Audio News

CDAI adds acoustics specialist
Thursday, 28 March 2002

CDAI, a specialty engineering firm focusing on presentation and performing arts technology, has added Matthew Cornwell as an acoustics and testing services specialist. His responsibilities will include acoustics and testing services in support of CDAI's corporate and education clients, as well as their performing arts and multi-purpose audiovisual project designs.

With an avid interest in architectural acoustics, Cornwell has worked in a number of acoustic engineering internships, including Goodyear Tire and Rubber in Akron, Ohio, where he performed acoustic testing and analysis work.

(Ruth Rossington)

Gearhouse gears up with Sennheiser
Thursday, 28 March 2002

Rental company Gearhouse Broadcast has significantly expanded its Sennheiser wireless microphone inventory with an order for 5000 and 3000 Series UHF RF systems, valued at more than £250,000. The rapidly expanding, London headquartered hire company supplies international broadcasters covering major outdoor events such as the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and the ATP Tennis Masters Series, as well as studio-based production series for leading UK broadcast companies.

The new order adds to Gearhouse Broadcast’s already considerable stock of Sennheiser wireless equipment and comprises SK 5012 ultra-miniature and SK 3063 miniature belt pack transmitters, SKM 5000 handheld transmitters, plus 8-channel and 3-channel EM 1046 modular receiver rack systems. New to Gearhouse Broadcast’s stock is the Sennheiser SK 5012-U, the ‘world’s smallest belt pack transmitter’ and the latest addition to Sennheiser’s 5000 Series of professional wireless systems.

(Lee Baldock)

 
 
EV in conference with Tearfund
Thursday, 28 March 2002

Northampton-based SA Sound Services, in partnership with Adrian Humphris at Oak Audio Visual, has recently completed a significant AV installation for Tearfund, a UK-based Christian charity providing aid and relief to many of the world's poorest and dispossessed. At the core of the installation are a number of ElectroVoice Xi loudspeakers.

The installation was part of a complete refurbishment of the facilities at Tearfund's four-storey Teddington headquarters. According to Tearfund's facilities manager Mike Webb it was important that the system be powerful, versatile and discreet as the room is used for a variety of applications, including live music. SA Sound Services' Steve Ashley explained why he opted for EV Xi 1082s, which are designed as under-balcony fills. "Given that the system had to handle more than just speech reinforcement, I was looking for a professional speaker that would both look and sound good, but would be discreet enough for a corporate environment," he said. "Duncan Marlow from Phoenix Sound Works in Northampton suggested (and ultimately supplied) the Xi 1082s. They are absolutely perfect for the job. They are extremely low profile, so we've treated the ceiling as our balcony and attached them in a row across the front of the stage. Furthermore, Shuttlesound was extremely helpful in spraying them white for us, so they met all our criteria."

In addition to the sound reinforcement system, the installation includes two 42-inch plasma screens either side of the stage and two 15-inch flat monitors on pillars towards the rear of the

 
Xbox takes off in Oxford Street with KT, Midas & Nexo
Wednesday, 27 March 2002

On March 14th Virgin Megastore's flagship store on Oxford Street in London hosted the UK launch of the long-awaited Xbox from Microsoft, billed as "the most powerful games console on earth". The store opened at midnight to throngs of industry personalities, media and public eager to be first in line for the new console, as well as a goodly smattering of celebrities. Presenters for the evening's entertainment included Jonathon Ross, comedian Johnny Vegas, and of course Virgin boss Richard Branson. White Label UK was the production company in charge of the event, and they turned to Systems Etc. to handle the audio requirements.

