Thursday, July 30, 2009

AKG Head of Advertising Mathilde Neubauer Passes Brand Development Agenda On After 37 Years At AKG

For an impressive 37 years (1972 to 2009), Mathilde Neubauer worked for AKG, an Austrian company with a long tradition. As Head of Advertising she helped to develop one of the best-known Austrian brands and to make it even better known worldwide. In this effort, she focused primarily on strengthening the position of AKG products in the company's main markets, the USA, Europe, and Asia, year after year. Today, AKG products are among the leading professional and consumer audio lines in the world. Mathilde Neubauer retires on the 1st of August 2009. Having headed the Advertising Department for so many years, she admits with a modest smile that her heart will continue beating for AKG even in her retirement.

"AKG is famous for making premium quality microphones and headphones, many of which have become legends. Mathilde Neubauer proves that many of the people behind our products have become legends, too. I would like to thank her personally for contributing to the development of the AKG brand for all these years," explains AKG Vice President, Marketing, Alfred Reinprecht. He will add Mathilde Neubauer's agenda to his own responsibilities effective August 2009.

AKG is a unit of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

JBL LSR Studio Monitors Help Eddie Kramer Bring The Sound Of Woodstock To The Next Generation

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of arguably the most significant musical event in history, Warner Home Video has released “Woodstock: 40th Anniversary—Ultimate Collector’s Edition” on Blu-Ray disc. The release features a re-mastered director’s cut of the original film, including many previously unreleased performances. Legendary producer/engineer Eddie Kramer, who engineered the original recordings that captured the 1969 event, was called by Warner to mix this wealth of previously material. For the project, Kramer relied on a 5.1 JBL LSR6300 studio monitor system to bring the tracks to life in Capitol Records Studio C control room.

According to Kramer, “The original recording during the festival was pretty scary in the sense that there was no communication between the stage and myself in what was essentially a tractor-trailer,” Kramer said. “We had to mix everything on the fly, so the first song in each set was basically an experiment in identifying where everything was in the mix.”

Thanks to modern recording technology, Kramer has been able to restore and improve the quality of the recordings from those historic three days. “Interestingly, with the technology that is afforded us today, one can now repair things that were irreparable even 15 years ago,” Kramer said. “It’s great, because where a lot of things weren’t working in those first songs, we’ve salvaged a lot of great performances and literally raised tracks from the grave.” The project includes unreleased performances of Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Band, Santana, the Grateful Dead and other iconic acts.

For the project, Kramer utilized a 5.1 surround system comprised of JBL LSR6300 series studio monitors during his mix sessions. “For the longest time, I have been looking for a set of monitors that I can feel comfortable with, at high volumes as well as low volumes, because I do a lot of my mixing at low volume,” Kramer said. “Anybody can turn a speaker up. But when the volume comes down and the relative quality and definition does not change as you pull the monitor fader down, that is a very key element in what I’m doing. I want to hear the detail, and I can hear tremendous detail in these JBL monitors. I think JBL is really doing it right these days.”

In addition to the detail, the neutral and even coverage of the LSR monitors has also proven advantageous for Kramer. “I love the LSR monitors because they’re so smooth and the top end doesn’t take my head off,” Kramer said. “I can sit in the studio all day long, for 12 or 14 hours, and my ears don’t fatigue.

“I needed to get this to sound as good as it possibly could,” Kramer added. “When people are listening to this on a 5.1 system in their living rooms, I want it to feel like they’re dead center in the middle of the crowd, they can smell the smoke, feel the mud and get the vibe.”

JBL VERTEC® Line Arrays And Sound Image Drive Clapton/Winwood North American Tour

Two of rock’s most legendary British performers, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, recently reunited to tour North America. Premier rental firm Sound Image supplied JBL VERTEC® line arrays powered by Crown amplifiers to ensure adequate output power, fidelity and coverage for the high-profile project. Industry veteran and Clapton’s longtime live sound engineer Robert Collins handled mixing duties at front of house.

A sell-out reunion date at New York’s Madison Square Garden last year paved the way for the 2009 “Two Legends, One Live Experience” tour, which spanned 14 cities in 20 days, beginning at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey and culminating at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The nightly set list included several songs from the classic 1969 album Blind Faith, which Clapton and Winwood recorded with bandmates Ginger Baker and Rick Grech.

The live sound reinforcement system for the just-completed tour included a total of 84 VERTEC full size line array loudspeaker elements, configured in multiple array hangs to provide 270 degrees of audience coverage. The rig included 14 VT4889’s per side for the main hangs, 12 VT4889’s per side for outfill, with another eight per side for rear coverage in typical arena venues. An array of 16 VT4880 full-size arrayable subwoofers rounded out the system. A total of 72 Crown IT8000 amplifiers, networked for remote control and monitoring via Harman’s HiQnet™ System Architect™ software platform, powered the system.

World-touring veteran system engineer Son Nishimura of Sound Image was in charge of sound system setup and configuration on a daily basis. “The JBL VERTEC system offers superior coverage characteristics when compared to other line arrays,” said Nishimura. “And, the light weight and tremendous ease of rigging with this system saves crew setup time at every show.”

“Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood are musicians’ musicians,” observed David Scheirman, Vice President, Tour Sound, JBL Professional. “When two of the music industry’s leading artists team up with a veteran concert sound firm and a top-tier line array system like JBL VERTEC, everybody wins--especially the live music fans in the audience. This was one of the most highly anticipated concert tours in North America this season and it’s turned out to be one of the most successful.”

For more information on Sound Image, please visit

Universiade Celebrates Three Anniversaries With Diverse Range Of JBL Loudspeakers

In preparation for one of the world’s most famous sporting events, systems integration firm Studio Berar outfitted 13 sports venues in Serbia with JBL loudspeakers and Crown amplifiers for the 2009 Summer Universiade games.

The Universiade is an international event that hosts university athletes from around the world. This year’s Summer Universiade took place from July 1 to July 12 in Belgrade, Serbia. It hosted more than 9,000 athletes from over 140 countries, all of who competed in 15 different sports and 203 disciplines at more than 50 sport venues. This year’s games celebrated three anniversaries for what some consider to be the largest and most important sporting event next to the Olympic Games: the 25th Summer Universiade, the 50th anniversary of Universiade, and the 60th anniversary of the International University Sports Federation.

For the largest sports venues, including soccer stadiums Marakana and Partizan, as well as the Belgrade Arena and the Belgrade Fair Hall, Studio Berar installed event systems that each contained 16 JBL VerTec VT4889 full-size line array elements, 12 JBL VerTec VT4888DP midsize powered line array elements with DrivePack® technology, 32 JBL VRX932LA and 16 JBL VRX918S subwoofers. With the exception of the VT4888DP elements, Crown CTs 3000 amplifiers powered all the systems.

