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Archive for December, 2011

Hal Leonard Ships The Ultimate Live Sound Operator’s Handbook

Bill Gibson provides the concepts and tools to producer high quality live audio
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UNIVERSITY OF WOLVERHAMPTON’S NEW MULTI-MILLION POUND PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE FEATURES SSL AWS 948 FOR MUSIC TECHNOLOGY DEGREE PROGRAMMES

SSL console chosen for new Performance Hub – to attract students and commercial clients

WALSALL, WEST MIDLANDS, UK – The Walsall Campus of the University of Wolverhampton recently completed building a new, multi-million pound performing arts centre, The Performance Hub, with a Solid State Logic AWS 948 chosen for the centerpiece recording studio. The Performance Hub integrates the music, dance and drama teaching provision – along with related technical support – into one building. The AWS provides the university with a platform that allows students to experience traditional analogue workflow and DAW control within one studio room, saving on construction costs.

SSL AWS 948 at Wolverhampton

SSL AWS 948 at Wolverhampton

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BEHIND THE SCENES, MONTRÉAL’S NEW CONCERT HALL RUNS ON SYMETRIX DSP

MONTRÉAL, CANADA – DECEMBER 2011: After long enduring a substandard concert hall, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra was recently blessed with the La Maison Symphonique de Montréal. Built to exacting acoustical standards by Tateo Nakajima of Artec Consultants, La Maison will host a wide range of musical and theatrical performances. While most of the publicity surrounding the building’s opening is justifiably centered on the stunning, state-of-the-art acoustical experience that awaits its patrons, La Maison is just as sophisticated behind the scenes. Indeed, Artec Consultants designed a comprehensive, yet intuitive paging system that will ensure that the production quality of the events at La Maison will meet the highest expectations. Philippe Beaudoin of Montréal-based A/V integrator Solotech programmed and installed the Symetrix SymNet-based signal processing and interface technology that makes the powerful and elegant paging system possible.

Six zones comprise the paging system. The lobby zone conveys pages for patrons, typically before performances and during intermission and retransmits the audio captured within the hall for late arrivers. [Basically, there's a camera that captures the video and sends to displays on all 3 levels of the lobby and a microphone gets the audio and sends to the paging system] Based on their physical layout and intended usage, there are two separate dressing room zones. The stage manager’s booth, the recordist’s booth, the house audio mixer, the follow spot operators and the lighting board op, get their own zone. The venue managers’ offices get their own separate zone. The final zone patches through the main audio mixer into the house sound system. Over three-hundred McBride 820CXB paging loudspeakers powered by two QSC CX-204V and two QSC-1202 amplifiers deliver the paging system’s output.

The linchpin of La Maison’s paging system is the Symetrix ARC-SW4 and ARC-XLR, a pair of wall panel remotes with integrator-programmable push buttons and an XLR jack. Room managers and stage managers have their own Symetrix ARC-SW4 and ARC-XLR to handle outgoing pages, and each one is configured the same way. Two mobile racks can be plugged and patched from different areas of the venue for temporary needs of traveling productions and events. Of its eight buttons, six are labeled by zone. To deliver a page, the user pushes a button for each of the zones that he or she wants to include. Then a push-to-talk button, combined with a Shure 527B microphone, executes the page. Additional features include a push-button chime, which calls patrons to the hall prior to a performance or after an intermission, and a volume control override button. Although it may find other uses, the volume override button’s intended purpose is to deliver urgent messages, such as when a musician or the conductor needs to be called from the dressing room to the stage.

An open-architecture Symetrix SymNet 8×8 DSP, supplemented by a Symetrix Control I/O, sits in the middle of the system. It ably handles the complex routing required of the system, along with all of the frequency and dynamics processing nuances that make the pages not only functional, but also pleasant. “Symetrix delivered on two essential features that make the paging system at La Maison comprehensive, easy-to-use, and cost-effective,” said Beaudoin. “First, it has a wealth of flexible logic modules, which meant that I could design the system to hang together robustly. Second, the ARC remotes convey logic controls and audio on a single Cat5 cable with very liberal distance restrictions. That made the physical installation as easy as it could possibly be.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX
Sound professionals rely upon the performance, value and reliability of audio mixing, routing and processing products from Symetrix. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1.425.778.7728.

