Archive for November, 2010

Trey Songz Opens Usher’s OMG Tour With AKG Microphones, Networking Solution

Following his fourth studio album release in September, R&B sensation Trey Songz has teamed up with Usher for the international OMG Tour, utilizing AKG microphones for lead vocals and his band’s lead guitar and percussion. With a 40-minute set each of the 58 nights of the tour, Songz’s relies on top-quality technology to deliver memorable performances to hundreds of thousands of fans in the world’s most famous venues.

Trey Songz’s performances are highlighted with an AKG D 7 mic with a D 7 Reference Dynamic Capsule for lead vocals. The lead guitarist is heard through an AKG C 214, while the drummer snaps C 519’s to his set. The mic system is networked through the AKG WMS 4500 Wireless System.

“The AKG line sounds great and are some of the best vocal mics I’ve heard in the industry,” stated Bryon “Hot Dog” Tate, front of house engineer for Trey Songz.  “The wireless vocal D 7 is extremely responsive in the mid range and the 214 give us a more compact and easy-to-use piece for the guitar.”

Utilizing the WMS 4500 with the AKG microphones gives Tate multiple features that are essential to the success of a live show.  With an easy-to-access-and-view monitoring system, auto frequency synchronization, environment scans and pilot tone status data transmission, ensuring the vocals and instrumentation are completely in-line during the performance is a much simpler task for Tate.

“I’ve had a long-standing relationship with AKG through many well-known artists and the mics continue to exceed my expectations,” continued Tate.

For more information on Trey Songz, please visit http://www.treysongz.com.

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Studer Vista Series Digital Consoles Are the Favorite of Top Talk Show Engineers

Studer’s Vista 9 and Vista 8 digital mixing consoles have quickly become a favorite of broadcast engineers, thanks to features like their easy to use Vistonics™ touchscreen interface, fast, flexible operation that’s ideally suited to a live TV environment, and pristine sound quality. Currently, Vista 9 and Vista 8 consoles are being used on “Dr. Phil,” “NFL on FOX,” “The Martha Stewart Show,” “The Wendy Williams Show” and many other popular shows, and most recently, for “Conan,” the new Conan O’Brien show on TBS.

All Mobile Video is the country’s premier provider of end-to-end video and audio broadcast solutions for entertainment, sports, and news programming and events. They provide a complete range of on-site and mobile services, with the ability to handle any broadcast production requirement from daily TV broadcasts to major sporting events. Currently, All Mobile Video is using Studer Vista 8 consoles on “The Martha Stewart Show,” “Tyra” (“The Tyra Banks Show”) and “The Wendy Williams Show.”

Respected industry veteran Mike Stock has been the production sound mixer on a wide variety of television programs including “Dr. Phil,” “The Doctors,” “NFL on Fox,” “The Bachelor” and “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,” as well as numerous live events on the TV Guide channel. Stock is also the production sound mixer for “Conan,” the new late-night talk show featuring Conan O’Brien, which debuted November 8 on TBS. The production facility for the show uses two Vista 9 consoles. “Conan” is taped before a live audience from Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California.

“One of my favorite features of the Vista consoles is the strip setup. Being able to move inputs to the center section of the desk means I’m never mixing out of the sweet spot,” Stock said. “I’m also enjoying the Vista 9 with the added control bay features and the upgrades to the meters.”

The Studer Vista 9 and Vista 8 are ultimate-performance digital mixing consoles with an exclusive, configurable Vistonics user interface and, on the Vista 9, new user-definable FaderGlow and TFT meters, including History Mode, that provide a clear, easily understandable display of all operating parameters along with fast, easy operation. The Vista 9 and Vista 8 offer additional advanced features such as 7.1-channel surround-sound mixing capability, dynamic automation, a sophisticated snapshot system, dedicated mute groups and much more. Both consoles enable seamless integration with other Studer products via Studer RELINK network technology.

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Studer Vista 5 Console Provides Surround Sound For Fela! At the National

When the Broadway blockbuster Fela! transferred to London’s National Theatre on the South Bank this month, Tony Award-winning sound designer Robert Kaplowitz took advantage of the auditorium’s vastly different form to rework his original soundscape, with a Studer Vista 5 digital console at the control centre.

Portraying the life of Nigerian political activist and musician Fela Kuti had required the audience to be immersed in a soundfield as part of the adventurous production–but at the National he decided to go a step further.

The opportunity came when the National’s Sound Operations Manager, Borneo Brown, and assistants, Matt Berry and Ed Ferguson, requisitioned a 42-fader, custom-configured Studer Vista 5 digital console for the production.