Additionally, Studio Berar supplied a total of 86 EON315 powered portable loudspeakers, which were deployed as needed to address audiences in numerous smaller soccer courts and basketball halls. In summation, JBL was the exclusive loudspeaker for the entire Universiade games.

"This prestigious event is a real challenge, and the JBL speakers are a great choice, considering their sound quality, portability, and reliability,’’ said Aleksandar Kruscic, Sales and Application Engineer for Studio Berar.

Norwegian Parliament Upgrades to BSS Audio Soundweb London

The Norwegian parliament in Oslo is using a large number of BSS Audio Soundweb devices for different applications, covering meeting rooms, hearing rooms and the main parliament assembly auditorium.

The plenary chamber recently saw a major upgrade to a Soundweb London system, relieving the older Soundweb Original system from its duties, which it has been performing since 2002.

The new system, installed during the Easter recess by Norwegian BSS Audio distributor, LydRommet AS, includes four BLU-320 break-in / out devices in an 8 x 8 configuration, and eight BLU-160 devices, all configured with four analog inputs, four digital outputs and eight analog outputs. Two BLU-10 touch screen remotes control the system locally, and the package includes a BLU-80 device located in the offices of the technical department for surveillance and monitoring of the entire system.

All 12 devices share the same control network and design file, but in terms of functionality there are two identical systems divided in separate Digital Audio Bus rings for full redundancy.

The matched configuration of the devices also serves as an additional back-up, enabling devices to be swapped easily if required.

The BLU-320 devices serve as microphone preamps and CobraNet™ interfaces, while all processing and distribution routing and management is taken care of by the BLU-160 devices. In addition to the sound reinforcement system in the auditorium there are more than 120 destinations including broadcast applications.

The new system replaces eight Soundweb sw9088iis devices and four high quality eight-channel microphone preamps. While the old system was utilizing close to 100% in DSP processing power, the new system is idling at around 20%.

In addition, the Soundweb London system introduces great improvement in signal-to-noise ratio, and the overall sound quality has been raised to a higher level.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Soundcraft Vi6™ Consoles Live And Uncut At Latitude

Adlib Audio sent out two Soundcraft Vi6 digital mixing consoles — and two excellent sound technicians to babysit the systems — when they took over the production of feature stages at this month’s Latitude Festival.

In charge of the highly influential Uncut Arena was the experienced Walter Jaquiss, while simultaneously the same furious schedule, with back-to-back changeovers, was taking place in the Sunrise Arena, where Otto Kroymann was based.

While bands were turning round within 15 minutes at the stage end, sound engineers were setting up their patches with equal alacrity at front of house — no doubt relieved that in each case a Soundcraft Vi6 digital mixing console awaited them alongside their two mentors.

The Vi6 is quick to repatch and even quicker to jump onboard and start mixing for any sound engineer still to receive his induction.

“Adlib were conscious of having to put out a desk that everyone could mix on easily,” stated Walter Jaquiss. He set up a regime in the Uncut Arena where all show files were created off-line. “For those (engineers) who arrived with no show file I would take the patch from stage and create the file on a laptop,” he said.

“I had already created a generic festival set up and this allowed us to mix things around, move layers, change effects etc and save to key. You wouldn’t have time to reconfigure the gates, comps and VCA’s on an analogue desk.”

With 27 out of the 30 bands using the resident desk, the advantage of being able to create offline was paramount — and once the engineers had taken up the pilot’s seat they found the operating experience intuitive. “The desk is laid out visually and everything they needed was right in front of them — any fear factor would evaporate straight away,” said Walter Jaquiss. “It all becomes easier when it’s assigned offline — and the freedom to then be able to reassign later is fantastic.”

A bonus for Walter Jaquiss has been the arrival of Soundcraft’s v3.0 software, and the ability to take the generic festival patch from an Excel spreadsheet (using .csv files) and copy and paste channel labels. “To be able to do this with all 40 channels and then export them to your USB key — having already had them in another spread sheet — is fantastic. This would normally take a lot of time and it helps if [engineers] can see a personalised layout.

Over in Sunrise Otto Kroymann was undergoing a similar manic routine — but again, his knowledge of the Vi6 won the day.

“Quite a few sound engineers were using the Vi6 for the first time but everyone said how absolutely brilliant the experience was.

“None of the sound engineers brought their own show files and so we had a rolling template and incoming engineers would build on [the sound structure] the engineer before had created. Everyone who walked away from the desk commented on the Vi6’s ease of use and how simple it was to bring up any parameter. They all left the desk with a good feeling.”

In view of the lack of time, many engineers used the board like an analogue surface with the digital features added on top. “This worked brilliantly,” he said.

For Walter Jaquiss and Otto Kroymann there had hardly been time to draw breath over the three days — and both men were delighted that, thanks to the user-friendly features of the Vi6, they were able to get over the finishing line unscathed.

Further information from:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Camp Digital’s Journey HD Truck Rolls On With Soundcraft Vi4™

The Soundcraft Vi4 has already shown its versatility and power for Camp Digital remote recording projects including the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards, Gospel Dream and the Country Music Association’s Fan Fest.

What sets Camp Digital’s new Journey HD truck apart from other high-definition video/multichannel audio remote vehicles is its emphasis on sound quality and functionality. With a target client base of music and entertainment productions, audio is a high priority in the Nashville, Tennessee-based truck’s technology complement. And at the heart of that is the Soundcraft Vi4 digital live sound mixing console, the latest addition to Soundcraft’s highly successful Vi Series of digital live sound consoles.

“There was a niche we saw developing in the entertainment market: the need for HD video coupled with high-resolution, multichannel audio recording in a single package at a price that was affordable,” explains Tom Gregory, Vice President of Business Development for Camp Digital. "A lot of companies are loading up their HD trucks so they can do any kind of work, and obviously you pay for that whether or not you use it -- when you're in one of those trucks you see a lot of equipment that’s not even turned on. The vast majority of the work we do is music and entertainment, so we wanted to build a truck that was more in the budget range of a flight pack and that would fill a gap in the marketplace between a $30,000-a-day 53-foot HD production truck and a flight pack."

That’s precisely what they accomplished with the 36-foot Journey HD truck, which was commissioned last December. Its video technology menu is formidable, including Sony HDC1500L cameras, Fujinon lenses, Sony HVR1500a VTRs and an Echolab Overture 2MD multi-definition switcher. But its audio capabilities are just as impressive – the Soundcraft Vi4 digital audio console is coupled with a 64-track Pro Tools HD system and a Harris Panacea 8x8 digital AV router. “The Soundcraft Vi4 is the keystone to the Journey HD’s audio design,” Gregory explains. “It has a small footprint, which lets us put a lot of power into a smaller space.” In just under 1.5m/5 feet of length, that power includes access to 72 inputs on 24 faders, with a total of 35 output busses available for use as masters, groups, auxes or matrices. And the features of the larger Soundcraft Vi6, such as the highly acclaimed Vistonics™ II touch-screen user interface, Soundcraft FaderGlow™ fader function display and the unequalled audio quality, are all present on the Vi4.

