Archive of the Industry News Category
Custom Audio Equipment Package Turns on the Charm for Celebration of America’s Premier Performing Arts Gathering
CHARLESTON, SC, JUNE 10, 2014 – When the 38th annual Spoleto Festival USA, America’s premier performing arts festival, kicked off on May 23, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, was on-hand to provide Sound Supervisor Lew Mead with an extensive custom audio equipment package for the multi-venue, two-week long celebration.
For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned and emerging artists and performers in opera, theater and dance, as well as chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music.
As sound supervisor, Mead is given the incredibly challenging task of piecing together all of the different equipment and staffing needs of the various companies at each venue, to not only provide them all with exactly what they need for their shows but also to allow them the flexibility to coordinate with multiple performers in one space. In order to pull this off, Mead begins his pre-planning as early as November of the previous year and works with an audio staff of 10 engineers during the festival.
“Months before the festival, we compile all of the drawings and requirements for each artist and performer,” says Mead. “I then work with the venues directly to discuss which equipment we can place in each location. Lighting Supervisor Andy Cissna, Special Projects/Carpentry Coordinator Paul Hunter, Director of Production at Spoleto Festival Rhys Williams and I are in constant communication to try to blend all of the different requirements for each venue together so that it works for all parties involved.”
In addition, Festival Engineer Kate Foretek spent two weeks in the Masque Sound shop, piecing together the various custom equipment packages that the festival events required before shipping the packages to Charleston.
“The crew at Masque Sound has been fantastic to work with and incredibly helpful in terms of assisting our team through the engineering and extensive planning that goes into all of the different events,” adds Mead. “Everyone at Masque Sound is very forward-thinking, and they were all quick to anticipate and address our needs. Additionally, the depth of their inventory is great. They are always able to provide us with the exact equipment we are looking for.”
One particular instance in which Masque Sound was able to provide Mead with specific equipment to accommodate a performer’s request occurred during preparations for acclaimed recording artist Lucinda Williams’ performance. “Lucinda Williams requested two DiGiCo SD10 Live Digital consoles for her performance at the TD Arena,” says Mead. “We haven’t used the SD10s in the past, because they’ve been quite a rare commodity in the industry, but Masque Sound stocks them in its inventory and ensured that the consoles would be made available to my team. We were thrilled to be able to supply Ms. Williams with these fantastic consoles, as the sound quality was impeccable.”
Mead also credits Masque Sound’s customer service and hands-on approach as a big part of the festival’s success. “When I’m looking at these venues, I try to do it with an open mind, envisioning the different equipment that Masque Sound can offer me and seeing if I can make it work. Scott Kalata, from Masque Sound, came down to Charleston and toured all of the venues with me and came up with some suggestions, which was very helpful. The fact that I can call anyone on the team—whether that person is Scott, Gary Stocker or Dennis Short—and quickly be offered equipment advice is a huge benefit. It is really great to be able to rely on them as a resource, and it is very reassuring to know that with their extensive inventory, they can accommodate my needs for an event of this size and scope.”
In total, the festival utilized more than 200 microphones, 100 speakers and 5 digital consoles from some of the audio industry’s top manufacturers, including DiGiCo, Sennheiser, JBL and Meyer, all adding up to an incredibly successful premier performing arts festival.
About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.
Amadeus is sole audio company to win in prestigious Ile-de-France economic competition that rewards companies with funding for future development —
Amadeus was the only audio company to win out of over 228 entries. The funds are to be used over 3 years for supply diversification, international development and equipment and material investments. Amadeus has recently seen growth in the Asian audio markets and regionally in Europe and especially France in institutional installations, such as the National Museum of Natural History (France), French Institute for Science about Music and Sound (IRCAM), National Audiovisual Institute (INA), and the Philharmonie de Paris. The funds won by Amadeus, 99 110 €, will help spur investment in furthering these and other business directions for Amadeus.
Established in 2008 by the Région Île-de-France, PM’Up supports small and medium-sized businesses that exhibit a high potential for growth and job creation. Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-seven administrative regions of France.
Jean-Paul HUCHON, the President of the Conseil Regional (Regional Council) of Île-de-France points out, “PM’Up was established to support innovating, dynamic and responsible businesses with their structuring projects, in order to stimulate their growth.”
