France - Live sound engineer Verlaine Levis used to think that DPA microphones were only suited to classical music and never imagined that their microphones were also appropriate for pop rock tours. Since using a selection of DPA mics on the current Cats On Trees tour, Levis is the first to admit that his initial perception was entirely wrong.

"When DPA's French distributor Audio² gave me the opportunity to try the company's microphones with Cats On Trees, I was happy to accept the challenge," Levis says. "It didn't take long to discover that these great microphones have beefy pickups and are perfectly suited to rock and pop acts. We're now using three d:facto Vocal Microphones, as well as a d:dicate ST2011C Stereo Pair with 2011C Compact Cardioids and a number of d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones for drums and violins."

"The tour is awesome and they

The Netherlands - Opened in 2005, Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw aan't IJ is the Netherlands foremost venue for contemporary classical music. For the past nine years, the audio mixing requirements have been reliably taken care of by a Yamaha DM2000, but a recent technical refurbishment has seen it joined by a CL3 system.

Physically, Muziekgebouw aan't IJ's main auditorium, the Grote Zaal, is exceptionally flexible, featuring a ceiling, walls, floor and seating which are all moveable. These features make it an equally space for everything from intimate chamber music to full orchestras.

Acoustically the auditorium is extremely quiet so, when funding became available to upgrade the audio system, the venue's technical team needed a mixing system that was virtually silent in operation, as well as fulfilling all the technical requirements.

"At the beginning, we wrote down a list of

Turkey - HK Audio will increase its presence in Turkey significantly in 2015, after the German sound reinforcement firm signed an exclusive distribution deal with Yildirim Muzikhal.

The experienced Antalya-based distributor will be taking on the entire HK Audio product line-up - including the pro sound, install sound and MI ranges - in what is one of Europe's largest and fastest-growing pro audio markets from 1 January.

The relationship between the two companies began after HK Audio decided to make a strategic change of distributor in Turkey, and talks intensified when the two firms realized the vast opportunities working together could bring.

Florian Kunz, HK Audio's international market manager, said, "The decision to work together with Yildirim Muzikhal was taken after a comprehensive meeting in Antalya. Our future distribution partner has an outstanding history of p

USA - Symphony Centre, in Chicago's Loop district, is home to the Grammy Award-winning Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and historic Orchestra Hall. Although the CSO traditionally performs acoustically, when visiting jazz and pop artists stop by for shows using amplified music, the venue now has a new secret weapon - DiGiCo's SD9.

Installed by The Sound Co-Op LLC, the same sound reinforcement company that also provides Symphony Centre's sound system for amplified performances, the SD9 is called into service when visiting artists perform both with and without the CSO, such as on a recent show by Washington, D.C.-based a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Symphony Centre's new SD9 console includes the Rack Pack Tour (RPT) package. This combination boasts 72 mic/line inputs (64 being on stage), digital snakes, redundant power supplies (in both console and stage racks), 48 Fl

Denmark - The Audio Engineering Society (AES) has issued a call for papers to be presented at its 58th International Conference on Music Induced Hearing Disorders.

This is the second AES conference on the topic, and will continue the important task of presenting and discussing advances in the state of the art in hearing loss diagnosis and prevention, as well as strategies, technologies, and devices related to safe yet impactful music production and reproduction. The event will take place at Hotel Comwell Hvide Hus in Aalborg, Denmark, 28-30 June, 2015.

Researchers from both the audiology and pro audio fields are invited to submit papers for presentation at the conference. Proposed topics for presentation include: Music versus Noise as an Exposure Agent; Hearing Exposure Measurement and Control Devices; Sound Level Management for Live Events; Active and Passive Hearing Protecti

Korea - Through the diligent work of their South Korean distributor, Marshall Pro Sound, Inc., Amadeus speakers are now the centrepiece of sound for the Korean Congress in the general assembly hall within the National Assembly Hall building, located in the heart of the country's capital of Seoul. During the past 10 years sound requirements for the entire The National Assembly building have been managed by Marshall Pro Sound, Inc.

Because of the general assembly hall's environment, the new system required both large hanging speakers and very compact yet high SPL speakers at the podiums. Marshall Pro Sound felt the Amadeus DIVA XS speakers were the solution for the main hall, and Amadeus PMX suited the personal monitoring needs at each podium. The 28-speaker install at the National Assembly Hall is one of the largest and most prestigious in Asia for Amadeus.

