Archive for February 16th, 2012
Chicago – February 16, 2012: Offering the excitement of Hollywood just 45 minutes outside of Chicago, Hollywood Casino Joliet recently underwent a major renovation to its entertainment and dining pavilion, which was destroyed by a fire in March 2009. Hollywood Stadium, a sports bar/entertainment venue located within the pavilion, has since been completely rebuilt and now boasts the latest technology and audiovisual elements, including an 80 x 20-foot screen, over 40 flat-screen TVs and a K-array loudspeaker system, the latter of which is distributed by audio specialist Sennheiser.
“After the fire, we took the opportunity to bring our pavilion up to speed both aesthetically and technologically,” recalls Justin Sattazahn, audio-visual supervisor of Hollywood Casino Joliet. “In Hollywood Stadium, I was looking for a stealthy loudspeaker system that would provide great sightlines and high fidelity throughout the room.” He chose a K-array system, including two KK200 arrays mounted to poles on either side of the stage, four KL18ma subwoofers — each of which was mounted inside the stage — and (4) KF12 self-powered monitors.
A Non-Traditional Solution in a Forward-Thinking Venue
Sattazahn, who has a background in the touring industry and recently made the move to casino entertainment, knew that a traditional horn-loaded P.A. system would not be suitable for Hollywood Stadium — which presented both acoustic and visual challenges. The visual challenges included maintaining unobstructed viewing angles to the stage performers, the massive projector screen and the flat-screen televisions scattered throughout the room.
“My initial design was going to be your standard hanging J-style line array,” Sattazahn recalls. “However, since the sightlines were so important and since I was dealing with a room that was very acoustically reflective, the K-array was by far the best choice.” The room, which measures 60 x 125 feet, has 45-feet-high ceilings and is constructed primarily of concrete. “There were a lot of acoustic challenges that we had to overcome, not the least of which were all the reflective surfaces.”
The precise sound dispersion patterns of the KK200 — which have a horizontal throw of 110 degrees and a vertical throw of just seven degrees — helped Sattazahn and his team overcome the acoustic challenges of the venue while maintaining unobstructed sightlines towards the stage. Moreover, by installing the K-array solution, every seat in the house offers a pristine audio experience.
Smooth sounds in a small, powerful package
When it is not a sports bar, Hollywood Stadium is transformed into an intimate music venue that caters to smooth jazz, country, Top 40 dance music and everything in between. Musicians of all genres regularly pass through the venue, and Sattazahn says that so far, the loudspeaker system has gotten high marks: “One of the bigger regional bands that comes in here is called 7th Heaven. When they first saw the K-array system, they said, ‘Is this it?’ But by the end of the show, they had no doubt that the K-array could handle everything they had and a lot more!”
The new K-array system receives regular praise from both performers and patrons alike: “We get a lot of compliments that this is the best system that they’ve ever heard,” says Sattazahn. “Some bands describe the sound as ‘smooth’, and say that it’s as if they are listening to their performance through a set of studio monitors — but in a live setting.”
Based on the successful performance of the K-array system in Hollywood Stadium, Hollywood Casino Joliet is already planning on installation additional K-array equipment in other locations in the near future. “K-array fits our brand and the high-end feel we are trying to achieve in our casino, so we are looking at adding new elements within the casino and the nightclub. K-array is already at the top of my list,” Sattazahn concludes.
Auralex Provides Total Sound Solution and Aesthetic Décor at High-End Boutique Store
NASHVILLE, TN — Auralex® Acoustics, Inc., the industry leader in innovative sound control solutions, helped the Guitar Gallery showroom in Nashville, TN look more appealing and sound better thanks to the installation of several of its acoustics treatment products. The Guitar Gallery installed Auralex’s SonicPrint™ artistic acoustic panels, its ELiTE™ B22 ProPanels™, ELiTE™ B24 ProPanels™ and SonoSuede™ Pro trapezoid panels, throughout the space. more
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2012) — The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards® on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, showcased an amazing collection of musical performances and tributes and utilized the latest in technology to provide television viewers worldwide with a cutting-edge, high-definition/5.1 surround sound event.
