Archive for February, 2012

HARMAN Professional Promotes David McKinney To Lead Operations In India

NORTHRIDGE, California — Continuing its program to develop emerging markets and provide channel partners and end-users with not simply the best AV technologies for their markets, but also the best organizations to support their businesses, HARMAN Professional today announced the promotion of David McKinney to Senior Director, Operations – India for the Professional Division.  McKinney, an 11-year veteran of HARMAN Professional with a demonstrated capacity to build and lead organizations in emerging markets, previously established HARMAN Professional’s Asia Regional Sales office in Kuala Lumpur where he achieved significant success at establishing the organization and growing the business. Today’s announcement was made by Blake Augsburger, HARMAN Executive Vice President and President, HARMAN Professional.

“David McKinney has done an excellent job for HARMAN and our partners in the Asia sales region. Now, as Senior Director, Operations – India for the Professional Division, I am confident that he will be a great asset to our partners there and that his skill set and experience will serve as an accelerant for our business and that of our partners and customers in India,” Augsburger said.  “I am similarly pleased that the Asia sales office is well-organized and under strong leadership with Thomas Marcher now serving as Director Of Sales, Asia Regional Sales Office.”

In his new role, David McKinney will report to Lakshmi Narayan, HARMAN India Country Manager, and will be based at HARMAN’s Bangalore offices. Lakshmi noted McKinney’s suitability to the role.  “David McKinney is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of our customers and distribution partners and to find solutions that address those needs.  I look forward to working with David as we plan our future in this market, grow our business and support our partners with the best technologies, the most advanced integration and the industry’s most progressive support.”

Commenting on his promotion, McKinney noted, “This is a compelling opportunity in a remarkable culture at a time of growth. I am very honored to lead such an impressive team; to work with such dynamic, industrious distributors and with an infinitely creative community of end-users in installed sound, portable PA, recording and broadcast and tour sound.”

David McKinney has a Bachelors Degree in Electronic Music & Electronics from Keele University in the United Kingdom. Since 2003 McKinney has been based in Malaysia, initially as Director of Sales for HARMAN’s Signal Processing Group and more recently he led the startup for the Professional Division Regional Sales office there.

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 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.2 billion for twelve months ending December 31, 2011.

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LONDON, United Kingdom – Pete Freeman is a UK-based engineer who is as comfortable in the studio as he is doing live sound for touring bands. Currently, Freeman is the Technical Manager at Gibson Guitar Studio in London, and is also the front of house engineer for Vintage Trouble, a band that mixes soul, R&B, rock and funk to create the infectious sound that earned them the 2011 Best New Band award from Classic Rock magazine. Freeman relies on a HARMAN Soundcraft Vi1 digital mixing console at Gibson Studios and will be taking it on the road for a number of shows for Vintage Trouble’s upcoming European tour. His preference for the Vi1 is the culmination of years of experience using a variety of Soundcraft consoles in every conceivable studio and live situation.

“Soundcraft has always made my favorite consoles and the ones I feel the most at home with, whether digital or analog,” said Freeman. “Their EQs work in a way that I’m most comfortable with. In fact, I don’t really have to look at the EQ labels on the controls any more. When I do, I find that the labeled frequency I’m reaching for is more often than not just the one I wanted to cut or boost.”

Freeman remarked that he does not find the same level of tailored accuracy in other brands of consoles. “This intuitive feel and operation is the same for me whether I’m using the Vi1 or Vi6 digital consoles, an MH Series analog desk or even one of the Si Compact ‘notebook’ mixers,” he said. “I feel like everything’s been thought out.”

“I had been using the Soundcraft Vi6 in many venues across the country, and when Soundcraft was in the process of introducing the Vi1 they gave me one to test,” Freeman added. “To be honest, I did not want to give it back.”

Freeman has since incorporated the Vi1 into Gibson Studio’s control room. “It is an absolute joy to mix on,” he noted. “We have used it to mix live broadcast audio for a variety of acts and have also done countless Radio Academy broadcasts using the Vi6.”

