Archive for March, 2008

RF CENTRAL UNPACKS FLEXIBILITY AT NAB 2008 WITH DEBUT OF PHT-II HD UPGRADEABLE TRANSMITTER

Las Vegas, NV, March 31, 2008 – RF Central, a leading provider of digital microwave technology, is introducing its RFX-PHT-II HD upgradeable portable 2 GHz digital transmitter at NAB 2008 (Booths C3007 and C6622). Utilizing RF Central‘s signature RFX-CMT-II camera-mounted transmitter, the PHT-II is designed to turn any “news car” into a “live broadcast car” and transform any “run and shoot” vehicle into a “run and transmit” vehicle. more

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TC Group Joins METAlliance Pro Partners


Pictured is TC Group CEO Anders Fauerskov

TC Group has joined the METAlliance™ Pro Partners, it was announced by CEO Anders Fauerskov. “It is an important yet daunting task to again get consumers to listen to, or at least have the choice to listen to, well recorded music,” remarked Fauerskov. “If anyone can create this change in consumers and record companies, it is the impressive team at the METAlliance. TC Group is therefore proud and pleased to support these efforts”.

The METAlliance is comprised of a group of globally-recognized, award-winning audio engineers and producers who have been deeply involved in establishing techniques and technical standards that are the foundation of modern music recording. The METAlliance Board of Directors is Chuck Ainlay, Ed Cherney, Frank Filipetti, George Massenburg, Phil Ramone, Elliot Scheiner and Al Schmitt.

TC Group is a holding company of five individual companies consisting of Tannoy, Lab.gruppen, TC Electronic Group, TC-Helicon and TC Applied Technologies. As the newest METAlliance Pro Partner, TC Group joins Audio-Technica, Cakewalk, Lexicon, GML, JBL, Manley Labs, Millennia Music and Media Systems, Neumann, Prism Sound, Royer Labs, Sanken Microphones, and Universal Audio.

TC Electronic was founded in 1976 with the objective of developing, manufacturing and marketing first class audio products that provide lasting user value for audio professionals and musicians. Today, the company is not only a leader in digital signal processing, but also a major player in other aspects of the digital audio technology world, such as digital amplification and networking.

Recognizing the industry’s success in bringing products offering convenience and low cost, the METAlliance is dedicated to the passionate commitment of securing the art of music through recording technologies that best deliver the music in all it’s many modern forms. To do this, quality needs to be recognized and supported.

Pro Partner membership is limited to companies which have shown a capacity and proclivity to manufacture and distribute products that meet the organization’s professional audio qualifications.

Interested companies should contact:
Jim Pace, Dir. of Business Affairs: jpace@metalliance.com
The Alliance is a Tennessee registered LLC.

http://www.metalliance.com

METAlliance : strategic union of music producers and engineers dedicated to the highest standards of audio and delivery of music, securing the art through recording technology in all its evolving modern forms.

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VTG HOLDINGS INC. SOLD TO RHC MANAGEMENT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH EQUITY INVESTMENT GROUPS

March 31, 2008 – The RapcoHorizon Company, a whole owned subsidiary of VTG Holdings Inc., announced today that they have signed a definitive sale agreement as of February 29th, 2008, with RHC management, in conjunction with Midwest Mezzanine Funds, and Busch O‘Donnell Capitol Partners, both equity investment groups, for the sale of the company‘s stock and assets. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. VTG Holdings Inc., stock and all assets have transferred to the newly formed RHC Holding Corporation. The RapcoHorizon Company, www.rapcohorizon.com, is a market leader in audio, video and data cable manufacturing for the audio retail, A/V installation, Home Theater, and Datacom markets. RHC Holding Corp. provides interconnectivity products with revenues exceeding $65 million annually. more

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NEUTRIK® DEBUTS NEW PRODUCT GUIDE CD AT NAB 2008

LAS VEGAS, NV – Neutrik, designer and manufacturer of the XX series XLR cable connector, debuts its newest Product Guide CD at NAB 2008 (Booth N9029). The CD Product Guide highlights Neutrik‘s entire line of connectivity products and accessories, including the company‘s most up-to-date product offerings.

