Archive for March, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, California â€“ In a retrofit project that delivers high-impact, reliable audio to a historical parish, Hercules, California-based Pro Media/UltraSound recently upgraded the sound system at St. Josephâ€™s Church in Pinole, California with JBL Professional VP Series loudspeakers. The Church has been a permanent fixture in the Pinole neighborhood for more than a century, and a constituted parish in its own right since 1947. The parishâ€™s congregation currently consists of more than 10,000 individuals.
The church needed improvements in both sound quality and coverage while maintaining a simplistic system for the church staff to use on a regular basis. Pro Media/UltraSound designed a cost-effective, high-performance system with these needs in mind. The main PA system is designed for speech and live music, and includes a center cluster containing three JBL VP7212/64DP powered loudspeakers. To effectively cover the choir and opposite transept area, Pro Media/UltraSound installed two Control 29AV-WH-1 white surface-mount loudspeakers, while two AC2212/64 loudspeakers serve as delays in the rear of the worship space. The Control and AE Series loudspeakers are powered by Crown CTs 4200 amplifiers.
â€œAs a sound designer I can count on the consistency of JBL loudspeakers,â€? said Ted Leamy of Pro Media/UltraSound. â€œThis installation combines a variety of loudspeaker models for a great sound at the right budget. I know that when I turn the system on, each of the loudspeakers will work well with each other.â€?
Along with JBL and Crown components, the sound system is also supported by BSS Soundweb London, which allows for an auto mix system. The system was configured using Harman the HiQnetâ„¢ London Architectâ„¢ communications protocol. A BSS BLU 10 controller provides the head usher with an easier way to turn the system up, down, off and on.
â€œThe BSS London and BLU 10 gives the technology required to zone, time, and EQ the system, yet is elegantly simple for the church staff to operate,â€? said Leamy.
For more information on Pro Media/UltraSound, please visit www.promediaultrasound.com
CHULA VISTA, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 2009: Southwestern College, located between San Diego and the international border with Mexico, recently unveiled a brand new recording arts studio as part of its commercial music program. Costing $6.5 million, the two-building complex is one of the most technically-advanced media facilities in the nation’s community college system, and features a cross-section of high-end recording equipment in the main studio, including a pair each of TUBE-TECH’s CL 1B opto compressors and SMC 2B stereo multi-band compressors.
The facilities are designed to give students a real world education in analog and digital audio equipment, according to Arts & Communications professor James ‘Jay’ Henry, who has been a recording engineer and studio manager for 35 years, and took over the program about ten years ago. “The whole philosophy was to build a real recording studio that would actually draw professional engineers and producers to come and work on projects. Students can observe, interact and learn but, more importantly, when they go into the real world, they’re not going to be overawed by the equipment they see in a modern studio.”
Henry, who was first introduced to TUBE-TECH by Stevie Wonder while working with him on a charity record project, continues, “TUBE-TECH’s stereo multi-band compressor is my favorite box. I use those as program compressors, instead of the buss compressor on the SSL console, simply because it adds a different color. What I also really like about the TUBE-TECH is that it adds inherent warmth. We have an SSL Duality and it’s fabulous to throw that across the stereo buss. It just warms things up.”
Henry shares that he recently re-equalized and re-mastered a project for a country music client using the SMC 2B. “The client called me and said, ‘The remix is amazing. The bass is amazing!’ I said, wait a minute. You sent me a stereo mix. All I did was re-EQ and dynamically balance it. It’s multi-band compression, thanks to my analog friends there in Denmark,” he says.
TransAudio Group, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, recently acquired U.S. and Canadian distribution for TUBE-TECH, a Denmark-based engineering and manufacturing firm with a twenty-four year-old history of building world-class tube compressors, equalizers, and mic pres of uncompromised fidelity and reliability.
The new facility incorporates a video post-production room, two Digidesign Pro Tools HD suites and a main recording room – Studio A – which was designed by renowned acoustician Carl Yancher of Yancher Design, all tied together by an Espial Evo nine terabyte server. Tie lines to classrooms, animation facilities, and a computer lab housing forty Macintosh G5 machines support data networking as well as video broadcasts from the studio.