Freeman has also found the Vi1 to be the ideal console for his live sound projects. “I am currently working for management company McGhee Entertainment as the front of house engineer for Vintage Trouble,” he said. “It is a lot of fun and having the Vi1 as the console helps make it a positive experience. In fact, the Vi1 offers the flexibility you need for any application, and it’s genuinely brilliant that a console this portable has so much functionality. I have always loved the Vistonics™ II illuminated color touchscreen interface, and sonically you cannot fault the Vi1 in any way. It offers amazing value considering its price–but I would rate the Vi1 as the top console out there, regardless of price.”

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 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.2 billion for twelve months ending December 31, 2011.

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Neapolitan Song Folds Back the Years with HARMAN’s Soundcraft Mixing Consoles

Engineer Joe Faraso with a Soundcraft MH3 console

NAPLES, Italy — Many generations of HARMAN’s Soundcraft mixing consoles have been used, first by Calogero Valore and later his son, Stefano, over three decades at the Napoli Prima e Dopo (Naples Before And After) Festival in Italy. This celebration of Neapolitan song, spanning the last two centuries, shows there is much more depth in the genre than simply O Sole Mio and Funiculì, Funiculà.

Started by Calogero himself in 1982, the event features some of Italy’s most renowned crooners and takes place at the Grand Hotel La Sonrisa in S. Antonio Abate (Naples). Here, up to 1,000 people gather outdoors for a show that is transmitted through a private production company, by RAI 1 (Italy’s national broadcaster).

The second festival in 1983 saw a vintage Soundcraft 24-channel 400B used for the first time—the console launched that year as an upgrade to the Soundcraft Series 400. Calogero used the 400B until 1985—but things have moved on considerably since Stefano took over the reins in 1993.

After mixing international singers such as Valerio Scanu, Gloriana, Peppino di Capri, Lucio Dalla, Manuela Villa, Anna Tatangelo and many others for the last time on a Soundcraft analogue MH3 last July, he has now turned to a digital Soundcraft Si1+. This will be used for the first time at the landmark 30th event this year.

“First and foremost I like the sound of the Soundcraft desks—but they are also very practical,” stated Stefano. “As for the Si1+, in my opinion this is an excellent digital mixer—combining a lot of features and functionality into a very compact chassis. It’s also an easy transition from the analogue desk I came from.”

In fact Stefano has wide experience of the Soundcraft analogue platforms, since undertaking his first Napoli Prima e Dopo 18 years ago. The sound engineer can boast at having subsequently worked on a Soundcraft Spirit Live 4-32, Soundcraft Delta, K2, SM20 and Ghost—in various theatre, concert and television productions, in addition to the song festival.

But he remembers fondly the period between 2005-2011 when he took a major step, piloting the flagship 48-channel MH3, which he acquired soon after it came onto the market. “The production crew were in awe of it,” he remembers.

Planning the festival itself requires major preparation over six days, he confirms. This includes four days to build the infrastructure and carry out tests, followed by soundchecking the Augusto Visco Orchestra, conducted by Enzo Campagnoli, and the performing soloists. But as the event now prepares for its milestone 30th year, you can bet that Stefano Valore will be tracking Soundcraft developments.

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 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.2 billion for twelve months ending December 31, 2011.

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The California Guitar Trio needs no introduction to guitar aficionados – and should be on any music lover’s required listening list. Paul Richards, Bert Lams and Hideyo Moriya founded the Trio in 1991 and have since gone on to record more than a dozen albums. The California Guitar Trio tours worldwide, delighting audiences with their dazzling virtuosity, on-stage humor and eclectic blend of pop, classical, surf, jazz, world and other less-categorizable musical influences.

Guitarist Paul Richards had been using the DigiTech Whammy™, RP500 multi-effects unit and even a decades-old Echo Plus, and when the iPB-10 programmable pedalboard for iPad was introduced, he was curious to try one. The iPB-10 is the world’s first guitar multi-effects pedal designed to work with the Apple® iPad and iPad2. It docks with an iPad to deliver never-before-available touchscreen visual editing capabilities and access to an unlimited array of sounds.

“When I was a teenager, I worked at a guitar shop, so I’ve been familiar with DigiTech for more than 20 years,” Richards said. “I’ve watched them continually improve and become more innovative. I had been using another multi-effects unit onstage for many years, and I’ve tested and owned gear from a number of manufacturers. When I tried the iPB-10, I was immediately impressed by both the sound quality and the very cool, easy to use iPad interface.”