The full-color CD guide, available in PDF format, includes complete product descriptions and images, showcasing the products‘ unique features and benefits. The catalog also includes educational diagrams, complete ordering information and a comprehensive list of Neutrik distributors separated by city/state for easy identification. more

“LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN” PURCHASES LARGEST SSL C200 SERIES CONSOLE IN THE WORLD

NEW YORK CITY – “Late Show with David Letterman” on CBS will soon be the proud owner of a Solid State Logic C296 Digital Production Console, representing the largest C200 Series console in the world. The new console, which will handle all of the music production requirements for the show, will be installed in the legendary Ed Sullivan Theater this summer, replacing the SSL analog SL 4000 G Series console that has served the show for 15 years. more

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Human Promotes Lauren Bleiweiss to Executive Producer

human-logo-mm-dmn-mix_small.JPG

New York/Los Angeles, March 28, 2008 – Human, one of America‘s pre-eminent original music composition and sound design agencies specializing in unique and compelling music for the international advertising industry, has promoted Lauren Bleiweiss to the position of Executive Producer.

In her new position, Bleiweiss will continue to be integrally involved with client relations, will continue to oversee Human‘s production department, and will work closely with Managing Partner Marc Altshuler to supervise overall company operations. She is based in New York.

“The most exciting thing for me has been watching this amazing company’s growth over the years, and being fortunate enough to play an active role,” said Bleiweiss. “Human has grown in such a natural way, maintaining its true DNA, both creatively and through its office culture. It‘s a remarkable company where everyone works so hard, all with a common goal. We are a true team, and a real family.”

ABOUT LAUREN BLEIWEISS:

Bleiweiss originally joined Human in 2004 as a producer, later working her way up to the post of Head of Production. During this time, she worked on many high profile projects, including award winning “Happiness Factory” and “Happiness Factory 2” TV and cinema spots for Coca-Cola.

Earlier, Bleiweiss was a Sales Rep with Chris Zander‘s Zander Reps, based in New York. There, her clients included Backyard Productions, Brand New School and Stimmung. Prior to Zander Reps, she was a Researcher, based in New York, with London‘s executive recruiting agency Kendall Tarrant, specializing in placing talent within the advertising community.

ABOUT HUMAN:

Founded in 2001 by renowned composers Morgan Visconti, Andrew Bloch, Gareth Williams, and Managing Partner Marc Altshuler, Human is a multi-award winning collective specializing in the creation and production of original and compelling music and sound design for the international advertising industry.

Human has offices in New York and Los Angeles. For more information, please visit: www.humanworldwide.com

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FIRST API 1608 LANDS AT I.V. LAB STUDIOS CHICAGO

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 2008: Since opening I.V. Lab Studios two-and-a-half years ago, owner Manny Sanchez has been looking for a mixing console with character at a price that makes sense for a facility catering to local bands and small indie labels. When API launched the 1608 at the AES Convention last year Sanchez knew he’d found his console, and is now the proud owner of a 32-input version, the first to be installed in Chicago – or anywhere else for that matter.

“Ever since I opened, “I’ve been looking for the right console at the right price,” confirms Sanchez, whose I.V. Lab is located in an old 3,500 sq.-ft. bank building on the north side of Chicago. Sanchez has installed the 16-channel 1608 with a 16-channel expander in the studio’s main room, which is in the former bank vault and features three-feet-thick cement walls.

“I got it in my head that I definitely did not want to get a console that didn’t have a sound,” explains Sanchez. “I use a 1970s Ampex MM1200 16-track tape machine, so I have no desire to make something sound clean.” When he heard about the new 1608, “I said, wow, this might be within the price range that I can afford and, with it being an all-discrete console, still have a really good amount of character to it,” he says.

The API 1608 incorporates the company’s discrete electronics topology and is built to the same exacting standards as the flagship Vision and Legacy Series consoles. The standard 1608, with sixteen input channels, eight buses, eight aux sends, eight reverb returns and full center section facilities, includes a dozen 550A three-band equalizers and four 560 10-band graphic EQ modules with space available for eight additional 500 Series modules, a feature that Sanchez considers a definite advantage. “I just added two API 550B four-band EQs, two API 525 compressors, and a couple of other EQs,” he reports. “I love the idea of the 1608 being a modular console that third party people can develop things for. I can put as much of that interesting stuff in it as I can and have two channels of this character, two channels of another character, and be able to choose the path that I want.”