Based in France, Ama

UAE - Nicolas Kyvernitis Electronics Enterprises (NMK), distributor of Neutrik in the Middle East region for the live sound market segment, is awaiting the first delivery of digital, wireless audio network Xirium.

multichannel wireless network designed to replace analogue audio cables in situations where it could be difficult to run a cable, but where a stable connection and audio quality are needed. The system combines digital transmission and receiving lines in one system and delivers the highest sound quality, reliability and ease of handling.

Xirium has been launched and presented during the ongoing NMK Roadshow which begun in November 2014 in Qatar and is heading to Kuwait on 12 January 2015.

"Demand for Xirium is extremely high. We have already sold three systems within two weeks after product launch in the Middle East region. The system can be used in various app

Europe - Superstar producer/singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams made extensive use of Shure wireless microphone and in-ear monitoring systems on his first-ever headlining concert tour this Autumn. The six-week Dear G I R L tour ran from September to October and took in major venues in Western and Central Europe, including the UK's O2 Arena.

Shure's Axient wireless microphones and PSM1000 in-ear monitoring systems, as used on the European dates, were sold by Shure Distribution UK, and supplied by Wigwam Acoustics in Heywood, Greater Manchester.

Pharrell's regular monitor engineer Jeremy Peters informally approached US-based RF engineer and stage and microphone tech Matthew Bock, of Nashville audio technology vendor Sound Image, early in 2014 for advice about which wireless systems to use on the live dates that were then being planned in support of Pharrell's successful G I R

Canada - Calgary's Epcor Centre is one of the most vibrant centres of the arts in western Canada, annually attracting over 600,000 people to around 960 events. This year the venue has invested in no less than six DiGiCo mixing consoles, the direct result of the positive experience with a single example installed in 2012.

Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts (then known as the Calgary Centre for Performing Arts) was officially opened in 1985 by Dr Martha Cohen, Sandra LeBlanc and Vera Swanson, three women who were instrumental in establishing and raising funds for the facility. It is housed within two historic buildings - the Burns Building, constructed in 1917, and the 1931-built Calgary Public Building.

Covering six floors and over 400,000ft2 (nearly 37,200m2), it is one of the three largest performing arts centres in Canada and features seven performance spaces, five of whic

UK - Rapper Professor Green hit the road in November and December to promote his latest album, Growing Up In Public, culminating in a sold-out show at the London Roundhouse. A Yamaha CL5 digital mixing system helped front of house engineer Neal Allen to make Waves with the mix.

"As this was primarily an Academy tour, which all have in-house consoles. I wanted a desk with footprint that would cause the least problems, whilst maintaining the sound and functions I was after," says Neal. "I had used a CL5 with Professor Green on the Music Cube shows we recently did at London's Westfield shopping centres and really liked the sound, especially when using the Premium Rack compressors.

"I needed to purchase a console which would drop into the Dante network for the stage and in-ear monitors package that we'll be using on the summer festivals we are playing in

UK - Entec Sound & Light helped the smiles flow by supplying full production - lighting, sound and video - to the high profile Roar With Laughter event staged by ZSL (the Zoological Society of London) at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo.

It's the third year in a row that Entec has supplied equipment and crew to the fundraiser, which featured another impressive line-up of top comedy talent in Seann Walsh, David O'Doherty, Sean Lock, Ed Byrne, Stewart Lee, Lucy Porter, Phil Nichol and Greg Burns.

Entec's ability to supply all the technical elements from one source made co-ordination easy for the client as well as enabling a high quality yet cost-effective technical production solution which looked and sounded great.

Entec invited Simon Tutchener to join in the hilarity and create a lighting scheme for the evening. "It was a great show for a worthwhile cause and I tho

USA - Jack Calmes, the founder of Showco and Syncrolite, has died at the age of 71. One of the concert production industry's true pioneers, Calmes was also a musician, promoter, live music venue owner, artist manager and film and television producer.

In the mid-60s, Calmes and friend Angus Wynne co-founded Showco in Dallas, Texas, and set about putting on music shows. Among their early successes was a University party in Dallas headlined by Chuck Berry. Showco also brought The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and the Doors to Dallas. In 1967 Calmes and Wynne opened a Dallas music venue, Soul City, played by stars such as Stevie Wonder, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Ike and Tina Turner and Jerry Lee Lewis.

