January 2012



January 2012
January 2012 £4 €7 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
The business of professional audio
AES turns corner
Financial filings suggest notes of optimism following society’s cost-cutting strategy
Mel Lambert
Following two years of lacklustre financial performance in a downturn economy, the Audio
Engineering Society last year posted a small but
significant surplus of income over expenses, a
trend that is predicted to continue for several years.
The news comes at the end of a turbulent 2011
for the AES, including calls for a fresh commercial
strategy for the society’s operations. The decision was
taken mid-year not to renew its contract with executive director (ED) Roger Furness, who left the post
on 31 December after 17 years of service.
“We need to adjust to reality and find another production model,” AES president Jan
Abildgaard Pedersen acknowledges in an exclusive interview with PSNE. “We reduced the size
of the London AES Conventions, knowing that
the interest from exhibitors was down from previous years; we needed a different plan and to
look at new business opportunities. The
Budapest Convention in April will offer smaller
and medium-sized companies the ability to show
off current R&D programmes. And if the
response [from exhibitors] is there we can always
move into larger halls at the Budapest Congress
& World Trade Center.”
Recent US government filings (required for all
non-profit corporations such as the AES) show that
while income from member subscriptions, the
journal, conferences and conventions dropped
slightly in 2010 to $3.1 million (compared to
$3.3 million in 2009), expenses were dramatically
reduced to close to $3.1 million ($4.0 million in
2009) resulting in a modest $35,000 profit. In contrast, during 2008 and 2009 the society suffered
losses of $506,000 and $655,000, respectively.
Within Europe, the cost of regional conventions
has fallen dramatically. The AES financial filing
shows a cost of $1.14 million for 2008’s Amsterdam
Convention, $787,000 for 2009’s Munich Convention and $167k for 2010’s London convention.
“The RAI Center in Amsterdam was expensive,”
Abildgaard Pedersen concedes. “For the London
Conventions in 2010 and 2011 we opted for a smaller
venue – Budapest follows that continuing trend.”
“We looked at every aspect of the society’s operations,” Furness explains, “to determine how we could
cut costs without it showing to the outside world.
Jan Abildgaard Pedersen, AES president
While that [strategy] included opting for a smaller
venue for the London conventions – we went from a
$30,000 loss for Munich in 2009, to a profit of
around $30,000 for London in 2010 – we also looked
at reducing costs for the US conventions. We also
reduced the office costs in New York and Brussels
by renegotiating the lease for the AES HQ in
Manhattan, as well as other savings across the board.
“And AES membership is at an all-time high;
in 2010 we saw an increase of around 20%.”
The society also saw a 10% increase in the sale
of AES publications.
As 2010’s non-profit filing illustrates, major
expense reductions were made in Salaries, down to
$873,000 for 2010 compared to $902k in 2009,
plus Office ($208k from $234,000), Occupancy
($116,000 from $238,000), Conventions ($1.0 million from $1.6 million) and Others ($70,000 from
$118,000). Additional savings were made in
Information Technology, Travel and European
Office expenses.
“It’s a matter of trying to do good housekeeping,”
the outgoing ED offers. “We looked for cost reduction wherever possible. It is too early to predict results
for 2011, but we expect to at least break even; for
2012 I’m predicting that the society will make a profit larger than we saw for 2010.”
“Our conventions are unique,” Abildgaard
Pedersen concludes. “The AES is the only real
society that focuses solely on audio technologies.
We have received a lot of positive reactions to our
plans for the Budapest Convention in April. It will
be a flexible show, with space for small as well as
larger companies that want to take demo rooms.
We have gold in our hands; the opportunity is there
to move forward with good results.”
Speaking in mid-December, Abildgaard
Pedersen said: “We expect to name a new executive director by the end of the year.” At press time,
the status of Furness as executive director Emeritus
had still to be decided. Q
Allen & Heath will launch a new digital desk at NAMM 2012. GLD is billed as a userfriendly, scalable and cost-effective (under £7,000 for a basic package) digital mixing
system, borrowing elements from the successful iLive series. At the heart of the set-up,
the GLD-80 mixer provides 48 input processing channels, eight stereo FX returns
using iLive's FX emulations, 30 configurable buses, 20 mix processing channels, and
enough DSP power for full processing “without compromise”. The clue is in the
name: think GL console, (D)igital. “We really want to service the market which has
been fabulous for us with the GL series for over 15 years – and is still going, in fact,”
confirms sales and marketing manager Debbie Maxted. “Many of our GL customers,
who are predominantly small rental companies, houses of worship and live venues,
are considering going digital but haven’t been able to afford quality digital solutions
till this. We’ve been able to port across lots of the iLive technology, like the FX, and
the basics of how you mix on it, as this has been so successful at the higher end of
the market.” Maxted revealed that around 5,000 iLive systems (modular and fixed
format) have been sold worldwide since the 2007 launch. Q
AED gets silly
for Sennheiser
International dry-hire company AED Rent has
made a substantial investment in Sennheiser inear and wireless microphone systems, PSNE can
reveal. The package includes 108 channels of 2000
series equipment for in-ear monitoring, and 120
channels of 3000 and 5000 series wireless microphones. The deal will allow AED Rent, which has
subsidiaries in the Netherlands, UK, France and
Germany, to offer the brand throughout Europe.
+ Marc Maes has the full story on p20
+ Preview special, PSNE @ NAMM, starts on p23
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news & contents
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
DiGiCo boosted with
£50m investment
Manufacturer secures input from ISIS Equity Partners, writes David Davies
Five years after an expansion drive supported by Matrix Equity
Partners, DiGiCo has initiated the next stage of its development by
securing secondary investment of nearly £50 million (€60 million)
from ISIS Equity Partners.
The announcement comes as the UK-based manufacturer prepares to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the D5 Live – the iconic live
sound console which served as a primary catalyst for DiGiCo’s worldwide growth and remains a flagship of the digital audio revolution.
Matrix is continuing its association with DiGiCo, although it has
reduced its investment size in the business. “As [Matrix partner]
Bob Henry said, they love the company and believe in the future
vision,” DiGiCo CEO James Gordon tells PSNE. “We wanted to keep
Matrix included as they have been very good partners.”
Both Matrix and ISIS have non-executive directors on the board,
but are not taking a management role. “Basically, it’s a standard private equity arrangement – they find a company and management
they believe in, and invest money in the business plan. [From a
DiGiCo perspective], it allows us to remain independent and take the
company in the direction we believe it should be going in,” says
Gordon, who describes the ISIS investment as a “fantastic opportunity for DiGiCo to build further on the achievements of the past
five years”.
Denise Emmanuel, investment director at ISIS, commented:
“DiGiCo is a fantastic example of an entrepreneurial company and
4 Series
NAMM special
23 Educational sessions focus on pro audio
24 Allen & Heath GLD, Steve Vai honoured
27 Studiomaster, JoeCo, Rycote and TC
28 Yamaha, Riedel, Roland and Cadac
Second investment boost for DiGiCo
Neodymium costs: 18 Sound speaks out
New products
Product review
AEA KU4 ribbon microphone
SAE London extension officially opened
SSL desk opens up Secret Garden
Perfect Analog: tape is back (again)
Fit and feisty: James Gordon (left) and fellow DiGiCo directors
management team that is able to deliver growth even in a difficult
environment. The combination of leading technology and exports
makes DiGiCo a prime example of just the type of business that
private equity should be investing in.” Q
ISE plans greatest ever audio presence
A total of 256 audio companies are set to exhibit at the 2012 edition of ISE, representing a new high-water mark for the sector at
the annual AV and systems integration trade show. Set to draw
more than 750 exhibitors overall, ISE 2012 will take place at the
Amsterdam RAI from 31 January to 2 February. Attendance expectations for the show are considerable after a 2011 edition that attracted 34,870 visitors – up 22% on the previous year.
Audio is playing a major part in driving this growth, as illustrated by this year’s expansion into Hall 7. Approximately half of the
companies in this area are drawn from the pro-audio sector, and are
either new to the show or expanding their presence.
As well as having the opportunity to see a multitude of new products on the showfloor, attendees will be able to benefit from training
In this issue...
David Davies
sessions organised by InfoComm. Further underlining the centrality of audio to the show, PAMA (Professional Audio Manufacturers
Alliance) will, for the first time, hold its initial European gathering
of the year at ISE.
“PAMA schedules meetings to coincide with trade shows that have
strong exhibitor support from the PAMA membership,” Wilbert tells
PSNE. “Because ISE has a significant pro-audio component and is early
in the year, it made sense for PAMA to convene a meeting at ISE.”
A PAMA panel will also participate in a session on the future of
audio networking during the pre-show InfoComm Future Trends
Summit on 30 January. Q
TVBE launches Fast Turnaround TV conference
Calrec Audio makes first sale Artemis into Europe
80 Hertz boost north-west media facilities
Halo Post continues to upgrade and expand
AED Rent makes massive investment in Sennheiser
Wigwam boost Optocore stock for Coldplay tour
Midas PRO9 on the road with Evanescence
TiMax takes to the stage in Germany
Final celebration for Antwerp Youth Capital
Clair Bros: being greener
Brighton bars invest in audio
First Stagetracker FX installed in Sweden
Former church adds digital cinema to its offering
42 Test and measurement: keeping up standards
46 Nightclub audio: staying up all night
Back pages
+ For a full ISE preview turn to page 40
48 Hither & Dither
50 Interview: Clive Green, Cadac co-founder
DP448 Audio Management System
Loudspeakers, meet the Management.
Designed to meet the needs of the largest and most complex sound systems, the DP448 provides a no-compromise solution to
audio management, with multiple I/O (inc. digital), 24-bit/96kHz converters and masses of DSP power for complete flexibility.
Ready to show your system who’s boss? Visit www.xta.co.uk to find out more.
Picture by John Tuffen
4 news & welcome
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
Polar extremes
Giacomo Previ, head of sales at Italian loudspeaker
manufacturer 18 Sound, talks practical ways of
dealing with the volatile price of neodymium.
Paul Watson gets the point
Editor’s comment
Dave Robinson
HAPPY 2012 EVERYONE! I hope you
had a great Christmas break and a
spectacular New Year celebration.
As usual, the pro-audio industry hits the
ground running on the exhibition front.
In a few weeks we have the ISE show in
Amsterdam. The organiser promises more
audio content than ever, and hurrah for
that we say. Our preview is on page 40.
Soon after this there’s Broadcast Video
Expo – and after the success of the
Manchester debut in November, the BVE
team will have high hopes for the mid-Feb
Olympia event.
But before all this, there’s NAMM in
mid-January. You will notice we’re
running a NAMM preview with a
difference: in fact, an eight-page ‘mini-mag’.
The NAMM committee are pushing the
pro-audio angle like never before, and we
wholly support that. Specifically, they want
the Anaheim show to appeal to foreign
visitors and exhibitors.
So, what you will find in
PSNE @ NAMM is not just a round-up
of forthcoming products. Instead, we’ve
asked Joe Lamond, CEO, to tell us what
makes NAMM compelling for the proaudio community; and why non-US
businesses should be heading there. In
keeping with that theme, we asked only
companies that are (ostensibly) non-US
based to send us preview material; and
we invited respondents to tell us why they
go to NAMM, and to comment on their
export business in general. PSNE @ NAMM
starts on p23.
Sontronics’s Trevor Coley sums up NAMM
for me I think, as I sit here on a miserable day
in London: “Did I mention the sunshine?” Q
In the past year, the price of neodymium (or neo)
has caused much concern in all areas of the proaudio world (check out Gez Kahan’s feature in the
June issue of PSNE for the full low-down). In short,
this rare earth, which is predominantly mined
in China, is important to production of the
magnetic material in virtually all of today’s lightweight loudspeakers.
To summarise Gez’s coverage, by the back end
of 2010, the situation had reached fever point. The
price of neo had been steadily rising due to China’s
decision to whack up its taxes on rare earth exports
(REE) and sharply reduce its export quotas.
As activity in the East began to get heated, prices
really got crazy: between January and July 2011,
the price of neo had risen by a massive 300%.
So, the question is, where are we now, and how
are businesses being affected? On a recent visit to
18 Sound in Reggio Emilia, Italy, PSNE asked head
of sales Giacomo Previ to comment.
“The problem is,” says Previ, “you are not able
to predict the cost of a magnet in the next six
months. There’s a lot of guesswork, though we
expect that in that time the price will be stable. But
that’s not in our control; it’s down to the Chinese
government, basically.”
It certainly is. Previ confirms that today,
the neo export price is fluctuating around $250
(€192)/kg after hitting a $400/kg peak in July, and
that in 2010, before the increases, it was about
$100/kg. So today’s is still a whacking 150% increase.
However, what’s more concerning, surely, is
the sharp increase in the price of dysprosium,
another rare earth, also extracted predominantly in
China, and very much part of the neo issue.
“The reality is that the neo magnets are made
from neodymium mixed with dysprosium,” Previ
explains. Dysprosium has one of the highest magnetic strengths of all the elements; hence substituting a small amount of the neodymium with
dysprosium increases magnetic coercitivity. In other
words, you get a better magnet. But when it comes
to rare earth metals, dysprosium is even more, well,
rare. “Just 1g of dysprosium costs a fortune. Put it
Giacomo Previ: unstable times
this way: the export price in 2010 was $220/kg; and
now, it’s $1,900.”
That’s a staggering statistic, for sure, so what
are manufacturers supposed to do to battle this
kind of price hike and market volatility?
“Various companies are already trying to use
neodymium magnet speakers only when they really
need to; on compression drivers, very light speakers,
and line array systems, where weight and size is very
important. They’re going back to using ceramic
magnets wherever possible: where they have space
inside the box or where weight isn’t an issue. Today,
that’s the main story; there is nothing more to it.”
So does this mean that the pro-audio industry
is going to have to come up with some kind of paradigm shift? And if a shortage of neodymium magnets arises, which is certainly a possibility, do we
kiss goodbye to the plethora of discreet little boxes
with their state-of-the-art compression drivers?
“We’re not in that situation, no, but it’s certainly
not easy at all, ” he opines. “Containing pricing was
impossible in 2011, of course, because the cost of
rare earths was absolutely crazy, but because the
price has stabilised to a certain degree now, we hope
to be back in control in 2012; prices will be higher,
sure, but at least we know how much higher now.
We have to be equipped in this climate. It’s manageable, but it’s not just a neo issue; it’s a typical problem of rare-earth material speculation.”
Could it not be argued though, that it’s difficult
to imagine manufacturers remaining profitable in
an industry where small has absolutely proven itself
to be the new big, when one of the key ingredients
that made that possible in the first place might
already be out of reach? And who’s to say the price
won’t shoot up again?
“If you asked me the same question whether
we’re going to have problems with regard to the manufacture of lightweight speaker systems and line
arrays in, say, next May or June, and we’re still in the
dark, so to speak, then I would say maybe,” he says.
“This kind of volatility in the market will be more
effective in the long term due to the economic situation; everything is correlated. The oscillations in
financing worldwide are completely relevant to this
issue, from one side of the world to the other.”
On a positive note, 18 Sound is continuing to
sell well in China and its business is expanding;
Previ is encouraged that the Chinese market is
recognising this. Considering China is one of the
only growing economies left in the world today,
that can’t be a bad thing. Q
Martin Audio’s MLA makes its debut at the Royal
Albert Hall, and that must call for a celebration!
Sound rental company RG Jones has been
producing sound reinforcement infrastructure for
the Raymond Gubbay Classical Spectaculars at the
RAH since 1993. This year, FOH engineer Simon
Honywill had the opportunity to specify the
acclaimed Multi-Cellular Loudspeaker Array for a
venue which is notoriously tricky to control. With a
programme featuring the ‘greatest hits’ from the classical canon, Honywill reports that the MLA’s performance
was “even beyond his expectations” as it dealt with the Hall’s reflective architecture. “We’ve made a massive
leap forward with the MLA,” he says. “The results were remarkable.” Q
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6 technology
New products
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
Nigel Lord compiles this months list of hot new products
Summing Mixer
and BG4 MkII
What is it? A range of
passive speakers and
subwoofers designed for
sound reinforcement
Details Tourmax SX112,
SX115 (pictured) and
SX215 passive loudspeakers incorporate 12”,
15” and 2 x 15” lowfrequency drivers
(respectively) plus 1”
neodyminium highfrequency units. Coverage
is 90° (H) x 60° (V) using
elliptical waveguides, and
power handling for the
three models is 200W,
300W and 500W
(continuous). Frequency
response is quoted at
65Hz-20kHz for the
SX112, extending down to
55Hz for the SX115 and
SX215 models. The trapezoidal design of the enclosures is said to significantly
decrease the resonance in the cabinet and features recessed handles, full-length
metal grills and a black textured finish said to be scratch and dent resistant. The Tourmax SXSUB15 and SXSUB18 are passive subwoofer systems
housing 15” and 18” low-frequency drivers – both fitted with 3” voice coils and
capable of up to 400W (continuous) power handling. The frequency range and
crossover of the SXSUB18 and SXSUB15 have been specifically tailored to
provide smooth, low-end sound reproproduction in the 35Hz-200Hz range.
Both models are housed in rugged, compact, 18mm Baltic birch plywood
enclosures with durable metal handles and a black painted finish. What is it? A pair of studio outboard units based on early Decca designs.
Details Modelled on outboard units used in the legendary Broadhurst Gardens studio in West Hampstead, the DAV
Summing Mixer is a passive device offering 32 inputs on four DB25 connectors and stereo outputs on XLR. Using an
existing stereo preamp, it’s possible to connect DAW outputs into the inputs of the DAV Summing Mixer and its outputs
to the pre to maintain its qualities within the mix. DAV has also unveiled a revised version of the famed Decca heritage
BG4 limiter/compressor. The BG4 MkII (pictured) is a 1U rackmount stereo design without the switches and filters of
the original unit which customer feedback suggested were little used.
And another thing… The new BG4 MkII is available for around half the price of the previous version.
nTouch Series
What is it? A pair of digital interfaces offering touchscreen interactive
remote control of audio systems designed in MediaMatrix NWare
software for the NION platform.
Details The nTouch 180 and nTouch 60 feature full-colour, resistive
touchscreen panels measuring (respectively) 7” and 2.4” diagonally, and used to display and control projects hosted on a
MediaMatrix NION or nControl processor. Based on an Intel Atom N270 CPU, the nTouch 180 controller runs an
embedded version of NWare Kiosk software for NION – the control arm of NWare system design software. System
designers can program nTouch in NWare and then control an audio project designed in NWare from a remote location.
Once the nTouch is programmed, it runs independently of external computers and connects to a NION or nControl via
Ethernet network. The nTouch 60 works in conjunction with nControl to provide the same functionality as the nTouch 180 in a smaller
format. It communicates directly with nControl or NION processors over Ethernet or via EIA-485 network. Power is
provided over Ethernet or via 12V-48V DC supply and the unit mounts via standard NEMA (1-gang). The OLED screen is
said to deliver “extremely high-quality” graphics, with both models operated by hand or stylus and offering easy
connection and installation. Options include surface, panel, flush and general VESA mounting. And another thing… The nTouch 180 is powered by 12V DC supply and is software upgradeable via USB stick.
And another thing… The Tourmax range also includes the active SXM112A
speaker, suitable for use as a wedge monitor on stage, but also pole-mountable
for applications such as side fill, drum or keyboard monitor and as a main
speaker in smaller setups.
SRH1440, SRH1840
What is it? Open-back studio headphone designs for critical mastering, monitoring and
‘audiophile’ applications.
D-Power Series
What is it? A range of six two-channel models from Camco’s D-Power series
suitable for live sound, installation and theatre applications.
Details The D7/D4/D3/D2 models utilise a hybrid Class H amplifier engine
with power outputs ranging from 1,000W up to 3,300W per channel, while the
D05 and D1 versions employ Camco’s new UMAC Class D technology,
delivering 250W and 500W per channel, respectively. All models are said to
offer smooth and responsive handling throughout the power range, benefiting
from the latest advances in SMPS technology and light weight across a broad
range of professional applications.
Frequency response across the entire range is quoted as 20Hz-20kHz
(+/-0.2dB) and THD+N at <0.01% (typical). A-weighted signal-to-noise ratio is
>113dB (D05, D1), 115dB (DP2, DP3, DP4) and 110dB (DP7). All models can
feed 4-, 8- and 16-ohm loads and the Class H models can also operate down to
2 ohms. Peak limiting circuitry is included across the range (three-step
switchable on the Class H models) – as is the broad range of protection features
which include inrush-current limitation, power on/off transients, temperature,
output DC and ‘intelligent’ fuse protection. LEDs are included for power on,
signal, protect, clip and output current indication.
Details Said to offer exceptionally natural sound, wide stereo imaging and increased depth
of field, SRH1440 and SRH1840 (pictured) headphones are designed to provide reference
monitoring comparable to that of nearfield speakers. An open-back, circumaural design
incorporating 40mm neodymium drivers allows sound to move more freely and with
minimal distortion.
The SRH1440 is suited to recording applications delivering full-range audio with extended bass and features
detachable dual-exit cables with gold-plated MMCX connectors. The flagship SRH1840 model incorporates individually
matched drivers said to offer smooth, extended highs and accurate bass with optimised impedance allowing direct
connection to a wide range of portable audio devices.
And another thing… Both the SRH1440 and SRH1840 models are supplied with a comprehensive selection of
accessories such as cables, adapters, a spare pair of velour earpads plus a metal storage case.
What is it? An acoustic measurement software application.
Details ViTUNE is designed to help audio professionals and hi-fi
enthusiasts ‘tune’ rooms without the need for specialist training.
Based on a simple traffic light indication system, room
measurement is carried out in four steps: configuring the sound
card, testing the signal level, entering the room dimensions and
simply clicking ‘Go’. The software also includes an advanced section showing results for full frequency response,
smoothed frequency, impulse response, reverb time and energy time curve. A choice of two products are offered for
fixing reverberation time problems and controlling first reflections. ViTUNE also indicates the exact frequency to which
Vari Bass – Vicoustic’s portable stand-alone bass trap – should be tuned.
And another thing… All the amplifiers in the range can be operated in
bridge mode for significantly increased power output into 8-16 ohm loads and
2-16 ohm loads (Class H models).
And another thing… ViTUNE is currently available free of charge on the Windows platform. A Mac version is due for
release later in the year.
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8 technology
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
AEA KU4 ribbon microphone
Ribbon mics have recently experienced a resurgence in popularity. Audio Engineering Associate’s KU4
leaves Russ Hepworth-Sawyer speechless after reviewing his history notes
Price and Availability
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Wes Dooley, a passionate recording engineer, is
the man behind Audio Engineering Associates
(AEA). His true love is for the now defunct RCA
line, but that dedication extends to all ribbon
mics (he runs the sole Coles 4038 service centre
outside of the UK). Dooley’s upbringing and
experiences, such as serving as assistant
engineer for the likes of US legend Wally
Heider, provided him with an insight into the
use of the ribbon microphone and a respect that
has served him well over many decades.
AEA began servicing RCA microphones after
they ceased production in 1976. Many years
later Dooley and colleagues realised that they
had been manufacturing replacement parts so
much for their mics that they could actually go,
as Dooley says “100% spare parts”. Enter AEA’s
foray into microphone manufacture.
