SHOWCO REVEALS NEW CONSOLE AT LDI The audio highlight of the recentLighting Dimensions International (LDI) show in Phoenix was theunveiling of Showco's new Showconsole, a live performance board thatconsists of a completely recallable control surface connected via fiberoptics to an 80-channel analog mixer in a triple-wide rack located atthe stage. This marks the first time a sound reinforcement company hascreated its own proprietary console. The digitally controlled analogsystem is based on the Harrison Series12 and will also be marketed byHarrison for the installation market as the LPC (Live PerformanceConsole). Showco vice president Howard Page was on hand to introducethe Showconsole and pointed out that the whole console can reset almostinstantly.
Channels may be recalled to the control surface in "banks," and asingle control surface may be interfaced with up to three 80-inputmixers. "We've taken away most of the individual channel knobs, becausean 80-input console would be prohibitively large and heavy," explainsPage. "You want all the faders, but you only need to see one fullchannel at a time."
Each of the 80 channels in the input/mixer racks offers three micinputs plus a line input, allowing the channel to switch on ascene-by-scene basis. "Let's say you've got a single guitar player in acountry band playing three instruments," Page illustrates. "Now youonly need one channel, because the acoustic guitar can come in on MicA, the electric on Mic B and the mandolin on Mic C, each with their ownsettings for EQ, dynamics and gain."
The console opens up a range of creative possibilities that werepreviously unavailable to live sound engineers. "We've got a few monthsof fine-tuning and then we'll have one out on tour this year," Pagesays. The Showconsole is available to the touring market exclusivelyfrom Showco; sales to fixed venues will be managed exclusively byHarrison. Interested engineers will find a 2x3-foot poster fromHarrison (firstname.lastname@example.org) helpful. Inquiries regarding touringavailability should be directed to Howard Page at Showco(email@example.com). -Mark Frink
EX'PRESSION CENTER FOR NEW MEDIA OPENS THIS MONTH Ex'pression Centerfor New Media, a new digital media arts school, begins classes onJanuary 11. The school is located in Emeryville, Calif., and offers"total immersion" style programs in two courses of study, the2,160-hour Sound Comprehensive Program and a 2,178-hour Digital VisualMedia program. Classes cover 3-D modeling, 3-D and 2-D animation,digital visual effects for films and video, Internet, music recordingand mixing, sound effects, live sound, technical maintenance, 5.1Surround Sound, design and acoustics. Classes will be taught bycertified Ex'pression faculty as well as by professionals now workingin the music and video arts industries.
Ex'pression recently named the two directors who will oversee theschools academic programs. Rob Gibson, formerly with the Academy ofArts College in San Francisco, will head the Digital Visual Mediaprogram. Duke Zaffery, formerly with Full Sail Real World Education inWinter Park, Fla., oversees the sound department. For more informationvisit www.xnewmedia.com.
SOUNDSTONE TEAMS WITH IOMEGA AND LIQUID AUDIO SoundStoneEntertainment, an online music retailer, announced that it has teamedup with Iomega Corporation, a high-profile maker of removable storagesystems, and Liquid Audio to develop a new mechanism for consumers todownload and store music securely from the Web. The new technology isdesigned to enable users to download copyright-protected singles fromSoundStone.com onto Iomega Zip disks, then listen to the music usingLiquid Audio's Liquid Music Player. The joint effort will result in theonline music industry's first music-of-the-month club, TunusCollectus(tm). Internet users will be able to visit Tunus Collectus atSoundStone's site and download new music singles every month, usingLiquid Music Player and Iomega's Record-to-Play(r) encryptionscheme.
SoundStone recently launched its second online music retail site,www.rock.com, which is created by and for 15- to 24-year-olds andfavors alt rock, alt country, electronic, hip hop, punk, metal and ska,and provides reviews, access to music trends and one-to-one interactionwith music experts.
WINTER NAMM THIS MONTH The NAMM International Music Market is comingup fast. The show takes place again at the Los Angeles ConventionCenter, running January 28-31. More than 1,100 exhibitors are expected.New to this year's show are two after-hours meeting places, locatedinside the convention center: The Talking Bull Tavern and theRendezvous Cafe. These venues were created so attendees can extend thebusiness day without having to leave the center as the exhibits closefor the evening. For registration information, call 760/438-8001 orvisit www.NAMM.com.
NEW WEB SITES Meyer Sound (www.meyersound.com) has posted itspopular Meyer Sound Design Reference Handbook, written by veteran SIMengineer Bob McCarthy.
Adamson Systems Engineering's new site at www.adamsonproaudio.comfeatures a full online catalog, distributor information, up-to-datepress releases and new product information.
ATR Service Company, a restoration and service facility for Ampexaudio recorders, is on the web at www.atrservice.com. The site includespricing on parts, restoration services, transport modifications and ATRService's own line of custom electronics for the Ampex ATR-100 seriesrecorders.
OSCAR-WINNING RE-RECORDING MIXER RICK DIOR DIES Richard Dior, anOscar-winning sound engineer who worked on Apollo 13, Dead Man Walkingand over 2,000 movies and TV shows, died of a heart attack on October26 at age 51. Dior worked for many years at Todd-AO East in New York,before opening Digital Cinema with Ken Hahn and Bill Marino of SyncSound in 1997.
UPDATE In our November issue, we ran an item on Robert Vosgien'smastering project at CMS Mastering. Vosgien had left CMS by the timethe issue came out. He has been replaced by Ron Boustead, who recentlyfinished up Peabo Bryson's holiday single "A Family Christmas."
The Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards Nominating Panel isaccepting entries for product nominations for the 15th Annual TECAwards, to be held September 24 in New York City. To be eligible,products must have been released and in commercial use during theperiod from March 1,1998, to February 28, 1999. Categories areAncillary Equipment, Amplifier Technology, Mic Preamplifier Technology,Computer Software & Peripherals, Microphone Technology, SoundReinforcement Loudspeaker Technology, Studio Monitor Technology,Musical Instrument Technology, Signal Processing Technology (Hardware),Signal Processing Technology (Software), Recording Devices/StorageTechnology, Workstation Technology, Sound Reinforcement ConsoleTechnology, Small Format Console Technology and Large Format ConsoleTechnology.
Companies wishing to nominate products should send: product name andqualifying category, date first commercially available (proof ofshipment may be required; beta test sites do not qualify), and acontact name and telephone number.
Send all information to: TEC Awards, 1547 Palos Verdes Mall #294,Walnut Creek, CA 94596; fax to 925/939-4022; or e-mailKarenTEC@aol.com. All entries must be postmarked by Monday, February 1.For more information call Karen Dunn at 925/939-6149.