RIAA Requests Tax Dollars to Fund Piracy Legislation
At a Congressional hearing on April 26 on protecting intellectualproperty rights, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)pressed leading Congressional budget writers for additional funds forfederal anti-piracy law-enforcement efforts and a renewed focus onprotecting intellectual property.
Though the RIAA did not request a specific amount, the funds would beused to create additional squads or units for a program called ComputerHacking and Intellectual Property — CHIPs — which is part of theJustice Department’s initiative to fight online piracy.
The RIAA said that the number of arrests and indictments for musicpiracy are up 113% from 2000 to 2001; meanwhile, guilty pleas andconvictions were up 203% and sight seizures were up 170%.
In a written testimony, Frank Creighton, executive VP and director ofAnti-Piracy at the RIAA, said, “We all have to find a way to cometogether and make sure that we are using the people’s resources and thetools of the law in a way that makes sense and gets results. We needmore CHIPs units. We need IP to be a priority within these units. Weneed to explore creative approaches to creating appropriate deterrentlevels on the Internet in coordination with private industry.”
Department of Labor Releases Occupational Outlook for FilmEditors
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency within the U.S. Departmentof Labor, has published the 2002-2003 edition of the OccupationalOutlook Handbook, which includes a section that explores theoutlook for editors of film, video and television.
Sections explored in the handbook include nature of work; workingconditions; employment; training, other qualifications and advancement;job outlook; and earnings.
According to the handbook: “Employment of camera operators and editorsis expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through2010.”
Read through the handbook online at http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos091.htm.
Webcasters Go Silent in Royalty-Rate Protest
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — Hundreds of Web broadcasters went silent onWednesday in an organized protest against proposed U.S. royalty ratesthey say would undermine the industry and stifle innovation on theInternet.
The Web radio stations started their protest at dawn to oppose ratesrecommended in February by a Copyright Royalty Arbitration Panelworking for the U.S. Copyright Office.
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Librarian of Congressis required to set sound recording performance royalty rates for Webradio stations by May 21.
The arbitration panel recommended Webcasters pay recording companies arate of 14/100ths of a cent per listener per song. While that appearsto be a small fee, Webcasters say it would drive many in the strugglingindustry out of business.
Kurt Hanson, publisher of Radio and Internet Newsletter, and one of theorganizers of the protest, said the proposed fees would amount to about$9,000 a month for any mid-sized Webcaster, about double typicalrevenues.
Some representatives of the music industry, which had lobbied for theroyalty structure, said that while the Webcasters “Day of Silence” wasmisguided, it was an appropriate reminder that music must carry a pricein the market.
“Everyone should understand what the world would sound like without themusic that is often taken for granted. If those who make the music weall love are not fairly compensated for their work, that will be theresult — silence,” said John Simson, executive director ofSoundExchange in an open letter signed by over 50 music executives andartists including Eagles front-man Don Henley.
SoundExchange collects license fees on behalf of the recordingindustry.
While many Webcasters planned an entire day of silence, others replacedmusic streams with periods of silence interspersed with public serviceannouncements on the subject.
The Recording Industry Association of America, which represents all themajor labels like AOL Time Warner Inc.’s AOL. Warner Music and VivendiUniversal’s Universal Music, lobbied Congress for the royalty paymentsand had sought even higher rates.
Simson, of RIAA affiliate SoundExchange, said he is pleased with theproposed rates, which put the industry a step closer to implementingthe right of licensing, collecting and distributing performanceroyalties for Webcasts.
He said he did not believe the rates would cripple the industry andwere fairly valued.
“Somehow, these companies have found a way to pay fair market rates foreverything else necessary for their business from bandwidth andcomputers to rent and furniture. Why should the most important elementof their business — the music — be any different?” he said. “The timehas come for Webcasters to stop protesting and work cooperatively withartists and record labels to ensure success for all, and provide fanswith the great music they expect and deserve.”
Meanwhile, Webcasters said if they are put out of business, therecording industry will have to deal with more pirate services thatwill flourish in their absence.
Some traditional broadcasters, which stream simulcasts on the Web, alsoplanned to support the effort on Wednesday, Hanson said.
Traditional radio stations pay no performance royalties for musicplayed on air because it has proven promotional value.
These operators would only be required to pay half of the fee — or7/100ths of a cent — for music they stream on the Web simultaneouslywith their radio broadcasts, according to the proposal.
NPR Purchases 25 Neumann U87AI’s For New L.A. Facility
National Public Radio (Washington, D.C.) recently purchased 25Neumann U87 AI/Set Z large-diaphragm condenser microphones for theirnew Los Angeles facility. Most of the microphones will be used forspoken-word applications. In the final stages of construction, the newfacility is scheduled to open in September 2002.
According to NPR, their engineers use the Neumann U87 extensively intheir Washington D.C. facility as the “gold standard” in fidelity. Thiscurrent incarnation of the U87 boasts a 6dB signal-to-noise ratioimprovement while maintaining the sound that engineers love.
For more, visit www.neumannusa.com.
SSL Announces Financing Plan, Leasing Program
Solid State Logic Inc. (New York City) is offering a purchasepackage for the XL 9000 K Series SuperAnalogue Console and the AvantPlus TVP Digital Post/Film Console. This lease purchase plan, availableto qualified clients, specifies a monthly payment of only $999 for thefirst 12 months of the agreement. This offer is available through June30, 2002.