Gregory says that the Vi4 performed flawlessly at all of the major events that the Journey HD truck has been used for, including the Dove Awards show and the Gospel Dream event, as well as the show at Fuel nightclub that kicked off the CMA Fan Fest and featured country music stars Kelly Pickler, Jason Aldean and Brad Paisley that will be broadcast on the ABC network on August 31. “These are all major broadcast events, and the engineers who recorded them are all A-game audio guys, and all of them have loved working with this console, praising its sound and its ergonomics,” says Gregory. “They like the way it integrates with the stage box at shows, which makes connections solid and simple, and we had one engineer download the software so he could pre-assign all of his groups ahead of time and he saved tons of time on location. In fact, every time someone sits down at this console, they find something new and useful. I’d say this truck and this console have both found their niche with each other.”

The Soundcraft Vi4 offers all the functionality and facilities of the Soundcraft Vi6, but in a smaller, more compact footprint more suited for space-conscious applications such as theatres, OB vehicles, Houses of Worship and venues or clubs with space-limited mix positions.

From A-Ha To Turandot: Soundcraft Vi6™ Versatility In Norway

For sound designer and FOH engineer Dag Stephen Solberg, a trip from one end of the musical spectrum to the other could be made in the company of one Soundcraft Vi6 digital audio mixing console.

Well, more than one, if you count the additional desks being used for monitoring and submixing tasks. But it is the impressive sound quality of Soundcraft’s front of house console that made it first choice for Scandinavia’s largest outdoor pop concert, the VG-Lista Topp 20 in Oslo, as well as the epic outdoor production of ‘Turandot’ by Opera Ostfold, with nearly 450 performers.

Solberg took charge of FOH mixing duties at both events, working with one of Norway’s leading concert services companies Frontlite AS to overcome some significant concert sound challenges.

In Oslo, despite appalling weather, 90,000 people packed into the Radhusplassen for a free concert of the best pop music that Norway has to offer, including Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak, the country’s most popular live band BIG BANG, and the legendary A-Ha as headliners. Sponsored by the largest Norwegian newspaper, and broadcast live on NRK, the one-day event is staged in the centre of the city on a site bordered by the harbour as well as civic offices.

Although the VG20 concert is well-supported by the local administration, Frontlite’s team can’t let rip! At FOH, Solberg is limited to 103dB (weighted). He describes his objective at the desk as “trying to make it sound fat so that you can feel the SPL without it tearing your head off!” His tools are a substantial and highly directive line array system, and a Soundcraft Vi6 handling 48 channels of digital audio.

“Although I’ve tried and liked all the other digital consoles, my first choice is the Vi6,” says Solberg. “It is a third of the size of some alternatives, and perfect for a festival situation like this where we have visiting engineers. People find it really intuitive to use, and it’s still possible for two engineers to work on the surface – one can grab the band, the other the vocals. And it offers excellent automation.”

Solberg’s colleague Espen Andersen works the monitor mixes from another Vi6 stage-side, a partnership that was repeated for the Ostfold Opera’s season of ‘Turandot.’ Staged in an old fort in Halden, near the Swedish border an hour from Oslo, this year’s production featured 350 people on stage, in addition to an 80-piece orchestra.

Once again serviced by Frontlite, one of the only companies in Norway capable of handling a production of this size, the FOH platform included a Soundcraft Vi6 delivering 96 inputs, and a Soundcraft Si3 as sub-mixer handling another 56 channels. Solberg mixed sub-groups of the orchestral string sections to the 96-input Vi6 monitor console.

“I must emphasise the sound quality of the Vi6,” says Solberg, “I believe it is one of the best-sounding boards on the market. It’s become my number one tool for mixing. This was my first chance to use the new Si3, and I was very impressed, both for its ease of use and for its audio performance.”

For this production of ‘Turandot,’ Solberg and his team needed a large number of wireless channels. “In Halden, there is a big problem with the availability of wireless frequencies because of the digital TV transmission. Bearing this in mind, I consulted with LydRommet, the Norwegian distributor of AKG, and we were able to specify the new AKG DMS-700 digital wireless system for the shows. With very little prep time, we were still able to get 44 wireless channels up and running satisfactorily in less than 30 minutes. I believe we were one of the first users in the world!”

Soundcraft Si3 Celebrated In India

In what seems to be a never-ending string of musical events and cultural celebrations coming out of India these days, emerges another festival; the ‘Fete de la Musique’ and yet again it was a Soundcraft® Si3 digital mixing console at front of house that delivered an action-packed ‘World Music Day’ with the ‘Alliance Francaise de Delhi’.

The festival was presented through the 64-input Si3 and other Harman products including a dbx 4800 system controller, JBL VRX932LA, SRX728S and SRX712M loudspeakers, and Crown I-Tech IT4000 amplifiers.

The event featured three groups, namely: Indian grunge band October; modern alternative band Poured on Ice; and Tarang, a musical ensemble conceived by leading Indian artists fusing Indian and Western classical music through instruments including the veena, sitar, mridangam, tabla, manjira and flute, drums, octopad, saxophone, piano and bass guitar.

Yogesh Dhawan, of Dhawan Electricals Pvt. Ltd piloted the Si3 at front of house: “I used about 32 channels on the board with all its four Lexicons and a lot of compressors.

“The Si3’s GEQ was used for all the AUX's and main PA. I’m happy to say that the GEQ on the Si3 has surpassed all other EQ's and I will personally suggest that there is no need to use any outboard graphic EQ's. The amount of headroom provided by the GEQ is excellent and the best part that I noticed after using the board is that unlike any other external GEQ there is no loss in quality of sound even after a number of frequencies have been cut to avoid feedback. I’m happy to say that one does not need to spend extra money in purchasing outboard equipment like GEQ's, reverb units, compressors/limiters and gates after one has bought this mixer.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gert Sanner Wraps Up Successful Deep Purple Tour With Soundcraft Vi6

On a recent trip to the Soundcraft Studer factory in Potters Bar, Deep Purple FOH man Gert Sanner, talked about the recent Deep Purple tours of Japan and Russia and his experience with the Soundcraft Vi6.

That region is a strong heartland for the UK rockers, as the tour took in 12 shows in venues of 5,000 and above including Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Osaka and Nagoya – some of the same venues that played host to the recording of the band’s most famous album, Made in Japan, some 37 years earlier!

“The whole thing was a great success,” says Gert. “Purple has a huge following out there so the band likes to revisit their fans as often as is practical for everyone.