“Joining the PM’Up network alongside hundreds of high-potential SMB in the Île-de-France region’s ecosystem is a true honor,” declares Bernard BYK, head of Amadeus. “It also provides Amadeus with a wonderful opportunity to benefit from custom assistance and advising, and financial support from the Region Île-de-France. It will allow us to increase our production capacity, invest towards the launch of new products and services, create new jobs, gain new markets abroad and confirm our sustainable growth strategy.”
“Amadeus embodies the alliance of high technology and traditional know-how,” explains Antoine PALLUD, SMB advisor at the Direction du Développement Economique et de l’Innovation. “The Region Île-de-France is committed to championing businesses who believe in innovation, values, and job creation. It supports Amadeus in its expansion, most notably abroad, confident that the company will contribute to extending the influence of the region, as well as its economic growth.”
Companies who apply to PM’Up must submit an ambitious program, which may include launching new products, optimizing the company’s value chain (quality process, modernizing, partnerships, economic intelligence). The plan can also pertain to exports development, sales growth such as setting up subsidiaries or a franchise, or implementing a Corporate Social Responsibility program. The nominated businesses can obtain up to 250,000 euro in funding and benefit from assistance in the definition and implementation of their growth strategy.
The selection of PM’Up winners is made by a jury of individuals intimately involved and knowledgeable about each of the business sectors targeted: Eco-activities, Mechanics, Materials and Industrial Performance, Sustainable Mobility and Transport, ICT, High Tech, Digital and Digital Design, Health and Life Sciences, Design / Culture / Entertainment, and more.
Amadeus develops, manufactures and sells a wide range of high-end sound reinforcement loudspeakers, studio monitors and various signal processing interfaces that combine its own custom innovative technology with stylish design, for the professional audio industry. Created in 1992 from the collaboration between the French designer Bernard BYK and the scientist and musician Michel DELUC, the Amadeus brand has grown to become a leading supplier of high-end audio solutions and services for theaters, opera houses, museums, recording studios, research centers and touring concert sound rental operations. All development and product manufacturing is centralized in Amadeus headquarters in France, with field offices and authorized distributors located in Europe, Asia and UAE.
Contact Amadeus at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.amadeusaudio.fr
Amadeus is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. All other registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.
Professor David Nichols Heads Up Audio Production Redesign
The recording studios at Glendale Community College in Arizona got a serious upgrade recently with the help of Vintage King Audio. “Vintage King helped us all the way though the purchasing process down to co-ordinating our correct cable requirements to tie into our new and existing equipment, and what console would be best for our installation,” explained David Nichols, who heads up the Glendale Community Colleges Audio Production Degree Program.
Jeff Leibovich, Chicago-based Sales Consultant, commented, “When David called in to let me know the Glendale Community College was looking at the buildout of their studio, I was very excited and eager to work together with him. As someone who went through the recording program at the University of Michigan, I know the importance of learning on real world equipment and how much that can help in landing internships and engineering jobs at top studios.”
The Audio Production Technology programs at Glendale Community College offer students an opportunity to receive training on industry-standard equipment by instructors with real-world experience and professional credentials. Students learn the concepts and theory associated with recording arts technologies while applying them in recording studio settings appropriate to their skill levels.
“Having an API 1608 as the centerpiece of the studio will give the students coming out of GCC hands on experience on one of the top selling recording consoles,” continued Leibovich. “David was super easy to work with and prompt in returning calls and was always eager to hear my opinion on gear. He came in with a list of gear that any student, myself included, would be privileged to work on and learn on.”
In addition to the API 1608, equipment supplied through Vintage King included a Bricasti M7 reverb, Prism Sound Maselec MEA-2 Mastering Equalizer, a stereo pair of Neumann U-87′s, and a stereo pair of Schoeps CMC6′s, a Shadow Mastering Compressor, Tube Tech EQ1a, and Universal 1176 and LA-2A compressor/limiters.
Students completing the degree or certificate in Audio Production Technologies achieve the knowledge base, competency, and confidence they need to enter the commercial music marketplace. Most importantly, students develop their artistry and focus their personal sonic art aesthetic to enable them to pursue individual and collaborative artistic endeavors.
Professor Nichols concluded, “Our students get hands on familiarity with the same gear they will be using in the recording studios and production facilities they will be employed in, and are able to produce professional sounding recordings in school to add to their audio portfolio. It was really gratifying to have the audio pros at Vintage King give us guidance in putting together this real life studio classroom.”