Southwestern College was established in 1961 and is one of 109 public community colleges in the state of California, and the only institute of higher education located in the southern portion of San Diego County. Serving approximately 18,000 students annually, Southwestern College offers more than 285 associate degree and certificate options.
ABOUT TRANSAUDIO GROUP TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor and/or U.S. sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm.
PHOTO CAPTION The new 6.5 million-dollar recording arts studio at Southwest College, Chula Vista, California, under the auspices of Jay Henry, features TUBE-TECH gear, an SSL Duality console, two Digidesign Pro Tools HD suites and host of quality analog and digital gear.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 2009: Christopher Springmann put a lucrative and satisfying career as a spokesperson for high-end photography equipment manufacturer Hasselblad and professional photographer for publications like Time, Fortune, Business Week, National Geographic, on the back burner to pursue a higher calling. In 2003, Springmann launched “Life Love & Health,” an engaging radio and new media program that has quickly become the most listened-to, daily health and lifestyle program in the world, reaching 6.4 million people daily via outlets such as Sirius XM Satellite Radio, CNN, FOX, ESPN, Bloomberg, Wal-Mart Radio, HealthRadio.net, Voice of America, and American Forces Network.
In the most important respects, Springmann was well-equipped for his new work. He possesses the voice, the spontaneity, the passion to effect positive change, the creative wit, and the critical instinct for the good interview. But there was one significant challenge. Springmann knew every nuance of professional photography, from techniques to gear, but a knowledge of even some of the most basic high-end professional broadcasting techniques and gear eluded him. “Most people in broadcast first started when they were teenagers,” he observed. “In college, they took classes on every aspect of the profession, and by the time they were my age they had decades of experience. I knew that my program had to have a professional sound to compete in the crowded radio market, and it took a lot of help to make it happen.”
That said, Springmann did have a critical ear to help guide him. He knew when things sounded good and when they didn’t. And he was no stranger to the concept of high-end equipment, as any photographer familiar will Hasselblad will attest. “With the help of the engineers I hired and the friends I made in the industry, I naturally gravitated toward Sennheiser and Neumann,” he said. “My first mic was a Sennheiser MD 46, and then on to a Neumann BCM 104 a few years later.”
Recently, Springmann contacted Thom Wilkins, freelance voiceover talent with a First Class Radio Telephone License (National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, DHL, FAA) and collector of the highest of the high-end microphones, preamps, signal processors, and converters. He wanted some advice. “Christopher was ready to take his sound to the next level,” recalled Wilkins. “He has such a rich, melodious voice, and although there are many mics in my cabinet that would complement it, I recommended my go-to mic, the Neumann U 87. I felt that its sweet mid-range would work well for Chris.”
Nevertheless, Wilkins also recommended a few other possibilities, and Springmann found a local studio that had them all. “As the magazines would put it, I did my own private mic shootout,” he laughed. “I learned a lot. The engineer, Erik Reimers of San Francisco’s Polarity Post, took the time to improve my mic technique and to really point out the subtle differences between the mics. In the end, we both agreed that the U 87 won the day!”
But Wilkins didn’t stop there. He also recommended a collection of preamps, both tube and solid state, that might complement the Neumann U 87. In the end, Springmann found the Grace m101 to be the most pleasing. “Life, Love & Health” engineer Max Kline commented, “The U 87 has such a warm, full, authoritative tone, and the Grace makes it even better. Together, the Neumann U 87 and the Grace m101 become a force to be reckoned with.”
The rest of the studio consists of an eight by ten-foot VocalBooth.com recording room with a three by six-foot producer’s window facing out toward an L-shaped configuration of multi-tiered IKEA tables. An Apple iMac loaded with Pro Tools and backed up by a Glyph hard drive serves as the system’s “brain,” with a Digi 002 for input. Three Neumann BCM 104s provide high-end pickup for guests with a Rane MH4 headphone console for monitoring. The studio connects with the outside world via a Telos XStream for ISDN and a Radio Systems DI-2000 two-line digital telephone hybrid.
