News April 16-30
Buzz Audio Releases SSA Mic Preamp
Buzz Audio announced the arrival of its SSA-1.1 microphone preamp. TheStereo Source Amplifier (SSA) is the latest extremely low-noise,transparent-sounding mic preamp that builds on the company’sMA-2.2.
The SSA-1.1 utilizes Buzz Audio’s Class-A front-end design,resulting in a remarkably transparent and musically sounding micpreamp. Using the same front-panel styling of the Stereo OpticalCompressor (SOC-1.1), the front panel includes a new dedicatedinstrument interface (DI), as well as independent detented gaincontrols for both the microphone and the DI input. Other controlsinclude a switchable 50Hz highpass filter, soft on/off phantom power,phase reverse and output mute controls.
The SSA-1.1 is now available from Buzz dealers with an MSRP of$1,299.
For more, visit www.buzzaudio.com.
Soundfield Offers Free 5.1 Mic Demo DVD
A free SoundField 5.1 DVD-Video Demo Disc is now available from theTransamerica Audio Group Inc., the exclusive U.S. distributor ofSoundField microphones; visit www.transaudiogroup.com to register for your freecopy.
To make the demo disc, a SoundField microphone was used to recordvarious types of sources, including live concerts, sound effects andlocal bar bands. The results of these recordings can be heard on thisfree SoundField Demo DVD in 5.1 played through a Dolby 5.1 Decoder;also included on the DVD is an overview of the entire SoundFieldmicrophone product line.
Skywalker Sound Adds Hitachi Gear
Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, announcedthat Skywalker Sound has chosen its Data Systems to consolidate storageand meet the demanding requirements to record, design, edit, mix andplay back film soundtracks in real time.
“We needed a high-performance, highly scalable storage solution tomaintain and manage hundreds of virtual volumes of sound and filmfiles,” said Tim McGovern, director of engineering for Skywalker Sound.”Our new Lightning 9980V has the performance power we require, andhaving centralized storage instead of individual drives has greatlysimplified that aspect of our IT management. Most importantly, itcreates a more integrated, collaborative environment for the editorialstaff by making all soundtracks easily and instantly available toanyone on the system at any time.”
Skywalker Sound selected a Hitachi Freedom Storage Lightning 9980Vsystem with 12 TB of capacity to centralize all of its editorialstorage. The solution successfully scaled in performance to support 75Macintoshes running real-time, highly dense audio tracks. HitachiShadowImage software was used to create point-in-time copies of Macvolumes that were then delivered to the recording systems. HiCommandDevice Manager manages the whole array.
Prior to this install, Skywalker Sound relied primarily on removablehard drives to share soundtracks. It has edited many film soundtrackson the Lightning 9980V storage system since its implementation inNovember, including James Cameron’s upcoming IMAX feature, The Ghostof the Abyss and Pixar’s summer 2003 offering, FindingNemo.
For more, visit www.hds.com.
Native Instruments’ Vokator Now Available
Native Instruments has released its Vokator (for Windows and Mac OS9.x/OS X), available immediately through authorized dealers everywhereand in the NI Online Shop.
This complete vocoding toolkit features an extremely high-resolutionFFT engine, flexible sound sources including an independent synthesizerwith granular sampler, a dynamic modulation section and more. Vokatorcomes with over 400 presets for all types of productions, as well as300 MB of professional-quality sample material from Zero-G.
For more, visit www.nativeinstruments.com/vokatorshop.info.
Doyle Technology Demonstrates DTV Control System
At NAB, Doyle Technology Consultants unveiled its multichannel mastercontrol solution, designed to address management requirements of ATSCdata streams. This system combines Doyle’s systems integrationwith technology innovations from leading industry players NVISION andSundance Digital.
According to John Hartwell, CTO at Doyle Technology Consultants,”The business and operations of broadcasting are changing, from thepresent simple management of signal flow to the management ofinformation delivery in data formats. The tried-and-true methodsemployed in monitoring a NTSC transmission, mainly percent ofmodulation, will need to be augmented with the monitoring of the usedand available data space in the ATSC transmission.”
The master control includes an integrated signal management andmaster control engine built around NVISION’s new NV5128-MC MasterControl/Multiformat Routing Switcher. In addition to 128 system inputs,this system provides mixing, keying and voice-over capabilities, aswell as built-in squeezeback and a logo store. Also included is a Titanautomation system from Sundance Digital, designed for multichannel,server-based broadcast facilities. The system’s graphical userinterface (GUI) allows easy monitoring and control of playlists. TheDoyle solution will also be usable with Sundance Digital’sFastBreak Automation systems.
For more information on Doyle Technology, please contact Tom Beal at425/785-5106.