Systems etc. operations director Ricky Ramsay opted for six stacks of Nexo Alpha E distributed around the room, each stack comprising one Alpha EM mid-hi cabinet and two Alpha B1-18 bass bins. "The event took place on the lower ground floor which is a big room," explained Ramsay, "so we wanted to be sure that we had enough equipment to cover the whole area properly. The system only had to handle a DJ and the presenters on vocal mics, but as you can imagine, it was pretty loud, and the quality had to be flawless." For every two stacks Systems etc. provided a rack containing a Nexo NX241 digital processor plus a Crown MA3600VZ and an MA5000VZ power amplifier. "We also had three Klark Teknik DN3600 programmable graphic EQs plus remotes and docking stations so we could actually EQ the system standing in front of each stack," continued Ramsay, "plus a DN9848 digital processor which enabled us to draw the whole

 
 
New digital TV facility at the BarbicanNew digital TV facility at the Barbican
Wednesday, 27 March 2002

The Barbican London’s landmark performing arts venue has a new technical production facility - it is now the only live venue in the UK currently offering a permanent broadcast facility. The Barbican BBC digital broadcast system is a joint venture between the BBC and the Barbican. The aim is to produce high quality, cost-effective broadcast material embracing a rich diversity of performance genres. This will feed the new digital channels and also ensure the Barbican keeps pace with cutting edge production technologies.

The new facility also greatly enhances the Barbican as a venue for corporate events and conference industries. Very easy transmission between the Barbican’s numerous different auditoria and spaces, and instant live relay of images from auditorium to screen, are just two advantages. Others include a vastly improved video show relay.

Simon Prior, the Barbican’s head of planning and production sees the move as a positive step forward in the interactive stakes. He highlights yet more advantages, including the raising of the venue’s own profile, enlarging its archival capabilities and offering the seamless preparation of footage for broadcast, web streaming, CDR and DVD production. "Technically we can now do a TV broadcast at the drop of a hat," he comments. "This is an invaluable resource for my technicians, for the BBC, for commercial broadcast companies and for other outside bodies wanting to utilize and benefit from a very flexible system. It’s a great opportunity to reach beyond the walls of the Barbican and pr

 
New ProSys features integrated amplifier control and CobraNETNew ProSys features integrated amplifier control and CobraNET
Wednesday, 27 March 2002

BSS Audio has released a new processor for the expanding install market, aimed particularly at integrated system solutions. The ProSys PS-8810 is a fixed-path digital processor, with eight inputs and ten outputs that each has a dedicated processing path which includes EQ filters, gates, compressors, auto-mixers and delays, as well as other processing objects.

With its fixed-path design, system installers need only configure the routing matrix and decide which of the processing objects will be utilized. Once these are established, the set-ups may be stored as presets and recalled via the PC, contact closure or the 8810’s own internal events scheduler. All functions of the PS-8810 are set-up and controlled from a PC running IQ-WIN software, the control suite that can control a variety of types of audio equipment.

The real strength of this new DSP, however, is that it is the first in a new generation of Harman Professional ‘partnership’ products, utilizing the IQ communication protocol from Crown. In addition, it provides audio networking via CobraNet technology that will enable digital audio and control signal exchange with other existing and developing Harman equipment. With the well-established IQ system, the PS-8810 has the ability to network with Crown amplifiers and other IQ-compliant devices. This means that systems with control and monitoring of amplifiers and signal processing can now be readily constructed, with centralized control from a PC running one control program. IQ for Windows allows the designer to create custom control pages so that c

 
 
Pearce Hire invest in L-Acoustics system
Tuesday, 26 March 2002

Peterborough-based Pearce Hire has invested in a new L-Acoustics speaker system, Camco amplifiers and a range of processing equipment, to increase the quality and flexibility of its PA package for clients.

The first outing for the system came in February at the Corn Exchange, Cambridge, where a conventional stereo configuration PA was installed by Pearce Hire’s crew for a Courtney Pine concert. This was followed by the New College Nottingham annual awards ceremony hosted at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, where the L-Acoustics system was flown for the first time. Pearce Hire supplied the full sound and lighting spec for the awards, and liaised closely with set designers and video screen suppliers, Hawk AV.