“This is my second tour with the Vi6, and I plan to keep using it,” he continued. “It’s compact and so easy to use with the Vistonics shared with the Studer range, it’s the best user interface for fast reaction gigs like ours in the business. Purple don’t use a set list, so I have to be on my toes all the time ready to make adjustments in a split second, the Vi allows me to do that.”

“There was a special moment in the 2nd Tokyo gig, when I had the biggest surprise, we’d just started ‘Perfect Strangers ’ and, unannounced, Jon Lord walked on stage and started playing keyboards, it all seemed a bit Spinal Tap mixed with Still Crazy, I certainly had to react fast to that!”

The Soundcraft Vi6 and Vi4 have found favour with many high profile global tours this year as well as prestigious theatre and performance venue installations including Benaroya Hall in Seattle, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and The Turin Royal Theatre (a full list is available on

“I enjoy using the Vi6,” continued Gert. “We hired the desk for the Japanese leg of the tour from Hibino, I took my show file from the European leg and loaded all the settings from the USB into the Vi6 in minutes, this saves two to three precious hours of setup time. Most nights I used 32 inputs, which is only about a third of the Vi6’s capacity and four of the eight Lexicons and onboard processing, which means I need no external outboard racks keeping the footprint compact and the weight right down.”

You can meet Gert and learn more about his travels and the Vi Series at Soundcraft, date and details yet to be announced.

Audience Engaged By Soundcraft Vi4™ While ‘Waiting For Godot’

To keep the dialogue intimate for this production of the stage classic, all the components of the sound system had to be invisible, and the Vi4’s ultra-quiet operation assured success.

NEW YORK, New York – The recent revival of the stage classic ‘Waiting For Godot’ was as brief as the play itself is famously cryptic, running only from April 3 through July 12. But in that time, the production won widespread critical acclaim and garnered Tony Award®, Drama Desk Award® and Outer Critics Circle Award® nominations for Best Revival of a Play for the as well as Tony Award nominations for Best Featured Actor, Best Costume Design, and for three of four of its cast members: two-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane, Tony Award winner Bill Irwin and Tony Award winner John Glover, who joined Golden Globe winner John Goodman to round out the sparse but powerful production. The play is intensely intimate and dialogue-driven, making the quality of the audio critical to its success. That quality was assured by the 48-input Soundcraft Vi4™ digital live mixing console that was installed in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54 venue. The latest addition to Soundcraft’s highly successful Vi Series of digital live sound consoles, the Vi4’s compact frame offers tremendous processing power, amazing sound quality and, so crucially for ‘Waiting For Godot,’ incredibly quiet operation.

Tony Award-winning Director Anthony Page wanted to create a profoundly intimate ambience that would deeply engage the audience in the 1,500-seat theater. Thus, Sound Designer Dan Moses Schreier encouraged Page to use lavalier microphones hidden on the four actors, as well as strategically placed foot microphones.

“There was a lot of emphasis placed on the sound being as transparent as possible so that no one in the audience could tell the show was being amplified at all, so I needed a system that would keep a low profile--visually and aurally,” Schreier says.

“It’s unusual for a play in this sized venue to use lavalier microphones – it would usually go with just foot microphones or none at all,” explains David Gotwald, Production Audio Engineer, who mixed the play. “But Anthony Page wanted to be able to have the actors speak in a normal tone and the audience be able to catch all the nuances of the dialogue and their delivery.”

With the decision to use a PA system, the choice of mixing console became critical – it would be the hub of an entire sound system that would need to be reliable, flexible and most importantly, invisible to the audience’s ear. The Soundcraft Vi4 proved itself more than up to the challenge.

“The decision to use the Vi4 began with my use of a Studer Vista 5 console on two prior shows: the new Stephen Sondheim Road Show and the current revival of ‘West Side Story,’” Schreier says. “I had very positive experiences with that console, so when the time came for us to look for a console for ‘Waiting For Godot,’ I learned of the Vi4 and saw that it shared many of the same qualities as the Vista 5, particularly in how logically the board is laid out.”

“The Vi4’s digital operation was totally silent,” says Gotwald, who has also mixed Broadway legends including ‘The Producers’ and ‘Fosse.’ “The pre-amps are completely transparent – there is no color whatsoever to the sound. When the actors speak, you hear them and nothing else. The sound was completely natural and there was nothing to distract the audience. They never even knew a PA was there.” Gotwald listed the Vi4’s other advantages in this setting, including its compact size, high degree of flexibility – “The number of matrixed group and aux outputs is very useful,” he says -- and the fact that all DSP is done onboard and software-based. “I had access to excellent processing, like the highly consistent compression from the console, and all of that power didn’t add any noise to the system,” Gotwald says. “You could see the audience leaning forward in their seats, totally engrossed in the play, hearing the actors, not the system. That was a real success.”

In just under 1.5m/5 feet of length, the Soundcraft Vi4 digital live sound console offers access to 72 inputs on 24 faders, with a total of 35 output busses available for use as masters, groups, auxes or matrices. And the features of the larger Soundcraft Vi6, such as the highly acclaimed Vistonics™ II touch-screen user interface, Soundcraft FaderGlow™ fader function display and the unequalled audio quality, are all present on the Vi4.

“One of my many hesitations about digital consoles was the feel that you are mixing on a computer display and that you have to go through a number of screens to make changes,” Schreier says. “But the Vistonics surface provides a very successful emulation of an analog desk in a digital world.”

Mega Audio Utilizes Soundcraft Si3 Digital Console For Outdoors Celebration In Honduras

The event commemorated the 70th Anniversary of the Evangelical Reformed Church of La Lima.

LA LIMA, Honduras – In an event that highlights the growing adoption of Soundcraft digital consoles throughout Latin America, Mega Audio recently supplied the audio reinforcement system, including a Soundcraft Si3 digital console, for a concert commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Evangelical Reformed Church of La Lima in Honduras. The two-night, one-day Evangelistic Crusade Concert included the participation of Ministers of National Praise, Worship Ministry Children’s Church and Evangelical Reformed Church of La Lima, Lourdes Ministries, Carlos Martinez and Ministry Juda, and Roca Fuerte Shekina.

Based in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Mega Audio specializes in the rental of professional audio, lighting and large video systems for projects including conventions, conferences, seminars, concerts and evangelistic religious events throughout Honduras. For this event, Mega Audio needed a system with sufficient flexibility to facilitate seamless and quick transition between the numerous performers. To that end, the company deployed the Soundcraft Si3 digital live sound console at the front of house position. “We chose the Si3 for its exceptional sound quality and for its speed and ease of setup,” says Luis Roberto Lopez Sanchez of Mega Audio.