Cycling ’74 Releases Max/MSP for Mac OS X
Cycling ’74 released OS X versions of the interactivegraphical-programming environment Max, and MSP, the collection of audiosignal-processing objects.
Max allows users to build programs (called “patches”) by connectinggraphical objects together. Some objects perform calculations andothers make up the user interface of your program. MSP adds a large setof objects that users connect together to make audio patches wheresignals flow from one object to the next. MAX/MSP takes advantage ofMac OS X’s Core Audio and Core MIDI, which makes the use of multipleI/O audio interfaces straightforward and renders OMS and ASIOunnecessary.
Max has a suggested retail price of $250; Max/MSP has a suggestedretail price of $495. The OS X version of MAX/MSP is a free update forregistered owners of Max 4 and MSP 2. For more, visit www.cycling74.com.
Ned Steinberger Signs With Gibson to Design Instruments
Ned Steinberger, creator of headless guitars and basses, has signed afive-year consulting agreement with Gibson MusicalInstruments; GMI purchased the Steinberger company in 1986.
“It’s been almost 20 years since GMI bought Steinberger, and duringthat time, Ned has continued to think about new designs, as well asimprovements to existing designs,” said GMI representative JimRosenberg. “We’re very excited about working directly with Ned againand for the future of Steinberger.”
Digidesign Offers Contest for Focusrite Swag
Digidesign, North American distributor for Focusrite products,Focusrite and Blue Microphones announced a contest to reward onlinesurfers who visit their Websites with cool swag. For a chance to winone of 50 coffee mugs and T-shirt combo prizes that will be awardedmonthly from April 1 to June 30, 2003, contestants must learn about theBlue Mic and Focusrite ISA Series products on www.bluemic.com andwww.focusrite.com and go to www.digidesign.com/focusrite_contest to answer somequestions.
“We like to have fun with our customers,” said Dino Virella,Focusrite’s sales and marketing manager. “This contest enables peopleto learn about our respective product lines and win some coolstuff.”
Millennia Announces Twin Direct Recording System
Millennia (Pleasant Valley, Calif.) introduced its TD-1 Twin DirectRecording System with Twin Topology, which merges vacuum tube anddiscrete solid-state circuit topologies. Twin Direct offers instrumentinput (1/4-inch), line input (XLR), Speaker Soak™ input(1/4-inch) and optional HV-3 mic preamplifier (XLR) in a singlehalf-width, road-hardened, rack-mountable chassis.
Other features include full-range parametric EQ (20 Hz to 25 kHz),three input-impedance settings (470k, 2M, 10M) and up to 35 dB ofstandard gain. Combined with Millennia’s HV-3 microphonepreamplifier (65dB gain, optional), and the TD-1 can be used as ananalog channel strip. A Millennia-designed DI transformer is alsoincluded, offering 100% galvanically isolated mic-level DI output. Thenew DIT-01 transformer exhibits nearly flat frequency response from 3Hz to 300 kHz. Rounding out Twin Direct’s feature set areindividual input, output and earth ground lift switches, along withinternal jumpers that offer various points of ground “isolation”(resistive and capacitive lifts).
TD-1 also employs a number of utility functions, including -20dBbalanced pad switch for all inputs, signal present and overloadindicators, phantom power switch with optional HV-3 microphonepreamplifier, polarity reverse switching on all inputs, REAMP-onlyoutput polarity reversal (each output), direct-out buffer select,logic-controlled switch mutes, dual stage power volts to 240 volts),side- or top-mount steel carrying handle, substantial rubber feet forstage and studio isolation, available padded Cordura-nylon “gig” bag,and built-in chassis fastening for mounting a stereo pair of TD-1 unitsinto a standard 19-inch rack.
MSRP: $1,395; optional HV-3 Mic Pre: $400; optional Platinum Cracklefinish: $300; and cordura nylon padded gig bag: $300. See the MillenniaWebsite for additional technical specifications at www.mil-media.com.
SSL Mic System Used on Fuel Album
While recording Fuel’s latest project, producer Michael Beinhornand multiple Grammy Award-winner Frank Filipetti used the Solid StateLogic XL SuperPre SuperAnalogue Remote Signal Acquisition microphonepreamp system at Chalice Recording Studios.
“We listened to a wide variety of microphone preamps because we wererecording guitars and we wanted to find the best ones for the job,”said Beinhorn. “Out of all the microphone preamps that we tried, theresults were definitely a revelation. The [SSL’s] response was fasterthan everything else, and the detail on them was really spectacular tothe point that the artist was actually able to notice the improvementover their experience with other gear.”
According to Filipetti, “The results were especially eye-openingbecause we put the SSL’s up against vintage, discrete circuit micpre’s, and the SSL SuperPre’s were better. One, they have alot of bottom-end power and, at the same time, they have a lot of airand openness at the top. They were also very smooth in the upper mids.It is a very nice combination and I wish we could have used them on theentire project.”
