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Archive for April 11th, 2012

NYCTaper, Archivist of New York’s Live Indie Music Scene Captures the Best of Austin’s Music Festival with Sennheiser

Austin – April 11, 2012: Since starting his NYCTaper website in the mid-nineties, Dan Lynch (a.k.a. NYCTaper) has been recording and streaming hundreds of recordings over the Internet, reflecting the best that New York City’s live indie scene has to offer. Lynch, who strives to make the listener feel like he or she ‘was actually there,’ is well known to indie music lovers in New York City and well beyond — his listening audience extends from not only major U.S. metro cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, but to more distant geographies such as Japan, Europe and the far reaches of Australia.

While his own backyard is New York City, NYCTaper decided to capture the best of what Austin had to offer during its famous music week last month — listen to some of the results here. Armed with a pair of Sennheiser MKH 8040 cardioid microphones, his HD 280 closed back headphones and a trusty Edirol digital four-track portable recorder, he became “AustinTaper” for a week and recorded some of the best live set lists south of the Mason Dixon line.

What did you record while in Austin?
I have a pretty good relationship with Brooklyn Vegan over the years and the list of bands they were hosting was impressive. So I set up at Hotel Vegan in the afternoons and at the Impose Magazine parties during the evenings and recorded everything I could. In terms of genre, I am particularly drawn to indie rock but I also like any artist that has talent, imagination and something a little different than all the other music out there. For me, it can’t be a formula or promoted by any particular product — I want to see original talent.

What are some of the challenges you encountered in Austin versus what you’re used to in New York City?
Well, there is obviously a lot of extraneous noise when you are recording outdoors. The Sennheiser MKH 8040s are cardioid microphones and this makes them perfectly suited for this kind of thing. Normally, you’d have wind noise to deal with, but this was not an issue since the 8040s have a cardioid pattern and also come with these gigantic windscreens, which are very useful. Wind noise aside, there is not much you can do about the typical chatter you hear during these outdoor type shows, as well as some of the extraneous noise coming through from neighboring stages, but the pattern on the 8040 helped minimize these issues as much as possible.

Did you get a chance to audition the 8040s before you left for Austin?

Yes. Just before I left, I did back-to-back shows in New York City: I recorded Sharon Van Etten at the Bowery Ballroom and Craig Finn from The Hold Steady at Mercury Lounge. I used only the two channels of 8040s in both of these rooms, which I happen know very well, and they worked great. A typical problem I get in some rooms are reflections you get from the ceiling — which sound very ‘claustrophobic.’ With the 8040s, it was the first time I heard my recordings without these annoying reflections. So I knew they would work perfectly well in Austin well before I left.

What was your specific set up during each performance?
I had two Sennheiser MKH 8040s mics set up about eight inches apart in a 110 degree pattern on a stand, which was approximately 8 feet high. In addition to the two live mics, I sourced the left and right main mix feeds via direct outputs from the board. My recorder is an Edirol R44 4-track recorder with modded preamps, and I was capturing 24-bit audio. I was monitoring the recordings through my Sennheiser HD 280s, which are closed back, over the ear headphones.

How did the MKH 8040s perform on the ground in Austin?
First off, there was absolutely no issue capturing the high sound pressure levels on these mics — they can handle anything you throw at them and I have experienced virtually zero distortion. I am getting an extremely clean signal, and in terms of frequency response, the MKH 8040 delivers a sweet and crisp lower end and the highs are very tight. In general, the frequency response was so good that I didn’t have to EQ at all. The mic had basically a zero signal to noise ratio and there was no handling noise or self noise. Ultimately, the combination of the 8040’s cardioid pattern and its ability to perform without any audible distortion makes it the right mic for this kind of festival recording.

Tell me about your monitoring setup while you’re in the field.
For what I’m doing, maintaining isolation is very important because there is just so much noise happening all over, and to that end, I just can’t say enough good things about the Sennheiser HD 280s. Using these headphones, it was the first time I’ve ever recorded a show where I could only hear what was coming through the mics and the board — you are literally inside the cans and I love that. This means I can focus much more, because now I can hear what I’m doing and adjust things like mic positions or levels. They are also fit just right over my ears — I recorded over 35 shows while in Austin and experienced no discomfort whatsoever.

