Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rock The Bike Utilizes Power Efficiency Of JBL PRX Series Loudspeakers To Drive Environmental Awareness

In a highly creative and environmentally forward-thinking application of JBL PRX portable loudspeakers, Rock the Bike, a designer and manufacturer of bicycles with an eye on raising the awareness of the “bike culture,” has employed PRX loudspeakers at several of its live music events, which are run on human power generated on bicycles.

For its live events, Rock the Bike designed a pedal-powered stage, which enables one or many individuals to ride stationary bicycles in place, which in turn power the audio system as the artists perform. “It’s been a steady progression to this—most of our performances used to be primarily in the streets and running off battery power,” said Paul Freedman of Rock The Bike. “Then we started hooking up with people interested in human power and over the past year, we’ve put a lot of energy into creating our own pedal-powered stage.”

Thanks to the efficiency of the JBL PRX Series, Rock the Bike employs PRX535 speakers for its main sound reinforcement system. “Because we’re an environmentally conscious group, the PRX speakers are a perfect fit, plus they’re lightweight so we can easily transport them on our cargo bicycles,” Freedman said. “I also really like the PRX speakers because the low/mid/high knobs on my mixer correspond directly with the low/mid/high drivers in the speaker, which make them very easy to use.”

Rock the Bike relies on volunteers from the audience to pedal the bikes, something that has never posed a challenge. “If there are a lot of people at an event, we have no problem getting volunteers from the crowd to keep a 2-bike pedal-powered system going,” Freedman said. “We position them close to the stage so they have a good view of the performers, and they’re literally supporting the music with their power.”

While the pedal-powered stage contributes to a sense of community at the live events, the system has taken an ironic (but intentional) back seat to the actual performances, as a result of its own efficiency. “The pedal-powered stage used to be the center of attention at our shows, but with the sound quality of the PRX speakers, along with our ability to make the pedal-power bikes quieter, the audience is getting absorbed into the music without even thinking about the pedal power,” Freedman added. “That’s our goal: to keep the music excellent and help spread the spirit of the bike.”

Since employing the pedal-powered stage, Rock the Bike has supported events ranging from rock star performances to a press conference at City Hall in San Francisco. “We recently powered a show by Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam,” Freedman said. “He was only supposed to play the first song of his set through pedal power, but he ended up playing the entire set with it because he got such a great response from the crowd.”

For more information on Rock The Bike, please visit www.rockthebike.com

South Korea’s Largest Nightclub Parties With New JBL VERTEC® Powered Full-Size Line Array System

Systems integrator Sovico AV recently installed a new JBL VERTEC® powered full-size line array system--the latest in the company’s VERTEC DP Series line of integrated system products--at the new Kwangju CD nightclub, the largest dance music and DJ venue in South Korea. Sovico AV installed the system with design assistance from Sovico R&D, the firm’s acoustic research laboratory specializing in acoustic measurement, sound design and system tuning.

Located at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula near the coast, Kwangju is South Korea’s sixth largest city and center of the nation’s growing photonics and optics industry. The city’s urban core is a ready market for entertainment and nightlife, and with over 36,000 square feet and an architectural design allowing for 300 tables along with an additional 30 private rooms, the Kwangju CD venue features a spectacular stage setting with extensive lighting capabilities and a high-impact sound system. The octagon-shaped overhead ceiling is divided into separate moveable parts, able to mechanically open to support a wide variety of special effects including artificial snow and artistic lighting.

Sound designer Jon Won Lee faced several challenges when considering the right approach for the innovative facility. Live DJ’s and late-night dance music playback would co-exist with live house bands on stage along with special multimedia programming to support performance artists. Additionally, the unusual architecture of the building plan, with numerous cabaret-style table setups, called for even coverage combined with high-SPL requirements. “The design of the facility, with such an extensive hall size, required a powerful system to support the variety of performance activities taking place in this space,” noted Lee. “The sound system in the club must serve five specialized DJ teams, two different house bands, three dance teams and two performance art teams.”

To meet the sound design specifications, Sovico installed a total of 12 VERTEC VT4889ADP powered full-size line array elements, configured in two arrays of six. These full-range arrays are supported by a total of eight VT4880ADP powered full-size arrayable subwoofers with ultra-long excursion 2269H 18-inch transducers, configured in two arrays of four each, located in coves beneath the performance stage. The entire main system features JBL DrivePack® technology, which incorporates Crown Audio's patented BCA (Balanced Current Amplification) and Class I circuitry, allowing JBL’s VERTEC DP Series to set a new standard for low-noise, low-distortion performance in digital amplification for powered loudspeaker systems.

Four JBL PRX535 powered systems are onsite for use as localized area fill speakers. Signal processing available to sound engineer Jung Hyun Park includes 2231 dual 31-band graphic equalizers and 1066 dual compressor limiter gates from dbx, and a Lexicon MXP1 effects processor. A Soundcraft GB8 is the primary mixing console for the venue. Seven AKG WMS4000 wireless microphone systems are on hand for use by performers. Upon system commissioning, Sovico engineers conducted comprehensive onsite training sessions for the venue’s technical staff.

“The new powered full-size models in the VERTEC family make an ideal system design approach for this type of application,” noted David Scheirman, Vice President, Tour Sound for JBL Professional. “The models selected for the Kwangju CD club offer high output power capabilities combined with complete system integration including the onboard digital signal processing inherent to the JBL DrivePack technology platform.”

For information on Sovico, go to http://sovico.co.kr/

Monday, June 29, 2009

ET Group Outfits Canyon Creek Chophouse With JBL Ceiling Speakers And Other Harman Pro Gear

Canyon Creek Chophouse, one of Toronto’s most popular restaurant chains, recently opened a new location at Carlson Court near the Toronto Pearson International Airport. The restaurant not only serves some of the best food in town, but with systems integration firm ET Group’s design and installation of a complete audio/video system featuring zoned audio with JBL Control® Contractor Series ceiling speakers, Canyon Creek also provides one of the most relaxed and elegant dining environments in Toronto.

Known for its outstanding steaks and chops, high-quality service and elegant décor, Canyon Creek Chophouse is quickly gaining popularity with Toronto residents and tourists alike. With that elegant décor in mind, the ET Group was contracted to design and install an audio system that would contribute to the restaurant’s relaxed atmosphere while blending smoothly within its design.

“We needed an audio system that was not clearly visible to the patrons, but most definitely could be heard,” said Dirk Propfe, Partner and Vice President of the ET Group. “We also wanted to be able to provide discrete control over the sound in each room, to help create an even more hospitable experience for diners and flexibility for the restaurant.”

The ET Group designed and installed a zoned ceiling speaker system, drawing from JBL’s industry-leading Control Contractor Series. ET Group installed 15 JBL Control 227CT ceiling speakers in the dining room, along with six JBL Control 19CS in-ceiling subwoofers. The patio area features six Control 227CT speakers and two Control 19CS subwoofers. ET Group installed an additional four Control 227CT speakers in the restaurant’s meeting room, while five Control 24CT Micro ceiling speakers were installed in the washroom and entry way. Two Crown CTs8200 amplifiers power the system, while a dbx ZonePro 1261 enables processing and EQ-ing of each audio zone in the restaurant.

In addition to Canyon Creek, the ET Group has provided high-end audio/video systems for many of the restaurants owned by the SIR Corporation, including other Canyon Creek locations and Jack Astor’s Bar and Grill locations, many of which also feature JBL Control Contractor ceiling speakers. “The Control Contractor speakers provide extremely smooth coverage and are highly controllable,” Propfe added. “The system has performed exceptionally to date and we look forward to future projects with JBL and the SIR Corp.”

For more information on the ET Group, please visit www.etgroup.ca

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Phoenix College Turns to Hitachi Projectors To Enhance Its Classrooms

Monday, June 22, 2009

Soundcraft’s Popular Guide To Mixing Video Now Free On YouTube

Get Tips And Techniques On Mixing Live, Online For Free

Previously available only on DVD, Soundcraft has published its popular Guide To Mixing video series on its own YouTube site, SoundcraftUK (www.YouTube.com/SoundcraftUK ).

All 18 chapters from this successful tutorial may be viewed online, including sections on microphone placement, setting up a mix and monitor mixing.

To complement the video tutorials, a PDF text version may be downloaded from the company’s website, www.soundcraft.com .

Qualified Educational establishments may request printed copies of the Guide To Mixing, as well as the full-resolution videos on DVD.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Studer Vista 5 Digital Console on Mylène Farmer Tour with Dispatch

Stéphane Plisson, lead engineer for French equipment hire and production company Dispatch SA, recently selected a Studer Vista 5-42 digital console for the tour of Mylène Farmer, one of France’s most successful recording artists selling over 45 million records. The Vista 5 was selected for its undeniable advantages compared to other consoles in terms of sound quality, user interface, expandable I/O system as well as the VSP (Virtual Surround Panning) system. The engineers at Dispatch were so impressed with the Vista, they subsequently purchased the fully tour equipped version, the Vista 5 SR.

Olivier Crognennec, Dispatch sound engineer, commented on the Studer Vista 5 SR acquisition, “We were searching for a competitively priced, high-end digital console to update our audio capabilities and the Vista 5 SR was head and shoulders above the rest!” Crognennec continued, “The quality of sound is amazing, the engineers of Dispatch made an excellent choice with this console.”

