales, and technical support into one organization. Gambino tells PS, “The IP transition across many markets, audio and otherwise, is maturing globally, and Canada is no exception. Barix is moving up the value chain in providing more comprehensive solutions to these verticals, covering a larger part of the ecosystem, thus allowing our channel partners across the provinces and territories of Canada to cover the market requirements in a more comprehensive and integrated manner.” For more information, contact Barix: 866-815-0866, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.barix.com.
En Coulisse Put On Hiatus For 2014
enico gam bino
12 Professional Sound
PAG Canada has announced that industry veteran Jennifer Carr has joined its sales team in Western Canada. PAG Canada President and Founding Partner Mark Kulas says, “We represent very high profile brands and the level of trust we get from our manufacturers has to translate back on the dealer base. PAG is their Canadian sales force and being able to add Jennifer Carr gives a degree of confidence to manufacturers and dealers alike.” “I am truly looking forward to joining PAG and establishing new successes in the years ahead with these excellent products,” states Carr. “With PAG, I now have the opportunity to fully service the entire customer base in Western Canada.” Carr can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 780-424-8711. For more information, contact PAG Canada: 866-972-4226, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.pagcanada.com.
Jennifer Carr Joins PAG Canada As Western Rep
PAG Canada Western Sales Rep Jennifer Carr
Barix Promotes Gambino To VP Of Sales
Solotech has confirmed that there will not be an En Coulisse exposition in 2014. Following the shareholder shakeup in October, which saw founder and co-president Denis Lefrançois leave the company, Solotech is considering the future viability of En Coulisse, which was held annually in Montreal each spring. Solotech Head of Corporate Development, Ron Morissette, tells PS, “En Coulisse is a major undertaking and is very successful as a way to demonstrate the full scale of Solotech’s sales and integration services, but its size, with more than 80 exhibitors, makes it difficult to bring that experience to our clients outside of Quebec. Our team is looking at the most creative and dynamic options to continue the success of En Coulisse but in a way that better reflects the coast-to-coast presence of Solotech and the full range of both its rental and sales products and services.” For more information, contact Solotech: 877-514-7656, www.solotech.com.
a l e s Co ry S c
o g i e s Co - F o u n d e r
DataVisual Marketing Distributing Listen Technologies In Eastern Canada
Listen Technologies Corporation has announced that DataVisual Marketing will now be the company’s distributor for Eastern Canada, which includes Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces. DataVisual Marketing will be offering Listen’s RF, IR, Hearing Loop, and ListenPoint product lines for assistive listening, soundfield, tour group, and language interpretation applications. Cory Schaeffer, Listen Technologies’ co-founder and VP of worldwide sales, comments, “[DataVisual] pride themselves on being true partners with their dealers by delivering the best solution and recognizing new opportunities. We look forward to Listen solutions being a part of their success.” For more information, contact DataVisual Marketing: 613-741-9898, FAX 613-741-3747, email@example.com, www.datavisual.ca.
Pivitec Appoints John Garbutt as National Sales Manager
Pivitec has appointed John Garbutt to the newly created position of national sales manager. Garbutt will be responsible for managing and expanding Pivitec’s network of dealers and sales reps in the U.S. and Canada. He joins Pivitec with over 20 years of industry experience at companies including Rane, Community Professional Loudspeakers, and Inter-M Americas and will be based in Seattle. On his new role with Pivitec, Garbutt tells PS, “Pivitec is a new company with leading edge technology, but because of [Pivitec co-founders] Tom Knesel and Dan Garretts’s previous history in the market, they collectively have decades’ worth of experience taking that product to the marketplace. Better than anybody else in this new field, they understand how to support the market that this product addresses. Pivitec is going to spend a lot of time in Canada, as they already have, attending trade shows and doing seminars.” Garbutt can be reached at jgarbutt@ pivitec.com. For more information, reach Contact Distribution at: 416-287-1144, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.contactdistribution.com. Professional Sound 13
Sound Lab Expanding For 2014 USITT Conference
The USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo will be returning with its usual blend of education, networking, and resourcing of products and services. This year it will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, TX with the conference happening March 26-29 and the stage expo from the 27th to 29th. This year’s conference will include Sound Lab, which is a full-immersion education experience where sound designers in the theatre and entertainment industries learn hands-on techniques and technical information about the latest innovations in audio for live performance. For 2014, Sound Lab will expand and focus on sound reinforcement and concert sound. The convention centre arena will have a full-scale stage equipped with a full concert sound and lighting system. As well, a series of manufacturer-driven mini-clinics covering very specific topics is planned using the lab system. For more information, contact USITT: 315-463-6463, email@example.com, www.usitt.org.
Nimbus Launches 2014 Mix Contest test, Canadian
bus Mix Con As part of the second annual Nim are invited to create their 9, 13-1 aged , ents stud ol high scho The Tragically Hip, Kate from ks trac ct own mix (or remix) of sele chance to win a scholarship Morgan, and Kardinal Offishall for a g Arts in Vancouver. Sturdin Reco of to attend Nimbus School raw tracks on April 1, 2014,, dents will be able to download the aded for public voting. uplo be to es and create their own mix itted by May 1, 2014,, with The resulting mixes must be subm June 1. re befo or on in Buerge. the winners announced rdson & 2013 contest winner Aust receive a $25,000 scholwill mix ning Nimbus Co-Founder Garth Richa win the of tor The crea ip larsh e is a $10,000 scho arship to attend Nimbus. Second priz A popular vote prize of ip. larsh scho 00 $5,0 a is e priz s. and third to the mix receiving the most vote rded awa is bus a $5,000 scholarship to Nim ording.com. srec mbu w.ni ww to go ils, deta n For more information and submissio
NAB Purchases CCW & SATCON
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has purchased the assets of the Content and Communications World (CCW) and Satellite Communications Conference and Expo (SATCON) events from trade show organizer JD Events. The two events will now complement NAB’s existing trade shows and events, including the NAB Show, held every April in Las Vegas. CCW is a media, entertainment, and communications technology event held in New York with a focus on content creation, management, and delivery technologies. SATCON offers education and exhibits serving companies in the satellite-enabled communications and content delivery industry. For more information, contact the NAB: 202-4295300, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nab.org. 14 Professional Sound
Freeman Audio Visual & InfoComm President Johanne Bélanger.
AVW-TELAV Rebrands As Freeman Audio Visual
AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions, Freeman’s audio visual business in Canada, has announced it will change its brand name to Freeman Audio Visual, explaining in a statement that the change “better represents alignment with Freeman’s entire audio visual offering.” “We are very excited about the opportunities to align our brands and reinforce to our customers the significant resources we can bring to our customers in Canada,” says Johanne Bélanger, president of Freeman Audio Visual in Canada. According to the company, existing clients will see no change in their working relationships with their AVWTELAV account teams. The audio visual operating entities will remain intact, with Ken Sanders leading the Freeman Audio Visual business units worldwide and Johanne Belanger continuing to lead the Canadian audio visual division under Sanders’ direction. In other company news, Freeman Audio Visual, under the previous AVWTELAV name, was selected by Vancouver and surrounding area residents as the 2014 Consumer Choice Award (CCA) winner in the Audio Visual Services category. For more information, contact Freeman Audio Visual: 800-868-6886, email@example.com, www.freemanav-ca.com.
Renowned sound engineer and mixer Michael Banton-Jones passed peacefully in his home on Jan. 15, 2014, after a long battle with cancer. Michael began his career working at Decca Records in London, England, before moving to Canada in the 1970s. He was instrumental in establishing many of Toronto’s leading recording studios of the day and, over the years, worked on 34 gold or platinum records, some Gemini-winning films, and won the 1981 JUNO for Recording Engineer of the Year. He also taught many engineers, producers, and musicians about the ins and outs of studio work. At the time of his passing, he was VP of operations at Wanted Sound & Picture in Toronto, where he was still very active as an engineer and mixer. Composer Jonathan Goldsmith recalls: “Michael Banton-Jones was an extraordinary man. It’s not too much to say that he significantly informed the musical heart of this city, when you think of all … who came under his aegis and tutelage. I owe him inestimably, and I’ll always miss him.” To this, Karen Murphy, studio manager at Wanted Sound & Picture, adds: “Mike Jones was a total professional. He had a deep respect for the industry and fiercely loved what he did and he never let the artists and clients down. I don’t know of any engineer that could teach and mentor as he did. Jonesy, you will be greatly missed.” From all of us at PS, our deepest sympathies go out to all of Michael’s family, friends, colleagues, and students.
Photo: Ryan Whyte
In Memory Of Michael Banton-Jones
Professional Sound 15
Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM
Strong Pro Audio Presence At NAMM 2014
The international musical products industry convened once again at the Anaheim Convention Center from Jan. 23-26, 2014, for the 2014 edition of the NAMM Show, which featured a strong and continually growing contingent of pro audio exhibitors from the live sound and recording sectors. The show featured wares from 1,533 exhibiting companies and while final attendance wasn’t available as of press time, 96,129 people had registered for the show. The 2015 NAMM Show will take place in Anaheim from Jan. 22-25. For more information, contact NAMM: 800-767-6266, www.namm.org.
Canadians Among Finalists For Shure Scholastic Recording Competition
Two Canadian universities are among the 10 selected by Shure to participate in the final round of its annual Fantastic Scholastic Recording Competition. The two participating Canadian teams are from MacEwan University in Edmonton and the University of Lethbridge. Now in its 10th year, the Shure contest gives students in the U.S. and Canada access to professional-quality Shure recording equipment. Student teams will have three months to track and mix an original piece of music using a microphone locker provided by Shure and compete for a prize package valued at more than $11,000. For more information, contact Shure Canada: 514-780-2070, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.shurecanada.com. The 2013 Shure Fantastic Scholastic Recording Competition winning team from Purchase College.
SC Media Announces Several New Appointments
After a year of significant growth and a rebranding in 2013, SC Media Canada has announced changes to roles and positions in the organizational structure. Rahim Nathu will serve as Market Development Manager, with the mandate to develop the company’s video and lighting brands. Newly appointed as Operations Manager, Howard Dellar has been entrusted with the daily operations of the company, responsible for improving the company’s processes and managing the integration of various departments relating to customer service. The newest addition to the team is Terry McConaghy, SC Media’s sales rep for Western Canada. Finally, Silvy Imondi, who already has a very strong knowledge of the innerworkings of the organization, has been promoted to the position of Executive Assistant, where she will work directly with the president and executive VP. For more information, contact SC Media Canada: 514-780-0808, FAX 514-7801604, email@example.com, www.scmediacanada.com. A. SC Media Market Development Manager Rahim Nathu B. SC Media Executive Assistant Silvy Imondi C. SC Media Western Sales Rep Terry McConaghy D. SC Media Operations Manager Howard Dellar 16 Professional Sound
PS 2014 Industry Forecast Survey PS surveyed audio professionals across Canada to gauge the trends they anticipate for their markets in 2014. Here are the results… Looking back on 2013, was your business: Much more profitable compared to 2012 Slightly more profitable compared to 2012 Equally as profitable compared to 2012 Slightly less profitable compared to 2012 Much less profitable compared to 2012
19.05% 26.19% 26.19% 16.67% 11.90%
TOA’s 1957 catalog.
Looking ahead to 2014, do you expect this year to be: Much more profitable compared to 2013 Slightly more profitable compared to 2013 Equally as profitable compared to 2013 Slightly less profitable compared to 2013 Much less profitable compared to 2013 Don’t know
11.90% 33.33% 35.71% 9.52% 4.76% 4.76%
Do you expect your company to make any personnel changes in 2014? Yes, we will likely be hiring new staff No, I do not foresee any personnel changes Yes, we will likely be shrinking our staff
19.05% 66.67% 11.90%
Super-large PA system audible distance test in 1962.
52.38% 38.10% 9.52%
TOA Corporation is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2014. The company was founded in Kobe, Japan in 1934 by Tsunetaro Nakatani as TOA Electric Manufacturing Company. That same year, production and sales of horn speakers, microphones, and amplifiers began. Although TOA products have been installed in Canada for almost 40 years, TOA Canada Corporation was formed in 1990 as a sound solutions provider for the Canadian market, specializing in commercial audio, including public address, voice communications, and voice evacuation and emergency paging requirements. Lookin g back on the past 80 years, Rico Lucia, national sales manager for TOA Canada, comments, “This was a small company in Japan that was built into an efficient, state-of-the-art global leader in products ranging from digital amplifiers and speakers, to mixers, wireless microphone systems, and digital processors used in sound reinforcement, to integrated IP intercom and camera systems for security and communications… On behalf of the entire company, I would like to thank our customers, consultants, engineers, and end users for their loyal support.” For more information, contact TOA Canada Corp.: 905-564-3570, www.toacanada.com.
For 2014, are you: Optimistic about the near future in your industry Unsure about the near future in your industry Pessimistic about the near future in your industry
Speaking Out What are your thoughts on what your industry has in store for 2014 when compared to the last several years? “I foresee further development of co-op relationships in the recording industry where content providers and service providers form resourcesharing interdependent communities instead of the traditional one-to-one relationships.” “Further growth of artists self-producing. The home market for recording equipment should be even stronger this coming year.” “More retailers of MI product will be joining web sales to compete. Steady decline in profitability of selling online and over the counter.”
TOA Celebrates 80 Years
Professional Sound 17
Jon Matthews By Andrew King
18 Professional Sound
PHOTO: APRIL CONDON
y tastes are pretty diverse as a listener, and that’s translated nicely to my work in the studio here,” begins recording and live sound engineer, producer, and musician Jon Matthews, speaking to Professional Sound from his property in Emyvale, PE. It’s here that both his family home and recording studio, The Sound Mill, sit nestled in a valley with a beautiful view of the hillside just a short drive west of Charlottetown. It’s a wonder that such a vast amount and large variety of music emerges from this quaintly-styled studio in the middle of Canada’s smallest province, but working on a myriad of projects at any given time has been Matthews’ modus operandi since even before The Sound Mill was erected and he was operating its predecessor, Big Grey Sound Studio, from the main floor of his home in downtown Charlottetown. “Audio has always been in my blood,” Matthews says, reflecting on his roots in audio recording. “I grew up around instruments and sound systems. My dad played in a few rock bands, and I was always kicking around the rehearsal space. Even at five or six, I’d take my little Sony tape recorder in to record them while they jammed.” Over the years, he honed the skills pertaining to his two hobbies – playing music and recording it – while they simultaneously developed into his professional calling. “It felt logical when I started writing my own songs to be recording them myself,” he shares. “So I put a lot of effort into learning the ropes, first with my good old Tascam four-track, then adding more and more gear to the point that I was able to start doing work for friends and bands that I enjoyed.” Following high school, while still playing gigs and recording when he could find the time, Matthews formally entered the audio industry working for a local radio broadcaster. Big Grey Sound Studio started as a bedroom studio before eventually taking over the main floor of his home as the client list grew. Before he knew it, with the swell in recording business and subsequent shift away from broadcasting, Matthews was operating a recording studio full-time. With that realization came another: he needed a designated space to properly cater to his clientele. “I think it’s a very inspiring place to be, even visually,” Matthews says of The Sound Mill, which celebrated its second birthday at the foot of 2014. The studio was purpose-built from the ground up and Matthews took great pride in the effort and engineering that went into its design. “I wanted a space that really fit my workflow,” he shares, “and that really emphasized a whole new experience for clients.” Aside from being remarkably diverse, his client list is also quite accomplished. Matthews has output ECMA-winning projects by the likes of Meaghan Blanchard and Grass Mountain Hobos and others by recognizable names like fiddler Cynthia MacLeod and indie pop outfit Paper Lions. What’s more, Matthews and his studio have received multiple ECMA nods and Music PEI Award wins as producer and studio of the year, respectively. “I can bring a unique perspective to pretty much any genre I’m working in,” Matthews says, elaborating on his impressive mix of projects. “It’s a real blessing being able to work with such diverse musicians, which is really a byproduct of this small but thriving music scene we have on the Island.”
