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Archive for November 30th, 2011

The Sing Off Takes to the Stage with a Live Finale and 100 Sennheiser Wireless Microphones as The Pentatonix Rise to the Top

Pentatonix, seen here singing into Sennheiser SKM 5200 wireless transmitters with MD 5235 capsules, took top honors in season 3’s The Sing Off.

Old Lyme, Conn. – November 30, 2011 – On Monday night, NBC presented the “Live Finale: Top 3 Finalists” of its hit show The Sing Off featuring not only the final three group contestants, but over 100 Sennheiser microphones on stage. The Pentatonix were elected champions of season 3, and music mixer Randy Faustino was on hand to ensure the audio quality was outstanding until the very end.

Faustino, a multiple Emmy award-winning music mixer and CEO/President of Creative Sound Solutions, has been responsible for mixing not only The Sing Off, but other top national prime time programs including The Voice, American Idol and others. Whether he is faced with a live broadcast or an in-studio production, Faustino depends on Sennheiser transmitters and capsules to achieve a great sound. For “Live Finale: Top 3 Finalists” he used over 100 Sennheiser SKM 5200-II transmitters, each coupled with Sennheiser MD 5235 capsules.

Faustino prefers the MD 5235 capsules because of its clear sound and versatility: “It seems to work for everybody, and I never seem to have a hard time getting a great sound,” he says. “Sometimes I have people eating the microphone, other times I have performers more than a foot off the mic — it has to perform equally well in both scenarios.”

Since each performance is a ‘once in a lifetime’ career opportunity for the contenders, Faustino needs to ensure that the mix is the best it can be for whichever group approaches the mic. He says that the Sennheiser MD 5235 mic capsule helps facilitate this: “The technology has to be plug and play,” he says. “I get that one shot at putting a live mix together, and then you have to move on. I have very little EQ on those mics, and they sound fantastic across a range of vocal types — that is the beautiful part of these MD 5235 capsules.”

“You have to have a good, clear sounding capsule so you can pick out the voices and have them defined in the track,” observes Thom Salisbury, Western Regional Sales Manager for Sennheiser. “On a program like The Sing Off, you not only have a variety of frequencies coming into the vocal track, but also tonal and volume differences. The MD 5235 is very sensitive and has a very smooth frequency response — I believe this is why it is our most popular capsule for television and touring.”

Predictable and reliable RF performance
In the case of a live programming scenario such as “Live Finale: Top 3 Finalists” where audio is being broadcast to millions of television viewers, the audio quality needs to be synchronous with solid and reliable RF performance. In the middle of Los Angeles — one of the most difficult RF environments in the world — the challenge can be daunting, especially considering the massive lighting rig and number of microphones operating on the stage at the same time.

Dave Bellamy of Las Vegas-based Soundtronics Wireless was in charge of ensuring that the RF for Monday evening’s performance — and indeed the entire preceding season — was flawless. “In a show like this, ‘pretty good’ isn’t going to get you there,” Bellamy observes. “This is a very demanding and exacting business, and in an extremely overcrowded RF environment, Sennheiser gives me predictable reliability.” Bellamy used Soundtronics’ Phoenix system antenna system in combination with dozens of Sennheiser EM 3732-II wireless receivers to ensure that the audio was free of any RF interference.

How does mixer Randy Faustino manage to stay cool in such a technically challenging and intense production environment? “I have to stay two steps ahead of everything, but I feel secure in the fact that Sennheiser always works. We’ve never had a failure and have always had great product support from Thom Salisbury if we ever need anything.”

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Related Topics: Live Sound, News, Sound for Picture |

All Access Makes It Personal For Martin Audio MLA

––Custom-Designed Truck Creates High Visibility Branding For Rental Partners––

In order to create maximum impact among the many trucks thundering along the Italian Autostrada, the new All Access sound production consortium has created high-impact custom livery for one of its semis, specifically to promote its new MLA (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array) rig and the Martin Audio brand.

In addition to adding value to the groundbreaking array system, it will enable them to sub-rent the rig in conjunction with its own dedicated truck.

The idea was floated by one of the partners, Electra Service owner Roberto Buttarelli, and soon All Access was modifying an existing 52 foot semi which is purpose-designed to hold at least a 112-enclosure system comprising MLA tops and MLX subs.

All Access received full support from Martin Audio’s Italian distributor, Audiosales, who funded the truck’s customization sensing that this could be a big opportunity to advertise both the MLA system and the Martin Audio brand. “We knew the truck would be regularly travelling around Italy and have high visibility during the shows and festivals,” stated Audiosales owner, Stefano Rocchi.