According to Sanchez, the Si3 played a crucial role in the event’s success. “We had a large number of bands playing at this event, but thanks to the Si3, we were able to make quick and easy transitions between performers,” Sanchez says. “We could also easily make individual adjustments according to the preferences of each musician and singer.“

Boasting intuitive operation and high input and bus counts, the Soundcraft Si3 digital console is designed for live use on both touring sound systems and in fixed installations. Above each fader on the Si3 is a rotary encoder, the function of which changes according to the mode selected. This ‘bank’ of encoders, known as the VCS or Virtual Channel Strip, can be set to control every function of a channel (known as Channel mode), so mic gain, EQ, dynamics, auxes, panning are all controlled in the same manner as an analog channel strip.

“The event was a tremendous success!” Sanchez adds. “The client and the attendees were satisfied with the quality and fidelity of the sound. The Si3 is an indispensable working tool and a great help for my business. I congratulate Soundcraft on their development of this terrific console.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Moses Lake School District Selects Hitachi StarBoards For District-Wide Technology Upgrade

-- Washington School District Purchases Over 100 Hitachi Interactive Whiteboards For Student Curriculum For All Grade Levels and Subject Areas --

Moses Lake School District in Moses Lake, Washington has chosen Hitachi Software StarBoards for its student curriculum for all grade levels and subject areas, providing a district-wide technology upgrade that truly enhances the overall educational experience. Purchased through Troxell Communications, the school has allocated over 100 Hitachi FXDUO-77 model StarBoards along with the award-winning Hitachi CP-A100 3LCD ultra-short-throw projector as part of the Hitachi CPA100+FXDUO bundle.

Rick Rose, director of technology for the Moses Lake School District, explained that the features of the Hitachi StarBoard were a major factor in the purchase decision. “We compared all of the competing brands and the DUO technology was the most impressive feature. In fact, Hitachi was the only interactive whiteboard company that offered this technology.” Mr. Rose also noted that Hitachi’s all-in-one solution was a deciding factor. “Given that we purchased a large quantity, it was critically important that we received seamless technology from one provider. We knew Hitachi had built the StarBoard and projector with this type of integration in mind.”

For Moses Lake, the StarBoard investment has already shown immediate results. “I’ve found that the majority of my students are completely engaged when the StarBoard is being used, especially when they know they have the opportunity to go up in front of the class,” stated fourth grade teacher Monica McAtee. Ms. McAtee also believes the features of the StarBoard make her lessons more efficient. “I love the Google search feature. I believe the learning process for students is significantly improved when I can quickly and conveniently search Google images to give students visual representation of what we are studying.”

Moses Lake Middle School math teacher Mark Thompson has also quickly found success using the StarBoard. “With the StarBoard I am able to take any piece of material, such as a page out of a math textbook, manipulate it with the navigation tool and then make annotations. When I’m finished I can save what I have started and continue the lesson the next day with the option of clearing the notes and starting fresh.”

Moses Lake has also deployed the new StarBoard Software 9.0 for Mac on the StarBoards in many classrooms within the district. “Our ultimate goal is to have interactive whiteboard technology in all classrooms. Since we are a dual-platform district with 40 percent of our district running on Macs, we can deploy the StarBoard in any classroom throughout the district knowing all our teachers will be getting the same performance.”

For more information on Troxell Communications visit


RTV Slovenia (Radio-Television Slovenia), the country’s public, non-profit radio and television broadcaster, has commissioned two radio OB trucks for musical recordings, equipped with Studer Vista 5 digital consoles. Supplied by Studer’s local distributors, AVC Group, the turnkey installation was overseen by the company’s subsidiary system integration operation, TSE.

Both AVC and TSE have enjoyed a close relationship with RTV Slovenia stretching back 15 years, although procurement still had to be implemented through public tender. RTV Slovenia has a long history of using Studer platforms — particularly Radio Slovenia in Ljubljana with both regional centres in Koper and Maribor mainly equipped with Studer radio consoles (OnAir 1000, OnAir 2000, OnAir 2500 and OnAir 3000), and Studer Route 5000 routers.

The new OB trucks will principally be used for transmission and recording of live concerts up to 64 channels (via MADI). However, before preparing the tender for the vehicles the broadcaster evaluated several different consoles.

“As these were to be multipurpose OB vehicles RTV were looking for flexibility for both live sound and broadcast production in a compact frame,” confirms AVC Group’s Managing Director, Miran Kajin. “The Vista 5 fits the requirements perfectly.”

Studer’s Configuration Editor Software has been installed on RTV’s Vista 5s enabling almost any console structure required by the operator to be adopted. This optional tool allows the user to specify the number of channels, buses and processing within the channels, as well as signal flow possibilities within the console.

Typical broadcast facilities are included, such as N-1 outputs, off-air conferencing, GPIO and extensive monitoring, including 5.1-to-stereo downmix functions. The console’s internal matrix may be controlled from a variety of third-party controllers and video routers, eliminating the requirement for external audio routers in many installations.

TSE were also responsible for the design of the OB vehicles themselves — which are based on the Mercedes-Benz Atego chassis. All coach building, HVAC, acoustic fit-out and installation of all AV technology was undertaken locally in Slovenia. The OB truck is also the first within RTV’s fleet to be equipped with a 5.1 speaker monitoring system.

Marko Filli, RTV Slovenia technical director, stated, “We are delighted to have commissioned our new OB vans with Studer Vista 5 consoles. For RTV Slovenia the Studer brand has for many years been synonymous with Swiss precision, quality and reliability. Our operators are confident that now they have a perfect Swiss tool which adds a further dimension in quality and years of reliable operation.”

In fact the portability and simple connectivity of this flexible compact digital mixer, make the Vista 5 particularly suitable for OB vans.

The 32-fader desk consists of 20 channel strips, optimised for input channel operation, and 12 additional versatile strips for operating output and input channels. By using the standard Vistonics™ screen, up to 52 outputs are under immediate control.

A total of up to 240 channels can be accessed from the desk and laid out in any order, with the Vistonics system giving instant control over all related channel functions.

Additionally, extensive diagnostics are available to indicate system health. Besides standard redundancy such as RAID hard-drives, there are several hardware redundancy options available, including Power Supplies, DSP cards with instant switch over as well as redundant link to DSP core and MADI links to D21m remote I/O boxes.

The Vista 5 offers extensive surround capabilities a user can normally only dream of. Formats include 2CH stereo, LCR, LCRS and 5.1. The internal 5.1-to-stereo downmix function allows for simultaneous live productions in both formats. The Vista 5 also includes Studer’s ‘Virtual Surround Panning’ (VSPTM), using not only amplitude, but also time delay and frequency response panning as well as artificially-generated early reflections for realistic placement of sound sources.

The static automation (snapshot filtering and editing) as well as the cue list functionality, (plus mute groups and matrix busses), makes Vista 5 equally well-suited to any live sound application. In common with all the latest products from the Harman Pro Group, the Vista 5 is HiQnetTM-compatible, and is able to take its place in a networked sound system with wireless microphones, signal processing, amplifiers and loudspeakers.