On the Mylène Farmer tour, Stéphane Plisson took full advantage of the Vista 5’s versatile static automation, so that the rehearsed framework of the show could be run from the cue list, whilst having the freedom to tweak any parameter to accomplish a perfect sounding show from one night to the next, adapting to every venue’s characteristic. He also loves the VSP panning, which he uses to create a wide stereo image without damaging the mix for those of the audience who are not situated in the “sweet spot” of the venue.

Dispatch is France’s leading hire company providing professional audio equipment to the Tour and events industry and it has been evolving each year since its inception, in 1982.

Studer is distributed in France by AUDIOPOLE. For more information, visit www.audiopole.fr.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Soundcraft Vi6™ Digital Consoles Provide More Headroom For ‘Marie Antoinette’ In The Bremen Musical Theater

The legend of Marie Antoinette became synonymous with the French revolution in the 18th century and today, The Bremen Musical Theater in Germany is launching a new and impressive production of the musical by the same name. Providing the sound reinforcement for ‘Marie Antoinette’ are two 96-channel Soundcraft Vi6 digital consoles supplied by the German rental company, Avilux GmbH.

In total, the Soundcraft Vi6 consoles supply 192 channels and operate at the front of house and monitor positions for the production. Demonstrating the interconnectivity and versatility of the consoles, both Vi6 consoles are placed at the FOH position and operated by a single sound engineer.

The complex sound design of ‘Marie Antoinette’ required a detailed audio system designed by technical director, Athanasios Rovakis. He had two major targets; the first was to deploy one engineer to operate the Vi6 at the FOH/monitor position and secondly, he wanted to pre-program the show and save the settings for a convenient setup.

The Vi6 consoles allow the engineers to record 128 tracks of the live stage show or rehearsal onto third-party recorders. Recordings can be replayed into the desk for a virtual sound check, switching channels between a live signal or playback, providing a smooth transition. These flexible features make the setup easy and efficient. System checks, corrective actions and re-configuration can take place almost instantaneously and the handover of the show to new staff is much faster and easier.

The sound engineers for ‘Marie Antoinette’ appreciate the clear and logical design of the Vistonics™ II user interface. “A lot of changes on the Vi series are resolved in parallel with the actual workflow and these features make it possible to work as fast as necessary with the desk during a musical show,” comments Rovakis. “As a sound engineer in a musical production, you need a very ergonomic and well-arranged working environment to handle the number of switching and mixing actions and both desks operate without any failure.”

The John Cooper School Performing Arts Center Selects Soundcraft Vi6™

The John Cooper School, located in The Woodlands, Texas, recently upgraded its 515-seat performing arts center with a Soundcraft Vi6 digital mixing console. The Vi6 is a permanent fixture on the main stage and is responsible for a wide range of performance applications and productions. The engineers have found the versatility and ease-of-use of its’ Vistonics™ user interface has decreased engineer set-up time by nearly half.

Troy Dingle, Audio Video Coordinator for the Performing Arts Department at The John Cooper School, selected the Vi6 because its ‘analog feel’ allows students to experience mixing in a traditional manner with the benefits of advanced digital technologies. The Vi6 is used on a daily basis for a wide range of applications, including rehearsals and other school events as well as large monthly assemblies and school productions.

The intuitive Vistonics™ II interface on the Vi6 means that the console was quickly employed on a wide range of tasks. It enables the engineers to effortlessly scan all input and output levels using the Master Bay area and if he or she recognizes anything unusual, they can easily access the feature without having to guess or reference a manual. Also, the input and output channel strips of the touch screens provide valuable insight on each channel at one glance. The Studer designed Vistonics is controlled by a simple touch of a finger on any screen to instantly control gain, EQ, dynamics, DSP and routing.
Providing audio support for a school offers many challenges and the rate at which things change ‘makes life interesting’ for Troy Dingle. “Every day I’m mixing something different: which is exciting but requires a very flexible audio console,” commented Dingle. “I often have lower school kids (quiet and/or yelling) right next to a vocally trained upper school student with a great vocal range and dynamics, performing on the same microphone. With the Vi6, I can quickly adjust the gain, EQ, gate and compression to create a smooth sounding event.”

The variety of different events and the rapid rate or performance changes requires the all flexibility of the Vi6. “The students themselves create a changing variable that requires instant input changes,” Dingle continues. “Many times I rehearsed with one student only to find that the next day three more students got their courage up and are now singing. I can quickly use the consoles’ copy and paste functions to recreate the adjusted channel strip settings onto other open channels.”

The John Cooper School’s Vi6 is adapted to meet the wireless microphone needs of the installation. The sound engineers run 28 channels of wireless mics from the FOH mix position and opted to install two 8-channel line-in cards bringing the local rack to 32 line inputs. Soundcraft also provided a custom-built 1U rack unit that fits above the local rack input connection box to house the additional 16 inputs.

“Knowing that I rarely go past 48 channels of analog mics, I created two distinct layouts within the single Vi6 console. All microphones are on the left side of the master bay in a 48 channel setup and the left 1-24 channels on fader page A and left 25-48 channels on fader page B. On the right side of the master bay are 8 groups of stereo linked channels for line level playback devices. The right side channels are not numbered; instead they are labeled according to the device that is attached.

Taking advantage of the included additional local rack MADI Card (optical), I installed a MADI card into the FOH computer and can now record 64 channels effortlessly for every event we run.”

For more information on the John Cooper School, please visit www.johncooper.org

JBL Professional Introduces 8138 In-Ceiling Loudspeaker

Expanding on its successful 8100 Series, JBL Professional is introducing the new 8138 full-range, in-ceiling speaker, offering high sensitivity and a stylish look. Ideal for a wide variety of commercial sound applications, the 8138 is an addition to the 8124 and 8128 loudspeakers, which were introduced at last year’s InfoComm show.

The 8138 is an 8-inch, full-range, in-ceiling loudspeaker designed for use with a pre-install, in-ceiling backcan, resulting in high-fidelity performance at a cost-effective price point. The 8138’s built-in, 6-Watt, multi-tap transformer allows for use on 70V or 100V distributed speaker lines. Additionally, its high sensitivity of 97 dB delivers maximum sound levels using minimal amplifier power, allowing the use of smaller power amplifiers compared to lower sensitivity drivers.

The 8138’s driver features a 1-inch voicecoil with Kapton® coil former for reliability. The treated cloth surround provides deeper bass response compared with typical paper-roll surrounds, for fuller sound quality. The 8138 fits the MTC-81BB backcan and MTC-81TB tile bridge, or can be used with most in-ceiling backcan/tile bridge systems designed with four mounting points on a standard 11.25-inch diameter mounting circle. Moreover, with its contemporary grill design, the 8138 provides a stylish, upscale look that fits into many décors, bringing style and performance to basic commercial sound systems.

“Since introducing the original 8100 Series ceiling speakers—the 8124 and 8128, which are designed for applications where backcans are not needed—we have received requests to bring the same fashionable look and affordability to projects where pre-installed backcans are required,” said Rick Kamlet, Senior Director, Commercial Installed Sound, JBL Professional. “The 8138 addresses that need. By adding these new items, 8100 Series models are now available for both application types.”

JBL Professional Extends AE Series With Five New Subwoofer Models

Further extending the versatility of its workhorse AE (Application Engineered) Series, JBL Professional is introducing five new subwoofer models: the ASB7118, ASB7128, ASB6115, ASB6125, and ASB6112. The five new models bring the total model count in the AE Series to 46, ranging from the eight recently introduced 2-way AE Compact models to the 33 original models introduced in 2002. As with all AE Series models these five new subwoofers are designed specifically for fixed installation sound reinforcement applications.

These five new models include the very high output ASB7118 single 18-inch and ASB7128 dual 18-inch models, both utilizing the JBL 2269H ultra-long excursion transducer. The 2269H is a Differential Drive® dual 4-inch voice coil high output woofer rated at 2000W continuous pink noise. The compact ASB6115 single 15-inch and ASB6125 dual 15-inch models utilize the Differential Drive dual 3-inch voice coil 2265H transducer rated at 800W continuous pink noise. The ultra-compact ASB6112 is fitted with the all-new 12-inch 2263H 3-inch dual voice coil Differential Drive transducer, rated at 1000W continuous pink noise.

All woofers in these five new models utilize JBL patented technologies and feature neodymium magnets, dual voice coils and magnetic gaps, and ultra-robust cones for extra long life. Cabinet construction consists of top-grade multi-ply hardwood finished in JBL’s exclusive DuraFlex™ paint. Each of these new enclosures is equipped with 16 M10 fittings. Input cups are fitted with screw terminals and a Neutrik® NL4 connector. Input cups used for the dual woofer models are user configurable to operate with the woofers in parallel or in desecrate mode. JBL offers two standard levels of weather resistance for AE Series loudspeakers. WRC is intended for outdoor placement where the loudspeaker will be sheltered from direct exposure to the elements. WRX is suited for direct exposure to the elements.

As with previous AE Series models, these five new models are optimized for applications including theatrical sound design, auditoriums, worship facilities, live clubs, dance clubs, sports facilities and themed entertainment venues. These five new additions to the AE Series further support JBL’s commitment to sound system designers worldwide.

