Archive for December 15th, 2011

Yamaha LS9 Digital Console Breathes New Life into The Living Christmas Tree

BUENA PARK, Calif.—The Living Christmas Tree at Grace Bible Church in Oxnard, California recently added a Yamaha LS9-32 digital audio console to enhance its six annual performances. The church, built in 1970, began The Living Christmas Tree program in 1973. Housed in a tree-like structure designed and built by several church members, the set can hold over 70 singers.

The sanctuary was modified to accommodate 48 1,000-watt Leko theatrical lighting fixtures, two follow spots, associated dimmers, and a 24” mirror ball. Sadly, the modifications didn’t include permanently installed audio, so for The Living Tree and other special theater events, a large portable sound system was brought in. The earlier productions were accompanied by musicians with some very elaborate stage sets that included a ski slope, toboggan run, and ice rink. In 2003, the original “Tree” structure was replaced by a new commercially built structure that was easier to assemble and more convenient for the singers to climb into.

“Changing times meant that we had to handle production differently than in the past,” states Alan Hatmaker, Chairman of the Elder Board and lead audio tech. “For instance, with an all-volunteer production team, we cut costs and production complications by moving from a live orchestra to professional backup tracks.” Since Grace Bible Church is a small 100-member church, they opened up the cast to members of other churches in the area. This year, the member cast of over 60 singers is made up of members from 14 churches.

“Instead of purchasing tickets, we ask the audience to bring cans of food for Ventura County (CA) Food Share,” says Hatmaker. “For the last nine years, the audiences have given over 20,000 pounds of food (3,000 pounds last year alone), and enough offerings to keep the program going. We also asked the local Rescue Mission to provide support for help set up and dismantling of the Tree structure and portable staging.”

Hatmaker designed a sound system back in 1981 that consisted of a large portable system built around a Yamaha MQ Series console. “We chose the MQ for its many professional features and overall quality. In 1991, the church decided to upgrade the installed sound system. The centerpiece of the system was a Yamaha PM1200-32 console. Since the PM1200 was an “entry level” pro series console, it gave us great value with its high-quality construction (weighing in at around 150 pounds) and great features. The PM1200 served us well for the past 20+ years until this year when it was replaced by the Yamaha LS9-32. We chose the LS9 since it, like the PM1200, is an “entry level”, high-quality Yamaha professional series console, that will provide us the same long-term service we had with the PM1200.”

Hatmaker said that one of the biggest features of the Yamaha LS9 for his purpose is the console’s built-in effects, ‘more than I could have ever imagined.’ “This feature alone allows us to remove five pieces of outboard gear between the console and amplifiers, resulting in higher reliability of our overall system. The LS9 is great for going from “Tree” setup to Sunday service setup. We use the Scene function to “toggle” between the two set-ups.” He also sights compressors, available for each channel, as another feature the audio team appreciates. Hatmaker noted that he received a few of hours of initial training on the Yamaha console and trains all of the volunteer audio operators.

Times and consoles have certainly evolved. “With the PM1200, I had to write down all of the channel settings for the Tree so I could return to them after the Sunday service!”

-END-

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. The company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker products. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

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ASHLY KLR-5000 AMPS POWER LSU’S PETE MARAVICH ASSEMBLY CENTER

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – DECEMBER 2011: Although the Pete Maravich Assembly Center (PMAC) in Baton Rouge served as the United State’s largest ever triage center and field hospital during the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, the 13,500-seat arena is better known as the venue to watch Louisiana State University Tigers basketball. Built in the early 1970s, the PMAC’s original sound system was cutting-edge for its time, but a botched renovation in the mid-1980s left the PMAC sonically lacking… for decades. Although inspired by the Tiger’s roaring fans, the PMAC’s nickname, “The Deaf Dome,” was an apt, if less flattering, descriptor of that sound system. To provide the team and its fans with a spark of inspiration, an anonymous donor provided the funds for a first-rate, modern sound reinforcement system. Tim Landry, principal of audio integrator Tim Landry Sound Construction (Mandeville, LA), provided the donor with a system design centered on thirty-four Ashly Audio KLR-5000 amplifiers, Ashly Audio processing, and Sound Bridge loudspeakers.