The pair sold their interest in the venue the following year and concentrated on Showco, promoting the Texas International Pop Festival in 1969. Despit

UK - Greg Walsh, sound design and front of house mixing engineer, chose a selection of DPA microphones to capture the sound of Kate Bush's successful Before the Dawn series of concerts at London's Hammersmith Apollo.

After 35 years away from the live stage, these much anticipated concerts received high praise from reviewers and fans who frequently commented on the exceptional audio quality and the clarity of Kate's vocals.

The decision to use DPA microphones was made following extensive testing by Greg Walsh and the production team, which included renowned audio engineer Stephen Taylor who was responsible for Kate's vocal processing and monitor engineer Ian Newton, who sadly passed away earlier this month.

"I knew about DPA, having originally discovered Bruel and Kjaer [DPA's predecessor] in the mid-1980s," Walsh says. "The larger capsule microphones su

China - Created by DreamWorks Animation, the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular was produced by the storytellers at DreamWorks Animation and Global Creatures, the masterminds behind the international phenomenon Walking with Dinosaurs, the #1 grossing world tour of 2010. Following its launch in Australia and New Zealand, as well as a successful run in North America, How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular landed in China. Over 145,000 spectators turned out to enjoy the premiere at a newly built theatre on the grounds of the Beijing National Stadium - the famous Bird's Nest, built for the 2008 Summer Olympics

Featuring more than a dozen impressive dragons with 40-foot wingspans, the audio challenge for Rightway Audio Consultants and sound supplier Dadong Huahan was to make the dragons sound as impressive as they looked, while also superbly representing spoken voice and so

The Netherlands - UK-based reference monitor manufacturer PMC will be launching a new addition to its twotwo range of active nearfields at NAMM 2015, as well as giving West Coast audio professionals another chance to see the QB1-A large-scale studio monitor, launched in Los Angeles in Autumn 2014.

The new twotwo sub2 is a subwoofer designed to complement the twotwo range, providing greater headroom and dynamics than its smaller sibling, the twotwo sub1. The new sub2 is a low-distortion, active subwoofer featuring PMC's ATL bass-loading technology, Class-D amplification and DSP-based filtering and bass management, which extends bass output significantly with negligible harmonic distortion. The sub2 also features a highly rigid, braced cabinet, ensuring that unwanted colouration is reduced to inaudible levels.

The built-in amplifier delivers an impressive 400W of power to the LF

USA - Meyer Sound has promoted Michael Creason to the newly created position of product manager- system applications and training, while Ashley Hanson moves to the design services manager role.

The former head of the design services department, Creason now joins the growing product management group to expand the company's technical content and training resources. The goal is to give users a broader range of tools to work more efficiently and effectively in loudspeaker system design, rigging, and commissioning.

He joined the Meyer Sound design services department in 2008, following years of theatrical sound design and mixing experience on and off Broadway. In addition to credits that include The Pajama Game and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, he was audio supervisor for Glimmerglass Opera Festival for eight seasons, and designed and mixed a range of productions in the New York

Spain - Effective 1 December 2014, NEEC Audio Barcelona acquired the Ecler pro audio brand and business including the personnel and management team under the leadership of Enric Casimiro who will continue to manage the business.

The Ecler business is known for its focus on technology. The brand is also well known by its creative design of Audeo speaker cabinets, in collaboration with the Italian company Italdesign Giugiaro.

NEEC intends to invest in innovation in the pro audio field and to ensure that the Ecler brand is associated with both advanced technology and excellent design.

Over the last decade Ecler has focused its efforts in commercial audio solutions, always striving to improve sound quality, innovation and sustainability. Its main markets include retail shop fitting, education, corporate, hospitality and sports & fitness. ECLER product solutions can be found in w

Italy - Audiosales has taken over as the exclusive Powersoft distributor for the Italian market, adding the audio manufacturer to its portfolio of leading brands.

Audiosales will be managing the nationwide distribution and sales of Powersoft rack amplifiers, for both the touring and fixed installation markets.

"We are very pleased to begin this collaboration with Powersoft," says Stefano Rocchi, owner of Audiosales, "The products and technology embraced by Powersoft perfectly match the requirements of the market in both the touring and installation sectors. With the addition of Powersoft to our brand portfolio, we can now provide our clients with solutions at the very cutting edge of innovation. Our goal is to make Powersoft amplifiers the standard on the Italian market."