Indeed, with the new sound, Springmann has launched a new one-hour program, an expanded version of the daily show, called “Life Love & Health: Special Edition” on HealthRadio.net, the leading Internet health talk radio network.
ABOUT NEUMANN Neumann’s award-winning line of microphones has set the standard in the industry since 1928. In 1999, Neumann received the prestigious Technical Grammy(r) for its 70 years of innovation in microphone design and contribution to the music industry. A continuing commitment to provide innovative, technically-refined products and engineering solutions of proven quality ensures that Neumann’s stature will remain unassailable.
Neumann is proudly affiliated with the Sennheiser Group, which also encompasses Klein + Hummel (renowned sound reinforcement solutions) and Sennheiser Communications (technologically advanced headsets for PCs, offices and call centers). Neumann products are distributed exclusively in the United States, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean through Sennheiser Electronic Corporation, located in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
www.sennheiserusa.com â€¢ www.neumannusa.com
PHOTO CAPTION “You’re listening to Life, Love & Health…” These words said by Christopher Springmann through a Neumann BCM 104 are heard by 6.4 million listeners daily on multiple traditional and new media platforms, including Sirius XM Satellite Radio, CNN, FOX, ESPN, Bloomberg, Wal-Mart Radio, HealthRadio.net, Voice of America, and American Forces Network.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND – MARCH 2009: As of February 8, 2009, Fred Vogler became a multi-Grammy award-winning recording engineer and producer. With one Grammy earned in 2007, the audio veteran added two more Grammys to his list for his role as audio producer of the Los Angeles Opera’s rendering of Kurt Weill’s “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.” The stereo recording, originally conceived and ultimately realized as a 5.1 DVD release for PBS’s Great Performances series and released on the Euroarts label, earned Grammys for both Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording. Vogler relied on a pair of ATC SCM50A reference monitors in the acoustically-compromised control room at the opera house and a 5.1 array of ATC SCM150A and SCM50As at his mix room to create the winning recording.
Los Angeles Opera music director James Conlon conducted the performance, which starred Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald and Anthony Dean Griffey. “The awards are pretty unexpected,” said Vogler. “It takes a lot of human involvement to make an opera production successful. It’s hard to predict how it will all shake out, but real exciting when it comes together. On top of that, to have the acknowledgement of two Grammy wins… it’s just not the sort of thing you really set out to do!”
The Los Angeles Opera performs at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, which was built in the early 1960s as part of the immense Los Angeles Music Center. In Vogler’s opinion, the hall works well for Opera and produces a surprisingly good balance between vocalists and instrumentalists.
He uses a pair of ATC SCM50A monitors in that control room to help overcome some of its acoustical deficiencies. “Even in a compromised environment, I can trust the ATCs to get a good balance without suffocating myself in headphones,” comments Vogler. He also keeps SCM50As at the control room in the adjacent Walt Disney Concert Hall and in his home. His studio monitoring is handled by an LCR array of ATC SCM150As with either SCM50As or SCM20As for the surround channels. He has come to trust them completely.
The most recent Grammy wins are all the more amazing given some of the constraints that Vogler had to work with for the visual component of “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.” He captured all of the vocals with wireless lavaliers and relied on his ATCs to catch any failing mics before they became a problem. “ATC monitors triumph in mid-range frequencies, from around 300Hz to 2kHz,” he said. “Wireless mics can get squirrelly. With the ATCs, I was fast to catch even the faintest buzzing or glitching and isolate its source before the performer walked offstage. Then I informed the folks at stage level so that they could switch it out as soon as possible. With a lesser quality speaker, those things might have gotten by me entirely, or the problem mic might have walked offstage before I could identify it.”