The KU4 large-diaphragm ribbon
microphone is, as AEA states a ‘contemporary
realisation of the RCA KU3A’. The KU3A derives
from a long line of RCA ribbon microphones
developed in the 1930s mostly for film
recording. The RCA 44 and later 77 became
worldwide classics, but it was the KU3A that
endured in the film studios and, of course,
recording studios. The KU3 combined the
original sound of the warm RCA 44 with a new
unidirectional polar pattern enabled by a lobe to
the rear of the ribbon leading down to an
acoustic ‘labyrinth’ within the lower case of the
microphone. The labyrinth acted a little like
an absorber for those signals coming from
AEA’s ‘contemporary realisation’ is simply
staggering in terms of stature and therefore
weight. To assist, AEA can provide a snug nylon
carry case with plenty of rigid foam to protect it
along with a fantastic cloth bag. The KU4’s
proportions are near-enough identical to its
original, but with some new design features.
On the original KU3A an XLR socket used to jut
out at a curious angle from the bottom of the mic
housing. This has been replaced by a strain relief
and fixed, high-quality, braided cable. I’m sure
some might prefer the XLR functionality to have
remained. The yoke stand is of a better design too.
Putting the KU4 through its paces, I
realised I was holding a microphone which
simply reproduces the sound in front of it. On
classical guitar the KU4 was extremely honest
to my ears in my trusted mic positions where a
condenser would sit. However, exploring
possibilities soon found a sweet spot where the
tone of the guitar and position of the
microphone were in harmony providing a
warm and exceptional capture.
Despite the modern manufacturing methods
available, you still need to handle this ribbon
mic with care – the ribbon can snap with large
gusts of air movement. AEA does provide the
parts so that ribbons can be replaced if
necessary. Placing the KU4 gingerly up to a
guitar amp provided a fantastic array of
opportunities. I would have loved to have tried a
stereo pair as overheads, but given the rarity of
these units in the UK, that would be pushing it!
Even in mono the KU4 works wonderfully as an
ambient mic.
However the KU4 shines on vocals whether
spoken (RCA’s heritage of sound stages) or
singing capture in the studio. Vocal takes
were silky, detailed and un-hyped by today’s
standards. To some this might seem out of
character in modern music recording, but this
can pay dividends when balancing a mix
together later. The warmth provided by the
KU4 just might stop you fumbling around for
a valve emulator plug-in.
Overall this is a mic that displays no pretence.
What you capture is what you get. There’s very
little hype or overriding ‘colour’ to impose upon
your recording other than ribbon warmth.
Comparing the KU4 with the flood of new
ribbons on the market, you quickly appreciate the
RCA heritage and RCA sound that has endured
for generations and thanks to Wes Dooley will
continue for many more to come. Q
f Frequency response ‘below 30Hz to above 20kHz’
(plots show response to 40kHz)
f Maximum SPL: 140+dB SPL above 200Hz for 1%
third harmonic
f Output sensitivity: 2.8 mV/Pa into unloaded circuit
f Output impedance: 300 ohms nominal
f Super cardioid pattern
f Excellent sound – rich, even and lacks usual
proximity effect
f Super cardioid polar pattern makes this
very functional
f Useable, highly protective and lightweight carry
case accessory
f Some might prefer the XLR socket to have stayed
on the mic housing
f It weighs over 2kg so make sure you have a
sturdy mic stand
f As with early models, care needs to be taken not
to snap the ribbon!
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fstudio news
f KMR Audio has announced the
availability of a proprietary moving
fader automation system for the
API 1608 recording console.
Featuring Automated Mute and
Solo switches and unlimited Fader
Groups with two dedicated Group
Masters, the API Automation
Package retrofits easily to existing
1608 consoles. Other features of
the self-contained, save-to-SD
memory card system include
unlimited Mix Restore points
and DAW control with unity gain
audio bypass.
f Mastering engineer Mandy
Parnell took a trusty ‘box of tricks’
– including her Prism Sound
Orpheus FireWire Computer
Interface and the latest SADiE 6
software – when she went to
Iceland recently to work on Björk’s
groundbreaking new album,
Biophilia. Invited onto the project
during its closing stages after the
experimental singer/songwriter
had concluded she was unhappy
with some previous mastering
sessions in New York, Parnell
worked out of a Pro Toolsequipped studio belonging to mix
engineer Addi 800.
f Production of the latest film
Expanded SAE is go
Major investment for London creative teaching college
The School of Audio Engineering (SAE)
London’s new Bankstock studio complex was officially opened in November.
As reported previously, £4 million (€4.8
million) has been invested by the School
in 14 interconnected studios (five live
rooms and nine control rooms,
designed and specified by Munro
Acoustics) in a building near the
Regent’s Canal and just a short walk
from the main Dalston base. SAE
London is now the largest audio engineering educational campus in the UK.
Welcoming colleagues, associates and
students to the facility, Professor Zbys
Klich, MD and CEO of SAE Institute
United Kingdom, commented: “SAE
London has a simple strategic vision: to
be the world leader in private higher
education in creative media technologies. We started in 1976 with a small college, about 20 students, in Sydney – it
was the vision of a man called Tom
Misner . At the end of 2010, the SAE had
9,000 students in over 50 campuses in
23 countries around the world. That’s
one hell of a story!
“What is it that makes SAE special?
I’ve tried to distill the essence of it,
and in my view it is simply this: the
Picture by Oz Owen
(L-R) Andrew Levi, UKTI; Luca Barassi, SAE Institute London College manager and
project manager; MD and CEO Professor Zbys Klich
marriage of technical mastery with
creative artistry.”
Prof Klich thanked the efforts of
Middlesex University, including Terry
Butland the deputy vice chancellor, who
have collaborated with SAE to develop
programmes and accreditation.
from acclaimed British director
Terence Davies, The Deep Blue
Sea, drew on the expertise of
LipSync Productions and
LipSync Post. Audio-mixing a
scene in which a crowd performs
in a London Underground station
during an air raid was a particular
highlight of the project, as rerecording mixer Robert Farr
recalled: “It was a great scene for
the sound mix as we had
wonderful reverb from the
tunnel, the echo of the singing,
and the low rumble of bombs
dropping in the distance.”
He went on to reveal the reasons
why SAE owner Navitas endorsed the
move of the SAE HQ from Byron Bay
(“And why would you leave 32 degrees
in Byron Bay…?”) to Oxford, UK.
A major fact, said Klich, was because
of the “enormous encouragement
and support” the institute received
from the British government, particularly the department of trade and
investment. Andrew Levi, managing
director of the UKTI, standing in
for universities and science minister
MP David Willetts, accepted the compliment and responded: “This is a
great step and we are really pleased to
be involved.”
Munro Acoustics used the
latest construction techniques to
achieve maximum isolation at the ecofriendly facilities. For instance, the
windows between studios are installed
with internal triple glazing to prevent
sound leakage between live and
control rooms.
Luca Barassi, manager for the site,
said: “The first thing we did [during
the project] was to build a test studio
for noise assessment; it was a room
within a room – you could say it was
a £25,000 soundcheck. It passed with
flying colours and is now the drum
recording booth.”
Andy Munro added: “What I like
most is that Bankstock really feels like
a serious studio complex rather than
an institutional building – and they
always make me feel uneasy.” Q
Meet the designer
calls for follow-up
Marc Maes
f PowerFX has announced the
introduction of cloud-based
sound library services. Taking out
either a ‘Pro Sound Effects
Account’ (£109/€128 per year) or
‘Pro Loops & Samples Account’
(£144 per year) allows the user to
gain instant access to more than
20,000 sounds in a searchable
online database. “For sound users
today, it’s not about owning; it’s
about having access and simple
licence to use just what you need,
when you need it,” said PowerFX
CEO Bil Bryant, who expects the
service to resonate with producers
working in multiple locations.
designer Dave Feise (pictured). Q
Sound effects for one of the year’s most anticipated video games, Portal 2, were
captured with the use of a Sound Devices 788T digital audio recorder.
The first ‘Meet the designer’ workshop,
organised by pro-audio distributor
iDeal Audio attracted some 40 studio
owners and engineers.
Under the banner ‘Meet the designer’, Matthias Aerts, managing director
of iDeal Audio invited Michael Deming,
president and founder of CharterOak
to the Depot venue in Leuven.
Deming took the opportunity to
present the SCL-1 processor, the PEQ-1
Program Analyser and the brand’s line
of microphones.
“The attendance was beyond our
expectations,” enthuses Aerts. “Michael
Deming, from his background as producer, impressed the audience with his
expertise and product knowledge, explaining how the CharterOak microphones
are designed and their applications.”
Inspired by the success of the workshop, Aerts wants to continue the series
of Meet the designer masterclasses – next
is a workshop on digital clocking hosted
by Grimm Audio’s Eelco Grimm at
MotorMusic studios later this month. Q
In order to record effects for the game, the Valve Software audio team utilised
three main set-ups with the 788T, including an Aquarian Audio hydrophone, a
Schoeps M-S set-up with the Schoeps CMIT 5U as the mid mic and CMC68 as the
figure eight, and a Core Sound TetraMic. The M-S setup and the TetraMic were in
Rycote windscreens and, though usually mounted on a boom pole, were used
instead as handhelds and also on a regular mic stand. All of these were run straight
into the mic inputs on the 788T, while usually recording at 24/96.
Effects captured with the 788T ran the gamut from water balloons in the Valve
garage to whale song in Hawaii.
“The 788T has worked flawlessly since day one,” said Valve Software lead sound
Michael Deming journeyed from Connecticut to host the demo
studio 11
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
SSL desk opens up Secret Garden
Nigel Lord
Sanden Studio – a division of
Norwegian company Sanden Media –
recently installed an SSL AWS 948
console/integrated controller as a major
upgrade for its Studio A. The AWS 948
replaces an Avid C24 controller to take
advantage of the console’s combination
signature SuperAnalogue sound quality and DAW control for streamlining
production workflow.
“We have been interested in attaining an AWS for many years, but when
the 948 came out, we made the decision to go for it,” said chief engineer,
Roald Raasberg. “When we moved to a
dedicated controller from an analogue
console, we were happy at first, but felt
like we were missing something by
going all digital. We wanted to go back
to an all-analogue signal path, but also
needed to have fast switchover capabilities between sessions and a way to control Pro Tools.”
The first project for the AWS was the
Norwegian-Irish group Secret Garden.
“When we played back the session mixes
we had created and spread it out over 48
channels through the AWS, the sound
was overwhelmingly good and very
revealing,” stated Raasberg who turned
off many plug-ins and EQ settings from
the Pro Tools tracks and relied on the
AWS’s EQ and sound quality to set a new
benchmark for the sessions. Q
f Bournemouth University has
been named as the first UK
accredited SADiE Training
Establishment. Pete Nash, Prism
Sound and SADiE’s broadcast
consultant, is in charge of the
accreditation process. “We
established the scheme to give
recognition to those training
facilities that are offering exemplary
standards in terms of technical and
creative awareness of SADiE. By
having accreditation, Bournemouth
students can prove they have been
trained to a very high standard and
thoroughly understand the SADiE
editing equipment they are likely to
encounter in the real world.”
Playback through the AWS was “overwhelmingly good”
Imagem’s Iain Roberton, Alex Black,
general manager and (front) engineer
Taz Mattar with the MM27s
Imagem steps
up with KMR’s
Barefoot kit
Nigel Lord
Pro audio specialist KMR Audio has
supplied a pair of Barefoot MM27 monitors to London-based music library
Imagem Production Music – the largest
independent production music publisher in the UK. “We release 40 to 50
albums a year and needed a pair of
monitors that could be used for mixing and mastering the huge range of
music,” explains studio manager, Iain
Roberton. “KMR were great. The demo
units were in huge demand and the
waiting list for production units is
insane but they managed to squeeze in
two demos at short notice and secured
us a pair.”
The Barefoot MM27s are part of a
studio upgrade which includes new
plug-ins by Waves, TC and Abbey Road
plus a shared storage system. Designed
to break down the barriers between
nearfield, mastering and main monitors, the compact and powerful enclosures are said to be exceptionally
neutral in critical listening applications.
“We were blown away by the
Barefoots,” adds Roberton. “The clarity of the low frequencies, the solidity
of the stereo image and the detail at low
levels are astonishing – scary even.
They’re really the best near/midfield
monitors I’ve ever heard.” Q
More Info
Scan with your smartphone
for full details of our digital
mixing consoles
12 studio
Perfectly formed
Adrien Rodriguez hopes his new business venture will aid the
propagation of the apparent rediscovery of analogue tape in
the recording sector. Dave Robinson captured the conversation
“I am passionate about sound
and I know what I want to do
with the machines.”
Adrien Rodriguez of Perfect Analog
explains his philosophy and modus
operandi in a simple sentence. The
Frenchman was speaking exclusively
to PSNE in London after a visit to the
Music Production Show at Emirates
Stadium and subsequent appointments
with studios and pro-audio parties
around the capital.
Rodriguez’s immediate goal is simple. In his warehouse 100km south of
Lyon, near Valence, he has around a
dozen fully restored Studer 48-track
tape machines (models A80, A820,
A800 MkII) awaiting purchase from
high-end studios.
“What I’ve done is take the bestsounding tape recorders and refurbished them as new, which is quite a
job: changing capacitors, aligning and
tuning them to Studer’s specification,
measuring and checking them and pro-
ducing a tape recorder that sounds like
a new machine.”
Let’s be clear here: Rodriguez is
doing this without any kind of approval
from a Studer representative – as
Studer no longer makes analogue
recorders there is no one from who to
seek consent.
“I have done this on my own, for
personal reasons, believing that there
is still some interest in these machines
for certain uses,” he says. “I thought it
would be interesting to buy the best
machines – where I know the service
history, or that they have been well
looked after – and then to refurbish
them so everything is running as it
should. Analogue gear is interesting if
it’s working perfectly; if it’s not, then it
is just a museum piece.”
The recorders have been acquired
from a number of sources over the past
four years, including from Rak Studios,
Swiss Radio, and London’s Town House
when that facility closed in 2008.
Sometimes, he says, he played a “gambling game”. “I would enter a studio with
a full wallet, talk to the owner and make
them an offer there and then. Rodriguez
was literally renting transport in France
and driving it 1,400km to the UK. “And
I don’t know whether I’m going to go
home with a machine or not…”
He has found some studio owners
and engineers to be “hard-headed” about
their precious technology. Having paid
a six-figure sum 20 years ago for a new
Studer, they expect to receive £10,000
for parting with the item now. “That’s
not going to happen,” he says firmly.
Having acquired a dozen or so of the
historic pieces over several years,
Rodriguez has assembled a small network of technical experts to aid with
their restoration – though, he adds, it
was tough finding engineers with the
right skills. “I did a lot of the soldering
myself because I like it!”
Four years after this enthusiastic
Frenchman started his quest, the time
Adrien Rodriguez and his lovingly-restored Studer machines
has come to make some money. “In different parts of the world, people have
started talking about tape recorders
again. These machines still have an ideological power – you see the wheels turning, it has a character that clicking on a
mouse does not.” He’s made his first
sale to Australia, but, now the business
is online properly, it’s time to shift the
other units.
The arrival of Endless Analog’s CLASP
is contributing to the renewed interest
with tape, admits Rodriguez. For the
uninitiated, Chris Estes’ clever box of tricks
routes all your audio to tape, then lines it
up with sample accuracy in you digital
audio workstation, in real-time. In short,
CLASP (£6,000 from KMR in the UK)
integrates the tape machines into the
DAW workflow, without fuss. “It’s an easy
idea done in a simple way,” says
Rodriguez. “So anyone who knows nothing about tape can use tape, with their
DAW, easily. Before CLASP it was a lot
more complicated.”
Could Rodriguez make his scheme
successful without CLASP? “Yes,
because when I started this business, I
did not know about it. But CLASP is
making people talk about tape, and that’s
all good publicity for me.
“CLASP makes me think I’m not
alone,” he ponders. “If we create product
that sounds really great, then people are
willing to pay money for it. That’s why I
am selling my tape machines in the
same state of mind as if they were new
equipment. Everything has been measured, proved, checked, photographed;
the buyer receives full documentation
of how it works, inside and outside.
That’s why I’m called Perfect Analog!”
Does he and Endless Analog have a
‘deal’ in place? “No, we have a philosophy deal! My mind and Chris Estes’ mind
are working the same way: if we push for
excellence, it will work; if we go halfway,
make something that’s not good enough,
then people aren’t going to buy it.” Q
Soho Hotel, London
attendo?rs of
ide Bro
Chief O
of Outs
Head o
Head o
ces Ma
isor; Se
eer; Pro
; Dir t
s; Chief
ions Ma
of Tech
g; Head
of Broa
New technologies and workflows behind big live/as-live TV productions
ilkie on
Contact Lucy W 0 or
+44 207 354 6
[email protected]
Early Bird Registration
Visit www.fastturnaroundtv.com
Steve Connolly, Publisher
+44 207 354 6000,
[email protected]
Ben Ewles, Sales Manager
+44 207 354 6000,
[email protected]
or Michael Mitchell at +1 631 673 3199, [email protected]
for further details on how you can promote your business and network with key
decision-makers at this unique TVBEurope event
14 studio bookings
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
Studio bookings
If you want your web address to be included in the magazine AND in the
digital edition of Pro Sound News Europe for just £50 a year, please email
Lianne on [email protected] for an order form
The Studio Bookings listing is a free service. All information is provided by the companies listed and
PSNE cannot be held responsible for any factual errors. To be included in the listings, please contact
Lianne Davey, studio bookings editor, on +44 20 7226 7246, or email [email protected]
+43 2236 53006
R Cejka
Hit Fabrik
Andrei Lugovski
+32 477 603 105
Studio La Chapelle
HK& Les Saltimbanks
Rare Productions
LH Chambat
+32 485 106 979
LH Chambat
Album Mobile Hits
+45 563 81986
Studio Pickup
Salade de Bruits
Salade de Bruits
+33 2 50 65 45 92
Four Music
The Krauts
Lois Lane
Melidonie Orchestra
Fulvio Sigurta Trio
Frank Dupre
+49 171 9733190
CAM Jazz
Erdmann Entertainment Erdmann
Peter Brandt Remote Recording GmbH
We Will Rock You
Berlin Musical Cast
China National
Winland Christmas
Symphony Orchestra
Gala Beijing
+49 7141 22680
+49 212 254 1225
Remote Taxi GmbH
Energy Stars for Free
Energy Switzerland
Potato Musics Mastering
Album Mastering
Markus Ferdinand
Live Recording
+49 212 2541225
+49 176 83 03 23 97
Athens Megaron
Kostas Hatzis
+30 21 072 82857
N Espialidis
Digital Pro
Viasat Europe
+36 1 383 2481
+36 1454 0200
Bo Halladors
+354 892 9000
Advice Music Studio
Universo Parallelo
Forces Motrices
Mama Rosin
Voodoo Rhythm
Mama Rosin
+41 22 800 3280
Sunhill Project Studio
Henri Glovelier
Album Mix & Mast
+41 56 631 0353
+44 20 7254 1133
Advice Music – Edel
Bobo Stenson Trio
Samuele Bersani
Fuori Classifica
Imputlevel Studio
Massino De Mattia Quartet
New Album
Maxsound Vibe Studios
Terrae Motus
Enzo Avitabile
Officine Meccaniche
Amor Fou
Mixing Session
+39 02 4580336
A Boi
+39 0432 570754
+39 51 585 254
+39 0422 893 080
Dazzle Communications Attolino
+39 081 509 0607
Abbot Street Studios
Ebru Gercek
Abru Gundes
Will Young
Rec & Mix
Magic FM
+44 20 7794 0660
Air Mastering
Antonio Forcione
Naim Records
+44 20 7794 0623
Mumford & Sons
Entertainment One Music
+44 20 7232 0008
Artillery Studios
Julia Biel
Album Mix
Assault & Battery 1
The Heathers
Milestone Management
+44 20 7232 0008
Assault & Battery 2
Kirsty Bertarelli
KB Recordings S.A
+44 20 7232 0008
Buried from Below
Buried from Below
+44 130 276 9676
Michael Ambrose
DM Ltd
+44 20 8964 8256
Eastpoint Studio
All Around the World
+44 20 7323 0008
Engine Room
To Kill a King
+44 20 7232 0008
Burning World Records
Camille O’Sullivan
The B Goodes
Phil B Good
+44 1473 272756
Glasstone Productions
Electronic Deer
Album Mastering
Glasstone Records
+44 7973 730 161
Espreeso Songs Ltd
+44 20 8998 5529
Franz Ferdinand
She Makes War
EMI Publishing US
Parlour Studios
+44 1536 517 377
Pierce Room
Olly Murs & The Muppets
Singles Mix
X Factor Production
EMI Norway
+44 20 8563 1234
Motor Cycle Display Team
+44 20 7586 2012
+44 20 8870 4036
+44 20 7326 9450
Play Ground
+44 20 7377 6826
+44 1938 810758
+44 20 7232 0008
+44 20 8340 7873
+44 20 7232 0008
+44 20 7232 0008
+44 20 7232 0008
Gimeno Lavin
+39 2 891 59458
Amy Winehouse
Concert Mixes
Pink House
Hotrio Special Guest Fabion Boltro CD Audio
Rara Records
F. Sardella
+39 335 5973004
F. Sardella
CM Guitar Duo
Sofa Sound
Wretch32 & Balistiq
+356 21 574 833
D Vella
D Vella
Spatial Audio
Errollyn Wallen
Robert Hartshorne
One Night (BBC Drama) Errollyn Wallen
Macdonald’s Vid Camp Hartshorne
+34 627 151117
Lana Del Rey
+44 20 7232 0008
Atlantic Records
+44 20 7426 5100
+44 20 7733 8088
Yasmin & Andrea Martin
Ministry of Sound
+44 20 7232 0008
+39 141 928174
M. Visentin
Carl Carlton
D Vella/various
D Vella/Artist
Sonic Vista
Cyril Waterjuice
Ministry of Sound
+44 20 7232 0008
+44 7802 657258
Roasting House
Hurricane Love
+46 40 937678
M Svensson/A Theander M Svensson
M Twedberg
M Twedberg
Ska N Ska
Album Recording
Ska N Ska
+46 8 730 04 00
tickets now on sale
Café de Paris – February 16th 2012
The MPG Awards ceremony will see the UK music industry coming together in one room
to celebrate with the shortlisted candidates and sponsor companies. Starting with a
welcome reception, the awards ceremony will be hosted by BBC 6 Music’s Nemone
Metaxes. After the awards presentation will be the after party till 1am.
There will be a limited amount of tables available on the night to sell and individual seats on
these will be sold on a first come first served basis. Awards Only tickets will be available this
year offering you the chance to see the awards ceremony and join in the after party.
To book your ticket visit www.mpgawards.co.uk/tickets.html
or contact [email protected]
Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are also available.
