MIKE PATTEN, 1947-2000Mike Patten, co-founder, chief technology officer and chairman of Graham-Patten Systems, died from a stroke at the age of 53. Patten was the principal design engineer and architect for the company's ESAM and D/ESAM edit suite audio mixers.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Birmingham, Patten joined Standard Telecommunications Laboratories and assisted in the development of the first high-fidelity audio digitizers. Patten left STL and joined Grass Valley Group in 1975, where he contributed to the design of video production switchers and digital video effects systems. He helped form Graham-Patten Systems, an audio mixer-based business, in 1980, and in 1991, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognized Patten with a Technical Emmy award for the company's D/ESAM product.
Howard Mullinack, CEO and president of Graham-Patten Systems, says, "He was a brilliant engineer and a great friend, liked and admired by everyone with whom he came in contact."
COURT ORDERS MP3.COM TO PAY DAMAGESA federal district court in Manhattan ruled in September that MP3.com willfully infringed on copyrights held by Universal Music Group and ordered the company to pay up to $250 million in damages. MP3.com plans to appeal the ruling.
Judge Jed S. Rakoff said MP3.com must pay $25,000 for each Universal CD accessed by the online service, My.MP3.com. This service allows a user to upload a CD into an online locker after indicating that they own it. The user can then listen to the stored music via a computer or other digital devices.
"We built technology that lets people listen to their own CD collections," says Michael Robertson, MP3.com's chief executive. "We think the law needs to accommodate consumers' need to listen to their own CD collections online in a digital form."
However, Judge Rakoff argued that Internet technology is not immune to copyright laws. "[Internet companies] need to understand that the law's domain knows no such limits."
The ruling comes after MP3.com reached agreements with Sony Music, Time Warner, EMI Group and Bertelsmann AG earlier this year, though the settlement amounts were not disclosed.
This month, the court will determine the number of CDs involved. Universal has said 5,000 to 10,000 copyrights are at issue; MP3.com has set the number at 4,740.
FAIRLIGHT, SOUNDTRACS REACH AGREEMENTSoundtracs and Fairlight USA have announced an exclusive distribution deal, whereby Fairlight will be the sole seller and supporter for Soundtracs digital consoles in the United States.
Soundtracs' "increased commitment... is reinforced by our joint distribution venture with Fairlight USA," says Todd Wells, CEO of Soundtracs.
According to John Lancken, senior VP at Fairlight USA, the Soundtracs product line fits neatly into Fairlight's current U.S. sales and marketing infrastructure.
AAC CODING AGREEMENTDolby Laboratories announced that Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) and Universal Music Group are using the Advanced Audio Coding compression standard for digital music delivery.
AAC is the latest audio codec standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (IOS) as part of an MPEG specification. Compared to an MP3, AAC is said to provide higher-quality audio but requires less storage space and bandwidth.
AAC is also used with Digital Rights Management technologies to control the unrestricted copying and distribution of music.
TIMELINE DROPS SYNC PRODUCTSTimeLine Vista, makers of MicroLynx and Lynx, announced that it is discontinuing the current line of synchronization products and related technical support. The affected products include the MicroLynx, MicroLynx option cards, Lynx-2, Keyboard Control Unit, System Supervisor, Console Control Unit and Remote Motion Controller.
Michael Newman, director of marketing, says that the feature sets no longer meet the needs of current digital production environments. The company's Web site, www.timelinevista.com, will include a bulletin board service so customers can exchange information about the discontinued products. The company is now working on a new synchronizer, TL-Sync, which will be distributed by Tascam.
For more information, visit www.timelinevista.com.
SONIC FOUNDRY ACQUIRES INTERNATIONAL IMAGESonic Foundry Inc. announced that its acquisition of Toronto-based International Image is complete, and the offices and functions of Sonic Foundry's two Santa Monica locations have been combined.
According to chairman and CEO of Sonic Foundry, Rimas Buinevicius, the acquisition will create a media and Internet infrastructure so that "our customers will now have a single source that provides total solutions in what has been an extremely fragmented marketplace."
LUCID, WAVEFRAME AGREEMENTLucid and WaveFrame have entered into a partnership to distribute the Lucid line of I/O converters with WaveFrame/7 and FrameWorks/DX digital audio workstations. WaveFrame dealers will offer Lucid's ADA 8824 I/O for use with WaveFrame's 16-channel optical I/O. Lucid converters will be available for WaveFrame/7 when it is released this month.
SURFING THE WEBHafler, makers of amplifiers and monitors, introduces a new component to its Web site, www.hafler.com. The Web site now supports 360-degree views of the company's product line.
QSC amplifier owners can now order products at the company's online store at www.qscstore.com. The online order center allows customers to access descriptions and photos of signal processor modules, bus card adapters, and input and output transformers. Symetrix also added an online store to its Web site at www.symetrixaudio.com. Los Angeles-based Apogee added an online store to its redesigned Web site at www.apogeedigital.com/store.