Sanchez says that he didn’t even have to audition the console before putting a deposit down on one: “I had API mic pres, two 3124s, that I use religiously; those are the mic pres on the console. All my experience with all the API equipment that I’ve used has been really good.”

Starting out as an intern with chief engineer Chris Shepard at the biggest studio in town, Chicago Recording Company, Sanchez then met Smashing Pumpkins main man Billy Corgan, for whom he worked for a couple of years before getting the idea to open his own studio. Bruce Breckenfeld, the chief technician at CRC, was brought in to design the rooms and wiring schemes at I.V. Lab. “He’s a genius with acoustics,” says Sanchez, adding, “Now I’m building a B room with a full-on control room and a nice sized booth. We’ve done it all the right way, we didn’t cut any corners.”

Installing the new API console now allows Sanchez to keep mix projects in-house, as his previous console wasn’t up to the task, he reports. He is currently working on his fifth album with Chicago-based Umphrey’s McGee, who are looking forward to mixing at I.V. Lab for the first time: “They’re really excited because we’d been mixing their albums elsewhere and now we can do this one here. That’s going to be a really fun thing for everyone.”

Having maintained competitive pricing since opening, I.V. Lab has attracted a growing client base that also includes artists such as The Plain White T’s, Rachael Yamagata, The Hush Sound, Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy), Bound Stems, Cameron McGill, Ike Reilly, Dr. Manhattan and The Sapiens. “When we first opened up, it was $500 for a 12-hour day with me engineering. I’m not raising my rate. I don’t think you can beat us on price point or quality,” he says.

He continues, “Before we even got the console we’d been booked solid at least two, two-and-a-half months in advance.” That has now increased to over three months as clients have rushed to book mix time on the API. “There’s no studio that I’ve ever worked at that has ever been this busy. And lots of my business is repeat business – another thing I didn’t see a lot of at my previous studios. It’s shaping up to be a great year.”

Automated Processes, Inc. remains the leader in analog recording gear, with the Vision surround production and Legacy Series recording consoles, the DSM Series rack-mounted mixers, and the classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

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Mastering Engineer David Kutch Gets Dangerous in NYC


Grammy-Nominated Engineer Opens New Mastering Studio with Dangerous Music Equipment at its Center

Edmeston, NY – March 27, 2008 – Grammy-Nominated mastering engineer David Kutch has opened The Mastering Palace, a new mastering studio in New York City. In only a few short months of opening, Kutch has already mastered a range of top artist releases from The Roots, Natasha Bedingfield, Erykah Badu, Estelle, to classic Al Green. At the core of his new studio setup are two key pieces of analog equipment: the Dangerous Master and the Dangerous Monitor. These Dangerous Music components allow Kutch to be assured of the quality of his analog signal path, where he spends most of his time bringing out the best in a piece of recorded music.

Over the past two decades, many mastering studios and engineers have become familiar with Dangerous Music through Chris Muth. Kutch explains his own connection, “The entire professional mastering community knows Chris Muth. I’m sorry – ‘Relies’ on Chris Muth. If your 1630 [tape] machine needed alignment you called Chris Muth. If your Neumann cutting lathe was acting up, you called Chris Muth. If you had a technical need where the equipment to complete a task did not exist yet, the first thing anyone did was call Chris Muth. Chris tweaked, repaired or invented mastering equipment better than anyone else, period! Dangerous Music and its products are far from being new players in the pro audio gear world. It has all been evolving in Chris’ brain and in mastering studios for over 20 years. He truly is a Mad Genius!”

Integrating Dangerous Music gear into his own studios has been an easy choice, according to Kutch, “While at Masterdisk [famed NY mastering studio] I had been using a Muth Audio Designs Mastering Console and Monitor box (the big black one). The gear never breaks down and is very transparent. When I moved to Sony Music Studios [former 54th Street headquarters] they built me a brand new mastering room. When they asked what type of Mastering console I wanted, the answer was a no-brainer: ‘Anything from Chris!’ – which by this point was the Dangerous Master because he was no longer making the ‘MAD’ console.”

