Archive by Sue Sillitoe
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DPA Microphones has always been renowned for its ability to deliver superb audio, even in the most challenging conditions. Now, thanks to a new range of body worn microphones, the company has overcome the biggest challenge of all – how to give control of mic placement to non-technical actors or reality show contenstants without compromising sound quality.
DPA’s solution, which will be on show at IBC 2014, is the d:screet™ Omnidirectional Miniature Necklace Microphone – a cleverly designed mic that houses a legendary d:screet 4061 Omnidirectional Miniature Capsule in a soft rubber necklace.
“These microphones are perfect for situations where fast costume changes are necessary – or for reality TV shows where the contestants have to place microphones without help from a trained audio engineer,” says DPA’s CEO Christian Poulsen. “The necklace design ensures that the microphone sits in exactly the same place on the body every time, so there is no need for EQ-ing between different recordings.”
The d:screet Necklace Mic is already being used in the Danish adaptation of Big Brother and DPA anticipates plenty of interest from other reality TV productions. The mic comes in black, white and brown and in lengths of 47 or 53 com (18.3 or 20.9 inches).
At IBC 2014, DPA is exhibiting alongside its Dutch distributor Amptec on booth 8.D70. At 5pm every evening it will be holding a prize draw, which will give one lucky show visitor the opportunity to win a DPA d:screet Miniature or d:fine™ Headset Microphone. At that same time, the company will challenge one of its mics to see exactly how much stress it can withstand. Could it be used as a drumstick, for example? IBC visitors need only come along to 8:D70 at 5 pm to find out.
While there, they can also see DPA’s new heavy-duty d:screet™ 4060 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphones and classic d:screet 4060 Omnidirectional Miniature Mics with reinforced cable relief, making them even more durable for demanding use. These microphones satisfy market demand for high-quality sound combined with a highly-durable housing and cable.
“Incorporated on all d:screet Miniature Microphones, our new robust strain relief version brings much needed reassurance to people who are not used to handling miniatures,” Christian Poulsen adds.
The heavy-duty 4060 microphone is ideal for people who require even more security and for whom the visual appeal is of less importance. It is perfect for placement in rigorous filming situations, such as incorporated into a combat suit for a fight scene or under a horse saddle in a period piece. Featuring a stainless steel housing, sturdy cable relief and a thicker 2.2 mm (.09-inch) cable, both enhanced versions are exceptionally durable and ideally suited to the rigors of broadcast productions.
DPA will complete its IBC 2014 line-up with its new d:fine™ 66 and 88 Headset Microphones, which are ideal for broadcast productions with vocal performers who need to move freely without obstructions from a handheld mic or one on a stand.
Combining the flexible mechanics of DPA’s modern d:fine ear mount solution with the sound qualities of the legendary 4066 Omni and 4088 Cardioid headworn mics, the new d:fine™ 66 and 88 Headset Microphones join the original d:fine as well as the traditional 4066 and 4088 Miniature Headset Microphones under the company’s d:fine family. With so many sound handling and size options to choose from, DPA’s d:fine family now addresses every need that actors, musicians and singers face when working in a live television environment.
“There is a growing need for durable body worn microphone solutions with excellent sound reproduction for stringent use in live environments and similar settings,” Poulsen adds. “When we launched the d:fine Headset Microphones we believed that they would define a new generation of headsets. They have certainly met our expectations, which is why we have decided to expand the d:fine Headset Microphone series with this brilliant solution to give users a broad assortment of styles and features.”
For more information please visit DPA at IBC 2014. Hall 8, Stand D70.
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com
The Music Producers Guild is delighted to announce that PPL will this year sponsor the expenses of the recipient of its 2014 Prize.
Launched in 2010, the MPG Prize is awarded annually to the most promising student to graduate from The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) Sound Technology degree programme.