For more on the microphone preamp system, visit www.solid-state-logic.com.
Composer John Hodian Adds Yamaha 02R96
Composer, conductor and pianist John Hodian’s (The Real Gangs ofNew York, Toshiko Takaezu: Portrait of an Artist) Woodstock,N.Y., studio recently upgraded with a Yamaha 02R96 Digital MixingConsole.
“The wonderful thing about the 02R96 is that it’s aneconomical and powerful solution,” Hodian said. “With 56 inputs, Idon’t even need a patchbay anymore: Everything can be plugged indirectly. Four ADAT cards allow me to go from recording 24 tracks ofsynthesizers to 32 tracks of live material coming right from thecomputer. I work a lot with Digital Performer and used to have tounplug and reconfigure my previous board every time I wanted to go fromsynth stuff to tracking and mixing live audio; now, it’s all‘right there.’
“The 02R96 has definitely increased my efficiency in recording andmixing,” he continued. “The versatility is phenomenal: It operates at48k, which is common when working with film and TV, since everyone nowedits video digitally on the Avid.”
Hodian’s current projects include a new CD for EpiphanyRecords co-founder Bet Williams. “Originally, we were going to try tomix the album somewhere else [other than his studio], but the 02R96 mixsounds so good, we’ll probably mix the entire album on it. It hasa second mode of EQ that is brand-new, and it sounds a lot warmer thanmost other consoles on the market.”
For more on the Yamaha 02R96, visit www.yamaha.com/proaudio.
Cool Edit Pro Now Supports Mackie Control
Mackie Designs (Woodinville, Wash.) announced that SyntrilliumSoftware has made support available for Mackie Control in Version 2.1of Cool Edit Pro audio editing software; Mackie Control is alsosupported by Cakewalk Sonar, Digidesign Pro Tools, Magix Samplitude,MOTU Digital Performer, RML Labs SAWStudio and Steinberg Cubase SX,Cubase SL and Nuendo.
Mackie offers a custom Cool Edit Pro-specific overlay for the MackieControl’s master section, indicating key software control functions foreach button. The Cool Edit Pro overlay currently ships with all MackieControls and is also available to current Mackie Control owners via theMackie Website at www.mackie.com. Existing Cool Edit Pro users candownload the free Version 2.1 upgrade from www.syntrillium.com.
Avid Equips NBC Newsrooms
Avid Technology is installing its iNEWS newsroom computer system inNBC’s newsrooms; the installation will also be extended to NBC’srecently acquired Telemundo facilities.
NBC is among a group of broadcasters in the U.S. that have purchasedand installed Avid’s iNEWS technology; since September 2002, iNEWSsystems have been installed by 19 different broadcasters, includingSinclair Broadcast Group in Baltimore, The Golf Channel (Orlando), KVVU(Las Vegas), KAKE (Wichita, Neb.), WNJU (New York/New Jersey) and SaltLake City-based KSL.
We’re extremely pleased with the rate at which broadcasters areadopting the Avid iNEWS system,” commented David Schleifer, director ofAvid Broadcast. “No other newsroom computer system in the world offerssuch full control of a newscast.”
For more, visit Avid online at www.avid.com.
IndieMusicClub.com Tracks News, Tips for IndieMusicians
Spincycle Media Inc. (Orlando) has launched its www.IndieMusicClub.com, a daily news andinformation service for independent musicians. A free, weekly e-maildigest will be sent every Tuesday morning.
“With so much information floating around for emerging artists, wefelt it was time to provide a focused digest of news that’s criticalfor musicians,” said Joe Taylor Jr., Spincycle’s founder and head ofthe editorial team that updates the site daily. “The Weblog formatallows us to highlight some of the best writing on the Web in aspontaneous way.”
The site’s news and commentary are grouped into five distinctcategories: “Build Your Own Band’s Site,” “Get Your First Gig,” “GrowYour Band’s Audience,’ “How Your Own Concerts” and “Start Your StreetTeam.”
Blink Digital Expands DVD Authoring Center
New York City-based Blink Digital has nearly doubled its size of itsauthoring center with the addition of new technologicalcapabilities–most notably a 5.1 surround audio suite for sounddesign, mixing and mastering–a pair of high-powered motiongraphics workstations and a recently constructed DVD presentationsuite. Additionally, the company has added to its production staff withtwo veteran DVD project managers: Ross Goodman (formerly of Masterdisk)and Zooey Tidal (formerly with eagle Vision).
“We needed to boost capacity to meet current demands and accommodatefuture growth,” said Blink Digital’s managing director and founder JeffStabenau, adding that the new facility is in a great part of town:overlooking both Rockefeller Center and Time Square.