Czech sound engineers who regularly migrate between the public TV network and commercial stations become accustomed to the uniformity of Studer workstations, such as the Vista 7 and Vista 8 wherever they go. In fact, the Studer pedigree is so popular in the Czech Republic that when the private station TV Prima (the country’s third largest) was ready to decommission its analogue desk, which was regularly breaking down, the choice was self-evident. Studer would not only provide a reliable digital upgrade with long term expansion possibilities, but the station knew its engineers would require no training.

Although it reviewed other options, the station owner Prima TV Holding Company (a 50/50 partnership between Czech investment group GES Holding and Scandinavian Modern Times Group) readily backed the Studer Vista 5 proposal.

“It helped that the engineers could make a seamless transfer because the upgrade decision had to be made quickly,” reports Libor Havlicek of Auditech, Studer’s Prague-based distributor. “It had reached the point where on some occasions prime time news was being broadcast — without sound!”

The new Vista 5 is located in the main control room, which connects to two studios, with the main news, all sport events and even popular game shows mixed to air using the Vista 5. TV Prima also owns the exclusive rights for to the British Premier League, which requires the most complex system configuration, with all sends and returns compressed in two layers on the desk, and four live studio mics for inter-match studio debates.

The new console draws on mainly analogue sources, feeds and returns. “Since the Vista 5 is used for home production as well, there are some 12 portable microphones connected to the matrix,” Mr. Havlicek explains. “The two studios have all their microphones wired to Ghielmetti patch bays which are also connected to the Vista system 5.”

Two telephone hybrids, with remote control, allow live entries into the programme — for example, the hybrid is also used during the Premier League football, when experts are contacted to add their remarks over the phone.

Studer’s 32-fader Vista 5 consists of 20 channel strips, optimised for input channel operation, and 12 additional versatile strips for operating output and input channels. By using the standard Vistonics™ screen, up to 52 outputs are under immediate control.

A total of up to 240 channels can be accessed from the desk and laid out in any order, with the Vistonics system giving instant control over all related channel functions.

In addition, the Vista 5 offers full surround capabilities, with formats including 2CH stereo, LCR, LCRS and 5.1. The internal 5.1-to-stereo downmix function allows for simultaneous live productions in both formats. The Vista 5 also includes Studer’s famous 'Virtual Surround Panning' (VSPTM).

Prima TV had originally chosen the Vista 5 on the basis of its reliability (which would safeguard long-term investment), easy access to frequently used functions and excellent sound quality. With the planned move to HD, it will be a natural process to implement multi-channel sound (with expansion such as SDI embedder / de-embedder already in the planning).

Prima TV’s technicians have applauded this long-term view, as Senior Sound Engineer Petr Donev confirms: "Vista 5 is used permanently for all news and sport events. Our team is finding more and more value in the system for local production too. We like its easy operation — in fact, we don't need to concentrate on operational issues but instead can focus on the quality of the final mix.”


The iTunes Festival relocated to The Roundhouse in North London this year, with over 60 artists playing live at this free event, which runs throughout July.

With bands ranging from Oasis, Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand and Snow Patrol at the commercial end to acoustic performers like Newton Faulkner, quirky performance artists with wide dynamic ranges (like Bat for Lashes’ Natasha Khan), leavened with some good old fashioned hard house and R&B it was important that the event’s experienced sound engineers, Dave Roden at FOH (here deployed as system tech) and Will King down at the stage had digital mixing environments on which incoming engineers could hit the ground running.

Last year, when the event was held at KOKO, iTunes production manager Stuart Turvill took advantage of a pair of Soundcraft Vi6’s, with the intuitive Studer Vistonics II™ interface, and it proved so popular he saw no reason to break from that tradition.

A 64-input Vi6 (with AES-EBU cards) was one of two digital surfaces offered at front-of-house, enabling incoming productions to simply plug in their show files, while down at the stage the compact surface — always a bonus within the confines of Monitor City — was configured 64-in/35-out.

Stuart Turvill was indeed fortunate to have his near neighbour from the Welsh valleys, Dave Roden working alongside — and despite their long relationship, the Stereophonics’ trusted sound man for the past 14 years was working the event for the first time. "Stuart has asked me on previous occasions but I have always been touring," says Roden. "But the band has only done one show this summer and is currently mixing an album in the studio, so I said I would love to do it."

Although being a relative newcomer to the Vi6, Dave Roden was able to turn teacher after the briefest of inductions on the board. "The only time I had seen it previously was when the Stereophonics played the iTunes Festival at the ICA two years ago," he admits. "I had never even touched one of these desks before, but within a couple of days I could show people how to use it!"

"The Vi6 is great, particularly for engineers who don’t have their own session file because it’s an easy desk to walk up to. I set up a basic template and engineers simply overlay their mix on that."

For those who have only previously worked in the analogue domain its straightforwardness is particularly reassuring. "Not only that, but it produces a nice sound and has great preamps. We have certainly had a lot of compliments."

Dave Roden said they opted for the 64-channel board knowing they would have a choice of two boards for main act and support. "This gives us 32 channels on Layer A, and another 32 on Layer B."

"I will simply label the channel and provide a couple of tap delays, reverbs and vocal thickener. However I leave the EQ and dynamics flat because if you dial in too much in advance it can becomes confusing — simple is better." However, he did say that the channel capacity was stretched when Snow Patrol appeared, supported by Silversun Pickups and Animal Kingdom. "That was a big channel requirement," he said. "But Snow Patrol only required a left and right feed from their control, so the Vi6 managed to cope admirably with the two support acts."

Will King agreed with his colleague’s assessment of the desk, though he admits he had to mix the first shows himself. "At the beginning I didn’t have a visiting engineer for four days — and in a way that was good because it kept me busy. It’s so easy to show sound engineers how to use the Vi6 — and I become pretty much redundant once the soundcheck starts."

For King the exercise is a repeat of 12 months ago, when he supervised all 31 days at KOKO on the resident Vi6 — briefly breaking away to work with one of his long-term artists, Stereo MC’s (the others being Darren Hayes and ex-Morcheeba singer Skye).

"I set up a basic template. I can have all the wedges and IEM’s patched onto the aux outputs at one time, and sound engineers come in and choose what they want. Everyone likes a desk that’s easy to operate and I try and make sure they don’t have to be flicking from page to page."

All the in-ears are on stereo pairs and Will King admits he likes to have his side fills on a dedicated stereo aux "which I realise is unconventional," he says. In summary he states, "The desk has been well designed for the monitor engineer and it’s easy to flip the faders. For engineers doing a one-off show such as this it’s absolutely perfect."