Do you also use the HD 280s while editing and mixing?
Yes. When I am using the HD 280s in hotel room for editing and mixing after a show, I can hear everything. Maybe there is a kick or a snare drum that was a little hot — now I can pinpoint that and make adjustments if necessary. I also enjoy the experience of just listening to music I’ve recorded on the HD 280s while I’m relaxing. One of the nice things about being NYC Taper or AustinTaper is that eventually I get to go home and actually listen to all these recordings, just like the fans of my site.

Listen to some of NYCTaper’s Austin tracks here: http://www.sennheiserusa.com/nyctaper

CORNELL UNIVERSITY DISCOVERS ORNITHOLOGICAL RESEARCH APP FOR SONNOX FRAUNHOFER PRO-CODEC

AES Convention A Catalyst For Innovative Plug-In’s Scientific Role

ITHACA, NY: At the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library things can get a little wild. As the world’s largest scientific archive of biodiversity audio and video recordings, this collection encompasses over 195,000 sound and 60,000 video clips. Curator of Audio, Greg Budney and Supervising Audio Engineer Bill McQuay routinely investigate new tools to aid their research. Most recently they have been experimenting with the Pro-Codec, an audio plug-in created by UK-based Sonnox and Germany’s Fraunhofer (developer of MP3 technology).

Introduced last year, the Pro-Codec is a groundbreaking plug-in designed to revolutionize the process of mastering audio for online distribution. By enabling audio engineers to precisely audition codecs in real time, the Pro-Codec eliminates the prolonged cycle of encoding a music mix to MP3/AAC, previewing and tweaking it and then returning to their starting point to re-render. The abridged process frees the engineer to focus on producing a compensated, optimized mix.

Budney and McQuay first learned of the Pro-Codec while attending last year’s Audio Engineering Society Convention in NYC. “I spoke to the Fraunhover folks about our need to demonstrate appropriate and inappropriate uses of MP3 sound files to the scientific research community, and they directed us to the Sonnox booth,” McQuay says.

“We’re a resource for scientists studying evolutionary relationships between animals,” Budney explains. “Many species have genetically based sounds. By examining the vocalizations of a group of animals, their sounds can provide a window into their evolutionary relationships. Motion picture producers also use our collection,” he adds. “Skywalker Sound routinely contacts the Library for creative fodder, sometimes for sounds to build upon, sometimes for accurate natural world sounds.”

“We are trying to demonstrate to the scientific community that there may be appropriate and inappropriate uses for a lossy codec like MP3, which is based on human perception, but is not necessarily the perception of other species. In many cases we don’t know the perceptual limitations of these species – what frequencies they do and do not find important or encoded with meaningful information. We want to demonstrate that MP3 may be valuable for applications such as auditioning sounds, but may not be for serious sound analysis. The Pro-Codec provides a simple interface that allows us to consider what information in the frequency and time domains are being eliminated by the lossy MP3 codec,” McQuay adds.

McQuay and Budney want to assure scientists that they are listening to and analyzing sound with the greatest amount of content – audio content which might be critical to the species they are studying. “Scientists are really hip to spectrograms, they love those things,” McQuay says. “The Pro-codec’s real time FFT display graphically illustrates exactly what is happening to sound being processed by the MP3 or another lossy codec. And, the Pro-codec’s ability to make the sounds being eliminated audible helps to reinforce its lossy nature. Our hypothesis is that for serious sound analysis, the use of MP3 or other lossy formats may not be the appropriate choice.”

Research currently underway at the Macaulay Library will eventually be published in a scientific journal, pending the outcome of McQuay’s analysis. Budney points to the Library’s webpages, which provide technical support to researchers across a broad range of disciplines. “They might be marine mammalogists, ornithologists, or individuals studying animal behavior or bioacoustic phenomenon,” he says. “The library is recognized as a source of solid technical information by researchers around the globe. We’ll also be posting this information on our own webpages soon.”