MD Shaun Pearce said: "The new system has superb acoustic reproduction that belies its physical size. This awards show has highlighted its ability to handle speech and the dynamics of a variety of music styles. I was particularly pleased with the dispersion we achieved through flying the system, with every seat in the house getting good clear sound."

(Ruth Rossington)

 
TOA provides backbone of Cherries’ new stadiumTOA provides backbone of Cherries’ new stadium
Tuesday, 26 March 2002

Back in 2000, funding proposals for a £10.4m all-seater stadium at Bournemouth AFC’s Dean Court HQ were drawn up as part of a 15-year business plan. With help from Bournemouth Borough Council, supplemented by a record £3m package from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, the Club were well on their way to reaching the scaled-down first phase of the targeted £5.5m-£6.5m. The shortfall of around £2m was made up by Cherries supporters and thus the first phase of the new Fitness First Stadium, with the construction of three new stands - and rotation through 90° of the playing surface - was unveiled earlier this season.

With Barr Construction undertaking the building construction, it was left to turnstile and gate specialists, Swift Tate Security Technology Ltd, to offer a turnkey solution by specifying a fully-featured public address/voice alarm system. And with 23 years’ experience behind them they turned to TOA for the solution. The system is designed to provide both public address facilities and voice evacuation, integrated with the fire alarm system.

The installation features 21 of TOA’s new purpose-built ES-0871 stadium boxes in a distributed 100V line design, controlled from the SX-1000 Smart Matrix Control System. Eight enclosures are distributed into each of the two long East/West stands and five in the North stand behind the goal.Distributing sound evenly over a 90° x 60° dispersion pattern from a CD horn and 12in mid/LF, the loudspeakers are ideal for the application. The weatherproof ES-0871s come with a rotatable horn and at Bournemout

 
 
Aquariums get high-tech thanks to DJWAquariums get high-tech thanks to DJW
Tuesday, 26 March 2002

It’s been water, water everywhere recently for D J Willrich Ltd (DJW), as the Hampshire-based AV and multi-media specialists have recently completed work on the saltwater Bournemouth Oceanarium in Dorset and the freshwater Lakeside Aquarium at Newby Bridge on the shores of Lake Windermere.

Working within a deadline of just three weeks, DJW installed in the Bournemouth Oceanarium three Sony plasma displays, three touch screen quiz-based interactives and, with the help of strobe lighting and Bose speakers, the sound of a rainforest thunderstorm that automatically comes to life every 20 minutes.

Visitors to the Lake District are obviously used to it raining more frequently there since DJW’s thunderstorm sound simulation at the Lakeside Aquarium proved to be so popular that it now runs every three minutes! In addition to this, DJW has also installed two Sony plasma displays, lighting and sound controls, plus an AV theatre featuring a 2 metre screen and projector showing images of the surrounding Lake District hills, lakes and wildlife.

As well as having water in common, Bournemouth and Lakeside both have BSS 9088 Soundwebs and a 9010 Jellyfish remote - the Jellyfish being essential to enable staff to control the audio systems from the office. "The Soundwebs are crucial to the easy operation of the audio systems within the two aquariums," said Kevin Southwell, project manager. "It means that staff can vary sound levels from their main office depending on whether it's a quiet or busy day. They also have an easy facility for using radio microphone

 
Celestion makes its name in theatreCelestion makes its name in theatre
Tuesday, 26 March 2002

Celestion's CXi range has won praise for its role in 'Evita' at the Theatre Royal Glasgow, one of its first excursions into mainstream theatre. The production, in February, was the Scottish amateur premiere, staged by the Orpheus Club, one of Scotland's oldest amateur operatic societies.