Goodman had been at MasterDisk since 1998, serving as director ofDVD operations. He oversaw DVD authoring assignments for such clientsas Arista Records, BBC Worldwide, Lion’s Gate Films, Trimark Pictures,KOCH International and American Express. At Eagle Vision, Tidal wasinvolved in the production of numerous music-related DVDs, includinghip hop compilation The Up in Smoke Tour and Marilyn Manson:Guns, God and Government World Tour.
For more, visit Blink Digital online at www.blinkdigital.com.
Soundtracs Launches Digital Post, Broadcast Console
At NAB 2003, Soundtracs launched a new console for the broadcast,post-production and music-production marketplaces: the modular,expandable, digital DS-00.
The main mixing console of the DS-00 provides a 17-fader surfacewith 64 fully featured channels and 40 buses. It has two large,full-color, backlift TFT touchscreens, with eight user-defined macrosthat are instantly programmable with single or multiple functions. TheDS-00 is capable of handling stereo, LCRS, 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound,and the 40×8 matrix has two calibrated levels and insert points forDolby insertion. Also standard are eight line/mic inputs, 16 lineoutputs, 24 AES/EBU I/O with SRC per XLR and eight optical I/O. Asecond MADI port is provided for DigiTracs connection or third-partyeditor connection.
The optional EX-00 is an 8-fader unit with a single digitaltouchscreen, allowing the user to expand the work surface to up to 49faders. Up to four EX-00s can be added.
Final additions include the FP-00, a specially developed film panelfor large-format film mixing, and the HD-00 19-inch rack section.
For more, visit www.digiconsoles.com.
Jack Casady Installs Furman Gear in Home Studio
Bassist Jack Casady recently installed a Furman Sound HDS-6 HeadphoneDistribution System and five HR-6 Headphone Mixing Stations in his LosAngeles-based home studio.
Casady, former bassist for Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, iscurrently recording his first solo release for Eagle Records, entitledDream Factor. The new album features Ivan Neville on vocals,Jorma Kaukonen and Warren Haynes on guitars, and Matt Abts and SteveGorman on drums, to name a few.
According to Casady, “In a small recording environment, it’simportant for each musician to create the right individual headphonemix in order for them to feel the rhythm and correctly play in thepocket. Every musician should have individual control over theirheadphone mix, because when you do, everyone can play off each otherand create great live tracks!”
Casady is using the HDS-6 System and HR-6 Mixing Stations for bothlive basic tracks and overdubs. “The live basics generally consist ofbass, drums, rhythm guitar and Hammond organ,” Casady said. “All of thebasic tracks are being done live, so the Furman headphone system isconstantly in use, and it really makes everyone feel comfortable. Evenwhen we do Ivan Neville’s vocal overdubs, we put a stereo mix ofthe basic tracks on one track and Ivan’s vocals on another. Thatway, he doesn’t need to keep bugging the engineer to adjust hislevels; he can just change them himself.”
For more on the system, visit www.furmansound.com.
Genex, Merging Technologies Form Alliance
Genex Audio and Merging Technologies have formed a strategic allianceto provide a seamless transition between sound acquisition andpost-production.
“Genex Audio is the world’s leading developer of multiformat digitalmultitrack recorders and converters,” said Genex president Kevin Brown.”Through our close co-operation with Merging Technologies, we havedeveloped a series of unique interchange tools that will dramaticallyreduce the time needed to exchange data between our products.”
Extensions to the MADI (Multichannel Audio Digital Interface) AES-10standard protocol will allow a conventional MADI interface to transmitand receive up to 24 channels of DSD data between Pyramix and eitherthe GX9000 Series Multiformat converters. “Optional plug-in MADI cardsfor our recorders and converters use optical-fiber interconnects tocarry digital audio data hundreds of meters with no interference,”Brown said.
Both companies support the DSD IFF and AES31 file formats, and havedeveloped extensions to the AES31 interface to support multichannel DSDrecordings. “The new GX9000 and GX9048 Digital Multitrack Recorders arenow capable of generating Pyramix-formatted waveform files during therecord process,” Brown said. “A disk drive can now be hot-swapped froma GX9000 or GX9048 recorders to a Pyramix workstation for direct accessto waveform editing and plug-in tools.”
“While multichannel transmission of up to eight channels of DSDaudio signals is possible with transmission mediums based on existingAES/EBU- or SDIF-format I/Os,” said Claude Cellier, president ofMerging Technologies, “clearly the industry needs a more practicaltransmission standard–even more so as the first DSD products withcapacities in the range of 16 to 48 channels are being rolled out. Weare very pleased to see Genex adopt the DSD-M format, which is based onwell-proven, reliable and cost-effective MADI technology.”