“Working with Wells Fargo, we have created a highly beneficial programfor our studio clients that allows us to make this offer to qualifiedstudios,” said Rick Plushner, president of SSL North America. “Studioscan realize the many advantages of owning an SSL console without theupfront costs of a more traditional purchase plan.”
The low initial monthly payments allow a facility to start up a studioroom with a positive cash flow while attracting top music andproduction projects. The promotional benefits of owning an SSL arewell-known and the flexible front end of the purchase plan allows forthe buildup of cash reserves. After the first 12 payments, clients canselect terms of 36 to 48 months, both at the lowest availablerates.
Solid State Logic also announced a new “Operating Lease Program” forall qualified broadcasters in North America interested in upgrading toan SSL broadcast console. Also through an arrangement with Wells FargoEquipment Finance, Inc., the benefits of this leasing program are nowavailable through June 30, 2002.
According to Plushner, “The purpose of the program is to allowbroadcasters to upgrade to a state-of-the-art console today, meetingthe industry’s demand for an all-digital signal path without theneed for a large capital expenditure.”
The Operating Lease Program allows broadcasters to take advantage ofinstalling an SSL digital broadcast console and enables payments to becharged against the station’s operating budget rather than acapital expense. It also reduces initial capital outlay while allowingan option to purchase the audio console on very favorable terms at theend of the lease period.
For more, check out www.solid-state-logic.com.
Sound Lounge Adds To Mixing Staff
Sound Lounge (New York City), a provider of audio post-productionservices to the advertising industry, has expanded its creative andtechnical resources with the promotion of Rob DiFondi, a staffassistant for the past two years, to mixer, and completing constructionof an all-new, custom-designed digital audio mixing suite, thecompany’s fifth, for mixer Philip Loeb.
The two moves come as Sound Lounge has just completed a number ofhigh-profile projects, including campaigns for AT&T “mlife,” MillerLite and New Balance. Sound Lounge has also mixed seven spots thatdebuted on this year’s Super Bowl broadcast. (The studio has a longtrack record of mixing Super Bowl spots, including having mixed fourspots in 10 years voted “Best Liked” among Super Bowl ads.)
Loeb has inaugurated his new room with two prestigious assignments.They include a package of Mercedes Benz spots and the latestinstallment in Lipton Brisk’s campaign featuring stop-motion celebritycharacters. Loeb previously mixed the Lipton Brisk spot with DannyDeVito that debuted on this year’s Super Bowl.
DiFondi’s promotion is in keeping with Sound Lounge’s philosophy ofdeveloping new talent from within, according to Sound Lounge co-founderand mixer Tom Jucarone. “We believe in developing our own talent sothat they learn our approach to mixing and working with clients,” hesaid. “It has been very successful for us. It has also helped us toattract a highly motivated group of assistants who are here for thesole purpose of becoming mixers.”
Jucarone added clients now have begun to request DiFondi. “Rob hasworked very hard and developed much faster than we had expected. He hasearned this opportunity, and we are confident that he will make themost of it.”
DiFondi began his career with Sound Lounge in 1999, immediately earninga degree in sound recording from the State University of New YorkCollege at Fredonia. “I knew I wanted to work in audio post fortelevision, but I didn’t know I’d end up in such a great place,” herecalled. “After one month, I concluded that I’d be totally happy doingthis for the rest of my life.”
Sound Lounge’s new mixing studio is also in keeping with long-heldtradition. Its technical, acoustical, interior design and aestheticfeatures were designed by Loeb in concert with Jucarone and SoundLounge chief engineer John DeMaio. The studio’s central technicalfeature is a Pro Tools|24 MIXplus system and Digidesign’s ProControlhardware control surface. The studio is linked to other Sound Loungerooms via a local network, which also hosts an online sound effectslibrary. “My new system has enough processing power and I/O to meet thedemands of commercial mixing,” Loeb said. “It allows me immediateaccess to the tools that I need to get the job done right.”
The layout, designed to match Loeb’s mixing style, places him in thecenter of the room. “This design keeps me in close proximity to myclients,” he explained. “Advertising is a collaborative art, and I wantmy clients to be a part of the process. It should be easy to talk andexchange ideas.”
Other features of the room include hand-laid hardwood floors,remote-control lighting and window treatments, and custom-madefurniture by industry leader Forecast Consoles of Deer Park, N.Y.
Sound Lounge is located at 149 5th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10010. For moreinformation, www.soundlounge.com.
MacPherson Product News From NSCA 2002
MacPherson Inc. (Skokie, Ill.), manufacturer of high-performanceprofessional loudspeaker systems, introduced its PC12 Loudspeaker atNSCA Expo 2002.
This full-bandwidth loudspeaker brings studio monitor clarity to thesound reinforcement arena.The PC12 offers true high-fidelityperformance in a compact enclosure. Its two-way design incorporates asophisticated crossover network, which allows a single amplifierchannel to produce high sound-pressure level (SPL) with minimumfrequency and phase distortion. The PC12 also delivers extendedlow-frequency performance. Internal components include a 12-inch wooferand a 1-inch high-frequency compression driver that is coupled to aconstant directivity horn. A HF response pattern is 60 degreeshorizontal by 50 degrees vertical.