For Stuart Turvill the iTunes Festival production has notched up a gear — to a larger venue in which he has installed full choice of recording options — and LED 6mm side screens for the first time.

"You don’t get a lot of resistance from engineers when they see the Vi6," he concludes, adding that he has good reason to thank Soundcraft’s sister brand, BSS Audio, for the 144 channels of [MSR-604 II] splitters that are being used. "I can’t speak highly enough about the support we’ve had from Sound Technology (UK distributor for the Harman Pro brands)," he says.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

JBL Tour Systems In The House For 50,000 At Global Gathering Freedom Festival Belarus 2009

In a high-profile international application of JBL touring systems this summer, rental sound company Touring Services supplied an expansive audio system for the Global Gathering Freedom Festival at the Borovaya Airfield in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus in northern Europe. The system included products from JBL’s VERTEC® DP Series and HLA Series loudspeaker lines.

Major internationally known DJs were featured, including Axwell, Steve Angello, Dubfire, Sebastien Leger, D. Ramirez, Menno De Jong, Micky Slim, Paul Thomas, and Eston. World-renowned performance artist D.J. Tiesto was the headline act on the festival. Touring Services, a division of ART Studio Pro, was the rental sound company responsible for audio production at the event, with Vladimir Klimenko in charge as the chief system engineer.

Due to the airfield location of the event, a very large crowd could be accommodated. Event organizers had originally planned for 15,000 people but were reportedly surprised when total pre-event ticket sales reached 36,000. Final onsite attendance was estimated at 50,000 persons.

This year’s event included two main stages and a third, separate foam dance floor. Assembly of the stages and other support fixtures started on the afternoon of June 24 and by the morning of June 27 the site construction was fully completed. Sound checks were scheduled on event day, June 27, from 10 AM to 2 PM. The gates opened at 6 PM and non-stop music lasted until the early morning hours.

The Freedom Stage featured JBL VERTEC DP Series arrays, suspended from construction cranes. A total of 24 VT4888DP-AN midsize powered line array elements, equipped with JBL DrivePack™ technology, were supported by 12 VT4880A full-size arrayable subwoofers driven by Crown I-Tech 8000 amplifiers. “It’s a real pleasure to work with JBL’s VERTEC DP systems,” noted Roman Klimenko, sound engineer in charge of the Freedom Stage. “We recently updated the entire system with JBL’s new V4 DSP presets. Everything is simple, loud and clear. Plus, Harman’s HiQnet™ is truly amazing. Any configuration that we had to do was accomplished within the networked JBL DrivePack units, quickly and easily.”

The Global Stage was served by a JBL HLA system, with 24 4895 full-range elements and 12 4897A bass modules driven with BSS 366 OmniDrive signal processing and Crown MA-5000 series amplifiers.

The Touring Services sound crew had several challenges to meet, including the co-location of two different competing stages, and proximity of the crowd to the loudspeakers at the Freedom Stage site. “The task was to set up the two sound systems so as not to interfere each other. For this, we calculated appropriate signal delay settings, using Harman’s HiQnet System Architect™ software for aligning signals in the Crown I-Tech amplifiers for both stages,” noted Vladimir Klimenko. “At the Freedom Stage, our task was to provide a comfortable listening zone for the front audience areas, and a very loud, high-quality sound for the back rows. For this we first calculated all the array settings and site characteristics using JBL’s Line Array Calculator software and we were able to achieve a nearly flat frequency response for distances from directly below the loudspeaker arrays, out to 115 meters [377 feet].”

Due to the high quality and specific character of the recorded sound material, with tracks that were well-balanced and highly compressed for maximum dance-music impact, the Touring Services crew found that they were able to give the DJ’s and visiting engineers what Vladimir Klimenko called “99.99 percent” of the total SPL capabilities of the systems, without the need to have additional, significant headroom. “The systems were operated hard like this for 12 hours straight without any problems”, he confirmed. “All in all, we were proud to be involved in such a large, significant event as the Global Gathering Freedom Festival. It was a good test for our equipment and for our personnel’s skills. And I can declare with conviction that both the equipment and our staff coped with all the challenges, achieving a great success,” vouched Vladimir Klimenko. “We wanted to make the earth tremble at this festival, and we did. VERTEC was up to the mark as it always is. The audience and performers were delighted with the high quality and sheer loudness of the sound produced by our JBL systems. What can I say? It creates a sort of magic, the magic of JBL’s sound system technology.”

For more information on Touring Services in Belarus, see

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Multi Image Group Upgrades Audio Capabilities By Purchasing Over 100 Crown I-Tech HD Amplifiers

In a move that immediately extends its sound reinforcement capabilities, Florida-based systems integration firm Multi Image Group has purchased 110 Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers. MIG, which specializes in corporate A/V projects for clients such as CitiGroup, Deutsche Bank, and Proctor and Gamble, upgraded its entire amplifier inventory from the original I-Tech amplifiers.

“MIG was not using Crown amplifiers when I joined the company. I didn’t agree with this because I had been using Crown since I started in the professional sound industry back in 1981 and they are bulletproof,” stated Andy Kakas, audio department manager for technical services at Multi Image Group.

MIG purchased its first Crown amplifiers in 2002 with Macro-Tech and soon purchased I-Tech series amps as well. “We started by building a few JBL VerTec line array systems with the Macro-Tech amps and about six months later we got the I-Techs. The sonic quality and built-in DSP of the I-Techs were major advantages when comparing Crown to other amplifiers,” added Kakas.

After purchasing the new I-Tech HD amps, Kakas immediately noticed the improvements. “The most important aspect of these new amps is the sonic detail. It has a transparent top end, which has an open and natural sound. It maintains the Crown dampening that gives you that punch in your chest. Also, the Cobranet™ integration is quite useful since we have had a need for multiple channels of AES from front of house to the stage and the amp racks,” said Kakas.

I-Tech HD features a new user-inspired DSP engine co-developed with BSS called OMNIDRIVEHD. The new processing engine features Linear Phase FIR filters that offer unrivaled crossover performance for sonically pure tunings. The OMNIDRIVEHD processing engine also features an innovative new suite of limiters called LevelMAX™. Harman HiQnet™ System Architect ™ mirrors the typical browser navigation interface to provide tour sound and contracting professionals with a familiar interface to access a host of power configuration and control functions.

Crown is a unit of Harman International Industries, Incorporated ( Harman International designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets, and maintains a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia, employing more than 11,000 people worldwide. The Harman International family of brands includes AKG®, Audioaccess®, Becker®, BSS®, Crown®, dbx®, DigiTech®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson®, Revel®, QNX®, Soundcraft® and Studer®. Harman International’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NYSE: HAR.”