Great River Introduces ME-1NV Preamp
Great River Electronics’ (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) ME-1NV ($1,499)single-channel preamplifier is designed to bring the classic ’70svintage sound to project and personal studios. The ME-1NV offersidentical performance and specifications to its dual-channelpredecessor, the MP-2NV “Mercenary Edition,” to re-create the vintagesound of the Neve 1073 preamp.
The ME-1NV is a product of a collaboration between Great RiverElectronics, Mercenary Audio and Sowter Transformers. Thecustom-designed Sowter transformers and modern components result in alower noise floor, extended frequency response and superior bassclarity.
The front panel includes a 12-position, gold-plated gain controladjustable in 5dB steps from 5 dB to 60 dB, and an output-amplifiercontinuous gain control that can be adjusted from -25 dB to +10 dB,providing an overall maximum gain of 70 dB. The front-panel 1/4-inch,hi-Z instrument input feeds an input transformer and a unique FETbuffer amplifier. The output amplifier is a single-ended proprietarytransformer-coupled design. Switches are provided for phantom power andsignal polarity, as well as input impedance selection between 1,200ohms and 300 ohms, and output transformer loading in/out. Dual six-LEDladders allow the metering of both the second amplifier and outputstages and the optimization of levels through the device. The fullybalanced inputs and outputs are accessed via rear-panel XLR connectors,and a TRS patch jack allows users to insert a compressor or equalizerahead of the output amplifier. A 1/4-inch, -10dbV output jack can beused to feed a no-latency monitor mix.
Fore more, visit www.greatriverelectronics.com.
BIAS Unveils Peak 4
At NAB, BIAS showed Peak 4, an upgrade to the stereo waveform-editingapplication for Macs. New features in Peak 4 include support for AudioUnit plug-ins, multiprocessor support, Redbook CD burning from withinPeak, new DSP tools (PureVerb, Bit Usage, Squeez) and much more.
Peak’s graphic user interface has been streamlined and sports abrushed-metal look. The upgrade is also a Mac OS X-only app, allowingusers to take advantage of the OS X-only services within OS X.
“Peak 4 really raises the bar for editing and mastering professionalaudio on the Macintosh platform,” said Jason Davies, VP of worldwidesales for BIAS. “Peak 4 really represents what a Macintosh user lovesand expects from a professional audio-editing experience. And, theaddition of powerful new features really does make this the mostexciting revision of Peak ever.”
Peak 4 will be available Q2 of this year with a SRP of $499; Version4 of Peak LE and Peak DV will be available soon thereafter. Upgrades toPeak 4 are $149. Customers who purchase Peak/Peak LE/Peak DV 3 afterApril 1 will receive a free upgrade. For additional productinformation, head on over to www.bias-inc.com.
Club Mobius Powered by Turbosound
For the past three years, Los Angeles-based Club Mobius has been usinga Turbosound rig that, according to club owner and promoter RobertDiaz, can be heard for some considerable distance.
In the main room, eight Turbosound Floodlight Series TFL-760H activethree-way, mid-high enclosures are combined with eight TSW-718 dual18-inch low-frequency speakers and four TSW-124 single 24-inchsubwoofer units; the system is powered by 20,000 watts of QSCamplifiers. A pair of TSE-111 two-way enclosures and a pair of single18-inch bass units cover a smaller lounge and dance studio upstairs.XTA, BSS and Turbosound processors provide speaker controlthroughout.
“You can walk a block-and-a-half and the floor is still vibrating,through several buildings,” said Diaz. “Those are the best basscabinets for low frequencies. Four will do a stadium, really.”
Although Club Mobius has played host to top DJs, Diaz and hisbusiness partner Christian Manchester have turned the Mobius ArtsPerformance Center into a black-box space that is equal parts gallery,performance space and traditional DJ-friendly nightclub venue. “We’vebeen developing Mobius over the last year-and-a-half, doing specialevents, gallery shows, one-off events,” said Diaz. But the club is onlya small part of the pair’s business ventures, which revolves aroundWhump Sound, the duo’s sound, lighting and production company.
Sigma Electronics Offers New Line of Audio Signal-ManagementTools
At NAB, Sigma Electronics unveiled its OctaStream family of AESdigital audio signal-management products. Designed to cost-effectivelyaddress 8-channel audio and the integration of AES and multichanneldigital audio into a DTV stream, the OctaStream family consists of theDA5320 mixer and subframe router, the DA5315 variable delaycompensator, the DA5325 sample-rate converter and the SG5605audio-reference generator.
The series is designed for Sigma’s new S5000 signal-managementframe, which allows full, unrestricted access to all modules, and isalso capable of hot-swapping of all modules and power supplies. Thehigh-density frame holds up to 10 modules, each with 10 connectors, andallows module status indicators to be fully viewable when the door isinstalled.