“The sound system that went in during the 1980s was a terrible design executed terribly,” observed the characteristically candid Landry. “For example, the original design called for five speakers each in four separate horizontal arrays. For reasons unknown, the installers changed it and put two speakers on top and three on the bottom of each array. It changed the entire nature of the system. Tilting of the clusters disastrously affected the outer speakers. Beyond that, the boxes were arranged in ways that the manufacturer never intended, which led to bizarre frequency interactions. As a result, some seats were covered poorly and some seats were not covered at all.” A system of physical relays meant to facilitate scene changes for different types of events went south quickly. “You could just tap the thing and amps would blink on and off,” complained Landry, who, prior to the renovation, helped maintain the crippled system with jumper wires (literally) and bubble gum (figuratively).

In recent years, the school raised funds to upgrade several aspects of the aging PMAC facility. It replaced the seating and ceiling. It installed a new efficient HVAC system. The school even installed a brilliant new Daktronics scoreboard. “It was time to get some excitement into the building,” said Landry. “And the sound system was the obvious fix. Fortunately, a generous and well-to-do LSU alum donated the money to do it.” The donor’s only request? Install a sound system to beat all sound systems! To meet that request, Landry rented several loudspeaker systems anonymously and evaluated their performance in the PMAC. The clear winner was Sound Bridge.

Landry drew up the original plans with a well-known, but pricey amplifier manufacturer in mind. “But then I spoke to Ashly,” he recalled. “I have a lot of respect for Ashly’s gear and the people behind it because in all the years I’ve been installing Ashly amps and processors, the only units that ever failed went underwater during Katrina. Even still, two of those units came back to life and are working to this day! Anyway, Ashly said the new KLR-5000s amplifiers would be coming on line, and they seemed perfect for the job.” Landry ordered thirty-five of the new amplifiers, thirty-four for the system and one for backup. “On system critical installations, I always include a backup unit,” he said. “But when Ashly is involved, I have yet to need it!”

For processing, Landry turned to the Ashly ne24.24M. Two units provide all of the processing for the PMAC. “There are two modes,” he said. “One for the student operators that contains some limiting to prevent them from blowing anyone’s eardrums out and a second, more liberal setting. We called it ‘Terrance Turbo Mode’ in honor of the system’s primary operator. Terrance has a key that effectively removes that limiting and gives him full access to the full 165,000 watts of power surging through the KLR-5000s. Terrance is very pleased.” In addition, the ne24.24Ms replace the old physical relays that caused so many problems. Now the operators can select which clusters play via the software.

The logistics of the installation were particularly demanding because LSU books the PMAC with an event almost every day. “We definitely had to work around their schedule and not the other way around,” said Landry. “I admit I was a bit nervous about receiving serial numbers one through thirty-five on the KLR-5000s, but, as I said, I’ve come to trust the folks at Ashly. They really came through and made sure we had the units when we needed them – it would have been a bloodbath if they hadn’t. And the amps worked flawlessly from day one and continue to do so.”

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO With a greater than thirty-seven year history, Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of quality signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets.

www.ashly.com

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Fishman Experiences Dramatic Growth With New Hires, Technologies & Products

Andy Lewis, Fishman Senior Manager New Business & Product Development

Andover, MA––Fishman has added four new hires to its engineering and product development team and will be introducing new technologies and product lines at Winter NAMM 2012 that underscore the substantial growth and evolution of the company.

Andy Lewis has been appointed to the newly created role of Senior Manager – New Business and Product Development – where he will be responsible for the development of an innovative product line that marks a total departure for Fishman.

Joining the company in July, Lewis has spent over 25 years in professional and consumer audio with prominent engineering and marketing positions for brands such as Russound, Bowers & Wilkins, EAW, Apogee Acoustics, Acoustic Research and Record Plant Studios.

Asked about his appointment, Lewis stated, “This breakthrough technology will be a game changer for Fishman and indeed the entire guitar market. We put together an amazing development team and I’m extremely excited to be a part of it.”