The new MLA semi will be based at Electra Service HQ in Viadana (MN) where all the audio components and accessories are warehoused (including the variable speed chain hoists by Lodestar JJ Varistar, with automation and motion software control by Fulling & Partner GmbH).

The new truck has already enjoyed high usage since the All Access consortium invested in their first 72 enclosures this spring for the Subsonica tour.

In addition to the Subsonica dates, it has also been seen this summer at the Upper Park Festival in Bologna, Traffic Festival in Torino, Summer Festival in Lucca, as well as two Elton John Italian shows, Ricky Martin at the Verona’s Arena, Radio Bruno tour, Independent Day in Bologna, Litfiba tour and with DJ Tiësto in Reggio Emilia.

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

About MLA™ (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array)
The result of many years of intensive R&D, MLA’s methodology replaces trial-and-error array design with intelligent numerical optimization of the array’s output based on a highly accurate acoustic model. The multi-cellular format has six individual cells in each enclosure, each with its own DSP and amplification.

With up to 24 enclosures, each MLA array has up to 144 cells — too great a number to optimize manually, or by ear. Instead, Martin Audio’s proprietary Display2™ system design software automatically calculates FIR DSP filters for each cell and a redundant-ring audio network (U-NET™) downloads the settings into each array enclosure. Martin Audio’s VU-NET™ software provides real-time control and monitoring of the system.

MLA delivers a frequency response and SPL consistency never before achievable; a very high system output (140dB peak, per cabinet @1m); Automatic optimization of the array, both physically (splay angles) and electronically (DSP); Computer control and monitoring of the entire system, and total control of sound system balance for engineers and sound technicians.

MLA is fully integrated, with Class D amplification, DSP and U-NET digital audio
network built into each enclosure. MLA complete systems are ready-to-use, with MLA, MLD and MLX enclosures, flying hardware, software, cabling and training all supplied. Everything needed is included. All ancillary items — from tablet PC and Merlin™ controller to network interconnects and mains distro — are also included in the complete system package. This ensures full compatibility worldwide, down to cabling and accessories.

Additional features include 90° x 7.5° dispersion; a compact size (1136mm wide x 372mm high x 675mm deep), one-box-fits-all (festivals to theaters) application range and a global voltage, power factor corrected power supply.

MLA’s compact size and very high output allows it to be shipped using smaller trucks, offering considerable savings and reduced carbon footprint. The system also includes the MLX powered, flyable subwoofer capable of an unprecedented measured peak output of 150dB @ 1m; MLD downfill cabinet, and Merlin 4-in/10-out system controller and network hub. Audio input is via analog, AES3 or U-NET.

By adopting these principles and system components MLA is optimized for every member of the audience — from a 2,000 capacity theater, to a 20,000-seat arena, to a 100,000-person festival site. It will deliver the engineer’s exact mix to every seat (up to over 150 meters) with precision, exceptional power and clarity.

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

LIVING ARTS COLLEGE RELIES ON SOLID STATE LOGIC DUALITY FOR DEGREE PROGRAM

Duality combines analogue techniques with digital workflow for all-inclusive educational experience

RALEIGH, NC – Living Arts College has invested in a Solid State Logic Duality SE to support its comprehensive degree program in audio engineering, production and promotion. The North Carolina-based college prides itself on offering a unique combination of technical expertise and creative freedom to prepare students for real-world employment. Located in Studio B2R, Duality was chosen to be the backbone of the degree program, giving students the opportunity to experience high-level analogue sound quality and signal routing using an industry standard control surface, while controlling DAW software. more

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Ardent Celebrates 45th Anniversary with Gala Gathering

Celebrations Rock Legendary Memphis Recording Studio

Pictured during celebrations at Ardent in Memphis is the studio staff surrounding founder John Fry. Photo by Tommy Bridwell.


Ardent Studios, founded by John Fry, is celebrating 45 years as a center of unforgettable music emanating from the heart of Memphis, Tennessee.
Capping off a year of celebration, friends and the extended family of Ardent producers, engineers and musicians gathered for a gala reunion gathering and a toast to the next era of the famed studio.

Ardent Studios began its rich history with early classics by Sam & Dave, Led Zeppelin, Isaac Hayes, Leon Russell and The Staples Singers, then scored hits in the 70s, 80s and 90s with such artists as James Taylor, ZZ Top, REM, George Thorogood, The Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan, and Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

21st Century stars continue to walk through the doors: Three 6 Mafia, Cat Power, North Mississippi Allstars, Three Doors Down, White Stripes, a reunited Big Star, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, the Raconteurs and Smashing Pumpkins, among many others. Ardent’s passion for the music has translated into more than 75 gold and platinum albums and singles — and still counting.