In his new studio, The Mastering Palace, Kutch explains how he centers his outboard connections around Dangerous Music designs. “The Dangerous Master brings all of my analog processing gear together in one place. The stereo signal comes in, gets left and right adjustments if need be, then hits my 3 inserts. One of the things that most attracted me to the Dangerous Master is that there are only 3 inserts. More inserts equals more noise. In this scenario: LESS IS BETTER! At this stage I can insert any of my analog equalizers or compressors as needed. I can also insert an EQ or de-esser into the ‘S&M’ or Mid-Side circuit [of the Master] so I can process the mono and stereo program material independently, as well as increase or decrease the stereo width without messing with the phase. I’ve tried other devices that claim to do this but they do not even come close.”

“My Dangerous Monitor lets me have control over speaker volume as well as listening to my different analog and digital signal inputs. The best feature is the onboard D-to-A converter. It switches from one AES input to another without any pops, glitches or latency – again, a rare feature. This way I can compare pre- and post- processing with the same D-to-A conversion on both sources,” added Kutch.

Asked of his experiences dealing with artists in his studio while mastering with Dangerous Music equipment, Kutch concludes, “I’ve had Erykah Badu here as well as Questlove from the The Roots. Besides having my system sound as good as it can, the gear just does not break down when the client is present. Since the Dangerous Music equipment is what ties my all of my gear together it has to work ALL the time. If it went down, the session would be dead. I’ve been using equipment designed by Chris [Muth] for 11 years and I’ve never had a piece break. It just works!”

In addition to the Dangerous Master and the Dangerous Monitor, Kutch of course has a host of other mastering equipment. For playback, The Mastering Palace studio is based around a Studer A820 half-inch analog tape machine and a Digidesign Pro Tools HD system. As an editor, Kutch uses Magix’s Sequoia DAW. Along with a host of boutique analog compressors, other key ingredients are his Prism Sound stereo converters and Maselec EQ, and for digital processing the TC Electronic System 6000. Critical listening depends on Kutch’s Focal Solo 6 monitors, and Legacy Focus monitors.

David Kutch Credits
Kutch began his career in recording with some of New York’s finest producers, ranging from Phil Ramone to Puff Daddy. In 1997 Kutch helped build the legendary Powers House of Sound Mastering Studios with Herb Powers Jr. There he worked on albums for Biggie, Puff Daddy, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, and Missy Elliot. In 2002, Kutch was nominated for a prestigious Grammy in the category of ‘Album of the Year’ for mastering Outkasts’ “Stankonia” LP that included the hits “Miss Jackson” and “So Fresh, So Clean.” Some of the tracks and albums Kutch mastered at his studio within the famed New York 54th Street Sony Mastering Studios, were for Kanye West, The Roots, Jamie Foxx, DMX, and Sarah McLaughlan. He has also completed DVD mastering for Rod Stewart, Angie Stone, Iron Maiden and Anthrax releases. Right before opening The Mastering Palace, Kutch spent the summer of 2007 mastering Alicia Keys’ “As I Am” album at her studio on Long Island, as well as other artists’ projects.

Contact David Kutch and The Mastering Palace at 1-(212) 665-2200 or visit the website at: http://www.themasteringpalace.com

About Dangerous Music, Inc.
Dangerous Music, Inc. designs and builds products that are indispensable to any DAW-based recording environment. Dangerous Music co-owner and electronics designer Chris Muth has spent over 20 years working in, and designing custom equipment for, top recording and mastering studios. Muth and his partner Bob Muller pioneered the concept of the dedicated analog summing buss for digital audio workstations with the Dangerous 2-Bus in 2001. Today the company offers a wide range of products for recording, mastering, mixing and post-production facilities, all designed by Chris Muth and built with mastering-quality standards and a practical aesthetic. Key products include the Dangerous 2-Bus and 2-Bus LT, Dangerous Monitor ST-SR and its Additional Switching System expansion units, Dangerous D-Box, Dangerous Master, Dangerous S&M, Dangerous Monitor and Dangerous MQ.

