Prairie Sun Live (PSL) sprung from Prairie Sun Recording—a high-end recording facility in Sonoma Country that’s produced music with legendary artists from The Doobie Brothers to Van Morrison and Tom Waits in its 35-plus-year history. Owner/engineer Mark “Mooka” Rennick wanted to diversify his business to provide a superior sonic experience at live events. In searching for a console to more
Archive for December 6th, 2012
John Hampton Tracks & Mixes Top Touring Artist
For his ninth album, popular touring artist Corey Smith picked Ardent Studios in Memphis and renowned engineer John Hampton (White Stripes, Gin Blossoms, Replacements) to capture the essence of his enduring success.
“It exceeded my wildest expectations,” remarked Smith. “I’ve always wanted to capture the sound of our live shows and I think my entire recording career has been building towards this new album at Ardent. I’d been working on some songs for the past year and suddenly I hit an explosion of new material and luckily found a window in our touring schedule to record.”
Corey Smith grew up in Jefferson, Georgia, and often visited the nearby college town of Athens, home of REM, The B-52′s and other indie bands. After attending Gainesville State College and the University of West Georgia, he then entered the University of Georgia, where he majored in Social Studies education. While studying, he began to develop his musical career and found popularity among his peers and fellow students. After graduation, he became a high school teacher of geography and history before deciding to pursue music full-time at the age of 28.
“What is so cool is how we recorded this new record at Ardent,” added Smith. “It was really old school with the band live and me recording vocals and guitar at the same time. Coming to Ardent made all the difference, where we felt so comfortable, with nothing else to focus on but the playing, where the musicians could see each other and feed off one another.”
Corey Smith’s first album, “Undertones,” contains one of his most requested songs, “Twenty One.” His second album was “In the Mood” and his third album, “The Good Life”, was written and released in 2005. Other albums include “Keeping Up with the Joneses,” “The Broken Record, and in 2012, “Live In Chattanooga.”
“Ardent has a tremendous gear selection and our engineer John Hampton was amazing to work with,” Smith explained. “It felt as if he was part of the band, taking our sound to another level. During playbacks, you could see that he was already thinking about the mix. He understood what we are all about, and the meanings of the songs, and worked his magic to bring it all to life. My goal is to tap into the tradition of American music and take it somewhere new. I don’t want to be categorized as this or that type of country artist, so I call my new direction in music “The Junkyard Revival.”
For information about Ardent Studios, visit:
When Russian guitarist Roman Miroshnichenko was booked to play a Jubilee concert with legendary guitarist Larry Coryell at the Moscow International House of Music, he knew he would need a first class microphone to truly capture the sound of this prestigious event.
DPA Microphone’s Russian distributor I.S.P.A arranged for Roman to test a DPA d:vote™ 4099G Instrument Microphone for Guitar, which proved to be exactly what he was looking for.
“I heard that Paco De Lucia’s sound engineer rated DPA microphones very highly so on that basis I decided I had to try them out,” Roman Miroshnichenko says. “I was in need of a really good microphone for my upcoming Jubilee concert with Larry Coryell so I spoke to Maxim Kupryakhin at I.S.P.A who arranged for me to try a d:vote 4099G clip mic. The concert was a great and important test-drive for the microphone and from the very first time I used it, I was hooked. The beauty of the DPA 4099G is that it is compact, has no feedback problems on stage, and has the same tonal quality as the more expensive studio microphones. This DPA microphone gives me incredible quality in an extremely compact package and that was why I decided to buy it.”
Widely considered to be Russia’s top guitarist, Roman Miroshnichenko holds a number of prestigious international music awards, including the US Annual Independent Music Award. His virtuoso performances in the contemporary instrumental jazz-fusion field have led him to collaborate, perform and record with world-renowned musicians such as Al Di Meola, Djivan Gasparyan, Frank Colon, Joao Donato, Marco Mendoza, Dominique Di Piazza, Saskia Laroo, Augusto Enriquez and Richie Cole. In 2002 Roman founded his own band, RMProject, which has been touring Russia, Europe and the USA on a regular basis.
“2013 will also see me recording a new album using my d:vote 4099G instrument microphone and I’m really excited about that,” Roman says. “Since buying my 4099G, I’ve used it in a number of different concert halls and also on radio, TV and in the studio. For many years I have been searching for the perfect microphone and now I’ve found it. DPA really does make great microphones!”