JBL Professional Breaks New Ground With CBT Series Line Array Columns

Offering unprecedented levels of directivity control, sonic fidelity and affordability, JBL Professional today introduced the CBT Series of passive line array columns, featuring JBL’s patent-pending Constant Beamwidth Technology™ circuitry, a breakthrough in pattern control that provides remarkably consistent constant directivity coverage and superb audio clarity, even in difficult acoustical environments.

“With the CBT Series, JBL is improving upon a number of challenges customers have typically faced with traditional passive columns, which causes the listening area to be covered inconsistently and every listener hearing a different sound character, including inconsistent coverage angles at every frequency, frequency response that changes considerably with distance, and out-of-coverage lobes that contribute to a destructive reverberant field,” said Rick Kamlet, Senior Director, Commercial Installed Sound, JBL Professional. “All these factors result in the listening area being covered inconsistently and every listener hearing a different sound character. After years of research by JBL engineers, the CBT Series, with Constant Beamwidth Technology, represents a new benchmark in performance and versatility for passive column loudspeakers, providing not only constant directivity, but also adjustable coverage control, full-fidelity sound quality, and one model that provides a very versatile asymmetrical pattern for more consistent front-to-back sound levels within the room while reducing reflections from the back wall. These features, along with high output levels, make the CBT Series a great choice not just for traditional column applications, but also for projects where larger point-and-shoot speakers would normally be utilized.”

The coverage pattern of the CBT models can be adjusted—with a simple switch—between Broad Mode (designed for mid-throw situations) and Narrow Mode (for long-throw applications). This versatility allows the CBT’s to meet the requirements of a broad range of applications. In addition, the CBT speakers provide Dynamic SonicGuard overload protection circuitry, which reduces distortion at high drive levels, along with user variable voicing which allows selecting a flat frequency response or a midrange presence peak for especially clear speech intelligibility.

The CBT 50LA is a very compact 50 cm high column that utilizes a straight line of eight 2-inch drivers, while the taller CBT 100 LA is a straight 100 cm high column utilizing 16 2” drivers and handles 325 Watts continuous pink noise for high output levels. Combined with Constant Beamwidth Technology circuitry, both provide constant directivity coverage. Both also contain low-saturation transformers, so they can be used on 70V/100V distributed speaker lines or as low impedance speakers.

The J-shaped CBT 70J is a 2-way coaxial line array utilizing 16 soft dome tweeters and four high power 5-inch woofers at a 70 cm height. The J-shape of the array works in conjunction with the Constant Beamwidth Technology circuitry to provide asymmetrical coverage similar to that of expensive line arrays commonly used in concert systems. The column’s top half projects highly concentrated sound toward the back of the venue, while the bottom half down-fills a broader, less concentrated sound to the front of the venue, resulting in more consistent sound levels from front to back.

This 500W system contains a pattern control switch for either 45 or 25 degrees vertical coverage.

The CBT 70JE is an extension cabinet for the 70J, further extending the pattern control of the CBT 70J by doubling its height, which lowers the frequency to which the speaker holds a consistent pattern of coverage, and doubling the power handling. The 70JE also increases the bass capability and extends the low-frequency response of the system to 1000 Watts continuous pink noise. The selectable vertical coverage, music/speech settings, the option to add an extension for bass and pattern control, asymmetrical vertical coverage, high output, and wide bandwidth makes the CBT70J an extremely versatile loudspeaker that fits into a wide variety of applications.

Despite the advanced features and performance built into the CBT Series, they are extremely easy to use, encompassing a new level of user-friendliness that makes them very straightforward to design into everyday projects. The CBT models can be installed either indoors or outdoors and the thin and sleek design is so unobtrusive that they almost vanish into the décor.

The wide variety of applications for the CBT Series include performance spaces, transit centers, lecture halls, multi-purpose rooms, board/meeting rooms, retail stores, courtrooms, theme parks, houses of worship, fellowship halls, movie theater lobbies, cinema surround, audio supporting video, race tracks, and many others.

JBL Professional Offers Unique Combination of High Design, 70V/100V Transformer And Weather Resistance In Control® CRV Loudspeaker

Providing remarkable versatility for a broad scope of applications, JBL Professional is introducing the Control® CRV loudspeaker at InfoComm 09. The Control CRV offers numerous mounting options and a wide range of configurations, providing an endless variety of solutions in terms of coverage, appearance and mounting.

Immediately noticeable is the Control CRV’s unique, contemporary, quarter-round design that makes a modern design statement, adding to any venue’s visual aesthetics in either a wall-mounted or corner-mounted configuration. In addition, this sleek appearance serves a notable functional purpose, as the Control CRV is combinable into half-round, three-quarter-round or a full, 360-degree round arc cluster that is suspendable from the ceiling via a fan pole assembly. A single Control CRV mounted at a wall-wall or wall-ceiling junction physically curves across the junction, acoustically coupling with the adjacent surfaces, widening the sound field, and producing an increased sense of sonic spaciousness.

A multi-tap, 30-Watt transformer allows for use on 70V or 100V distributed speaker lines, providing the capability to run multiple speakers on a single amplifier channel as well as individual level taps for each speaker and the ability to be connected via long cable runs. Available in either black or white, both models have a high level of weather resistance, allowing the speakers to be located either indoors or outdoors. The Control CRV is ideal for a wide variety of professional applications such as retail stores, restaurants, music cafes, outdoor patios, hotels, and anywhere that a high design loudspeaker with a 70V/100V transformer and indoor/outdoor capability is required.

The 75 Watts continuous pink noise power handling (300 Watts peak) and dual 4-inch Polyplas™ woofers provide superb sound quality, offering a frequency range of 80 Hz-20 kHz.

“With the Control CRV, the contemporary design, configurability — and of course, excellent sound quality — give designers and integrators a great range of versatility from one loudspeaker,” said Rick Kamlet, Senior Director, Commercial Installed Sound, JBL Professional.

Popejoy Hall Continues Tradition Of Excellence With New JBL VERTEC® Powered Line Array System

In another chapter of its fabled history, Popejoy Hall at the University of New Mexico recently implemented a comprehensive upgrade to its sound reinforcement system, which now boasts JBL VERTEC® DP Series line arrays and VP Series powered monitors.

Located on the main campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Popejoy Hall opened in 1966 and is home to both the Popejoy Presents concert series and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. It also hosts University of New Mexico music department concerts, as well as regional and local events promoted by others. In a typical year, there are as many as 170 performances held from September through June and the number of total use days typically averages over 230. On May 1, 2009, a new system began serving those events.

The new sound system complements Popejoy Hall’s earlier major renovation which included a new lighting system, a fully renovated fly system, a new orchestra shell and improved room acoustics and aesthetics. The updated interior design features a variable acoustic drapery system reflecting the needs of the varied programming of the venue. Budget limitations in 1996 dictated that the updated audio system be primarily suited for voice and music playback. In 1999, Popejoy Hall’s Director Thomas Tkach and Technical Director Billy Tubb began an initiative to upgrade the theater with modern, high-quality production systems, improve the facility’s equipment inventory and, as a result, production quality.

To date, over $1.6 million has been invested in facility improvements and equipment purchases. Over the years, Popejoy Hall has added new lighting equipment (automated and conventional), a 52x20 Soundcraft stage monitor console, Crown amplifiers, and BSS Audio processing. All of this equipment has been used extensively in-house and rented to local production companies, movie productions being shot in the area and to other venues. “The criteria for our purchases are always threefold: reduce outside rental equipment costs for our productions; increase the quality of the shows; and increase facilities rental income,” Tubb said. “I have always felt that we could serve ourselves, our patrons and the local community of production companies by leveraging the same investments.”

For the sound system upgrade, Tubb researched and auditioned different manufacturers and loudspeaker systems for the main PA over a 3-year period. “When the time came to finally improve the house sound system, I knew from my 18 years of management experience at the venue that we should invest in a true, rider-friendly, concert-level system,” Tubb said.

Particular emphasis was placed on flexibility in Tubb’s design approach. “I wanted the system to be a left-center-right configuration with distributed front fills, but also have the ability to create a 5.1 surround system in the room,” Tubb said. “I also required the system to be easily set up or broken down depending on what show we had that particular day, meaning it had to be very flexible and not permanently installed.”

The decision to purchase and install JBL VERTEC was made after extensive competitive auditions and listening tests. “I was very impressed with the new V4 DSP presets and the fidelity of the system, but also how well the compact VT4887 worked as a front fill and matched the voicing of the midsize VT4888’s,” Tubb said. “I was equally impressed with the DrivePack integration--having used Crown amplifiers for over 25 years and specifying them as a consultant, I knew how reliable they were. I was also impressed to see the capabilities of HiQnet™ System Architect™ software for configuration and control of the overall system.”

The reconfigurable system features 24 VERTEC VT4888DPAN powered, midsize powered line array elements, 10 VT4887DPAN powered, compact line array elements, and eight VT4882DPAN powered, midsize arrayable subwoofers, all equipped with JBL DrivePack technology. Two dbx DriveRack 4800TI Loudspeaker Management Systems are in place to control the system’s multiple loudspeaker output zones.