The DA5320 offers timing, mixing and synchronizing solutions foreight individual audio channels from four AES input streams. The unitderives its timing reference from AES input 1/2. The DA5315 setsvariable delay up to 10 seconds for each of four independent AESsignals on eight channels, and allows delay to be selected in units ofseconds or NTSC/PAL frames. The DA5325 serves as the audio equivalentof a video frame synchronizer. The module is designed to retime fourasynchronous AES inputs to a local reference while maintaining perfectphase. DA5325 allows selectable conversion of sample rates from 28 to108 kHz to 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz or can be steered by anexternal reference. Finally, the SG5605 tracks audio channels bygenerating AES tone/silence with eight audible channel identifiers. Itcan operate as stand-alone or may be locked to a master videoreference. The unit can generate simultaneous outputs of tone andsilence, and features a user-selectable ID timing period that can beturned on or off on a channel-by-channel basis.
All of the modules feature front-panel controls for basicfunctionality, and include GUI software to control all of theunits’ functions when paired with the optional CI705 controlinterface module.
“There are many systemic technical issues associated with digitalaudio, and if engineers haven’t faced them yet, they will befacing them soon,” said Nigel Spratling, president of SigmaElectronics. “Among them is the fact that the timing relationshipbetween digital video and digital audio is the one that often goesawry. Also, if stations want to deliver a digital multichannel stream,how are they going to manage, manipulate and deliver the content? Theseare just some of the questions that OctaStream was designed toanswer.”
For more, visit www.sigmaelectronics.com.
Soundminer 3.0 Geared for OS X
Soundminer Inc. (Toronto) announced its new flagship application,Soundminer 3.0, for both OS 9 and OS X and with advanced support forboth Steinberg’s Nuendo (Mac-only) and Digidesign’s ProTools 6 and DigiBase.
“We realized with the move over to OS X, we had an opportunity toadd things we had wanted to add for some time,” said Soundminer’sSteve Pecile. Most notable advancements include Nuendo 2.0 and ProTools 6 support; metadata support for DigiBase and The Pool; BWAVsupport; multichannel support, including the ability to spot surroundtracks; and the new multiple spot feature, which allows users to “layup” multiple files to a Nuendo/Pro Tools track.
Soundminer 3.0 works with all Digidesign session formats from 5.1.1up and with all levels from LE through to Pro Tools 6 HD/TDM systems,as well as Nuendo 1.5 to 2.0 systems (Mac-only).
For more information, visit www.soundminer.com.
Yamaha Adds to Mini-YGDAI Expansion Cards
Yamaha Pro Audio has expanded its line of Mini-YGDAI expansion cardswith the introduction of the MY16 Series. The three new cards arecapable of supporting up to 16 channels of simultaneous ADAT, AES/EBUand TDIF formats, respectively, via a single expansion slot located onthe Yamaha 02R96 and 01V96 digital audio consoles.
All 16 channels can be used independently at sample rates up to 48kHz. The MY16 Series can also be “channel-stacked,” providing eightchannels of I/O at 88.2 or 96 kHz.
For more, head on over to www.yamaha.com/proaudio.
Country Music Hall Adds Artifacts
Nashville-based Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is makingchanges to its exhibit, “Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through CountryMusic,” depicting a chronological story of country music’s history fromthe 19th century to present day.
According to VP of museum services Lauren Bufferd, artifacts areperiodically returned from the exhibit cases to the archives anddifferent items take their place on display. Among the items to bereturned to archives are Minnie Pearl’s signature hat and LorettaLynn’s homemade dress. New additions are expected to be completed forthe 32nd Annual Fan Fair celebration to be held in downtown Nashvillefrom June 5 to 8, 2003.
New additions include Chet Atkins’ D’Angelico guitar; the DelmoreBrothers’ 1942 018-T Martin tenor guitar and 1940 000-18 Martin guitar;Cora Cline’s hammered dulcimer; Cliffie Stone’s three-neck classicalguitar; Pearl’s bronze Country Music Hall of Fame plaque; a Jim Reeves’costume; the dress Lynn wore to Opry statesman and Country Music Hallof Famer Roy Accuf’s 80th birthday gala; Don Law’s (head of ColumbiaRecords’ country music division in the 1950s and ’60s) black-leatherstudio logbook; Roger Miller’s Gibson classical guitar (serial#127647); Ernest Tubb’s Ernest Tubb Radio Song Book No. 2: 20Favorites; and many others.
For more, visit www.countrymusichalloffame.com.
Music Choice Reaches Royalty Agreement
Music Choice announced a joint settlement with the RIAA, AmericanFederation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and AmericanFederation of Musicians (AFM) for royalty rates and terms through 2007;the agreement covers the time period of January 1, 2002, to December31, 2007.