With its high-SPL capability, the PC12 is the ideal solution for a widerange of live and playback sound reinforcement applications and can bestand-mounted, wall-mounted, suspended or sitting on a flat surface.The PC12’s small front profile –21.7×14.4×15.3 inches (HxWxD) — isdesigned to minimize obstruction of sight lines.
For more on the PC12, check out www.macpherson-inc.com.
Latin Grammy Awards Date, Venue Announced
The Third Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards will be held on September 18,2002, and will be broadcast by the CBS Television Network. The show,which will feature performances from some of the genre’s biggestartists, will take place at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The LatinRecording Academy also has added two new award categories this year,Best Contemporary Tropical Album and Best Christian Album, bringing thetotal to 41 categories. Nominations for the Latin Grammy Awards areexpected to be announced in July.
The Third Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards is a Recording Academy eventproduced in association with Cossette Productions. Pierre and JohnCossette are executive producers, Ken Ehrlich is producer/writer,Walter Miller is producer/director, and Tisha Fein is coordinatingproducer.
For more, visit www.grammy.com/latin_academy/.
Barefoot Studios Installs Neve 88R
Barefoot Studios (Hollywood) has chosen a 60-channel Neve 88R analogconsole to replace its classic Neve 8128, bringing routing, recall andautomation features to the facility, while maintaining the rich Neveanalog sound.
“For me, the 88R is really the Holy Grail of consoles,” said owner EricValentine. “It has all the modern features and flexibility in terms ofrouting and automation, without any compromise in sound. The EQ isreally great; the additional gain you have in each bandwidth is verynoticeable. It’s a console that adds a particular color andexcitement to the sound of any project.”
Valentine became a Neve proponent more than a decade ago, and in thepast few years, he has been looking for a console that preserves thesound and offers enhanced routing flexibility and mix recall, as wellas a large input frame. The 88R fulfills that wish list on all counts,Valentine said. As he occasionally does film mixing, especially whenone of his clients has a song on a movie soundtrack, Valentine plans toconfigure the 88R desk so that he can do 5.1 surround whenneeded.
While the new console is being installed by Valentine, studio managerTrevor Atkinson and technicians from Neve, Barefoot will shut down fora few weeks. “And then I’m going to spend about a month doingdevelopmental projects so I can sort of get up to speed and comfortableon the new console,” Valentine said. “One thing I’ve learned inthe past 10 years is that no matter how much time you spend or how muchyou put into it, you’re never done improving your studio. And the88R is going to be a major improvement.”
Among Valentine’s roster of engineering/recording clients are Third EyeBlind, Smash Mouth, Queens of the Stone Age and The Dwarves. He hasalso served as engineer, drummer, percussionist and bass player onseveral songs by the legendary guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani.
For more, check out AMS Neve online www.ams-neve.com.
Producer David Foster, Jazz Vocalist Shirley Horn To Be Honoredat Berklee Commencement
Hit record producer David Foster and legendary jazz vocalist ShirleyHorn will receive honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Berklee Collegeof Music (Boston) at the school’s 2002 Commencement, Saturday, May 11,at the Reggie Lewis Track Center in Boston. Foster will deliver theCommencement Address to approximately 600 graduates and 3,000guests.
The evening before commencement, students will present a concerttribute to the honorees, performing selections from each of theirextremely distinguished careers. The 2002 Commencement Concert will bebroadcast live on the Internet, and can be viewed at www.berklee.edu,beginning at 7:15 p.m. EST. The Webcast also will be archived on theBerklee Website for future viewing.
Producer David Foster, originally from British Columbia, has won 14Grammys, out of a total of 42 nominations for his work as a songwriter,arranger and producer. He has won both Producer of the Year and Albumof the Year three times. Foster produced several of the 1990s biggesthits, including “Unforgettable” by Natalie Cole, “I Will Always LoveYou” by Whitney Houston and “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion. Healso has produced music by Toni Braxton, The Corrs, Barbra Streisandand Chicago.
In addition, Foster has written and produced music for feature films,earning three Academy Award nominations and winning the Golden Globefor the song “The Prayer,” from the soundtrack to The Quest forCamelot. He is also the founder and chairman of 143 Records, ajoint venture with the Warner Music Group.
Shirley Horn, of Washington, D.C., is widely regarded as the premiersinging pianist in jazz since Nat King Cole, and is renowned for herability to negotiate melodies and lyrics at an exquisitely unhurriedpace. Horn’s career spans five decades, and has included collaborationswith fellow jazz greats Kenny Burrell, Johnny Mandel, Hank Jones,Quincy Jones and her mentor Miles Davis.
Horn’s 1992 recording Here’s to Life was the year’s top-sellingjazz album, and earned a Grammy for arranger Johnny Mandel. In 1998,Horn paid tribute to Davis with the album I Remember Miles,which won her the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. Her mostrecent album, You’re My Thrill, was released last year towidespread acclaim.
Foster and Horn will join such Berklee honorary doctorate recipients asDuke Ellington, David Bowie, B.B. King, Patti LaBelle, Sting, JamesTaylor, Pat Metheny, Dizzy Gillespie, Carly Simon, Billy Joel, BonnieRaitt, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, and alumnus QuincyJones.
Songwriter Otis Blackwell Dies in Nashville
NASHVILLE (Reuters) — Songwriter Otis Blackwell, whose tunes “Don’tBe Cruel” and “Great Balls of Fire” became smash hits for Elvis Presleyand Jerry Lee Lewis, has died, hospital officials said Tuesday.