The new system at Popejoy Hall includes two identical stage racks that provide power, signal and network distribution and some additional cabling, enabling the full system to be split into two separate packages. This allows Tubb to set up (or rent out) a complete VT4888 system and a VT4887 system at the same time. “When we are not utilizing the system in Popejoy Hall, we are able to provide services to other University departments and rent to local production companies,” Tubb said. “We started receiving phone calls from other JBL VERTEC rental houses in the region even before we had the system out of the packaging. I basically designed the package to tour by specifying dolly boards, covers for all of the speakers, portable cabling and road cases.”

With the replicating power, signal and network distribution racks and cable systems, the system can also be arranged in various configurations in the theater. “We can do a left-center-right arrangement, or just left-right, or fewer boxes as required,” Tubb added. “We can just fly a center cluster or vary the subwoofer deployment. Some days we want maximum subwoofer energy for a contemporary music event, or we can set up the subs in cardioid arrays as well when we want to keep the onstage energy down to accommodate a symphony event.”

Additionally, Tubb required the stage monitors to double as surrounds for the 5.1 system. For this, Tubb added 16 JBL VP71212DP powered loudspeakers, 10 of which include custom fly points. “We were even more pleased when JBL engineers were able to add a pole mount to the box as well,” Tubb noted. “We have pole-mounted the monitors with tripods for corporate settings and we are very happy with the results.”

The state-of-the art sound system comes as a result of the continuing tradition of support for Popejoy Hall that extends back to before the Hall was built, with arts patron Mrs. Rufus Poole making the single largest personal gift to the Hall in its 41-year history. Her gift of $555,000 for the new JBL concert sound system along with acoustical upgrades to the hall in coordination with SIA Acoustics, Inc. continues a legacy of community support for the Hall that began in 1962 when her late husband, Rufus Poole, a prominent Albuquerque attorney, first led a citizens group in support of the Hall’s original construction.

At the re-opening of Popejoy Hall after its significant upgrades, Director Thomas Tkach praised Mrs. Poole for again providing leadership in funding Popejoy Hall. “Mrs. Poole’s very generous gift continues her family’s history with Popejoy Hall and their commitment to making this a place of which all New Mexicans can be proud,” Tkach said. “Her contribution allows us to fulfill another commitment we have made for upgrading our Hall. Now, because of Mrs. Poole’s generosity, we are able to modernize our audio equipment and make the Hall’s acoustics even better.”

For more information on Popejoy Hall, please visit www.popejoyhall.com

JBL VLA Line Arrays See Growing Adoption In Recent Stadium And Arena Installations

With a growing number of stadiums and arenas upgrading their audio/video systems, systems integrators are increasingly turning to JBL VLA Series loudspeakers to achieve line array performance in fixed-install applications. Designed specifically for permanent installation applications where even coverage, high intelligibility, and very high sound-pressure levels are required, the JBL VLA Series line arrays are based on the same advanced engineering used in JBL’s VERTEC® Series line array systems.

The VLA Series includes six large format horn-loaded modules with three horizontal horn coverage patterns (30, 60 and 90 degrees) in both mid-power and high-power configurations. This modular horn-loaded concept incorporating JBL’s Precision Directivity® series technology provides system designers additional flexibility to vary the horizontal pattern within a vertical array. This can be achieved by incorporating different modules with wider or narrower coverage patterns while still maintaining consistent vertical directivity.

“JBL developed the VLA series with systems integrators in mind, building on the proven success of the VERTEC line array series and Precision Directivity series,” said Brad Ricks, Senior Application Engineer, JBL Professional. “The pro AV market has responded, with some of the world’s most successful systems integration firms installing VLA loudspeakers for permanent installations requiring high-impact sound reinforcement at throw distances beyond the reach of traditional loudspeaker designs.”

Lucas Oil Stadium
In time for the 2008-09 National Football League season, systems integration firm ESCO Communications completed the installation and commissioning of a sound system at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. Consulting firm WJHW designed the system, which features JBL VLA line array clusters powered by Crown CTs Series amplifiers, existing on a Harman Professional HiQnet™ network and controlled via HiQnet System Architect™.

Featuring a unique retractable roof that makes it ideal for indoor and outdoor events, Lucas Oil Stadium seats 63,000 for football but can accommodate thousands more for basketball, conventions, concerts and other applications. The stadium covers 1.8 million square feet, features 137 corporate suites, two club lounges, meeting rooms, and two exhibit halls. The sound system is designed to be versatile and high performing. It comprises eight JBL Professional VLA line array clusters powered by Crown CTs series amps for football application. In other applications where additional sound reinforcement is required for field coverage, six clusters of 12 JBL Professional VERTEC® VT4888DPAN midsize powered line array loudspeakers with DrivePack® technology, drop down from the stadium roof. Crown PIP-USP3CN modules installed in the CTs Series amplifiers provide EQ, level control, delay and signal.






As the JBL Professional VERTEC and VLA line arrays and the Crown CTs Series amplifiers are HiQnet-enabled, system designers employed HiQnet System Architect to custom design master control panels to manage the
configuration, operation and monitoring of up to 438 devices in a single venue file. System Architect provides a highly customizable, ultra-intuitive interface and allows recall of pre-programmed configurations for different applications from concerts to basketball games to conventions.

Bank of America Stadium
In another NFL application, SE Systems installed an upgraded audio system at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, home to the Carolina Panthers. Brawley and Associates designed the scoreboard system, which now features JBL VLA line arrays.

The audio upgrade at Bank of America Stadium was part of a $12 million overhaul to the stadium’s entire audio/video system, and included the installation of new LED high-definition scoreboard displays. In designing the sound system to accompany the scoreboard, James S. Brawley and Associates needed loudspeakers that would match the power of a large HD display. “We needed a PA system that would not only provide high output to the entire stadium, but would also offer excellent pattern control and clarity,” said company founder James S. Brawley.

To meet this need, SE Systems installed a total of four line arrays, containing JBL VLA line array elements: two arrays each containing six VA301H-WRC 3-way loudspeakers (featuring a 30-degree horizontal coverage pattern), and another two arrays each containing six VLA601H-WRC 3-way loudspeakers (which feature a 60-degree horizontal coverage pattern). Additionally, 24 JBL Control 29AV surface-mount loudspeakers provide supplemental fill underneath the scoreboard.

RBC Center
Two hundred miles east in Raleigh, North Carolina, Clair Brothers Systems recently upgraded the audio system at the RBC Center, home to the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League and the North Carolina State University men’s basketball team. The Center’s new system features a combination of JBL VLA and VERTEC line arrays, as well as Application Engineered® (AE) series loudspeakers.

The arena seats 19,722 for basketball and 18,680 for hockey, including 75 luxury suites and 2,000 club seats. The arena also hosts numerous other events, ranging from WWE contests to rock concerts. According to Jim Devenney, Senior Audio Designer, for Clair Brothers, the audio system at the RBC Center was due for an overhaul. “The system originally installed in the building had lots of clusters and lots of overlap that degraded the system’s intelligibility,” he said. “The system was also underpowered for the events the arena was used for, particularly the Hurricanes and NC State basketball. The goals of the new system were to alleviate those problems and to give the customer the ability to zone the system for different event seating situations.”

For this combination of power and flexibility, Clair Brothers installed a system that consisted of eight arrays each containing 10 VLA901 loudspeakers flown along the dasher board line, and two arrays each containing four VLA601 loudspeakers for basketball floor fills. Additionally, four arrays each containing six VT4880A arrayable subwoofers provide support. Five AM6212 loudspeakers were installed in the scoreboard for center floor/ice fill, while 24 AM4212 loudspeakers were installed for very upper seat delay fill.





“The coverage of the arena with the eight VLA arrays is excellent and the VT4880A subwoofers give the system an extra dynamic and fullness quality,” Devenney said. “The two VLA601 clusters do an excellent job of filling in the floor from the basketball court to the hockey dashers at the ends of the arena.”

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
On the college football front, Daktronics recently upgraded the sound system at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, home to the University of Mississippi football team in Oxford. The audio upgrade is part of a $6 million overhaul that includes the largest high-definition video display in the NCAA Southeastern Conference.

Home to the Ole Miss Rebels since 1915, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium holds more than 62,000. As part of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Ole Miss faces some of the top college football programs each year. With the addition of the large high-definition LED screen before the 2008 football season, an equally powerful audio system was needed.

To that end, Daktronics designed and installed an end-zone system consisting of 12 JBL VLA601H line array loudspeakers configured in left-right hangs of six loudspeakers each. The system is supplemented by two JBL PD743 loudspeakers and two PD5212/64 loudspeakers. Crown I-Tech amplifiers power the system, which is configured via the Harman HiQnet System Architect platform.

“We needed a powerful system that was also highly controllable,” said Doug Dodge of Daktronics. “The VLA loudspeakers fit the bill and they have performed terrifically since we completed the installation.”

Rose Garden
Turning to the National Basketball Association, AVI-SPL recently oversaw the redesign of the audio system at the Rose Garden, home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. AVI-SPL installed a system featuring six JBL VLA line array clusters. The two side arrays are each comprised of eight VLA901 loudspeakers, while the four corner arrays each include six VLA601 and two VLA901 array modules.