Also joining the Fishman team is Senior Mechanical Design Engineer Tom Hagerty. Tom’s work for leading design and engineering consulting firms in the Boston area includes projects for Boston Acoustics, Instrumentation Labs, Motorola, OXO, Procter & Gamble, Sauder, and The First Years.

Appointed as Test Development Engineer at Fishman, Joe Kozdra brings 35 years of experience in electronics measurement and test including nineteen years of hands-on work as a Test Maintenance Technician and sixteen years as a Manufacturing Test Engineer in optical telecommunications and consumer audio.

Nick Servidio has also joined the company as a Junior Audio Engineer responsible for assisting in the technical development and evaluation of Fishman’s new product line. He has expertise in both analog audio circuit design as well as digital signal processing techniques and has developed his own Audio Unit plug-ins and iOS applications.

Commenting on Fishman’s most recent growth and evolution, company founder and President Larry Fishman said, “With the growth in sales that Fishman has experienced, we have a tremendous opportunity to expand our company with these new hires in Engineering and Product Development. We’ve built a team here with a wealth of experience in consumer electronics and pro audio. Each one was hand-picked based on their skills, knowledge and ability to fit into Fishman’s long-range vision.”

For more information about Fishman, go to www.fishman.com.

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Middle Atlantic Teams With Control Concepts for Communication Flexibility in RackLink™

Fairfield, NJ –– When Middle Atlantic Products set out to develop its new RackLink™ Suite of Power Management products, a crucial goal was to ensure its communication flexibility across multiple platforms including the web, mobile devices and control systems. To develop that critical open-architecture communication with control systems, the company partnered with fellow market leader Control Concepts, Inc.

Working in close collaboration with Middle Atlantic, audiovisual control system solutions company Control Concepts created communication drivers for both Crestron and AMX that work with the new protocol. The protocol also provides matrix readings from the systems for energy management, imports RackLink data into a database that compares usage and points out cost saving opportunities and allows control systems to register for unsolicited information. These features provide AV professionals with the data they need to make real-time changes to the control system that save energy and cost, and improve functionality.

Recently introduced and already enjoying acceptance among AV professionals, RackLink products provide installers with flexible, intelligent power monitoring and management for AV systems, along with preemptive support functions. They are the first of their kind capable of maintaining AV system reliability using automatic actions that include automatic reboot, turning on emergency fans and shutting down equipment for safety in overload or over-temperature conditions.

Asked about the collaboration between the companies, Jeff Mackie, Director of Product Development at Control Concepts, said that when working with Middle Atlantic on RackLink, he “really felt like part of the team.”

“The expertise that Control Concepts brought to the development of RackLink’s control system communication protocol was invaluable,” said Middle Atlantic Electrical/Electronic Product Manager Murray Williams. “Their knowledge of these environments helped optimize its functionality for how integrators utilize it in the field.”

For technical specifications and in-depth information about Middle Atlantic Products, please click to www.middleatlantic.com or call 1.800.266.7225

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L-ACOUSTICS Systems Used for Yanni’s Guangzhou Concert

GUANGZHOU, China — An L-ACOUSTICS KUDO large format line source system has been used for an outdoor concert in Guangzhou by Greek pianist and composer Yanni as part of his Chinese tour. The sound system was supplied to the tour’s equipment provider, Beijing Dadong Huahan Audiovisual Equipment Co, by L-ACOUSTICS’ exclusive distributor for Greater China, Rightway Audio Consultants. more

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LECTROSONICS WIRELESS ON LOCATION WITH NBC’S “ACCESS HOLLYWOOD LIVE”

*** Photo: Frank Duca with his Lectrosonics gear ***

New York, NY – December 2011… NBC’s Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood LIVE are two iconic weekday television entertainment news programs covering many of the biggest music, TV, and film industry events and celebrities in the entertainment industry. For those interested in the ‘latest and greatest’ of the entertainment business, these shows are, without question, the shows to watch. With much of the production taking place at New York’s famed Rockefeller Center; it’s difficult to imagine a busier, more hectic environment than the heart of Manhattan. So when it comes to wireless microphone performance, there are many issues to consider. That’s why Lectrosonics wireless technology plays an integral role in the shows’ audio production. more

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