The GRAMMY Awards’ technical staff consists of audio pioneers who continually strive to employ the latest in HDTV and 5.1 technology to enhance the show. The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® members Phil Ramone and Hank Neuberger again supervised the broadcast audio, while fellow P&E Wing member Leslie Ann Jones supervised the house audio.
Caption: Only minutes before the start of the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards, several members of the 2012 audio team gathered for a photo. Pictured L-R: Top Row: Toby Scott, Bruce Springsteen Engineer; Hank Neuberger, GRAMMY Award Telecast sound supervisor; John Harris, Co-Broadcast Music Mixer; Glenn Lorbecki, Recording Academy Secretary/Treasurer; Bob Clearmountain, Bruce Springsteen Engineer. Bottom Row: Eric Schilling, Co-Broadcast Music Mixer; Leslie Ann Jones and Phil Ramone, GRAMMY Award Telecast sound supervisors; and Maureen Droney, P&E Wing Senior Executive Director.
Photograph courtesy of The Recording Academy®/Wireimage.com © 2012. Photograph by John Shearer.
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, like “The GRAMMYs” on Facebook, and join The GRAMMYs’ social communities on YouTube, Tumblr, Foursquare, GetGlue, and Instagram.
Currently more than 6,000 professionals comprise The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, which was established for producers, engineers, remixers, manufacturers, technologists, and other related creative and technical professionals in the recording field. This organized voice for the recording community addresses issues that affect the craft of recorded music, including the development and implementation of new technologies, technical guidelines and recommendations, and archiving and preservation initiatives. For more information, please visit www.producersandengineers.com.
Engineer/Producer Wes Leyshon Tracks Analog for Acoustic Project
Pictured (L-R) in Ardent Studios' new SSL Duality-equipped Studio C are Caleb Franz, mandolin, banjo, backing vocals; Savannah Franz; Audra Mohnker uprightt bass, backing vocals; Emmet Franz, dobro, backing vocals; Colin Elmore lead singersongwriterrrr, acoustic guitar, piano; David Fiser, photographer; Mike Wilson, assistant engineer; Olivia Jahnke, fiddle, piano, backing vocals; Wes Leyshon, engineer/producer; and Adam Jahnke.
Memphis recording engineer and producer Wes Leyshon has teamed up a second time with Indie roots star Colin Elmore for his forthcoming “This Side of the Sun.” Tracking to analog tape in Ardent Studios’ newly rebuilt Studio C, the project takes full advantage of the SSL hybrid analog/digital Duality console.
Wes Leyshon previously worked with Elmore and his band Berch for 2010′s critically-acclaimed “Before and After the Fall.” For his new album, Elmore says he was looking for the “warm and slightly dirty” sound that called for analog tape and a studio renowned for work with legacy artists ranging from James Taylor to Led Zeppelin.
Leyshon tracked with Ardent assistant engineer Mike Wilson to record Elmore and his band, consisting of Emmet Franz and his family playing a wealth of acoustic instruments, including guitars, dobro, upright bass, mandolin, fiddle and banjo. Additional instrumentation called for Hammond organ, cello, French horn, flugelhorn, trumpet, piano and accordion.
Leyshon remarked, “Mike Wilson was everything I could’ve hoped for in an assistant. I love the new SSL board in C and the great assortment of compressors and outboard gear I had to mix with. The mic choice I had was a dream. The live room is amazing and we made good use of it. All of the Ardent staff seemed excited and encouraging about the whole project. I really hope to be back here in the near future.”
For a sneak peek video of Colin Elmore and Emmett Franz performing an acoustic version of one of the album cuts in Ardent’s Studio C visit: http://youtu.be/9QmceAlchFI
For information about Ardent Studios, visit:
HOLLYWOOD: Late in 2011, Universal Mastering Studios’ production/mastering engineer Warren Sokol was approached with a daunting project. The assignment required specific mastering for AAC and MP3 files of multiple albums for a major computer company. Had they signed on for a ‘traditional’ job they estimated it would take 9 to 10 hours for each album. Sokol, however, had been looking for an opportunity to work with the recently introduced Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec. He felt this was a textbook example of the right tool for the right job.