Information on the MPG Awards can be found at
media partners
headline sponsors
16 broadcast
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
fbroadcast news
f Lawo recently hosted the latest
of its Digital Workflow workshops
at Rastatt in Germany. ‘Integrated
and innovative – from the mixing
console to the microphone’ was a
free seminar led by experts from
Sennheiser, Neumann and
Innovason who presented the
latest product developments and
explained their role in the digital
workflow. The workshop offered
sound engineers and Tonmeisters
the opportunity to try digital
microphones and mixing consoles
in small groups and included
lectures on Neumann products
and Innovason’s Eclipse GT
digital console.
f A leading Belgian broadcaster
has taken delivery of nine Bel
Digital Audio 7150 digital audio
synchronisation delays. The units
are now installed in VMMa’s line
centre to sync the audio from its
ISDN codecs with incoming
images. “We bought this model
because it can be set to deliver
long delays and has a choice of
presets for different delay
lengths,” explained VMMa’s
Chris Wolters.
f Audio features prominently in
the shortlist for Best Post
Production House in next year’s
Broadcast Awards. All
companies selected for the
award have established sound
departments that have been
active in audio-for-picture work
this year. Halo Post Production
(see p19), Bristol-based [email protected]
and Deluxe 142 are among the
nominees; Deluxe 142’s recent
work includes comedy series
Miranda and Episodes and the
drama Any Human Heart. The
2012 Broadcast Awards take place
on 2 February at the Grosvenor
House Hotel, Park Lane in London.
f Sky News Radio (SNR) has
invested in a Logitek Remora
digital audio mixing console,
purchased via UK distributor Preco,
for its Millbank studio in
Westminster. SNR delivers news to
over 300 commercial stations, with
more than 34 million listeners
tuning into its bulletins every week.
“We wanted something
straightforward and easy to
operate when interviewing,”
explains SNR technician, Derek
Cole. “We will be using the Remora
with a Netia newsroom system,
allowing London-based reporters
to produce and edit material and
send this as a completed file to our
studio in Osterley.”
Fast Turnaround TV
sweeps into London
TVBEurope’s new conference to be held
on 13 March 2012 at Soho Hotel
The first Fast Turnaround TV conference will examine the technologies
and workflows behind big live/
as-live productions and is set to be
chaired by John Ive, currently director
of business development & technology
at the IABM.
Fast Turnaround TV is hosted by Pro
Sound News Europe’s sister title
TVBEurope, which has previously managed high-calibre conferences tackling
leading-edge issues such as 3D Masters
and IT Broadcast Workflow.
Ive is a consultant and technologist
at IveTech and formerly director of
strategic planning at Sony Broadcast. His
experience spans senior management,
technology, operations, marketing,
training and research and development.
Fast Turnaround TV addresses
the mounting battle to hold onto
viewers, where large live and as-
live productions (sports, shows, political and cultural events, etc) are
becoming the cornerstones of a broadcaster’s schedule.
“Watercooler TV pretty much
equates to Fast Turnaround TV – highpressure shows with complex collaborative workflows, where the potential
for chaos or catastrophe is never far
away,” says Fergal Ringrose, editor of
TVBEurope and the IBC Daily. “These
are now more important than ever for
broadcasters, production companies,
facilities houses and equipment vendors, as the traditional TV audience
continues to fragment and evolve.
“Fast Turnaround TV is a unique
TVBEurope conference that addresses the new realities of staging and
profiting from big ‘event’ television
productions.” Q
John Ive has experience across many sectors of professional broadcasting
Munro designs new dubbing
suite for BBC Cymru Wales
David Davies
Roath Lock – BBC Cymru Wales’ newly
opened studios in the Porth Teigr area
of Cardiff Bay (formerly Roath Basin) –
has been provided with a new dubbing
suite designed by Munro Acoustics.
The infrastructure is built around a
DFC Gemini console from AMS Neve
– a desk that is used in several other
BBC dubbing theatres. The console features 16 faders, providing four layers
and six banks, yielding some 384 channels of audio.
The new suite will provide dubbing
facilities for two programmes produced
by BBC Wales: Pobol y Cwm and
Casualty. The Munro design was completed by local construction teams.
Munro acoustic director Andy Munro
commented: “It is now possible to
achieve cinema quality sound and video
in the new high-definition formats,
which has created a demand for very
high-quality post-production facilities,
and it’s great to work with BBC Wales to
help build this level of development.”
TVM now boats three UPM-1s
Upmixer hat-trick
for SoundField
David Davies
flagship BBC dramas including Doctor
Who and Upstairs Downstairs. Q
County Cork-based OB facilities company Television Mobile (TVM) Ltd has
purchased three SoundField UPM-1
stereo-to-5.1 upmix processors for use
in two of its five-strong OB truck fleet.
TVM already has a SoundField DSF2 digital microphone system in one OB
vehicle, and one of the UPMs will be
deployed in this facility to upmix VTR
output and sound effects in stereo to 5.1.
The other two UPM-1s will be sited in
another TVM OB vehicle, where they
will be used to upmix VTR sound/effects
and the output of the stereo mic pair
which captures crowd ambience.
Looking ahead, TVM head of sound
Pat Keogh remarked that the aim is “to
get everything into 5.1 now. We currently
have a new truck being built which will
come into service in February, and that
will have a SoundField DSF-2 mic system and a UPM-1 from the outset.” Q
The new suite will provide dubbing facilities for casualty
Occupying some 170,000sqft, Roath
Lock includes a total of nine studios
and will provide a permanent home to
broadcast 17
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
Calrec hits the bullseye
with Artemis in Italy
Kevin Hilton
Calrec Audio has made its first sale of
an Artemis console into Europe. The
deal with commercial outside broadcast
company Telerecord is also the first
time the manufacturer has sold into
Italy and marks another step in its
efforts to expand beyond its core UK
and US markets.
The Artemis Beam desk, with 340
channel processing paths, has been
installed in a multiple camera HD OB
trailer, which is due to go into operation
early in the new year. Telerecord was
founded in 1976 and works for leading
broadcasters and production companies
in Italy, including Infront Sports and
Media, Sky, Mediaset and RAI. It began
working in HD in 2004 and 3D in 2007.
The sale of the console was arranged
through Calrec’s Italian distributor, Aret.
Calrec’s sales manager for Europe,
Middle East and Africa, Chas Rowden,
says Europe is “a very logical area of
expansion” for the company. Rowden
feels that by adopting FPGA circuits
and fixed point architecture for its new
generation of console, Calrec has a def-
f Frank Eischet is the latest
addition to the core team of
Germany’s Riedel. Eischet –
who joins in the role of chief
financial officer – is able to
call on 10 years of senior
management experience. He
succeeds Uwe Bingel, who is
leaving the company to pursue
a new career path.
f Mike Grieve has joined TSL as
sales director. He moves from
Quantel following a long career in
broadcast technology which also
included Filmlight and Autodesk.
Calrec’s sales manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Chas Rowden, with Alessandro Asti of Aret
inite advantage over its competitors,
many of which are still using SHARC
(Super Harvard Architecture SingleChip Computer) technology.
Although many large-scale
European broadcast centres are being
planned, Rowden says such opportunities for equipment sales come
round only every five to eight years
due to the level of investment
and planning involved. Rowden has
developed relationships with “every
major state broadcaster in Europe”
and believes that, as with Telerecord,
there are also opportunities for
single sales into OB and national
broadcast stations. Q
18 broadcast
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
80 Hertz at the Sharp end
As the north-west of England continues to experience a media boom, Kevin Hilton paid a visit
to new Manchester-based post-production and music facility 80 Hertz
Most of the focus on media
facilities in the UK this year
has centred on the north-west
of England – and Salford in particular.
But city neighbour Manchester is having its own audio, film and TV studio
expansion through The Sharp Project.
A central part of this is post-production
and music facility 80 Hertz.
Building a new audio post-production
house in today’s uncertain economic
times takes a lot of belief. Building a new
music recording studio with a big orchestral room could be an even bigger leap
of faith. 80 Hertz studios has both – and
is out of London into the bargain. But it
is in Greater Manchester, which already
has a healthy TV, radio and music scene
and is now seeing massive growth in
these sectors that could seriously challenge the English capital.
Much of this is due to MediaCityUK
(MCUK), the broadcast and film development at Salford Quays that is now
home to the BBC, among others. But
in Manchester itself The Sharp Project
has created another centre for media
creation and production.
80 Hertz was the first business to
negotiate a lease and move into The
Sharp Project.
The music and post studio was set
up by engineer and producer George
Atkins, a graduate of Manchester
University with a BA (honours) in music,
business and IT. After graduating Atkins
spent a year looking for a job but eventually decided that working for himself
rather than for someone else on “a pittance” was a better prospect.
He set up 80 Hertz and worked
with indie band Keith and then Lilly
Allen. This brought in more work but
in 2008 the new owners of the building where he was based decided to
redevelop it into offices, leaving him,
advantage of what’s coming up to
MediaCity, because we want to get
some synergy with them.”
The 5.1 dubbing theatre is based
round an Avid (Digidesign) C24 desk
working with Pro Tools 10 HD, which
is the main digital recording format,
although the facility is what Atkins
describes as “cross-compatible”, with
Nuendo 5.5 and Logic Studio 9 also
available. Monitoring of 5.1 is on
Rogers LS5/8s, with an ADAM rig also
available. Pictures for audio-to-video
work are from a digital HD projector.
reflected in it being able to accept
FireWire inputs, so a client can bring
in a laptop and use the desk as an
interface. A counterpoint to this
high-tech capability is a Studer A810
reel-to-reel tape machine. The
main loudspeaker monitors are
Westlake BBSM 12s, plus Yamaha
LS10s and ADAM A7xs for near field monitoring.
A major feature of 80 Hertz is the
connectivity and communication. Networking is over Cat6A circuits; a key
part of it is the headphone network,
“We’ve built it to have everything,
we hope, that we could want now and
possibly five years in the future. The ethos
was to build a recording studio with the
best live room in Manchester and also have
a post-production arm to take advantage
of what’s coming up to MediaCity ”
George Atkins opted to go it alone rather than work for a “pittance” for someone else
he says, “with a load of gear and some
clients but no studio”.
While freelancing at Blueprint
Studios Atkins heard about The Sharp
Project, which was conceived by
Manchester City Council as a “digital
content production complex” and is
based to the north-east of the city
centre in the former UK logistical warehouse for consumer electronics manufacturer Sharp.
Building work on the new 80 Hertz
began in August 2010 and was finished by late April this year, with final
touches like patchbay termination and
system testing after that. “We’ve built
it to have everything, we hope, that we
could want now and possibly five years
in the future,” Atkins says. “The ethos
was to build a recording studio with
the best live room in Manchester and
also have a post-production arm to take
ADR can also be carried in both
the voice booth behind the re-recording
suite and the voice-over area off
the recording studio. On the other
side of the music control room is the
centrepiece of 80 Hertz, a huge
1,000sqft (93sqm) live room, which
Atkins says can accommodate
between 30 and 40 players.
This also houses a drum room and
an amp cabinet, while the control
room is big enough for musicians to
play in, with space for old-fashioned
synths as well as guitars. The mixing
console is a custom 24-fader Neve
Genesys, which Atkins describes
as “very multi-purpose”. This is
which not only allows people in
different studios/control rooms and
voice booths to hear what is going on
but they also have control over eight
channels of monitoring feeds through
independent, personal mixers.
While attention might be more
towards the shinning, if dull, buildings
down at MediaCityUK and the facilities inside, George Atkins feels it will
reach capacity and is confident that 80
Hertz – and The Sharp Project as a
whole – will not only pick up the slack
but attract business in its own right. A
tale of two cities indeed. Q
broadcast 19
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
Halo has dramatic intentions
Halo Post Production took over the closed dubbing suites of Pepper Post in Noel
Street, Soho during September. Kevin Hilton looks at the background to the expansion
and how the company is upgrading the studios to cater for today’s market
The UK post-production sector is a strange beast. It continues to suffer the vagaries of
the economic situation – broadcasting
and advertising budgets in particular –
and while there have been some highprofile causalities over the past few
years, many of the remaining companies are investing and growing.
While high definition (HD), digital
intermediate (DI) and now stereoscopic
3D (S3D) have been behind the majority of high-profile installations and new
builds in the past few years, the trend is
moving in favour of audio.
Halo Post Production has also made
a strong statement of intent by taking
over the lease of the Noel Street sound
facilities vacated by Pepper Post, which
were shut down, along with video and
DI suites at Greek Street by parent
group Future Films in June.
Founded by chief executive and dubbing mixer John Rogerson in 2004 as
an audio-only house, Halo already had
four sound studios split between premises on Margaret Street and Great
Portland Street. Halo’s managing director Jo Beighton says the company had
already been booking for “expansion
space” and was “quite far along” in the
process when the Pepper Post rooms
came on the market.
“I would say audio is our strongest
draw in terms of why clients choose to
come to us,” Beighton comments, “and
the rest of the facilities have been built
around that.” She adds that both
Rogerson and head of sound Danny
Finn winning RTS best sound awards
for non-drama and entertainment in
recent years – including for Richard
Hammond’s Invisible Worlds in 200910 – helped “carve quite a niche in factual programme production where
people required extensive sound design
on top of straightforward mixing”.
Studio 1 offers the potential for Halo to widen its client base into film and drama
the big room here puts us in a unique
position,” she observes.
David Turner, previously head of
sound at Pepper and before that a
Videosonics staffer for 18 years, has been
appointed director of film postproduction to help bring in this new
work. Another recent arrival is Roger
Beck, formerly chief executive at
Technicolor Creative Serves, who is overseeing the integration of Noel Street with
Halo’s existing facilities in his role as
chief operating officer. Part of this has
seen Noel Street connected to the other
buildings over a dark fibre network.
Beck says there has been “a lot to
do”, including upgrading the infrastructure at Noel Street. Three of the
four studios are being completely reequipped. The AMS Neve Libra console
in Studio 3 has been removed; Beck
explains the aim is to get a features
licence for the room, which was traditionally used for mixing trailers and
commercials. “This will give us more
flexibility,” he comments.
Danny Finn adds that “the onset of
Pro Tools 10 allows us to do all the mix-
“Audio is our strongest draw in terms of why
clients choose to come to us and the rest of
the facilities have been built around that”
The facilities at Noel Street comprise offline cutting rooms, grading
areas and four audio suites. Three
are reasonably sized and used for
broadcast mixing and ADR but it is
Studio 1, the 8.3m-wide, 12.1m-long,
4.35m-high re-recording theatre, that
was regarded by industry observers as
the major selling point and the reason why the premises would not be
closed forever.
Beighton says the company was
looking to widen its client base into film
and drama, and Studio 1 offers the
potential to do that. “We’re also in a
much smaller market, with only three
studios of the necessary size for cinema and drama work available in Soho
[Goldcrest, De Lane Lea and Halo], so
ing within the box, using floating
points”, although Studio 3 will have a
24-fader D-Control. Another requirement for Halo was being able to do any
job in any of its audio suites, whether at
Noel Street or the other buildings, allowing operators to move between them
and know that everything would load up
and work. This calls for a consistency,
Finn explains, which did not include the
existing Libra, although outboard gear
that is already in use will stay as theatrical clients often insist on this.
Studio 2 previously had only infrastructure connections, allowing
customers to bring in preferred equipment. It now also has a 24-fader
D-Control, while Studio 4 features an
eight-fader model that will be used for
prep, pre-mixing and voice-overs but,
says Finn, with the capacity for expansion where necessary.
Corresponding changes are being
made to the biggest room at Margaret
Street, Theatre 2, which is having a 40fader D-Command installed for factual
and drama TV work. A new departure
at Margaret Street is feature ADR. Finn
says that in the past Halo only did this
kind of work for projects it was already
mixing but now the facility is looking to
attract sessions on a stand-alone basis.
Noel Street’s big Studio 1 has not
had any substantial changes since Halo
took over but software upgrades have
been made to the AMS Neve DFC
Gemini console to accommodate 7.1.
This change was the first to be made
so that that the Aardman/Sony festive
release Arthur Christmas, which went
into cinema last week, could be mixed
in the big room. Q
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20 live
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
flive news
f For the 18th consecutive year
Entec Sound & Light will
supply technical production for
the Bootleg Beatles UK tour. The
touring PA is a d&b Q Series line
array, mixed with a Yamaha
PM5D-RH. Monitor engineer
Simon Lutkin (Yamaha M7CL
console) is said to be “keeping
with the period feel of the
performance” by using wedges
(d&b M2s) and wired mics
(Shure SM57s and 58s). Many of
the backline elements also date
back to 1960s.
f Roland Systems Group
products are currently travelling
the country with Toyah Willcox
who kicked off the final leg of her
From Sheep Farming To Anthem
2011 tour at the beginning of
October in Southampton. Paul
Nicholson who runs Salisburybased Midas ProSound and Red
Square Audio specified the
Roland M-300 Live Mixing
Console for the tour together
with the Digital Snake and S-1608
stage unit running both FOH and
monitor mixes.
f The 78-year-old blues legend
John Mayall recently completed a
25-date UK tour with a pair of
Yamaha digital consoles. FOH
sound was mixed on a Yamaha
M7CL-48, with an LS9-32 at the
monitor position. “I’ve used the
M7CL before and I liked it, so I
was happy to specify it for this
tour,” said Claude Taylor, Mayall’s
manager and backline tech. “You
have all the advantages of a
digital console, but I have to mix
the show on the fly because of
John’s unorthodox style of
grabbing the microphone and
singing through the harmonica.
You’re riding the faders every
song. It’s the way John’s operated
for decades and you have to react
quickly, but the M7CL is very
good for mixing like that.”
f MC2 Audio has announced
shipping of its E100 amplifier,
previewed at last year’s Prolight
+ Sound and on show at PLASA
in September. The flagship of the
successful E series amplifiers, the
E100 is currently the company’s
most powerful four-channel
amplifier and also the first
proprietary Class D switched
mode model to be developed by
MC2. Designed to run cool even
in difficult working environments,
the E100 delivers in excess of
2,500W into 4 ohms (all channels
driven) from a 2U, 11.8kg chassis.
Massive Sennheiser
deal for AED Rent
In what is said to be one of the biggest investments in Sennheiser wireless systems
this year, AED Rent is eyeing those professional AV companies involved in the
international touring market, notes Marc Maes
In order to keep pace with increasing
demand for wireless systems and to
replace part of its current RF inventory,
international dry-hire company AED
Rent has decided to invest in a substantial number of Sennheiser in-ear
and wireless microphone systems. The
deal will also allow AED Rent, which
has subsidiaries in the Netherlands,
UK, France and Germany, to offer the
brand throughout Europe.
The Sennheiser equipment includes
108 channels of 2000 series for in-ear
monitoring, and 120 channels of 3000
and 5000 series wireless microphones –
60 EM3732 dual channel receivers,
84 SKM5200 handheld transmitter and
60 SK5212 pocket transmitters.
“In view of the expected problems
and shortage of frequencies we opted
for the broad spectrum EM3732 series,”
explains Koen Conaerts, sound engineer and account manager with AED
Rent. “We know that in certain countries our clients will be facing new
rules – the revolutionary thing about
Sennheiser is that the system operates
many systems on a limited bandwidth.
The unique auto-scanning system
allows our clients to work in most
European countries. And then there is
the Sennheiser frequency-finder website and app as a useful tool.”
AED’s Koen Conaerts (left) and Piet Verstraete (right) with Hans de Hertogh
(pro-audio business area manager Sennheiser Belux)
“AED Rent’s choice of Sennheiser is
to be seen as a strategic international
deal,” adds Hans Kortenhorst, managing director, Sennheiser Benelux.
“We’re extremely happy that AED Rent
will be using our brand on a wide international scale through their clients, and
boost Sennheiser’s presence in the
domain of professional audio. The professionalism, modern and innovative
vision of AED Rent on the audio rental
business gave us an extra reason to
close an European partnership.”
Conaerts says the Sennheiser investment will strengthen AED Rent’s position as a leading dry-hire company in
Europe. “We’re looking at the international tours with our UK subsidiary – that’s
why we opted for the top range series in
Sennheiser. Simultaneously we want to
increase our service towards clients catering for the broadcast and theatre business, where Sennheiser traditionally has
a strong and well-respected footprint.”
The fact that AED Rent was able to
conclude a partnership with Sennheiser,
going beyond the regular ‘buy and sell’,
was also crucial. “The support of
Sennheiser, especially in view of
the forthcoming adaptations of RF
legislation in different countries, is
essential. We greatly appreciate their
commitment towards us,” explains
Piet Verstraete, sound engineer and
account manager with AED Rent.
Kortenhorst adds that a true
partnership starting with such a
commitment requires optimal service and support – in addition to agreements allowing specific elements of
service and maintenance carried out
in AED Rent’s workshops, “AED
Rent’s engineers will be trained
to provide ‘first level user support’”,
concludes Kortenhorst.
With rapidly increasing rental
demand for wireless in-ear systems and
orders for wireless microphone systems
having tripled, AED Rent is looking forward to offer the new Sennheiser systems to the pro rental AV companies.
At press time, Pro Sound News
Europe learned that AED Rent have
planned a significant investment in JBL
equipment – the deal will be made
public during the upcoming NAMM
trade show (19 January). Q
Drumming up a storm in Paris: Rolling Stone
Charlie Watts made use of Bose’s new
RoomMatch progressive directivity array
during his own band’s recent performance
at the legendary St Germain Theatre as part
of L’Estival. The system deployed at St
Germain included four module arrays to left
and right, supplemented by six bass
modules. Designed for use separately and in
conjunction with the PowerMatch PM8500
amplifier, RoomMatch features proprietary
Bose technologies said to facilitate
unprecedented scalability and
configurability. Envisaged applications for
the system run the gamut from
gymnasiums to concert halls and arts
centres. Look out for coverage of
permanent RoomMatch installs in a future
issue of PSNE. Q
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Eight-page special on what the Anaheim show offers professional audio customers
NAMM pushes pro audio
Hands On Training Zone more vital then ever, says organiser
Dave Robinson
The National Association of Music
Merchants (NAMM) has reinforced
its increasing commitment to
pro-audio brands with the
announcement of a full educational session schedule for the Hands
On Training (H.O.T.) Zone during
NAMM will be held at the Anaheim Convention Centre, 19-22 January
the 19-22 January event. The sessions will focus on the pro-audio
sector, in addition to entertainment
technology and music business
operations segments.
Joe Lamond, NAMM president
and CEO, tells PSNE: “The
NAMM Show brings together the
most important pro-audio buyers
and thought leaders from around
the world, and the top pro-audio
manufacturers don’t want to miss
out on that opportunity. Pro audio
and live sound is one of the fastest
growing segments in the industry
and NAMM is committed to
bringing valuable content such
as the H.O.T. Zone sessions, which
this year will include workshops
from the National Sound Con tractors Association, and events
such as the TEC Awards to these
important attendees. “Also, recent changes in retailing have led many NAMM retail
members to get into the pro-audio
space including selling and
installing church sounds systems,
Joe Lamond: “The NAMM Show
brings together the most important
pro-audio buyers and thought
leaders from around the world”
so we’re really seeing the lines blurring between MI and pro audio.”
The H.O.T. Zone, on level 2 of the
Convention Center, presents a wealth
of learning opportunities for professionals in the recording, live sound,
DJ, house of worship, commercial
systems integrators, and stage and
lighting industries. Industry partners,
publishers, organisations and associations will offer special training
workshops, master classes, clinics,
mini-conferences and networking
opportunities during the show.