The Prize brings enormous benefits to the winning student as it offers an opportunity to work alongside some of the UK’s top recording professionals. Prominent MPG Awards winners continue to be very supportive of the initiative, which also brings sponsorship opportunities from pro audio companies such as Avid.
MPG Education Representative Tony Platt says: “We are very grateful to PPL for the financial contribution they are making to our next winner. This prize comes with lots of work experience opportunities, such as being able to attend mastering and orchestral sessions at studios in London, and being able to shadow top producers in commercial facilities. PPL’s support will contribute towards the cost of our recipient’s travel and accommodation expenses while he or she is taking up these opportunities.”
Jonathan Morrish, Director of PR and Corporate Communications, PPL says: “It’s a pleasure for PPL to be able to help the MPG in some small way. These are tough times and it is entirely appropriate to have an award that celebrates the next generation of performers and helps them hone further their skills in recording and production. We wish the next MPG Prize recipient all the very best of luck with their career and hope that they are able to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.”
The name of the 2014 recipient will be revealed at LIPA’s graduation ceremony, which takes place on July 31st, 2014.
About Music Producers Guild (UK)
The Music Producers Guild (UK) is an independent and democratic organisation that encourages the highest standards of music production, and actively engages with other music industry organisations to campaign and lobby on matters of important mutual interest.
The MPG represents and promotes the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including producers, engineers, mixers, re-mixers, programmers and mastering engineers. www.mpg.org.uk
LIPA is located in Sir Paul McCartney’s old school, the Liverpool Institute for Boys, which underwent a multi-million-pound renovation to turn it into a state-of-the-art performing arts higher education institution. It was founded by Sir Paul and Mark Featherstone-Witty and opened in 1995 with the aim of providing the best teaching and learning for people who want to pursue a lasting career in the arts and entertainment industry, whether as performers or those who make performance possible. www.lipa.ac.uk
PPL is the music licensing company which works on behalf of over 90,000 record companies and performers to license recorded music played in public (at pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, shops, offices and many other business types) and broadcast on TV radio and online) across the UK. Our members include major record labels and independents as well as globally successful performers and session musicians, ranging from orchestral players to percussionists and singers. The majority are small businesses, all of whom are legally entitled to be fairly paid for the use of their recordings and performances.
PPL also operates an international royalty collection service. With 68 reciprocal agreements in place in 34 countries with other international collecting societies – or Collective Management Organisations (CMOS) as they are commonly known – PPL helps members to get paid when their music is played internationally. ppluk.com/@PPLUK.
After the deduction of PPL’s running costs, all licence fee income is distributed to members. PPL does not retain a profit for its services. In 2013 PPL paid £152.2m in revenues to its members.
Castleford-based The Chairworks, the north of England’s largest residential recording studio complex, has bought two more Prism Sound ADA-8XR multi-channel AD/DA converters to add to its growing roster of the units.
“We’ve got six now,” comments Studio Manager Ryan Jarvis. “We have 32 in 64 out, and everyone who comes here uses them and comments that Prism Sound are the best converters they’ve ever heard.”
The Chairworks has invested heavily in its facilities recently and is proud of the fact that its 96 channels of immaculate Prism Sound ADA-8XR conversion help artists to capture their performances perfectly through a large selection of first class microphones and vintage pre-amps. Recent credits include ex Beautiful South members Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot’s What Have We Become, Skindred’s Kill the Power, British Steam Power, and even the entire Grimethorpe Brass Band.
Constructed in a late nineteenth century Victorian factory, The Chairworks has been careful to utilise all the space at its disposal. Its phenomenally well-equipped Studio A control room now looks through into its newest live room, which in turn leads into another large space with multiple booths and ‘more keyboards than you can shake a stick at’.
“We finished the new live room, designed by studio legend John Wood, last year,” says Jarvis. “It features a double height ceiling and a large diamond-shaped window. It’s perfect for things like orchestral work. And while the Prism Sound converters are great for everything because of the level of detail you can hear, they’re really good for that,” he adds.