As for how he can properly serve these projects, Matthews muses that it’s a matter of “presenting the very best version of any given artist – looking for that certain thing that makes an artist special and unique, and then shining the spotlight on that element, whatever it may be.” Matthews is also a staple of the Charlottetown scene, particularly in the summertime, where you can find him mixing club gigs, accompanying singer-songwriters or fiddlers on his trusty six-string, or even slinging some cover tunes with The Jon Matthews Experience. “It’s a lot of little projects, but all to do with music,” he says. “To work in music full time on Prince Edward Island is a true gift.” And when it comes to gifts, Matthews is one who would rather give than receive. “Whether it’s performing with someone or recording them in the studio, I like being able to help someone else get into the spotlight,” he says, genuinely selfless. “Those are the moments I live for, and there are so many examples over the years. I’m very lucky.” “Lucky” gets repeated several times when Matthews mentions his wife, Sarah, and their two children, Finn, eight, and Simon, four. “Sarah is very tolerant of the fact that there are often random musicians walking around the property at any given hour,” he says with a laugh. “And the kids have grown up around the studio, so to them, it’s pretty normal that there are always musicians and weird instruments and things coming through the door.” He’s getting the young ones into the family business early on. “We’ve got a little band going and have been writing some material,” Matthews shares, as though he’s discussing Canada’s next breakout act. “Simon plays the drums, and Finn is pretty much a multi-instrumentalist. We have a great time together.” The family also enjoys the outdoors, taking advantage of the walking trails that surround their property as often as possible and getting deeper into the sticks for a week or two of camping each year. With the studio prospering and plenty of performance opportunities waiting come the bustling tourist season on PEI, Matthews knows he’ll be busy for the near future; he’s just not totally sure with what. “I never really know what the year is going to bring, but I know it’ll be busy and I know it’ll be fun,” he says. “It’s just about keeping the schedule full, keeping the studio busy, and keeping on the go.” Andrew King is the Editor of Professional Sound.
Rahim Nathu By Michael Raine
ike so many professionals in any industry, Rahim Nathu’s passion for audio began as a kid’s desire to be like his older brother. It’s that respect and admiration that has led Nathu to his current role as market development manager at SC Media Canada (formerly Soundcraft Canada), where his brother, Arif Nathu, also works as the company’s Montrealarea sales rep. “At the age of 12, I started DJing with my brother. He was already a DJ then and the passion for music and equipment just grew from there,” explains Nathu. “He’s one of the main guys who got me going and developed my love of music, and being the younger brother, I always wanted to hang out with my older brother. That’s how I discovered a lot about myself.” Growing up in Dorval, QC – where his family moved after leaving Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) when he was just six months old – Nathu knew from a young age that he wanted to be involved in music. “I always knew music was going to be a part of my life; I just never knew how.” After graduating from CÉGEP in administration, Nathu sought out a way to merge his academic background with his passion for music and technology. That search led him to Quebec-based distributor Intellimix. “At the time, in 1996, when I started [at Intellimix], they were looking for a shipper. For me, that was my step in. I was ready to start at the bottom and work my way to the top.” And for the next 16 years at Intellimix, that’s exactly what he did. Rising quickly through the ranks, Nathu ascended from shipper to inside sales, customer service, management, sales rep, and then finally his appointment as VP. “What really got me going was figuring out how everything worked; how you made things possible. I loved touching equipment and being involved. There was nothing better than when you were involved in a project or when you’re involved with clients on designing systems and such. That’s what still drives me,” he explains. After 16 years at Intellimix, including four as VP, Nathu felt it was time for a change and some new challenges. “I realized that I just didn’t have time to play around with gear anymore. I know that sounds childish a bit, but [as VP] you’re more focused on the business part of things and management of staff and HR and numbers, which is normal,” he continues, explaining his move to SC Media. “I realized that I couldn’t keep up with technology. I would go to NAMM and, apart from having meetings with suppliers, I actually never had time to walk the show anymore, which is something that I missed doing. I loved learning about new technology and finding out what’s going on and being involved directly in projects.” Another reason for his move in 2013 was that he wanted to explore new areas of the industry, which offered new
20 Professional Sound
challenges. “Intellimix is a great company, but they’re more about retail products versus SC, which is more touring, integration, and installation-based. I wanted to get back into products and integration – back into what I really love.” He elaborates: “I get to touch everything. I’m involved in helping them launch new products, I do training, I’m directly involved in the lighting and LED world. I’m also involved in some of the Barco projects and some of the JBL projects.” He also describes the SC Media staff as “an all-star team,” from its product lines to its management and sales reps, citing this as another reason he joined the company. “I knew I had a lot to learn from these people,” he says. “So for me, it was interesting to come here and say, ‘I am surrounded by people who I can learn a lot from and that have lived in this industry and who know exactly how the touring market works, how the consultants work, how the installation market works, how integration works.’ It was not only about products and wanting to grow technology wise, but also learning about the things that I may not know about the industry and make it all come together.” Away from work, his original passion still isn’t far from his mind. “I am still a music enthusiast. I love going to concerts, love listening to music, and going to the gym.” With the career change also came a significant personal milestone, as Nathu was married in 2013 and is reportedly “still in the honeymoon phase.” Undoubtedly, 2013 was a big year for Nathu, with a new job in a new field and a new life at home. In 2014 and beyond, there is no doubt he will continue to chase his passions. “As long as I can grow as a person and learn, that’s where I will be.” Michael Raine is the Assistant Editor of Professional Sound.
Dr. Sean Olive By Michael Raine
he presidency of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) is one the most esteemed positions in the audio world. To be elected to the post by the society’s worldwide membership is a sign that the candidate has earned the utmost respect of their peers in a highly competitive industry. So of course, Dr. Sean Olive was honoured and humbled when he was elected AES president in 2012; however, as far as his career is concerned, he also calls it “the logical thing to do next.” There are few in the industry that would be able to think of it this way, and that is simply a sign of the level of respect and esteem the Brockville, ON native has earned over the last 20-plus years. When Olive officially became president of the AES in November 2013, it was a step on a path that began three-and-a-half decades ago at the University of Toronto while he was studying music and piano. “In the late ‘70s, audio was a real hobby. Everyone in college had a stereo system and I lived with 16 engineering students and audio was a passion. When you weren’t studying, you were buying records,” he tells PS in the quiet, deliberate tone of a scientist. “As a musician, I would do concerts and get recorded and I remember that, often, the recordings sounded terrible. So I said, ‘There’s probably an opportunity to improve these recordings.’” It was a simple thought that would lead to big things. After completing his B. Mus at U of T, Olive headed to Montreal where McGill University had recently launched a Tonmeister master’s program. In order to complete his M. Mus. in sound recording, he had to first complete a dissertation and for this, Olive went to the National Research Council in Ottawa, intending to spend about three months there. It would be seven years before he left. That is because Olive met a man who would shape his entire career and with whom he remains close friends. “I met Dr. Floyd Toole,” Olive explains. “He was doing this really cool research on loudspeakers and correlating what listeners preferred to measurements. To me, that was very cool because when I was a recording engineer, everyone had a different opinion on what the speakers should be. They would mix with certain speakers, but I never knew if they were any good or accurate. So he provided all these answers and I ended up spending seven years there learning the science and doing the psychoacoustics.” When Toole was hired by Harman International to be VP of acoustic research in the early ‘90s, it wasn’t long before he hired his friend and protégé to be the company’s manager of subjective evaluation in the acoustic research department. With that, Olive moved to Northridge, CA, where he remains to this day, though he now boasts the title of director of acoustic research, a position he gained when Toole retired. At Harman, Olive spends countless hours studying loudspeaker and headphone technology and how that relates to people’s perception of sound. “I just love trying to figure out what makes
something sound good or accurate and then quantifying it so that you have a set of rules and you can measure it and replicate it,” says Olive, again speaking like a true scientist. “The goal is to try and make sound quality more consistent so that more people can enjoy it. I think it helps the enjoyment of the music, which in the end is what it’s all about.” While at Harman, Olive has kept a foot in the world of academia, finishing his PhD in sound reproduction at McGill as well as teaching classes at UCLA. He has also has been involved in various aspects of the AES’s technical committees and research initiatives. When not working, Olive says he loves to cycle with his son, 14, and daughter, 13, and go skiing in Canada with his old friends from U of T, with whom he remains very close. Living in California year round, it is fitting that he lists wine tasting as one of his passions, something that he still does regularly with his old friend Floyd Toole. But even while sipping sipping blends of different Rhone varietals, the two audiophiles still find ways to bring work into it. “There are parallels to tasting wine and rating speakers,” he starts. “Floyd and I like to describe wine in terms of the spectral balance. So, if it’s a well balanced wine, we draw a flat curve, and if it’s a thin wine, it lacks bass. If it’s got too much tannic acid, it’s got a peak in the mid range.” The science of sound is never far from mind. Now, as Olive begins his term as AES president, it is clear that a lot still lies ahead. “I was a little scared when I was in New York [at the 135thAES Convention] and people were coming up to me and saying, ‘We expect good things.’ That’s nice, but I said, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’” Whatever it is, nobody doubts he can handle it. Michael Raine is the Assistant Editor of Professional Sound.
Professional Sound 21
Steinberg Cubase 7.5 Digital Audio Workstation By Eric Price
n December 2013, Steinberg released its newest update for Cubase 7. A year after the sweeping overhaul of version 7, Steinberg offered a paid “midversion” update, a process the company had begun with the release of Cubase 6.5. While Steinberg continues to release free maintenance updates, whether or not a customer purchases a .5 update, this paid model allows the company to create more frequent and substantial improvements with shorter development cycles. While not as robust as a full version update, Cubase 7.5 offers more than enough significant developments and newly added features to make it worth some exploration and the price tag of around $50. There are a lot of new features designed to improve workflow and usability with the biggest change being in what Steinberg calls TrackVerisons. This whole new system of track management revolves around crafting, renaming, and working with parallel variations of audio, MIDI, instrument, tempo, and chord tracks. The feature allows users to quickly create and review alternate takes, edits, chord changes, tempo maps, etc. One really cool thing here is that all the alternate versions can be assigned a track ID and, with one click, you can instantly call up all the affiliated tracks and changes connected with that ID. This will be mighty handy when you need to work with different versions of a song as you will no longer have to assemble the individual parts as before. Other improved workflow features include new Track Visibility settings, whereby you can designate just the tracks you want to view in either the project or mixer windows and then sync that setting between the two environments, helping to clear screen clutter. The new transient navigation command allows you to quickly tab to transients of audio events and is used in conjunction with the new timesaving automatic hit-point generation – another new option where hit points can be au-
22 Professional Sound
tomatically generated whenever audio is added to the pool. In the effects department, we are looking at three additions, firstly LoopMash FX. Based on the LoopMash VST instrument, this new effect lets users incorporate modern breaks, stops, and stutter tricks on any audio track. There is also a new algorithmic reverb called REVelation and the surprising return of Magneto, Steinberg’s tape saturation plug-in that disappeared a few years ago. No doubt Magneto’s return was fueled by the recent and successful offerings of other developers’ tape machine-inspired plug-ins. In the VST instrument department, we are looking at one important change to workflow and a couple of important instrument changes. To improve instrument workflow, Steinberg has revamped its instrument tracks to version 2.0. They now support multiple inputs and outputs for each instrument and the merging of instrument tracks into the rack. It also allows for multiple MIDI channels to be sent to a single instrument. This complements the addition of a set of quick controls for each instrument that can be user defined. Two VST instruments benefit from an overhaul. Firstly, HALion Sonic SE is elevated to version 2, featuring a darker interface and including a slew of new sounds and effects. In addition, a virtual three-oscillator analog synth called TRIP, with its own pattern arpeggiator, has been integrated. With that comes a completely retooled Groove Agent SE, now at version 4. With over 120 drum kits, a redesigned user interface, a built-in sample editor, and its own mixer effects, this has become a potent tool indeed.
As if all that weren’t enough, Steinberg has included an EDM toolbox with 30 new construction kits containing over 800 MIDI loops which are assigned to matching instruments, which of course take advantage of the upgraded HALion SE2 and Groove Agent SE4. Not to be overlooked, the score editor has been reworked as well. One of the coolest enhancements here is that the score editor is now tied to the key editor, meaning changes to note lengths, transposing, and quantizing, etc. can be done in the score window without having to jump between editors – nice to see this implementation. Two more quick items: VST Connect SE 2 (for Cubase 7.5 only) is Steinberg’s remote recording application that now allows for MIDI data transmission letting you capture remote MIDI recording over Internet recording sessions, in addition to the existing audio capabilities. The other small but very useful feature is a re-recording option which, when engaged, lets you conveniently cancel a bad take in progress, quickly sending you back to your start point and immediately starting a new one with your existing click and precount settings. Of course, this review barely scratches the surface of the new additions and improvements. I encourage you to visit Steinberg’s website and take in some of the informative videos. All in all, I find this paid update a very worthwhile investment. Eric Price is a lightly seasoned writer for Professional Sound. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, as always he looks forward to your questions and your feedback.
Product tests KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
By Joe Mullen
ome things come and go and some last forever. Five years ago, I made the 2.5-hour trek directly south from my hometown of Hanover, ON – 6,000 people strong – to a music store in downtown Toronto in search of some really good studio monitors. My budget was modest, but I figured it could accommodate these cool yellow-coned, very robust looking speakers I had seen in one of the CBC mobile recording trucks I had the pleasure of checking out during my employment there some time prior. I went straight into the recording section of the store and asked if they had any Rokit 6s. He said, “Sure do!” and was kind enough to let me plug in my iPod and crank them up on the floor. It’s been five years, and the KRKs are still killing it. Now, I have the pleasure of trying out KRK’s new and improved G3 edition of the Rokit 6. This is going to be fun…
First off, I noticed that KRK has definitely modernized and refined the look of these monitors. The edges on the front are more defined, giving it a sleeker look as opposed to the more “bubbly” look of previous generations. Also, the four Allen key screws have been removed from the face, which cleans up the speaker front quite a bit. I was also delighted to see a low frequency adjust on the back. I had used the high frequency adjust on the old ones and have often wondered if they would add this feature. I was pleased to see the same black vinyl wrap finish that the previous version has because it is so durable. As noted, mine are five years old, have been moved around quite a bit, and still do not have a scratch. One last thing I noticed right before I turned these beauties on was the on-off power switch. The new one has a smoother switch throw and is not as tough to push over. I feel an example like this really shows the attention to detail put into KRK’s products and into the improvements that the company has made.
Price & The Other Guys
Very comfortably priced for hobbyists and small studios, the KRK Rokit 6 G3s can compete with monitors twice and even triple the cost – making them a good option for any sized operation. If you compare the G3s’ features to others in the same price range, you can hear the difference for yourself. Most monitors use a polypropylene woofer material where the KRK line uses an aramid glass composite material – more commonly used in ballistic-rated body armor! Also, I found the frequency range to be much wider with these monitors as compared to others at this price point. An impressive 38 Hz to 35 kHz is listed in the KRK specs where most others had a much narrower high-end band. This can result in more distortion at these outer limit frequencies, so it’s great that KRK is able to offer this kind of spec at this price point. Another nice feature is the system volume control from -30dB to +6dB. Other options I explored did not include this feature and I have found it very useful in controlling how loud things get in my studio. We all know that we start at, say, 3 o’clock on the dial and an hour later she’s cranked. Having the ability to control the max SPL sort of behind the scenes is great.
These monitors are not just for the recoding engineer, either. They are extremely accurate and therefore wonderful recreational listening speakers as well. My control room is very well bass trapped and paneled, which creates an intense, almost overtaking listening experience when combined with these beautiful pieces of audio amplification excellence. Lastly, these puppies can deliver a crushing SPL of 107dB. And so nothing rattles when things get loud, a factory-installed, high-quality foam pad provides isolation between the speaker and your desk.