Vogler mixed both the 5.1 DVD and stereo CD versions of the opera at his studio in the Colburn School of the Performing Arts, where he serves as resident audio consultant. “I love mixing in 5.1, it’s a real hoot,” he said. “I wish consumers were more excited about 5.1 audio releases. But I suppose it’s hard to make a 5.1 presentation for the iPod.”
ABOUT ATC ATC products are manufactured by Loudspeaker Technology Ltd, UK. ATC is a registered trademark of Loudspeaker Technology Ltd. Acoustic Transducer Company is a trading style of Loudspeaker Technology Ltd. All trademarks acknowledged.
ABOUT LAS VEGAS PRO AUDIO LasVegasProAudio.com, a division of TransAudio Group, is the launch pad for the brands of tomorrow. The goal of LasVegasProAudio.com is to provide unique equipment, useful information and long-term support to their clients.
www.lasvegasproaudio.com (702) 307-2700 â€¢ www.atc.gb.net
PHOTO CAPTION At the 51st Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, multi-talented producer/engineer Fred Vogler won Grammys for Kurt Weill’s “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” in the Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording categories using ATC SCM50As and an ATC 5.1 system for monitoring. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
New Version of RMX with Ground-Breaking Control over Audio Grooves
BURBANK, CA – MARCH 2, 2009 – Spectrasonics has released Stylus RMX(r) version 1.7 featuring an innovative and completely new capability called ‘Time Designer(tm)’ which intelligently transforms RMX audio loops into different time signatures and features the ability to “Groove Lock” the feel of any groove to another – all in real time. Time Designer also lets the user create instant pattern variations with smart algorithms based on musical rules, and to ‘simplify’ any RMX groove in a musical manner. Version 1.7 is also the first 64-bit native software release from Spectrasonics, includes all the new effects from Omnisphere and useful workflow enhancements to RMX, such as Suite Editing and Host Transport Sync. The new version is a free download for all registered users of Stylus RMX and is available now from the Spectrasonics website. more
TAMPA, Floridaâ”€ESI Audio, formerly E-Tech Systems of Tampa, Florida, recently purchased 24 NEXO GEO T line array speakers and eight S2 subs bringing their total arsenal of NEXO speakers to 72. Founded in 1996, ESI Audio provides audio production for live events, concerts and corporate events. The company recently provided full audio production for SeaWorld (Orlando) New Yearâ€™s Eve celebration supplying two hangs of seven Geo-T 4805′s with two Geo-T 2815 downfills and four S2′s (two per side), as well as the â€˜Bud & BBQâ€™ event for Budweiser supplying seven NEXO 4805s, two 2815s, and four CD18s per side.
For the recent Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, ESI used most of their 72 GEO-T boxes at approximately 21 pre-game parties and rallies, and provided many of the these events with Yamaha consoles as well. ESI supplied two Yamaha PM5D-RH consoles for 38 Specialâ€™s performance at the Ritz Theater; two Yamaha M7CL-48 consoles for Sister Hazelâ€™s concert at Whiskey Park North; an LS9-32 for Lo Cash Cowboys at Channelside; two Yamaha PM5D-RH consoles, ten NEXO GEO-T 4805s, two NEXO GEO T 2815s for downfills, and eight NEXO S2 subs for a performance by Wyclef Jean and Sean Kingston at the Morgan Center for ESPN Magazine; an LS9-32 console and 16 NEXO PS8s for an NFL Players Association jazz gig; and 14 NEXO GEO T 4805s and four GEO T 2815s for downfills for a Sarah Evans concert both held at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
â€œWe have been recommending NEXO GEO T tangent array systems for the past seven years,â€? states Erick â€œOttoâ€? Celeiro, President of ESI Audio, Inc. â€œThe NEXO GEO T system excels beyond expectation in every application.â€?
ESI Audio provides sound reinforcement for most events and shows held in Central Florida and is the preferred sound company for many promoters. Recent tour support includes dates for Gavin DeGraw, Sister Hazel, Sevendust, Porcupine Tree, and David Cook.