Lamond went on to underline
what non-US based companies,
particularly those from Europe,
stand to gain from travelling to the
show. “The NAMM Show brings
together the entire music products
supply chain – buyers, sellers,
distributors, reps and even top
artists – all in one place. NAMM is
the world’s show and the place
where the most new products are
launched. And while there are
many shows that industry prof essionals around the world feel
obligated to attend, the combination of good business, learning and
networking opportunities as well as
a great show vibe together with that
great Southern California weather
during the third week in January
make the NAMM Show the one
they want to attend.”
WEB >> www.namm.org
University education
and a hearty breakfast
NAMM will be hosting its usual
timetable of social events and
‘NAMM University’ sessions during
the January show.
Each day of the NAMM Show
starts with an educational Breakfast
Session held at the Hilton Anaheim
Hotel’s Pacific Ballroom, providing
attendees with a free hot breakfast and
an informative presentation on strategies and techniques that can help to
strengthen their business. Attendees
will enjoy musical artists, special guests
and speakers.
The NAMM Show kicks off on
Thursday 19 January at 8am with a
show favourite – Breakfast of
Champions – featuring NAMM
president and CEO Joe Lamond as
he welcomes the industry and a
group of industry ‘champions’ for a
series of up-close and personal discussions about the current state and
future of the music industry.
Attendees are encouraged to listen
in on the thoughts of these vision-
aries and hear their views on today’s
challenges and possibilities.
The NAMM University sessions
start on Thursday at 10:30am and
will be held every 30 minutes at the
Idea Center on the NAMM Show
floor, Booth 5501 in Hall B. The professional development sessions are
designed to offer valuable insight
about current business trends and
practices to attendees throughout the
duration of the NAMM Show.
A total of 43 sessions are being
held this year on a wide range of
topics in industry segments such as
technology, music lesson programs,
sales, retail ideas, marketing, retail
operations and finance. Idea Center
presenters include NAMM Top 100
Dealers and industry experts.
Thursday’s NAMM University
sessions include ‘Making the Most
of Your Store’s Staff ’ presented by
Rand and Cindy Cook of The
Candyman Strings & Things, winners of the Wanna Play Dealer and
Best Use of Social Media award categories in NAMM’s Top 100 Dealers
Awards. That day will also feature
‘Meet the Music Store Stars:
Marketing Secrets of a Successful
Retail Store’ moderated by Jen Lowe
of Boom Boom Percussion, with
Paul Decker, Levi Kujala and Dustin
Tucker of Music Villa.
Friday’s Breakfast Session will
be on the topic of ‘Real-Time
Marketing & PR: How to Instantly
Engage Your Market, Connect with
Customers, and Create Products that
Grow Your Business Now’, featuring David Meerman Scott, marketing strategist and bestselling author
of The New Rules of Marketing and
PR and Marketing Lessons from the
Grateful Dead. Friday’s other sessions
will include ‘Tune In to the Voice that
Counts: Insights On CustomerDriven Innovation’, moderated by
Steve Schwandner of Seeldeas, Inc,
with Gregg Gammon and Jodi Smith
of Buddy Roger’s Music.
NAMM University sessions have become increasingly popular
The Breakfast Session on
Saturday will highlight ‘The Top 10
Web Marketing Trends for 2012’,
presented by John Arnold, marketing
author and columnist at entrepreneur.com. Saturday’s NAMM U
sessions will feature Danny Rocks of
the Company Rocks and Scott
Robertson, APR, NAMM’s director
of marketing and communications,
moderating a panel of industry retail
professionals and sparking discussion on ‘How to Ignite Your Business
in Five Minutes or Less’. In addition,
a double session will be held on ‘How
to Implement Your Social Media
Strategy’ moderated by Danny Rocks
and a panel of retail experts, and a
special interactive Q&A double session will feature ‘Financial Questions
Every Music Retailer’s Afraid to
Ask’, presented by Alan Friedman,
CPA partner, and Daniel Jobe and
Shaun Conrad of Freidman,
Kannenberg & Company, P.C.
Sunday’s Breakfast Session is a
NAMM Show tradition and features
‘Best In Show – The Year’s Hottest
Products’. Join Frank Alkyer, publisher of Music Inc and a panel of
industry experts who search every
aisle at the show for the best products,
ideas and trends, and will select their
top finds in a number of categories.
Allen & Heath going for gold with GLD
Dave Robinson
Allen & Heath will unveil GLD, a
user-friendly, cost-effective and
scalable live digital mixing sys tem, conceptually based on the
succ essful digital iLive series, at
NAMM 2012.
A standard GLD 32-input system offers 28 XLR mic inputs with
plug-and-play I/O expanders allowing easy expansion up to 48 inputs
(44 XLR mic inputs).
At the heart of the system is the
GLD-80 mixer, providing 48 input
processing channels, eight stereo FX
returns fed by iLive’s FX emulations, 30 configurable buses, 20 mix
processing channels, and DSP
and mixes to fader strips. There are
20 fader strips in four layers, each
with a motorised fader, a channel
LCD display which can be named
and colour-coded, plus a rotary control for direct access to gain, pan and
aux/FX sends. There’s plenty of I/O
too: four XLR mic/line inputs, four
XLR line outs, four RCA inputs,
four RCA outputs, and digital outputs in SPDIF and AES3 formats.
The GLD-80 connects to a
range of plug-and-play I/O racks
to ‘build’ 28, 36 or 44 mic input
systems. A primary AR2412 rack
(24 XLR inputs, 12 XLR outs)
and up to two AR84 expander
racks (eight XLR inputs, four XLR
The basic package (GLD-80 mixer and
AR2412 rack) will cost you less than £7,000
GLD has the ability to record and
playback a stereo signal on a USB
memory stick. Standard iLive audio
I/O option cards for Dante, MADI,
EtherSound and Allen & Heath’s
ACE protocols can be fitted and will
be available soon, allowing multichannel record/playback, FOH/
monitor splits, and connection to
A&H iLive systems, which can easily
be configured using GLD’s extensive
“Designing a system which is suitable for both the professional engineer and occasional user has been a
priority. With GLD, our aim was to
take much of the complexity out of
digital mixing, opening up the tremendous benefits of digital technology to a wider group of customers,
such as the rental companies, houses
of worship and live venues where our
GL series analogue mixers have been
working so successfully for years,”
comments A&H MD, Glenn Rogers.
“GLD offers high-quality processing
and stunning sonic performance. Key
to the system is GLD’s remote plugand-play I/O audio racks for flexible,
easy set-up system building.”
Graphical 21cm-wide touchscreen
AR2412 rack: 24 XLR inputs, 12 XLR outputs
power to provide full processing
“without compromise”.
GLD-80 has an analogue-style
channel processing control section
complemented by a graphical 21cmwide touchscreen. A fully-customisable drag-and-drop layout allows
quick and easy assignment of inputs
outs each) can be connected over
120m Cat5 runs using A&H’s
dSNAKE protocol. (dSNAKE
provides control to the remote preamp, and all mic preamps are scene
recallable.) AR2412 also includes
a connection for personal monitoring systems.
+ In other news, Audio-Technica Ltd
has announced it has entered into an
agreement with Allen & Heath Ltd to
act as the exclusive distributor for the
mixer manufacturer in the UK. The
strategic move mirrors a similar
arrangement in Germany, where AudioTechnica has been an Allen & Heath
distributor since 2005, seeing a significant
growth in sales over the last six years
in the territory. Audio-Technica takes
over from current distributor JHS with
effect from 1 February 2012 and will
be responsible for sales, technical support and service for both existing and
new customers.
WEB >> www.allen-heath.com
“Winter NAMM has been a hugely important date in the Sontronics
calendar, ever since we launched the brand there in January 2005,”
says Sontronics’ MD and designer Trevor Coley, from behind his Saturn
condenser (2010 NAMM debut). “Obviously it gives us the chance to
announce new products at the same time as showcasing our existing
(ever-growing!) range, giving visitors the chance to see, feel and hear
our mics. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up with our various
distribution agents, Sontronics stockists and press contacts from around
the world, as well as chewing the fat with our friends in the industry
and checking out all their new gear. And who can resist a beer in the
Californian sunshine? NAMM — wouldn’t miss it for the world! Did I
mention the sunshine?”
WEB >> www.sontronics .com
(Picture with apologies to Rene Magritte’s Son of Man)
Steve Vai to receive Les Paul Award at
27th Annual Tech Excellence Awards
The Guitar virtuoso, composer and
producer Steve Vai will be presented
with the prestigious Les Paul Award
at the 27th Annual Technical
Excellence & Creativity Awards, to be
held on Friday 20 January in the Pacific
Ballroom of the Hilton Anaheim
during the 2012 NAMM Show. Copresented by the TEC Foundation for
Excellence in Audio and NAMM, the
TEC Awards recognises outstanding
achievement in professional audio production and product design.
[email protected]
The Les Paul Award was established in 1991 to honour musical
artists who have had distinguished
careers as innovators in the creative
application of audio technology. Past
recipients include Paul McCartney,
Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen,
Sting, Brian Wilson, Peter Gabriel,
Lindsey Buckingham, Herbie
Hancock, Al Kooper, Steve Miller,
Robbie Robertson and others.
A student of Joe Satriani at age 12,
Steve Vai began his professional music
career working with Frank Zappa,
with whom he toured and recorded
before launching his solo career. Since
his groundbreaking album Passion and
Warfare, released in 1990, the brilliance of his musicianship has awed
more than just rock fans and has
stunned concertgoers worldwide, producing sales of over 15 million records
and earning multiple Grammys.
Steve Vai has received honorary
doctorates from Berklee College of
Music and Musician’s Institute, and
is also involved with many worthwhile organisations. He founded the
record label Favored Nations, for
musicians, who in Vai’s words, “have
attained the highest performance
level on their chosen instruments”.
He has also served as a Trustee for
the Recording Academy, is on the
board of Hollywood Arts, and
works closely with his own Make a
Noise Foundation, raising money
for music education.
WEB >> www.tecfoundation.com
Steve Vai
photo Larry DiMarzio
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SKM 2000
One off live shows, concert touring and theatre
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Sennheiser 2000 Series allows you to master complex
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full range of hardware components to choose from, 2000
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01494 551551 www.sennheiser.co.uk
Studiomaster flat
out with launches
Horizon 2012
powered mixer
New products from Studiomaster
(now part of the SoundKing group)
at NAMM include the portable
Horizon 2012 powered mixer,
shown for the first time in the US.
The functional design incorporates
a shoulder carry strap, removable
control cover and a retractable
panel to angle the mixer for the best
working position; the mixer can be
used free standing or rackmounted. All mic/line input channels feature the VMS optical compressor,
Studiomaster 3-band EQ, with
sweepable mid, and a total of four
AUX sends. Sixty millimetre
smooth faders, Mute, PFL buttons,
complete the channel strip. A combined stereo and mic input channel
effectively adds three more mic
channels. Twin onboard FX processors feature real studio quality
reverbs and delays. A 2-channel
USB audio interface includes
assignable signal source; playback from a computer can
be routed to the main
MIX output, or to
a stereo channel giving
to EQ
a n d
The output to the computer can be from the
main MIX, to record a performance, or from the DSP effect
sends to make use of plug-in FX.
Each amplifier channel supplies a
colossal 1,000W into 4 ohms using
Class G topology; stable into all
loads with temperature and shortcircuit protection.
Another NAMM debut is the
Studiomaster XPX series ultraportable moulded PA cabinet.
Active and passive models are
available in 12” and 15” driver series
and feature “high sound
quality” (reports Studiomaster),
with neodymium drivers and
3” voice coils, and class D biamplification providing 750W RMS
in the active models.
Marketing manager Patrick
Almond says about the XPX series:
“We have been developing the XPX
series as a high-quality cabinet
featuring great performance and a
feature set, which in the passive
models will perfectly complement
the new Horizon powered mixer
and in the active models, supplement the hugely popular current
VPX active range.”
Studiomaster is also launching a
technologically advanced PA solution in the form of the new Acoustic
Image6 (passive) and Acoustic
Image6A, (active) large-format
NXT driven flat panel PA systems.
Investment in state-of-the-art development and manufacturing technologies has improved the
reproduction capabilities of flat
panel speakers, and enabled the
manufacture of the larger scale
Acoustic Image6/6A panel (755 x
555 x 86mm) that can “outperform
conventional enclosures in small to
medium reinforcement applications
and multi-speaker installations”, the
company claims.
WEB >> www.studiomaster.com
according to Rycote’s figures. Most
microphones can be mounted in
seconds or removed thanks to the
USM’s smartly designed universal
four-screw locking system.
“ T h e
U S M ,
at Winter
t w o
ago, has
been very
explains Rycote’s
sales & marketing director Stefano
Pucello. “Studio owners who bought
them began asking us if there was
an even broader version for their
favourite super-large-diaphragm
mics. And now there is!
“NAMM has proven to be the
best exhibition in the Americas for
reaching the MI and pro audio markets, and it’s no coincidence
that all of the models in the
InVision USM range have received
JoeCo catches onto an
enthusiastic wave
JoeCo heads to Anaheim with a full
range of analogue and digital
BlackBox Recorder models available,
plus a show preview that’s still under
wraps. Last year, 2011, was highly significant for the UK manufacturer,
with the release of the BBR64-MADI
that captures up to 64 channels of
MADI data, while still retaining the
compact 1RU format of the standard
BBR versions. JoeCo’s collaboration
with Audinate, creators of the awardwinning Dante digital media networking solution, also came to
fruition during 2011 with the release
of the BBR-Dante, designed to interface to a Dante network.
JoeCo will be joined at NAMM
2012 by US/Canadian distributor
“Exports for JoeCo are very strong
and the US and Canada are two of our
best markets,” says JoeCo managing
director Joe Bull. “The US in particu-
lar seems to be blessed with a positive
attitude and real belief in the adage that
‘when the going gets tough, the tough
get going’. Most of the customers I talk
to in the US realise that they have to
continue to offer something positive to
their customers rather than sitting back
and moaning about how things used
to be. I find it very refreshing.”
On the subject of the NAMM
show, Bull adds: “It’s vitally important
as it brings together so many professionals and retailers to exchange ideas
and seriously consider their businesses
and opportunities. It’s very difficult not
to be buoyed by the blatant enthusiasm that most of the attendees exude
and this often makes a very refreshing
change from the more downbeat attitudes at other trade shows around the
world. It’s also nice to catch some winter sun, even if it’s only on the way into
the convention centre every morning!”
WEB >> www.joeco.co.uk
TC Electronic promotes
Studiomaster Acoustic Image6/6A
flat panel PA
Rycote’s advises of new InVision
Rycote, the UK-based manufacturer
of microphone windshields and
shockmount systems, is launching a
new version of its InVision Universal
Studio Mount microphone suspension at this year’s Winter NAMM
show. The existing InVision USM
can be used to mount microphones
from 18 to 55mm in diameter, and
thus accommodates most studio
recording microphones, but the new
InVision VB will hold the broadest
large-diaphragm models from 55mm
to 68mm, such as the Neumann
M149 and M150, the sE Gemini 5
and G3500, the Røde Classic II, and
the BLUE Microphones Kiwi and
Mouse, as well as design classics like
the original Neumann U47.
The InVision VB offers the same
durable design as the original
InVision USM, based on Rycote’s
patented and “virtually indestructible” W-shaped Lyre mounts, and
provides the same protection from
unwanted vibrations as the original
InVision USM, reducing noise further by up to 12dB when compared
to traditional elasticated mounts,
Launched in 2011, the BBR64-MADI captures up to 64 channels of MADI data
their global launches at NAMM
since 2009.”
The US, and, more broadly
speaking, the Americas as a whole,
account for 25% of Rycote’s global
sales. And despite the
current international
climate, export sales
there have remained
strong, reports the
company, due in part
to its expansion over
the past three years
into new sales
areas – MI, pro
audio, videography
a n d
A broader
shockmount for
bigger mics
camera micro phone accessories –
going beyond the company’s
traditional strongholds in the
location audio and broadcast recording markets.
WEB >> www.rycoteinvision.com
TC has confirmed that its cross-platform
LM6 Radar Loudness Meter, scheduled for launch December 2011, will
also support Avid’s new AAX plugin format. The upgraded device will
be on show at NAMM.
Avid presented a new plug-in format for Pro Tools 10: AAX (Avid
Audio eXtension) back in October at
the AES Convention. One of the most
reported frequently asked questions
for third-party plug-in developers soon
afterwards was how soon they would
be able to support this new format.
“TC is proud to announce that its
LM6 Radar Loudness Meter, which
was also revealed at AES, will in fact
support the new AAX format right
form the start,” says TC’s Kim Bang.
With the introduction of the new
LM6 Radar Loudness Meter plug-in,
audio professionals using Media
Composer, Final Cut Pro, Pro Tools,
Logic Pro, Nuendo, Wavelab, Cubase
and other DAWS on a Mac or PC can
benefit from having direct access to
this meter which covers all mono,
stereo and 5.1 productions.
The user interface of the LM6
plug-in is similar to TC radar meters
for other platforms. Users familiar
with the radar will therefore be able
to move seamlessly between platforms, says TC.
LM6 shows loudness history in a
single, easy-to-read, radar-like view.
LM6, now updated for AAX
Each radar revolution can span from
one minute to 24 hours. Two numbers
may be selected for display below the
radar, for instance Loudness Range
and Program Loudness, while all measurements are retained on the Stats
page. Loudness history and other key
information can be logged as a standard formatted text file that may
accompany a program for proof of
delivery spec compliance.
LM6 employs a fully synchronous,
high-headroom design in order to also
display true-peak warnings and truepeak bar graphs correctly; and it conforms with all of the major broadcast
standards based on Leq(K) – e.g. ITU
BS.1770-2, ATSC A/85 and EBU R128
(August 2011 update).
The LM6 Radar Loudness Meter
plug-in is available for DAW platforms
supporting Audio Units, RTAS or
VST plug-in formats – and as of
December, AAX.
WEB >> www.tcelectronic.com
[email protected]
Yamaha soups-up a classic
Virtual Circuitry Modelling technology and improved head amps with
onboard 24-bit/96kHz A-D and D-A
converters are among the features of
the upgraded Yamaha 01V96i digital
mixing console, on show at NAMM.
This update of the classic desk
acknowledges the burgeoning
demand for multi-track recording in
live sound applications with the
incorporation of 96kHz, 16-in/16out USB 2.0 audio streaming. The
new facility provides full, single connection integration with every major
ASIO and Core Audio DAW software; the latest version of Steinberg’s
Cubase AI recording/editing/mixing
software is bundled with the mixer.
Kazunori Kobayashi, general
manager of Yamaha’s Pro Audio
Division, said: “With this new console we are delighted to support a
broader range of applications with
a fully integrated, comprehensive system that meets the growing needs
and requirements of our customers.”
Yamaha will celebrate 25 years of
digital mixing next year.
“While the DMP7 was the first
digital mixer launched in 1987, it was
actually the arrival of the Programmable Mixer (ProMix) 01 in 1995
that revolutionised the way we make
music/record music forever,” says Chris
Irvine, Yamaha-Kemble (UK)’s Music
Production specialist. “The power of
Yamaha continues to develop its
long line of compact digital mixers
this rack mountable unit was unbelievable at the time. Now those specifications seem like a given: motorised
faders, scene memories, MIDI automation, built-in FX processors and
dynamics control, selected channel
technology, compact and affordable…”
The arrival of the 01V in 1995
more than doubled the capabilities
its predecessor.
“This trend has continued and
every time seen the basic principle of
the desk pushed beyond expectation,”
adds Irvine. “The use of MiniYGDAI (MY for short; or Yamaha
General Digital Audio Interface in
full) cards has allowed 01V96 (and
beyond) to be incorporated into pretty much any system of any format ...
they are versatile to say the least!”
He goes on to highlight the
employment of VCM in the desk,
allowing a series of additional effects
which recreate the actual circuits of
the original analogue inspirations.
WEB >> uk.yamaha.com
Riedel arrives for networking Cadac develops
diverse channels
Riedel Communications of Germany
premieres a suite of AVB (Audio-Video
Bridging) products for the Artist digital matrix intercom platform, and
presents MediorNet Compact to the
US markets at NAMM 2012.
Speaking about Riedel’s presence
at NAMM, Nils Quak, marketing and
communications, says: “The US market is one of the largest in the world.
Besides great opportunities this does
also mean that some of the most exciting projects, events and installations
are realised here. We at Riedel love new
challenges and finding new solutions
for events, installation and broadcast
applications, so the US is a really exciting and interesting market for us.”
He adds: “The NAMM show is
probably one of the largest exhibitions regarding audio. It’s a great
place to meet clients and customers
and to have a look at upcoming
developments within this industry.
It’s a really inspiring exhibition and
it would be a shame to miss it.”
Riedel’s new AVB product line provides a real-time communication solution fulfilling the demands of
professional intercom users. Based on
official IEEE next generation Ethernet
standards like 802.1Qav, P802.1Qat
and P802.1AS, AVB allows risk-free
The new Riedel AVB networking product line
utilisation of AVB-compliant facility
or enterprise LAN infrastructure for
intercom applications. This allows for
new approaches in system and facility design providing significant savings
in infrastructure investments.
The Riedel suite of AVB products
includes the AVB-108 G2 Client Card
as well as the Connect AVB and
Connect AVBx8 panel interfaces. The
AVB-108 G2 card is a regular Artist
client card to be used inside the Artist
mainframe. It converts eight Artist
matrix ports into AVB and vice versa.
The AVB-108 G2 client card communicates either with other AVB-108 G2
client cards in another Artist systems,
e.g. for trunking, or with Riedel’s
Connect AVB and Connect AVBx8
panel interfaces.
MediorNet Compact – shown in
the US for the first time – is the cost
effective and easy-to-use entry into the
Riedel MediorNet world of integrated media signal distribution and processing. It provides the flexibility of a
true real-time media network, including integrated signal processing, at the
cost of simple multiplexing pointto-point products. With a network
bandwidth of 50Gbit/s MediorNet
Compact provides enough capacity
for bidirectional transport of 12 HDSDI signals, dozens of MADI streams
or GBit-Ethernet signals and hundreds of audio channels or intercom
ports – useful for streamlining the
infrastructure of mobile, studio and
live event applications.
WEB >> www.riedel.net
Cadac will be exhibiting at NAMM 2012
with a view to establishing new distribution channels for its
new product line,
across the full range
of pro-audio markets.
The Cadac team is
being led by sales
development manager Vincenzo Borrelli:
“With the new product line-up of analogue and digital
consoles, we are
addressing all forms
of live and fixed
installation applications, well beyond
Cadac’s traditional theatre sound
sector. The development of new and
diverse distribution channels, both
in the US and throughout the world,
is a major priority, and our primary
objective at NAMM.
“People might be surprised to see
Cadac at NAMM but the new console range of the LIVE1, CDC Four,
Vincenzo Borelli with the CDC Four
CDC Eight and S-Type, is a unique
offering in terms of unsurpassable
quality and value, and live sound
production – both sound touring
and fixed installation – are the major
target markets.”