ABOUT VINTAGE KING AUDIO
Vintage King Audio is a leader in professional audio sales, studio consulting, and comprehensive gear servicing. No matter the scope of a client’s needs or goals – from selecting a new microphone to designing a studio from the ground up – Vintage King distinguishes itself with standard-setting customer service, which begins with the company’s knowledgeable, industry-experienced staff. For more information, visit: http://www.vintageking.com/about-us
As part of an ongoing process of preparing for the next wave of growth, Martin Audio has recently made several strategic new hires.
First, Bash Akhtar has joined Martin Audio as Operations Director. He has previously served as Operations and Manufacturing Director of RLC Callender, Smiths Detection, and Harmonic Inc. Bash has earned a Fellowship in Manufacturing Management from Cranfield University and is a Manufacturing Systems Engineer from the University of Hertfordshire.
David Morbey has joined as the company’s first dedicated Product Manager. He has previously served as Global Product Marketing Manager at D&M Professional.
Commenting on the hires, James King, Director of Marketing, said, “We’re delighted to have Bash and David join us as we continue to build a world class team. Their expertise will enable us to further grow the business and support our customer base.
“Bash comes to us with a wealth of operational experience and knowledge from a variety of industries and I look forward to his leadership in creating a world class manufacturing facility right here in High Wycombe. David will bring new discipline to product development and life-cycle management, alongside developing deeper insights to application opportunities that will lay the path for a better defined and even more successful product line up.”
These two new hires are in addition to a number of other recent recruits: Andy Weingaertner has beefed up sales in EMEA; Robin Dibble has come in to bolster the Product Support Engineer team; Alan Josey has been confirmed as the new Finance Director, strengthening the management team with over 20 years’ experience of domestic and international manufacturing and engineering businesses; Carl Davies has joined as Junior Mechanical Design Engineer, strengthening the Mechanical Design team to three, and Nicole Thorne has supplemented the North American team in sales admin support.
For more about Martin Audio, please visit www.martin-audio.com.
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.
Voiceovers From Across the Country Recorded via ISDN
The cutting-edge MeringCarson advertising agency, with offices in Sacramento, regularly makes the trip to San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy for audio post-production. “We don’t mind the trip at all,” says creative director Scott Conway. “Trilogy has such a creative atmosphere, quality gear, and some of the best post engineers in the country.”
“California Rocks” was a recent campaign posted by Trilogy’s popular post engineer Chris Konovaliv, with agency producer Christina Staal and creative director Scott Conway on hand for the recording of talent from all over the country via ISDN.
“Everything revolves around the ‘California Rocks’ concept,” explained Conway. “We start out with the unspoken rules of California: always bring a sweater to the Bay Area, bug spray for hiking in the Sierras, and finishing with earthquakes and the peace of mind that comes from insurance with the California Earthquake
“We’re recording seven voiceovers today,” added producer Christina Staal, “The first two are at Studio Center in Virginia, the rest are all calling in from their home studio’s ISDN, and then Chris will edit and work his magic with the music.”
With offices in Northern and Southern California, MeringCarson serves a roster of clients that include Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Visit California, Pebble Beach Resorts, Sacramento Kings (NBA), San Diego Tourism Authority, CA Speedway (NASCAR). The finished “California Rocks” TV spot can be seen on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX-0xl22k2A
Trilogy’s Chris Konovaliv considers post production his speciality, but brings more than 12 years of experience covering all facets of the audio production process. Konovaliv has mixed short and long format television for Current TV as well as spots for advertising clients around the Bay Area, including Evolution Bureau, Venables Bell & Partners, Hal Riney, Ogilvy PR, MeringCarson, Runyon, Saltzman, and Einhorn, BBDO West, Engine Company #1, Hubstrategy and Pond Creative Output!, among others.
ABOUT STUDIO TRILOGY
Located in the creative heart of San Francisco, Studio Trilogy is a full-service recording facility that provides music recording and audio post-production services in a World Class recording environment. Designed by John Storyk of WSDG, Trilogy’s 8800 square foot facility houses three state-of-the-art control rooms, music and voice recording studios, multiple lounges, and a lush garden/bbq area. An on-site 1200 sq.ft. luxury apartment with media lounge and chef’s kitchen is also available.
