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Archive for December 19th, 2012

Vintage King Winners Tour The House of Rock with Jack Joseph Puig & Pensado’s Place

- Recording Industry Leaders Build $3.5 Million Studio In LA Mansion
- Vintage King Teams Up With Pensado’s Place To Give 5 Young Engineers A Once In A Lifetime Experience

Vintage King lucky winners pictured at The House of Rock are (seated) Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer Jack Joseph Puig and (standing L-R) Nick Blomberg, Switzerland; Chad Wilson, CA; Davide Fant, Italy; Kyle McAnlay, CA, and Rick Juarez, Ohio. Photo by David Goggin.

Vintage King Audio teamed up with Pensado’s Place to give 5 lucky winners for a banquet and grand tour of the new $3.5 million House of Rock home studio designed in collaboration with multi-Grammy winning producer/mixer Jack Joseph Puig and top industry partners, including Vintage King, Solid State Logic, Blue Microphones, Audio Perception, JSX Audio and other high-end audio partners. The studio occupies the top floor of a $22 million Santa Monica estate, created by House of Rock, a Los Angeles-based entertainment company.

Jack Joseph Puig spent the afternoon in the lavish studio environment with the winners, talking about recording techniques and answering questions. “Your job is to create an environment where the artist can fly,” he advised.

“This is a spectacular, one-of-a-kind recording studio — the amenities and equipment of a world-class commercial facility beautifully integrated into an extraordinary residence making it one of the finest personal recording spaces ever created,” commented Tom Menrath, Vintage King’s Head of Strategic Development.

The studio itself is perched in what was once the home’s top floor, providing a picturesque view of the classic Riviera Country Club golf course. Artists, producers and engineers record at the “Duality Pro-Station” winged and automated console, the first of it’s kind from Solid State Logic.

Vintage King was involved early in the studio’s overall design phases and helped plan an impressive mix of modern and classic gear for the space. Using custom-built studio furniture by Sound Construction, VK filled the racks with an enviable selection of outboard gear, including vintage UREI 1176, Teletronix LA-2A and DBX 160s as well as boutique units from Purple Audio, Retro Instruments, Eventide, and Millenia Media.

Vintage King also composed a sixty-module overhead rack of in-demand 500 Series modules from Little Labs, Grace Design, Chandler Limited, Tonelux, A-Designs, Inward Connections, Burl, and many others. To ready the studio for modern production, VK added a 48×48 Pro Tools | HDX2 system by Avid and put together a world-class monitoring system, including the debut of Barefoot Sound’s new flagship 4-way speaker system, the MiniMain12.

The contest winners had lunch and a private tour of The House of Rock from Grammy Award-winning music engineer and producer Jack Joseph Puig (U2, The Goo Goo Dolls, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, Fergie, No Doubt, and others). Attendees experienced this unique studio through the designer’s eyes, as Puig explored the recording studio utopia.

Winners were announced Live on the “Pensado’s Place” show on Wednesday November 28th at


Vintage King Audio is the world’s largest retailer of high-end new and vintage recording equipment, with a dedicated restoration center for servicing and preserving classic gear. The company’s product lines range from iconic collectibles to exciting new boutique products, including gear from such respected brands as Avid, Barefoot Sound, Shadow Hills Industries, Neve, Inward Connections, Helios, and ProAc. Through an experienced staff of engineers and seasoned musicians, Vintage King Audio provides the passion, know-how, and resources necessary to help clients make the most informed purchase possible. Vintage King customers can take advantage of free consultations all the way through to customized on-site turnkey installations, with a free warranty and lifetime support adding value to all work and products. While the company has maintained this customer-focused approach since its founding in the early 1990s, Vintage King surpasses the basic functions of an audio dealership, connecting with the professional audio community through holding events, panel discussions, and national product launches. For more information, visit:

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Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Present Handel’s Messiah, Captured in its Entirety Using Neumann Digital Microphones

Last week, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Colorado Symphony Chorus (CSC) presented the centuries-old masterwork of the Christmas season: Handel’s Messiah. The 90 minute-long oratorio, conducted by CSO resident conductor Scott O’Neil, took place at the Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church on December 11th and 12th and was recorded in its entirety using Neumann digital microphones for a planned future album release.

The performance, which featured 40 musicians, 80 choral singers and four soloists, took place in the sanctuary of Montview before a congregation of roughly 600 people and was recorded by Mike Pappas, a Denver-based engineer and owner of Pappas Consulting LLC, assisted by engineer Devin Shorb. Pappas, who says he records more than 100 events each year using digital microphones, chose Neumann digital microphones because of their ease of set-up, almost non-existent noise floor and sonic clarity.