“I had hoped to have used this desk for the Broadway production–but for various reasons it didn’t happen,” said Kaplowitz. Of the advanced feature set offered by the Vista 5, the highlight–as far as this show is concerned–is the Virtual Sound Panning (VSP) feature. Offering phase and time delay, this is assigned to the 11-piece band (over 25 channels), to provide panning and a wide stereo image without level shifts.

As a result, the band audio image moves subtly. “They are on moving trucks which go back and forward and we can psycho-acoustically connect the image of the band without sacrificing gain in the whole room. It’s a big bonus having the VSP as we missed a lot of this on Broadway.”

Kaplowitz admits that the shape of the National’s auditorium had a strong impact on the mix. “This is a very different space–with 150-degree audience seating rather than a proscenium as on Broadway, where we used a runway to break up the proscenium space. At the National we are more ‘in the house’ and the VSP helps us bring the audience right into the show.

“We have ended up using a different output configuration–the flexible DSP allowed us to reconfigure the desk during our prep, and we were also able to use the flexibility of the DSP chips to add the Virtual Surround Panning.”

One of the elements important to both the sound designer and [choreographer] Bill T. Jones was the vocal surround. “The challenge was that he wanted to know where every actor was on stage with his eyes closed, and also be able to feel the surround.

“We use TiMax 2, utilising its crosspoint delay/gain matrix, to create various ‘zones’ in the house.  Each of those zones is a zero point for the entire sound system, including the surrounds.  The performers are placed in those zones, using the multitrack busses on the Vista 5 in conjunction with TiMax 2′s Tracker system. These zones allow us the ability to fulfill Bill’s request to localize the voices to their sources, while simultaneously allowing me to enfold the entire audience in the events onstage.”

At the same time Studer’s dedicated VST host plug-in engine lets users run favourite VST effects either as inserts or on effects sends, with recall on Vista’s Cuelist function. “This has allowed me as a designer to pick my output FX, and by freeing me for the plug-ins means I’m not limited.” The plug-in suite includes eight full-time Lexicon reverbs.

The ability to programme a custom channel / bus structure via Studer’s Config Editor, provided all the flexibility needed to structure a complex surround mix incorporating the TiMax spatialization.

The freely customizable console DSP structure has been designed around 80 mono and 20 stereo inputs, including 25 vocal inputs, a further 25 inputs from the 11-piece band (including percussion), and 12 channels of playback sound FX using QLab. The bus structure includes 32 mono and eight stereo auxes, 40 special multi-track busses for feeding the TiMax system and 18 mono subgroups for the band. Each band subgroup is split into L/C/R feeds which in turn feed eight mono matrices.

The show’s sound engineer, Paul Stannering confirms that they are using five Studer D21m Series I/O MADI expansion cards, which provide feeds for the monitor console, TiMax, an OB vehicle and lastly the Studer VST machine.

“By using a MADI interface to hook up to the VST engine it meant I could theoretically have any VST plug-ins I wanted via the host software without it eating up DSP. For instance, we found a VST plug-in version of a sub-harmonic synthesizer and added it to our virtual rack. We could use all the DSP in the Studer desk without having to waste capacity on outboard FX.”

Given the complexity of the show, Robert Kaplowitz’s task was boosted by the support he received from Studer’s sales director, Jamie Dunn, and product manager Peter Weber–with many show files bouncing back and forth between Kaplowitz and Dunn to achieve the optimum structure within the processing capacity.

The Vista 5 comes in 32-fader and 42-fader chassis–and this production has opted for the additional bay of 10 input faders. “It’s important to have more faders under your fingers,” believes Kaplowitz. “With this control surface it means Paul [Stannering] has access to 12 VCA’s on the control bay without having to go to another layer which is great.”

In addition to the flexibility and speed of the VCA’s, ease and speed of programming and an intuitive cue list structure are further attributes of the desk, he states.

“In fact the console has been able to keep up with everything. We recently added an encore and with just 20 minutes notice, we programmed the desk while the singers were learning the song–the speed with which the Vista could deal with this on the fly was amazing.”

And Paul Stannering seemed far from fazed by his first outing on the Studer desk. ”It can be a difficult learning curve on both a new desk and a new show–particularly one as complicated as this–but it’s acquitted itself well and with an intuitive interface, it’s been a quick learning curve.”

In summary, Robert Kaplowitz says, “Whereas the sound desk we used on Broadway did the job, the Studer is made to do the job– we haven’t needed to trick it into things.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems.  HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.2 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2010.  The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.