I have had these under heavy use in the studio for over a month and can now say that KRK Systems has proven its mentality of delivering what the end user really needs. It’s no surprise that since 1986 (which just so happens to be the year I was born), the KRK team has been innovating for the total sum of every day of my life thus far. That got me thinking, KRK has been striving for literally as long as I have been alive to deliver a monitor that is accurate, crystal clear, comfortably priced, and reliable. My claims come from pure honesty; I’m glad to be able to write this not just as a “reviewer,” but as an artist, engineer, and listener who has actually been using its predecessor for five years with no failure, no complaints, and no trouble at all. If KRK makes shirts, I’m buying one! Joe Mullen is the founder of JoeDown Studios and the drummer of Ontario-based melodic metal band Odium, currently supporting their sophomore release, Burning the Bridges to Nowhere. He maintains a solid recording schedule when the band is off the road. Professional Sound 23
Mackie 1604VLZ4 16-Channel Console
By Mark Desloges
n my first year as a sound engineer, I worked for a promoter who owned a pair of small PA systems – one that I used at his club and the other while on the road at small hall and bar shows. One of the two consoles that I used in that first year was a 16-channel Mackie VLZ series desk. Coming full circle almost a decade later, here I am reviewing a Mackie VLZ 16-channel sound console. When I first received the unit, I took a few minutes to stop and reflect on some of the hilarious memories of that first year in audio. Then I found myself reflecting on where the VLZ line came from, and where it’s headed. The first thing I noticed was the difference in size. The new 1604VLZ4 16-channel model is literally half the size of the one I used back in my early years. This is obviously a common trend in modern sound equipment and should by no means come as a shock; however, it still made me chuckle and feel old. The second thing I noticed was that although the new VLZ4 has a very updated and modern look and feel, it also has the classic Mackie vibe that we all know and are used to. Even after just a few seconds, I was floating my fingers over the board and it made sense to me, like I was back in those old club days. I like how Mackie has always focused on a user-friendly interface with its equipment. That was especially appreciated 10 years ago when I was getting started, but is still a valuable feature. Moving into the modern world of higher quality and higher demands, Mackie is keeping pace by updating another of its classic formats. The big difference I found with the 1604VLZ4 was the new preamps. The VLZ4 comes stock with ONYX preamps, which actually sound very good. The main complaint I had with the one I used 10 years ago was that it was easy to overload the preamps, resulting in a clipped signal. This was an issue when I would, say, inject a bass guitar through a DI box. The VLZ acronym actually stands for “very low impedance,” and back then, I found that sometimes the impedance was too low. That was really the only issue I had with that old model, and so I very much appreciated how the fourth generation version addressed this issue and is able to handle a higher signal level, yet still offer a good amount of headroom to help you achieve a thick, full sound. The other feature I enjoyed about the new VLZ4 was how the company stuck with its classic option for sub-bussing. It has four sub groups that are assignable via buttons located directly above each fader. By depressing the buttons, you can bus each 24 Professional Sound
individual channel to groups one and two, three and four, and/ or the master left and right. Taking it further, you can control which sub group you feed by using the pan knob. An example would be if you bus a channel to group one and two, you can isolate the channel to just group one by hard panning that channel to the left. Now, whether you use it as a tool for controlling multiple channels at once, like putting all the drum channels to group one and controlling their volume all at once via the group fader, or you use it to double up signals by bussing a channel’s signal to the left and right and a sub group, this is a valuable but seemingly underrated feature that is not common on consumer-grade mixing consoles. I can’t stress how much I love this feature; it has saved my bacon on so many shows it isn’t funny. On days I just can’t get the vocal to cut in a mix, I love the classic cheat of bussing it to multiple groups to really push it up and above the other elements. This holds true for any piece of a mix you want to push to the forefront to “make it pop.” All and all, for what you’re going to pay for this console and what you’re going to get out of it, the benefits impressively outweigh the cost. If you’re looking to purchase a real sound console that’s easy to use but aren’t interested in dropping thousands of dollars into it, then the Mackie VLZ4 series is an option worth exploring. In a world of flashing lights and false promises, it’s nice to see a tried and tested workhorse that can get the job done at an affordable price point. Mark Desloges is an audio technician at Tour Tech East and freelance live sound engineer/production manager. In his many years of professional touring, he has crossed Canada, the United States, and China. He has shared the road with acts such as Cancer Bats, Classified, and Johnny Reid. He can be reached at email@example.com.
ALL the latest Pro Audio Information
• In-Depth Features • Latest Product Information • New Technology Trends • Studio Updates • Audio Online • Broadcast • Concert • Film • Mobile
Order your own copy of PROFESSIONAL SOUND
• Recording • Theatre Sound and MUCH MORE!
1-877-RING-NWC • FAX: 888-665-1307 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.professional-sound.com I want one year of Professional Sound for only $21.35 (incl. GST) ($22.98 incl. HST) ($22.77 - BC) ($23.38 - NS)
(Outside Canada $26.95 CDN)
Name:_______________________________________________________________________________ Company:____________________________________________________________________________ Address:____________________________________________________________________________ City:_________________________________________ Prov./State:________ Code:_________________ Tel.:_________________________________________Fax:_____________________________________ E-mail:_______________________________________________________________________________ VISA
CHEQUE OR MO
4056 Dorchester Rd., #202 Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6M9 1-877-RING-NWC FAX: 888-665-1307
Card Number:_________________________________________________ Expiry:_________________
ORDER YOUR COPY OF PROFESSIONAL SOUND TODAY!
email@example.com or visit our website at www.professional-sound.com
The Boys Are Ba On Set & In Studio With The Trailer Park Boys By An d
rew K in
creens across the country, both big and small, are going to be getting mighty greasy come the spring, because the boys and girls from Sunnyvale are back – and in a big way. After a few years “on ice,” one of the country’s most successful media franchises is set to pick up right where it left off with both a feature film and a new batch of episodes due for the first half of 2013. It’s been a few years since our last encounter with Ricky, Julian, Bubbles, and company. The seventh season finale of Showcase’s Sunday night staple aired on June 10, 2007, at which point the writing was on the wall for the second feature film, Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day, to cleanly end the franchise with its Sept. 2009 release. Fortunately for the show’s massive cult following, though, it seems the boys have fallen off the metaphorical wagon. Production for Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It, the third feature film, began in the spring of 2013, and shooting for the eighth season was right on its heels – both finding the cast and crew returning to the unmistakable Dartmouth, NS set among some other locales in the province. On air, the show never shied away from its Maritime roots, and those roots run deep. The new Trailer Park Boys (TPB) productions are essentially a family reunion, according to longtime audio post principal, Brian Power. And that at-ease atmosphere contributes to plenty of the off-the-cuff comedic magic that makes the show so special to its legions of fans. “It’s such a unique show when you compare it to other dramatic features or TV series or documentaries or anything,” begins Zander Rosborough, the production sound mixer for Don’t Legalize It, describing his experiences with the program. Rosborough began his career as an independent film industry pro as a boom operator for the show’s seventh season in 2006 and has been a behind-the-scenes staple ever since. His duties are relatively standard considering the title – mixing multiple tracks from a combination of body, boom, and plant mics, breaking apart iso tracks, performing remixes as required, and synchronizing content to time code for daily rushes and post work. How those duties are conducted, though, is far from standard. “It’s a mockumentary, but it’s special in the sense that there’s a script, but there’s still a lot of improvisation and things that get put together on the fly,” he explains. “Everything changes so quickly, and you have to be ready for any scenario and just roll with the punches. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also much more rewarding than your typical production because of that.” It’s particularly taxing on the boom operators, he says, drawing from his earlier experiences while empathizing with longtime TPB boom operator Frank Kavanagh, who reported for duty on Don’t Legalize It. “You constantly have to be swinging that microphone; it’s like you have to read minds as far as guessing who might speak next since these guys John Paul Tre don’t worry too much about sticking to mb lay (Jul ian), Mike Smith (Bub the script.” (Ricky) & post bles), Rob Wells su pe rviso r Bria When he was behind the boom, Power at The Hideout Studio n s. Rosborough developed a trick whereby he’d keep a close eye on which Photo: Jeremy Chipper
26 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
Above: Series production sound mixer Aram Kouyoumdijan fixes the lav on Jonathan Torrens (J-Roc) while Sarah Dunsworth (Sarah) looks on.
actor would take in a breath while another was finishing a line to know where to swing his mic next. “It sharpens your senses a lot, working in that kind of environment, and makes you better at your job,” he muses. Rosborough’s mixing rig for TPB is unique to that he’ll carry on more typical television productions. Whereas he usually opts for a cart-based set-up that relies heavily on wireless gear, with the Boys, he needs to be mobile at a moment’s notice. His kit is anchored by Sound Devices’ 788T recorder. He favours Schoeps CMIT 5U shotgun mics for the booms and Sanken COS-11D body mics. His complement of wireless gear includes Lectrosonics 400 Series transmitters and an Octopack with SR receivers – which fits nicely into the mixing bag that either sits on the cart, or can pop off quickly and I’m in a portable set-up in under two minutes. “I’m often mixing right out of a bag, and then have to be able to rebuild a pack in 10 minutes or less,” he shares. “Or, I might have to pop my portable set-up into the trunk of a car or follow vehicle. It’s very guerilla, but I still have to maintain eight inputs and up to 12 tracks, as well as maintain a Comtek monitor feed for the director, script supervisor, camera operators, and producers.” What’s more, many of Don’t Legalize It’s scenes feature vehicles in action, and as Rosborough says with a chuckle, “You can’t really swing a boom around inside a ‘70s model Lincoln Town Car. They’re big boats, but it still gets difficult with sound capture.” Tow rigs were consistently put to use, often self-driven, which necessitated a com plement of long-range wireless gear for dialogue capture. “When the vehicles weren’t self-driven and were on a tow rig, I had to be really close to the transmitters,” Rosborough says, recalling a scene that had him ratchet- strapped to the bumper of a vehicle travelling 60 km per hour in -26 C weather with three jackets, two sweaters, thermal underwear, and bottles full of freshly-boiled water in his pockets. “It was the first time I’d experienced something quite that extreme,” he says with a laugh. “A lot of times, they’ll shove me in the trunk with my equipment, but this specific time was pretty intense.” His efforts proved particularly effective, though. Both Rosborough and Power report there was relatively little ADR work required for the feature, adding that using production audio whenever possible is paramount to the show’s undeniable charm. “When we can capture these little ad lib moments that were never meant to be captured and make them usable, that’s what often gives the show its really special vibe,” Rosborough says. “There are a lot of shows that have adapted a similar style, but Trailer Park Boys will always stand out as unique in how it comes together. I’m always astounded by what ends up in the final cut versus what I remember from the set. There are all of these golden moments, and when they can be used to tell the story, it’s awesome.” When production wrapped up for Don’t Legalize It, Rosborough’s work went into post while preliminary work began on the eighth season of the series, which will premiere as a web-based series sometime following the film’s April 18th release. Production sound mixing duties on the nine episodes were in the care of Aram Kouyoumdijan. While season eight was his first in a full-time role, he has logged hours on the TPB set as a “peripheral,” filling in the odd week or two as a mixer or boom operator throughout the show’s run. Describing his mandate, Kouyoumdijan shares, “We wanted the dialogue to be clear, present, and relatively balanced, but we also wanted to embrace the live space of the trailer park and other locations we were shooting in. There were plenty of iso tracks with ambience mics on lawnmowers, traffic, kids playing nearby… The park is full of interesting sounds. We didn’t use a lot of carpet or foot foam; we didn’t oil squeaks or battle reflections. It sounds live and real.” Like his counterpart, Kouyoumdijan refers to the shots involving vehicles as some of the more memorable of his work. “There are some pretty incredible cars that show up, and many of them sound different from one day to another,” he says. After a mid-season breakdown, the boys’ iconic “Shitmobile” had to be rebuilt and returned to set with a different aural character; however, that was more boon than bust, says Kouyoumdijan. “We’ve got so many variations of rumbling and growling and whizzing and popping and choking and scraping and screeching and skidding and crashing to a stop…” he says, citing examples of actually putting mics on the engine block and literally wiring the cars. “It’s like comic books when a car burns off and you see ‘VROOOOM!’ spelled out behind it,” he summarizes. “We were trying to do that!” On set, Kouyoumdijan used Schoeps CMIT 5Us as overhead and ambience mics, feeding his Sound Devices 788TSSDs. As for why he favours the Schoeps mics, he shares, “They sound great outdoors and in, with lots of pull and a forgiving pattern that lends itself well to the improvising that goes on in the park.” His choice of Sanken COS-11 lavs is based on the fact that they “cut well with the Schoeps and are relatively easy to hide and keep quiet.” For wireless, he relies on Lectrosonics SMQV transmitters for their small footprint and, more importantly, long battery life that allows for more time between changes – “which, when shooting 13 pages a day, is priceless,” he notes. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 27
The Boys Are Back Again echoing Rosborough, Kouyoumdijan reinforces the need for instant mobility. He kept his main components in a removable rack unit on his cart, making it easy to strip down and get into a vehicle or tight space when needed – often several times each day. “It’s a tough show, certainly,” he shares. “It’s a famous little show, but it’s still a little show with a relatively small budget. That translates to fast and furious shooting – big page counts, live locations, squeezed schedules, lots of improv, and very few rehearsals, making for a challenging job for everyone.” He’s quick to share credit with boom operator James O’Toole – who “definitely walked away with a few extra pounds of shoulder muscle” – before extending that sentiment to the rest of the crew. “There are some really super people on the cast and crew that are contributing in some really amazing ways and who make it feel really collaborative and fun. The guys have eight seasons and three feature films under them, but there’s still something really indie and renegade about shooting it. When the boys asked me to be a part of the show’s comeback season, I was all in.” The Rosborough-Kouyoumdijan contingent was one cherished by post supervisor Power, who reports that the two share a sonic style – “so the sounds of the boys and the sounds of the park we got for the two productions were very similar,” he says. “That offered me a deeper library to enhance the overall tone of the show – especially in the park. I’ve been able to use ambiences recorded for one in the other.”
The Hideout Studios Secret Stash Avid Icon Mixing Surface (24 faders) Avid Pro Tools 10 HD Audio Editing System Avid Pro Tools 10 CPTK Video Satellite System Seymour AV Cinemascope Microweave Screen Panasonic 1080p 3D HD Projector (HD-SDI) Source Connect Digital Patch Genelec 1037b 5.1 Monitoring System (Calibrated) Genelec 8020a 5.1 Monitoring System (Calibrated) Plug-ins From Dolby, Cedar, Waves, Nugen, etc. Microphones From Blue, Sennheiser & Advanced Audio 28 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
am es rator J
Boom ope ptures a Power has handled post for TPB since the O’Toole cae park. show’s inception, first out of Power-Post and th scen e at now from his own Hideout Studios, where he also works on programs like Mr. D, 22 Minutes, The Nature of Things, and recently, HBO’s new series Banshee. It was while working on ADR for Don’t Legalize It with the boys that he was invited to also mix the series. “A day in the studio or in the trailer park is a pretty fun day,” Power attests. “You’re mixing and doing a lot of technical work, but the whole time, you’re just laughing your head off. It’s a great feeling.” For the feature, Power was working with dialogue editor Bob Melanson, sound effects editor Eva Madden-Hagen, and foley artist Cory Tetford. And while Melanson reprised his role for the series, scheduling overlaps led to Ed Renzi taking on the role of sound effects editor and Jeremy VanSlyke stepping in as the foley artist. Power muses more about what makes TPB such a unique project from an audio professional’s perspective. “The producers have allowed me to say, ‘There are no rules.’ We’ve thrown out the book. The fictional camera team following the boys around has them all wired up, so I don’t have to play perspective if Ricky is, say, 200 feet from the camera and calling attention to himself. I can hear him, and that leverage allows us to sometimes construct scenes that you normally couldn’t achieve in a sitcom situation.” Put simply, “They can run and gun and, as long as it’s funny and contributes to the story, the regular rules go out the window.” That’s not to say the scenes aren’t scripted or well-rehearsed; rather, it’s about working with the narrative and only reaching outside the box when the story will benefit from it. As with the on-set sound, that style comes with an inherent set of challenges; however, the goal is to embrace the extraordinary circumstances whenever possible. “There are times where you’re getting a great take, and somebody might randomly drive by,” Power offers. “That’s just the nature of the park. Sometimes, the boys will even acknowledge someone in the background – maybe just some kids on their bikes, and all of a sudden, they’re in the scene. That’s when we try to roll with it and hope it creates something special and funny.” Completing the trio of pros appreciative of TPB’s boom operators, Power offers praise to Kavanagh and O’Toole. “I don’t even know how they get the stuff they get,” he says, chuckling with an air of astonishment. “I can’t ever see the
Zander Rosbo roug h strapped on to a tow ve hicle.