"With Audiosales, I believe that we have found the right partner to continue to

Norway - The Nobel Peace Prize is probably the highest profile and best known honour in the world, bestowed since 1901 on those who have made an outstanding contribution to peace between people and nations. The 2014 award ceremony took place on 10 December in Oslo City Hall, Norway, with Yamaha CL5 and QL1 digital mixers entrusted to mix the prestigious event, broadcast live to an audience estimated at one billion.

Over the years, the Nobel Peace Prize has been presented to many of the world's most foremost statesmen and women, but it also recognises less well-known figures. This year the award was to children's rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel laureate.

The event's mix engineer Bernt Austad has used Yamaha digital consoles since 1995. "I choose them because of their stability, they never crash or need re

South Africa - The first Barco Auro 3D 11.1 cinemas in Africa have been completed and audiences were recently treated to the first screening in Nu Metro cinemas at The Glen in Johannesburg and Menlyn in Pretoria.

The installation of Auro perfectly fits Nu Metro's list of firsts in Africa, as Nu Metro was the first cinema chain with an all-digital Cineplex and now again leads the way with the Auro immersive sound system.

Being a first in Africa required collaborating with leaders in the professional audio industry and so Nu Metro called upon JBL importers and distributors Wild & Marr. They assisted with the system design, calibration and setup of the Auro 3D system to integrate it with JBL Screen Array loudspeakers. Wild & Marr's technical team met up with the international team from Barco and went through training to become certified Auro 3D engineers.

Wild & Marr worked in

Canada - Blueprint AV is a multi-use predictive software suite from Adamson that operates both in the 2D and 3D realm. Designed to provide Adamson clients with a user-defined level of detail, the software delivers extreme precision in any operating mode.

After extensive beta testing with key network partners, Adamson is releasing Blueprint AV via a licensing system that will allow end users to distribute a pre-determined number of copies to their team of technicians.

"The precision of the software has been proven in the field and we're very excited to be able to offer the complete software package to the public," says James Oliver, director of marketing and sales for Adamson. "We have had very positive feedback as to the operability and ease-of-use of the software, so we can't wait to let the audio industry really see what it can do."

Expanding on the sim

USA - Founded in the late 1960s, Avcom is a multi-line AV manufacturers' representative company covering the states of Ohio and West Virginia as well as Western Pennsylvania and Northern Kentucky.

Avcom prides itself on providing quality products and building long-lasting and profitable relationships with the AV integrators, engineers, acoustical consultants and end users in their territory.

President Jim Umstead emphasized the importance of a constant presence in the field including regular business meetings with integrators and consultants and frequent product demonstrations. He commented, "We are proud to represent Community in our four-state territory. Community's reputation for high-quality products, expert application assistance and great customer service fits well with our desire to provide each of our business partners with the best possible solutions to their par

USA - Audinate has announced new enhancements to the Dante Ultimo low-channel chipsets, now shipping.

The new revision of Dante Ultimo incorporates support for Marvell 88E6320 gigabit switch, enabling robust daisy chaining of Dante devices with multicast filtering capability.

Audinate has also released new Ultimo 2.1 firmware, adding several new features for Audio Video (AV) equipment manufacturers building low channel-count products with Dante Ultimo. The new Release 2.1 firmware adds device control capabilities enabled by the Dante Device Protocol (DDP). DDP allows Ultimo messages and commands to be sent via SPI/UART from the host processor, accessing parameters such as channel subscriptions, clock status and more. DDP is ideal for integration of routing pre-sets and front panel displays in Ultimo products. Additionally, Ultimo now supports 16-, 24- and 32-bit PCM audio, sel

USA - At NAMM this month, D.A.S. is set to launch the new Vantec series of portable systems. The Vantec series is comprised of four models available in both powered and passive configurations. The completely new series incorporates 12", 15" powered two-way systems, a double 15" powered three-way system employing a "dual-band" configuration and a single 18" powered subwoofer system.

The Vantec series is equipped with the new 'F' series loudspeakers, developed by D.A.S. to provide exceptional performance and reliability. The new M-28 compression driver features a FEM (Finite Element Modeling) optimized motor, phase-plug and diaphragm. Attached to the D.A.S. designed CD-horn, the assembly provides brilliant high frequency reproduction and optimum control of dispersion with 90º x 50º coverage angles.

The Vantec 12A is a 12" biamplified system p

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