Blackwell, who was 70 and reported by friends to be ill for some time,was brought to St. Thomas Hospital Monday, where he was pronounced deadon arrival, a hospital spokesman said.
He had suffered a stroke in 1991, according to his attorney, TripAldridge.
A member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the pianist andsinger from Brooklyn, N.Y., launched his writing career by selling sixsongs for $150. He recorded one with a drummer playing on a cardboardbox.
The song “Don’t Be Cruel” was picked up by Elvis Presley and went toNumber One on the charts in 1956. The following year, another Blackwellsong, “All Shook Up,” also became a Presley hit, as did “One BrokenHeart For Sale” and “Return to Sender.”
Presley looked to Blackwell for inspiration for his early pop songs,picking songs he liked and then using the same arrangements.
Other hit songs were “Hey Little Girl” for Dee Clark and “Breathless”and “Great Balls of Fire” for Jerry Lee Lewis.
Blackwell’s song “Fever,” which he wrote under a pseudonym but neverexplained why, became a signature tune for Peggy Lee.
In the late 1970s, Blackwell recorded albums These Are My Songsand Singin’ the Blues. In all, he wrote almost 1,000 songs,including a number of top-selling rock ‘n’ roll tunes recorded by suchnotables as James Taylor and others.
Digidesign Launches Training, Education Program
Digidesign (Daly City, Calif.) announced the launch of theDigidesign Training and Education Program, which will lend support toPro Tools users through a network of education partners who will offerspecialized training curriculum, online certification testing, andpromotion of certified experts and operators.
Digidesign’s new program will complement Avid’s longstanding trainingefforts through AAEC (Avid Authorized Education Center) and utilize allAvid training facilities. Digidesign will also partner with additionalcenters to expand Pro Tools training further. One of the first of thesenew centers certified by Digidesign is Full Sail Real World Education(Orlando, Fla.); Full Sail already has over 20 Pro Tools TDM systemswithin their curriculum.
Features of the program include free educational resources for users toteach themselves Pro Tools; Pro Tools-certified training curriculumthrough Digidesign-certified training locations (colleges or technicalprograms that integrate Pro Tools coursework within a larger audioeducation program) and authorized pro schools (institutions that offerprofessional training in multi-day courses); online testing forcertification; and support of certified professionals through PremiumAudioPages listed on DigiProNet.com.
“We are thrilled to have Digidesign take such an active role intraining and education at Avid,” stated Mike Pashby, Avid’s manager ofeducation services. “We encourage our users to expand their knowledgeand become proficient in using our systems. We can depend on Digidesignto prepare high-quality, up-to-date curriculums and work closely withour network of trainers and facilities to offer the best trainingpossible.”
For more detailed information and a current list of training locations,visit http://training.digidesign.com.
Paul W. Klipsch, 1904-2002
Founder of Klipsch Audio Technologies, Paul W. Klipsch, died on May5, 2002, at the age of 98.
Born on March 9, 1904, in Elkhart, Ind., Klipsch is best known for hiscontributions in revolutionizing the audio world. After being draftedin World War II, where he served for ballistics and photography, andultimately discharged with the rank of Major, Klipsch decided to commithis life to building loudspeakers. After continued research andexperimentation, patents and trademarks were applied for and ultimatelygranted, including his first patent for horn design; throughout hislife, Klipsch had three patents in ballistics, eight in geophysics and12 in acoustics. The name Klipsch and Associates was registered in1946, although his first employee wasn’t hired until 1948.
In a memorial letter from CEO Fred S. Klipsch, Paul W. Klipsch isremembered as a legend in sound. “Stories of Paul’s lasting wit andsuperior intellect were indeed true, which is what often made itdifficult to accept the fact that he was 98 years old. And that is, infact, the correct age despite rumors and Rolling Stone magazinearticles that cite ranges from 90 to 103. But that’s just the tip ofthe iceberg when it comes to the myth, the lore, and the absolute truthabout our legendary founder.
“Paul’s indisputable genius and one-of-a-kind personality touched somany lives for so many years that there are now hundreds of storiesabout him being told and retold — from the funny to theprofound.
“It has been said, and I firmly believe it, that every time you listento recorded music, you’re hearing the passion, the genius and thelegacy of Paul W. Klipsch. He was a verifiable genius who could havechosen any number of vocations, but the world sounds a lot betterbecause he chose audio. And the integrity of Paul W. Klipsch was beyondreproach. He was a great man who always did the right thing in theright way.”
In honor and in memory of Paul W. Klipsch, Klipsch Audio Technologieshas published the family’s obituary on its Website (www.klipsch.com).In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to thePaul Klipsch Scholarship Fund at New Mexico State University.
JBL To Sponsor Upcoming Who Tour
JBL (Woodbury, N.Y.) announced that it is the official sponsor ofthe upcoming U.S. summer tour for The Who.
As the official sponsor of the 20-date nationwide tour, JBL willsupport The Who with an extensive sponsorship program, which willinclude national and local media advertising, a sweepstakes, andlocal-market promotional activities with local radio, television andprint media tie-ins.
Sound services will be provided by Clair Bros. (Lititz, Pa.), whichwill supply The Who with a concert audio system having in excess of120,000 watts of amplifier power. The custom systems used by ClairBros. feature JBL drivers and components, chosen by the company fortheir sonic performance, high-power-handling capability and longtermreliability.