Photo: Jer emy
Photo: www.jer .com.
emybe nn ing
boom, but I can hear where it is, and I’m always wondering how they pull off some of the takes they get.” It’s been nearly five years since his work wrapped on Countdown To Liquor Day, and the advancements in audio technology over that time have been substantial. The improvements to metadata entry at the content creation stage have led to a cleaner workflow from production to post, and also made it easier for editors to vet content. As for his role specifically, Power reveals he’s taken to mixing completely in the box this time around. “I was kind of dragged into that kicking and screaming, because I’m a big fan of Digico consoles,” Power says. “So while I was previously using Pro Tools as my playback medium, I liked the sonics and workflow of the desks. But moving forward, the power of using an Icon with the Avid HD Native rig is undeniable.” Other tools, like Cedar Audio’s DNS One dialogue noise surpressor and recent loudness tools have automated certain tasks and provided more time and flexibility to tweak and refine his work. As he explains, “It’s all about getting the best-sounding product we can within any time frame.” Any TPB project also brings the show’s unique energy into the studio environment, which Power and his colleagues relish. One of his most memorable moments at The Hideout to date was working on ADR with Mike Smith, who also plays Bubbles, while he pulled double duty as the never seen, often heard disgruntled neighbour, Donnie. “We just fire up the mic, and out comes Donnie,” Power says, laughing as he revisits the experience. “It’s all we can do not to kill ourselves laughing during the takes, because for 15 minutes, it’s just uncontrollable screaming and swearing on the big sound stage. A lot of it doesn’t even get heard, but makes for some great ring tones.” The ADR stage also allows Power to flex some of his creative (and crass) muscles. “We’re always thinking of lines we can add, like things that Lahey might say and what Bubbles might say back, and some of the lines I cooked up actually made it into the movie.” The creative and collaborative environment is one that makes any TPB project, to borrow the cliché, greater than the sum of its parts. As Power puts it, “We know we’ve got enough depth of talent that everyone will do their jobs properly, but that we can stray outside the lines a bit.” Despite being fresh from a multi-year hiatus, Power reports that everyone was enthusiastic to be back in the game. “It’s the family getting back together,” he says. “There may be a few new faces here and there, but it’s the gang putting on the game sweaters, lacing ‘em up, and getting to work. The camaraderie is outstanding. It’s the same practical jokes you’ve been pulling on someone for 15 years that you get to pull out of the bag a few more times. It’s a real community and everyone has a great time. Lots of fun and no drama.” That’s a good thing, too, because there’s more than enough drama (and drugs and cats and cursing and comedy) at good old Sunnyvale. Welcome back, boys. n
Andrew King is the Editor of Professional Sound.
Mik ADRe Smith (Bubb at T he Hide les) d oin out g .
An Innovative Approach To Campus Facility Design At
COLLÈGE BORÉAL By Alan Hardiman
Photos courtesy of Century Group Inc. Constructors
s the centerpiece of its new Stage Management and Technology Support diploma programs, Collège Boréal in Sudbury, ON, has built a stunning, multi-purpose performance space to train students in stage and production management, as well as backstage technologies such as sound and lighting design, video projection, technical direction, art design, and set construction. With 352 seats, the theatre is a scaled-down version of a fully-equipped, contemporary commercial theatre and music venue and a blueprint for how a modern lecture hall can be designed as a convertible space to serve multiple purposes and yield maximum return on investment. The theatre and diploma programs are components of the college’s Societal Project that also encompasses a recording studio and black box space; a culinary arts program, complete with commercial grade kitchens, restaurant, and bar; and a sommelier program featuring a 16-position wine tasting lab. According to the college’s past president, Denis Hubert-Dutrisac, who is responsible for ushering in the new programs, these facilities will prepare graduates for work “in disciplines that are in high demand across the
30 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
country,” he says, adding: “This is a niche that no other university or college in the country is ﬁlling.” Indeed, of the eight diploma students in the ﬁrst graduating class of the twoyear stage management program in 2013, four are already variously employed as production coordinators, a technical director, and a stagehand; three have found work in technical sales and rentals; and the eighth grad is currently undertaking a recording internship. The program also serves as a one-year ﬁnishing school for university graduates with degrees in academic theatre studies who wish to pursue a practical career backstage.
The college’s long-standing architect, PBK Architects Inc. (now owned by Montreal engineering consultant Genivar), had not had the opportunity to design a theatre before; consequently, the initial concept did not include such theatre-speciﬁc items as dressing rooms, a crossover behind the stage, retractable seating, a catwalk, or doors large enough to admit a truck. Hubert-Dutrisac then met with acoustic consultants Engineering Harmonics and asked them to helm the project. “When we started, it was a lecture hall,” says Engineering Harmonics partner,
Martin Van Dijk. “The college wanted to support the program fully, but they had little idea how to go about it. We doubled the budget for the building to $6.5 million, and then put together as much of a theatre-style building as possible within the footprint that they had allotted. We brought in theatre consultant Richard Smerdon to design speciﬁc theatre systems for the facility. For the money they spent, they got real value from everyone. The quality of what they received for what they paid is a model for the type of lecture halls that are being built at present. We’ve done more than a few convertible rooms like this in the past few years, as clients are asking what else they can do with their space,” he says. The resulting design is a fan-shaped room with two levels. While the stage area is level with the parterre ﬂoor, a 24 x 16-ft. riser is available when a raised stage up to 2 ft. high is required. The 174 seats on the lower level are on six rows of Hussey motorized bleachers that, when retracted into the under-balcony cavity, leave a large ﬂoor contiguous with the stage area for cabaret
style productions. In this “studio mode,” the ﬂoor can accommodate 30 round club tables with 150 chairs. The convertible balcony includes an Airwall system to partition the 178 balcony seats into four separate classrooms, two with 56 seats and two with 33 seats. In this conﬁguration, local AV system control is assigned automatically to each room. A control booth with a working window sits directly opposite the stage at the rear centre of the balcony. For concerts, however, secondary mix and lighting positions are provided out in front of the booth, necessitating the removal of 20 balcony seats. A 360-degree catwalk 21.5 ft. above the ﬂoor rings the parterre and stage area. “It is very important for the program that we teach students how to work safely on a catwalk and to experience what it is like to be up there changing the lighting and managing cables,” says Hubert-Dutrisac. Van Dijk adds that “the college plans to be able to fully certify people in a number of aspects of the theatre technical arts,” and that means training on the catwalk will be essential.
COLLÈGE BORÉAL’S MULTI-PURPOSE PERFORMANCE SPACE FROM THE STAGE.
Sound & Acoustics
The performance sound system is dominated by leftright Electro-Voice line arrays hung at either side of the proscenium arch. Each array is comprised of ﬁve XLCi 907 DVX and two XLCi 127 DVX compact three-way cabinets and two XLCi 215 subs. Four EVF-1122S-94 loudspeakers handle the font ﬁll duties. Two EVU-2062-95 delay loudspeakers are provided for each of the four sections of the balcony, automatically becoming the program speakers for the classrooms when the Airwalls are deployed. The system is powered by 54 channels of EV CPS series ampliﬁers managed via an Iris-NET and EV NetMax digital matrix that also includes all loudspeaker DSP – EQ, FIR ﬁltering, and delays. “We set the target SPL at 105dB, but the system is capable of way more than that; it’s a little overkill,” Van Dijk says. Given that a fanshaped room tends to reﬂect and focus sound back to the stage, the acoustics of the room
had to be very carefully designed, especially considering the target SPL level. Acoustician John O’Keefe of Aercoustics, working in conjunction with Engineering Harmonics, has given the room a unique acoustical feature in scattering 236 trapezoid and pyramid-shaped reﬂector-diffusers all over the walls and under the ceiling. “John has been experimenting with these units for years, and they’ve been reﬁned further for this application, which is their ﬁrst full-scale rollout. They deﬁnitely give the room a unique acoustic signature
– it sounds good. The room is not that big; consequently, it doesn’t have a long delay. The ampliﬁed sound really works well, and doesn’t clash with the hall’s natural acoustics,” Van Dijk says. A Digico SD9 console at the front-ofhouse position includes two D-Racks providing 72 analog inputs and 28 analog outputs, two digital snakes, and two Purple Box MADI/optical converters. Outboard gear from Drawmer, TC Electronic, dbx, and Rane rounds out the package. The stage monitor system includes EV and JBL wedges powered by EV ampliﬁers, as well as a Shure in-ear system, and is controlled from the FOH console. The microphone locker is generously furnished with 70 mics from Shure, Audio-Technica, Crown, Neumann, Coles, and AKG, with 16 Radial DIs available for direct instrument inputs. A total of 178 XLR lines connect the theatre with a patch room that doubles as a dressing room. “Four Klark-Teknik DN1248 mic splitters give us one-in, four-out ﬂexibility, so we can patch selected lines to the FOH mixer, to the recording studio, black box space, video conference patch, and so on,” says Mathieu Grainger, manager of the Stage Management and Technical Support program. “While it ends up as digital audio on two Cat-5 cables and
one ﬁbre optic cable, the patching at this stage is analog, because we feel it’s important for students to understand intuitively how patching works.” The theatre is equipped with a Rane paging system, while the intercom system is from Clear-Com. “The college has facilities in 42 centres in 28 cities across Ontario, and we wanted to be able to link classrooms in 26 of those centres via video conferencing,” says Hubert-Dutrisac. “In addition, we can hook into Contact North, Ontario’s distance education and training network, to connect with more than 100 other sites. The network is fully redundant, so a break anywhere won’t bring us down; furthermore, the bandwidth is dynamically allocated, so if there is demand on bandwidth in one area during a video conference, capacity that’s not being used in other areas can be shifted to where it’s needed,” he says. “We were the ﬁrst college to sign up with Apple Canada, and the ﬁrst college to hand out iPads to each and every student, as well as instructors, who can operate the classroom systems via their iPads. As a result, we were the ﬁrst to be on iTunes U. We also branched into the Apple Distinguished Educators network, so our teachers have access to the Apple pedagogical team for support when necessary. Via a partnership with Ontario broadcaster TFO, some
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 31
of our instructors have been ﬁlmed, with the edited instruction uploaded to iTunes U, enabling us to oﬀer learning anytime, anyway, anywhere. That’s our idea of blended learning – partly online, partly face-to-face in the classroom, and partly via video conferencing and distance education,” he says. The infrastructure is in place for individual projectors and screens to be installed in each of the four convertible classrooms in the balcony. A Crestron system controls the video conferencing, projection, video routing, house light levels, and sound levels for the multiple zones. Supplementing the master control panel, each classroom has its own local control panel for the instructor when the balcony is switched into classroom mode.
Black Box Space & Recording Studio A black box multi-purpose space is available adjacent to the theatre. Featuring a full ﬂoor-to-ceiling cyclorama on two walls, the black box is ideal for instruction in green screen eﬀects, colour mixing, and lighting, as well as for rehearsals and remote recording. The space is equipped with an ETC Element 40-fader lighting console and a Soundcraft Spirit FX16 16 x 4 mixer. “I wanted the new facilities to constitute a full class environment, so that when you have a show here, the audience doesn’t know that they are participating in a classroom,” says HubertDutrisac. “This is a plus for the students because they’re hands-on; they’re not just sitting listening to a professor all week long talking theory. The second element is that they get to practice. The third element is that whatever we do here should be able to be viewed elsewhere. This is one reason we built the black box and linked it with the theatre. That cost close to $2 million and it allows students to make high quality recordings of a performance 32 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
in there without interfering with the musicians who are executing that performance in the theatre. “So while you’re doing a professional show, you can have one group of students operating the theatre, and have another group in the black box simultaneously learning how to do a live recording. It’s still a classroom, but you’re not letting that interfere with the audience’s enjoyment of the production in the theatre,” he says. A fully equipped 2-channel Pro Tools-based recording studio sits adjacent to the black box space. Centered on a Toft Audio Designs 24 x 8 analog console, the control room serves both the studio booth and the black box space. A window between the control room and the black box can be opened for full communication. In addition to making live recordings, students get to practice mixing multitrack recordings of past performances. “We record all performances into Pro Tools in the studio as multitrack sessions,” says Grainger. “Afterward, we’re able to distribute that multitrack audio to four or ﬁve diﬀerent workstations around the facility, including the theatre and the black box, so that students can practice mixing live shows, even though they are pre-recorded. We give them specific objectives, such as what compressors to put on what tracks, so it’s a completely hands-on experience.” Regarding the studio’s complement of gear, Van Dijk explains, “They made their own equipment choices. I included a cash allowance for equipment and provided a modest machine room to house it. Studio monitoring is via Dynaudio, Mackie, and Klein & Hummel monitors. For maximum utility, I provided both the waiting room and sound lock with tie-lines for microphones and line-level sources, so in the control room you can pick up signals from almost anywhere.” Van Dijk worked with the local tradesmen who had never built a recording studio before, showing them how to execute his double-wall
design. In the process, they too went to school, so to speak, learning how to hang a fully isolated wall consisting of two wall membranes, each constructed of two layers of 5/8-in. drywall glued together with non-hardening acoustical sealant and separated by an air space ﬁlled with rock wool. “I believe in the dual panel/green glue approach, mass and resilience being sandwiched together, and multiple frames of wall spread apart so there’s as much disconnect as possible,” Van Dijk says. “The green non-hardening adhesive forms a resilient membrane in between the two layers of drywall on each of the wall units of the double wall. We used some resilient channel here and there, but with rubberized clips. I’ve found that after a while, the wood can otherwise separate from the resilient channel – if you knock on the wall at intervals, you can hear the resilient channel behind there vibrating, because in time, the wood framing can shift a bit. “The studio ceiling is suspended from corrugated steel decking under a 3-in. concrete slab. It’s cost effective, but really lightweight construction and not enough mass for complete isolation. Likewise, the studio ﬂoor isn’t ﬂoated. The only thing we could do is cut the ﬂoor and put an expansion joint in between the studio and the control room, which yielded a degree of low frequency isolation. For acoustic treatment, we hung Primacoustic modular diﬀusers and ab sorbers on the walls of the control room and the sound booth,” he says. Looking back, the former president muses, “In the beginning, I didn’t approach the board by saying that I wanted $6.5 million to build a concert hall. Instead, I told them that my family has been in Ontario for 350 years, and I still speak French. It is important for our kids to be able to beneﬁt from their culture in another 350 years. To do that, I need tools, and one of those tools is a concert hall. We’re al-
ways facing the challenge, especially being in a minority situation, of losing our culture and our traditions. So I always come from that angle with politicians, board members, and industry partners. I try not to sell the end product – a theatre – but what that product is giving us in society,” he says. From Van Dijk’s perspective, what makes this project unique beyond the acoustics, ﬁnish, and equipment, is its very diverse functionality. “For its size, scale, feature set, and capabilities, it really suits the academic market. There’s a sizable number of colleges and universities that are wondering how they can get more use out of their spaces, and how they might oﬀer what they have to their communities. They’ll ask, ‘What else can we do with our new 350-seat lecture hall? Can it be used for live performance?’ And when we tell them, ‘No, not without a lot of changes,’ they wonder ‘Why didn’t we talk about this before we built it?’” Hubert-Dutrisac agrees. “If I had this process to do all over again, I would start with the consultants on lighting, sound, and all the other interior appointments. Only then would I bring the architect on board. This is how we should have structured our process in the ﬁrst place. The best thing we did was to hold that initial meeting with Engineering Harmonics and everyone else around the table. With his experience in theatre design, Martin Van Dijk gave me the option of re-visioning the project,” he says. “I was able to tell my colleagues and the architect, ‘Maybe this is what you think the project is, but let’s see what it might be.’ And as a result, we now have not a lecture hall, but a very beautiful performance space.” ■ 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.