Audio was specified and provided by Glasgow sound rental company, BSF. "The Theatre Royal has been hiring Celestion from us on a trial basis with a view to purchasing the system," explained Alan Beatty of BSF. "For 'Evita', they asked us to provide a system of the highest quality which would be invisible to the audience." This provided a challenge for the BSF team. The Theatre Royal has listed building status, which prevents any alterations to its interior: the sound engineers were not allowed to hang or fly equipment, or even to touch the walls, the PA system had to fit in with the space constraints and not block audience sightlines. The situation was made more complicated by the theatre's layout: the stage opening is the full width of one wall, facing four floors of seating for 1400 people.

The solution to the problem was to think inside the box. Beatty and his partner Graham Fraser placed Celestion CXi speakers inside the theatre boxes either side of the stage: "We put them on tripods to raise them to exactly the level of each audience area. There was a pair of CXi 1221 for the 600 seats in the stalls, a pair of CXi 821 with a pair of Substation 15s for the first circle. Another pair of CXi 821s addressed the second circle, while the 500 seats in the top-flo

 
 
Celestion signs new distribution contracts in France
Monday, 25 March 2002

Sonohouse has been appointed as the new distributor for Celestion products in France. Founded in 1973 by Jean-Louis Beart, Sonohouse is located in Ivry sur Seine, in Paris. Currently handling distribution of products like GEM Sound, Boost and BST, Sonohouse has its main strength in the club market. Its appointment as Celestion's representative in France is a reflection of the company's new drive into professional audio.

"Although Sonohouse's current strength is in the DJ and club sector, I can see a huge amount of potential for our relationship," explains David Jackson, Celestion's export manager. "Sonohouse has an excellent sales team and nationwide network, and have impressed us with their connections and level of support from the industry."

One such contact is Gerald Kaas, whose consultancy Akoustik is providing marketing advice and support. "The big potential for Celestion in France will be in the permanent installation market," says Kaas. "The company has a good range of products for a variety of applications, and initially, we would expect to have success with the KR and Cxi speakers." Sonohouse will also represent the Celestion chassis drivers for the MI business as well as sound reinforcement.

The company can be contacted at 24 rue Robert Witchitz , 94200 Ivry sur Seine. Telephone: +33 1 58 46 15 15.

(Lee Baldock)

 
Deeper Underground with JamiroquaiDeeper Underground with Jamiroquai
Monday, 25 March 2002

Jamiroquai ended their world tour at Wembley Arena at the beginning of March: the huge energy of Jay Kay was equally matched in ability by an impressive Funktion-One sound system with XTA digital processing at its core.

Funktion One’s John Newsham explains the set-up: "We used a main left and right system which was 15 self-powered F218 bass per side and five wide by three deep Resolution 5s per side, with downfills. The system used the new self-powered Res 5s, with each powered box running an unpowered slave." The side hangs for the bleacher areas alongside the stage were covered by four Res 4s and two Res 18s per side, conventionally powered. Front fills and out fills consisted of Resolution 2s. Flown delays were six Res 5s per side and ground delays six F218 powered bins in the middle behind the mix risers and two Res 2 skeletal high packs.

Control for the entire system was handled by XTA’s proprietary AudioCore program, with the crossovers sited locally to the various stacks. "We had one small rack per side for the front of house system which had DP226s and a DP224," continues Newsham. "We ran stereo signal to everywhere which meant that we didn’t need a massive return system and we split the system up into zones with the XTAs which we then remotely controlled from front-of-house. We were running the long throw section of the Res 5s on three outputs of a DP226, and the other half was doing the bottom row of Res 5s with a DP224 handling the bass and the downfills. The spare output was used when we had to put bass bins round t

 
 
Hand Held Audio goes live onlineHand Held Audio goes live online
Monday, 25 March 2002

Hand Held Audio, specialists in wireless and in-ear technology for over a decade, are to launch a new website which goes live on 1st May. www.handheldaudio.co.uk is designed to bring wireless technology to a broader market with all of the benefits of the experience accumulated by Hand Held Audio at the high end of the market.