The Who tour begins on June 28, 2002, in Las Vegas at the Hard RockHotel and Casino, includes a four-night stint at New York’s MadisonSquare Garden, and is scheduled to conclude on August 31 at the JonesBeach Amphitheatre on Long Island, N.Y. Former Led Zeppelin memberRobert Plant will open many of the East Coast shows, while the CountingCrows will support several of the West Coast dates.
Paul Bente, president of JBL Consumer Products, noted, “JBL could notbe more proud and excited to be the sponsor of the upcoming Who tour.The Who and JBL are an ideal combination; The Who is one of thelegendary bands of rock ‘n’ roll, and JBL loudspeakers are legendaryfor their exceptional sound quality in the concert hall and at home. Infact, The Who and JBL were there at the original Woodstock in 1969. Andtoday, The Who and JBL are rocking the world more than ever!”
Dates and venues can be found at www.jblpro.com/pressroom/who.html.
Midiman Begins Shipment of Groove Tubes Studio Mics
Midiman (Arcadia, Calif.) announced the shipment of the new line ofGroove Tubes microphones. This all-new, American-designed lineup ofstudio condensers features six different models differentiated bymedium- or large-diaphragm sizes, tube of FET circuitry, and single ormultiple polar patterns.
The entire line employs sold-brass capsules. Ultra-thin evaporated golddiaphragms yield an extremely transparent sound. These diaphragms,according to Midiman, are half as thin as its nearest competitor; 3microns on the large diaphragms and 6 microns on the medium-sizeddiaphragms.
All large-diaphragm Groove Tubes microphones incorporate the company’sunique Disk Resonator technology, delivering extended frequencyresponse that is ideal for accurately capturing the realism of anysound source. Disk Resonator interacts with part of the diaphragm athigh frequencies to extend the range of the capusle transparently,through 20 kHz and beyond. Each mic is hand-assembled, hand-tested andmeasured against Groove Tubes golden-reference mic; each mic mustmeasure within +/- 1 dB of the reference mic in order to passinspection.
The new line also introduces affordable matched pairs for stereomiking; all Groove Tubes mics now ship in matched pairs without apenalty fee.
Midiman announced in January 2002 that it will begin distributingGroove Tubes mics.
For more on the new line, visit www.midiman.net/products/microphones.php.
Internet File-Sharing Boosts Music Sales, Report Says
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Internet users who download songs for freefrom unauthorized “peer to peer” services are more likely to increasetheir music purchases than regular Internet users, according to areport released on Friday, May 3, 2002.
While file-sharing services like Kazaa and Morpheus enable anyone withan Internet connection to access a huge library of music for free,experienced file sharers are more likely to actually increase theamount of money they spend on CDs, the report by research firm JupiterMedia Metrix said.
Thirty-four percent of all peer-to-peer users said they spent moremoney on music than before they used such services, the report said,while 15% said they spent less. One-half said the amount of money theyspent remained the same.
Online music fans who did not use file-sharing services were lesslikely to report increased spending. Nineteen percent said they spentmore money on music, while 10% said they spent less and 71% said theyspent the same amount.
Other technologies, such as recordable CD drives and high-speedInternet connections, had no impact on consumer spending, the reportsaid.
Music companies say Internet piracy is partially responsible for a 5%drop in sales last year, and the industry has aggressively pursuedfile-sharing companies in court. Napster, the first such service, hasbeen offline since last July, as it struggles with a court order tokeep copyrighted music off its system.
But the survey suggests that file sharing could provide a boost to theindustry, said report author Aram Sinnreich.
“The Internet is the greatest thing that ever happened to the musicindustry, and they’re just missing out on cashing in on it,” Sinnreichtold Reuters.
Peer-to-peer users tend to be avid music fans who already spend moremoney than average on music. Rather than shutting down peer-to-peerservices, music companies should cultivate these fans, Sinnreichsaid.
A spokesman for the Recording Industry Asssociation of America saidJupiter’s findings conflicted with a survey that found Internetdownloads did eat into music sales.
In a survey the trade group commissioned last year, 23% of respondentssaid that they did not spend more money on music because they coulddownload it for free.
The five major recording companies — Sony Music, Warner Music, EMIGroup Plc, Vivendi Universal and BMG — have introduced file-sharingservices of their own that, for a fee, allow users limited access toportions of their catalogs. So far, the services have met with limitedsuccess.
Some companies have turned to copy-protected CDs, which cannot beplayed on computers and some other devices. Universal is currentlyconsidering whether to release best-selling rap artist Eminem’s newrelease in copy-protected form.
The report was based on a June 2001 survey of 1,911 online music fans,305 of whom were experienced peer-to-peer users.
Best 100 Music Communities Survery Underway
The third annual Best 100 Communities for Music Education Survey hasbeen collecting responses online www.amc-music.org, the officialWebsite of the American Music Conference.
The survey is in the process of analyzing music program specifics,class size, financial data and other indicators to measure the overallquality of music education in our nation’s communities. Private andindependent instruction, as well as public school music programs aretallied into each community’s score; smaller communities are evaluatedon par with larger ones.
In addition to the AMC, the survey is also sponsored by the MusicTeachers National Association, the National School Boards Association,the Perseus Development Corporation, VH1 Save the Music Foundation andYamaha Corporation of America.