For more information visit http://www.dangerousmusic.com phone 607-965-8011 or email: info@dangerousmusic.com

MIDAS® XL8 MIXES TELEVISED CANADIAN SINGER SONGWRITER AWARDS IN TORONTO

Click here for photos.

www.midasconsoles.com

PA Plus Productions (Toronto) deployed a Midas XL8 digital live performance system for this year’s Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Awards, streamlining their annual audio production for this prestigious event.

Held on Saturday, March 1st at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, the 2008 show honored, among others, legendary Canadian singer/songwriter Paul Anka, with five of his songs inducted. A radio broadcast of the show aired the next day; the television broadcast went out on Monday, March 3rd.

Analog Sound and Feel Intact…

As the first big digital product from a brand famous for analogue quality, the XL8 really does live up to the Midas name, according to John Lacina of PA Plus, who mixed the music portion of the show: “It sounds, feels, and behaves like an analogue Midas, but with huge digital processing power. I noticed a marked improvement right from the start in the sound quality over other digital products I have used. The XL8 lived up to the hype, so to speak, in that it does not sound digital at all. In this sense the stellar onboard EQ and Dynamics can be used to fine tune, rather than outright fix, the sound, sometimes encountered in other ‘less musical’ digital systems.

Beyond the fact that it simply sounds good, features like the POP groups make it quick and easy to access the XL8′s serious digital power, without sifting through tons of pages. “Being an analogue guy, that’s one of the things that’s been a big negative about many digital consoles,” Lacina adds; “you can find yourself in a situation where you are unable to access what you need quickly enough. The XL8′s features, such as POP and VCA grouping, provide a simple yet complete solution to this issue. Easy access to editing and storing these groups meant that we could deal with the inevitable last minute changes to input lists very quickly and without the annoying ‘crosshair patching’ steps. The versatile automation system allows for easy manipulation for multiple scene shows. The extensive control over what parameters are-or are not-stored scene-to-scene, together with easy to use copy and paste functions, helped to efficiently manage the 15 musical performances. We rehearse this show over three or four days, so things can change as you get more comfortable and as the band settles in. Further scene functions meant that we could edit any scene/s with changes we liked, not unlike a Broadway show with an understudy, where you’d need to make a global change throughout the scenes. XL8 makes that easy.”

“The ‘traffic’ portion of the show was mixed by Ian Dunbar,” Lacina adds, “including all host and guest lav mics, the recipient podium mic, and all the VTR playback, etc. We incorporated the ‘B’ function of the XL-8 together with its separate monitoring as well as feeding the show video program feed into 1 of the screens. This gave us a comfortable dual engineer environment.”

Streamlined Splitting

Beyond the console work surface, the XL8 is very much a complete system, offering a unique degree of networking facility that can streamline the topography of the signal chain with the industry’s lowest latency and, of course, full redundancy. Lacina described how this made a difference at the awards show: “Unlike in years past, where the music portion of the show is handled by a number of splitters-a pair of 52 channel analogues, for example, and then another splitter for multiple truck feeds-we were able to use the XL8 and network its system splitters to distribute audio everywhere it was needed, and all via a single, compact control centre.”

Lacina and Systems Tech Mark Radu used three of the XL8 system’s DL451 I/O boxes (all stowed tidily backstage), and a forth at FOH. One unit was loaded with digital cards. We inserted our speaker system controllers via AES into 12 of the matrices. This meant we could leave the speaker DSP racks on stage, thereby reducing our footprint at FOH and saving us from running 300-feet copper returns to the amp racks. It was a great advantage to be able to route our speaker controller software and our measurement data to the screens on the XL8 when needed.

“Another two DL451s-one stage left, one stage right-handled the outputs of the matrices, effectively making a mirror of the whole system output on either side of the stage, for full central control of the amps and speakers. The forth DL451, located at FOH, handled local inputs and outputs. The production used around 64 channels of music inputs at the splitters, a split to the monitor console, and also a split to the broadcast truck. The patching possibilities of this system are endless; we could access any input or output at any part of the network.”

“From our perspective, we really enjoyed working with the XL8 and with the Midas team,” Lacina adds. “Steve Lotzer, Mitch Mortensen, and Jim Pfitzinger did a fantastic job helping out on our maiden voyage with XL8 for this high profile show. Manufacturer support is a very important part of taking on a big new digital system like this, and the Midas team is second to none.”

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