Founder member and director of Hand Held Audio, Mick Shepherd, is pleased with the new development. "We've been specialists in the high end touring and, more recently, corporate markets right from the very beginning and will continue to be so," he said, "but we hope that the website will enable us to reach a new sector of the market where we have never before had a presence, and yet for whom wireless and in-ear technology is becoming increasingly available. We'd like to pass on the benefits of our experience, our buying power and our considerable technical support resources to the MI and semi-professional sector."

The new site is designed to be a one-stop online store dedicated purely to radio microphones and all things wireless. As well as an extensive product catalogue from a wide range of manufacturers, the site will also offer comprehensive technical support and advice on how to go about setting up a system. "Wireless technology can be a bit daunting at first," says Mick, "so what we're aiming to do here is demystify the process and offer a good service into the bargain." Customers can still visit Hand Held Audio's existing site at the same address before the new site goes live on 1st May.

(Ruth Rossing

 
Live Business International at London Hospital TheatreLive Business International at London Hospital Theatre
Friday, 22 March 2002

The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London, is the proud owner of a brand new sound and lighting system for its in-house theatre, installed by Live Business International. The massive teaching hospital has a 330-seat theatre deep within its bowels, which has been used over the years for student lectures, as well as plays and Student Union performances. The hospital’s Trustees wanted to make much more use of the theatre, but the ancient sound and lighting system, with no component less than 25 years old, was a major stumbling block.

Live Business won the tender for the contract to design and install a completely new sound and lighting system for the theatre in time for a pantomime run. Live Business International director Roland Hemming designed the installation, which besides being high quality, required a great deal of flexibility to cope with the very different types of use. The systems also needed to have the sophistication to cope with relatively complex productions, yet be useable by in-house staff for lectures and simpler performances.

Hemming specified a Turbosound-based audio system, with TCS59 cabinets and TCS108 bass bins, along with TCS20 delay speakers and a pair of the new TQ310 multi-purpose speakers for foldback. The whole system is controlled by two BSS Omnidrives and powered by Yamaha amplifiers. The control room, which doubles as a basic pre-editing suite, boasts a Soundcraft LX7 console, and the system is completed by Trantec radio mics.

The new lighting systems comprise 24 channels of Botex dimming, eight channels of switching, a vari

 
 
Eskimo Noise comes in from the cold as Systems Etc
Thursday, 21 March 2002

Eskimo Noise, set up by Neil Johannessen in 1987, achieved a reputation as a leading sound company in the dance music industry, not only for audio hire, but also for production design and installation. The company’s clients included Radio 1, Nike, Budweiser, London Mardi Gras and Marco Pierre White, to name but a few.

In the meantime Systems Etc, founded by Bernard Mani in 1996, was busy working in the London’s burgeoning club/bar scene, providing this new market with state-of-the-art fully integrated audio-visual systems. Systems Etc has also more recently been supporting live events for artists including: Ed Harcourt, Starsailor and the Honeyz, at venues such as Alexandra Palace, Hanover Grand and numerous other funky showcases across the uk.

In late November 2001 Eskimo Noise was forced into voluntary liquidation "due to an unforeseen accountancy error" - and the company was taken over by Systems Etc the following month, allowing both companies to amalgamate their considerable technical expertise, resources and client bases. Only two weeks old, the new Systems Etc pulled off a massive coup the New Year’s Eve Ministry of Sound Party at the Dome for 50,000 people.

Operating from Eskimo’s old headquarters in Elephant and Castle, South London, Systems Etc has spent the beginning of this year improving the organization and streamlining the operation. The company has integrated its equipment resources, along with its technical and administrative staff, and has created a company which is poised to deliver outstanding service for any audio

 
Marquee Audio confirms Yamaha PM1D sales to Brit RowMarquee Audio confirms Yamaha PM1D sales to Brit Row
Thursday, 21 March 2002

Yamaha Commercial Audio and UK dealer Marquee Audio, have confirmed sales of a pair of Yamaha PM1D digital consoles to leading pro-rental production company, Britannia Row. The London-based company placed the order on the eve of the Frankfurt Musikmesse, while for the Yamaha dealers it represents their ninth and tenth sales of the premium desk.