Studio A’s control room is built around an immaculately maintained SSL 4000 G+ with flying faders, Total Recall and Ultimation. To this are added the six ADA-8XRs, a Konnektor synchroniser and several racks of vintage outboard gear.
“To be honest, I think we have enough ADA-8XRs for the moment,” says Jarvis. “Besides, they’re so reliable we don’t need back-ups and the after-sales support from Prism Sound is fantastic. But the ADA-8XRs are fantastic too. What comes out is exactly the same as what goes in, you cannot tell the difference and I don’t know of any other convertor that does that. It’s just completely transparent.”
About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The company’s product range includes the Prism ADA-8XR precision 8-channel converter unit, which is regularly used for music and film soundtrack projects by clients such as EMI Abbey Road, BBC, Sony, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney. Prism Sound also manufactures a range of audio test and measurement products, including the de facto standard DSA-1 handheld digital audio generator/analyser and the dScope Series III audio analyser system.
For more information: www.prismsound.com
Broadcast audio specialist Red TX has joined Europe’s leading live recording initiative Remote Recording Network. Whilst contributing to managing and engineering music and broadcast assignments on a global and cost-effective basis, RRN offers bespoke solutions that cater for all kinds of transmission, recording, mixing, mastering, duplication and publishing.
Remote Recording Network GmbH had last year joined forces with Dutch mobile recording company Eurosound bv and had integrated the German ‘RemoteTaxi’ enterprise to establish the initial ‘Network’.
Peter Brandt, head of Remote Recording Network and a man with over 30 years’ experience of recording and mixing international rock, pop, jazz, and classical artists, says: “Bringing Red TX into RRN will benefit our European customers by giving them access to a fully digital truck based in Europe that can handle high-end surround sound projects, particularly for broadcast.”
Tim Summerhayes, CEO of Red TX, adds: “I have known Peter Brandt for many years and we have worked together on numerous projects in the past. I am very excited by this collaboration because it allows us to utilize our combined technical resources in a very effective way. There is a huge requirement for mobile digital recording facilities in Europe and by joining forces with the Remote Recording Network we can now provide the necessary human and technical resources to meet this demand.”
Red TX has two state of the art recording units, RED 1 and RED 2. Both are equipped with Studer Vista 8 Digital Mixers, PMC 5.1 surround sound monitoring and Pyramix, Pro Tools and Reaper recording systems. They also have extensive racks of outboard equipment and digital effects, and are internally designed to very high acoustic specifications. RED 2, which is the larger of the two units, will be located as required, between the RRN HQ in Germany and Eurosound bv’s base in The Netherlands, while RED 1 will remain at Red TX’s premises in the UK.
“Our model of using international partners to combine resources and equipment is very valid, especially in a world where businesses need to reduce their carbon footprint as much as they can,” Peter Brandt adds: “By tapping into facilities that are already stationed on different continents, we don’t need to transport huge trucks around the globe. Instead we can ‘travel lite’, frequently only needing to transport an engineer, which minimizes travel costs and keeps our carbon footprint to a healthy low. It also means that we can keep our rates very competitive, too.”
Red TX’s RED 2 unit will make its Remote Recording Network debut in June at the Tuckerville Festival in Enschede, The Netherlands. From there it has a busy summer ahead, working at live events and festivals in various countries.
About Red TX:
Red TX provides a comprehensive concert recording and broadcast service to the music and television industries. The company has state-of-the-art mobile recording facilities and can handle projects of any size or complexity. As well as recording audio for broadcast, the company also records live music events for subsequent release on CD or DVD www.remoterecording.net
About Remote Recording Network:
Remote Recording Network is a new initiative that brings together the market-leading live recording companies Peter Brandt Remote Recording and Eurosound GmbH. Years of experience, knowledge and network are now combined to supply an unrivaled, world-class, world-wide recording service.