“We have worked with digital mics for so long now, that we are actually more comfortable using digital in a situation like this,” says Pappas. “We have come to rely on the infallibility of digital microphone technology and as long as you have the mics set up in the right location, the mix becomes a walk in the park.” Pappas, who deployed 12 channels of Neumann digital microphone technology on location over two nights, says that he no longer has to worry about distortion or overloading the signal when using Neumann’s digital mic technology. “On top of that, the audio quality is immaculate,” he continues. “Better than analog through a mic preamplifier.”

Handel’s Messiah is a particularly challenging piece to record — not just because of its 90-plus minute duration, but also because of its vast dynamic range and diversity of instrumentation and arrangements. “We go everywhere from a quiet harpsichord solo to the entire orchestra playing along with 80 voices and all four soloists singing at once,” Pappas says. “There is this enormous dynamic range, and the digital mics capture it perfectly and don’t even flinch.”

Pappas’ set up consisted of (6) Neumann KM 133 Ds, (4) KM 184 Ds, (2) KM 185Ds and a KM 120 D, all of which were plugged into a pair of Neumann DMI-8 digital microphone interfaces. These interfaces were then routed into an RME Fireface 800 24-bit, 192 kHz firewire interface, which subsequently ran into Pappas’ Apple MacBook Pro running Logic Pro 9.

Neumann KM 133 Ds, which use the legendary Neumann M50 titanium capsule and diaphragm, were used for the left, center and right arrays. Pappas says these are his ‘go-to’ microphones for symphony work, and he appreciates their flat low frequency response and omni-directional pattern. A pair of Neumann KM 184 D cardioid microphones were used to mic the four opera soloists — one on the males, another on the females. These were both placed about 5 to 6 feet back to capture the full-bodied resonance and tone of the singers.

To capture every last detail of the massive, 80-person choir, Pappas chose to use a pair of Neumann KM 185 D hyper-cardioid microphones for their outstanding directivity and definition. To record the audience, they deployed a Mid-Side (M/S) microphone set-up consisting of a Neumann KM 184 D cardioid on top of a Neumann KM 120 D with a figure of eight pattern. “The reason we chose an M/S configuration was because we can vary the width of the stereo field during post-production,” Pappas explains. “You can’t do this using the conventional XY configuration.”

On listening to the mix, Pappas realized he needed a mic for the bass section of the orchestra, and a highlight for the tympani. He therefore added (2) Neumann KM 133 D mics to accommodate this.

The entire performance was monitored on Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones. “We had nowhere to set up monitors and were seated up front, near the orchestra. Therefore we required a headphone that could give us a very good representation of what was going on while having plenty of isolation.” Following successful tracking of the performance, Pappas handed over the headphones to a few of the musicians, who were still present. “They were completely knocked out by the quality,” he recalls. “When the musicians listen to it and tell you it sounds amazing, you know you are doing the right thing.”

While many engineers have stayed true to analog microphone technology, Pappas says he has now made the permanent transition to digital. “Once you move into digital and realize what it brings to the table in terms of quality, resolution and detail, you can never go back,” he says. “What we get night after night is a completely accurate representation of how the performance actually sounded in the room.”

To learn more about Neumann digital microphones, please visit

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*** The main stage at Bader Field. ***

Miami, FL – December 2012 … Carnival, the wildly festive celebration popular in areas with sizeable Catholic and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Orthodox populations, has its roots among most of the islands in the Caribbean. While the largest and most well-known celebrations are held in Trinidad and Tobago, these festivals are also common here in the United States. Toward the close of the summer season, Carnival celebrations occurred in Atlantic City, NJ, Brooklyn, NY, and Miami, FL. At all three events, loudspeaker systems drawn from the Aero and Aero Series 2 catalogs of Valencia, Spain-based D.A.S. Audio played a major role in the music heavy celebrations.

Advanced Audio of NY, NY, a live sound services company that specializes in the pro touring and special events markets, was contracted to provide audio systems at both the Atlantic City, NJ and Brooklyn, NY Carnival celebrations. At each event, D.A.S. Aero Series 2 loudspeaker systems consisting of Aero 12A powered, 2-way, mid-high line array modules, Aero 50 3-way, large-format line array elements, and LX-218CA powered, high performance subwoofers were placed into service. Burton Ishmael, owner/operator of Advanced Audio, discussed the setups at these two events. more

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