Music Choice provides cable and satellite customers with 54 channelsof commercial-free, CD-quality music 24 hours a day. Headquartered inHorsham, Pa., the service is a partnership among subsidiaries ofMicrosoft, Motorola, Sony Corporation of America, Warner Music Group,EMI Music, Adelphia Cable Communications, Comcast Cable Communications,AT&T Broadband, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable.
Also joining in the settlement were other cable/satellitemusic-subscription services, DMX Music and Muzak. Theagreement–submitted as a petition to the U.S. Copyright Office,which must officially ratify the terms–was recently published inthe Federal Register. The organization SoundExchange will beresponsible for collecting royalties from these digital music channelsand distributing them to artists, record companies and other copyrightholders.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the music industrygroups that provides us with license terms and avoids costly andtime-consuming arbitration,” said David J. Del Beccaro, president andCEO of Music Choice.
For more information on the service, visit www.musicchoice.com.
Martin Audio Completes W8L System
Martin Audio (Kitchener, Ontario) will introduce the new compact W8LSLine Array Subwoofer at InfoComm in early June; this product completesits W8L Line Array system.
The W8LS is a dedicated, high-performance, sub-bass system designedto augment the low-frequency output of the W8L in large-scaleapplications where the sub-bass enclosures must be flown. It’sphysically identical to the W8L and features the same proprietaryrigging system, allowing flown arrays to be constructed rapidly andsafely.
Featuring a high-power, dual-long excursion 18-inch direct radiatordesign, the W8LS produces 138dB continuous and 144dB peak from a singlehalf-space unit; it has an extended response of 32 Hz to 180 Hz,±3 dB, and a usable response to 28 Hz (-10 dB). The cabinet hastwin, 1,000-watt 18-inch (460mm) drive units with magnet structure andsuspensions engineered for maximum linear excursion. The drivers arereflex-loaded by ports at either end of the enclosure, and substantialinternal bracing is employed to minimize energy absorption by thecabinet walls.
For more information about the W8L, visit www.martin-audio.com.
Calvary Chapel Chooses Blue Sky Surround System
Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, a 3,650-seat facility, is one ofFlorida’s largest modern worship venues, featuringstate-of-the-art audio/video recording capabilities along withextensive live sound and lighting systems. The Chapel recently added aBlue Sky 5.1 surround monitoring system, which was purchased fromHarris Audio of Miami in 2002, and the speakers were installed inCalvary Chapel’s in-house recording studio, which also features anew Pro Tools|HD system and a Neve V Series console.
Calvary Chapel is beginning to do onsite recording and mixing forlive DVD release, entitled Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale Live. The DVDpresents a night of worship music performed by the church’s choirand band, with release set for early 2003. “We knew that we’d bemoving more into DVD and surround audio formats in the future,” saidMichael Grosso, chief sound engineer for Calvary Chapel, who mixed boththe live sound and the recordings. “I had been introduced to the BlueSky monitors by Mike Harris, of Harris Audio in Miami, who really ravedabout their performance. But what clinched it for me was hearing themperform, which I was able to do at Spectrum Recording Studios, a studioin Ft. Lauderdale that has Blue Skys installed. I was knocked out bythem there, and they sound just as good here.
“Also,” continued Grosso, “I like the fact that the Blue Skyspeakers are very well-balanced: They’re pleasant to listen tobut not hyped, so you can work on them a long time but still knowyou’re getting an accurate playback. They’re a greatspeaker system.”
Eventide Names New Director of Product Management
Eventide (Little Ferry, N.J.) announced that pro audio industryveteran David Fournier has recently joined the company as director ofproduct management. Fournier will be responsible for overseeing everyaspect of product design, engineering and implementation.
“David brings to Eventide more than 10 years of experience on themanufacturing side of the industry,” said Ray Maxwell, Eventide’s VP ofsales and marketing. “His integral knowledge of product development andmanufacturing processes are essential for our success in bringing thesemany new products to market. With the introduction of our ClockworksLegacy plug-ins, the Reverb 2016 and Plugzilla, and a new generation ofLinux-based digital voice loggers for the Communications division,David will play an integral role in making sure these products arebuilt with the feature set that our customers demand, as well asidentifying opportunities and developing new products for thefuture.”
“I am thrilled to join a company as well-respected as Eventide,”commented Fournier. “Eventide has a strong heritage of technologicalleadership in professional audio, communications and avionics, andcontinues to remain a leading innovator. I look forward to contributingmy knowledge and experience to help continue that rich tradition intothe future.”
Fournier was recently at Line 6, where he was the pro audio productmanager.
For more, visit www.eventide.com.