For more information, please contact Tony Andrews – email@example.com
The new mastering features that SADiE has incorporated into its popular SADiE 6 editing and production software have been hailed as a major improvement by internationally acclaimed mastering engineer Eric Boulanger – not least because they are saving him an enormous amount of time.
Eric Boulanger is based at the world famous The Mastering Lab (TML), which was America’s first independent mastering facility when it was opened in 1967 by Doug Sax. Originally in Hollywood but now based on Ojai, California, TML remains a revolutionary state-of-the-art company that uses unique concepts of signal flow and electronics pioneered by Doug’s brother, Sherwood Sax. All of its custom electronics and console are all purpose designed and handcrafted, and this attention to detail has earned TML more Grammy nominations for engineering than any other mastering facility.
As well as being an eminent mastering engineer, Boulanger is also responsible for ensuring TML’s custom analogue equipment stays in tip-top shape. In keeping with TML’s pioneering spirit, Boulanger was the first Mastering Engineer to produce a ‘Mastered for iTunes’ release (in 2011) – a format that is now the mainstay for all major record label releases on iTunes thanks to the popularity of digital downloads.
When Boulanger isn’t working, he lets his creativity loose in the studio as a professional violinist. He is also on the Steering Committee of NARAS, the GRAMMYs Producers & Engineers Wing.
Boulanger has been a SADiE user since 2007 when he started working at TML.
“We have five operational systems that range from the early Artemis to our current SADiE 6.1 systems,” he says. “These are our workhorses, but when we are working with DSD, we use an older SADiE 5 DSD8, which is still the finest DSD editor I’ve encountered.”
TML’s decision to upgrade its SADiE 6 software to the latest version, which includes the new mastering tools, came as a result of changes within the music business. Boulanger explains: “These days, artists and labels are mainly releasing Hi-res files (for example HDTracks); MFiTs, 16Bit digital downloads, and (maybe) CDs. Thanks to the new mastering features in SADiE 6, I can generate all of these files with just a few clicks of the mouse. The new software will also generate WAV file masters that are cut gapless and therefore maintain any track spacing, or fancy crossfades between tracks (like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, for example, or a live concert with applause segues). Now all the different products will match track length, etc.”
The main benefit the new version of SADiE 6 has brought to Boulanger’s workflow is time saving.
“It is literally saving me hours and hours of production time because I no longer have to recreate separate EDLs and jump through hoops to create WAV bounces that match other sample rate or CD products,” he says. “I also don’t have to bounce grouped clips with extra space tagged on to maintain correct gapless track spacing.”
Boulanger adds that, thanks to the efforts of the European Broadcasting Union and the UK Music Producers Guild, SADiE 6 also supports Broadcast WAV, an extended WAV format that allows ISRC codes to be embedded into the XML Metadata of WAV files.
“This is a solid step forward in making WAV file masters a professional format,” Boulanger says. “Prior to getting this new software I had to manually rename files – and, of course, there was no possibility of including ISRC codes in the metadata.”
Since installing the latest version of SADie 6, Boulanger has been working on various albums, all of which have benefitted from the speed at which he can now turn project around.
“The day I received the new features, I was working on a popular Christian group’s live album,” he says. “They had attended the session and were in a rush to make a flight, so I gave the new features a whirl since there were many edits and crossfades to create the live album experience. To my delight, everything worked perfectly right off the bat, and the band made their flight, masters in hand.”
Boulanger, who has worked with artists such as Eric Burdon, Colbie Caillat, OneRepublic, The Plain White T’s, Serena Ryder, Chris Botti, Sarah Jarosz, and Jackson Browne, has most recently finished an album with multiple formats for singer Anais Mitchell. Produced and mixed by Gary Paczosa, it will be released on Wilderland Records later this year.
About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The range now includes SADiE digital audio workstations and location recorders. Prism Sound also manufactures audio test and measurement products such as the DSA-1 and the dScope Series III audio analyzer.
For more information please visit www.sadie.com or www.prismsound.com