According to AMC executive director and NAMM International MusicProducts Association president Joe Lamond, the first two years of thestudy showed results that substantiated that “there are great musicprograms all over the country, in large communities and small.”
The Best 100 will be announced later this spring.
WaveFrame Software Group Announcement
WaveFrame announced that its entire digital audio workstationproduct line, most notably WaveFrame/7, as well as the WaveFrametrademark have been acquired by a new company, Cybermation Inc., whichwill do business as the WaveFrame Software Group (WSG).
Cybermation/WSG is owned by John Schnell and Dave Hart. According toWSG, there will be continued efforts to develop and supportWaveFrame/7.
According to WSG, to the best of their knowledge, WaveFrame Inc. hasessentially ceased operations. Any business or past servicing issuesshould be directed to WaveFrame Inc. at 510/594-9455. FrameWorks/DX andthe Diaquest products that WaveFrame Inc. was distributing will not besupported or sold through WSG. The FrameWorks/DX name has beendiscontinued, but the product will continue as “Pyramix VirtualStudio,” sold by Merging Technologies (www.merging.com). A new company,Diaquest Products LLC www.diaquest.com), has acquired the Diaquestproduct line, and will continue to develop and support theseproducts.
Effective immediately, all WaveFrame/7 development, sales and supportwill be directed by WSG through its Southern California offices. Saleswill be handled exclusively through its dealer channels. Engineeringand support will continue as before. Pricing, options and supportdetails are being reviewed and updated, and will be made available toall of its dealers in the near future.
Dave Van Hoy, who has been associated with the WaveFrame product linesince its earliest days, will continue his association with WaveFrame/7by serving in an advisory capacity to WSG. In addition, his company,Advanced Systems Group, will continue in its role as one of WSG’sflagship dealers.
According to WSG, an official 7.10 release version for WaveFrame/7 willbe posted shortly. Eventually, new releases will be issued on afee-for-upgrade basis, and a more traditional beta program will beinitiated. WSG will also be offering fee-based support for the legacyWaveFrame 6 line of products; details will be published soon.
Digidesign Launches DigiZine Online Magazine
Digidesign announced the launch of its new, online monthlyeducational magazine aimed at both the beginner and professional ProTools user. The mag can be found at www.digidesign.com/digizine.
“DigiZine is a place where readers can learn not only who is using ProTools, but how they are using it,” said Dusty DiMercurio, DigiZine’seditor. “Pro Tools is a deep program, and having several differentperspectives from professionals really shows the diversity of thesystem and how users in differing industries are taking advantage ofits capabilities in their own unique ways to produce audio.”
Each month, DigiZine will feature a cover story on a high-profile ProTools user, as well as three Pro Techniques interviews whereprofessionals share some of their favorite Pro Tools tips andtechniques. DigiZine will also feature: Hard Disk Life monthly column,written by Charles Dye, Grammy-winning engineer/mixer/producer; LE BootCamp monthly column, which features basic training for those new to ProTools, and is written by Joe Gore; and, beginning in June, Greg Geddes,co-owner and chief engineer of Novastar Post (Hollywood), will beginsharing his expertise on how to use Pro Tools for post-production. Alsoincluded will be Tech Talk, a section dedicated to the tech aspects ofdigital recording, Net Working, stories and info about using theInternet as a resource for audio production, and Centerfold: Plug-In ofthe Month, where Joe Gore will profile a different Pro Toolsplug-in.
Universal Music Group Offers Vinyl Mastering Services
Universal Music Group (Santa Monica, Calif.) announced that vinylmastering services are now available at its West Coast recordingfacility, Universal Mastering Studios-West (Universal City, Calif.).Effective immediately, the vinyl mastering services are available toUMG’s family of labels and the music community at large.
These services include the use of exclusive, state-of-the-art equipment(including a Manley/Scully/Westrex/Neumann lathe) as well as theservices of mastering engineer Charlie Watts. Clients utilizing UMG’sstudios in New York and New Jersey will also be able to electronicallytransfer audio files to the L.A.-based studio for vinylmastering.
Paul West, VP of UMG studio operations, said, “We are excited to beable to serve the music industry and all of Universal Music Group’slabels, because vinyl is still an important format for many musicgenres today. For those who embrace the format, our equipment andengineers offer a new level of audio quality essential to the artist,DJ and consumer.”
U.S. Postal Service Employed Endless Nosie, Leo Burnett for NewCommercial
Award-winning sound design and music company Endless Noise announceddetails of the company’s hybrid “musical sound design” work for thelatest U.S. Postal Service spot from Leo Burnett/Chicago. The new30-second TV spot, entitled “Dry Cleaners,” was directed by AnonymousContent’s John Dolan and debuted on April 15.
In the spot, a small drycleaner experiences a surge of business basedon a direct-mail campaign. As commerce picks up, the sounds ofcustomers entering combine with hisses of steam, the motor of rack asit spins around, rings from the cash register and other ambient noises,eventually building into a percussive underscore. The voice-over drivesthe point home: “Target your customers with direct mail, and you mayactually hear your business growing. Music to your ears, brought to youby the United States Postal Service.”