Audio For Education
BALCONY SEATING WITH CUSTOM ACOUSTIC TREATMENT ON REAR WALL.
A look at the equipment currently occupying Collège Boréal’s training space.
1 Digico Supercharged SD9 digital console 2 Digico D-Racks (72 analog inputs and 28 analog outputs) 2 Digico Purple Box optical/MADI converters 1 Drawmer DL241 dual auto compressor 1 Drawmer DL251 spectral compressor 1 TC Electronic M-One XL dual effects signal processor 1 TC Electronic D-Two multitap rhythm delay 1 DBX 2231 graphic equalizer/limiter 1 Tascam CD-500B CD player 1 Raxxess iRDS-1 iPod docking station 4 Klark-Teknik DN1248DP microphone splitters 1 Rane HAL paging system 1 Clear-Com intercom system
10 EV XLCi 907 DVX three-way elements (5 per side) 4 EV XLCi 127 DVX three-way elements (2 per side) 4 EV XLCi 215 subs (2 per side) 4 EVF-1122S 94 two-way front fills
SECONDARY FOH MIX POSITION ON BALCONY.
8 EV EVU-2062/95 two-way delay loudspeakers
4 EV TX1152FM two-way floor monitors 4 JBL SRX712M two-way floor monitors 2 JBL SRX715 high power two-way loudspeakers (for drum fills) 2 JBL 718S subs (for drum fills) 1 Shure P10TR425CL wireless IEM system
8 EV CPS 2.12 2-channel amplifiers 4 EV CPS 4.10 4-channel amplifiers 4 EV CPS 2.6 2-channel amplifiers 2 EV CPS 4.5 4-channel amplifiers 1 EV CPS 8.5 8-channel amplifier
8 Shure SM-57s 4 Shure SM-58s 1 Shure BETA 52A 1 Shure BETA 91A 4 Shure BETA 56As 4 Shure BETA 98As 6 Shure BETA 57As 4 Shure BETA 58As 4 Shure BETA 87Cs 4 Audio-Technica AT4041s 4 Audio-Technica AT2020s 4 Audio-Technica ATM350cWs 4 Crown PCC-160 stage floor microphones 1 Neumann U 87 Ai with shock mount 2 Neumann KM 184s 2 AKG 414s 2 Coles 4038s 5 Shure ULXP124/Beta A58 wireless systems 1 Shure MC50B sub-mini lavalier 8 Radial ProDI passive direct boxes 4 Radial Pro48 active direct boxes 4 Radial JDI passive direct boxes
RECORDING STUDIO CONTROL ROOM.
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 33
At the foot of one of Canada’s longerstanding tourist attractions in downtown Toronto sits a brand new one. And where the iconic CN Tower has long given those brave enough to ascend it the chance to see Canada’s largest city from well beyond a bird’s eye view, the brand new Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada instead gives its visitors a look at the depths below sea level, showcasing thousands of fresh and saltwater creatures from bodies of water around the world. Officially opened in mid-October 2013, the multi-million dollar attraction is comprised of a total of 12,500 sq. m., 5.7 million litres of water, and over 15,000 creatures, from sharks and stingrays to sea turtles, jellyfish, and the giant Pacific octopus. It offers guests a chance to navigate through nine themed galleries – from a look at our home and native underwater life in the Canadian Waters gallery through to the colourful choral and creatures in the Rainbow Reef, the eerie environment of the Dangerous Lagoon, the aptly-named Planet Jellies portion, and more. Each section is comprised of multiple zones of audio and visual elements there to enhance the visitor experience while sharing some aquatic-themed lessons. The audio, video, security, and CCTV components of the project were all integrated under the care of Niagara Falls-based firm Design Electronics. The company has collaborated with Ripley Entertainment in the past, primarily on the various Ripley’s properties in the tourism-focused area surrounding the falls. Design Electronics was the successful bidder on the project and tasked with realizing the rather detailed show elements package prepared by Hammer Media LLC and RJC Architects. At Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the integrated A/V systems are intended to further immerse visitors into the underwater world through entertaining and educational multimedia content – which can be appreciated even before paying the price of admission.
The aquarium’s entrance area is outfitted with a complement of outdoor in-ground and ceiling speakers from Bose and QSC that relay an eclectic mix of seathemed songs like “Under the Sea” and “Wipe Out” to bait passers-by into the depths. All of the audio content, be it for indoor or outdoor reproduction, is handled via QSC’s Q-Sys Integrated System Platform for audio processing, control, and management. In fact, Ripley’s Aquarium was the first large-scale implementation of a Q-Sys system with an MTP-128 multi-track playback option. While all Q-Sys Cores feature a built-in 16-track audio player, the MTP-128 is a factory-installed expansion module which allows for simultaneous playback of up to 128 channels. “We leveraged this feature to extend playback to the over 40 zones of audio throughout the facility without the need for a separate media player, all controlled from a single point – and quite seamlessly,” says Design Electronics Operations Manager, Khalil Williams. The Q-Sys system is based on a centralized processing architecture, which allows all of the audio processing to take place in a single unit, the CORE500i 128-channel brain with MTP-128 multitrack player. This negated the need for a media server and simplified system redundancy. “Any input can be routed to any output without convoluted signal paths,” Williams begins about the package’s benefits.
“Q-Sys utilizes IT-friendly layer-3 gigabit Ethernet implementation. The audio transport is low latency and based on accepted IP standards. Being standards-based, it can easily run on a shared network without segregating audio traffic via a VLAN configuration.” As alluded to earlier, Ripley’s Aquarium provided Design Electronics staff the opportunity to work with the Q-Sys platform for the first time, and so Williams and three of his colleagues took part in the online certification course prior to the initial phase of the install, which began in July 2013. “QSC played a strong role in providing definitive technical support throughout the
A Steady Stream Of Multimedia For
ripley’s aquar i 34 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
entire deployment of the system,” Williams adds. “I have to say that, between the online resources and phone support they gave us, they were outstanding in that regard.” He also extends gratitude towards QSC’s Canadian distributor, SF Marketing, for its assistance throughout the project. “From initial discussion and product selection, they were a strong supporter,” Williams attests. “As QSC was originally only specified for sound reinforcement, [Ontario sales rep] Rob Deslauriers deserves a lot of credit for bringing the Q-Sys integrated platform to our attention. He is very knowledgeable about the product line and its
implementation and has a very strong understanding of all of the technical aspects. We were able to get everything on time, and there was a very prompt response when dealing with any changes.” Ultimately, the primary benefits of using the Q-Sys components for the job were its ease of use and interoperability, Williams explains. To keep the system logistics out of sight, two centralized rack rooms in close proximity to one another were designated to act as a stationing hub. Considering the density of the equipment in those racks, ensuring proper cooling for the equipment was of paramount concern. Williams points to the fixed paging stations as a specific example of that ease of use. The pair of QSC PS-1600H 16-button paging stations provide extensive and sophisticated paging functionality, used in conjunction with the Public Address Router within the Q-Sys software. Its user-friendly Design Administration Interface allows facility staff to easily manage daily system changes like security code changes or pre-recorded announcements. The ticket lobby is loaded with digital signage. Nine Samsung LCD
video displays share content including static images, animated images, and full motion video to greet guests and get them excited for what they’ll soon be seeing. One of the later additions to the design for the welcome area was a 16 x 7-ft. video wall from Mitsubishi that receives an HD feed from SVSi network encoding equipment. A closed HD broadcast was created for the aquarium’s grand opening, with one of the Q-Sys IO-22s used to capture the live sound feed from the visiting production company, which was then transmitted to displays throughout the facility alongside the live video content. While the living creatures are the feature attractions within each of the nine galleries they occupy, elements like digital signage and interactive multimedia displays supplement the experience. The exhibit fabrication contract was awarded to Los Angeles-based firm Lexington Design + Fabrication, which has a long list of credits working with similar attractions, including other Ripley’s aquariums. Some galleries, like Canadian Waters, feature live dive shows with aquarium staff swimming through the exhibits with two-way communication enabled through the Q-Sys system via Ocean Technology
r ium of canada By Andrew King
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 35
Ticket lobby, with horizontallymounted QSC S82-YMT speakers.
Classroom space with video projection & in-ceiling speakers.
Systems’ Guardian Full Face Mask with an ear/microphone assembly. In addition, a complement of Shure wireless equipment was selected for guest services staff to use during scheduled presentations. Another cool component of the Canadian Waters gallery is the NEPTUNE Canada exhibit, which lets visitors tap into a live network of underwater cameras situated off of the southwestern coast of British Columbia using a host of iPads. The Discovery Centre is one of the more feature-rich areas within the attraction (which is saying a lot), and subsequently posed its share of challenges when it came to audio integration. The Discovery Centre features an open concept design, stretching approximately three-and-a-half storeys from top to bottom. The lower area features the touch tanks, the Ripley’s Explorer interactive submarine, and a play area. It’s open to the main floor, just past the ticket lobby, and also opens to the top of the aquarium from an adjacent gallery. “That represents just one zone of audio,” Williams explains, going on to further describe the open layout of the space and, subsequently, the acoustical challenges it presented. The optimal solution was a combination of QSC AD-CI52T 5.25-in. ceiling mount and AD-S52T 5.25-in. surface mount loudspeakers. “I was impressed with
how tight the coverage pattern was; how little bleed there was to the other zones,” Williams continues about the units. The Ripley’s Explorer is outfitted with its own speakers – in this case, a pair of JBL Control 2P compact reference monitors – to complete the immersive experience of interacting with a sophisticated vessel navigating the ocean floor under hundreds of pounds of pressure. The Control 2Ps are deployed in several instances within smaller exhibits when tight sound is desired in a nearfield setting. The Discovery Centre also hosts classroom-like learning centres loaded with education-enhancing multimedia systems. All of the classrooms’ digital AV components are managed via Crestron’s DigitalMedia control platform. “The DM-TX-200 wallplate transmitter easily installs into a double-gang electrical box and provides a convenience interface for accepting HDMI input and legacy VGA laptop connections,” Williams offers. There are also in-wall docking stations for iOS devices. For audio, the classrooms can tap into the QSC I/O frames and route the desired feed to the desired space. As mentioned, video and digital sign age comprise a major component of the aquarium’s visitor experience, and the
w o l F e h T g n i d e e F General • 6 x Bose 360 II in-ground speaker (70 v, 360 degree) • 8 x Innovox FS-H2 BLK display-mounted, 2-ch. sound bar (custom to display model) • 3 x Innovox-FS-H1 BLK display-mounted 1-ch. sound bar (custom to display model) • 29 x Innovox SB-25-CST custom dual 5” + HF tweeter full range speaker • 3 x JBL Control 2P small powered speaker-1 • 107 x QSC AD-CI52T-WH 5.25-in. weather-resistant ceiling speaker • 49 x QSC AD-S82-WH 8-in. weather-resistant surface mount speaker • 45 x QSC AD-S52T-WH 5.25-in. surface mount speaker • 20 x QSC AD-C42T-WH 4-in. weather-resistant ceiling speaker • 2 x QSC AD S32T 3-in. weather-resistant surface mount speaker
36 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
iPads in the NEPTUNE Canada exhibit, showing live underwater feeds from off the B.C. coast.
riou A l o o k at t h e va
dozens of displays loaded throughout the space are Samsung screens of various sizes with local Brightsign HD media players. When audio is desired to match the content of any given screen, Innovox FS-H1 and FS-H2 single- and dual-channel sound bars were the product of choice, the former with a single driver for screens in a portrait orientation and the latter with two drivers for screens in a landscape orientation. These were supplied in custom sizes to match both the size and orientation of the screens. It’s a similar product that visitors will encounter while riding the moving sidewalk through the tunnel of the Dangerous Lagoon, where sharks and sawfish will swim alongside – and over the heads of – the awe-struck audience. The tunnel is loaded with 29 Innovox SB-25-CST custom dual 5-in. full range speakers built underneath the inset graphics lining the sides of the sidewalk and reflecting sound off of the curved acrylic walls to create a full and rich sound effect for pre-recorded content. The Dangerous Lagoon also features the thrilling Shark Encounter, where guests have the chance to enter the kind of underwater cage used to observe sharks like the mighty great white in their natural habitat.
s a u d i o co m p o n e nt s a d d
• 4 x QSC K8 powered full range speaker • 1 x QSC KSUB dual 12-in. subwoofer • 4 x QSC CX204V 4-channel, 200 W amplifier • 1 x QSC CX1202V 2-channel, 700 W amplifier • 3 x QSC CX108V 8-channel, 100 W amplifier • 3 x QSC-CX602V 2-channel, 550 W amplifier • 14 x RDL EX-PA20 20 W stereo amplifier • 7 x Shure ULX2/58 wireless handheld SM58 mic • 7 x Shure ULXP4 1-ch. wireless mic receiver
Classroom • 1 x QSC CX204V 4-channel, 200 W amplifier • 12 x QSC AD-CI52T-WH 5.25-in. weather-resistant ceiling speaker • 2 x Shure ULXP124/85 wireless diversity system (WL185 lav mic, ULX2/58 handleld mic, bodypack & ULXP2 & ULXP4) • 2 x Shure UA221 antenna splitter
i n g to t he
• QSC Q-Sys I/O Frame I/O module with 4 card slots (Classroom) QSC CIML4-KIT Q-sys std. mic/line card kit (Slot A) QSC CIML4-KIT Q-Sys std. mic/line card kit (Slot B) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot C) QSC CB-KIT Q-Sys Blank Card Kit (Slot D) • QSC CORE 500i Q-Sys Core, 64 channels with 8 card slots (Equipment Room 1) • QSC MTP-128 128-channel multi-track option • MD-S 130-hour small media drive QSC CIML4-KIT Q-Sys std. mic/line card kit (Slot A) QSC CIML4-KIT Q-Sys std. mic/line card kit (Slot B) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot C) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot D) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot E) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot F) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot G) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot H)
Control room for Life Support Systems gallery.
The shaking cage combined with intense audio from QSC K8 loud speakers and a booming KSUB provides a good scare to curious visitors. In every instance, the product and placement decisions pertaining to the aquarium’s sound and feature lighting equipment were based on their potential impact on the living creatures, with auto mation ensuring these systems are turned off each night and operating levels pro grammed so that there would be no nega tive effect on the permanent residents. At any given time during the installa tion process, which lasted approximately 12 weeks from July to October, a crew of four technicians and one team leader was onsite for Design Electronics. In addition to Williams, key Design Electronics personnel on the job included lead integrator Robert Jones, project engineer Scott Daeng, and technical manger Felice Taddeo, the last of whom also took the lead on system pro gramming for the DSP. “Felice was very impressed with the programming environment of the Q-Sys platform,” Williams says on his colleague’s behalf, adding the comment carries extra weight given Design Electronics’ extensive and certified programming experience with several other reputable DSP brands.
Open-concept Discovery Centre, loaded with QSC AD-CI52T ceiling-mount & AD-S52T surface-mount speakers.