Harman HiQnet™ is the world's first connectivity and control protocol that integrates all product categories in the signal chain for professional audio systems of all types, size, and applications. Harman HiQnet no longer requires the user to manage multiple disparate operating systems or be responsible for programming individual signal processors, speaker controllers, wireless microphone systems, and mixing consoles. HiQnet was developed by engineers from across the Harman Pro Group and is coordinated by the System Development and Integration Group (SDIG), a team of dedicated systems specialists based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Monday, July 6, 2009

ADLIB Supply John Barrowman Tour With Soundcraft Vi6™

Seasoned sound engineer Walter Jaquiss recently joined forces with ADLIB Audio and Lighting for the latest John Barrowman tour and two Soundcraft Vi6™digital consoles were used for the production.

Production used two Soundcraft Vi6 consoles, run in 96-channel V3.0 mode, which Jaquiss effortlessly filled with around 80 inputs, 56 of which were stage alone, including guest vocals and assorted media. "The Vi6 is a brilliant desk, great sounding and with a very small footprint for this style of tour," he comments. The existing console was upgraded to 96 channels via an additional DSP card, while the sound engineer immediately identified the advantages of the latest software release.

"With both desks upgraded to V3 software, along with the increase in channels, the snapshot and scoping functions had been improved as well. This has now made it a totally usable function of the console in combination with the improvements to the isolation features. The ability to export names as an Excel file is useful when typing up long channel names in the offline editor."

Walter Jaquiss has worked with ADLIB for the last 15 years, but has been around Soundcraft analog boards for a lot longer.

"I think a lot of engineers started on Soundcraft, whether on a 400 or 800 Series. That's certainly what I learnt on, and it was a sensible platform."

"Today, a lot of colleagues are using 'real' desks because the learning curve is easier, yet the Vi6 invites the move from analog to digital. They have provided a control surface that I think most experienced analog engineers can just walk up to. The desk really spoils you, as one of the big advantages of the Vi6 is that everything you need is right there in front of you on the Vistonics's as if everyone else has missed a trick."

The Barrowman shows could not have been mixed on a surface offering less than 96 channels, he stated, adding how easy the Vi6 is for file-building. "Using the offline editor is fantastic as it's identical to the desk itself."

Walter Jaquiss discovered the full potential of the Vi6 at the recent twinned two-day Give It A Name (GIAN) Festival, held simultaneously at Brixton Academy and Manchester Academy, and then flipped overnight.

"There were seven bands a day at each venue and we were just able to email the show files overnight between myself and Steve Pattison in Manchester. The show mixes came up exactly as they had been created the night before - we had the files loaded into the desks before the band's engineers walked in the next day."

"In fact, I was able to program all the bands' files in the back of the car on the way down to the Brixton É and I could do the same with John Barrowman."

Festival work offers similar advantages, he says. "You can email your file ahead, and by the time you turn up on site the session files have been loaded into the board."

For the Barrowman tour, Jaquiss spent the two production rehearsal days at Shepperton Studios creating snapshots that are essential for a theater type show. "Everyone has a different style of using snapshots. Even just being able to automate the mutes and FX changes is now essential for a show like this."

Aside from BSS's trusty multiband DPR-901 dynamic equalizer, he used all the onboard desk effects. "The advantages of keeping everything within the box outweighs that of having a rack of outboards. I used all the Lexicon onboard FX engines and add to that the gates, processors and graphics on every output and it adds up to an incredible amount of facilities on the Vi6."

The monitor setup was mainly all in-ears - Barrowman, band, crew and guests - with James Neale mixing on another Vi6. ADLIB's Hassane Es Siahi and Kenny Perrin completed the audio team.

But the final message to digiphobe engineers comes from Walter Jaquiss. "Anyone who thinks they can't get to where they want to on a digital mixer as quickly as an analog set-up might find the Vi6 a lot easier to use than they think."

For further information go to

Studer Vista 5 SR Digital Console Installed At Kent’s Ravensbourne College

For two days every year, Ravensbourne College in Kent, is transformed into one of the country’s most exciting and innovative broadcasters, as students go on-air for their annual broadcasting event, ‘Rave On Air’.

The college has some notable ex students including Stella McCartney, Bruce Oldfield and Darren Woolfson, now Group Director of Technology at Pinewood Studios.

Adrian Curtis, VP of Sales for Soundcraft Studer said, “We were contacted by the college to help them with a console for a mixture of live and broadcast applications, given the breadth of requirements they had, we loaned them our flagship Vista 5 SR to cope with these demands.”

Rave On Air is an entirely student-led event with over 5 hours of live programming broadcast over the internet and local digital terrestrial television channels (800 and 801). Attended by broadcasting and creative industry professionals including BBC, Endemol and Channel 4, this graduate showcase gives Ravensbourne students the chance to gain experience of creating and delivering a range of content for broadcasting in real-time. It is also a major opportunity to showcase Ravensbourne talent and help students network and build industry contacts that prepare them for a broadcasting career after they graduate.

The Royal Television Society visited Rave On Air to host one of their regular public events – a conference on 360 degree broadcasting with speakers John Denton (BBC Future Media and Technology, Managing Editor TV Platforms) and Matt Millington (BBC Sport, Video Portals Editor). The Vista 5 SR was used on the live broadcast from the college’s amphitheater. Level 3 BA Sound Design student Samuel Burkinshaw commented on the desk’s Vistonics user interface: "The Studer desk was really easy to get to grips with, and it was great to have Andrew Hills from Studer come down and show us how it worked. It was really quick to set up, easy to understand, and the interface was a joy to use."

The Vista 5 and 5 SR has been quickly accepted by some of the world’s largest hire and tour companies, such as Clair Brothers in the US, and has been used recently on major international tours, including Celine Dion, Katie Melua, Rascal Flatts, Billy Joel, Mylène Farmer and Keith Urban as well as prestigious installations such as The Palace Theatre on New York’s Broadway (West Side Story) and The Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Rave On Air is broadcast over two channels simultaneously, mixing live magazine shows, fashion catwalks and interview spots with pre-recorded dramas, documentaries, animations and quiz shows, all written, produced, directed and masterminded by broadcast students from all levels. The Vista 5 SR allows tudents from all disciplines of the college experiment with new technologies and new ways of interacting with their audience.

Freddie Gaffney, Deputy Head of the Faculty of Communication Media said, "Rave On Air is a unique opportunity and a great chance for our students to stand out from thousands of other graduates across the country. The students this year have met the challenge head on and they’ve really excelled themselves and can justifiably call themselves young professionals. As always, I am very proud to be associated with them."

Next year’s event marks the 40th year of Rave On Air, and the last one at the college’s current campus before it relocates to Greenwich Peninsula in 2010. The new Ravensbourne building will house two HD television studios, digital media studios and production suites, virtual environments and a postgraduate centre for enterprise and innovation. Its proximity to London will encourage even greater opportunities for Ravensbourne students to collaborate and network within the broadcast media industry.