“In the past, we would have had to listen, process, encode for AAC or MP3 and then, if we discovered a problem, start back at square one,” Sokol says. “Working almost from memory, we’d make changes and then listen to everything all over again. It can be an extremely tedious process.”
Instead, the Pro-Codec enabled Sokol to complete the sessions in an economical time frame. “We turned this entire ‘Adaptive Mastering’ project around in under 4 hours, for each of the individual CDs,” he says. “The Pro-Codec enables us to simultaneously audition up to five codecs in real time within a DAW environment, and to produce an optimized mix and batch encode to multiple formats. It supports all major codecs, including MP3, MP3 Surround, AAC-LC, HE-AAC and lossless codecs like MP3 HD and HD-AAC.”
The initial assignment included a variety of source mixes which required mastering to match current CD releases. Alternately, UMS would receive a 24-bit/96 kHz master file which had already been mastered for CD but needed to be adapted. Starting with this source material Sokol and his team would run the audio through the initial processing and then through a real time sample converter down to 44.1 kHz. Using WaveLab they then ran it through the Pro-Codec, which they engaged in real time for both monitoring and metering. Anticipating potential high frequency veiling or loss of stereo width, they made changes accordingly.
“I just completed another project that was heavily limited,” Sokol says. “Putting that through the sample conversion to 44.1 and then through the Pro-Codec, I was clipping by 2dB! It’s invaluable to see how the limiting affects the artifacting that caused the clipping. The Pro-Codec clip meters enable us to see that in real time and to turn it down. That makes us confident that when it does get encoded, won’t have those problems.”
Universal Mastering operates three mastering studios and four production rooms. They currently have three Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codecs, and are considering adding more. “We’re now able to accept a number of Adaptive Mastering projects that we wouldn’t consider before,” Sokol concludes. “Our independent and label artist clients are all going to be selling their music on the Internet in one form or another. We can help them preview a number of different codings in a highly efficient manner, and enable them to quickly decide which sounds best. I’ve been using Sonnox Oxford Plug-ins for years, but the Pro-Codec has literally created a new revenue stream for us.”
Photo: Universal Mastering production/mastering engineer Warren Sokol
For detailed information on Sonnox Oxford Plug-ins please visit: www.sonnox.com
NASHVILLE: Early Bird registration for the Nashville Recording Workshop + Expo 2012 will close at the end of day tomorrow, February 17. Registration for the event includes two full days of program content, lunch both days and the first evening reception. The event is designed to help personal studio owners make the most of their productions. The event is a production of AES Nashville in conjunction with the Audio Engineering Society, Inc. in New York. NRW+E 2012 will be held on March 2 & 3, 2012 at the Rocketown event center at 601 4th Ave, Nashville, TN.
NRW+E presenters include leading producers, engineers, publishing professionals and artists sharing their professional techniques and knowledge in a program designed to boost creativity and the technical prowess of recording musicians, songwriters laying down demos, and engineers working in personal production spaces. Additional breakout sessions will include tracks covering business and legal issues, and essential info on studio infrastructure.
The keynote address for NRW 2012 will be presented by artist Keb’ Mo’, who will return at the end of the first day of sessions with his engineer John Schirmer, to walk through the production of a complete song from start to finish, revealing the depths of what’s possible within a personal space. The capstone event will feature artist Beth Nielsen Chapman following the development of a project that began in a personal space but also included professional contributions in tracking, mixing and mastering. Throughout the program, audio pros will present sessions ranging from microphone preamp basics to acoustics fundamentals to demo arranging and collaboration via the internet.
“Early Bird” registration for AES members and members of participating professional songwriter, performance, musician and engineering organizations is $79, non-members is $99, student members is $39, and non-member students is $59. Full program listings, information on registering and on booking an exhibition are online.
Nashville Recording Workshop: http://www.nashvillerecordingworkshop.com
The Audio Engineering Society was formed in 1948 by a group of concerned audio engineers. The AES counts over 14,000 members throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Japan and the Far East. The organization serves as the pivotal force in the exchange and dissemination of technical information for the industry. For additional information visit http://www.aes.org
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