The redesign of the audio system at the Rose Garden was a part of a major capital improvements project that included a new video scoreboard, powered by a state-of-the-art HD control room. The improvements also included a facelift of the Rose Garden’s main concourses, restaurants, party suites, as well as upgraded LED stats boards and auxiliary scoreboards.

To meet these heightened entertainment standards, AVI-SPL needed a loudspeaker system that would provide powerful, controlled sound while retaining a visually discrete appearance. “If we had gone with a central cluster approach, the scoreboard would not have been able to recess all the way into the ceiling,” said Nathan Thomas, of AVI-SPL. “We needed the scoreboard and loudspeakers to be located completely above the rigging points on the low steel frame so they could hold different kinds of events that used other rigging points.”

“We chose the VLA loudspeakers knowing that we would need a highly controllable system,” said Nathan Thomas of AVI-SPL. “The VLA’s offer that controllability, and the well-defined horizontal coverage angles drove us to ultimately go with that product.”

Teer Engineering and Harman Professional Prove Great Sound And Green Policy Go Hand In Hand At Reliable Plaza, The Greenest Commercial Building In Orl

In a demonstration of how high-quality, innovative audio components can help integrators deliver premium sound coupled with energy savings, Teer Engineering recently completed the installation of high-performance, networked audio systems from Harman Professional for the conference room facilities at the redesigned Reliable Plaza building in Orlando, Florida. The systems for four discrete, networked conference rooms, comprise components from BSS, Crown, and JBL in addition to playback, video and control technologies from other providers such as AMX. Considered to be the greenest commercial building in downtown Orlando, Reliable Plaza is designed to meet Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and houses municipal and commercial offices including the Orlando Utilities Commission customer service center.

Reliable Plaza is designed to use 28 percent less energy than a typical similarly-sized facility of its kind so the audio systems for the conference rooms needed to be highly automated and energy-efficient while providing uncompromising audio quality to enhance communication and collaboration. BSS Soundweb BLU-160 and BLU-120 processors were deployed in each conference room. “With BSS you get outstanding control and the versatility to handle all streaming audio. We consistently select BSS London because it is easy to program, highly reliable and competitively priced,” explained John Teer, President of Teer Engineering.

All Soundweb London units offer configurable I/O, configurable signal processing and CobraNet audio and has open architecture which is fully configurable through HiQnet™ London Architect. “With HiQnet you have a greater ability to control the audio system, which means you only run components when you need to,” Teer added.

Two Crown CTs series amplifiers power 10 JBL Control 26 loudspeakers in each of the conference rooms. “Crown amplifiers make increasing sense in a world where customers are looking to manage their energy costs and their carbon footprint,” Teer notes. “This is because — unlike many other amplifiers in the field, they perform to spec’ all the time. I know that I’ll go back and check on this project in a few months and the CTs amplifiers will be performing quietly, effectively and energy efficiently! It’s also easy to network the amplifiers through HiQnet System Architect™, which was another major benefit of going with Crown. As an integrator I have great confidence in these amplifiers!”

The JBL Control 26 loudspeakers were also installed in multiple locations throughout the building including hallways, reception areas and lobbies. “There are two reasons that the Control® Contractor Series have become a standard among leading integrators: coverage and sound quality!” Teer explains. “As a result, you need less speakers to deliver better sound than the commoditized imports. The byproducts here are less materials, less waste and less energy consumption! Since this was going to be a green building we had a lot of restrictions with what could be installed overhead. The JBL speakers were a non-issue in terms of the boundaries within which we had to work.”

Commenting on the installation, Michael MacDonald, Harman Executive Vice President of Marketing & Sales, noted, “Between our consumer, automotive and pro divisions, Harman invests more in audio R&D than almost all of our competitors combined, but at the same time we recognize that we will never stop learning from the experience and expertise of our integration customers like Teer Engineering. Harman is deeply committed to helping customers reduce their energy costs and lower their carbon footprint and I am confident that with the combined inventiveness and ingenuity between our team and the integrator community, you’ll see more success stories just like Reliable Plaza!”

dbx ® Strengthens Line Of Digital Processors With Introduction of Four New Members To The ZonePRO™ Series

dbx Professional Products, a Harman International Company (NYSE-HAR), today introduced four new members to its acclaimed ZonePRO™ family of digital zone processors. The new 1260m, 1261m, 640m and 641m join the 1260, 1261, 640 and 641 in the series, reflecting dbx Professional Product’s commitment to applying customer feedback to strengthen its existing product lines.

The new ZonePRO devices share the same total numbers of inputs and outputs as their equivalent siblings but feature additional mic/line inputs. The 1260m and 1261m have six mic/line inputs and the 640m and 641m have four mic/line inputs. This increase in the number of available microphone inputs further extends the suitability of the ZonePRO family into applications such as conference rooms and presentation spaces.

Ambient Noise Compensation (ANC) is also introduced on the new ZonePRO Devices. This processing function allows the level of zone outputs to track the ambient noise level, monitored through a microphone and microphone input. This feature is particularly well-suited to applications such as retail environments where the volume of the audio system can be matched automatically to the number of shoppers and their associated noise level.

Iain Gregory, market manager for installed sound at Harman Music Group stated, “Since its introduction in 2004, the ZonePRO family has enjoyed global adoption and specification within many high-profile commercial environments. The ‘m’ versions were born out of an overwhelming user desire to extend the reach of ZonePRO into further applications requiring additional microphone inputs. More microphone inputs, complimented by the introduction of Ambient Noise Compensation, further solidify the ZonePRO family as the perfect set of solutions for multi-zone commercial audio applications.”

Processing offered on all eight members of the ZonePRO family includes Advanced Feedback Suppression (AFS™) and AutoWarmth®, a psychoacoustic function that maintains full frequency bandwidth even when the signal level has dropped.

Each of the new ZonePRO devices features Ethernet and RS-232 control. ZonePRO Designer provides configuration and control of all ZonePRO devices. The Configuration Wizard within ZonePRO Designer guides users through the step-by-step configuration process.

Additional system control is offered by a range of Zone Controllers and third party control. The Zone Controllers are non-technical control interfaces for functions such as source selection, volume control and preset recall.

Each of the eight family members, with optional control, represents an inexpensive and quickly deployed solution for a diverse range of commercial audio applications.

Crown Expands Range Of Class Leading Fixed Installation Amplifiers With CDi 6000

Further proving its ability to offer sound integrators the best available solutions for power amplifiers in fixed installation applications, Crown Audio today introduced the CDi 6000 amplifier, the fourth amplifier in the CDi series.

“The CDi 6000 provides an unmatched combination of processing, power and a competitive price that makes it the clear leader in its class. The new CDi 6000 is a reflection of our commitment to providing integrators with the greatest range of options for power and scalability for the challenges that each individual installation presents,” stated Brian Divine, director of marketing for touring and installed sound for Crown.

The CDi 6000, like the other amplifiers in the series, has the ability to run both low-impedance two-, four- and eight-ohm loads as well as 70- and 140-volt outputs. The amp also features 20 available presets that can be recalled at the touch of a button. All CDi amplifiers can be controlled and configured through Harman HiQnet™ System Architect™.

All CDi Series amplifiers feature an intuitive front panel LCD display that guides installers through their configurations. All amps in the CDi series also offer onboard DSP for loudspeaker signal processing. Other features include a switch-mode universal power supply, useful function indications, proportional-speed fan-assisted cooling, removable Phoenix-style inputs, as well as barrier strip outputs for 70V/100V/140V loads.
Equipped with Crown’s extremely light and efficient universal switch-mode power supply, each of the four CDi models weigh only 19 pounds and can be conveniently and reliably run off of a standard 15-amp outlet.

Power output ratings on the CDi 6000 are as follows:

• 3000W per channel at two ohms
• 2100W per channel at four ohms
• 1200 per channel at eight ohms
• 2500 per channel at 70V
• 6000W in bridge-mono mode at four ohms
• 5000W in bridge-mono mode at 140V

Crown Audio Breaks The Power/DSP Barrier With New I-Tech HD Series Amplifiers That Deliver Intelligent Performance Coupled With Comprehensive Networki

In an introduction that dramatically resets expectations of what a professional-grade touring amplifier should deliver in terms of performance, processing, integration and ease of use, amplifier pioneer Crown Audio today introduced the new I-Tech HD Series amplifiers that have been meticulously engineered to advance every criteria by which an amplifier is judged. At its core, I-Tech HD features a new user-inspired DSP engine co-developed with BSS and Linear Phase FIR filters that offer unrivaled performance. Together with Crown’s Class-I amplifier technology; new software that makes I-Tech HD robust and very easy to configure; an industry-leading choice of input options including CobraNet and the all-new LevelMax™ limiters (Peak, Thermal and RMS), I-Tech HD is a stunning product of engineering R&D, more than 60 years of amplifier heritage and systematic user input from tour sound leaders in all markets.

“I-Tech HD, our new flagship amplifier, advances the state-of-the-art on no less than seven fronts,” said Mark Graham, President of Crown Audio. “A remarkable achievement in engineering, I-Tech HD Series is a destructive technology in the sense that it obsoletes all that came before it. It’s a worthy testament to Crown’s engineering team and the tour sound professionals around the world who helped with the development.”