For more information on ESI Audio, telephone 813-247-2969 or visit www.esiaudio.com.
For more information on NEXO GEO T tangent line array systems and Yamaha products, contact Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc., P. O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90620; telephone 714-522-9011; e-mail email@example.com; or visit www.yamahaca.com.
About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the recent purchase of NEXO loudspeakers by Yamaha Corporation Japan, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.
During the The Killersâ€™ sold-out performances at the O2 Arena, their long-time sound engineer James Gebhard made the radical decision to fly his favorite compact Martin Audio line array system WITHOUT using the W8L Longbow system which projects effortlessly to the rear of the 20,000-capacity arena.
In fact the entire coverage, including side hangs, front fills and delays, was made up of 20 mighty Martin Audio W8LC Compact line array hangs as the main reinforcement systemâ€“â€“stretching production company Capital Sound Hireâ€™s inventory to the limit. Martin MA4.s amplifiers powered all of the full range enclosures.
With the two delay hangs of 12 W8LCâ€™s set 165 feet back down the auditorium, the two main SR stage arrays of 18 W8LCâ€™s and a pair of W8LCD Downfills were complemented by 14 W8LCâ€™s and two W8LCDâ€™s as side hangs, and six W8LC and two W8LCD as the upstage secondary side hang. These were supplemented by 12 W8LS Subs up in the air, with another four floor-mounted alongside four WS218Xâ€™s.
Four blocks of two Martin Audio W8LM Mini Line Arrays provided front fills reinforced further by three W8Câ€™s to cover the front rows.
With most of the system flown, the main task was to pull the image down for those sitting in the nearfield area from a vast hang, trimmed 36 ft. above the stage. Because of the length of the drop and the large vertical coverage angle involved, special ViewPoint array software predictions had to be provided by Martin Audio R&D Director Jason Baird.
Capital Sound Hire has worked extensively at the O2 Arena, with acts as diverse as Take That, The Stereophonics, Kylie Minogue, El Divo and Lee Evans. â€œAnd although this is not the first time we have used delays it is the first time we have taken such a radical design approach,â€? said account manager, Paul Timmins. â€œBut I was pleasantly surprised that we achieved what some may have thought as being a suicidal gamble.â€?
Gebhard was certainly not sorry. â€œIâ€™ve loved the W8LCâ€™s since first using them on the NME Awards Tour with the Killers four years ago,â€? he said.
He used them again on a one-off show with the band at the Royal Albert Hall last November. â€œI wanted to use LCâ€™s because of the way the Albert Hall is designedâ€“â€“you have to treat it like a club. It was a one-off show, and the first time Iâ€™d used the Compacts with the flown subsâ€“â€“and it sounded outstanding.
â€œItâ€™s just a question of more boxes and a bit more time involved, but itâ€™s well worth it for the result.â€?
Photo caption: Capital Sound Hire crew
For more information, please contact: Rob Hofkamp, Director North American Operations at 519.747.5853 and firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.martin-audio.com.
Best known for developing and producing original programming, such as â€œHogan Knows Bestâ€? and â€œMy Big Redneck Wedding,â€? Pink Sneakers Productions recently relied on shared storage solution technology from Small Tree to help improve workflow during post-production on Bravoâ€™s â€œMiami Social.â€?
Designer of simple-to-install, inexpensive networking and shared storage products for professional video and audio editors using MAC OS X, Small Tree provided Pink Sneakers Productions with a bundled Ethernet solution reaching Fibre Channel performance. The installation was completed by Bob Zelin, a respected independent video engineer with more than 30 years experience in the television industry.