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METRIC HALO ULN-2 SURVIVES HAITIAN FIRE

CARREFOUR, HAITI – DECEMBER 2011: Bad things sometimes happen to good people. While he was working for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) as a hospital administrator in troubled Haiti, Eyal Tapiero volunteered his spare time and expertise to record some remarkably talented hip-hop artists in the community. But just days before his return to Canada, Tapiero arrived to his Haitian residence to find it engulfed in flames. His MacBook Pro was burned, his backup drive and music collection were destroyed, and his Metric Halo ULN-2 emerged from a drawer as hot as if it had been roasted in an oven.

“During my time in Haiti, I developed a close bond with many of my Haitian coworkers and found that some of them had aspirations of being hip-hop stars,” Tapiero said. “They had talent, but they couldn’t afford to get demo tapes made.” While on holiday break in Canada, Tapiero decided to take some recording equipment back to Haiti in order to do a little production work in his free time. “I wasn’t looking to do anything too complicated,” he said. “I had my MacBook Pro, Sennheiser HD 25 headphones which were invaluable for monitoring and tracking, a Shure SM57, Audix i5, CAD GXL-3000, and an M-Audio Oxygen 25 key midi controller and my trusty ULN-2 all running through Ableton Live.”

Despite less than ideal recording conditions, the raw talent and spirit of the performers were making the tracks sparkle with life. The noise of the nearby highway, the loud generator that droned day and night, and the intolerable heat could not deter those in the mesmerizing grip of musical inspiration. The Metric Halo ULN-2 and MacBook Pro were ideal. With minimal fuss and with immunity to the city’s frequent power outages, Tapiero captured some high-quality tracks. “We had two monitor mixes, full recording, and full metering all through one box running power from a laptop,” he said.

His residence fire occurred just one week shy of Tapiero fulfilling his one-year contract with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The neighbors reported that the fire raged for at least twenty-five minutes before it was subdued. “I was devastated,” Tapiero said. “I lost all my personal belongings and electronic equipment. My backup drive, which held all of our recordings and production archives, was destroyed. My music collection was destroyed. None of my friends ever got a final copy of the demo tape. It was terrible. While the ULN-2 had escaped direct contact with the flames, I thought its insides were fried for sure but I still held on to it.”

Several months later, Tapiero learned the insurance for the fire fell through. And since he was constantly traveling and without a new computer, Tapiero didn’t see the value in having the ULN-2 looked at by a professional. “But back in Canada, my brother urged me to give it another try,” he recalled. “So, I plugged the ULN-2 into to his MacBook Pro with nothing more than a FireWire cable and a dim hope. But to my surprise, it worked! We tested all the ports and functions, and everything was working as it should. I was shocked and I couldn’t believe my luck!”

Inspiration restored, Tapiero has begun saving up for a new MacBook Pro. Thanks to the intervention of Metric Halo’s Allen Rowand and the generosity of Alto Music (a Metric Halo and Apple dealer), Tapiero will get his new laptop faster than he thought.

“Tapiero wrote to thank us for making a product that could withstand the torture test of being in a burning room,” said Rowand. “After I read his letter I contacted Jon Habor at Alto to see if he could do anything to help out and he immediately agreed. It’s always terrible when someone loses their property, but it’s even worse when it happens to someone who’s doing humanitarian work. We’re happy that we can help Tapiero get back to recording.”

To find out more about the humanitarian backdrop for this story, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), interested readers can visit:
MSF Canada: http://www.msf.ca
MSF USA: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.com

ABOUT METRIC HALO
Based in New York’s Hudson Valley, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware. www.mhlabs.com

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PCS Rumbles Phooson and Shakes Christmas Pudding with L-ACOUSTICS

Flo Rida and his guests from the Phooson audience monitored via L-ACOUSTICS 115XT HiQ wedges

PHOENIX, Arizona — David Stern, president of Precise Corporate Staging (PCS), reports that December has been a banner month for his company with a dozen different productions on its event calendar, all of which utilized L-ACOUSTICS loudspeaker systems.