Developed in conjunction with sister company BSS, the next generation OmniDriveHD™ DSP Engine at the heart of I-Tech HD is built on a new architecture specifically optimized for fast and efficient audio processing to provide tour and contracting professionals with a new platform for signal processing. The new FIREWALL™ FIR filter technology provides significantly improved midrange clarity and dramatically improved off-axis response. The OmniDriveHD reduces latency, safeguards sonic integrity and advances system reliability. AudioCore features 24- bit, 192 kHz A/D and D/A converters.

In yet another industry first, Crown Audio links the limiters in its new family of amplifiers: Crown’s innovative LevelMax limiter technology links the previously independent Peak, Thermal and RMS Limiters, enabling more effective, elegant protection of connected speakers while advancing system performance. LevelMax limiter actions are better informed for more effective, efficient results and minimal sonic degradation.

Crown I-Tech HD benefits from the software R&D firepower of Harman Professional’s System Development & Integration Group (SDIG) and is easily configured via HiQnet™ System Architect™ Software. The user interface has been completely redesigned. Managing large networks of amplifiers on the road has never been easier. 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. System Architect includes context-sensitive, alphanumeric keypads, which pop up automatically with relevant parameter units when a value or text entry box is selected with the stylus.

Further simplifying ease of use, Crown I-Tech HD Series features a road-warrior-inspired front panel USB slot for load and recall of amplifier settings. Chief engineers can simply hand pre-loaded USB keys to entry-level staff who can now quickly, cost-efficiently and accurately configure entire racks by inserting the correct key and pressing the load button. A patent-pending intuitive front panel work surface with LCD display provides fast and easy menu-based system setup and full amplifier diagnostics.

Crown Audio’s commitment to networking and interoperability goes beyond the USB slot. I-Tech HD boasts a category-leading arsenal of standard input options including CobraNet, AES/EBU and analog XLR inputs, allowing distribution of many channels of real-time, high quality digital audio for a vast array of touring and contracting applications.

I-Tech HD builds upon Crown Audio’s remarkable 60-year heritage of amplifier design and the category-defining legacy of the original I-Tech amplifiers. Patented Class-I Amplifier Technology featured in the new I-Tech HD delivers the highest output voltage in the industry, which provides clean transient peaks.

“Today, great power comes with great functionality,” Graham continued. “With I-Tech HD, Crown Audio has achieved the enviable balance of matching functionality with ease of integration, network scalability, intuitive operation and power performance. Just as I-Tech set the benchmark for integrated DSP and amplification — topping many millions of watts on the tour sound circuit and in fixed installation — I-Tech HD provides members of our user community with distinct audio and commercial advantages that make them better, faster, more competitive and lighter than their competition!”

Protected by a rugged 2U chassis, the I-Tech HD weighs in at a lightweight 30 lbs. (13 kg.) but its proven, Class-I output design packs a heavyweight punch to deliver massive amounts of power while generating minimal heat. Crown Audio’s patented Power Factor Correction (PFC) techniques allow I-Tech HD to draw current from the mains more efficiently, which in concert with the Class-I output enables I-Tech HD to provide the highest output voltage available and a clearly audible difference driving high-performance loudspeakers. Minimum guaranteed power ratings are as follows:

Power per channel with both channels driven:
I-T5000 HD: 2,000W at 2 Ohms; 2,500W at 4 Ohms; 1,250W at 8 Ohms
I-T9000 HD: 2,800W at 2 Ohms; 3,500W at 4 Ohms; 1,500W at 8 Ohms
I-T12000 HD: 3,750W at 2 Ohms; 4,500W at 4 Ohms; 2,100W at 8 Ohms

Crown Introduces Updated Macro-Tech i Series Amplifiers With Increased Power and Dual Port Capability

Continuing a heritage of sonic integrity and quality that has spanned over two decades, Crown today announced the latest update to its Macro-Tech i series of amplifiers, featuring increased power and new dual port capability. Comprised of three models, the MA-5000i, MA-9000i, and MA-12000i, the Macro-Tech i series features patented Class-I circuitry, which delivers greater power while reducing the amplifier’s weight by more than half.

The new Macro-Tech i series also features dual-port capability. An additional network port now allows a user to daisy chain the network control down the rack of amplifiers instead of having to run a separate cable from a switch to each individual amplifier.

“The professional sound reinforcement community knows what to expect from the Macro-Tech i series. They are getting the best sounding, most reliable analog power amplifier in the world. The best just got better with these updates. The upgraded power and features reflect the needs of our customers and our desire to provide them with a solution that best meets their needs,” stated Brian Divine, director of marketing for touring and installed sound for Crown.

All Macro-Tech i amplifiers are also equipped with comprehensive status, fault, and load monitoring via standard Harman HiQnet™ System Architect™ software. A universal power-factor corrected power supply ensures that the amps can be anywhere in the world, delivering full rated power regardless of the environment.

Power output ratings on the newly updated Macro-Tech i series are as follows:

• MA-5000i – 3000W per channel at 2 ohms (with 2565W 20mS burst), 2500W per channel at 4 ohms, 1250W per channel at 8 ohms, 4000W at 4 ohms bridged, and 5000W at 8 ohms bridged

• MA-9000i – 4700W per channel at 2 ohms (with 4570W 20mS burst), 3500W per channel at 4 ohms, 1500W per channel at 8 ohms, 5600W at 4 ohms bridged, and 7000W at 8 ohms bridged

• MA-12000i – 6000W per channel at 2 ohms (with 5900W 20mS burst), 4500W per channel at 4 ohms, 2100W per channel at 8 ohms, 7500W at 4 ohms bridged, and 9000W at 8 ohms bridged

Crown Introduces PIP-USP4 Processor For CTs Series Amplifiers

Delivering unprecedented power and flexibility while offering clear sound and the widest dynamic range possible, Crown today introduced the PIP-USP4, the fourth generation DSP-based PIP™ (programmable input processor) module for CTs Series 2-channel amplifiers. The USP4 is a Harman HiQnet™ series component and connects to the audio control/monitor network using 100MB Ethernet hardware. The single plug solution contains audio distribution, control and monitoring.

“We are proud to bring the same next generation OMNIDRIVEHDTM DSP Engine that is featured in our I-Tech HD line to the PIP-USP4. This technology represents what will soon become known as the industry standard and we will continue to implement it for the ultimate in processing for other Crown products,” stated Brian Divine, director of marketing for touring and installed sound for Crown.

The USP4’s OMNIDRIVEHD™ processor gives the user ultra smooth processing with 24-bit, 192 kHz Cirrus Logic SHARC A/D and D/A converters and true 96kHz processing. LevelMAX™peak, RMS and transducer thermal voltage limiters combine for a smooth and accurate response, better sound and higher usable SPL. Also available are proprietary FIR and IIR filters for unmatched clarity and detail. The USP4 is capable of connecting to an Ethernet network, allowing it to be remotely controlled and configured via HiQnet System Architect™. Additionally, the USP4 allows the transport of real-time digital audio via CobraNet™ or Ethernet AVB.

A digital audio on/off ramp allows users to send pre or post processed analog signal out of the module to adjacent amplifiers. This capability can reduce DSP cost for a system by up to 40% on its own.

Other features of the PIP-USP4 include auto standby for increased energy efficiency, SLM (sweep load monitoring) with system-level diagnostics, 25 user selectable presets and over two seconds of delay per channel. Available input options include analog, CobraNet or Ethernet AVB, and AES3 Digital Audio.

Audio Analysts and Bruce Springsteen Hit The Tour Circuit With Crown I-Tech HD Amplifiers

In one of the most highly anticipated tours of the year, Audio Analysts and Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers are now on the road with Bruce Springsteen. Currently Springsteen and the E-Street Band are in the middle of a 45-show U.S. tour to promote his new album, Working on a Dream. Audio Analysts is one of the first tour sound companies to make use of I-Tech HD amps for a full-scale tour and provide tour sound reinforcement for some of the biggest names in music.

Audio Analysts’ relationship with Crown began almost four decades ago beginning with the classic DC300 amp. While other brands have been tried and tested, Audio Analysts has continuously come back to Crown.

For the tour, Audio Analysts has deployed 36 I-Tech 5000HD and 18 I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers. “The new I-Tech HD has a lot of great features that make this the ideal tour amplifier. It starts with the reliability, which we have always got from Crown since we starting using their amps in the early 1970s. Plus, with the I-Tech HD the next generation DSP is perfect for more precise algorithms for system EQ and tunings,” stated Albert Leccese, Vice President of Engineering for Audio Analysts.

“We are proud to say we have been working with Bruce for the last 17 years. Bruce works very hard to deliver an exciting, high-energy performance and he has the highest expectations for his band and everyone else involved in the show’s production, including his sound company. The Crown I-Tech HD is a testament to this attitude, which validates our continued support for our clients. Audio Analysts strives for innovative technologies that reinforce our efforts to supply our clients with the best equipment at a fair price,” added Leccese.

“Bruce Springsteen’s music has long evoked the passion, challenges, and perseverance of American life. He has been a true innovator across a range of genres and is a global icon for high-quality music. At Crown we salute Audio Analysts and we are proud to share in the company’s continuous goal of striving for innovation in our field,” stated Brian Divine, director of marketing for touring and installed sound for Crown.

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.