WEB >> www.cadac-sound.com
Roland Systems Group:
“NAMM is ideal platform”
Roland will focus on web streaming with the UR-3
[email protected]
“The NAMM Show has always been
a focal point of the tradeshow calendar and product launch schedule
for Roland,” says Peter Heath, business development director, Roland
(UK). “As a global company, the US
market is key for both Roland and
Roland Systems Group in terms of
sales figures but also for input into
new product development, market
feedback, trends and competitor
activity. The sheer size of NAMM
as well as the diversity and the large
numbers of visitors we get to our
booth give us a perfect showcase for
the capability of our products in
music, audio and video.”
In 2012, the company will be
focusing on an additional element –
web streaming – with the new VR-3
AV Mixer and VC-30HD video converter, both of which have built-in
streaming capability. “We always have a great live setup on the booth to demonstrate the
full range – from personal monitors, to video mixers, to audio
recorders – as well as the musical
instruments because it’s important
to us that the visitors are able to
‘play’ with the products but we also
want to emphasise the integration
of our products.”
Heath goes on to say: “NAMM
provides the ideal platform for
Roland as an international company to meet and to share ideas but
also, essentially, to do the same with
our global distributors, dealers and
end users. The progression of
NAMM towards including more
professional audio and video content means it has become more relevant to the company as a whole.”
WEB >> www.rolandsg.co.uk
DD6 horizontal coverage
at ear height
Whilst many small speakers are fixed-use and relegated to the background, our
new ultra-compact DD6™ is different. Its Differential Dispersion™ technology
delivers a more consistent SPL and frequency response over the audience than
speakers with a conventional X° × Y° coverage pattern. And its multi-angle
enclosure, rotatable horn and multiple mounting options maximise on-the-fly
flexibility. Re-configuration from vertical to horizontal format is tool-free, quick
and easy. Add input switching that enables drive from one of two sources, and the
DD6 is the only ultra-compact speaker you need.
For more information, visit www.martin-audio.com
Differential Dispersion™ s Tool-free configuration s Maximum versatility
All information is Copyright © 2012 Martin Audio Ltd. Martin Audio is a registered trademark of Martin Audio Limited in the UK, US and other countries.
live 31
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
Optocore system heralds audio
‘paradise’ for Coldplay
Wigwam Hire enhances Optocore stock before taking to the road on Coldplay’s
latest Mylo Xyloto tour, writes David Davies
No stranger to the larger ‘sheds’,
Coldplay initiated a lengthy schedule of
arena and stadium shows in early
December. Once again, the Chris
Martin-fronted band is touring in the
company of Wigwam Hire.
Containing the singles Paradise and
Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall,
Coldplay’s fifth studio album, Mylo
Xyloto, was co-produced by Markus
Dravs – recipient of the 2011 MPG
Producer of the Year and Brit Awards’
Best Producer trophies.
In readiness for the Coldplay dates,
Wigwam recently enhanced its
Optocore-based ‘OptoRack’ data returns
system with an additional five Optocore
DD32R-FX digital interfaces – one for
each of the five amp racks being
deployed, which are all connected by
fibre. The Optocore technology is being
used in conjunction with more than
100 d&b D12 amplifiers.
“On the Coldplay tour the DD32RFX units will provide the ability to run
96KHz AES audio via the FOH system
EQ in the form of an XTA 548 – right
through to the d&b D12 amps, which
Drummer Will Champion is using five DP30 periscope mics for snares and toms
process AES audio at 96KHz,” said
Wigwam’s digital specialist, Alex
Hadjigeorgiou. “[...] This truly is a digital system – from the preamp on the
DiGiCo SD stage box right through to
the amplifier, with only a single A-D
and D-A conversion across the entire
system, which will keep latency to the
absolute minimum.”
Microphone specialist Earthworks
is among the other brands to be found
on Coldplay’s latest road-trek. UK distributor Unity Audio recently facilitated an extensive audition for Coldplay
FOH engineer Dan Green, as a result
of which drummer Will Champion is
using SR40MPs (matched pair) for
overheads, SR30HC for kick and
hi-hat, and five DP30 periscope mics
for snares and toms. Green also
specified several SR40V handheld
condenser mics for backing vocals and
an M30 measurement mic for PA system analysis.
Red TX has also been in Coldplay’s
orbit lately, capturing the broadcast
audio for Coldplay’s recent album
launch at the Plaza de Toros Stadium
in Madrid. The concert was mixed onboard new Red TX truck Red II by Tim
Summerhayes, who provided a live
stereo audio feed to the Visions mobile,
which captured the video in HD and
provided onward broadcast to YouTube.
Summerhayes – who also recorded
the show in 5.1 surround for subsequent
DVD release – commented: “It was a
challenge because we had very limited
rehearsal time, but we worked closely
with Coldplay’s production team of Dan
Green and Rick Simpson, and between
us we kept everyone smiling.” Q
Picture by Richard Minter
Entec and d&b are
Warriors for Good sound
David Davies
Entec provided sound and lighting for
a special performance by The Good The
Bad and The Queen (GBQ), which
helped to mark the launch of
Greenpeace’s new flagship vessel,
Rainbow Warrior III.
Featuring bassist Paul Simonon,
guitarist Simon Tong and drummer
Tony Allen, GBQ is just one of many
projects to be fronted by Damon ‘does
he ever sleep?’ Albarn.
The band used the Rainbow Warrior
III’s helipad deck – at the stern of the
vessel – as a stage, with an array of five
d&b J-8 line array speakers flown off
the crane positioned in front of the
stage area. Two J-Subs were stacked on
the deck, while two E12s were used as
fills for the guests aboard the ship.
Band monitoring included M4s and a
pair of Q-Subs.
The performance was mixed
onboard with a Yamaha M7CL console
by Dave Guerin, while engineering colleague Matt Butcher tweaked the mix
by radio from the public viewing area
on the South Bank. Q
Newly bequiffed, singer/guitarist Alex Turner and the rest of the Arctic Monkeys are
enjoying their greatest period of popularity since first rising to prominence in 2006.
Currently touring fourth studio album Suck It and See, the Monkeys are making
extensive use of Sennheiser technology. The monitoring set-up features eight stereo
mixes via G3 in-ears, while Turner, bassist Nick O’Malley and drummer Matt Helders
have e 935, e 945 and e 904 microphones, respectively, for vocal duties. FOH engineer
Matthew Kettle, who has extensive experience of Sennheiser mics, remarked: “The
mics are getting well used and abused – and are all still going strong.” Q
The performance took place on Rainbow Warrior III
32 live
f Delta Sound has announced
the appointments of Emma
Gallagher and Lee Dennison as
directors. Gallagher, who
previously held the position of
SBD general manager and has
been with the company for the
past 11 years, will take on the
role of business development
and client relations. Dennison,
who has worked with sister
company Delta for over six
years, will bring his experience in
technical delivery to his new
role, helping to raise the level of
technical expertise within the
project management team.
f Following six years at XTA,
Richard Fleming (pictured,
above) has been promoted to
the role of application and
support manager at the
company. He has 20 years of
R&D experience, including time
at Klark Teknik and Laney/HH
Amplification. In his new role he
will continue to demonstrate
products to customers and deal
with technical queries.
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
Midas PRO9 system
on Evanescence tour
Nigel Lord
FOH engineer Eddie Mapp has opted
for a Midas PRO9 live audio system
for the Evanescence world tour, currently heading across Europe. Mapp
had previously relied on a Midas XL4
before switching to digital desks a few
years ago. “Why did I make the
change? Tone, feel and most importantly, audio quality. I’ve had some
great shows on other digital desks but
nothing sounds and feels like the
PRO9 does.”
Citing EQ as one of the features that
won him over, Mapp continues:
“Another thing I’ve noticed after bouncing from festivals to theatres on a variety of PA systems is how sonically huge
the entire mix sounds. It reacts in a way
that I haven’t felt since the XL4. Some
desks seem to get a little choked up
when they’re pushed too hard, but this
keeps on going and going.”
The Kooks’ FOH engineer Russ
Tite is another Midas PRO convert
having chosen a PRO6 live audio
system for the band’s 2011 European
tour: “I’d been using another brand
of digital desk, but this summer I
was rocking up to festivals and using
an H3000 or XL4, and found I loved
it again – it sounded like a console
should,” he says. “We were almost
going to take an XL4, but you can’t
really fit one on a tour like this, so
I decided to try the PRO6 and it
sounds incredible.” Q
Evanescence FOH Eddie Map with the Midas PRO9
ADLIB’s audio division supplied an
L-Acoustics K1 sound system for the
Specials’ recent string of live shows,
which follows the legendary ska band’s
30th anniversary tour during 2009. The
K1s were used for the main hangs (eight
a side), plus three KARA downfills per side
for the theatre venues. At the Ricoh Arena
in Coventry and Alexandra Palace in
f Pro Audio Systems has
London, ADLIB added six V-DOSC delays a
announced the addition of
Vangelis Satrazanidis to its
technical staff. A 24-year veteran
of manufacturer AMS Neve,
Satrazanidis’ skills include
hardware and software testing,
audio installation and service
engineering. He has worked on
digital audio mixing consoles for
film, music and television all
over the world, including
projects for the BBC, Warner
Brothers & Widget Post USA.
side (just behind the FOH position) four
f Studiomaster and
Carlsbro have announced the
appointment of Ben Millson as
regional sales manager across
both brands. Millson comes
from AVSL Group where he was
UK south-east regional field
sales manager, with
responsibility for MI, DJ and
pro-audio brands. Prior to this
he was with Adam Hall for five
years, where he oversaw
development of the LD Systems
brand in the UK.
SB28s a side on the floor plus a selection
of ARCs and dV-DOSC cabinets used for
frontfills. For sidefills two ARCS boxes per
side were flown to provide the best
coverage in both vertical and horizontal
planes, complemented by two SB28 subs
per side. All the L-Acoustics elements
were driven by LA8 amplifiers. Q
EMP’s 25th anniversary bash
for goth legends ‘The Mish’
Erica Basnicki
Artist and tour management specialist
Extreme Music Production (EMP) has
staged one of the biggest goth events in
recent history, in celebration of 10 years
in business.
The Mission 25th Anniversary shows
took place last October/November and
culminated in a sold-out show at
London’s O2 Brixton Academy. The goal
was to recreate both the look and the
sound of the band from the 1980s.
“We found the original ‘Mish’ stage
set from 1989, which was in a warehouse gathering dust at Entec Lighting,
who supplied lights for the tour,”
explains EMP founder George Allen.
“The ‘pagan lady’ backdrop design was
also stored in a draw at Hangman
drapes. Again, it was reconstructed
from old drawings to mimic the original set from 1989.”
The sound team included FOH
engineer Mikey Osman behind a Midas
Heritage 2000 desk, as well as a
Yamaha M7CL support console.
Monitor engineer Matt Coton worked
with DiGiCo’s SD8 desk and an
L-Acoustics V-DOSC/ARCS PA, supplied by BCS Audio. The key to the
band’s classic ’80s sound was plenty of
reverb and delays on the main vocals,
with FX units by TC Electronic, Lexicon,
Yamaha and Eventide contributing to
the mix.
The Brixton show comprised a team
of over 40 crew members, and was
released as a live CD recorded by EMI.
Metal Hammer Magazine named it the
busiest show at Brixton ever – nearly
5,000 fans were in attendance. Q
EMP staged a show which was one of the “busiest that O2 Brixton has ever seen”
live 33
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
ML Execs swells
inventory with
d&b J Series
David Davies
The TiMax2 SoundHub and Tracker system was used on an outdoor staging of Die Zauberfloete
TiMax reveals the
Magic of the Flute
Nigel Lord
German live event company
Neumann & Mueller has augmented
its rental inventory with a TiMax2
SoundHub audio show control matrix
and TiMax Tracker performer tracking system. The purchase followed a
12-month period of extensive evaluation that culminated in an acclaimed
outdoor staging of Die Zauberfloete
(The Magic Flute) at Erfurt’s
Domstufen Festspiele event. The
TiMax2 fed an assortment of d&b linearray and trapezoidal enclosures, with
main left/right hangs and outfills
made up of Q1s, Q7s and Q10s.
Across the front of the stage three
concealed Q7s took on the dual role
of frontfills and first-wavefront reference anchor speakers with further
Q7s hidden in graphics panels about
15m upstage. One further anchor
was located about 40m deep upstage
and comprised a d&b T10 compact
Leading event production specialist
ML Executives has expanded its audio
hire department with the purchase of
a d&b audiotechnik J Series loudspeaker system.
Acquired with the assistance of
Azule Finance, the new investment
comprises 36 J Series loudspeakers
with D12 amps.
Neil White, project manager at
ML Executives, commented: “Adding
the d&b J Series to our existing stock
of L-Acoustics and EAW systems
gives us access in-house to three of
the leading loudspeaker brands. Until
now we’ve been hiring in this system
but recently took the decision to purchase the d&b J Series. We’ve worked
with Azule Finance on a number
of occasions before and its unique
understanding of the live production
industry meant they immediately
understood the business value of this
investment. Thanks to its quick competitive finance solution, we got this
speaker system on our books ready for
the busy 2012 touring season.” Q
line-array system concealed inside
a weather station prop. A row of
d&b E0 nearfill delays were mounted
on the handrail half-way up the audience seating and six TiMax Tracker
TT Sensors were located around
the periphery of the stage mapping
the huge performance area in
three-dimensions to an accuracy
of 15cm. Q
Fleet Foxes not so ‘helpless’
with Royer R-121 ribbons
David Davies
Two Royer Labs R-121 ribbon microphones form an integral part of the current touring set-up of Seattle-based
alt-folk band Fleet Foxes.
Currently touring in support of second studio album Helplessness Blues,
Fleet Foxes uses one R-121 on a 1966
Fender Super Reverb for the acoustic
playing of band leader Robin
Pecknold. The other mic is positioned
in front of a 1965 Fender Vibrolux that
is used for acoustic and electric guitars, as well as mandolin.
FOH engineer Jared Hankins
discovered Royer ribbons during his
time as a music production and engineering student at Boston’s Berklee
College of Music.
“In working with the Royers, I
quickly came to discover their
warm, natural sound quality,” said
Still warranting the description
‘effortlessly cool’ at the age of 66,
Bryan Ferry has been using AudioTechnica microphones for shows in
support of his 13th solo studio
album, Olympia. A long-time AudioTechnica user, Ferry favours the
AT4055 cardioid condenser mic –
the latest version of which is the
AE5400. According to product
manager Des Jabir, the AT4055 is the
ideal complement to Ferry’s deep,
low-register vocal delivery as well as
his harmonica playing. The singer,
said Jabir, loves “the feel of [the
Royer Labs mics are part of Fleet Foxes touring set-up
AT4055s], the look of them and the
way they sound. I think [he] owns
Hankins. “I particularly like using
them to mic guitar amps because they
exhibit a very clean, flat sound with a
depth of field that sits beautifully in
the mix.”Q
about seven.”
34 live
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
A sunny combination
of sound systems
A free event combining five stages and bright sunny weather
was the setting for the closure of the European Youth Capital
project in Antwerp, writes Marc Maes
On Sunday, 30 November
some 13,000 people gathered
at Antwerp’s Spoor Noord
site to celebrate the end of Antwerp
being European Youth Capital; over 20
bands, stand-up comedians and DJs
performed on five stages between 14.00
and 20.00hrs.
And, as for the opening event, sound
and light company Stage Unit was
assigned by the event production team
to supply outdoor and indoor sound
reinforcement and lights.
“Before everything, I’d like to say
we’ve had great luck with the weather
conditions, both during building
and throughout the event itself,” says
Karl Van Noyen, project manager with
Stage Unit.
Stage Unit opted for a combination
of Meyer Sound, Outline and Martin
Audio FOH systems. For the main
open-air stage, which hosted the
Antwerp Gispy Ska Orchestra, The
Hickey Underworld and headliners Zap
Mama, Van Noyen put in place a Meyer
Galileo loudspeaker management system, Soundcraft MH3 analogue desk as
FOH and a DiGiCo D1 on monitors.
“We had rehearsals on Saturday and
we managed to save time with the D1
where we could fix the settings for later
recall use,” he says. “The main system
Meyer Sound, Outline and Martin Audio FOH systems were used for the main
open-air stage, which hosted the Antwerp Gispy Ska Orchestra
consisted of eight Martin Compact line
array sets and six stacked Martin Audio
(WS218X) subs per side, which was
more than enough to cover the site –
allowing the public in the back to enjoy
a drink and have a chat.”
Alongside the main stage, a small
podium for the closing ceremony’s bagpipe players was equipped with four
Meyer Sound 650-P subs and four
MSL-4 cabinets.
Meyer Sound cabinets were also used
for the outdoor DJ sets on the Urban
Talent stage under the old railway bridge.
“Two PSW enclosures in combination
with two MSL-4 did the job, in combination with Outline active monitors,” continues Van Noyen. “For the Urban Stage
and the Top Notch hip-hop stage we also
provided the DJ equipment consisting of
DJM 800, CDJ 1000 and CDJ 2000 players – no turntables this time, due to the
short change-over times between artists.”
The Theater De Luxe tent hosted
the Musical Talent Stage, offering
opportunities for local artists. A Yamaha
PM1000 16-channel console was used
for FOH mixing in combination with
an Outline Kangaroo powered set consisting of two KV152A subs and two
KV1201-2P active tops.
“A second tent featured the standup comedy stage, where we opted for a
Yamaha LS9 digital desk and Kangaroo
subs and top sets, used for speech and
intermission music,” says Van Noyen.
Finally, a former train shed was
transformed into a huge event hall
where some 500 kids attended shows
by Vroink and Jan De Smet, followed
by the hip hop act Top Notch. Sound
was provided via six Meyer MSL-4, three
DSC-4 and three 700 subs per side,
controlled by a Meyer Galileo loudspeaker management system, with a
Soundcraft MH3 as FOH and another
DiGiCo D1 on monitors. “The hall has
a capacity of 20,000, but due to security regulations only 3,000 people were
allowed – we had to adapt the acoustics
with curtains,” Van Noyen explains.
Stage Unit’s crew during the event
numbered 14 people – building and
loading was effected by a crew of 24.
“Like the opening job in Antwerp
Central station (see PSNE August),
serving so many stages is not a piece
of cake, but it worked out well,” laughs
Van Noyen. “The only minor problems we had was the use of wireless
frequencies – the Belgian Telecom
officials returned home from a job at
the Sportpaleis and paid a visit to the
festival – we had to adjust some of the
wireless frequencies. Also the environmental services of the Antwerp
Province attended the event, which
indeed was staged close to the city
centre – with an average of 93dB we
received no complaints.” Q
Eight Martin Compact line array sets and six stacked WS218X subs per side covered the site
live 35
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
On tour with green power
At this year’s AES Convention, several leading-edge manufacturers revealed that,
while sizeable live events can never be green in the absolute sense, saving energy is
more pertinent then ever. Paul Watson was in attendance
“How can this be green?”
smiles Clair Bros’ Jim Meyer,
pointing to a slide of U2’s controversial 2009 360º tour, which, of
course, reportedly boasted the largest
ever touring sound system.
And it’s a good question. Cast your
minds back two years and you might
remember the U2 ‘claw’ – the centrepiece of the band’s set – which held a
staggering 368 Clair cabinets around
its perimeter, as well as accommodating 170 amplifiers and a further 96
subwoofer cabinets. Clearly, that production was never going to appear
economically-friendly in any way! For
the record, 11 trucks were used on that
tour just for audio, and the total count
[for some of the biggest shows] was an
eye-popping 190.
But Meyer makes some valid points
about Clair’s dedication to the environment, which starts at its headquarters
in Pennsylvania, US.
“We’re doing all we can to make our
facility as green as possible. For example, we have fluorescent lighting with
motion sensors installed everywhere so
lights aren’t ever left on, and we use
biodegradable materials wherever possible – even our knives and forks in the
canteen are biodegradable,” Meyer
explains. “Also, our waste provider generates one single stream of recycling so
everything goes into one bin and gets
sorted out at the facility by them, and
we’re now looking into the possibilities
of a solar-powered roof.”
OK Jim, that’s all well and good – but
what about these astronomical speaker
systems and the multitude of trucks that
are guzzling petrol on a daily basis, polluting our green and pleasant land?
“The two main factors in transport
are size and weight,” he states.
“Decreasing weight is huge, and the
more we decrease, the less fuel is
required for transport.”
Clair, Meyer reveals, has an employee dedicated to figuring out optimum
truck efficiency using CAD drawings.
From the amps to the speakers, and
the consoles to the cables, everything
is meticulously planned pre-show, so
no room is wasted.
“In the mid-90s, point source boxes
and analogue consoles were the norm
for a typical arena sound system, and
that took up two trucks,” he explains.
“Now, with the transition to digital,
there’s far less need for extra rack units,
and as a result, we’ve seen a huge reduction in size and power consumption.
So, for a typical hockey arena, we’re now
talking just one truck and a little bit; our
target, of course, is to get everything
into one.”
And it’s not just about the speakers,
but the transducers themselves, according to Meyer. Neodymium, he says, has
allowed Clair to dramatically reduce the
weight of its cabinets.
U2’s 360º production boasted the largest ever touring sound system
Lab.gruppen’s plot of “audio bursts” from a Marilyn Manson tour
º“It means the design can be more
efficient in terms of getting the magnet into selectively modern CAD
designs, allowing you to position the
materials in just the right way for efficient thermal dissipation,” he says. “And
that comes with the increased power
handling in the individual speaker,
which means you can use less of them
to reach the same SPL.”
This makes sense, although the
uncertainty of neodymium’s price and
indeed availability come 2012 has raised
eyebrows across the industry in recent
months. But that’s a whole other subject matter, of course.
PSNE has tackled sustainability
issues a few times in the past, and extensively in its inaugural SustainabilityAV
conference (held in conjunction with
IE), which took place in December 2010.
One of the topics covered at
SustainabilityAV was bio-diesel, an
environmentally-friendly fuel type; and
interestingly, Meyer reveals that bio-diesel
has fast become the touring ‘buzz word’,
as a string of major artists have put more
pressure on manufacturers to use it.
“Sheryl Crow is a good example,” he
says. “She always wants everything as
green as possible. She has bio-diesel
transported to the site to keep to schedule, as logistics don’t allow the trucks
to traipse across town in search of
the sole bio-diesel station in the
area; but this is becoming far more
common nowadays, and I believe it will
increase a lot.”
And the green element goes beyond
audio, it seems. Meyer says some tours
now have a green committee which
literally monitors the greenness of a tour.
Power companies are also now required,
in some cases, to provide bio generators,
and it’s more common now for venue
staff to have their own recycle buckets on
site in a bid to stay as green as they can.
Amplification is another area
in which Clair believes it has become
much more efficient.
“We use Lab.gruppen PLM 20000Q
amplifiers for our newer stack racks; our
older ones contained Crown two-channel
amps,” he says. “The new racks are 30%
lighter and 50% taller; that’s about twice
the volume, but the depth is still the same.
Jim Meyer, Clair Bros
Add to this four-and-a-half times the number of channels and the fact that each one
has more power and an integrated
crossover – so there’s no need for a separate drive rack – and this generates a huge
reduction in volume and weight.”