Having now been open for four months, Ripley’s Aquar ium of Canada stands as a testament to the versatility and interoperability of the platform. Ripley’s administration is reportedly pleased with the per formance of the entire rig, with Jim Pattison Jr., the CEO of Ripley Entertain ment’s parent company, The Jim Pattison Group, personally relaying his gratitude to the Design Electronics team regarding the sound system’s performance. But it’s the schools of thousands of guests that make their way through the aquarium each week whose opinion is paramount to its success, and the smiling faces filtering through this underwater world are the true testa ment to the immersive experience offered by this unique new attraction. n Andrew King is the Editor of Professional Sound.
ada n a C g to t h e f o visitor experience at Ripley ’s Aquarium
• QSC Q-Sys I/O Frame I/O module with 4 card slots (Equipment Room 1) QSC CIML4-KIT Q-sys std. mic/line card kit (Slot A) QSC CIML4-KIT Q-Sys std. mic/line card kit (Slot B) QSC COL4-KIT Q-Sys line level out card kit (Slot C) QSC CB-KIT Q-Sys Blank Card Kit (Slot D)
• QSC Q-Sys I/O Frame I/O module with 4 card slots (Equipment Room 2) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot A) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot B) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot C) QSC CIML4-KIT Q-sys std. mic/line card kit (Slot D)
• QSC Q-Sys I/O Frame I/O module with 4 card slots (Equipment Room 2) QSC CIML4-KIT Q-sys std. mic/line card kit (Slot A) QSC COL4-KIT Q-Sys line level out card kit (Slot B) QSC CB-KIT Q-Sys Blank Card Kit (Slot C) QSC CB-KIT Q-Sys Blank Card Kit (Slot D)
• QSC Q-Sys I/O Frame I/O module with 4 card slots (Cold Spare) QSC CIML4-KIT Q-sys std. mic/line card kit (Slot A) QSC COL4-KIT Q-Sys line level out card kit (Slot B) QSC CB-KIT Q-Sys Blank Card Kit (Slot C) QSC CB-KIT Q-Sys Blank Card Kit (Slot D)
• QSC Q-Sys I/O Frame I/O module with 4 card slots (Equipment Room 2) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot A) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot B) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot C) QSC CODP4-KIT Q-Sys DataPort output card kit (Slot D)
• QSC PS-1600H Q-Sys 16-button page station (x2)
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 37
Improving The Audio Infrastructure At The
Vernon & District Performing A
wned by the Regional District of the North Okanagan and operated by the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society, the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre is an impressive venue that prides itself on bringing top-tier productions to one of B.C.’s smaller markets. With a total population of just under 60,000, the Greater Vernon metropolitan region is the largest in the North Okanagan Regional District, but the ninth largest metropolitan area by population in its home province. The centre’s impressive 750-seat main auditorium is a proscenium arch theatre with both orchestra and balcony seating, complemented by Marie Fleming Hall, a flexible black box space that itself boasts potential seating for 100 people. The two spaces each have their own lobby, entrance, and backstage loading area. Midway through 2013, the main auditorium benefitted from a significant upgrade to its audio system, funded primarily by the region and partly by the society, along with some provincial and federal grants. The revamped system, sold and installed by local integrator Dreyer Bros. Sound, features equipment from top brands like Meyer Sound, Digico, Turbosound, and Allen & Heath. What’s particularly notable about the system, though, is that both the integration process itself along with the final product had the local community’s best interests at their very core. Dreyer Bros. Sound started in the early ‘90s as a Kamloops, BC-based audio production rental house. Founder James Dreyer explains that he simply “saw a real need for a quality production provider in the B.C. interior at the time.”
38 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
By Andrew King
On-call tech Rob Raybould (left) & TD Eric Pells with VDPAC’s new Digico SD9.
Over the proceeding years, the production company began a natural shift towards equipment sales and installations, which eventually became a separate division that currently operates alongside a production management department. The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre was a regular rental client, often needing to round out its in-house centre hang to meet the rider requirements of many visiting touring acts – “and that was almost on every major event,” shares Dreyer. The venue’s existing mono cluster was ideal for vocal and theatrical applications, which continue to comprise a fair portion of its visiting productions; however, for concerts and musical productions, the sound field was too high and too distant from the majority of the patrons. “After a few years with more and more rentals,” Dreyer explains, “I suggested that they look at investing in a left-right line array system, which at the time were just starting to hit the market.” It was a similar proposal to one he’d made for the Kelowna Community Theatre in the B.C. centre about 50 km south of Vernon – a venue that had been renting over $100,000 in production resources each year. “With the investment in a prop-
er system, they could have paid that off within just a few years,” Dreyer says. “As a production company, I don’t mind making revenue that way, but I have to responsibly suggest as a business proposal that they look into purchasing something that will better suit their needs.” The venue’s technical director, Eric Pells, explains that midway through 2012, the house system was up for review and
g Arts Centre
that a strong case could be made for an upgrade that would keep the venue competitive with other theatres in the Okanagan. It was around that time that Pells had been appointed TD after having been a relief tech for three years prior. Dreyer Bros. worked in tandem with the centre’s technical team, which also included previous assistant technical director Garrett Nickel, to develop ideas for a new
rig, though the project eventually went to tender as the funding for the revamp was predominantly coming from the region. “They recognized our technicians had a lot of experience, so they put a lot of stock into what we were saying when it came to assessing the bids,” Pells says of his funders. ”Together, we examined all the criteria and selected a system that would best serve the theatre and our renters.” Dreyer takes over: “What we had going for us was that we’d done all of the measurements for the room, proving the technology in that configuration would work, and we had a well-established relationship with Meyer Sound and [Western Canada sales rep] Shawn Hines of Gerr Audio,” Meyer’s Canadian distributor at the time. Dreyer Bros. was awarded the job in late June of 2013 and was looking ahead to a late August completion to ensure the venue could maximize its use of the new system for its busy fall season. “There were a few different things we had to address with this one to make sure everything was done on time,” Dreyer reveals. One of those pertained to the venue’s existing electrical infrastructure. “It wasn’t adequate for what we wanted to do,” he
says. “There were big conduits everywhere, all well wired for an analog configuration, but with the Digico and Meyer gear, we had to come up with an electrical distribution system that could be installed prior to any of the low-voltage stuff going in.” Local firm 1 & 2 Electric was tasked with that tier of the job. The company had previous experience within the venue, and as Dreyer asserts, one of his firm’s business philosophies is to keep the customer comfortable with the work happening onsite and the contractors doing it. Following step 1 & 2 in the first week of August, Dreyer Bros. cut POs for the PA equipment – all of which was delivered within just two weeks and installed immediately after, comfortably ahead of schedule. “Everything was in, amped, and SIMed the following week – two weeks ahead of schedule and under budget, so we were all pretty happy,” Dreyer says proudly with a short chuckle. “The imaging was probably the biggest issue for this space,” he begins, describing his design in detail. “The existing mono centre cluster, comprised of two [Meyer] CQ-1s, two CQ-2s, and a 650-P sub, covered the space pretty well, but there’s a fairly high balcony that in turn required a high hang point for the existing centre cluster. The space also had a lot of low-mid 160 Hz rumbling around the lower house that was hard to overcome. Overall, the arrangement gave the impression you weren’t in the same space as what was being reproduced.” To combat this, the previous lip fills were essentially acting as part of the main PA and overcompensating to overcome the stage volume. “To bring that image down, we either had to relocate the centre cluster, which wasn’t really an option because of sightlines and electricity for lighting, or go to a left-right arrangement.” So they chose the latter. Originally suggesting the venue invest in Meyer Sound’s M’elodie curvilinear array solution for the left and right hangs, Dreyer and Hines developed MAPP renderings that showed how such a configuration would drastically improve coverage for the auditorium and make the overall SPL level more consistent. That new design, however, kept the CQ-1s and CQ-2s in action for a more versatile LCR system. “We really believed that the mono centre cluster was an integral part of the design. After all, it always worked well for theatrical productions,” Dreyer reveals. “So using the Galileo DSP, we looked at what we could do with left-centre-right.” Adds Pells: “The mono is great for soundscaping, but we can now do more with stereo imaging and even stereo effects.” The Digico SD9, which the venue was also considering, is what Dreyer calls a “true LCR mixing console” and made such a solution all the more attractive. “For theatrical PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 39
Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre In addition to reducing the venue’s annual operating budget, the system is poised to let the VDPAC present more entertainment and engagements for its local community. But by Dreyer’s design, the investment had another benefit for some specific members of that community. “I thought it was important to involve the technical staff in every move we made,” Dreyer explains about one of his company’s business philosophies. “A lot of times, you don’t want people constantly looking over your shoulder while you’re working, but I thought, if I could work with the venue staff and employ local technicians and volunteers that work there and have them be an integral part of the installation and pay them as subtrades, what happens is they get a better understanding of what we’ve done. The result is that the users see every nut and bolt of the system.” It’s the definition of a win-win situation, as on the other side, Dreyer is able to save a lot of time on initial and follow-up training and maintenance. “You’re more vulnerable with someone shadowing you,” he adds, “but the benefit of having the venue staff with you, who are under the
hammer making this thing work, is that they can handle pretty much anything when these visiting productions show up.” Dreyer also shares how GerrAudio’s Hines spent a full day onsite with Pells and current ATD Rylee Block, taking SMAART measurements of the room and showing them precisely how the system responds to different frequencies in different areas. “He took them through everything we did and why – compensating for frequency swells, watching the phase inversions…” All in all, it’s a means for Dreyer Bros. to add value to any project while extracting some for themselves. “Eric and the team were very proactive in seeking solutions and asking questions,” he says. The overhaul also included a new 100-amp, three-phase panel on the catwalk above the stage to accommodate audio AC distribution from one panel. “With electrical utility costs on the rise, we also chose to run the Meyer system in a 120 V, threephase wye configuration, thus cutting the load of the system in half and reducing operating costs,” Dreyer shares. The new panel also allows for future LED lighting expansion as the industry continues to move towards replacing conventional dimmer
racks and fixtures with LED solutions. Dreyer reports that he’s had little in the way of feedback since commissioning, aside from a request for some new microphones – “because I guess with the new rig they can actually hear the wear on their older ones,” he chuckles. After describing in detail how pleased he is with the new system’s performance, Pells adds that a number of techs with experience on the previous rig have shared his opinion. “One of the guys came in to mix sound for [local singer-songwriter] Andrew Allen and has done a number of other groups, and he jokingly said he’d come back and mix shows for free on this rig.” And joking aside, wouldn’t that be fitting – a bit of reciprocity from the local community to the venue that’s been bringing in celebrated acts from around the world for everyone’s benefit? n Andrew King is the Editor of Professional Sound.
ATD Rylee Block beside D-Rack & amps.
FOH SOUND SYSTEM
1 Digico SD9 Digital Sound Console 1 Allen & Heath GL2400 4-24 Console 1 HME DX 210 Wireless Intercom (3 belt packs) 2 Yamaha MSP5 Booth Monitors 1 Tascam CD-01U Pro (CD Player) 1 HHB CDR 882 (CD Player/ Recorder)
18 Meyer Sound Mina Line Array Boxes (9 per side) 2 Meyer Sound 100 LFC Sub Cabinets 2 Meyer Sound CQ1 Cabinets 2 Meyer Sound CQ2 Cabinets 1 Meyer Sound 650P Sub Cabinet 4 Meyer Sound UPM 1P Front Fills 1 Meyer Sound Galileo 616 Loud speaker Management System
12 Turbosound TMW-112 Passive Wedges (8 mixes) 2 Yamaha MS60S Two-Way Self Powered Cabinets 4 Dynacord AM12 Powered Monitor Wedges 1 Dynacord M12 Passive Monitor Wedge
42 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
MICROPHONES 8 AKG C535 Condenser Mics 3 AKG C4118 Mini Drum Mics 1 AKG C518M Drum Mic 1 AKG D112 Kick Drum Mic 1 Shure UC14/18 Lav Mic/ Countryman E6 Omni-Directional Ear-Set Mic 1 Shure UC24/Beta 87 Handheld Wireless Mic 5 Shure SM 58 3 Shure SM 57 1 ATW T341 Handheld 4 ATW T310 Beltpacks 4 Countryman B3 Body Mics 2 Sennheiser ME 66 2 Sennheiser ME 67 3 Clockaudio C3SE Choir Mics 2 Sennheiser E912 Boundry Mics
BLACK LION AUDIO. Modifying Expectations since 2007. Now proudly distributed in Canada by HHB.
HHB Communications Canada Ltd.
416-867-9000 firstname.lastname@example.org www. hhbcanada.com
Focusrite Red 1 500 Mic Preamp
Focusrite is now shipping the Red Series mic preamp in a new incarnation for the Lunchbox 500 Series portable rack system. Focusrite’s Red Range was first released in 1993 and featured circuitry from the original ISA110 modules designed by Rupert Neve for Air Studios. Featuring the same circuit topology and components as the original Red 1 mic pre designs, the 500 series unit is designed around API’s original console modules. It has a Lundahl LL1538 input transformer as well as switchable phantom power, polarity invert, and an illuminated classic porthole VU meter. Mic gain is switched via a Grayhill gold-plated militarygrade switch in 6dB steps from -6 to +60dB. The Focusrite mic amp features shared gain structure (14dB from the transformer and up to 46dB from the amplifier) and a very low noise floor, combined with the traditional wide bandwidth of the original Red series (10 Hz to 140 kHz). For more information, contact Erikson Audio: 514-457-2555, FAX 514-457-0055, info@eriksonaudio. com, www.eriksonaudio.com.
Audinate Ultimo ULT-01-004 Chip
Audinate has added a new product to its Ultimo range. The ULT-01-004 supports 4 x 4 channels of uncompressed audio, double the capacity of the ULT-01-002. Ultimo is part of Audinate’s portfolio of Dante solutions and is a family of complete single-chip Dante solutions for networked audio products. The Ultimo family incorporates all the Dante features like automatic device discovery, plug-and-play networking, customization of device names and channel labels, and network-based firmware updates. ULT-01-004 extends the range of applications that can benefit from the Ultimo low cost Dante implementations Coinciding with the launch of the 4 x 4 Ultimo chip, the full Ultimo product range will be enhanced to support more features, including: increased range of sample rates (44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz); pull up/pull down support; remote signal presence indication; latency monitoring; improved clock statistics reporting; and GPIO pin activation. For more information, contact Audinate Inc.: 503-224-2998, FAX 503-360-1155, www.audinate.com.
Sonifex RB-DA24MD Mono Audio Distribution Amplifier
Sonifex has unveiled the RB-DA24MD, a 24-way audio distribution amplifier. It has two inputs that can be individually routed to 12 outputs or mixed and routed to all 24 outputs. The inputs can be configured as either dual mono, with input one routed to outputs one to 12, and input two routed to outputs 13-24, or mixed-mono, with inputs one and two mixed at a pre-set level and routed to all 24 outputs. This product was designed for the niche application of distributing a mono or stereo audio feed to multiple active speakers for an emergency audio distribution system. The user has a number of office desk clusters, each with a small speaker mounted underneath them so that each person gets a clear emergency signal. The user can cover 100 desks with five units. For more information, contact Sonotechnique: 514-332-6868, FAX 514-332-5537, email@example.com, www.sonotechnique.ca. 44 Professional Sound
IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R430 Studio Monitor Stand
IsoAcoustics is now shipping the ISO-L8R430 stand, which is designed to support larger speaker monitors in the recording environment. The ISO-L8R430 standâ€™s patented isolation technology allows large speakers to float in free space, resulting in the elimination of energy transfer to the surrounding surfaces. The design is meant to tighten up the bass reproduction and open up the mid-range frequencies. Measuring 17 in. wide and 9 in. in depth, the ISO-L8R430 stands are designed to support speakers weighing up to 100 lbs. The ISO-L8R430 stands also offer a variety of tilt adjustments. For more information, contact IsoAcoustics Inc.: 905-294-4672, FAX 905-204-0690, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.isoacoustics.com.