The I-Tech HD amplifiers power 64 JBL VerTec VT4889’s large-format line array elements, 32 VT4880 arrayable subwoofers, 56 VT4888 mid-size line array elements and six VT4887 compact line array elements for front fill. “When you’re out on tour, different venues present random and often challenging acoustics. VerTec is light weight and therefore gives you a lot of rigging options, plus you get great sound,” stated Leccese.

BSS Audio™ Introduces AEC Input Card to the Soundweb™ London Family of Digital Signal Processors

BSS Audio™, a Harman International Company (NYSE-HAR), today introduced the Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) card to its acclaimed Soundweb™ London family of digital signal processors. Designed specifically for the Soundweb London BLU-800, BLU-320, BLU-160 and BLU-120 devices, the Soundweb London AEC input card complements the analog and digital, input and output, card options, extending the reach of Soundweb London into teleconferencing applications.

The Soundweb London AEC input card utilizes a proprietary algorithm developed by Wavemakers®, a Harman International company and specialist in voice optimization software for automotive and communications applications. The algorithm used on the Soundweb London AEC input card has been specifically designed to meet the needs of Installed Sound applications and the high expectations of today’s teleconference participant.

The Soundweb London AEC input card features four microphone / line level channels with Acoustic Echo Cancellation per channel. A direct microphone feed is made available to facilitate local sound reinforcement. Configuration, control and monitoring of the AEC input card is provided by Harman HiQnet™ London Architect.

The Soundweb London BLU-800, BLU-320, BLU-160 and BLU-120 devices joined the existing BLU-80, BLU-32 and BLU-16 devices. The newer devices feature a low-latency, fault-tolerant digital audio bus of 256 channels. In addition to providing a backbone for the transportation of multiple channels, this bus also facilitates the creation of large, fault-tolerant, centralized matrices containing multiple devices. The BLU-800 and BLU-160 models feature configurable DSP, boasting four times the processing capability of BLU-80 and BLU-16 devices.

The BLU-BOB cost-effective break-out box was also added to the family and represents an inexpensive solution to increasing the number of outputs in a Harman HiQnet networked system.

Since its advent, the BSS Audio Soundweb London family has drawn acclaim for its flexibility and intuitive operation. All eight models offer pristine audio quality, advanced A/D and D/A conversion, 96kHz capability, drag-and-drop system design with CobraNet™ bundle assignment, Ethernet based control, an extensive range of control options from simple to sophisticated, easy expansion or reconfiguration of system hardware in the field and an upgrade path for future enhancements.

Each of the eight different Soundweb London devices offer a different mix of signal processing, CobraNet and digital audio bus functionality, making a Soundweb London system the perfect match for any application.

AKG Announces New DMM 4/2/2 Digital Automatic Microphone Mixer at InfoComm

Today at InfoComm, AKG announced the release of the DMM 4/2/2 automatic microphone mixer. The DMM 4/2/2 is a processor controlled digital automatic mixing algorithm with four balanced universal (microphone/line) inputs and two stereo AUX inputs providing a unique and very intelligent mixing algorithm with noise sensitive threshold.

The DMM 4/2/2 mixing algorithm automatically allocates gain among the system microphones (NOM attenuation) with a special noise detect function and the “Noise Sensitive Threshold” algorithm (NST) that eliminates an accidental switching of the input channels.

The mixing algorithm features a “Last Mic On” function as well as a “Best Mic On” mode and the revolutionary control concept allows users to access all microphone functions via a single rotary switch for a very intuitive operation.

To compensate for level differences or any other obstacle, the DMM 4/2/2 incorporates a dbx compressor/limiter, which provides clear and pristine sound quality to an array of applications. Each channel has switchable gain (Mic/Line, Mic-Lo/Mic-Hi) and switchable phantom power and every input is equipped with an incremental level control, including LED level and peak hold display. The auto-mixing and ducking function can be enabled/disabled for each microphone and AUX channel individually providing an expansive amount of flexibility.

The DMM 4/2/2 has an expansion connector to cascade multiple mixers in a bigger system and a control I/O is located on the rear panel, providing logic in and outputs to control external devices. The DMM 4/2/2 comes in a rugged 19” housing with an integrated power supply unit, one recording output via 2 chinch connectors and one master XLR output. The mixer can also be remotely controlled via logic in/outs with a Sub-D connector.

Each input incorporates a volume control, high frequency shelving filter, a low frequency shelving filter and a switchable bass cut filter. The main output is equipped with an adjustable limiter as well as a master level control and all functions are controlled from the incremental controls on the front panel. The mixer also provides a software locking function to avoid unwanted operation.

AKG Showcases Revolutionary DMS 700 Digital Wireless System At InfoComm

AKG is showcasing the DMS 700 digital wireless microphone system at InfoComm, offering users a state of the art feature set including digital audio encryption, ultra wide tuning range and high channel count in a simple to use 19” chassis. Ideal for live sound reinforcement, conference facilities, courtrooms and houses of worship, the DMS 700 is a revolutionary wireless solution designed for the future as it operates with two frequency bands with each band providing a tuning range of up to 155 MHz of receivers and transmitters giving the user extended flexibility in today’s crowded RF environment.

The clean digital audio transmission eliminates the distortion and significant noise levels at the higher audio frequencies that is typically produced by analog systems. The DMS 700 offers 155 MHz of bandwidth, which provides a robust and versatile operation. The encrypted digital audio transmission enables users to broadcast sensitive audio information and each channel can be secured with its own encryption key to keep the information absolutely confidential.

Featuring the ability to operate up to 100 channels simultaneously, the digital audio transmission system provides a better resistance to interference from other transmissions and an infrared link between receiver and transmitter offers a quick system setup for easy and user-friendly operation.

DSR 700 Digital Stationary Receiver

The 1U 19” rack mountable DSR 700 digital receiver features encryption and 155 MHz tuning range ensuring future operation. The internal digital signal processor provides an array of audio features such as a low cut, 3-Band Equalizer, dbx® compressor and dbx limiter. The built in spectrum analyzer displays the frequency range to enhance the operation and control of the radio spectrum. The DSR 700 features Harman HiQnet™ allowing it to be networked with Crown® amps and JBL® speakers and other Harman Products which also allows for easy software updates of all system components.

DHT 700 Digital Handheld Transmitter

The DHT700 Transmitter has a rugged metal housing, a built-in helical antenna and 50mW RF output power that provides for optimal and reliable transmission. The DHT 700 features AKG’s Top Selling D5 dynamic microphone capsule for lead and backing vocals. The patented Laminate Varimotion™ diaphragm accompanies the supercardiod polar pattern to provide users with higher gain before feedback than typical hand held vocal mics. AKG’s C5 condenser microphone capsule with a cardioid polar pattern is also available.





DPT 700 Digital Bodypack Transmitter

The DPT 700 Bodypack transmitter accepts both microphone and line-level input signals with no need to adjust the input sensitivity. This unique feature guarantees a failure-proof operation and the professional TB3M audio input supports a broad range of headsets, lavalieres and instrument microphones. AKG’s legendary battery life of eight hours of operation from two regular AA size batteries remains consistent in the DPT700 as with other AKG wireless systems.


CU 700 Charging Unit

AKG’s CU 700 is a fast charger that rapidly charges the rechargeable batteries inside the transmitter without damaging the cells' elements. The microprocessor-controlled charger determines the optimum charge current and has a cooling fan to help keep the temperature of the cells in a controlled environment. Charging is terminated when both batteries are fully charged. The CU 700 charger uses the DC Pulse Technology in which a pulse is fed to the battery with a strictly controlled rise time, pulse width, pulse repetition rate and amplitude. With pulse charging, high instantaneous voltages can be applied without overheating the battery.

Harman International And NETGEAR To Launch Co-Branded AVB Switches At InfoComm ‘09

Harman International Industries (NYSE: HAR), a leading provider of branded audio and infotainment electronics for the home, the car, and sound professionals, today announced an agreement between its BSS division, and NETGEAR®, Inc. (NASDAQGM: NTGR), a worldwide provider of technologically innovative, branded networking solutions, to launch the world’s first AVB (IEEE Audio Video Bridge) switches for networking multichannel audio and video over standardized Ethernet. Today’s announcement, made at InfoComm ‘09, sees the immediate introduction of a pair of 16-port and 24-port co-branded switches featuring specialized AVB hardware and software for use in a wide array of fixed installation audio video applications. Standardized multichannel audio and video over Ethernet, enabled by AVB, provides AV professionals and their customers with considerable cost-per-node savings in deploying complex AV systems, while advancing integration, ease of use and system functionality and control.

The IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging Task Group is an IEEE initiative comprising engineers from a host of technology leaders in the semiconductor, enterprise computing, automotive, professional AV, consumer electronics and networking solutions markets. The group has developed protocols to allow vendors to build a standards-based network with the appropriate quality of service for high-quality audio performance and production.

Co-branded BSS Audio|NETGEAR, today’s introductions are available through Harman Professional’s global distribution network and will complete the signal chain between Harman Professional’s new pre-standards AVB-enabled products including Crown Audio CTs amplifiers and dbx processors. Like dbx, and Crown Audio, BSS Audio are members of the Harman Professional Group. BSS Audio is a recognized leader in highly reliable audio networking technologies for fixed installations and professional touring.