Headquartered in a 20,000-square-foot facility in Orlando, FL, Pink Sneakers Productions features 12 full editing bays, often working simultaneously. Understandably, the production company was facing drive management issues. To facilitate workflow, Zelin installed Small Treeâ€™s Edge-corE ES4524D, a 24-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, along with its PEG6, a 6-port Ethernet card. According to Ed Stahr, infrastructure and equipment manager at Pink Sneakers, this solution easily handles the bandwidth requirements of Final Cut Pro Studio II running concurrently across the facilityâ€™s multiple editing suites.Â Â
â€œInstalling the Small Tree equipment has definitely helped increase productivity, as our editing team no longer needs to spend valuable time swapping drives in order to collaborate on projects,â€? said Stahr.Â â€œThis has made us much more efficient, as weâ€™re able to more easily meet strict deadlines. The systemâ€™s performance has been exceptional. The speed has been great and there have been no instances of stuttering with up to nine editors working simultaneously across the server.â€?
In addition to the challenges at its Orlando studio, Pink Sneakers faced difficulties surrounding post-production of â€œMiami Socialâ€? from its satellite studio in Miami.Â Rather than buying 40 to 50 drives to be shipped back and forth between the Miami and Orlando studios, Pink Sneakers simply installed a Small Tree shared storage solution in its Miami studio. Now, they can maintain a clone of the footage at each location by using one drive to provide footage from one studio to the other.Â Â Â Â
Along with utilizing the Small Tree solution on â€œMiami Social,â€? Stahr says Pink Sneakers plans to use the technology during post-production work on VH1â€™s â€œBrooke Knows Bestâ€? and other future projects.
Small Tree is the Mac Networking Expert, making networking childâ€™s play. Small Tree provides a complete portfolio of Ethernet-based networking and storage solutions for Apple Mac OS X customers.Â Small Treeâ€™s team of networking developers has extensive experience in high performance computing, and knows how to achieve the demanding application requirements of Mac customers.Â Small Tree also provides contracted programming services for the Department of Defense.Â For more information about the company and its products, please call 1-866-STC4MAC (1-866-782-4622), or visit www.small-tree.com.
John Legend and Journey perform at official pre-game festivities on Clearwing Productions’ KUDO rig
TAMPA, Florida — In the afternoon hours prior to the Steelers and Cardinals storming the field at Super Bowl XLIII, John Legend and Journey kicked off the day’s festivities with a concert staged just outside of Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. For its sixth consecutive year, NFL called upon Clearwing Productions to provide the sound reinforcement system for its official pre-game party, which this year made use of an L-ACOUSTICS KUDOâ„¢ loudspeaker system. more
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah â€” In what is considered to be the largest fixed sound installation project in the region, BSS Audio provided sound control in the brand new Atlantis Hotel in Dubai. The sound system covers all hotel restaurants, lobbies, corridors, visitor attractions, and retail outlets within the venue.
For the installation, 31 Soundweb London BLU-80 units, 10 BLU-32s, and six BLU-16s were utilized. All of these Soundweb London units offers configurable I/O, configurable signal processing and CobraNet audio and has open architecture which is fully configurable through HiQnetâ„¢ London Architect. The system also features 17 BLU-10s, 12 BLU-3s, and seven BLU-6s.
According to Stacey Lewis, sales and marketing manager for GSL Professional, the regional distributor for Harman products in the UAE, the Atlantis Hotel had very specific needs for the sound system. â€œThe system needed to be easy to operate, with a common operating environment in terms of control in local zones and areas. Additionally, they needed a central system control with monitoring, scalability and flexibility, to accommodate potential future expansion plans or requirements.â€?
Additional Harman products that were utilized included Crown amplifiers. Thirty-five CTs 8200, eight CTs 4200 and 11 CTs 600 amplifiers were installed throughout the hotel. The amplifiers are networked and monitored on the same system as the Soundweb DSP system.
Dave Wilts, senior associate at Shen Milsom & Wilke, an acoustic consulting firm, explained the decision to specify BSS products for the Atlantis Hotel. â€œA large resort such as the Atlantis typically has extensive AV requirements. We wanted to provide the hotel operations staff with the most “easily managed” AV systems as possible. The BSS line provided a reliable architecture we could leverage for resort-wide, meta-level control of the BGM (background music) systems. For our completely IP-based AV systems, the IP tools and products from BSS offered the best solution, and support, for the project.”
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