Learn more at: http://studiotrilogy.com
As a company that prides itself on delivering great quality sound, Portsmouth-based MLS Audio has no hesitation in specifying the best equipment on the market to achieve its desired results.
It is therefore no surprise that, when faced with a tricky sound reinforcement project, the company turned to DPA Microphones for help.
Sound engineer and MLS Audio founder Guy Morris says: “The car manufacturer Bentley was holding a private corporate event at the Royal Exhange in London and we were approached by event organiser, Beyond Certainty, to handle the audio. The original brief was for ‘a few singers and a band’. This became ‘a few singers placed around the room on podiums with a band at one end’ to the final translation of ‘six opera and West End show artists and a 10-piece orchestra’.”
Given the architecture of the Royal Exchange this wasn’t as easy as it might seem. The roof alone is 50m high, while the interior has 95% reflective surfaces thanks to ample use of glass, marble, stone and tiles.
“The artists had already specified that their preference was to use headset microphones and immediately chose single ear versions of DPA’s d:fine™ Headset Microphones,” Morris says. “The orchestra, however, was another issue because we had 10 instruments to amplify in a space that was acoustically very challenging. We also had very limited set up time because the Royal Exchange is open to the public until 6pm and Bentley’s event was due to start at 7pm.”
A lot of discussion took place, during which various microphone placement options were considered. Despite the temptation to deal with the time constraints by going for a simple spot mic set up, it was obvious that the acoustics of the venue – and the fact that the artists were on IEMs – demanded a different solution.
“The artists required total clarity from different parts of the orchestra for their performances and spot mics in that acoustic environment just weren’t going to deliver that,” Morris says. “We spoke to James Lawford at LMC Audio Systems, our preferred equipment supplier, and he suggested DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones.”
MLS Audio bought DPA’s recently introduced d:vote™ Classic 10 Touring Kit, which incorporates 10 d:vote microphones, adapters and cables, as well as a selection of 25 clips for a variety of instruments.
“The selection of instrument mounts was marvellous,” Morris says. “There were even two magnetic mounts for placing inside a piano with the lid open or shut. This was very useful as our orchestra was using a Baby Grand piano (shut), three violins, a viola, a cello, an upright bass, a flute and an Oboe.”
Musicians are notoriously precious about their valuable instruments and are understandably wary of using clips in case they cause damage. However the DPA mounts were so intuitive that Guy Morris had no trouble persuading this orchestra to use them.
“The mounts are made of a non-abrasive rubber material that every musician was happy to use,” he says. “In fact, I got the feeling they had used d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones before because they were all able to place and fit the mount themselves with hardly any guidance from the sound crew.”
Morris adds that the benefits of using DPA microphones was obvious from the outset.
“With every mic offering the same consistent neutral sound, it was a simple tweak of EQ to suit each instrument. The gain was ample with a quiet noise floor, and the placing of the mic (although critical for some instruments as they are of a directional, supercardioid pattern) offered excellent results.”
Morris used the included XLR connection, via DPA’s microdot connector, which allows for various interfaces and wireless systems.
“This was really useful as each violinist needed to easily unplug between their performances and take their instruments away to ensure they were correctly tuned for the next set,” Morris says. “Getting a good balance of so many instruments close miked in a very limited time for both the orchestra on the FOH and for the singers hearing it in their IEMs would normally take far more time than we had available. The d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones played a big part in getting us ready in time before the doors opened and the guests came in.”
Apart from sound quality and versatility, Morris says the other advantage of using DPA d:vote’s was that the orchestra looked very tidy on stage. No mic stands were visible and the singers were able to hear their key instruments, while guests were treated to some excellent renditions of West End show classics.
“The DPA d:vote microphones were a true problem solver for our challenging scenario and the all important factor was a satisfied end client,” Guy Morris adds.
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 AWS was the only console that could meet our expectations”
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Record Factory Music Academy, a state-of-the-art music production education facility in downtown Seoul, South Korea, is delivering real-world experience to students with the addition of a Solid State Logic AWS 924 Hybrid Console/Controller to its newly built studios. The AWS 924 is the centrepiece of Record Factory’s studios and an essential component of its comprehensive curriculum, providing students with a hands-on education using the industry’s leading creative tools.