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Providing the greater Los Angeles area with a unique twist on the late night movie, Hollywood Outdoor Movies (HOM) relies on JBL VRX loudspeakers to entertain thousands by displaying feature films on a giant portable outdoor movie screen. With audiences ranging in size from 1,300 to 2,500 people, HOM owner John J. Snyder’s VRX system is using his JBL VRX system to deliver high-impact sound for movie exhibitions throughout southern California.

From Exposition Park and La Cienega Park, to the Fashion Institute of Design and an area of Los Angeles known as “The Cornfields,” HOM arranges day-long events for families that include live music, games, food, costume contests and of course, a feature film on screens up to 100 feet wide.

“We focus on making each screening a large, family-friendly event, rather than just showing a movie for an hour and a half,” stated Snyder. “We try to make it all about the activities and events, where the movie at the end of the night is the icing on the cake.”

The Hollywood-based firm has shown a variety of movies, including Walk the Line, Swingers, Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction, Moulin Rouge, The Hangover, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Back to the Future, Wedding Crashers, Zombie Land, the Shining on Halloween night and the Princess Bride at La Cienega Park, which brought HOM’s largest crowd to date.

Providing equally stunning sound to match the visuals on the screen, Hollywood Outdoor Movies relies on its inventory of JBL VRX 932LAP Constant Curvature line arrays and VRX918SP powered subwoofers, in addition to VERTEC® VT4888 midsize line array elements and VT4880 fullsize arrayable subwoofers.

“The user-friendly and lightweight characteristics of the VRX line arrays allow us to maximize our time and quality during the setup process,” continued Snyder. “With the built-in signal processing and amplifiers, the speakers give us a happy medium between our smaller JBL EON portable loudspeakers and larger, longer-throw VerTec line arrays. This enables us to easily entertain thousands of guests with plenty of audio coverage and distribution, even in large outdoor areas.”

Utilizing inflatable AIRSCREEN technology to provide the highest quality and safety for all outdoor screenings in any weather conditions, HOM can project a film on screens up to 100 feet wide and more than five stories tall, entertaining thousands of fans in a variety of venues including outdoor parking lots, civic parks and other locations.

“With outdoor audio as challenging as it is, the VRX’s provide the perfect solution,” Snyder continued. “Many of our guests have raved about actually feeling the bass in the ground as they watch, which is exactly what we want at these feature film screenings.”

For more information on Hollywood Outdoor Movies please visit, http://www.hollywoodoutdoormovies.com.

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XPAND Announces New Call Center For Technical Support

The new XPAND Call Center will field all inquiries pertaining to 3D technology.

In a move that reinforces XPAND’s commitment to educating consumers as the popularity of 3D continues to skyrocket, XPAND is announcing its new XPAND Call Center for technical support. The XPAND Call Center will be operational 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

The XPAND Call Center will field any and all inquiries pertaining to 3D technology. The XPAND Call Center can be reached toll-free at 1-888-906-1190 or via email at technicalsupport@xpandcinema.com.

“As proud as we are of our revolutionary 3D products for consumers, we pride ourselves even more on offering reliable, dedicated customer support,” says Maria Costeira, CEO of XPAND. “Our new XPAND Call Center exemplifies this dedication and underscores our understanding that a satisfied customer base is the key to success for any company. Moreover, we understand that as the world leader in 3D, XPAND carries a responsibility to help eliminate confusion surrounding the numerous products and technologies related to 3D. We hope and believe that the Call Center will prove to be a valuable resource as the 3D industry continues to evolve.”

For more information on XPAND’s Universal 3D Glasses, please visit http://www.xpandcinema.com

About XPAND:

The global leader in the 3D market, XPAND Universal 3D Glasses are the only 3D glasses that work with all the 3DTV brands and models, 3D computers, 3D gaming consoles and cinema. Its 3D glasses are affordable for cinema owners and home users while providing 3D quality that was originally available only at a professional cost. XPAND has the extraordinary combination of experienced and visionary leadership, state-of-the-art technology, and economies of scale that will provide a backbone for the cinema and consumer electronics industries as they further transition into the 3D future.  X6D Limited is a global company whose products and services are marketed under the XPAND brand name. XPAND was created by industry veterans in theatrical exhibition, entertainment, film production and distribution, and specialty film and digital technologies and is funded by a European investment fund. XPAND technology is used by over 3,000 3D cinemas in more than 50 countries and is the 3D solution of choice for post-production houses, educational and professional 3D applications. XPAND designs, manufactures and OEMs a range of consumer electronics 3D solutions that are driving the 3D revolution.

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