WindTech MC-2 White Microphone Clip
WindTech, a division of the Olsen Audio Group, has announced the release of the MC-2 White Microphone Clip. The MC-2 is intended for use in house of worship, television, and stage applications where a black microphone clip is not cosmetically appropriate. The MC-2 is made of a soft pliable rubber material and will fit most wireless and large body handheld microphones from 32 to 44 mm in outside diameter. Standard 5/8-in.-27 female plastic thread and 3/8-in.-16 adapter included. For more information, contact Olsen Audio Group Inc.: 480-998-7140, FAX 480998-7192, email@example.com, www.olsenaudio.com. Professional Sound 45
Meyer Sound MJF-210 Stage Monitor
Meyer Sound has released the self-powered MJF-210 low-profile, high-power stage monitor. The MJF-210 is the lightest stage monitor in the company product line. The MJF-210 features a low-profile design and each monitor measures less than 14 in. high and weighs 67 lbs. With the amplifier built into the cabinet, the MJF-210 eliminates amplifier racks and saves backstage and truck space. The front of the MJF-210 slopes at 40 degrees from the stage, while the constant directivity horn (50 degree H x 70 degree V) is designed to give the performer more freedom to move on stage while staying within the wide vertical coverage. The drivers are powered by a threechannel class D amplifier. For real-time monitoring of loudspeaker parameters, the MJF-210 can be integrated into the Compass RMS remote monitoring system using the optional RMS module. Compass RMS features the RMServer and can be controlled in the Compass software. For more information, contact Meyer Sound Laboratories: 855-641-3288, FAX 510-486-8356, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.meyersound.com.
Ashly nX 800 & 400 W Model Amplifiers
Ashly’s nX family of two- and four-channel power amplifiers has been expanded with the addition of 800 and 400 W models. These medium output amplifiers complement the high-output 3,000 W and 1,500 W nX models. All nX Series amplifiers feature Ashly’s programmable outputs on each individual channel using rear panel DIP switches to select Low-Z (down to two Ohms) or High-Z (70 V or 100 V) constant-voltage outputs. The nX8004 has four channels rated at 800 W per channel across all programmable outputs. The nX8002 is the two-channel version. The nX4004 offers four channels at 400 W per channel, while the nX4002 is the two-channel model. Ashly offers three nX amplifier feature sets. The nX Series is the base level amplifier with Ashly’s Energy Management System (Ashly EMS), a defeatable sleep mode that draws <1 W of current when engaged. The nX Series also has an optional security lockout feature for the front panel controls. The nXe Series Net-Work-Able amplifiers feature an Ethernet connection providing the integrator with remote control and diagnostics, a programmable sleep or stand-by mode, AUX outputs, and an internal real-time clock with event scheduler. For more information, contact Erikson Audio: 514-457-2555, FAX 514-457-0055, email@example.com, www.eriksonaudio.com.
Lynx Studio LT-TB Thunderbolt LSlot Interface
Lynx Studio Technology has released the LT-TB Thunderbolt LSlot interface for its Aurora and Hilo converters. The LT-TB is a two-port Thunderbolt expansion card that supports daisy-chaining Aurora and Hilo converters and any other certified Thunderbolt device on both Apple and Windows computers. The LT-TB LSlot card can be installed into any existing Hilo or Aurora with a free firmware update. In addition, Lynx is making Thunderbolt-equipped Aurora and Hilo models available at the same time. These models are: the Hilo-TB in black and silver; Aurora 16-TB; Aurora 16-VTTB (variable trim model); and Aurora 8-TB. The LT-TB uses Intel’s Cactus Ridge second-generation Thunderbolt controller. This device allows for a more robust design electrically. The LT-TB incorporates an FPGA for audio mixing and control functions that can be updated in the field. The LT-TB can be used in a chain of up to six Aurora converters for up to 96 analog channels, plus 96 digital channels on one Thunderbolt port. For more information, contact Lynx Studio Technology Inc.: 714-545-4700, FAX 714-545-4777, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lynxstudio.com. 46 Professional Sound
Adamson e12 Line Array
Adamson Systems Engineering has added a new product to its Energia line with the release of the e12. The e12 was designed as a standalone mid-size line array but can also be used as a downfill or side fill in a larger e15 arena system. The e12 is designed to offer a very highpowered vocal performance for its size and because the e12 and e15 share the mid and high components, they create a uniform ribbon of mid/high energy when the e12 is used in a downfill configuration. Inside the box is Adamsonâ€™s 12-in. Kevlar driver, the ND12S, with advanced cooling. By utilizing Adamsonâ€™s cone architecture, the ND12S has reduced eddy currents and intermodulation distortion by utilizing shorting rings in the motor design. The 12-in. cone and dustcap are manufactured entirely out of Kevlar to create a weather resistant low frequency component. For more information, contact Theatrixx Technologies Inc.: 514-939-3077, FAX 514-933-0087, email@example.com, www. theatrixx.com.
Peavey PVM 50
Peavey PVM 44 & 50 Microphones
Peavey Electronics has released the latest additions to its PVM series of professional microphones with the PVM 44 and PVM 50. The PVM 44 dynamic cardioid microphone and the PVM 50 super cardioid dynamic microphone have been developed for use in live vocal reinforcement and instrument recording environments. The microphones include a mic clip and hardshell case. B o t h m i c ro p h o n e s feature a neody mi um magnet capsule and transformer output and have a frequency response of 50 Hz-16 kHz. As well, they both weigh 1.53 lbs. The PVM 44 has a sensitivity of -54 +/- 2dBV/Pa, with Pa = 94dB SPL. For more information, contact Peavey Electronics: 601-483-5365, www.peavey.com. Professional Sound 47
SSL Matrix2 Console
Solid State Logic has launched the Matrix2, an updated version of the SSL Matrix console first introduced in 2008. The integrated software-controlled patching of analog channel inserts has been upgraded in the Matrix2. Hardware device inserts can now be loaded directly from the console hardware controls with an interface that facilitates loading individual processors, A/B comparison of different processors, and building processor chains. The Matrix remote browser software has also been redesigned to provide a drag-and-drop style interface for loading processors and building chains. A Fader Linking system has been added to the console, which allows two or more faders to be grouped to facilitate stereo or 5.1 channel control or subgroup style mixing. The A-FADA (Analogue Fader Accesses DAW Automation) summing system used in Duality, AWS, and the new SSL Sigma rack has been introduced to enable the analog faders of the Matrix2 to be driven by automation data from a userâ€™s DAW. For more information, contact HHB Communications Canada: 416-867-9000, FAX 416-867-1080, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.hhbcanada.com.
48 Professional Sound
Primacoustic Broadway 1-in. Bevelled Edge Broadband Panels
Atlas Sound BlueBridge DSP Processors
Atlas Sound is now shipping all models in the BlueBridge family of DSP audio processors. The BlueBridge family of products features drag-and-drop, open architecture software and can operate on any network. Each model utilizes THAT microphone preamps and 24-bit converters designed to obtain an ultra-low noise floor while still maintaining a smooth sound. BlueBridge models use a 40-bit floating point DSP engine to prevent digital clipping and to obtain maximum speed and power to process advanced algorithms in complex system designs. Models are available in configurations ranging from two to 16 I/O with all models using the same DSP engine. Additionally, Atlas offers four models that feature Dante I/O, allowing for true digital audio transmission over the network. The BlueBridge platform also includes a system manager that allows for third party hardware integration and remote control and a 16 input/16 output expansion box with Dante. For more information, contact Mitek Canada: 604-607-4595, email@example.com, www.mitekcanada.com.
50 Professional Sound
Primacoustic is now shipping a new version of its 1-in. Broadway Broadband panels with a bevelled edge finish. The bevelled edge replaces the square edge previously found on all 1-in. thick Broadway Broadband panels. The thicker 2- and 3-in. panels will continue to be available in either the square edge or bevelled edge finish. All Broadway panels are made from 6 lb.-per- cubic-ft . glass wool for balanced absorption throughout the audio listening range. Each panel is fully encapsulated with micromesh and the edges are resin hardened. Panels are covered in a tough but acoustically transparent fabric and offered in three architecturally neutral colours. For more information, contact Radial Engineering: 604-942-1001, FAX 604-942-1010, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.radialeng.com.
Biamp Vocia PSKIT-1 Paging Station Kit & 1.5.2 Software
Biamp Systems has introduced the latest additions to its public address and voice evacuation system: the Vocia PSKIT-1 interface kit and 1.5.2 software. The PSKIT-1 paging station kit and software update are designed to provide greater ease of use and streamlined communication in paging systems that incorporate third-party components. The PSKIT-1 is a standalone paging station kit that allows for direct connection to third-party equipment. The PSKIT-1 features embedded DSP and on-board memory to support standard and advanced public address and mass notification functionalities. The PSKIT-1 can store 999 user-defined page codes and device-specific configuration information is stored locally within the unit. The Vocia 1.5.2 software update enables one-button paging functionality across all of the Biamp advanced paging station devices (DS-10, WS-10, EWS-10, PSKIT-1). For more information, contact Biamp Systems: 503-641-7287, FAX 503-626-0281, email@example.com, www.biamp.com.
TOA IR-310M Wireless Microphone
TOA Canada has introduced the IR-310M, a lightweight, hands-free infrared wireless microphone designed for use in school classrooms. The microphone is designed to eliminate problems with interface and eavesdropping, allowing simultaneous use in adjacent classrooms. The IRIR-310M is capable of operating on one of two selectable IR frequencies and two transmitters can work simultaneously. It is also capable of operating with one rechargeable A A Ni-MH battery for continuous operations up to eight hours. The microphone has a designated battery charger (IR-310BC) (IRfeaturing an antiovercharging design. The IR-310M IRincludes a clip that attaches to clothing or can be used as a handheld microphone. TOA also offers the IR-800KIT3 classroom kit, which includes the R-310M microphone, a ceiling speaker (IR-820SP), IR tuner (IR-802T), microphone battery charger, Ni-MH battery, wall mount bracket for tuner, support rails for ceiling speaker, 50-ft. Cat-5 Ethernet cable, 3-ft. 3.5 mm stereo cable, and 36-ft. RCA stereo cable. For more information, contact TOA Canada Corp.: 800-263-7639, sales@ toacanada.com, www.toacanada.com. Professional Sound 51
Rode VideoMic GO
Rode is now shipping the VideoMic GO microphones for on-camera usage. The VideoMic GO is designed to have a tight pickup area that focuses directly in front of the microphone and reduces other surrounding sounds. At 73 g, it is Rode’s lightest on-camera microphone. Designed to be user-friendly, the VideoMic GO has no switches or settings and is powered by the camera or recording device’s external microphone input, requiring no batteries to operate. The microphone features an integrated suspension based on Rycote’s Lyre system, which utilizes one piece of thermoplastic to isolate the microphone from knocks and bumps. For more information, contact Audio Distributors International: 450-449-8177, FAX 450-449-8180, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.adi-online.net.
52 Professional Sound
ADVERTISERS' INDEX FEBRUARY 2014 PG. ADVERTISER 59
ALLEN & HEATH (ERIKSON PRO)
BLACK LION AUDIO (HHB CANADA)
COMMUNITY (ERIKSON COMMERCIAL)
DB TECHNOLOGIES (ERIKSON PRO)
4 54 6
ELECTRO-VOICE (BOSCH) FACTOR ELECTRONICS LECTROSONICS
LINE 6 L3t (YORKVILLE)
LINE 6 XD-V (YORKVILLE)
2 49 3, 15 8
MEYER SOUND POWERSOFT (THEATRIXX) QSC (SF MARKETING) RADIAL ENGINEERING
RCF (SOUNDS DISTRIBUTION)
RENKUS-HEINZ (CONTACT DISTRIBUTION)
ROLAND SYSTEMS GROUP
YAMAHA – CL SERIES
YAMAHA – LS9
YAMAHA CANADA – MG SERIES
YAMAHA CANADA – STEINBERG
To view the online digital version of Professional Sound, please go to www.professional-sound.com/online. Professional Sound 53
Waves Abbey Road J37 Tape Saturation Plug-In
Waves Audio and Abbey Road Studios have teamed up to release the J37 tape saturation plug-in, a precision model of the machine used to record The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and other classic albums. With a variety of user-adjustable controls including Tape Speed, Bias, Noise, Saturation, Wow, and Flutter, the Waves Abbey Road J37 recreates the sonic signature of the original machine. In addition to the J37 itself, three exclusive oxide tape formulas have been modeled. Specially developed by EMI during the ‘60s and ‘70s, each formula has its own unique frequency response and harmonic distortion behavior. Abbey Road Studios’ technical staff from the ‘60s and ‘70s was consulted on the line-up procedures that they used over 50 years ago in order to achieve accurate results. For more information, contact Waves Inc.: 865-909-9200, www.waves.com.
54 Professional Sound
iZ Technology ADA II Converter
iZ Technology Corporation has launched its ADA II converter. The new converter is more powerful than the original ADA I and comes with a larger, 10.1-in. higher-resolution display. The user interface is easier to use with the main screen showing both the A/D and the D/A meters. The new front panel is fingerprint-resistant and offers a high-contrast white LED ring-lit power switch. ADA II supports the 24-channel transformer balanced AES card and features a new Pro Tools sample rate error indicator. ADA II is fully compatible with iZ’s Classic 96 and Ultra Nyquist analog I/O option cards. Each ADA is made-to-order in 8, 16, or 24 channel configurations with customizable I/O ratios. Users can reconfigure I/O ratios and add channel count to the original ADA frame as required. ADA’s Graphic User Interface controls settings and preferences – including the A/D and D/A routing options. Full screen mode brings all 48 high-resolution meters into view for reference monitoring. ADA connects to Logic, Nuendo, REAPER, and other native DAWs via low-latency, lowjitter MADI digital I/O. For more information, contact iZ Technology Corp.: 604-395-7878, FAX 604-395-7888, www.izcorp.com.
Sound Devices 633 Mixer/Recorder
Sound Devices has introduced the 633,, a six-input mixer with integrated 10-track recorder. The 633 mixer/recorder features six inputs, with three high-bandwidth mic/line XLR inputs complete with phantom power, high-pass filter, input limiter, and variable pan. Three additional line-level inputs appear on TA3 (mini-XLR) connectors. All inputs are assignable to any output bus. The 633 offers 10-track, 24-bit, 48 kHz uncompressed polyphonic or monophonic broadcast WAV file recording (96 kHz for eight tracks, 192 kHz for six tracks) or timecode stamped MP3 recording to CompactFlash and/or SD cards. All six inputs plus left/right and aux 1/2 can be recorded to individual tracks. The 633 offers dual card slots that record to either one or both cards simultaneously. The 633 is equipped with a four-way power supply and Sound Devicesâ€™ proprietary PowerSafe technology. For more information, contact Sound Devices LLC: 608-524-0625, FAX 608-524-0655, email@example.com, www.sounddevices.com.
Hosa USB-300 Series SuperSpeed 3.0 Cables
Hosa Technology has introduced the USB300 Series SuperSpeed USB 3.0 cables. They feature data transfer rates up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0. Available in 3-, 6-, and 10-ft. lengths, the SuperSpeed USB cables are available in two configurations: the traditional Type A to B option commonly used to connect a PC to an audio interface, external hard drive, or similar device; and the Type A to Micro-B connector that can be found on DSLR cameras, smart phones, tablets, and portable drives. Hosa SuperSpeed USB cables are fully compliant with USB 3.0 specifications, providing transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps and increased power handling capabilities. All Hosa USB-300 Series SuperSpeed USB cables utilize nickel-plated plugs for enhanced signal transfer and an aluminum-Mylar shield for improved EMI and RFI rejection. For more information, contact SC Media Canada: 514-780-0808, FAX 514-7801604, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.scmediacanada.com.