“We had to find a way to get across to people that the postal servicecan help businesses grow to become more vibrant and efficient,”explained Endless Noise creative director and project co-composer andsound designer Jeff Elmassian. “So, specifically, we had to find soundsin the environment of this business that reflect the image of thepostal service and that come across as being interesting andmusical.
“Together with John Dolan and the creative team, we found that thesounds in this environment made for a dynamic rhythm track, so that’sthe direction we ultimately went,” Elmassian continued.
“The biggest challenge was trying to live within the reality of thesounds,” explained Leo Burnett’s senior producer Bob Davis. “Itwas challenging to create an interesting sound that builds, but theteam at Endless Noise helped us find the right balance of ambientsounds that could build to drive the storyline of the spot.”
“To me,” added director John Dolan, “Jeff’s input was invaluable in thepre-production stage, because he helped me define which sounds wouldwork the best musically. He also created a scratch track that I used onlocation to ensure the proper tempo. His knowledge of music and sounddesign and the combination of those is what makes him reallyunique.”
The live-action footage was captured on-location at Bixby KnollsCleaners in Long Beach, Calif., in March by Dolan anddirector ofphotography Conrad Hall Jr. All sound for the project was createdin-house at the Endless Noise studio in West Hollywood. Working withco-composer and sound designer Andy Rehfeldt on a Macintosh G4, theteam used SampleCell, Pro Tools and Studio Vision to sequence theirsounds into a musical composition. The final track was mixed through aDigiDesign Control 24 mixing console. The Endless Noise studio featuresMackie HR-24 studio monitors.
The ability of Jeff Elmassian and his team to transform sound intomusic recently earned them a London International
Advertising Award for Best Sound Design for their work on thesensational Nike Freestyle campaign. Elmassian will also be honored forthat campaign’s sound design at the upcoming 2002 InternationalANDY Awards Show and Party on May 1, 2002, in New York City and at the43rd Annual Clio Festival on May 21 in Miami Beach.
For the Leo Burnett project team in Chicago, Lisa Bennett served asexecutive creative director and Steve Simoncic was the creativedirector. Along with Bob Davis, the team also included Chad Ackley asart director and Daniel Mabe as copywriter.
Anonymous Content’s team was led by executive producer AndyTraines and head of production Cassie Hulen, and also included producerTapas Blank and production manager Sam Swisher.
Deb Schimmel of Chicago’s Optimus edited the spot.
Native Instruments Absynth Available for PC
Native Instruments announced that Absynth is now available forPC.
This software synthesizer offers 68-stage envelopes, six oscillatorswith freely drawable waveforms and multiple synthesis techniques, aswell as more than 700 of professionally designed sound patches.
Absynth PC runs stand-alone or as a VST and DXi plug-in with up toeight instances. It is available through authorized dealers and in theNI Online Shop.
DigiWorld “Loud and Clear” and Avid “Start to Finish” Tour Cometo Los Angeles
Digidesign (Daly City, Calif.) announced the DigiWorld “Loud andClear in Los Angeles” and Avid “Start to Finish” Tour on Friday, May31, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 6p.m. at Universal Studios, Universal City, Calif. Admission is free;however, advanced registration is recommended. Register online atwww.digidesign.com/digiworld or call 800/333-2137, code 103.
This two-day event will showcase the newest products from Digidesign,Digidesign Development Partners and Avid Technology Inc.
Attendees can also sign up for Pro Tools 101, a free one-hourpersonalized Pro Tools LE training course using an Apple iBook and thenew Mbox. Pro Tools 101 gives attendees the chance to get a hands-ontutorial with a Digidesign instructor who will take them throughreal-world exercises like comping vocals, editing a drum take orcleaning up a guitar track. One class will be offered in Spanish perday.
At DigiWorld, attendees will have the chance to speak directly with thecompany’s partners, including Access Music, Antares, Aphex, Bitheadz,Bomb Factory, Dolby, Drawmer, DUY, EMTEC, Focusrite, Gallery, Glyph, IKMultimedia, INA-GRM, Line 6, Magma, McDSP, Native Instruments,Prosoniq, Serato, Sonic Solutions, Sony, Synchro Arts, Wave Mechanicsand Waves.
At the “Start to Finish” tour, attendees will get free, hands-ontraining with Avid’s Xpress DV-editing software, see Avid’sHD and SD finishing solutions, and sample the latest features andinterop capabilities of Avid’s editing, shared storage and networksolutions.
All registered attendees will be entered to win a free Mbox, the newmicro studio from Digidesign and Focusrite.
Napster CEO Resigns as Funds Dry Up
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — Embattled Internet music company NapsterInc. announced Tuesday that its chief executive officer, KonradHilbers, had resigned and that it had been unable to secure funds torelaunch its once wildly popular song-swap service.
“We appreciate the contribution made by Konrad Hilbers as CEO ofNapster,” the company said in a statement. “We deeply regret that wehave not yet been able to find a funding solution that would allowNapster to launch a service to benefit artists and consumers alike. Wewill be looking at additional steps in the coming week to furtherreduce expenses.”
A Napster spokesman was unable to say immediately if the company — aonce hot property on the Internet, which has been struggling torelaunch itself as a royalty-paying service to comply with U.S.copyright law — would file for bankruptcy.
Tuesday’s announcement followed a decision by German media groupBertelsmann AG, which has taken a significant stake in Napster, topostpone talks to buy the rest of the company pending resolution of adispute among other Napster investors.