The stage and L-ACOUSTICS system at Phooson 2011

The month kicked off with a bang as PCS shook Phoenix’s U.S. Airways Center on December 2 for Phooson 2011, an annual pop music festival hosted by KRQ/KISS FM’s Johnjay & Rich and featuring Selena Gomez, Flo Rida, OneRepublic and Gym Class Heroes, among other acts. PCS supplied a concert sound system for the event comprised of 30 V-DOSC, 30 dV-DOSC and 12 SB28 subs. Eight 115XT HiQ coaxial wedges provided stage monitoring, while two ARCS paired with two SB series subs served as sidefills. more

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Lowell Highlights Rack and Wall-Mount Storage Solutions with New Product Videos

— Lowell supports dealers and installers with short tutorial clips —

Lowell Manufacturing Company, a Pacific, Missouri-based manufacturer of professional AV Products for over 60 years, has updated its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/lowellmfg) with two new product videos. These short clips, highlighting rack and wall-mount storage solutions, were produced as a resource for customers, consultants, installers and end users, demonstrating the products’ construction and features.

The first video can be found at the following URL: http://youtu.be/NimYQpqnkNs. This video features Lowell’s VARI-RACK®, which sports a unique design among AV equipment racks. In the video the host assembles a VARI-RACK, demonstrating how to set the rack depth to a choice of settings.

The second video is located here: http://youtu.be/xL2GRMl-21o. This video features three of Lowell’s wall-mount rack units: the LWR, the LWSRF and the LWRF. In the clip, the host compares and contrasts the three different products, pointing out key features and access points.

“We’re proud to present the new videos, and the rest of the content on our YouTube channel, as a key resource to the extended Lowell family,” stated Kathy Lane, Marketing Communications Manager. “We take great pride in our products’ design, and these clips help illuminate the ways in which our attention to detail can make life easier for our customers, installers, and maintenance technicians. We invite everyone to subscribe to our social media channels to keep up with the latest developments at Lowell.”

About Lowell’s VARI-RACK:
The versatile VARI-RACK (LVR-series) is a slim footprint 19″ EIA unassembled rack suitable for built-in or freestanding applications. The unique design allows the depth to be selected during set-up so it’s easy to fit into quarters that may be shallower than planned. Corner post mounting rails are also designed to solve last minute problems – printed marks help accurate field-cuts if the height needs to be trimmed. The robust design supports loads up to 400 lbs. Racks that are 30RU or taller include side support brackets for torsional rigidity (see photo). A variety of options make this a good choice for a variety of applications.

About Lowell’s Wall-Mount Racks:
The LWR is a two-part sectional rack that includes a 4.7” deep backbox and 14” or 18” deep mounting section. Backbox: 10” square opening in rear (to clear electrical pull boxes), combination knockout panels at top and bottom, lacing points, and provisions to attach board-mounted accessories. Key-style side locks are keyed differently than (optional) front door. Mounting Section: 1-pair of adjustable rails, integral rails top and bottom (for mounting and lacing) and vented sides. Handles loads up to 300 lbs., depending on model. Black wrinkle powder epoxy finish.

The LWSRF is a new economical swing-out design for light to medium loads. It swings open for easy access to cables and the rear of rackmounted equipment. The fixed-position front mounting rails make it a great economical solution for applications that won’t need to reposition equipment front-to-back. Includes top and bottom key-locks. Optional front door.

The LWRF is another economical model made for small system installations like schools, small offices and retailers. This welded 16-ga. steel rack includes 1-pair of fixed mounting rails, vented sides and a separate wall bracket with mounting slots and knockouts. Black wrinkle powder epoxy finish. Optional front door for security.

For more information, please visit www.lowellmfg.com or e-mail Lowell at Sales@lowellmfg.com.

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The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® Presents Fifth Annual GRAMMY® Week Event Honoring Music Producer and Executive Jimmy Iovine

Event Will Highlight Sound Quality and Pay Homage to Chair of Interscope Geffen A&M Records and Beats Electronics at The Village Recording Studios in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, 2012

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (December 22, 2011) — The Producers & Engineers Wing® of The Recording Academy® will celebrate its fifth annual GRAMMY® Week event honoring legendary music producer and entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine for his commitment to excellence and ongoing support for the art and craft of recorded music. The event will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, at The Village Recording Studios in Los Angeles, and Bono and Dr. Dre will serve as honorary event co-chairs. GRAMMY Week culminates with the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards® on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, airing live on the CBS Television Network, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. (www.grammy.com)

“The work of the Producers & Engineers Wing is essential to ensure that the importance of sound quality and the integrity of recorded music continue to be acknowledged and preserved in our evolving landscape,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “This year we pay tribute to an industry leader, Jimmy Iovine, who has made an indelible impact as a recording engineer, producer, founder of Interscope Records, and now entrepreneur focused on audio quality. As we continue to highlight those who work ‘behind the glass,’ we are very pleased this year to celebrate someone of Jimmy’s stature who is so dedicated to this important cause.”