More than 1,000 students have gained a unique and innovative education since Record Factory Music Academy was established. Through hands-on workshops covering everything from MIDI production to in-studio engineering and music video creation, Record Factory is gaining a reputation for its advanced programs and knowledgeable faculty. The academy recently opened one of the largest private music production facilities in South Korea, near the renowned Seoul Arts Center. The new studio, says Mr. Jong Hee Park, Record Factory CEO, had to provide the most contemporary, cutting-edge methods of music production, coinciding with the calibre of the school’s courses. With that in mind, the AWS was the only choice for the academy’s audio console.
“We considered a number of other consoles to equip Record Factory’s studios,” says Mr. Park. “But the AWS was the only one that could meet our expectations. Our mission is to give students real-world experience in a rapidly changing music scene, so we needed to build a very modern and innovative studio. The AWS is perfect for our studio because of its hybrid design that excels in both analogue and digital-based production. It’s like having both an analogue console and a very well made DAW controller together. It allows our students to concentrate on the sound, rather than struggling with a mouse and keyboard.
“The console’s small footprint allowed two additional isolation booths to be added in the control room,” continues Mr. Park. “Our instructors and students are amazed by its clever ergonomic design, flexibility and, of course, signature sound, which is absolutely amazing. We especially love the high-input headroom and pristine signal path. The AWS definitely has the warmth and musical harmonic character that we expect from a highly respected analogue console.”
According to Mr. Park, the AWS’s sonic excellence was immediately apparent to the engineers when they routed previously recorded audio through the console. “The difference was obvious,” he explains. “We actually decided to remix some of our in-the-box mixes because we love the extra sparkle that we could only get from the AWS. The clarity was so great, it felt like we had removed curtains between the mix engineer and the speakers.”
Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast, live and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solidstatelogic.com.
Company to Showcase its Live Console with V2 Software to the American ProAV Market
LAS VEGAS – Solid State Logic (SSL), the world’s leading manufacturer of tools for creative audio professionals, is proud to announce that it will be exhibiting at InfoComm (Booth C11329) for the first time in 2014. As part of its continuing expansion into the ProAV market, the company will be presenting the V2 Software for the SSL Live, its first-ever dedicated live sound console. Reception to the console by the live sound production community has been extremely positive since its announcement last year, with Live already appearing on tour with Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana and Flogging Molly, among others.
Response continues to grow as users show enthusiasm for sonic quality that is inspiring, a creative user experience that is excellent, and reliability and stability that is well beyond expectation. The V2 software release introduces 25 significant new features and demonstrates the rapid pace of ongoing development at SSL. Additions include enhancements to the Output Matrix, Effects Rack, User Interface, Routing, Solo System and Focus Channel, as well as the introduction of a comprehensive Offline Setup application. The new software, released in April, is now standard on all new consoles and is available for free to all existing owners.
New feature highlights:
PC Offline Software
The SSL Live PC Offline Software allows engineers to create, setup and edit all aspects of a Live Showfile from the comfort of their own laptop, making creation or editing of Show and Preset files simple and efficient. The user is presented with the same menus, screens and options as the full console software, creating a familiar user environment, enabling them to configure a Showfile from scratch or load one of the SSL Template files and edit it to their own requirements. All aspects of the Console Configuration can be edited, giving the user full control over the power of the Live’s Tempest processing engine. Full access to stage box setup and routing is provided. Along with naming, colouring and the unique Eyeconix channel identification tools, the layout of Fader Tile layers and banks can also be configured and accessed from the software. As well as control over mix bus routing, pre/post feed point sourcing and all other audio related channel parameters. In addition, the Automation system is fully accessible so that scenes, automation filters and input/output actions can be created, edited and updated. This also includes Group modes, scene re-numbering, etc. Once a Show file has been created or edited, it can be saved and exported to a USB key and then imported into the Live console ready for use.
Matrix Outputs now have EQ, All-pass filters and delay processing available. All 36 Matrix Output paths now have available High and Low Pass Filters, a 4-band parametric equaliser, two seconds of delay and our unique All Pass Filters. This is in addition to the two inserts that can be used with both the internal Effects Rack and external processing. As with all the other path types within the Tempest engine, the processing order can also be changed by the operator to customise the signal flow for their requirements on a Matrix-by-Matrix basis.