In the UK, Julie’s Bicycle (JB) is continuing to make ground in this area,
recently recruiting AEG Live and its
sister company, Kilimanjiro Live; the
NEC Group; and Artichoke, a specialist outdoor event production company,
which worked with JB on the Lumiere
light festival in Durham to help quantify the event’s carbon impacts.
So, although the nature of major live
events and concerts suggests they will
never be particularly kind to our blue
planet, it’s good to know that at least
some manufacturers are picking up on
it. Lab.gruppen and Powersoft both have
green objectives in place; and Clair,
arguably the biggest supplier of touring
sound kit in the world, looks to be leading the way. Q
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36 live events
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
The Live Events listing is a free service. All information is provided by the companies listed and PSNE
cannot be help responsible for any factual errors. To be included in the listings, please email
Linda Frost at [email protected]
Varsity Ski Festival
Breakfree Fesival
Eric Vaarzon Morel Tour Holland
R&B 90’s Live Tour
Trinity Autumn Tour
Musica Argentina Tour Holland
Christmas Tour
DiGiCo SD8, Yamaha M7CL M O’Neill
MC2 Audio
+44 1206 369966
Funktion One
M7CL, DiGiCo SD8
Yamaha, Yamaha
DiGiCo SD8, DiGiCo SD8
Yamaha, Yamaha
Midas PRO2, PRO2
T Boerema
A Meijer
A Meijer
T Boerema
A Meijer
T Boerema
MB audiosystems
+31 59 9671 164
MB audiosystems
J Perpick
P Ramsay
A King
R Pope
d&b D12/L-Acoustics
d&b D12
d&b D12/LA8/LA48
+44 20 8877 3949
d&b M2/L-Acoustics
d&b M2
L-Acoustics K1
M Cifelli
Yamaha Y5/Outline T9 Turbosound 450
D Lombardi
B Bartlett
K Newton
Outline T9/T11
L-Acoustics LA8
Outline GTO/Butterfly
Bryan Adams
High Flying Birds
T4 Stars
Will Young
Young Voices
Duran Duran
–, –
Midas XL8, Midas PRO6
Midas PRO6, Midas PRO6
Midas XL8, XL8 /
DiGiCo SD8
Yamaha PM5/LS9,
DiGiCo SD8, DiGiCo SD8
Digidesign Profile, Profile
Digidesign Profile, Profile
Ocean Colour Scene
Fatboy Slim
Imelda May
DiGiCo D5, Soundcraft Vi6
Digidesign Profile, Profile
DiGiCo SD11, –
DiGiCo SD7, Yamaha M7CL
DiGiCo D5, DiGiCo SD8
H Schopman
D Roden
T Donovan
T Gilligan
B Johnson
Martin Audio
Martin Audio
Martin Audio
Martin Audio
+44 20 8944 6777
Martin Audio W8LC
Martin Audio W8LC
Martin Audio W8LC
Martin Audio W8LC
Star* UK Tour
Rick Parfitt Jnr Band
Saviours Of Soul
Hooray For Hollywood
Key Of Life
Yamaha LS9/32, LS9/32
Soundcraft GB8, –
Yamaha LS9/32, LS9/32
DiGiCo SD8, Yamaha PM5D
Yamaha PM5D, PM5D
A&H i-Live T112, i-Live T112
S Staunton
M Gumbrell
S Staunton
D Schurer
D Schurer
D Schurer
Martin Audio
+44 12 43827915
EV Tour X
Martin Audio
EV Tour X
Jazz Jamboree
T Dudar
+48 22 849 1878
Meyer Sound
Jill Scott
T Dudar
JBL VerTec
Montserrat Caballe
Soundcraft Vi6,
Soundcraft Vi4
Soundcraft Vi6,
Soundcraft Vi4
Soundcraft Vi6,
Soundcraft Vi4
T Dudar
Meyer Sound
X-Factor Finals
International Horseshow UK
British Military Tournament UK
New Years Eve On Thames UK
Britain’s Got Talent
Sarah Dawn Finer
F Jackson
K Array/Lab.gruppen
+44 20 8339 3800
K Array/EM Acoustic
M Sawyer
P Wright
S Lutley
F Jackson
K Array/L-Acoustics
K Array/KUDO
d&b audiotechnik
+46 70 593 23 30
d&b audiotechnik
Fatboy Slim has Come a Long Way with Britannia Row
Show of Hands
Midas PRO2C, DiGiCo SD9 C Puxley
d&b D12
+44 1392 364900
d&b Q
The Darkness
Mrs Brown’s Boys
Van Morrison
Flash Harry & Ulster Orch
Profile, Profile
Profile, Profile
Profile, –
H3000, PRO9
PRO9/D-Show, Profile
J Willis
W Lewis
Meyer Sound
+44 28 9079 8999
Anna Ternheim
Lisa Ekdahl
AH T-80, –
AH T-80, –
AH R72, –
L Nyberg
M Chandra
L Nyberg
Marie Rottrova Tour
Cechamor Christmas Tour
Aneta Langerova Tour
Musical Hair
InnovaSon Eclipse, M7CL
A&H ML4000, A&H GL4800
–, –
Yamaha LS9, –
Innovason SY48, –
P Vojta
L Foniok
M Chlapec
P Vojta
M Janicek
Camco Vortex 6
Camco Vortex 6
Camco Vortex 6
Camco Vortex 6
Camco Vortex 6
+42 06 0522 8905
Nexo GEO T/CD18
Nexo Alpha
Nexo GEO S8/CD18
Nexo GEO S8/RS15
Nexo Alpha
Yamaha M7CL-48, –
S Groeneveld
Yamaha PM3500-48,
Mackie CFX12 MkII, –
Yamaha PM3500-48,
Mackie CFX12 MkII, –
Mackie CFX12 MkII, –
P v Baasbank
S Groeneveld
P v Baasbank
P v Pelt
S Groeneveld
+31 78 6742 919
L-Acoustics KUDO/
L-Acoustics KUDO/
L-Acoustics 112P
L-Acoustics KUDO/
L-Acoustics 112P
L-Acoustics 112P
Mathias Persson d&b audiotechnik
d&b audiotechnik
Yamaha M7CL, M7CL
DiGiCo D1, DiGiCo D1
Yamaha M7CL, M7CL
Yamaha M7CL, M7CL
M Sena
V Cano
+34 96 122 0357
Martin Audio W8C
Meyer Sound MICA
Rosmalen Blues
Loeff Claeys Verbeke
Timeless Outdoor
De Visser
Crown I-Tech
Crown I-Tech
Crown I-Tech
+31 10 2012 111
Xnoizz Flevo Festival
Soundcraft MH3, MH2
Soundcraft MH3, MH2
DiGiCo, Soundcraft MH2
Fashion Show
Spijkenisse Festival
PM5D-RH, Vi6
–, Profile/PM5D-RH
–, Profile/PM5D-RH/Vi6
DiGiCo SD8, DiGiCo SD8
–, PM5D-RH/Vi6
C Barton
D Vidal
R Tombs
A Gregory
S Panos
D Vidal
+44 20 7609 9818
Auto Trek
Arrival Sinterklaas
BBC4 Easy Christmas UK
BBC R1 Festive Festival UK
BBC Christmas TOTP
BBC 2 Later Hootenanny UK
Magic FM Will Young UK
Sky Arts Jo Whiley
+46 70 7271 007
Digidesign Profile,
DiGiCo SD9
Digidesign Profile, –
–, Yamaha PM5D/
DiGiCo SD7
Yamaha PM5D, –
DiGiCo D5, DiGiCo SD7
DiGiCo D5, –
DiGiCo SD8, –
If you want your web address to be included in the magazine
AND in the digital edition of Pro Sound News Europe
for just £50 a year, please email Lianne on
[email protected] for an order form
Picture by Hamish Brown
Live events
Beats 010
Haiti Event
Gala Flanenca
Midas, Soundcraft
Midas, Soundcraft
Midas, Soundcraft
Midas, Soundcraft
Coda Audio
Coda Audio
Coda Audio
Coda Audio
Coda Audio
+32 16 4433 33
Coda Audio
Coda Audio
Coda Audio
Coda Audio
Coda Audio
Celtic Thunder
Def Leppard
James Morrison
Sun Millies Awards
Snow Patrol
Sound Image, –
PM5D, Profile
SD8, –
XL4, D-Show
S MacInnes
R McHugh
N Ingram
M Dineley
M Carolan
+44 16 3552 1010
d&b J
d&b J
Axys 808
d&b J
DiGiCo SD8, Yamaha M7
DiGiCo SD10, Yamaha M7CL
Yamaha M7CL, DiGiCo SD10
Yamaha M7CL, –
Yamaha M7CL, –
DiGiCo SD9, –
C Coxhead
S King
R McNeal
J Lynch
R Biddulph
S King
+44 18 9543 2995
Vi6, M7CL
K Birtwhistle
d&b D12
+44 11 3277 0952
d&b C4/B2
White Christmas
The Musical
Peter Pan The Musical
The Nutcracker
Jack & The Beanstalk
Adventures of Robin Hood
Midas, –
C Rawling
+44 16 1969 8311
Martin Audio Line Array
DiGiCo, –
Midas, Midas
Yamaha, –
A&H, –
T Whittingham
C Rawling
G Holder
L Windsor
Martin Audio Line Array
Martin Audio Line Array
Martin Audio
Martin Audio
Lisa Ekdahl
Pernilla Andersson
Anna Ternheim
–, AH iLive R-77
–, AH iLive T-80
–, DiGiCo SD8-24
L Nyberg
L Nyberg
L Nyberg
Yamaha LS9, LS9
Midas Venice,
Midas Venice
Yamaha 02R/96, 02R/96
Midas Venice, –
+34 91 3801 010
Meyer Sound
Meyer Sound
Serco Awards
Reuters Awards
Reckitt Benckiser
S Africa
Roy Wood
+46 70 7271 007
Rafaela Carrasco
London Symphony Orch Spain
Voix Humaine
Orquesta Santa Cecilia Spain
installation 37
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
finstallation news
Brighton bars invest in audio
Hed Kandi continues its association with Martin Audio, while
The Haunt installs Soundcraft console, writes David Davies
Installation company MSL has selected Martin Audio as its preferred loudspeaker brand for the new Hed Kandi
Bar flagship venue in Brighton, while
The Haunt, situated opposite Brighton
Pier, has carried out a major audio
upgrade to extend its scope from
playback-only to become a flexible, 350capacity circuit venue.
Hed Kandi – which is part of the
Ministry of Sound Group, a long-time
user of Martin Audio products – has
opted for a solution that features 15 wallmounted AQ8 (8in LF + 1in HF) fullrange enclosures throughout the
ground-floor space. A low-frequency
extension is delivered by four floorstanding AQ212s (2 x 12in) and a single AQ210 (2 x 10in) sub-bass
enclosure. Elsewhere, the reception
spaces, outside facade and the Shooter
Bar feature four C4.8T ceiling enclosures, while an AQ112 sub. System
Hed Kandi has followed the Ministry of Sound Group in its choice of Martin Audio
management is provided by a BSS
Soundweb London BLU-100, used in
conjunction with a pair of BLU-BOB
expansion extenders and remote
BLU-3/BLU-8 control panels.
Explaining the choice of loudspeaker brand, MSL project manager Bradley
Watson remarked: “Martin Audio was
recommended because it’s a proven
product, with longevity and reliability,
and [the operators] were happy to go
down that route. Although it’s not a
nightclub it needs nightclub-type levels – and they were very comfortable
with the brand.”
High-quality audio was also the main
consideration at The Haunt where the
technical team opted to specify a
Soundcraft Vi1 digital console, purchased
from dealer Crystal Pro Audio and
installed by experienced local production
and installation company C3 Productions.
Regarding the specification of the
Vi1, George Ridal, operations manager
at C3 Productions, commented: “We
wanted to offer the venue something
superior to other mid-range, smallformat digital desks. It also needed to
be a product aimed at visiting engineers
and be something they would recognise.”
In addition to the Soundcraft console and a new house PA, the venue has
recently invested in expertise, with technical manager Andy Goodwin arriving
at the club to work alongside live manager Ade Dovey. Q
Tannoy CVS speakers are installed throughout the venue
Tannoy CVS for Riga
Gan Bei restaurant
David Davies
The latest addition to the Gan Bei restaurant chain, located in the Galleria Riga
shopping centre in the Latvian capital,
features Tannoy CVS and DVS speakers.
The provision of a sleek, ultramodern audio system for the new
venue, Gan Bei City, was the challenge
issued to sound specialists Unique Ltd.
“The new restaurant has a total area
of 300sqm and has a high-class interior,
so the owners were keen not to spoil
that with the intrusions of an installed
audio system,” explained Unique CEO
Rihards Rubenis. “In essence, they
wanted the loudspeakers to be virtually
invisible, but at the same time deliver
high quality, high SPL sound coverage.”
For total coverage in the restaurant
hall, Rubenis decided on eight CVS 8
loudspeakers, supplemented by four
CMS 801sub devices to provide the additional lower-end presence required of a
flexible system. These are used in conjunction with an APart PM7400MKII
preamplifier, Champ4 amplifiers and a
PC1000R CD/SD card player.
“Tannoy CVS 8 speakers together with
CMS SUB was the perfect combination,”
said Rubenis. “The sound is clear, powerful and with a reserve on power.”
Gan Bei City also has an outdoor terrace, and for this area Rubenis chose four
DVS 6 speakers from Tannoy’s range. Q
f The recently opened Erdgas
Sportpark stadium, home of
German football club Hallescher
FC, boasts an ElectroVoice/Dynacord sound
reinforcement system. The setup includes 28 EVF-1152S/99-PIB
loudspeakers systems from EV,
six EVID 4.2 and two EVID 6.2.
The system is driven by five
Dynacord DSA 8805 power
amplifiers. A P64 digital audio
matrix manager from Dynacord
provides the overall control.
f Systems integrator Techno Q
any of the connection points to satisfy the
demands of any given production.
In addition to the Eclipse GT, the control room has been equipped with two
computers loaded with recording and
playback software. These are using the
Auvitran AV3rd EtherSound/ASIO
bridge. The recording studio workstation
has a direct connection to the network and
is able to capture sound from on stage or
from ambient mics in the auditorium.
“We put our long experience of working with EtherSound and Innovason to
very good use in this installation, and I
am pleased to report that everything
works absolutely perfectly,” said MUSICDATA MD Tomas Ourednicek. Q
Complex Innovason/ES
install for Czech theatre
The J.K. Tyl Theatre in the Czech
Republic city of Plzen (Pilsen) has been
equipped with a new Innovason Eclipse
GT console and an EtherSound network.
Innovason distributor MUSICDATA
selected cable from German manufacturer Sommer Cable as the backbone
of the system, with an AVM500-ES
EtherSound network matrix from
Auvitran enabling star as well as daisychain connections. The AVM500 is connected to the control room via optical
fibre, resulting in a flexible network
which enables high-quality audio signal
transfer from seven different locations.
Technicians can move any of the Innovason SR-16 16-in/16-out stage boxes to
David Davies
f Norwegian distributor
Scandec Systemer has
supplied and installed an
L-Acoustics KARA WST
line source system in the
Norwegian National
Theatre, Oslo.
The new system consists
of seven KARA cabinets
flown with two SB18 subs
per side, with a centre array
of 10 KIVA speakers. Power
comes from LA4 and LA8
amplified controllers.
An Eclipse console and Sommer Cable backbone prove a good partnership in Pilsen
has installed a grand total of
135 customised Danish
Interpretation Systems
(DIS) microphone units in an
auditorium at Qatar University.
The silver CM/DM 6580F units
feature three buttons for
voting, chip card reader,
channel selector, 3.5mm
headphone socket and more. In
addition, a nearby press room
features a CDS 4000 system
with one chairman and five
delegate units.
f Powersoft has supplied
new K3 and M50Q amplifiers
for the Music Hall at Worspede,
near Bremen in northern
Germany. The 550-capacity
ballroom, built in 1870, has
been host to first-rate concerts
normally reserved for major
cities, including such as John
Mayall, Al di Meola, Manfred
Mann, Robert Cray and Steve
Lukather. Sound system
manager Joerg Mohr explains
that not only were they looking
for amplifiers with exceptional
sound quality, “but also for
something that was going to
be technically future-proof.
For that reason we needed
something with internal DSP
functionality, as well as remote
control and monitoring
capabilities. Powersoft amps
fitted the bill perfectly.”
38 installation
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
Malmö motion detection
TTA system takes to the stage at Swedish Opera House refurbishment amid a
number of technology firsts, writes Dave Robinson
The Malmö Opera House in
southern Sweden is a most
imposing building. Designed
by renowned Swedish architect Sigurd
Lewerentz with colleagues Erik
Lallerstedt and David Hellden, the
structure, which was completed in
1944, is considered a masterpiece of
functionalist architecture. Forbidding
and severe from the outside, once
inside, the foyer offers a complete contrast with clean lines, bright, open
spaces and elegant marble staircases.
The auditorium was built along equally grandiose lines with a maximum
seating capacity of 1,511 and one of the
biggest stages in Europe: 25m wide,
25m high and a total area of 600sqm.
In a word, huge.
Malmö Opera House has been in
the process of upgrading its audio system for some time now, with a large
part of the work being done this summer. While some may have been sunning themselves on faraway beaches,
technicians from Swedish systems contractor and distribution company, ARVA
Trading, were working up a sweat
installing a Stagetracker FX real-time
performer tracking system from TTA;
the first of its kind to be installed in
Sweden. In fact, the Opera House has
been clocking up a number of “firsts” to
its name; as well as the Stagetracker FX
system, it also boasts the world’s first
installation of Sony’s DWX digital wireless system (used in conjunction with
DPA radio mics), installed by ARVA 18
months ago.
“Our system is now digital throughout – as well as the Stagetracker system,
we also had a DiGiCo SD7 console and
a full Optocore optical fibre network
installed this summer,” confirms head
of sound, Bengt Frienholt. “The difference it has made has been remarkable,
not just in terms of sound quality but
also to our workflow. The system is far
more flexible, easier to use and we have
The Malmö Opera House was designed by Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerentz with colleagues Erik Lallerstedt and David Hellden
Head of sound Bengt Frienholt (left)
and sound engineer Jonas Johansson
more control than ever before. The
biggest challenge was getting used to
all the new equipment in just four
weeks of rehearsals before the premiere
of Les Misérables!”
So what prompted the investment
in the Stagetracker system, then? “I’ve
been looking at audio tracking technology for a long time,” says Frienholt.
“Ever since we have been using amplification on live productions, the challenge for sound designers has been to
bring the sound back down onto the
stage so that the audience perceives
that the voices are indeed emanating
from the actors themselves and not
from the sound system somewhere
over their heads! In our case, this is
even more of an issue given that we
have such a huge stage and therefore
the distance between the actors and the
loudspeakers is quite considerable.
Unfortunately, the systems that were
available at the time were simply not
workable – too expensive, far too
difficult to implement, and unreliable.
Until, that is, TTA developed its
Stagetracker FX system. It’s very easy to
use and furthermore, it is delivered
with a fully integrated version of QLab’s
show control software.”
The Stagetracker FX system uses a
combination of hardware and software
to track the positions of performers on
stage and apply these positions to their
microphone signals automatically
and in real time. Previously this was a
long and difficult procedure that
demanded complex calculations for
an often unnatural-sounding result.
TTA’s Flemming Sørensen explains:
“The V4 Tracking Engine software has
changed all that – it does all the difficult
stuff for you. Once the Radio Eye has
been installed above the stage, all you
need to do is enter the height of the Eye
from the stage floor. All the other
parameters such as tilt angle and offset from centre stage position are calculated automatically.”
The Radio Eye detects the positions
of the Turbo Tags, small, lightweight
RF devices worn by the performers.
Each tag must be entered into the
matrix-managing V4 Tracking Engine
(a one-time only process) which produces audio localisation and tracking.
The Malmö Opera House currently has
16 tags and is looking to upgrade to 32
in the New Year.
According to ARVA Trading’s technical manager, Ronny Sjöstrand, the
TTA Stagetracker FX is the “missing
link” in the sound system. “You can
make any improvements you like to a
sound system – improve the network,
upgrade the PA system etc – but at the
end of the day, it’s still only a loudspeaker system stuck up in the roof !
The bit that is missing is the relationship between the PA and the performer
on stage, and that is what TTA provides.
It’s about giving the performer back his
voice so that it sounds as if it is coming
from him (or her), even if it is amplified. However, this element has been
sacrificed up to now because it was
technically very difficult and expensive
to achieve. However, I’m glad to say that
the TTA system has changed all that
and finally made performer tracking
and localisation accessible to everyone.”
Opera House sound engineer Jonas
Johansson, who uses the system every
day on Les Misérables, is in full agreement. “It’s straightforward to implement and very effective. The integration
with QLab is a real bonus and adds
value to both systems. We also use
Stagetracker for effects, and we’ve even
used it on conferences to bring the voice
down to the speaker. Now we’ve got it,
I don’t see why we wouldn’t use it on
everything! Audiences have had a great
response to the new system and have
reported a direct, audible difference and
an improvement to their opera experience, which is great news for us.” Q
The TTA system is the “missing link”
between the PA and the performers
High-quality sound in
the round at La Esfera
David Davies
Multipurpose live entertainment
facility La Esfera (The Sphere) in
Alcobendas, north of Madrid, has
been equipped with a new audio
system featuring Yamaha and
Nexo technology.
Versatility and the need for the
FOH multicore to be routed around
the edge of the auditorium were
among the chief priorities confronting
equipment supplier and installer
Milan Acústica. The configuration
ultimately chosen by Milan Acústica
was an EtherSound-based system
comprising a Yamaha M7CL-48ES
mixing console with six AD8HR
remote mic preamps, an NAI48-ES
network interface, and two DA824
digital-analogue converters. The
loudspeaker system features six Nexo
GEO-Ss per side, augmented by PS8
and PS10 frontfills installed on the
lighting truss and four PS15 sidefills.
Jacinto López of Yamaha Music
Europe Ibérica remarked: “A Nexo
NX242 speaker processor controls the
system, meaning that the M7CL-48ES
EtherSound output is fed straight to the
system, without going through any
unnecessary A-D/D-A conversion. This
ensures that the audio quality is as high
as it possibly can be.
“The system has achieved the best
possible audio quality for the available
budget and all users of it have been very
impressed at how the sound at La
Esfera has improved.” Q
New Nexo and Yamaha kit has improved the sound quality at the venue
installation 39
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
smaller loudspeakers – and I’d just
heard the answer. Sennheiser agreed to
demo a system at the theatre immediately and it performed beautifully. Dave
Wooster, who has been FOH operator
for such names as Gary Moore and
Leona Lewis, but who now works for
Sennheiser, and I then redesigned the
Trinity system around K-array.”
The system comprises KK200 main
arrays coupled with single 18” subwoofer either side, along with four
KT20 ‘Tornadoes’ – small 2” single
drivers in little bullet-shaped loudspeakers – along each side wall coupled
with KU36 compact surround subbass
speakers. A pair of KK100 1m-long
line source arrays provide the rear surround component. The final touch is a
separate, portable K-array system, half
of which can be configured in a
2m-high column plus subwoofer as the
centre speech speaker for digital cinema.