Jimmy Iovine began his career in the ’70s as a recording engineer for artists including John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen. He then made the transition to producer, working on classic albums with artists including Dire Straits, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Patti Smith and U2. In 1990, Iovine co-founded Interscope Records with partner Ted Field. He is now chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, a unit of Universal Music Group, and recently celebrated 20 years commitment as a label head to diverse and gifted artists including the Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Nelly Furtado, Lady Gaga, No Doubt and U2. Furthering his interest in and commitment to sound quality, in 2008 Iovine co-founded the high-performance headphone and sound transmission company Beats Electronics with GRAMMY-winning artist Dr. Dre, and he continues to passionately advocate for reversal of the degradation of sound quality in music that has resulted from the recording industry’s transition to digital distribution.

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Townhouse Bedroom Transformed into Mix Room Palace by Carl Tatz Design and the PhantomFocus™ System

— Multi award-winning, Billboard chart-topping songwriter/producer Monty Powell and jazz artist Anna Wilson hire Carl Tatz Design for a second time to design their beautiful new personal studio, the MontAnna Mix Room, while upgrading to the latest PhantomFocus™ System technology —

Nashville, TN: “It’s clearly the leading technology in monitoring,” comments uber-successful songwriter/producer Monty Powell about the new-generation PhantomFocus™ System (PFS) in his new MontAnna Mix Room designed by Carl Tatz Design LLC (CTD). “If I build ten more studios, which I hope I don’t,” jokes Powell, “every one of them will have a PhantomFocus System in it – I can’t imagine mixing without it.”

Not unlike those who want to drive the latest model Porsche 911 or Mercedes Benz SL sports car, many veteran PhantomFocus System users are beginning to upgrade to the latest PFS technology. “The legacy PFSs still sound terrific and are still a huge leg up over other monitor systems, while the newer iterations are far more powerful and quieter and can deliver even more accuracy in even the most difficult spaces,” notes Carl Tatz, principal of CTD and creator of the PFS.

Monty Powell and wife, jazz artist Anna Wilson, called on CTD for a second time when they decided to downsize and move from their beloved Nashville home that housed a beautiful Carl Tatz Design studio with 20′ tall ceilings in the tracking room into a posh new townhouse mix room nearby. The control room design features the now familiar trademark CTD Acoustic Lens™ and CTD Attenuation Cloud™ modules.

Since this successful couple is spending most of their time now in their Utah home when they are not gigging around the country at various jazz venues with Anna or songwriting on the road with the likes of country superstars Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum and others, it makes perfect sense to make this transition. The move reflects a trend where many personal studio owners prefer to track in a commercial studio that has all the amenities you would expect in a professional tracking room and spend the remaining 90 percent of the time overdubbing and mixing in their own facility.
“It’s always a great compliment to be asked back by your client to design a second room, and Monty and Anna are so much fun to work with, both being very creative people with lots of enthusiastic ideas,” says Tatz. “And upgrading their PhantomFocus System was the maraschino cherry on top of the cake. They were very happy with their existing PFS, but when I convinced them that they should experience the new system at another studio, their mouths dropped – it sold itself.”

Video URL 1: http://youtu.be/k2M4kMz2Kx0

Video URL 2: http://youtu.be/00RF5VyQC3s

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Korg Offers Monomania Sound Contest Through End of 2011

Korg’s captivating Monotron and Monotribe have created waves of hands-on, knob-tweaking, analog music-making all across the planet. To capture this creativity, Korg Inc. has created the online Monomania Sound Contest, in conjunction with Korg UK and Korg USA. Due to popular demand, the U.S. deadline for this contest has been extended to January 1, 2012.

This is a chance for Monotron users to compete for prizes by submitting a video or audio clip of themselves making sounds with their Korg Monotron or Monotribe.

In the U.S., 10 winners will be selected in each of three categories: Monotribe Music; Monotron FX; Monotron Music. Prizes include a silver-plated Monotron and Monotribe, plus a host of other Korg gear prizes and Korg T-shirts.