Professional Sound 55
By Ryan McCambridge
The Last 10 Per Cent
he devil is in the details” is likely the most valuable idiom relevant to audio production. There seem to be multiple definitions for the phrase, but the overarching theme is always the same: The details will make or break a project. I didn’t set out to open this article with a clichéd definition, but I think that it’s the best way to illustrate what I’ve come to call “the last 10 per cent.” I spent years teaching audio and the most common question I was asked was, “Why don’t my recordings sound like pro recordings?” The answer is that you’ve only taken it to 90 per cent of its production potential. It’s tuning out the details that seem insignificant, often because they seem so incredibly arduous that they’re easy to just ignore. A lot of people think that the last 10 per cent is all about experience, and a part of it is, but I would say that most of it is just rolling up your sleeves and hammering through it. It’s staying up to 4 a.m. editing, or driving across town in traffic to rent that one perfect snare drum, or getting into the studio early to restring guitars. It’s the thankless tasks that take tons of time yet only give back a marginal benefit. But it’s each of those fractions of an audio inch that make an amazing recording.
Many have tried their best to mitigate the responsibilities and time commitments associated with the last 10 per cent, but most automated tasks don’t work as well as good ol’ elbow grease. For example, take vocal tuning. You will never get natural results using the “set and forget” method. Or with de-essing, there is no plug-in that beats going through and manually lowering the volume of each “ess” sound. Or taking the time to inspect every hit when sample replacing to ensure that there are no flams and that none are even partially out of phase. These tasks aren’t fun, but they make all the difference. Historically, I would say that the last 10 per cent was only about two per cent prior to the DAW recording revolution. As our capacity to refine recordings has increased, though, the expectation has also risen and the time we have to spend on the details has increased proportionately. I don’t want to entirely downplay the fact that great gear, great ears, and great choices contribute to great recordings, but I promise
you that a “Why bother?” attitude towards the things that may seem trivial will most certainly end in mediocre productions. The details matter and the devil is just waiting for us to forget that. Ryan McCambridge is a freelance audio engineer, writer, producer and programmer, usually working out of SlipOne Digital Studios. McCambridge has taught audio production at Ryerson University, heads the audio blog Bit Crushing, and is also the frontman of the Toronto-based band, Recovery Child. To find out more, go to www.bitcrushing.com or www.recoverychild.com.
Get The PA Right First
By Graham Clarke
hen mixing any live act, it’s imperative that you first get the PA right. You may have had the production supplier bring an XL4 and racks full of tube comps or an Avid desk loaded with plug-ins, but if the PA and crossover aren’t properly configured, you’re not doing your client justice. In this world of line arrays and digital crossovers, we have lots of new tablet apps and tools that allow us to remotely make adjustments and walk the 300 level of the arenas or the balconies of the theatres while making zone level adjustments and matching complimentary EQ to the various components of the system. We need to give the people in the balconies and side seats the same quality experience and imaging as the person sitting in the twelfth row. Many loudspeaker manufacturers have prediction software that offers a great start, but listen to the system and always make
56 Professional Sound
adjustments to hit those seats correctly. Use the matrixing to separate your sends to the different zones and time align them perfectly to maintain cohesiveness and imaging in your mix. Crossovers allow you to time align the subs with the mains, front fill, and delays. More than anything else, spending the necessary attention on time alignment is paramount. When this isn’t done correctly, you add to the smearing and cancelation inherent in these imperfect venues. We then tend to turn up the volume, attempting to compensate and causing a louder version of the improperly set up system. If we set up the system correctly to begin with, we can keep the volume down and maintain the impact of the live performance. If you don’t have a smart system or alignment software, use your ears. Play a song that is simple, something with a straight beat to it (Tom Petty has always worked well for me). As you get close to having the front fill in time with
the mains, the fill will sound like it almost gets quieter or disappears from the FOH position. It shouldn’t be noticeable that you are walking into the front fill soundfield; rather, you should just be getting the presence of the vocal and upper-mids the PA isn’t producing for those front seats. When the guitar player gets going and the drummer starts pounding, those front row fans will still be hearing those great vocals they came for and want to sing along to. Graham Clarke has been in the audio industry for over 17 years and is based in Toronto. He has been the tour manager, production manager, and audio engineer for acts such as TOTO, Loverboy, Alannah Myles, Jann Arden, David Wilcox, and others.
Industry Events & Shows
PLASA Focus Nashville, TN February 18-19, 2014 212-244-1505 email@example.com, www.plasafocus.com
NAB Show 2014 Las Vegas, NV April 5-10, 2014 800-342-2460 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nabshow.com
NRB 2014 Convention & Exposition Nashville, TN February 22-25, 2014 703-330-7000, FAX 703-330-7100 email@example.com, www.nrb.org
InfoComm China 2014 Beijing, China April 9-11, 2014 +65-6674-8663, FAX +65-6725-8415 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.infocomm-china.com
BVE 2014 London, U.K. February 25-27, 2014 email@example.com, www.bvexpo.com Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference Lansing, MI March 11-12, 2014 517-484-7444, FAX 517-484-5810 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.michmab.com Musikmesse 2014 Frankfurt, Germany March 12-15, 2014 905-824-5017, FAX 905-824-5067 www.messefrankfurt.com Prolight + Sound 2014 Frankfurt, Germany March 12-15, 2014 905-824-5017, FAX 905-824-5067 www.prolight-sound.com CinemaCon 2014 Las Vegas, NV March 24-27, 2014 516-439-5511, FAX 516-439-5512 email@example.com,Â www.cinemacon.com 2014 USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo Fort Worth, TX March 26-29, 2014 800-938-7488, FAX 866-398-7488 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.usitt.org
PALME Middle East 2014 Dubai, U.A.E. April 15-17, 2014 +971-4336-5161, FAX +971-4336-4006 email@example.com, www.palme-middleeast.com AES 136th Convention Berlin, Germany April 26-29, 2014 212-661-8528, FAX 212-682-0477 www.aes.org 2014 BICSI Canadian Conference & Exhibition Vancouver, BC April 27-May 1, 2014 813-979-1991 www.bicsi.org TecnoMultimedia InfoComm Brasil Sao Paulo, Brazil May 13-15, 2014 703-273-7200 www.infocomm.org PALM Expo 2014 China Beijing, China May 26-29, 2014 +65-6411-7777, FAX +65-6411-7778 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.palmexpo.net Pro AV Golf Tournament Caledon, ON May 29, 2014 905-374-8878, FAX 888-665-1307 email@example.com, www.proavgolf.com
54th AES Conference: Audio Forensics London, U.K. June 12-14, 2014 212-661-2777, FAX 212-682-0477 www.aes.org
Broadcast Asia 2014 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore June 17-20, 2014 +65-6233-6638, FAX +65-6233-6633 www.broadcast-asia.com InfoComm 2014 Las Vegas, NV June 14-20, 2014 703-277-2006 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.infocomm.org Summer NAMM 2014 Nashville, TN July 17-19, 2014 760-438-8001, FAX 760-438-7327 email@example.com, www.namm.org CITT Rendez-vous 2014 Ottawa, ON August 14-16, 2014 888-271-3383, FAX 613 482-1212 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.citt.org TecnoMultimedia InfoComm Mexico Mexico City, Mexico August 20-22, 2014 703-273-7200 www.infocomm.org InfoComm India 2014 Mumbai, India September 17-19, 2014 703-273-7200 www.infocomm.org Prolight + Sound Russia 2014 Moscow, Russia September 18-20, 2014 +7-495-649-8775, FAX +7-495-649-8785 email@example.com, www.prolight.messefrankfurt.ru
Visit www.nor.com/events for more pro audio, lighting, music, and MI events. 58 Professional Sound
To place your ad contact us at: 905-374-9012 • FAX 888-665-1307 • firstname.lastname@example.org
EDUCATION Training for the Musical Trades Guitar Building and Repair Live Sound Recording Tube Amps C.N.C. Training Courses and Workshops
Summit School of Guitar Building 6114 W. Island Hwy Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 2E2 www.luthiers-international.com 1-888-901-9903
EMPLOYMENT Bilingual Inside Sales / Customer Service Rep (Sound & Lighting) Sounds Distribution Inc., a national distributor of professional sound, video and lighting equipment for retail and production companies, is looking for a full-time Bilingual Inside Sales/Customer Service Rep to work at our distribution office in Ajax, Ontario. The successful candidate must be energetic, enthusiastic and resourceful while supporting the goals and objectives of the company by providing a full range of customer service. Responsibilities: - Maintain exemplary service to customers and support outside sales reps - Respond promptly to customer inquiries and requests by phone, e-mail and in-person - Enter and process orders from our B2B customers and sales staff - Answer and process inbound call inquiries - Provide information on pricing, inventory levels, delivery schedules and products - Outbound sales and follow up calls - Recommend products and up sell where possible. Qualifications: - Must be Bilingual (French/English) - Must have a working knowledge of Sound & Lighting products - Minimum 2 years related experience in the Sound and Lighting industry (production or retail) - Minimum 2 years Customer Service or Inside Sales experience - Exceptional attention to detail and communications skills (written/verbal) - Must be well organized with a strong ability to multi-task and prioritize multiple assignments. - Excellent organizational and follow-through abilities - Ability to work effectively under stress, with an ability to concentrate and pay attention to detail when operating under tight deadlines and with frequent interruptions. - Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously in a fast paced, dynamic team environment - Strong computer skills including Outlook, Word & Excel - Experience with Business Vision is an asset 60 Professional Sound
If you are qualified and interested in this position, please forward your resume and cover letter to email@example.com. We thank all applicants but only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
Audio Distributors International (ADI) is seeking an Ontario Sales Representative for its Pro Audio Division. Leading national distributor of professional audio, sound reinforcement, broadcast, and installed sound products including Rode Microphones, Avalon Design, Event Electronics, Funktion One, Mc2 Audio, XTA, FBT, Galaxy Audio, etc. requires professional sales and representation for Ontario. Applicants must be self-motivated, own a vehicle, be available full time, and located in the GTA (or be willing to relocate). Sales experience as well as knowledge of the music and recording, sound reinforcement, and installed sound markets are an asset. Compensation package and conditions to be discussed. Applicants respond by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Western Sales Representative TerchniContact 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. This individual should be able to work autonomously as well as have a team player attitude and the ability to easily multi task. They should possess strong verbal and written communication, project management and organizational skills. This position allows for flexibility, growth and offers very competitive compensation. Responsibilities Responsible for driving revenue and building relationships with new & existing customers •Promote advanced product features and benefits •Expedites the resolution of customer problems and complaints. •Analyzes the territory/market’s potential and determines the value of existing and prospective customer’s value to the organization. •Creates and manages a customer value plan for existing customers •Must understand how to use technology to meet business and product goals Please send resume to email@example.com.
Quick & Easy Musical Instrument Insurance 24/7! Exclusive to members of SOCAN, RACS and CCMA. Front Row Insurance Brokers have a new online system that offers musicians quotes in 30 seconds. Policies in 5 minutes by answering 8 questions. No need to talk to a broker. Worldwide coverage. No minimum premium. The cost to insure $5,000 of gear is just $75. $10,000 costs $125. Fire, breakage, and theft all covered. Get a free quote at: https://musicians. frontrowinsurance.com. For a limited time, receive $20 off by using discount code: CM1013
Protecting the Canadian music industry for over 25 years. Professional liability, tours, rigging, gear rentals, conventions & more. Call us today at 1-800-988-7868 or visit: savinsurance.ca.
PRODUCTS LARGEST SELECTION OF SPEAKERS YOU HAVE SEEN! JBL-SELENIUM, BSA, EMINENCE, MOTOROLA Over 150,000 speakers in stock. Speakers, crossovers, terminals, wires, connectors, cabinet hardware and much more. ACCUSONIC CORPORATION Toll free: 1-866-323-4625 905-940-3602 firstname.lastname@example.org www.accusonic.ca NEED SPEAKERS? EMINENCE - B&C - PIONEER - PHILIPS MOTOROLA & tons more! Speakers, crossovers, cabinet hardware, wire, and connectors. Upgrade and/or build your own pro sound or guitar rig and save. WE STOCK SPEAKERS and related accessories for musical instruments, professional sound, home stereo, home theatre, commercial sound, and everything else in between. Visit us on the web and download our catalogues and price lists today. Dealer inquiries welcome. Q-COMPONENTS 638 Colby Dr., Waterloo, ON N2V 1A2 Toll free: 1-800-363-6336 www.loudspeakers.ca email@example.com
Online at: www.professional-sound.com/classifieds
Photo: Warren Hope, Calgary
On Dec. 5, 2013, a choir of over 5,000 singers came together to sing Zach Sobiech’s “Clouds” at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN as a tribute to the late singer-songwriter. Veteran producer Karl Demer of Minneapolis, MN’s Atomic K Records & Productions produced the original version of “Clouds,” which the terminally-ill Sobiech wrote to say goodbye to his family and friends. The song went to number one on iTunes and Billboard and has raised nearly $1 million for children’s cancer research. Demer had to record the choir in a less than ideal location – 5,000 singers on four levels in a full circle with reflective surfaces everywhere. He ran a matched pair of Earthworks QTC40s through Midas preamps and recorded directly off the preamps to his Macbook Pro running Cubase. “The QTC40s responded with superior clarity and frequency response. Basically, what I heard with my headphones off is what I heard with my headphones on while soloing the QTC40s.”
When Canadian filmmaker Rae-Anne LaPlante went to Sable Island, NS to shoot a documentary about the island’s famous wild horses, she brought along a complement of Shure gear. This included Shure’s FP135 portable wireless system with a cameramount FP5 diversity receiver and two transmitters: the FP1 bodypack and FP3 plug-on handheld model. Two MX150B omnidirectional subminiature lavalier mics were also used, along with the handheld SM58. All the audio for the film, called S(t)able Island – The Beauty of the Free, was captured using LaPlante’s Zoom digital recorder. “I did my two interviews on one of the windiest days, so I was worried about my audio,” LaPlante adds. “I was ready to switch to the SM58, but everything sounded clear and crisp through the MX150B. Even with the windscreen in place, they are still small and easy to hide so you can’t see them on my interview subjects.” 62 Professional Sound
When Pearl Jam set out on a two-month North American arena tour in support of its tenth album, Lightning Bolt, they brought a full L-Acoustics K1 system supplied by Rat Sound Systems. According to Rat’s Kevin McKenzie, who has served as Pearl Jam’s system tech for the past decade, the PA deployed at each stop typically featured 14 K1s plus six KARA downfills per side with adjacent hangs of a dozen K1-SBs. Additional left and right side hangs were comprised of 10 K1s and six KARAs, while four more arrays of 15 KARAs each provided the 270- and 360-degree reinforcement positions for most venues. To augment the low end, eight SB28s per side were ground-stacked in front of the stage, with eight ARCS II enclosures and six self-powered 108P coaxials providing front-fill. The entire system was driven by LA8 amplifiers and controlled via L-NET. “Our signal path was fully digital at 96 k between the Digico SD5 house desk and LA8 amps,” McKenzie says, “and the sound was always crystal clear each night with consistently even coverage.”
Grammy-winning producer/mixing engineer Andrew Scheps (Black Sabbath, Lady Gaga, Adele) likes to keep his studio, Punkerpad West in Van Nuys, CA, outfitted with almost everything he could need. When Scheps needed more rack room, he turned to Radial Engineering’s 500 series modules. “I finally got sick of swapping modules in and out of the 500 series rack that I already owned and wanted a second rack. The Radial gear is so well built and reliable that the Powerhouse seemed an obvious choice.” He currently employs a couple of Radial modules. “I use the EXTCs (guitar effects interfaces) all the time to interface to my modular synth and guitar pedals. Re-amping and using pedals while mixing has always been part of my workflow and with the EXTC, it’s finally easy and bullet proof.”