Commenting, Robert Urry, Harman Professional Chief Technology Officer, noted, “Today’s introduction is a game-changing moment in AV integration that immediately makes advanced AV networking simpler, more affordable, more effective and more compelling to a broader market than was ever before possible. I am confident that AVB will grow the market for professional-grade AV products and services by enabling a new, wider variety of AV applications from distance learning in education and corporate training and communications, to digital signage in retail, hospitality and municipalities countless other uses in medicine, banking and, of course, entertainment and infotainment. We’re very pleased to work with NETGEAR in leading the industry by being the first to launch an AVB-capable switch.”

Sanjay Kumar, NETGEAR’s Director of Product Management for Switching agrees. “NETGEAR is always striving for innovations and developing products that will bring its customers the maximum benefits from the latest technologies. We foresee the market potential and benefits of AVB switches to our customers. Working with Harman Professional enables NETGEAR to prove this remarkably high-performance and rugged technology in the most demanding professional-grade applications before migrating it to other markets. We’re confident that the new BSS Audio|NETGEAR switches will provide the professional community with plug & play standardization coupled with great sound and video!

The new IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging standards provide three major enhancements for 802-based networks:
• Precise timing to support low-jitter media clocks and accurate synchronization of multiple streams
• A simple reservation protocol that allows an endpoint device to notify the various network elements in a path so that they can reserve the resources necessary to support a particular stream
• Queuing and forwarding rules that ensure that such a stream will pass through the network within the delay specified by the reservation

The enhancements enabled by IEEE 802.1 standards require no changes to the Ethernet lower layers and are compatible with all the other functions of a standard Ethernet switch (a device that follows the IEEE 802.1Q bridge specification).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Venus Bouzoukia Upgrades With Soundcraft Si3

Venus Vareladika, the Larnaca-based live ‘Bouzoukia’ nightclub, has installed a new Soundcraft Si3 digital console to mix the venue’s resident ‘covers’ band. This installation is one of a number of sales to installation and rental companies involving Soundcraft’s digital platform, reported recently by ALA Equipment Co. Ltd., Harman Professional’s territorial distributors.

The house band at the 500-seat Venus, which is situated on the beach near Larnaca Airport, plays traditional folk tunes and pop classics and the line-up comprises of drums, guitar, keyboards, bass, percussion and of course bouzouki.

The bustling venue operates 4 nights a week, therefore sound engineer Jim Demetri requires a reliable and durable mixing desk, accustomed to working long duty cycles.

Demetri contacted ALA Equipment Co. Ltd. and was immediately impressed by the extremely analog sounding characteristics of the Si3. “The pre amps are superb, with great headroom, while the EQ is very musical and doesn’t suffer the clinical digital sound of other desks that I have worked with," comments Demetri. “All in all, this is a great sounding board.”

Demetri believes that any professional sound engineer with a background in analog will be able to work with ease on the Si3 with a minimum learning curve. “It looks as though it has been designed with analog engineers in mind,” Demetri states. “It’s also a very ergonomic desk with a nice, clean working surface, which provides for quick operation.”

Demetri’s colleague, Andrea Piemonti, MD of ALA Equipment Co. Ltd. claims Venus has received great support from the Si3. “The user interface played a large part in our choice of desk,” the sound engineer admits. “Being situated on a small island, you need the best support possible.”

The performers at Venus each have a personal monitor system, with 6 singers running with AKG IVM 4 UHF wireless in-ear monitoring system with integrated dbx digital signal processing. The entire monitor system is mixed from the Si3 and each input requires a separate feed via an aux buss, including running the onboard 4 Lexicons and stereo JBL side fills as well as back up monitors in the front. “There would be no chance of doing that with a single analog console,” adds Demetri.

In addition to Venus, Andrea Piemonti reports further sales of the Si3 to Nicosia-based rental company, Red Sound. In the same city, he has also supplied V&M Electronics with a Soundcraft Vi6 and Kallipoleos with a Vi4. “We are currently dominating the market with Soundcraft digital consoles on the island,” Piemonti says. “In addition to rental companies, we are also talking to many prospective installation customers.”

Soundcraft GB2 Gets Interactive With Queen & Gibson Guitar

The British Music Experience has been heralded as the world’s first fully interactive journey through the incredible story of British popular music. The new exhibition, at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London, features exhibits from Trad Jazz to Happy Hardcore and Bowie's Ziggy outfit to Geri's Union Jack dress from the Spice Girls, where visitors can watch, listen, play, sing and dance their way through 60 years of British music history.

A major exhibit at the BME is the Gibson Interactive Studio, where visitors can play on various guitars from the Gibson family, Slingerland drums and Wurlitzer digital pianos.
One exciting part of this exhibit allows visitors to actually mix the individual components of a track by Queen on a Soundcraft GB2 console and then compare their result with the original final mix to see how close they got.

“As a British manufacturer who has been around for over 35 years of British music history, we’re delighted to have worked with Gibson on this incredible experience at the BME,” reported Andy Trott, President of Soundcraft Studer, part of the Harman International group of companies.

“I’m a musician and do as much music production as I can find time for at home, so I’d relish the chance to mix a classic track by a band like Queen, and of course with a Soundcraft console at the heart of the experience, you know it will sound great!”

The BME provides visitors with an unprecedented look at all musical genres from skiffle to reggae, rock n’ roll to blues and from punk to urban. For more information, visit http://www.britishmusicexperience.com/

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Harman Professional Debuts Next Generation HiQnet System Architect Version 2.0 At InfoComm 2009

In an introduction that radically simplifies professional audio networking, delivers greater design and integration capabilities to audio professionals and improves system performance and efficiency, Harman Professional today debuted HiQnet System Architect™ version 2.0. A highly intuitive, highly functional audio configuration and control interface for designing specialized audio networks for a wide array of applications, HiQnet System Architect 2.0 takes a newer approach to system design than the previous generation by providing users with intelligent choices based on job function, system application and system sophistication.

System Architect 2.0 features a new system design philosophy centered on workflow and the use of a diagrammatic representation of the installed or live sound venue. Devices are arranged by both their physical and logical placement allowing the designer to ‘educate’ System Architect about how they are to be used. In return the software is able to provide automation of many of the laborious system design tasks for free. For example, once the user has defined the layout of the venue and informed the software about which areas of it the amplifier outputs logically serve, System Architect provides embedded control panels which are automatically tied to the correct devices and provide source-selection, level, mute and metering, instantly accessible for each user-defined space, directly from the main Venue View. The factory-supplied panels can also be edited or completely replaced with fully-customized user control panels. The use of the user-defined spaces also provides feedback to the user by informing of any errors or warnings of the devices contained within by turning yellow or red, depending on the level of the condition. Combining this functionality with control panels for each space within the venue is the beginning of a long-term plan to merge the boundaries of system design with system control and monitoring.

According to Rick Kreifeldt, Harman Professional SDIG Vice President, System Architect Version 2.0 is a significantly more intelligent application than any professional audio industry application that has come before. “System Architect Version 2.0 is powerful because it seeks to combine the intelligence, experience and objectives of its users, and it’s been designed in close cooperation with the world’s leading practitioners in AV integration,” Kreifeldt explained. “The workflow oriented interface readdresses the interaction between designers and system design by framing his or her input not simply in terms of technology components but also on how the system is used. Couple this with a new informed approach that provides each participant with a tool suited to their needs and permissions, and you’ll quickly appreciate how System Architect makes the design process more efficient”

System Architect 2.0 also provides tour sound professionals and fixed installation system designers with considerable additional organizational benefits: adding the ability to create racks and arrays directly in the workspace, further enhancing the mechanisms of grouping devices. And by understanding more about the responsibilities of a certain device and its physical location within a rack, an array or a room, finding a specific device is made easy with new comprehensive list filtering techniques.

“System Architect Version 2 improves the system design experience for all users of the application, enabling significantly more efficient workflows,” Kreifeldt continued. “Designers can start with their end-goal — more often than not the loudspeaker configuration — and very quickly and intuitively work backwards because System Architect essentially connects the dots in an intelligent, logical way to evolve the speaker configuration into an AV system.”

In interviews with industry professionals, several complicated or time-consuming system design elements became common threads of conversation. The philosophy behind System Architect 2.0 is to speed up system design by tackling the organization of devices, the grouping of devices for control, system-wide routing of networked audio and creation of custom control panels. Importantly for the future, the underlying mechanisms by which these common issues have been addressed in version 2.0 also provide the foundations for several more considerable time-saving system design tasks to come.

At InfoComm this year, SDIG will also demonstrate Harman HiQnet™ products streaming Ethernet AVB in a technology preview. The company will showcase several new Ethernet AVB products including a dbx SC 32 Digital Matrix Processor, an Ethernet AVB architectural wall-plate from BSS Audio and a Crown CTs amplifier. The demonstration system will be connected together with an Ethernet AVB switch. The demonstration brings to fruition over three years of research and development as well as comprehensive participation and leadership in the IEEE AVB 802.1 Audio/Video Bridging (AVB) Task Group initiative.

A preview of System Architect will demonstrate how it will use the new venue design concepts to provide Ethernet AVB routing not just on a device-by-device level, but also to entire physical and logical spaces within a system, with one simple drag of the relevant signal.