“Everything is better! Better distortions, better amp modeling, better effects, and the iPad interface is so easy to use,” Richards noted. “The same day that I got the iPB-10, I had easily figured out how to program it, and was duplicating and improving on all my sounds that I had created on my previous multi-effects unit. In fact, I had the iPB-10 ready for our live show that night.”

“The sound quality of the iPB-10 is phenomenal. The amp modeling is the best I’ve ever used. Every night we play in different types of venues – it could be a rock club, jazz club, church, theater or arts center – with a different sound system every night. It is absolutely critical for me to have a great-sounding effects unit that works in every kind of live setting.”

“After the first show that I played with the iPB-10, I knew that the unit sounded great and was going to work well,” Richards said. “Over the course of the rest of the tour, I was impressed with how good it sounded night after night. There’s an original tune of ours called ‘Andromeda,’ where I’m playing a heavy guitar riff with quite a bit of distortion. I found a great setting on the iPB-10 using one of the amp models. A couple of weeks ago we did a show with our friends in the Montreal Guitar Trio, who we had done quite a few shows with before. When they heard my new sound on ‘Andromeda’ using my iPB-10, they commented on how much better it sounded, and became very interested in my iPB-10!”

“The iPB-10 is super-easy to use on stage,” Richards pointed out. “It’s by far the easiest multi-effects unit I have ever used. With the iPad interface, it’s very much like having real amps and effects pedal boards all at my fingertips, in one small unit. Instead of having to access menus or go into parameter pages to make changes, everything that I need is accessible with a touch on the screen or a click of a button, just like real amps and pedals.”

“In my home studio, I’ve been having a lot of fun creating new sounds using the huge variety of amps and effects available in the iPB-10. I can’t say enough about how easy this unit is to program and how easy it is to tweak sounds with the iPad interface.”

For more information about the California Guitar Trio please visit www.cgtrio.com.

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 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 12,500 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4 billion for the 12 months ending September 30, 2011. The company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Auckland’s College Hill Productions Ltd. is one of New Zealand’s largest sound reinforcement production companies, and handles most of the concerts by major international artists as well as indoor and outdoor music events, TV and radio broadcasts, corporate events and more. Recently, College Hill Productions added two HARMAN Soundcraft Si Compact 32 digital live sound consoles to its equipment roster.

“We had been keenly awaiting the Si Compact 32 ever since we first got wind that Soundcraft was working on a line of small-format digital consoles with a rich feature set,” noted Leon Dalton, general manager of College Hill Productions. “When the Si Compact 32 finally shipped, we jumped at the chance to snap up a couple!”

“Our primary reason for going with the Si Compact 32 was its audio quality,” Dalton continued. “We didn’t want to sacrifice sound quality just for the convenience and flexibility a digital console offers. In fact, we had found other small-scale digital consoles lacking in audio performance. The Si Compact 32, on the other hand, sounds fantastic.”

The console was a logical upgrade for College Hill Productions for a number of other reasons. “The Si Compact 32 is an easy-to-use, ergonomic, compact and great-sounding drop-in substitute for our older small-format analog consoles,” Dalton said. “Each Si Compact 32 also replaces two external racks of outboard effects. The four built-in effects engines are plenty for our purposes and they sound superb.”

Adding to the consoles’ versatility, College Hill Productions ordered the Si Compact 32 consoles with the MADI card option, which allows the use of external stage boxes and extends the consoles’ input/output and multitrack recording capabilities. “The MADI option complements our existing MADI inventory and gives us the ability to create cost-effective, live multi-track recording options for bands, television companies and radio stations,” Dalton pointed out.

“I cannot emphasize enough how much of a benefit the Si Compact 32’s small footprint provides,” concluded Dalton. “It’s one of the console’s great strengths. The console in its road case has the same dimensions as a monitor wedge case, making it perfect as part of a support band package for larger arena shows where truck space is at a premium.”

For more information about College Hill Productions please visit www.collegehill.co.nz/chp.htm

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 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.2 billion for twelve months ending December 31, 2011.

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