The Version 2 release brings a selection of new effects that introduce additional sonic options and ways to maximise the processing power of the Tempest platform. New effects include four EQ types (the super flexible G-Flex EQ; which comes in 8, 16, 24 and 32 filter versions, a new, smooth Contour EQ, 1 and 2 band Dynamic EQ and a 4+2 Band Parametric), four new Delay effects (Tape Echo, Ping Pong, a new Short Delay and new Multi-Tap delays), ‘Guitar Cabinet’ and ‘Bass Cabinet’ emulations and five Reverbs (Ambient, Cathedral, Stadium, Recording Room and Tight ER). These new reverbs increase usability and make reverb setup much easier whilst retaining the supreme audio quality of the ER Verb from Version 1 Live software. A new Phase Scope Tool has also been added. With All-Pass Filters available on all processed paths, the addition of a Phase Scope to the Effects Rack allows the operator to use them more effectively and speed up their setup. Version 2 also includes a number of enhancements to the SSL Effects Rack itself, to streamline effect browsing, naming and routing.
New Control Surface Functions
A ‘Swap Button’ has been enabled on the console’s Fader Tiles and allows the user to assign any bank of a Fader Tile to the Swap button. Once assigned, the operator uses the Swap function like a ‘Home’ button, letting them jump back to their preferred Fader Bank at any time with one button press. As with the console’s Flip Function, Swap can be used independently per tile or globally if Swap is pressed and held down. With up to 75 banks of faders available, this function adds flexibility and speeds up access no matter how many banks the user has available. A new ‘Focus Channel Lock’ function allows the user to assign a path permanently to the Focus Fader and the Channel Control Tile; perfect for that important channel that you always need to control.
Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast, live and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solidstatelogic.com.
United Kingdom – June 2014…Country music legend Don Williams’ career spans multiple decades. With an impressive 42 Top Ten hits to his credit, Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. At the tender age of 75, he’s still going strong, touring in support of his latest album, Reflections.
Monitor engineer Jesse Benfield keeps the onstage mix together for Williams’ band, which includes percussion, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, multiple acoustic and electric guitars, and vocals. “This is a really organic band,” Benfield explains. “Everyone plays clean and simple parts but there are lots of little nuances.”
A veteran engineer with live and studio credits, including work with Pam Tillis, Tracy Lawrence, Keith Anderson, and Nashville legend Chuck Ainlay, Benfield chose the StudioLive 32.4.2AI digital mixer for Don Williams’ tour. No stranger to the StudioLive, Benfield was among the first engineers to tour extensively with a first-generation StudioLive 24.4.2. “We put a lot of miles on that console, but it’s great to have those extra eight inputs,” he says.
The sound of the StudioLive is a big part of what makes it his first choice, especially with a band like this one, Benfield observes. “It doesn’t have that digital ‘sound’ that a lot of people don’t like. Mr. Williams loves this console, loves the way it sounds. It’s such an organic-sounding band, and with this desk, the music doesn’t sound over-processed. What goes in is what comes out.”
Benfield’s fondness for PreSonus sound also prompted him to bring an ADL 700 channel strip on Williams’ tour. “We’ve got it on a split between Don’s vocal channel and the record feed,” he explains. “It enables me to apply a bit of subtle EQ and compression here and there, which adds a really magical quality to Don’s vocal.”
Benfield’s studio expertise has come in handy, as he uses the StudioLive as an audio interface to make a full multitrack recording of every performance. “We’re making a live CD and a live DVD of the tour,” he says. “Every night I’m recording the entire show through the desk. I’ve got all 32 channels going over a FireWire 800 cable into a Mac. After the tour, I’ll mix the project.”
Benfield runs seven separate mixes on his StudioLive desk and uses the console’s snapshot automation for scene changes here and there. But for him, one of the most transformative features of the StudioLive is PreSonus’ SL Remote-AI iPad app, which allows him to come out from behind the desk and set up the monitoring array single-handedly.
“I can walk around and have the entire console in the palm of my hands,” he enthuses. “That has completely changed the world for me. It used to take two guys to do what one can do now. I can walk around to each position and use my own ears to dial in mixes, EQ, and compression. That used to take forever before the StudioLive. The iPad app is great. I haven’t had any problems with it, even on large stages.”
With multiple dates in the U.S., UK, and Ireland, Benfield says the Don Williams tour has been an incredible experience. “It’s a really great group of guys to work with, a great sounding band with a great sounding desk.”