A World grand prize of a one-of-a-kind 24-karat gold-plated Monotribe will be offered to the winner of the Monotribe Music category, as well as a silver-plated Monotron Duo (Monotron Music category) and a silver-plated Monotron Delay (Monotron Sound FX category). Those winners will be announced at the Winter NAMM Conference in mid-January 2012.

For additional contest details and instructions for submitting an entry, please visit: http://www.korg.co.jp/monomania/English/entry.

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Genelec Active Monitors Chosen for Remote Mixing on The X Factor

— The X Factor’s Audio Production Mixer Michael Abbott, remote broadcast music production specialists M3 and Music Mixer Eric Schilling incorporate Genelec Active Monitors into their workflow for unparalleled reference monitoring —

Music mixer Eric Schilling is using a Genelec 8200 Series Active DSP Monitoring System on the U.S. television premier season of The X Factor to create the 5.1-channel mix of the live music segments for broadcast on the FOX network. The system, comprising Genelec 8250A and 8240A Bi-Amplified DSP Monitors, together with a 7260A subwoofer, was supplied by remote broadcast music production specialists M3 (Music Mix Mobile) and was specified by the show’s production audio mixer, Michael Abbott, a veteran broadcast mixer and sound designer, and the owner of All Ears, Inc.

Joel Singer, co-founder and chief engineer of M3, relates that Abbott was determined to bring the same high level of music mixing and audio quality to The X Factor that he had experienced working with him on other high-profile broadcast events. “Mike, as the A1 on the show, had a vision for what he wanted to do with regard to the music system on The X Factor. He came to us and said that he would like to incorporate the workflow we use on some of these big music award shows, like the GRAMMY® Awards and the Country Music Awards, and what M3 does by building and designing reference-quality 5.1 mixing systems, and develop it for this show. As the system architect, I designed the music system based on the needs of the show as a reliable, fully functioning 5.1 mixing system. It was a good meeting of the minds because we’ve worked with Mike on many, many different projects.”

“My agenda for the sound design of this show was to use components that have previously produced favorable results on other broadcasts, and Genelec has been part of that formula,” confirms Abbott. “I prefer the music mixers to use whatever they are comfortable with, and Eric is very familiar with the tonal response of the Genelec monitors from working with M3 on many other broadcast productions. The result of this team effort has yielded a streamlined workflow with audio quality second-to-none. And from everything I’ve heard, this has made a tremendous difference to our viewers at home.”

Schilling comments, “I have been using the 8200 Series monitors in my studio and for broadcast music mixing since they where released. I always find that the mixes I do with these monitors translate very well to other listening environments outside of my work, which, to me, is of paramount importance.”

Schilling’s temporary studio is set up at CBS Television City in Hollywood, California, where the show is produced. According to Singer, this was the first semi-permanent mixing system installation project for M3, which operates remote music production trucks out of New Jersey and California. “A Gelco trailer is a less-than-ideal space for anything, so we had to overcome some different issues in there,” he acknowledges. “Through the use of some acoustic materials and help from an acoustics company that came in and worked out some of the reflections and other issues, we were able to solve some of the reverberant issues in the room. This provided a comfortable environment for Eric to mix the music on the show.”

The onboard DSP features of the Genelec system, including AutoCal™ automated calibration, which can be centrally controlled by computer using the GLM™ (Genelec Loudspeaker Management™) control network, proved invaluable in the challenging space. “Having the Genelecs, and being able to tune them and look at the rest of the room as a tuned space, helped us out,” reports Singer. “We were really able to use those monitors and adjust them to make the system suitable for what Eric was used to hearing and gave him a reference point so that he could start mixing a show that would translate onto television.”

It’s not surprising that M3 was standardized on Genelec monitor systems for its projects, which can involve similarly challenging remote locations. “We bring fly pack systems into television studios in New York for projects like The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and a number of other shows where we have to sit in dressing rooms and make the system work,” says Singer. “Genelec is a big, big part of that, because we’re able to take a small set of 8240s to The Colbert Report, where I was able to shoot the room and calibrate the speakers at an earlier point in time, and I can just recall the setup and the Genelecs basically adjust themselves.”

The X Factor, which is franchised globally, made its U.S. television debut on September 21, 2011, and extends through December 22. The show originated in the U.K., where it has frequently been #1 in the ratings over its eight seasons.

For more information, please visit www.genelecusa.com.

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