Photo cap: Cornell Lab Curator of Audio, Greg Budney (left) and
Supervising Audio Engineer Bill McQuay

###

For information on Sonnox Oxford Plugins please visit: www.sonnox.com

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Auralex Earns High Grades for Retrofit at Suffolk County Community College

Custom-Designed Acoustic Treatment Significantly Reduces Slap-Back Reflection in Sports and Exposition Complex

BRENTWOOD, NY, APRIL 11, 2012 – When Dominick Campana, general manager of Pro Sound Alliance, a division of Live Sound, Inc. and a design, sales and installation company specializing in sound systems for performing arts venues, athletic facilities, schools, government buildings and houses of worship, was given the task of retrofitting the Suffolk County Community College (SUNY Suffolk) Sports and Exhibition Complex, he turned to Auralex Acoustics, the industry leader in innovative sound control solutions, for all of the buildings’ sound treatment needs. Several Auralex ELiTE ProPanels and Custom ELiTE ProBaffles were installed throughout the space.

The 4,000-seat field house’s reflective and parallel surfaces and sloping (quasi-parabolic) steel ceiling structure made the retrofit a necessity: Previous efforts to provide dynamic and articulate sound reinforcement throughout the facility, which is used for a wide array of events and room configurations, were all met with mixed results.

Having worked on a previous project at the school years earlier, Campana and his team were familiar with the buildings’ sound reinforcement problems. “The sound issues at the facility were threefold,” he says. “One, the sound quality was not sufficient for the multipurpose field houses’ needs. Intelligible speech throughout all of the listening areas was paramount, especially for graduation ceremonies. And basketball games, quite simply, had to rock. Two, the logistics required to set up for any one event were too costly and laborious. And three was the realization that the acoustic environment itself needed to be addressed.”

Campana turned to the experts at Auralex to provide a solution. Auralex engineers modeled the untreated space with 3,000 people and estimated the RT60 of 500Hz at 5.83 seconds. Auralex then designed a treatment scheme to reduce that RT60 to 3.15 seconds.

In order to reduce slap-back reflection between walls and achieve an acceptable reverberation time, 64 Auralex ELiTE ProPanels (4ft. x 10ft. x 2in. panels) were used across the walls. ProPanels are a fabric-wrapped, Class A, durable absorbent treatment that are easily wall mounted to help absorb discrete reflections and reverberation. In addition to the wall treatment, 260 Auralex Custom ELiTE ProBaffles (4ft. x 10ft. x 2in. Class A fire-rated panels) were suspended from the ceiling to help further control the room acoustics, especially the reflections between the ceiling and floor.

“Auralex not only provided the acoustic solution we were looking for, they provided a very quick turnaround time that was urgently needed,” adds Campana. “The facility sounds great, looks great and the client was very happy with the results.”

About Auralex Acoustics, Inc.
Located in Indianapolis, Auralex Acoustics was founded in 1977 with a mission to provide top-performing acoustical treatment products at the best value. Since then, thousands of satisfied Auralex customers have experienced improved acoustics, expert advice and exceptional customer service. Auralex products enjoy widespread use among prominent artists, producers, engineers, corporations, celebrities and government agencies.

Auralex Acoustics has become the industry leader in innovative sound control solutions and continues to enjoy rapid growth through an international network of authorized dealers. Visit the Auralex Web site at www.auralex.com. Auralex can be reached via email at auralexinfo@auralex.com or by calling 1-800-959-3343.

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Lawo’s SDI-Dock bridges the worlds of audio and video

*** The SDI-Dock ***

Las Vegas, NV – April 11, 2012… Lawo will premiere its SDI-Dock at this year’s NAB. This new device is the perfect bridge builder between the audio and video worlds. To accomplish this task, the new product features an impressive channel density of 8 high quality embedders and de-embedders and 128 audio channels through MADI. In the future, a RAVENNA interface will also be available.

Using high quality 3G SDI embedders and de-embedders allows the use of any audio signal from up to 8 video signals, as well as the integration of new audio signals into the video signals. Up to 16 audio channels are supported per stream. Thanks to the simple connection through MADI, the handling of such a great number of audio signals becomes a piece of cake. Even varying reference clocks between video and audio do not present major challenges due to sample rate converters in each embedder. more

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New master card brings RAVENNA to mc² consoles and Nova73 HD routers

*** The new RAVENNA DALLIS Master Card ***

Las Vegas, NV – April 11, 2012… RAVENNA – the technology for real time processing of audio signals in IP-based network environments – forms the basis for the new interface cards for all members of the mc² series and the Nova73 HD routing system.