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com
For more information about Roman Miroshnichenko please visit: http://romanmiroshnichenko.com/
HOUSTON, Texas—The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) of the Houston Independent School District evolved in 1971 from a realization that gifted young artists need highly specialized and rigorous training in the arts to be prepared for the intense competition they will meet in colleges, conservatories, and the professional arts world. The creation of HSPVA represented the first attempt by any public high school in the nation to correlate an academic program with concentrated training in the arts.
Recently, the HSPVA completed the installation of a Yamaha AFC3 (Active Field Control) System for the 400-seat Denney Theater. The system, provided by Sound Productions of Irving, Texas and installed by Covenant Communications of Houston, is the first AFC3 installation, using the new AFC-FIR card released at InfoComm 2012, in the world. The HSPVA AFC3 installation includes 20 speakers with four mics all out in the main auditorium.
The project’s architect, Abe Sustatia of Sustatia Architects, contacted Covenant. “We were asked to design and install a new sound system for the Denney Theater and the black box theater,” states Shawn Mullins at Covenant. “While working with both Abe and the school to determine the best route for the sound system, they asked about options to help the acoustic environment in theater. They have multiple choral and musical groups, and since the theater was so acoustically dead, the school had to move musical performances to other venues that became costly and troublesome.”
“This is my fourth year as the Technical Director at HSPVA,” states Marc Duncan. “To say that we have had sound reinforcement issues would be an understatement of exponential proportions. After three years attempting to repair/replace or reinvent our acoustic orchestra shell and its implementation, we thought we had finally found what we believed was the best ‘sound’ we would ever achieve… until now.”
“We designed two systems, the reinforcement system, that is centered around a Yamaha LS9-32 digital console and digital snake and then the enhancement system,” Mullins continues. “We were familiar with two systems being used to enhance room acoustics, Yamaha and Meyer. We looked at both processes and felt that Yamaha suited the venue better. We contacted Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems and began the process of getting design assistance. As the project matured, we contacted Jeff Humphries of Sound Productions to make arrangements for the equipment. Sound Productions has been a great partner for us for over the past 12 years. The original design incorporated the previous generation of AFC equipment, so we were really excited when we were informed that we would be getting the new Yamaha AFC3 for this project.”
Active Field Control is a reverberation enhancement system that adjusts and enhances the acoustic characteristics of a facility while preserving the natural characteristics. This is achieved by creating feedback loops of microphones and speakers located in the reverberant field of the room to “recycle” the reverberant energy, thus extending the RT time. Yamaha AFC is used to create varying RT settings to suit different performance applications within the same facility. The system can be used to add spaciousness to under balcony or stage areas so all audience members and performers can enjoy the same sense of connection to the music and a greater shared experience. AFC systems can also be used to add early reflections or as crowd enhancements systems.
The new AFC3 processor supports transfer of FIR calculations of AFC processing to dedicated hardware. The new AFC-FIR processor card can be mounted in the AFC3 processor, and in addition to handling the processor-intensive FIR calculations, the card also provides four AES inputs for system microphone channels.
“As a performing arts school that averages 30 different events in our Denney Theater a year, half of them being from the Music Department, it is easy to understand how much this system has benefitted us,” says Duncan. “The look of shock and awe when our music department chairs heard the system for the first time was an overwhelming relief that we could finally provide a space to support the magic that takes place in our school every day.”
Duncan said the first event held for the Music Department using the new AFC System was a fundraiser where they had a 40-person choir, Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Young Performers Pop Concert, and a full Orchestra, all performing in the same space throughout the night. This event takes place throughout the whole building in all of the school’s performing spaces and averages 2,000 guests a year. “Everyone raved about how great the sound was and how shocked they were that this was the same building they had been coming to for years, but had never heard ‘this’ before. Looking back, I wonder how we ever did the event at all without the Yamaha AFC system. When we want a dead space we turn it off, and when we want more, the question now is, ‘how much more?’
As the main operator of the system Duncan said he can’t get over how quick and easy the AFC System is to operate. “We can switch between five different room environments, taking about four seconds to load each setting, and we have a 10 db range of control depending on how live we want it to sound. We can access it from the booth or from backstage, all from a simple panel no bigger than a DVD case. The Denney Theater is not just a performance space; it is also used as a classroom. Now, when we have master classes or guest artists in the space during the day, changing the acoustics of the room to customize it is fast, efficient, and a breeze. The system sounds outstanding; it’s remarkable!”
For more information on the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, visit www.hspva.org.
For more information on the Yamaha AFC System, visit www.yamahaca.com.
About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Celebrating 125 years of Passion and Performance, and 25 years in the manufacturer of high quality digital audio consoles, 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. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.