The company, which has been grounded by legal squabbles since July2001, last postponed the launch of its new secure service in March, andlast month announced it was laying off about 30 people, or 30% of itsstaff.
Fairlight Ships World’s First DREAM Console
Andy Richards, one of the most prolific and successful producers inthe global music community, has just installed the world’s firstEuphonix DREAM Console at his Out of Eden digital studio in London. OutOf Eden is a music facility for production, mixing, recording,composition, writing and programming. Richards now expects to offer aneven more creative range of music and post-production services usingthe high-end automation and processing provided by the 96-track DREAMConsole.
According to Chris Pelzar, CEO of Fairlight USA, the fact that thefirst Fairlight DREAM Console goes into music production issignificant. “The thinking behind the Fairlight DREAM Console was todesign a console that brings the highest levels of quality, performanceand reliability to a price point that makes sense in the musicindustry, and then to integrate a Fairlight editor without impactingthe cost to the user,” Pelzar said. “With the DREAM Console, we’ve doneexactly this, and we’re truly taking Fairlight’s legendary heritage inmusic production to new heights. The fact that Andy is our first DREAMConsole customer is very fitting in this respect.”
The new DREAM Console replaces Out Of Eden’s Fairlight FAME2, andRichards sees this as a natural upgrade. “I’ve been a longtime user ofFairlight products, ranging from their Series 3 16-bit CMIsampler/sequencer in the mid-’80s to today’s stunning DREAM Console.The Console is even more sophisticated and unique than the FAME2, andcomes with an incredible high-end feature set. It allows me to workfaster and smarter.”
The DREAM Console is a fully featured digital audio mix console with anintegrated 48-track disk recorder and editor powered by Fairlight’s QDCTechnology. In addition, the console offers 96 channels returned to 48mix buses, with full 6-band EQ and filtering and two-stage dynamicsprocessing on each input simultaneously. This channel structuredelivers into a multiformat busing system, which allows simultaneousgeneration of multiple surround formats plus bus-to-bus mixing formulti-stem work, ideal for Out Of Eden’s 5.1 surround work.
Also important to Richards is the unique grouping and panning system inthe console, which allows smooth and simple manipulation of the mixmatrix, ensuring that the most complex surround sound mixes can beaccomplished with ease.
Richards explained, “With the console, I can keep all of the audio inthe digital domain to ensure absolute integrity. In addition, I am ableto perform complex 5.1 editing and enhance mixes within minutes tocreate the highest-quality audio that my clients have come toexpect.”
Richards has worked on many high-profile projects using the FAME2,including Bridget Jones’s Diary, Ali G in Da HouseandThe Parole Officer, and will shortly start work on mixing KylieMinogue’s new live DVD and double-live album using the DREAM Consoleand Fairlight’s new V-motion hard disk video player/recordersystem.
For more on the DREAM Console, visit Fairlight www.fairlightesp.com.au.
Marantz, Denon Complete Merger
D&M Holdings Inc., a joint holding company formed to merge theoperations of Marantz Japan Inc. and Denon, announced yesterday thecompletion of the merger. The two companies will maintain theestablished Marantz and Denon brands. Denon’s and Marantz’combined experience in the home theater, A/V consumer electronics andprofessional audio markets exceeds 130 years.
D&M Holdings (Sagamihara City, Japan) has succeeded Marantz as apublicly traded concern on the Second Section of the Tokyo StockExchange. Ripplewood Holdings LLC, Denon’s largest shareholder,will become the majority shareholder in D&M Holdings, which has1,650 employees around the world. Royal Phillips Electronics, whichowned 49% of Marantz Japan, now owns 14.7% in D&M Holdings.
Tatsuo Kabumoto, former chairman and CEO of Marantz who is nowpresident and CEO of D&M Holdings, said D&M Holdings willcapitalize on the strategic benefits resulting from the combinedcompanies. “The merged company formed will create a powerful force inthe premium home theater and audio-video market. By combining these twocompanies, D&M will be able to obtain significant improvements inmargins and cash flow. Moreover, D&M will be well-positioned totake advantage of the growth in this market segment given the highdemand of home theater products and the digitalization of this marketsegment,” Kabumoto said.
All shares of Marantz and Denon were transferred to D&M Holdings,making both entities wholly owned subsidiaries. Former Marantzshareholders received one share of D&M Holdings for each Marantzshare, and former Denon shareholders received 0.4416 shares of D&MHoldings for each Denon share. Former Marantz shareholders will holdapproximately 30% of the new company, and former Denon shareholderswill own approximately 70% of the new company. The Denon and Marantzbrand names will be maintained, as well as their sales and marketing,and brand-specific product and distribution channels.
AES Presents Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser with Gold MedalAward
At AES 2002 Munich, the Audio Engineering Society awarded their GoldMedal Award to Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser in recognition of hislifetime achievements in audio and microphone technology. Additionally,Sennheiser, the company he founded more than 55 years ago, was honoredfor 25 years of participation at the AES Conventions.
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Sennheiser said, “When I look back on themany decades as an engineer and entrepreneur, I am very thankful tocall one of the most interesting fields of work my own. The field ofacoustics is so wide and varied that it has never failed to fascinateme, even today. I am very grateful for the AES Gold Medal Award,knowing that it also recognizes the commitment of the many employeeswith whom I created my life’s work.”
For more, visit www.aes.org