It can also be used as a portable system
for comedy evenings or jazz events in
the foyer. The main system’s K-array
Class D amp modules are located in the
control room drive rack, the networkable units incorporating full DSP for
remote monitoring.
The Stage Electrics commissioning team set up the DiGiCo’s system
alignment and output processing with
presets for cinema, musical theatre,
straight plays, jazz and other types of
events. Gosney adds: “We had shown
our demo SD9 to [Trinity Theatre
head technician] Simon Diaper who
loved it, partly because it’s so easy to
use and so logically set out, but particularly because of the sound quality,
which is noiseless really, it’s beautiful. And that’s the system: a DiGiCo
going into the K-array amps into the
K-array speakers, and it’s that simple.
I’m all for keeping sound systems as
simple as possible. Keep the signal
path as clean as you can and don’t
complicate it with too much nonsense
in between.” Q
Perfect fit for digital Trinity
Tunbridge Wells venue given state-ofthe-art makeover for digital cinema and
more, writes Dave Robinson
Located in the heart of one of
south-east England’s most
elegant towns is a venue whose
long history is matched by the enthusiasm of its management for contemporary technology.
Built in the mid-19th century as the
railway revolution brought prosperity,
a burgeoning population and a building boom across the Home Counties,
the Holy Trinity was Tunbridge Wells’
first parish church. After its final religious service in 1972 its Grade 1 listed
status ensured safety from demolition,
and by 1975 a public petition had
secured permission from the Church
Commissioners to produce a plan for
community or public use. An appeal
committee raised £50,000 (€58,000)
and five years later it reopened as The
Trinity Theatre arts centre complete
with a raked-seating auditorium:
growing popularity soon saw an art
gallery, licensed bar and computerised
box office added.
Its latest upgrade sees the venerable
space take on the very modern mantle
of digital cinema, although a cursory gaze
at the vaulted balconies, plush stage tabs
and comfy seats reveals little. Only on
closer inspection does it turn out to be
the UK’s first digital cinema to employ
the unique K-array system, its mid/high
hangs barely visible against the tabs,
complemented by minuscule surroundsound satellite loudspeakers discretely
located around the auditorium. Supplied
and installed by Stage Electrics, the system, powered by bespoke K-array Class
D high power density amplifiers with
integral DSP, is controlled direct from a
DiGiCo SD9 console.
“This was my first project after I
joined Stage Electrics,” observes business
development manager for audio James
Gosney. “Stage Electrics is doing bigger
and bigger sound installations including
the installation and supply of equipment
to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre last
year. As a consequence of being asked to
design and supply high-end audio systems, they have been expanding their
audio team with people experienced in
sound system design and installation,
which is precisely my background.”
Coming from a family also deeply
immersed in theatre, he says: “I immediately fell in love with the building. For
the past 20 years I’ve been mostly involved
in designing systems for big churches, so
for me it was a perfect combination of the
two: a theatre in a church… with a bar; it
doesn’t get much better.”
K-array’s inclusion, as Gosney tells
it, was pure serendipity. “The brief was
for a multipurpose theatre system, one
that would work for all the types of
events that go on here, like jazz
evenings, musical theatre, straight plays,
opera, local amateur dramatic groups,
pretty much everything – and on top of
that, 7.1 digital cinema, with its specific
Dolby processing requirements.”
He adds: “I’d started with a conventional theatre system design using
12-inch-and-horn type boxes with subs,
and smaller surround boxes. A few days
before this was due to be signed off I
heard K-array for the first time and was
utterly blown away by their sound and
A DiGiCo SD9 sits at the mix position, and nothing else by way of outboard
The former church now boasts a K-array PA system fitted by Stage Electrics
by how compact and discreet they were,
and fascinated by the technology itself
– it struck me how good a fit they would
be for the Trinity.
“The original system design still
involved black boxes in a beautiful
building and I’d been trying to think
whether we could do this with much
the X Factor
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((.(#&/Learn more at tannoy.com.
Visit our stand at
Hall 5 Stand 5R92,
Amsterdam RAI,
31 Jan - 2 Feb 2012
40 show preview
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
Bright future for ISE
The ISE Daily team looks ahead to
Integrated Systems Europe 2012, set
to be bigger and better than ever
In 2012, ISE will occupy 11 of
the 12 halls in Amsterdam’s
RAI Centre. A few months ago
ISE signed a new five-year deal with the
RAI, ensuring that the show will stay
in Amsterdam until at least 2016. Hall
8 – one of the biggest halls in the complex – will be available to ISE from 2013,
and there is further potential for expansion in temporary pavilion structures.
Coming back to the 2012 event,
Mike Blackman, managing director of
Integrated Systems Events, is in buoyant mood. “We still believe we are on
track to host the biggest-ever ISE,” he
says. “Our footprint at the RAI will be
10-15% larger than in 2011, which is the
kind of growth you associate with a
booming economy.”
New for 2012 is the Dynamic Events
conference. This is aimed at the use of
lighting, sound, video technology and
staging in large-scale entertainment and
sporting environments. The inaugural
conference will focus on international
ceremonies – particularly the opening
and closing ceremonies of major sporting events – that attract a global TV
audience. Keynote speaker is Ric Birch,
who has an impressive track record in
the industry that spans nearly 30 years.
On Monday 30 January, Gerhard
Schulz, senior VP Central Europe for
Ingram Micro, will give ISE’s first-ever
Keynote Address unveiling his vision
for how the electronic systems integration community can respond to the
challenges posed by the transition from
analogue to digital.
Meanwhile, on the showfloor, the
Ray-On 100 column loudspeaker is one
of the highlights of Active Audio’s presence at ISE 2012.
The 1m-high column speaker can
be mounted vertically and, therefore,
Right here, right now: see the VFM109
stage monitor on the EAW stand
very close to the wall. Yielding a consistent sound with strong directivity,
the Ray-On 100’s design is based
around the Active Audio-patented
DGRC (Digital and Geometric
Radiation Control) principle, which
specifies a combination of electronic
and geometric line arrays whereby the
loudspeakers are mounted by group on
a stepped structure. The wavefront is
shaped and controlled by both the geometric positioning of the loudspeakers,
and a specific filter for each step.
Designed for sound reinforcement
of speech and music, the Ray-On 100
offers easy set-up and is available in two
versions: low impedance and 100V.
Cloud Electronics will exhibit two
additions to its PM range of Zone
Paging Microphones. The PM4-SA and
PM8-SA feature identical functions to
the existing PM4 and PM8, but introduce Spot Announcement capabilities
to the range, giving users access to prerecorded announcements, adverts,
stings, alarm sound or even warnings
from the push of a button or fired by
remote contact closure switches from
a timer, PIR or similar device.
The microphones can hold up to
four (PM4-SA) or eight (PM8-SA) prerecorded messages, of any length.
These are stored internally on a standard SD memory card in the base of
the unit. Up to four (PM4-SA) or eight
(PM8-SA) pre-announcement chimes
can also be stored on the card.
Community Professional Loudspeakers is showing its new surfacemount loudspeaker models, the
DS-Series, which is an expansion on its
existing ceiling-mount Distributed
Design Series. This new range comprises several high-output, low-profile
models that deliver high-quality audio
and intelligibility.
The 5” DS5 is a two-way
compact system, designed
for installations where space is a
premium, and the 8” DS8
provides higher SPL and sensitivity, plus greater bass
extension. The 8” DS8SUB
subwoofer has been created to
complement both full-range
models, pro viding extended
low-frequency performance.
Each model is also equipped
with built-in autoformers that
enable full output with 70V or
100V distribution lines, and
Community’s Infin-A-Ball multiangle wall mounting bracket, which is
prewired with a Euroblock connector
to conceal wiring.
The KF200NT loudspeaker module will be on EAW’s stand. Oriented
towards applications including corporate AV, performing arts venues
and houses of worship, the module
With the use of an additional exhibition hall at the RAI a keynote from Gerhard
Schulz and a full conference programme, ISE 2012 is on course to be the biggest yet
The DS-Series will be in show on Community Professional’s stand
consists of a single 10” woofer with
2.5” voice coil and a coaxial mid-high
driver consisting of 8” cone MF with
2” voice coil. Also included are a 1.75”
voice coil compression driver (HF) and
a ‘perfectly matched’ 1,500W Close
Coupled amplifier.
Also on show is the MicroWedge8
(MW8) and MicroWedge10 (MW10),
which constitute a small-format
continuation of the popular EAW
MicroWedge Series of stage monitors.
Three space-sensitive models from
the EAW VF Series of passive speakers
– the VFR69 6” two-way full-range
loudspeaker, the VFR89 8” two-way
full-range loudspeaker, and the
VFM109 10” two-way stage monitor –
will also be at ISE 2012.
Systems integrators visiting the
show are to be given the opportunity to
hone their audio skills with Genelec.
The audio technology developer will
run sessions on its stand throughout
ISE, allowing integrators to get handson with products and see demos of
acoustic simulation software for the
fixed installation market.
Delegates will have a chance to get
up close with the 4000 Series active
loudspeakers, as well as receiving an
overview of different applications and
basic guidelines for room acoustics and
loudspeaker placement.
Course attendance is free; all attendees
will be entered into a prize draw to receive
a 6000A – TUBE, Genelec’s limited edition take on the desktop loudspeaker.
To pre-register for a free ISE
Audio Installation Session, email
[email protected]
Greensound Technology is presenting three products from its new
line of glass speakers. It claims that
they deliver a superior harmonic and
high-fidelity sound through a combination of specially engineered glass and
a base structure.
The Serac speaker with Bravura subwoofer is Greensound’s top-end glass
speaker product. The Serac stands at
1.66m high and weighs 112kg; it is available in a stereo or 4.1 surround set.
The Orbis speaker with Circa subwoofer is the next model down, and is a
more compact design, but still with topquality performance in mind, while the
Luno speaker with Cube subwoofer is
the smallest of the three systems, yet still
stands over 1m high and weighs 36kg.
Lab.gruppen’s new install-centric
amplifier range, the E Series, will also
be in Amsterdam. Said to boast “amazingly low power consumption” that
should reduce the total cost of ownership below that of conventional
designs, this 1U platform also offers
ample power reserves, and is Energy
Star 2.1 compliant.
The company is also joining Lake to
exhibit the PLM Series (which incorporates Lake Processing technology)
alongside LM 44, Lake’s brand new digital audio processor. Parent company
TC Group, meanwhile, is launching a
new Applications Engineering and
Training group, headed by Graham
Hendry (formerly director of business
development for Tannoy).
Exhibitor Listen Technologies is
featuring its line of wireless listening
products and technologies that the
company says offer diversity of use for
auditory assistance, language interpretation, tour groups, audio description,
and multichannel audio distribution.
The FM Wireless Listening line
of products includes a Stationary
Transmitter (LT-800-863) a Portable
Transmitter (LT-700-863) and two
Display Receivers (LR-400-863 and
LR-500-863). Key features include an
LCD display for easy to reference channels, battery status, and programming
information; a frequency range of 863865MHz; and a transmission range of
up to up to 122m (400ft) for the stationary transmitter and 60.9m line of
site for the portable transmitter.
The LT-800-863 Stationary Transmitter benefits from a 70dB signal-tonoise ratio, and its support of both
balanced and unbalanced inputs allows
virtually any source to be connected.
The LR-500 Programmable Display
Receiver, which is powered by AA batteries, has channel selector buttons
located on the front of the unit. It has
channel seek capability and is compatible with mono or stereo headsets.
The LR-400 Portable Display
FM Receiver is a lower cost digital
display receiver. Said to be simple to
set-up, install, manage and use, the
products are certified for use in all
show preview 41
A Legend, Reborn
Vintage Fairchild sound in a road-ready
hardware unit
Dual mono, linked, and lateral vertical
stereo modes
Lab.gruppen’s new E Series amplifier range offers “amazingly low power consumption”
State-of-the-art 24-bit converters
European countries and come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Panphonics Sound Shower directional speakers
are designed to deliver high-quality, focused
audio to a desired area, without disturbing the
surroundings. They are widely used in a range of
applications including museums, banks, retail
stores, airports and so on. Panphonics says that
the speakers reproduce clear voice sounds even at
a low volume, making it easy for the listener to
hear and understand the audio message even in a
noisy environment. Several speakers can be placed
close to each other and, even then, different audio
messages do not disturb each other due to the
speakers’ high directivity.
Sound Shower directional speakers are available in 60 x 60cm and 120 x 20cm in black or
white, but custom sizes and colours are available.
All units include a plug-and-play speaker with
built-in amplifier, power supply, and installation/hanging kit.
The Polar Audio team will be attending the ISE
2012 show in force and will have representatives on
each of its distributed brands stands. Polar Audio
brands exhibiting at the event include Biamp, beyerdynamic, Aviom, Cue Systems, Australian
Monitor and Novosonar.
Highlights of the show will include new touchscreen technology from Cue Systems, presentations from Biamp on its Tesira range and
innovative AVB technology. Biamp Tesira is the
first truly scalable network using AVB. It supports
420 x 420 channels of digitally matrixed audio
with flexible I/O configurations. Unlike other
DSP-based media systems, Tesira is an enterprisewide solution made up of network modules that
share and boost performance.
SKB is showing its new 3RR series Removable
Rack: slide out shock racks, available in seven sizes,
ranging from 3U up to 14U, and specifically
designed for the military and industrial markets.
The new series features a ‘positive lock’ inner
frame latch (patent pending), which the manufacture claims will provide improved shock and
vibration isolation versus its competition.
All MIL-STD 810G testing has now been completed, and the standard 3RR case features a 2”
deep front lid, 5” deep rear lid with wheels, lid
hangars, a slide out inner rack, PRV, coupling
straps, stainless steel hardware, and eight comfort
grip spring-loaded handles.
Genelec’s 4000 Series offers a host
of integrator-friendly features
Tannoy’s new VLS (Vertical Line Source)
passive column range has a sleek curvilinear architectural profile designed for install applications.
It comes in three models using proven transducer
technology adapted from Tannoy’s award-winning
QFlex steerable column range.
Also new are Tannoy’s VX Series and VXP
Series, the latter featuring Lab.gruppen’s new
IDEEA (Intelli-Drive Energy Efficient Amplifier)
power module. These new passive and selfpowered loudspeakers build on the success of the
V Series, with an expanded line up that includes twin
driver configurations and new Q-Centric Waveguide
transducer technology for optimal tonal clarity.
It has added to its range of QFlex digital beamsteering array loudspeakers with a new set of
enhancements that offer improved functionality
and superior capabilities for integration within
large-scale PA/VA applications.
ISE visitors looking for microphones will want
to check out the booth of Universal Champion
Electroacoustic Technology Company. The company’s extensive line up of products includes earset,
headset, low noise RF, USB, dynamic, condenser,
lavalier, boundary, drum, mini shotgun condenser,
gooseneck and wireless microphones, together
with a range of microphone accessories. Q
Jack Joseph Puig
(John Mayer, U2, Lady Gaga)
The LT-800-863 Stationary Transmitter from Listen has a range of 122m
42 technology feature
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
Measuring the importance
of test and measurement
At first glance test and measurement might not be the most exciting of technology areas but people would
soon know if it were not there. Kevin Hilton tests the waters of a behind-the-scenes, but ever-important, market
Digital technology has changed
the world – but not as much as
was thought in its early days.
Back then there was the misconception
in professional audio and broadcasting
that because everything was in the form
of digits the quality would be consistent
and there would be less to go wrong,
making the test and measurement
(T&M) process unnecessary. In the
same way that compact discs were
realised not to be indestructible, this
proposition was quickly shown to
be fallacious.
Even if people did not fully believe
T&M would become a thing of the past,
as Richard Brooking, video marketing
manager for Europe, Middle East and
Africa (EMEA) at Tektronix, says, they
probably hoped it would be the case.
But, he explains, the reality is that
Brüel & Kjær equipment is being used to test consumer products such as headphones
equipment and the material passed
through it needs to be absolutely right
before it comes into the digital domain,
otherwise there will be problems that
will take a lot of time, effort and money
to put right.
Tektronix produces the two main
categories of T&M gear; four-fifths
of its business is in the oscilloscopes
and spectrum analysers used by
manufacturers to make products –
including loudspeakers, microphones
and recorders – while the remaining
one-fifth comprises the vectorscopes,
rasterizers, waveform monitors and,
now, software devices that are used for
quality control of broadcast material.
Talking about the importance of
T&M during the programme making
and delivery process, Brooking says:
“All digital does is carry the content.
If the video is illegal and doesn’t meet
technical standards or the audio is too
loud or too soft or down on one leg, that
is going to cause problems either during
post or on transmission, so it has to be
correct from the start.” He adds that
T&M also plays a part in TV play-out,
with devices that detect any faults, such
as audio drop out, during transmission.
Audio Precision (AP) specialises in
both T&M equipment that is used in
the development and manufacturing
process and sound. Tom Kite, AP’s vice
president of engineering, comments
that T&M still has an important role to
play in today’s digital and, increasingly,
file-based world because, as digital interfaces become more complicated, with
more emphasis on protocol, the test
equipment needs to provide access
not just to the audio but also to the
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If you work in audio, sound us out at www.ips.org.uk
Book now for our Training Weekend (4/5th Feb 2012 at NFTS) where we are covering OB's and comms
for the Olympics, live music & PA sound with several live bands, stages and mixers.
Details on the website. Join up and get a discount.
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
technology feature 43
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Despite the prevalence of digital technology, T&M processes are still in demand
“We expect continued demand for multiple methodologies – both
hardware and software – to ensure that content and the equipment
utilised to prepare that content, whether real time using hardware or
file-based using software, meets established standards and practices”
metadata and protocol elements of the
interface. “There is also still a need to
verify that the audio is correctly handled,” he adds. “Digital systems can clip,
have poor response, truncate words and
have poor sample rate conversion and
so on. And all digital systems ultimately
interface to analogue somewhere.
There are plenty of opportunities for
the audio to be degraded.”
field failure are severe. In the case of
moving parts like loudspeakers and
microphones, the test burden has
not changed appreciably in the past
few decades.”
Ask most people to picture a T&M
device and the image would most likely be of a box with a meter or graphical
display that sits on a workbench or in
a rack room. Conversely, because of the
Wohler’s AMP2-16V-3G audio monitor
Manufacturing techniques are now
more automated than before, relying
on computers to control the different
parameters. But, says Kite, this has not
made test machines in the R&D lab or
on the production line obsolete: “There
is still a need to verify correct operation,
because errors can always occur; parts
can be bad, solder joints can be dry and
so on. Particularly for manufacturers
of pro equipment and automotive electronics, it is vital that 100% of devices
be tested for correct operation, because
the consequences of DOA or an early
reach of digital and computer technologies, there is the thought that most
testing and measuring can be done
these days using software. Terry Allford,
business development and channel
manager for EMEA at Wohler, says both
scenarios are true but have their specific place and applications.
“T&M has a clear purpose and place
of importance in guaranteeing quality
of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) for consumers,” he comments. “In the same way that multiple
delivery platforms are proliferating, we
expect continued demand for multiple
methodologies – both hardware and
software – to ensure that content and
the equipment utilised to prepare that
content, whether real-time using hardware or file-based using software, meets
established standards and practices.”
New processes
Rob France, senior manager of product marketing with Dolby Laboratories’
Broadcast Audio Solutions division,
observes that test equipment has
changed as new processes have developed. But while more reliable manufacturing procedures have allowed
more complex products to be produced,
he says, ensuring that they do not develop
defects is vital.
On the other side of T&M, it is also
crucial to ensure reliability in broadcast
or event production, France continues.
“T&M continues to have a key part to
play in ensuring a reliable broadcast or
content creation platform,” he says.
“With the changes to today’s digital
and file-based operations the required
T&M capability has changed but it still
has an important role to play. T&M
capability is now more about file conformance, IP and Ethernet testing and
ensuring appropriate profiles and standards are being adhered to. Systems
acceptance testing and debugging
issues will still require a more traditional approach to T&M.”
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technology feature 45
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
f Hamlet is a T&M company that also
works primarily on the programme production side, allowing technicians to
test material from the camera through
post and, in some circumstances, up to
transmission. Although its products
concentrate on video, company director Steve Nunney says audio is part of
the measuring operation as much as
the picture.
“The requirement is to assess the
essence of a piece of material,” he says,
“the audio and video and, now, the data
wrapper. It doesn’t matter what the
means of transmission is – cable or
the internet or anything else – the need
is to ensure that the content is A-OK.
Loudness is becoming a prerequisite
and that’s nothing to do with how the
sound was originated, it’s about the
effect of the audio.”
Nunney agrees that digital technology brought the hope of T&M no
longer being required but says instead
it made for a different set of problems.
“We’ve now got file-based working,” he
explains, “and while software can be
written to test and measure parameters
as part of that, you still need a T&M
expert looking after it who understands
the nuances of the
subject and what to
look for.”
Digital has given
the world a range of
new products and
technologies. Those
with the highest
profile right now
are handheld devices
like smartphones
and tablets. On the
face of it
these are
products –
in The 9K Series MonitorScope and DigiScope from Hamlet
some cases
are almost fashion accessories – but
of good quality sound, especially as
they have made inroads into broadmore people are listening on headcasting and pro audio. A practical examphones or earphones. Because of this
ple of this is reporters on BBC Radio 5
one of the big names in T&M, Danish
Live are now using the Technica Del
company Brüel & Kjær, is seeing
Arte LUCI LIVE system, a sophisticated
demand for its equipment from manuapp that turns computers, smartphones
facturers of handheld units.
or tablets into a mini broadcast centre.
“It’s opened up a whole new T&M
To be considered for this kind of
market,” comments Julian Simpson,
use, equipment has to satisfy profesmarketing group manager for
sional specifications. Even on a conBrüel & Kjær Sound and Vibration
sumer level there is more expectation
Measurement. “We’re using our core
technologies, such as high-quality
measuring microphones and the
dummy head and torso simulation
set-up, to test
these systems.
As well as products like tablets and smartphones we’re
also involved
with companies
like HewlettPackard,
laptops with
very good
quality loudspeakers. Sound is more personal
these days and it has to be good quality. But how the test and measurement,
the fundamental physics, is done is
the same as for the other areas we
work in.”
Varied market
T&M is a niche market but accommodates a surprisingly large number
of manufacturers, from big corp orations like Tektronix, Rohde &
Schwarz and Harris to smaller
specialists like Hamlet, Loudsoft,
which recently introduced the
Fine R+D acoustic measuring system,
Neutrik with its range of test
equipment and BPR, developer of
the Smartlips range for lipsyncing.
The BPR products are distributed
Tektronix’s Richard Brooking says
he spends a lot of time talking to users
in Western Europe, which is at the forefront of developing new techniques and
procedures. “I have a production background and so can take what the
customers are saying they need and
report back to my colleagues in the US
working on new versions of the equipment,” he comments. “Software is making the upgrade process easier, so if
people are saying they want to download something that works with the
EBU loudness spec, that can be done.
If the customer has a specific requirement they want to be able to tell us
about it and then a few months later
have that feature in a firmware drop.”
Steve Nunney at Hamlet agrees that
providing the latest measurement
parameters, such as loudness, is essential but says users in his target market,
the broadcast production sector, have
to be able to use the technology in a
creative way, rather than being constrained by the technicalities.