Brit Row director Bryan Grant told us: "We first ran these consoles in anger with The Manics last autumn, followed by the MTV EMA Awards and then the BRITS. Our engineers were impressed by them and visiting technicians also gave them a very positive response. In fact, everyone who tried them was surprised at how quickly they could get up to speed mixing on them - and I have to say how damn good they sounded" Grant also implied an ongoing commitment to the PM1D, remarking: "We think they are the future and I think this initial order will be the first of many."

Brit Row will take delivery of the PM1Ds in early May in preparation for a busy summer of high profile events. Brit Row's engineers also paid tribute to the exemplary product support and engineer training offered by Yamaha and Marquee Audio. Yamaha’s commercial audio sales manager Mike Case commented: "We are delighted that Britannia Row, one of the world’s leading rental companies, have committed to this product."

Marquee Audio’s Spencer Brooks added: "Purchasing decisions of this nature are not made lightly. Brit Row had wanted to learn more about the product in real world situations, and at the same time stimulate th

 
 
Sennheiser Guideport makes North American debut
Thursday, 21 March 2002

Sennheiser's interpretive Guideport System has had its first North American use at Mexico's El Rey Mayan Educational Theme Park. Centered on one of the Yucatan Peninsula's most interesting archeological sites, the site features actors portraying scenes from daily Mayan life, providing glimpses of religion, science, craft, trade, and palace life. El Rey also features a spectacular light and sound show every evening set against the backdrop of the Mayan ruins.

The Sennheiser Guideport System brings state-of-the-art interpretive technology to El Rey, providing personalized information to each visitor. Operating from a centrally-located PC, the Guideport System tracks each visitor through remote sensors and plays location-specific recordings through a wireless headphone system. Users can select the language and level of expertise to match their own and are free to experience the exhibits in any sequence they please.

In addition, audio information is synchronized with other media presentations when visitors are within the zone that covers a media presentation. Sennheiser Mexico and partner Gilsama configured the Guideport System and helped create a ‘tour’ designed specifically for children. Guideport's clear stereo sound complements the sound effects and exciting texts which make up the El Rey experience.

(Lee Baldock)

 
Acoustic Dimensions promotions
Wednesday, 20 March 2002

Acoustic Dimensions has promoted several members of its team. Stuart Reynolds, who joined the company in 1988, has been made a senior consultant. His background includes athletic facility experience as sports video director of the University of Oregon and Stanford University Athletic Departments, and as a project installation manager for both Webb Electronics and Sports Tech/Montage (now Pinnacle Systems).

Stuart’s employment background gives him a mix of video engineering and system operational experience in sports video broadcast; computer integration, and software/database development skills in the digital video analysis and editing realm; and facility/system design and integration. He has provided video design for Dodger's Stadium, Los Angeles, CA; Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH; Meadowlands Racetrack, Continental Arena, and Giants Stadium, Meadowlands, NJ; The Potter's House, Dallas, TX, and the new Eagles Stadium, Philadelphia, PA.

Steve Reed has been made a consultant. His background is in providing support and technical direction for church audio and television production. He also spent six years working as the JumboTron technical assistant for the San Antoinio Spurs. ADI Projects on which Steve has contributed include: Eagles Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Clear Creek Community Church, and North Phoenix Baptist Church.