The Ardent story began when the teenage John Fry built a studio in his family’s garage, where he recorded his first Ardent Records 45s. “In 1966, I was done with school and my family sold our house,” he recalls. “I felt it was time to make a career commitment to recording music.” He found a new store building on Memphis’ National Street, which he shared with a bookshop.

The original equipment came from the garage operation: Altec tube console, Ampex 2-track, Pultec EQ and Neumann mics — some of which are still in use today. The legendary Tom Dowd was consulting with Auditronics on an early multitrack console for nearby Stax Records, and Fry ordered the same input modules for his second board. Next came a Scully 4-track, the first EMT plate reverbs in the area, and the beginnings of a world class collection of gear.

As a young studio owner, Fry was fortunate to get the overflow work from Stax Records. Walking through the Ardent doors came Isaac Hayes, Booker T. and the MGs, The Bar-Kays, Johnny Taylor, Rufus Thomas, and Albert King, as well as Leon Russell and artists on his Shelter label. “It was great to have the chance to work with all these great artists and producers,” Fry says, “We were amazed that they would take a chance on a bunch of young kids.” Top artists came back, and brought their friends.

Ardent became home to young producers and engineers such as Jim Dickinson, Terry Manning, Joe Hardy, John Hampton, Paul Ebersold, and later, many other successful figures who are part of the Ardent family circle, which includes Skidd Mills, Jeff Powell, Jason Latshaw, and Pete Matthews.

In 1971, Ardent Studios moved to its present location on Madison Avenue, followed by the acquisition of 24-track recorders, bigger consoles and more gear. During this 45th Anniversary year, the famed Studio C control room was completely torn down and rebuilt, while the venerable vintage Neve console was repackaged as a sidecar for the newly installed SSL Duality desk. “It was time to bring Ardent into the 21st Century world of recording, yet keep the legacy intact,” added the studio’s founder and first engineer, John Fry.

Fry cites several reasons for his continued success in a business which has few survivors from the early days. “We’re flexible and we’ve always strived to adapt to the changes in the recording industry. We’ve also been fortunate to have so much talent on our staff, and long term relationships with successful artists and producers. Also, having a production company, a record label, and a publishing business has allowed us to be one of our own best clients.”

For information about Ardent Studios, visit: http://www.ardentstudios.com

Bootsy Collins Hooks Up With Fission Bass Powerchord FX Pedal

Andover, MA–Funk legend Bootsy Collins has incorporated Fishman’s Fission Bass Powerchord FX Pedal into his effects rig and is using it on tour and in the studio.

Asked about Fission, Bootsy commented, “I love it when the band is playing a power riff together with stacked harmonies, add 5ths & octaves, man, it doesn’t get any funkier. Now the next best thing is playing by myself with the Fission Bass Powerchord FX pedal. It makes me feel like I am playing with my band in the upper room standing in the balcony of your mind. Feel the power of the One and check it out today baba!”

Using Fission’s intuitive set of controls and footswitches, four unique voicings pitch-shifted above the root note can be combined to produce power chords or octave-up effects, which make it ideal for Collins’s one-of-a-kind style.

Four footswitch LEDs provide visible indication of the selected harmony. When the effect is off, the LEDs dim, which make it easy to set up a harmony before playing the chord. Fission Bass also offers an adjustable noise gate, overdrive, tone and effect level. Available voicings are: Octave up, Octave up with 5th above, Octave up with 4th above, or octave / 5th / octave above. This power-effect combo provides expressive creative control over anything from subtle octaves to thick, grinding effects that even your guitar player will envy.

For more about Fishman, please click to www.fishman.com.

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Related Topics: Live Sound, New Products, News, Recording |

HOSA TECHNOLOGY ANNOUNCES MOGAN STANDARD OMNI EARSET MICROPHONE

** Photo: Mogan Standard Omni Earset Microphone **

Buena Park, CA – November 2011… Hosa Technology, the leading innovator of analog and digital connectivity solutions for the modern musician and audio/video professional, is pleased to announce the introduction of Mogan Microphones, a new brand of subminiature microphones. The first offering under the new brand is the Mogan Standard Omni Earset Microphone. Offering solid performance and unbeatable value, the new Mogan Standard earset microphone is designed to deliver high-quality audio at a price that will appeal to budget-conscious presenters. The new Mogan Standard earset model is a terrific choice for educators, lecturers, business presenters, and church worship leaders.

The heart of any microphone is its capsule. The new Mogan Standard earset microphone features a 3.0 mm Omni-directional capsule with -45 dB nominal sensitivity that is designed to be positioned near the corner of one’s mouth. Delivering full-frequency audio performance, this microphone enables presenters to achieve good audio levels and deliver natural, resonant sound. more

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