A new database was added to Line 6's Web site, www.line6.com. The browser, FAQTRAQ, guides users to information about the company's gear. dbx DriveRack users can now access information about the product line on a dedicated Web site, www.driverack.com.
Skokie, Ill.-based MacPherson has a redesigned Web site at www.macpherson-inc.com.
WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCESSonic Solutions is in the midst of its 42-city seminar series, "eDVD - Making DVD and the Internet Work for You." The seminar began in September and will run through December in cities worldwide. To find a seminar near you, visit www.sonic.com or e-mail the seminar coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATR Service Company will offer in-depth analog alignment seminars on March 9, June 11 and October 15 of 2001. The series will cover issues about recorder alignment procedures, including the fundamentals, choice of tape format, tape formulation, tape speed and use of noise reduction. For more information, call ATR at 717/852-7700.
CORRECTIONThe September "What's New in Plug-Ins?" feature listed incorrect prices for the Antares Microphone Modeler. The TDM version is $599; VST, RTAS and MAS versions are $399; and the DirectX version is $299. In addition, the Antares Web site was listed incorrectly. The correct URL is www.antarestech.com.
The Society of Broadcast Engineers (Indianapolis) awarded Fred Baumgartner, James T. Bernier, Jr. and Edward J. Miller a membership grade of Fellow in the Society...AKG Acoustics (Nashville) announced numerous appointments: Kevin Madden Eastern regional sales manager; Tom Stotler Central regional sales manager; Doug Kittle Western regional sales manager; Cindy Carroll Eastern sales administrator; Sara Anderson Central sales administrator; and Christi Heard Western sales administrator...Recording school SAE (New York) announced the appointment of Udo Hopenworth as VP SAE USA NY and director of SAE Institute in New York...Lightfactor Sales (Middlesex, UK) will now be the distributor for Apogee Sound (Petaluma, CA), and KEM Electronics (Athens, Greece) will be the sole distributor in Greece. In other company news, Nissa Hess is the new national sales coordinator, and Doug McCombs was added to customer service...Retired General Dennis J. Reimer was elected to DRS Technologies' (Parsippany, NJ) board of directors...Ron Bradshaw joined Symetrix in the newly created position of product development manager...Furman (Petaluma, CA) announced new management additions: Margarita Gorokhovsky, VP of operations; Steve Rose, VP of marketing and international affairs; and Bruce Seifried, director of new market development. Furman also named Pacific Systems Group (Torrance, CA), Burhans and Burhans (Crystal City, MO) and Metro North (Edison, NJ) to the newly formed rep council...BGW (Hawthorne, CA) welcomed Steve Lyle, new chief engineer, to its family...Group One (Farmingdale, NY) expands with the appointments of Michael Puehse as display market manager for lighting division, Jimmy Kawalek to market development manager of Western audio division, Brian Quinn to operations manager for audio and lighting divisions, and Kevin Gibbons as primary contact for customer service for audio division...Rick Cannata joins Fostex (Norwalk, CA) as pro products manager...iZ Technology (Burnaby, BC), inventor and manufacturer of Radar hard disk recorders, introduced a support and service hotline at 800/776-1356. The company is also now the sole distributor of Radar products...Philip N. Sanders, principal consultant, Jason R. Duty, principal consultant, Brian M. Brustad, senior consultant, join design firm Charles M. Salter Associates, Inc. (San Francisco)... Crown Audio (Elkhart, IN) presented David Glass, field service specialist, and Leslie Kruse, domestic sales agent, with awards for Technical Support Employee of the Year and Sales Administration Employee of the Year, respectively...Atlas Sound (Phoenix) is joined by Steven Young, new director of marketing and technical sales for the company's domestic and professional divisions...Maxwell (Fair Lawn, NJ) announced the appointments of Pamela Barber district sales manager for Florida and Brian Cox sales representative for professional blank media products in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio...Post Perfect (New York) president Dean Winkler announced his resignation, and co-founder Patrick Howley assumed the role of general manager...McKay Conant Brooks Inc. (Westlake Village, CA) hired Kyle Ridenour as a media system design consultant...GLW (Nashville), makers of Harrison consoles, moved its offices to 1024 Firestone Parkway, Lavergne, TN 37068; 615/641-7200; fax 615/641-7224...Megatrax Production Music (North Hollywood, CA) promoted Leisa Korn to the newly created position of director of publishing and administration...Nexo (San Rafael, CA) has moved its office and warehouse to 2165 Francisco Boulevard E, Suite E2, San Rafael, CA 94901; 415/482-6600; fax 415/482-6110.
In 15 years with Mix, Stephen St.Croix has never missed a month in the Fast Lane. But the Rumanian gymnastics team called from Sydney, and Stephen was soon on a plane to another time zone. So, we bring you Fast Lane Classic. Ten years ago, Stephen penned a two-part series on file format interchange, proving once again that, no matter what you might think of his opinions, he is often way ahead of his time. What follows could have been written yesterday.