Robert Rodgers has been made a designer. Prior to joining Acoustic Dimensions in 1999, Robert worked for both an MEP firm and a computer networking firm. During the design process, he provides assistance on the majority of the projects

 
 
EMs take the floor for Conran in ParisEMs take the floor for Conran in Paris
Wednesday, 20 March 2002

The famous Paris site where the legendary Jim Morrison said farewell to the world has been converted into a discotheque by Sir Terence Conran. The former Whisky-A-Go-Go, underneath his celebrated restaurant Alcazar, had been empty for some time, and when it was excavated for the refit, artworks from the legendary Doors frontman were found. The site has now reopened as the Wagg - with the sound and lighting specified and administered by fabric of London, and featuring exclusively Martin Audio sound reinforcement and amplification.

Technical consultant, Dave Parry of Most Technical, who last year turned famous London club fabric (where he is resident) over to Martin Audio sound reinforcement, with the use of Blackline and Wavefront components, this time opted for the EM architectural range. Sound over the main basement dancefloor - a long tri-domed corridor - is delivered through a distributed Martin Audio system comprising 14 Martin EM26s, reinforced by six Martin Blackline S15 subs, while the DJ will be able to reference the music, mixed on an Allen & Heath mixer and delivered from Vestax, Technics and Pioneer playback devices, through a further pair of EM26 monitors and a Blackline S15 sub.

Dave Parry promises that the 350-capacity venue, in Paris’ trendy St. Germain, would appeal to the ultra chic. And those lucky enough to gain entry to the bijou second room will be able to hear the music played through four tiny EM15s and an EM120 sub. The entire system will be powered by a combination of nine Martin Audio MA1.3 amplifiers, a pair of MA1.6s and an MA900. As wi

 
Stardraw & RCI hammer out PanelBuilder
Wednesday, 20 March 2002

RCI Custom has signed a significant development and maintenance contract with software provider Stardraw.com to create a new, web-based tool for the design and production of custom control and connection panels. PanelBuilder will be hosted on the RCI Custom website and allows registered users to design, specify and purchase custom panels.

Managing director of Stardraw, David Snipp, explained the background to the deal: "RCI had long been aware of the capabilities of applications like Stardraw Audio, but it was a trade show conversation that made them realise Stardraw.com could develop an affordable custom solution. PanelBuilder is based on proven techniques seen in Stardraw applications for years, but it exploits leading-edge software and internet technology."

PanelBuilder is resident on the web server and works from within a browser, so there’s nothing to download or install. It comprises a drag and drop interface linked to a complete library of all of RCI’s panel products, so the user simply selects the panel he or she wants, drags on the connectors that are needed, and sets engraving, finishes, artwork and so on. The resultant design is linked in realtime to sophisticated backoffice systems so that a user will get an automated quote instantaneously.

Users of PanelBuilder can design a connector plate or panel in seconds without the need for complex CAD training and see exactly how it will look. They will also get a price quote and drawing file for that panel immediately, any time of the day or night, even on weekends! The professional quality C

 
 
Tascam Introduces More Advanced MD Capability with MD-350
Tuesday, 19 March 2002

Tascam has added a new mid-market MiniDisc recorder/player to its range. The MD-350 builds on Tascam’s success in the market with its 300 series MD recorder/players, offering professional standards of audio interconnectivity, as well as improved sound quality, with high resolution ADA conversion and ATRAC version 4.5 compression.

This extensively equipped MD recorder provides for advances in performance and ease of operation in numerous professional sound applications, but particularly in broadcast sound, sound installation and sound design and FX roles. A new MDLP (MiniDisc Long Play) function, providing a 320-minute record or playback time, is included in no less that four record/playback modes, offering stereo, mono and 2x and 4x operation. Both balanced XLR and unbalanced phone analogue I/Os are provided, featuring 20-bit AD and DA conversion, for improved signal resolution. Both SPDIF and TOSLINK optical digital I/Os are included. An additional optical digital input is also provided on the front panel for quick connection of source signals from other CD or MD players. A front panel P2 keyboard port enables input of disc and track names and the execution of TOC edit commands from a standard computer keyboard.