The implementation of RAVENNA technology into Core technology and DALLIS I/O-systems is of the highest quality and offers an extremely low latency of 1 sample per stream, bringing it on par with the performance of MADI. However, the main advantage lies in the increased bandwidth of 128 channels. This allows twice the packaging density, providing increased efficiency at lower cost. Thanks to exchangeable SFP modules, any cabling options, including CWDM applications, are possible. The resulting flexibility allows, for example, the use of cost-effective CAT cables or optical connections. more

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Lawo’s new Multitrack Editor – re-defining efficiency for audio productions

*** Multitrack View ***

Las Vegas, NV – April 11, 2012… Lawo extended its product offering under ‘Broadcast Applications’ with a new, attractive application: the Lawo Multitrack Editor. With this software solution, Lawo provides another product to support its customers in overcoming the daily technical challenges in the newsrooms and editing workplaces by increasing workflow efficiency.

Lawo’s Multitrack Editor was developed out of the well-known Multitrack Editor (MTE) that has been a standard tool in radio production primarily in Europe and the US for several years. The new Editor’s intuitive design is particularly convincing. It allows for single as well as multitrack recording for any editing or mixing projects connected to radio productions, both simple and complex.

The focus during the development of the integrated function was the efficient control of the software. Providing a clear arrangement of the most commonly used functions through optimized control elements, the new user interface achieved exactly that: the integrated ‘Reporter Box’ offers scripting and recording functions to accelerate journalistic tasks considerably. more

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Martin Audio MLA System Gathers Momentum At Frankfurt

Martin Audio Managing Director Anthony Taylor opens proceedings

––New Sales Announced For MLA And Newly Introduced MLA Compact––

Martin Audio used Prolight+Sound in Germany to launch its new MLA Compact Multi-cellular loudspeaker array—introducing Stockholm-based DM Audio as the first customer worldwide. But by the end of the expo, they were celebrating sales of the original MLA platform to two UK rental companies as the High Wycombe company reported taking orders in excess of £1.9 million.

RG Jones, which numbers the Glastonbury Festival among its many high profile accounts, invested in a System 36 (24 x MLA top boxes and 12 MLX subs) following successful trials at the Royal Albert Hall and on Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.

The company placed the order on the opening day of Frankfurt and joint managing director Andrew Williamson said, “We needed a large format system and this will be our first self-powered rig. It provides an excellent truck-pack solution because you don’t need to deploy a lot of amp racks, and the degree of control it offers is a major plus point.”

Knutsford-based rental company VME, specialists in servicing the entertainment, touring, corporate and broadcast industries also placed an order for a System 30 MLA. Their director, Dion Davie, said, “MLA is the direction we shall be taking as it represents the future of audio.”

Philippines-based JB Music & Sports also finalized an order, confirming the purchase of the country’s first MLA system consisting of a System 36 MLA and System 24 of the newly launched MLA Compact. “We are confident that when potential customers understand the unique abilities of this revolutionary multi-cellular system, they will be won over,” said Jerico Salonga Fernando, VP Sales & Operations.

On the opening day Martin Audio managing director Anthony Taylor had addressed a packed stand of media and distributors, explaining the impact the groundbreaking new MLA technology was now having, on the back of huge growth in 2011. “We threw a pebble in the water and watched the ripples rapidly expand,” he said.

By the end of the show the ripples were threatening to become tidal as Martin Audio celebrated its most successful trade show ever.

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.

KRK EXPANDS CAPABILITIES AND ENHANCES SYSTEM INTEGRATION OF ERGO WITH SOFTWARE/FIRMWARE UPDATES

Following is information on Support for OSX Lion and Windows 7 Along with New Capabilities

A new software and firmware update is now available for KRK’s leading ERGO® Room Correction System. ERGO is an audio recording interface and room correction system designed to measure and analyze phase and frequency problems within a listening environment. To correct room issues, the internal digital signal processor analyzes and corrects room problems, improving the response at the listening position which results in mixes which translate far better to other playback systems. This latest version includes support for Apple® Mac OSX Lion 10.7.3 and Microsoft Windows® 7 SPI (32-/64-bit), and also improves the capabilities of ERGO, such as installation, calibration and configuration. more

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Renton School District Selects IMT and Meraki for Wi-Fi Network

Nation’s First Campus-Wide 3-stream 802.11n Network

Pictured is Stosh Morency, Renton School District IT Director.