In terms of general R&D Nunney
says each company watches what the
others are doing and also sees how
the market is changing. “Years ago the
broadcast industry was led by the
video tape machine manufacturers,”
he says. “Now the majority of cameras
are file-based. Products are changing
all the time and we have to be aware
of that.”
As for the future, Nunney sees
stereoscopic 3D as the next big thing.
“It doesn’t matter what the means of
transmission is – cable or the internet or
anything else – the need is to ensure that
the content is A-OK”
by Canford, which also manufactures
its own T&M gear, the EMO loudspeaker cable tester line. American
microphone designer Audix Corp oration has moved into the field with
the TM1 Plus kit, which includes the
TM1 measurement microphone, for
fine-tuning PA systems.
Part of staying ahead of the competition is staying ahead of the technological curve and having a sense of
where T&M might be going next. The
fundamentals of doing this, as most of
the companies see it, are talking to the
industry to see what is needed and then
investing in the R&D to make these
requests a reality.
“Manufacturers can stay ahead of
the curve by listening to the end user,
understanding what they are trying to
achieve and helping them to realise
their goals,” responds Terry Allford
at Wohler. “We also feel that it’s
important to work closely with early
adopters of new technology – those
that are happy to engage with a
manufacturer. Through this two-way
communication, both the manu facturer and end user can learn and
benefit from the collaboration.
Sometimes T&M methods must adapt
to specific environments and we’ve
found that the refinements we make
for one customer often prove valuable
to others, so we use those features
within new solutions, making them
available to the wider market while
benefiting both parties.”
Although broadcasters are still working
out what this means for audio, Hamlet
has added a new display to its VidScope
software-based T&M system, which
could be used for ‘3D sound’. This represents the different frequencies in a
signal as colours, showing high and low
levels. “It’s almost 3D in that sense and
is designed for analysis,” Nunney says.
Simpson at Brüel & Kjær observes
that providing tools for different ways
of working, as well as technical innovation, is a major consideration today.
“We’re seeing a lot of integration using
software-based production chains in
broadcasting, as well as R&D work by
manufacturers,” he explains. “So
we’ve ensured that an output on our
stand-alone systems can be used to
interface with software operations.”
With technology adapting and developing in both the professional and
consumer markets, checking that the
equipment works as it should and the
material it carries is as it should be is
ever more important. Because of this
test and measurement kit will not
be disappearing any time soon. As
Simpson says: “T&M is used everywhere now. The market is increasing,
not decreasing.” Q
46 business feature
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
A healthy dose of unreality
Clubbing is all about putting the real world on hold for a few hours. And that, finds
Gez Kahan, means clubs are still investing in providing a better experience
Any business is ultimately based
on the equivalent of bums on
seats (although in the case of
nightclubs, it’s more likely to be bums on
bar stools, feet on floors and chilled out
bodies on sofas). Of course funding plays
a part too – you need cash to pay your way
while the business grows and you need
to splash out a bit on making your offering attractive – but in the end, return on
investment will only come from turnover,
and profitable turnover at that.
That nice balance between investment, cash flow and profitability is hard
enough to achieve in an economic
boom, let alone when times (and lines
of credit) are tight and competition is
fierce. And the risks – for an investor –
become higher.
In most industries, that would
dampen investment. People would cut
costs, cut margins and cut corners
where possible, and play a low-risk
game until things started looking up.
Fortunately for pro audio, club owners tend to be inherent risk-takers.
Perhaps they’re so rich that a multimillion pound investment in a venue is
a mere bagatelle. Maybe they’re more
flamboyant than your average property
dealer or business angel, and their nightclubs are an extension of their personalities. More likely, though, is that they’re
aware that nightclubbing is a form of
escapism, and – especially when times
are tight – cutting back on the experience would represent the greatest possible risk to their bottom line.
And so scarcely a week of economic
gloom goes by without counter-intuitive
news of some new venue opening,
extravagantly themed in homage to
imagined good times gone by. But glitz
and opulence alone are not enough.
“Clubbers now expect better dance
PA systems,” says Mark Flanagan,
communications manager at Tannoy/
Lab.gruppen. “Today’s electronic music is
increasingly demanding on systems –
more detailed, complex rhythms and
sonic textures and more physical bass
presence all demand club systems that
can deliver greater fidelity and clarity at
Power to the people?
The opening and closing parties in the outside car park at Space Ibiza require full concert touring systems
Peavey’s Digitool MX was chosen for the Embassy Beach Club in the Algarve
“It is shocking that architects and interior
designers can design a club venue and give
no thought to the fact that there will be tens
of thousands of watts of sound in the space”
very high SPL. Even ‘mainstream’ techno and conventional dance music tends
to be more complex and sonically
demanding than it was a decade ago.”
Room service
Better speakers are obviously part of the
requirement, but so is acoustic design.
“We have always had an understanding
and concern about the acoustic prop-
November). “All the clubs having been
upping their game,” says Andy Kayall,
the club’s in-house sound engineer, and
DC10 is no exception. A couple of years
ago it chopped in its unbranded main
room system for a Void Acoustics rig –
while also undertaking comprehensive
acoustic treatment to the roof.
erties of a given venue,” says Funktion
One’s Tony Andrews. “It is shocking
that architects and interior designers
can design a club venue and give no
thought to the fact that there will be
tens of thousands of watts of sound in
the space.”
Shocking, but it happens. Andrews,
whose firm, as well as manufacturing
and supplying systems, offers advice
on acoustics and necessary treatment,
has long bemoaned what once
appeared to be an endemic lack of forethought at the early planning stage.
But the message finally appears to be
getting through.
“What we are experiencing recently
is that venue owners are much more
willing to accept our advice in this area,”
he says. “It has not been unusual to find
ourselves liaising with interior designers and architects to mitigate a bad
sound experience before the sound
system is actually turned on.”
One club where Funktion One’s
expertise has long been in demand is
Space, Ibiza, whose F1/MC2/XTA audio
refit PSNE covered in November.
“There are several areas or clubs within the Space, Ibiza club,” explains Andrews.
“All of these have different requirements.
The opening and closing parties in the
outside car park require full concert touring systems; the main Discoteca has a
powerful iconic custom designed system;
the Premier Etage has a distributed system giving more of a cocktail bar feel; and
the Terrace and Red Box required a traditional dance club system.“
Underpinning each of those designs
was the desire to deliver better sound.
“This upgrade was all about the audio
quality,” commented the installer, David
Cole of Pro Audio London.
It was the same story for DC10, (also
in Ibiza and also featured in PSNE
Although that might look like a textbook
example of market forces at work –
increased competition driving improvements in the offering to the consumer –
there are other factors at work. While
it’s true that the clubbers, having
installed better systems at home and in
their cars, and being used to better audio
at live gigs, might have higher expectations these days, business has rarely
kowtowed to them. And to some extent,
the public’s uncomplaining acceptance
of compressed audio from MP3s shoots
the argument in the foot anyway.
Scott Gledhill, Meyer Sound’s sales
manager for much of Europe, advances
an alternative theory. “Systems need to
be more rider friendly, just as live systems have had to be for years, because
of DJs being headline names. They are
clearly putting pressure on club owners
and asking for better systems. The
organisers don’t really take much notice
of the public, but the club owners need
to get something that all DJs will accept.”
The end result, however, is the same
– standards have risen. That applies as
much, if not more, to the front end as
to the speakers. “‘Trends’ [as distinct
from a general improvement in output
quality] are happening at the control
end with Native instruments Traktor,
Serato Scratch etc,” says Jerry Gilbert,
a respected industry commentator.
That, as previously noted by
Flanagan, has led to increased musical
complexity and a need for increased clarity. It has also encouraged makers of mixers to up their offerings, both in terms
of quality and functionality.
“Our new Xone:DB4 and Xone:DB2
digital mixers,” says Allen & Heath’s Xone
product specialist, Greg Ibbotson, “offer
onboard studio quality effects, trimodal
EQ on a per channel basis, MIDI functionality, and a soundcard interface to PC, all
of which reduce dependency on the
laptop screen and promote creativity.”
Alongside those, the company has
recently launched the Xone:K2, a slimline professional DJ MIDI Controller,
which Ibbotson describes as “perfect
for use with leading DJ software such
as Traktor Pro and Ableton, but which
also integrates with other requirements,
so for example it can also be used to
control lights or VJ software.”
It’s not just the DJ and the mixer that
have to be flexible. The same applies to
the club as a whole. Take Pulse (also
known as Bankside Vaults), for example. Built into interlinked arches beside
Blackfriars Bridge in central London, it
naturally forms four spaces, the main
one equipped with a performance stage
and able to accommodate more than
2,000 people.
business feature 47
January 2012 www.prosoundnewseurope.com
The club decided it needed to resite
the performance stage along the long
wall for its recent Soul Heaven event,
featuring a host of DJs with Masters At
Work’s Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez topping
the bill. VibaSound – whose Hugh
Sadlier had installed the original Nexo
Geo S12 double-hang arrangement
supplemented by eight RS15 subs –
reconfigured and augmented the systems into clusters of three S12s flown in
the corners plus two pairs either side
of the DJ console, while a dozen RS15
subs were ground-stacked along the
edge of the dancefloor area.
A nightspot in Tunisia
The Circus Night Club, located on the top floor of the Royal Tulip Hotel in Almaty, Kazakhstan
Picture by JTonytkSmith Photography
Clubbing may be a synonym for
all-night dancing, but ‘nightclub’ has
traditionally had a more general meaning, with food, drink and general entertainment being equally important
elements. That calls for even more flexibility in the design of the audio system.
That’s particularly true of nightclubs
within hotels, which will change throughout the day from meeting area to lounge
bar and then gradually morph into a latenight watering-hole and disco. An example is Le Madison at the Maison Blanche
hotel in Tunis. It combines French-influenced opulence with the service ethic of
a top hotel, but still needs to compete with
dedicated clubbing clubs.
The room recently invested in a brand
new reinforcement system, choosing
Dynacord D8W speakers for their compactness as well as sonic performance,
along with Dynacord subs, amps, processing and mixing. Regular guests,
reports Manel Khammouma of the
installer, ADB, immediately commented
on the improvement in sound quality.
Similarly the Peavey installation at
the Embassy Beach Club in the Algarve,
Portugal, needed to cater for more than
just dancing. Owned by Iron Maiden’s
bassist, Steve Harris, it draws inspiration
from Embassy London in Mayfair (coowned by Iron Maiden’s management),
and had the same installer, Ian Dunn.
London’s Pulse has installed a Nexo GEO system
“Today’s electronic music is increasingly
demanding on systems – more detailed,
complex rhythms and sonic textures and
more physical bass presence all demand
club systems that can deliver greater fidelity
and clarity at very high SPL”
Like the London club, where the system
has to be adaptable between dance
(where speakers surround the floor)
and live performance (a typical stereo
FOH configuration), the Algarve club
called for several zones covering bar,
stage and DJ areas.
All of which should have been
simple – except that there was no
opportunity for a site visit before the
install. Peavey’s PA specialist, Virgil
Lund had to design the system remotely with just a photograph of a rough
sketch as his guide.
“As we couldn’t communicate directly
with the end users, we needed the
system design to have a large degree of
versatility to allow for any conceivable
alteration to the room layout or zone
configuration,” says Lund. His solution
was to use Peavey’s Digitool MX – a
fully programmable processing and
control system – to provide a menu of
in/out options, with the ability to update
with a new project file should revisions
be required at a later date.
Let’s get this clear
“Modern electronic music demands
more than ever when it comes to clarity and definition,” says Flanagan. “It’s
no longer a case of straightforward
4/4 and mashed up sound. Distortion
must be kept at minimum.” This is
especially important since listeners in
clubs are typically much closer to the
sound source than in live music applications. And that proximity equally
puts a premium on aesthetics as well
as compactness.
“Achieving the desired SPL levels
and full-range performance in very
compact form is the key,” he says. “That
minimises impact in what is often a
limited space. Tannoy’s VQ is one of
the smallest format boxes able to
achieve that level of sustained acoustic
performance. A single VQ 60 can
easily match or rival a four-box line
array hang – which is often impractical
in a club situation. Plus, owners are
looking for something iconic that
doesn’t detract from the style of the club
interior. In the same way that other
manu fac turers have a recognisable
styling, Tannoy’s VQ, with a deep coned
horn and twin angled 12” LF array, has
a similar unique appearance.”
“JBL has long been involved with
the dance club market, supplying components for custom systems in top
clubs worldwide since the early 1970s,”
comments Jon Sager, senior manager,
installed sound, for JBL Professional.
“Later we designed custom systems
like Dance3 and Dance5, while more
recently club designers have used
VerTec, VRX Series and many other
JBL systems.”
But Harman sees it as an important
and growing sector, Sager says, hence
the release last year of eight new loudspeaker models specifically for the
dance club market. “The Marquis
Dance Club line of speakers is
designed with high fashion and high
performance in mind and they deliver
Le Madison in Tunis recently invested in a Dynacord system
both at the highest possible level of
fidelity. We believe this already strong
market segment is growing and there
are a number of opportunities for this
new product line in clubs of all sizes
everywhere in the world.”
Meyer, by contrast, doesn’t have a
dedicated ‘club speaker’ range.
“We make neutral systems, thereby
catering for all kinds of music, says Scott
Gledhill, noting that, “there are definitely more multiple-room venues. The
club needs a variety of options to draw
the public – big-name DJs, other nights
for live music and so on. Multipurpose
systems fit in with the trends for live
performance plus functions etc as well
as pure dance nights.
“We don’t specifically tune our systems for club use – instead we make
sure there’s plenty of headroom. Our
big seller is the JM1P (along with the
UPQ series) together with the 700HP
2x 18 sub. These are trapezoidal, threeway speakers, designed to be flown,
and they are sonically linear… input
equals ouput.”
There are two selling points he picks
out. One is “ear fatigue – or rather the
lack of it. With Meyer’s systems, the
audience doesn’t experience com pression and attenuation” meaning
the clubber will come back because he
didn’t end up with a 12-hour headache
after his night out.
The other gets to the heart of why people go clubbing in the first place. Oh, sure
they go to dance, and for that you need
to “feel the sound in your chest. But the
guy must still be able to flirt with the girl.
So you have to demo it, you have to talk to
your customer with the system up high.
For that you don’t need to design a ‘club
speaker’ – just give them headroom.”
The world outside is struggling to
keep afloat, but the club market still
appears to be buoyant. There are, however, warning signs. There may be bums
on seats, and escapism may still rule, but
realism isn’t so far behind. Attendance
looks stable but there’s anecdotal evidence
that spend per punter is down. So there’s
work there for the pro-audio installer –
but expect margins to be just as tight as
in the real world. Q
48 hither & dither
2012 International CES
10-13 January
Las Vegas, US
www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
Hither & winners
The world through the tinselly, sparkly, glittery eyes of PSNE
Please send all contributions for possible publication to [email protected]
11-14 January
London, UK
16-18 January
Rotterdam, Netherlands
19-22 January
Anaheim, US
28 Jan-1 Feb
Cannes, France
Victors at the 5th Pop! The Question Christmas quiz was clinched by the ‘Tits
Fineline Media finance hit the Soho Bar just before Christmas to toast clients
McGee’ team, representing Snapper Records. The Academy Music Group event
and friends. (L-R) Jon Fry, of broadcast technology and services supplier CVP;
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Duncan Payne, Fineline; Darren Simpson, CVP; Gareth Wilding, Fineline; David
(centre back with the winners) and attended by the likes of Live Nation, NME, Sony
Everitt, Arri GB; and Michael Groom, CVP
Music and EMI. The PSNE/Music Week team managed a respectable joint third
This year’s JCA Media/Distributor Pub Quiz was won by Fremantle Media,
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pictured here with the JCA management. The TVBEurope team? Second!
Rebecca Price and Gavin Scott getting in the party swing at the Phoenix Arts Club
Integrated Systems Europe
31 Jan-2 Feb
Amsterdam, Netherlands
14-16 February
London, UK
28 Feb-1Mar
Dubai, UAE
The ARC Show
29 Feb-1 March
London, UK
45th AES Conference
1-4 March
Helsinki, Finland
Digital Signage Expo
6-9 March
Los Angeles, US
6-10 March
Hannover, Germany
2012 Media Summit
7-8 March
New York, US
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www.prosoundnewseurope.com January 2012
Silver shadows and golden years
Picture by James Cumpsty, courtesy HHB Communications
Clive Green
You left Cadac in 2001; do you keep up
with developments?
“Well, I’ve just heard that Bob Thomas has left,
and of course I know that it’s now under
Chinese ownership. But to be honest it’s
changed so far beyond recognition that it
wouldn’t be appropriate for me to even try to
interpret what has happened in that time.”
they were ruddy expensive – and it had to
have a patchbay, with as much wiring as a
studio desk. These were the A-Type desks,
and despite the very British provenance
the first two orders came from New York. It
was Martin again, working on Broadway and
basically selling the concept. At one point later
we had consoles on 70% of Broadway shows.”
You created the company, and led it for over
three decades. What do you see when you
look back on that period now?
“My abiding memories are to do with our success in
the theatre industry. That’s how the company really made its name. In fact it was the first one to take
mixing consoles for that market seriously. It was
[sound designer] Martin Levan who approached
us; he was the sound engineer at Morgan Studios,
where Andrew Lloyd Webber recorded. Andrew
asked Martin to improve the sound quality of one
of his London musicals, and since we had a
recording console at Morgan he turned to us.”
Is that how the exports picked up?
“Of course; shows like Phantom went on tour.
They would open in London, then New York,
LA, San Francisco… then a bus and truck tour
around the country. Another production would
open in Toronto, then various venues around
Europe, Australia and Japan – all specifying the
same mixing console. We didn’t need distributors;
we sold consoles direct to the sound hire
companies, and they were responsible for the
after-sales service.”
What were the different requirements of the
console that emerged?
“The existing theatre consoles were pretty puny,
and the sound quality wasn’t up to studio
standards. The first desk we built, for Little Shop
Of Horrors, was much larger, although the spec
dictated that the front-to-back dimension couldn’t be deeper than a row of seats! One row was
taken out by the console, and another by the
Interview by Phil Ward
Among the Sound Fellowships awarded at
the annual APRS luncheon in London in
November, one stood out as an
acknowledgement of the technical achievement of a
classic British brand: Cadac, co-founded by retired
eminence grise Clive Green, contributed to the
recording studio revolution of the late ’60s and went
on both to transform and dominate live sound
mixing in the theatre. A key figure in the APRS
from 1970 to 1991, Green’s legacy now enriches
industry heritage just like the famous marque on
his latterday passion: the continuing maintenance
of a vintage Rolls-Royce from 1937.
So how does it feel to be a Sound Fellow?
“Wonderful, what a marvellous occasion. Do
you know, there was once an APRS exhibition
where they hold the luncheon [The Roof
Gardens in Kensington, west London]; I remember carrying stuff up there from Derry Street. I
was hoping everyone would have name badges,
like the exhibitions, but I needn’t have worried.
It was great to see so many familiar faces.”
Not many people ‘retire’ from pro audio; it’s
a lifetime thing for them…
“I reached 65, and I have a great many interests
besides designing and building mixing consoles
– especially the Rolls, which I’ve had since 1973.
It’s taken us as far as Lake Como and back…”
How did the creation of Cadac reflect the
studio industry of the time?
“I started at Olympic in 1963, when it was still
in the West End. I used to wear a white coat!
The maximum was four tracks, on Ampex tape
recorders. But when we moved to Barnes, in
January 1967, our chief technical engineer
Richard Swettenham designed a mixing
console for the huge new studio, big enough for
a full symphony orchestra. I moved on to
Lansdowne Studios, run by Adrian Kerridge, but
I could see the need for a new generation of
desks. When we turned Lansdowne’s reception
area into a larger control room I got the
opportunity to build a desk for it, and word
got out. It was a small community of technical
innovators and bright businessmen.
“Morgan Studios opened, with Terry Brown
from Olympic days and Barry Morgan, and
they asked me for the plans so that they could
build their own version of my console. Adrian
and I asked: if it goes wrong, who’s
responsible? So we formed a separate company
to build the console for Morgan, very much to
protect our interests really, and that’s how
Cadac came into being.”
When did you first begin to investigate
going digital?
“About seven years before I left, although
development didn’t start in earnest until about
two years before I left, because the analogue
models were doing so well. The big advantage
of digital is that the operator can set the
controls and later recall them, but I don’t
perceive any audible benefits. It equals the
sound, but it doesn’t improve it. At the time
when I left the industry, for peace of mind I’d
“[Cadac] has changed so far beyond recognition that it
wouldn’t be appropriate for me to even try to interpret
what has happened in that time”
operator. Autograph Sound bought the console
and leased it to the production company, and
Andrew Bruce did tell me how surprised he was
not to have any teething troubles. It worked
perfectly straight away. Then Martin Levan did
Starlight Express, which also required a specially
built desk from us: this one had to be L-shaped
to fit the theatre. They had to build a skating
rink around the back, of course. So we built the
frame first, tested that on site, and the modules
were put in later.
“There was no interference, and it sounded
just as I would expect a desk of ours to
sound at Lansdowne, for example. After that
I could accept that a theatre desk could be as
good as a studio desk. Andrew was especially
pleased with the sound in that theatre.
The desk remained for a long, long time –
until they closed the show – and in the
meantime we built a standard range of desks
for this application. Andrew specified that
all connectors must be military standard –
still ask for analogue. If digital went wrong,
your chances of fixing it in a hurry were very
small indeed, although that’s changing now.
Our J-Type, the most successful model, was
computer-controlled but it was analogue
circuitry. The computer took care of
remembering the cues, especially muting
actors’ mics as they went off stage, but it was
all stored on a PC. The desk remained
supremely analogue!”
Does it surprise you that musical theatre
is still so popular in this age of
digital entertainment?
“Well, it’s the perfect form of escapism. I
remember the last recession, in the early ’90s,
when we were very worried that the West End
might go into the doldrums. But it seemed
people were still happy to fork out to go to the
theatre, even though they were cutting back
elsewhere. That seems to be the case still, and
I’m very glad that it is.” Q
Advertiser index
Page No
Page No
Fast Turnaround TV
ASL Intercom
Full Fat Audio
Martin Audio
Page No
31, 33, 35
HK Audio
Sommer Cable
Institute of Professional Sound
Canford Audio
Integrated Systems Europe
Waves Audio
JTS Professional
QSC Audio
Kaltman Creations
Radial Systems Engineering
Yamaha Commercial Audio
Faital Pro
Riedel Communications
Page No
44, 45
Digital Goes Midas
Goes Compact
• 56 mic/line inputs
• 64 input channels
• 27 sample-synchronous phase-coherent buses
• 6 multi-channel FX Engines
• 28 KT DN370 31-band GEQ’s
• 6 POPulation groups
• 8 VCA groups
• 192 MCA groups
• Daylight-viewable full colour TFT display screen
• Midas latency compensation system
© 2011 MUSIC Group IP Ltd. Technical specifications and appearances are subject to change without notice and accuracy is not guaranteed.
MIDAS and KLARK TEKNIK are part of the MUSIC Group (music-group.com).

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