Advanced Record functions such as level controlled sync-record, automatic track IDs and automatic sample rate conversion of 32kHz and 48kHz digital source material are included along with auto-ready and auto-cue functions in playback.

(Ruth Rossington)

 
Symetrix Signs Affiliation Agreement for CobraNet
Tuesday, 19 March 2002

Symetrix has recently signed an affiliation agreement with Peak Audio Inc (a division of Cirrus Logic) that would permit the incorporation of CobraNet technology into current and future Symetrix products, such as the SymNet Audio Matrix hardware system. CobraNet is fast becoming the standard for digital audio and control signal distribution over 100MBit Ethernet cable. The SymNet Designer 1.1 unit integrates this efficient protocol into the SymNet system.

"CobraNet is a forward-thinking technology that falls right in line with the Symetrix commitment to innovation," noted Jim Latimer, director of sales. "Our customers will benefit from CobraNet's improved efficiency and lower cabling costs. With CobraNet, our customers will be able to easily design and assemble sophisticated systems with SymNet's user interface.

(Ruth Rossington)

 
 
Neil Diamond with BSS & Crown
Tuesday, 19 March 2002

Pop music icon Neil Diamond is back out on tour again with Maryland Sound Industries – this time with a sound reinforcement system boasting the world’s first all-digital signal path between its microphones and loudspeakers. One of the key components in achieving this distinction was the use of Crown’s new IQ-PIP USP2/CN CobraNet module.

Each of the 70 Crown Macro-Tech 5000/5002VZ house amplifiers on the tour is equipped with its own USP2/CN card. This allows digital audio signals sent from the Yamaha PM1D front-of-house console through a CobraNet converter and BSS ProSys PS-8810C to be fed directly into the amplifiers on Cat 5 Ethernet lines and switches. All of the processing for the production’s JBL VerTec line-array loudspeakers - including crossover, delay and EQ - is performed via the Crown modules.

Using a laptop, the PS-8810C DSP system is wirelessly called upon to compensate for differing room environments each night, leaving the Crown USP2/CN cards within the amplifiers to specifically address speaker processing. The ProSys unit further allows each of the JBL loudspeaker clusters to be grouped as single signals, and both the BSS and Crown products are controlled via Crown’s IQ for Windows software v5.0, which provides a unified interface whether adjusting an entire cluster or just one driver.

"Because our sound system this time around is entirely digital, it’s dead quiet; the noise floor is extremely low," says Stanley R. Miller, Diamond’s sound designer and chief engineer for live sound. "We’ve n

 
Arbiter Supplies dbx for Atomic Kitten tour
Tuesday, 19 March 2002

Atomic Kitten’s monitor engineer Ben Booker has specified the new dbx IEM in-ear monitoring processors for the band’s current sold-out UK tour. Booker’s decision came after submitting a demo model to rigorous testing. Sound supplier for the tour is Liverpool-based AdLib Audio, who’ve purchased the processors from dbx’s UK distributors Arbiter Pro Audio.

A major reason Booker chose the dbx was to save lots of rack space. The product features include Lexicon reverb settings, 4-band stereo limiter/compressor, 5-band parametric EQ, 4-band crossover, MIDI control, updateable software and many more - all of which devices would normally occupy three or four spaces in an external processing rack.

The processors are inserted into the monitor desk desk, and used to reduce the bottom end on the girls’ vocals. The dbx’s reverb is utilised to add ambience, and to produce a multi-band compression - squashing the low notes and evening out the overall sound for each of their mixes. Booker is also finding the dbx’s onboard multiband limiters very useful. "You don’t need any other limiters, you can be assured their voices can’t hurt each other and the limiters also cut out loads of generally unwanted stuff," he states.

Booker has worked with Atomic Kitten for a year, together with his colleague, FOH engineer Andy Docherty, who’s also based at Ad Lib. AdLib’s rig for the tour also features five dbx 480 Drive Racks used for controlling the additional band member’s IEMs, plus one more that’s cont

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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