Renton School District in Washington state’s King County selected Integrated Media Technologies, Inc. (IMT) to implement Meraki’s MR24 cloud-controlled wireless access points to provide enterprise-class WiFi to all of Renton’s 16,000 students, faculty and staff. Now equipped with the nation’s first campus-wide 3-stream 802.11n network, Renton School District has it installed at 29 sites, including elementary, middle, and high schools in and around the city of Renton.

“We want to put new technology in the hands of the students,” explained Stosh Morency, Renton’s IT Director. “It’s a ‘bring your own device concept’ and by having the wireless network across all of our buildings, it opens the door for projects that were never an option before. For us as a school district, we want to provide access to all of the students, regardless of where they are in the buildings.”

“This was one of our biggest projects,” remarked Garth Gilmour, IMT’s VP Professional Services. “The deployment makes Renton the first school district to adopt the latest generation of WiFi, featuring 3-stream, 900 Mbps performance.” The award-winning Meraki Enterprise Cloud Controller centrally manages a total of 437 of Meraki’s high performance MR24 access points.

“New technology projects always have challenges,” added Morency, “but IMT and Meraki made it much easier to deal with. The Meraki tools made it easier to troubleshoot problems and the IMT team was totally committed to the success of the project.”

“Through IMT’s thorough research and exacting implementation, Meraki allows me to manage the network across the entire district, and I’m a team of one,” said Todd Baker, Network Administrator for Renton School District. “The capabilities of Meraki’s Cloud Controller are considerable. There’s one dashboard for everything, from provisioning APs to troubleshooting client issues.”

The Meraki MR24, an ultra high-performing 3-stream 802.11n access point, is ideal for dense classroom environments and high-bandwidth applications. Renton is deploying 437 access points, providing campus-wide coverage for its Computer on Wheels (COW) program, which provides classrooms with “COW carts” to stream video, data and other media.

With IMT’s help, Renton leveraged Meraki’s contract with the Washington Learning Source (WLS), which facilitates deployments for Washington state school districts. Prior to selecting Meraki, Stosh Morency and Todd Baker carefully evaluated a number of networking vendors, testing WiFi range, throughput, signal strength, and interference.

The ease of use and reliability of Meraki’s cloud controller impressed Baker. “I’ve had a controller go bad on me in the past. With Meraki’s cloud controller, I’ll never have to deal with that again,” Baker said. IT Director Stosh Morency added, “And the lifetime warranty of the products was a key factor in our decision making process.”

ABOUT RENTON SCHOOL DISTRICT
Renton School District educates students enrolled in elementary, middle and high schools in King County, Washington. The award-winning school district is at the frontier of technology implementation in accordance with its technology plan to promote and facilitate learning with emerging networking technologies.

ABOUT MERAKI
Meraki is the leader in Cloud Networking. 100% cloud-based from day one, Meraki’s architecture delivers out-of-the-box security, scalability, and management to enterprise networks. Meraki has been deployed in over 18,000 customer networks worldwide, including Stanford University, British Telecom, Burger King, Starbucks, and M.I.T. Meraki was named a visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Wireless LAN, and won Techworld’s Wireless and Mobility Product of the Year. Meraki is located in San Francisco, California, and is funded in part by Sequoia Capital and Google. For more information, visit http://www.meraki.com

ABOUT INTEGRATED MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES, INC. (IMT)
IMT is a consulting, design, construction, and systems integration company providing scalable technology systems for business operations. IMT addresses the following major market sectors: Media & Entertainment, Information Technologies (IT), Education, Telecommunications, and Healthcare. Through an active engagement process, IMT consultants and engineers collect, interpret, refine, design, build and maintain technology systems that deliver optimum results for clients.
Learn more at: http://www.imtglobalinc.com tel: 877.761.9770

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