L-Acoustics U.S. Launches Pro-Tour Seasoning LeasingProgram
L-Acoustics U.S. (Oxnard, Calif.), in partnership with Accent Leasing,announced a new leasing program created for the professional touringsound reinforcement industry.
Known as the Pro-Tour Seasonal Leasing Program, the L-Acoustics U.S.financing plan differs from other leasing programs by being based onthe typical seasonal cash flow common to the sound reinforcement/rentalbusiness. With this program, the lessee makes payments for nine monthsof the year, and then only makes $100 maintenance payments in December,January and February: the three months when cash flow from touroperations ebbs to the lowest point. This allows the tour sound companyto more appropriately focus remaining cash flow on other operationalcosts during that period.
“With our new leasing program, touring companies have the financialpower to get the gear they need on a payment plan that truly makessense for their industry,” said L-Acoustics U.S. director of sales andmarketing Paul Freudenberg. “We currently offer five complete systempackages that combine our various respected speaker systems withrigging, cabling and amplification, as well as two packages sans theamplifiers. Companies can also choose to customize packages to meetspecific needs if they wish. Whatever the case, all systems are readyfor immediate delivery.”
For more information on the Pro-Tour Seasonal Leasing Program,contact Freudenberg at [email protected].
Motown Songwriting Team to be Inducted Into RockWalk
Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland, known as thearchitects of the Motown Sound, will be inducted into the HollywoodRockWalk on Monday, May 12, 2003 at noon.
The trio, whose hits include “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Reach Out I’llBe There,” “How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You,” “You Keep Me Hangingon,” and “Stop! In the Name of Love,” among others, have composed morethan 200 songs, 130 of which have scored on the pop charts, with morethan 70 Top 10 hits and more than 20 songs reaching the Number Onechart position.
The songwriters will also be honored as the 2003 BMI ICON recipientsand will receive their awards at the 51st Annual BMI Pop Awards dinneron May 13 “in recognition of their unique and indelible influence ongenerations of musicmakers.”
For more, visit www.rockwalk.com.
Apple Unveils Music Download Service
SAN FRANCISCO–At a press conference held April 28, 2003, Appleannounced its new music digital download service, dubbed iTunes MusicStore and making use of the company’s iTunes music jukeboxsoftware.
According to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, ” The Internet is built for musicdelivery,” and the subscription services currently online are the wrongpath. Garnering licensing deals with the five major labels, iTunesMusic Store currently offers 200,000 high-fidelity tracks, with moreadded daily. Features include: unlimited CD burns (though a user mustmodify the playlist after every 10 burns); compatibility with anunlimited number of iPod portable MP3 players; the ability to use thedownloaded music with other “i” software; and the provision to play onup to three Macs at once via OS X’s Rendevous software. This lastfeature allows the user to stream–not download–anotheruser’s playlist (as long as he/she is using iTunes jukebox) to his/hercomputer.
Unlike the subscription services, users can preview a 30-secondsnippet of a desired track (AAC-encoded at 128 kbps) for free and thenpurchase that track for $0.99 (or $9.99 for an entire album). Creditcard charges are made via Apple’s one-click shopping, where a user’scard is charged each time a purchase is made.
Other features of the new service include original CD artwork; theability to browse by genre, artist or album; exclusive tracks from 20(and growing) artists; streaming video; and links to artists’Websites.
Available immediately, the currently Mac-only (Windows compatibilityis expected at the end of this year) service is available as a freedownload at www.applemusic.com; there is a free softwareupgrade for iPod users who need to upload iTunes 4.
Other product announcements at the conference included Version 3 ofiPod, which includes a headphone jack, FireWire and USB2 cables ($19accessory cable for USB2 expected in June), a dock to connect it to auser’s computer, a Mac and Windows version in one box; AutoSync, AACdecoding, on-the-go playlists and a personalized main menu. Levelsinclude 10 GB for $299, holding 2,500 songs; 15 GB for $300, 3,700songs; or 30 GB for $499, 7,500 songs.
Stax Museum of American Soul to Open Shortly
The Stax Museum of American Soul Music (Memphis) will have its grandopening today and May 1, 2003. “Soul Comes Home” is the theme for theinternational celebration that will include concerts, artist tributesand reunions, conference luncheons, a benefit celebrity golftournament, tours and the movie premiere of the digitally remasteredWattStax.
Scheduled to appear during the three-day event are Stax soul legendsIsaac Hayes, Mavis Staples, Booker T & The MGs, Eddie Floyd, CarlaThomas, William Bell, The Bar-Kays, The Temprees, Big Star, the RanceAllen Group, The MarKeys (also known as the Memphis Horns), LittleMilton, Mable John, Jean Knight and Linda Lyndell. Hi Records recordingartist Ann Peebles, Wilson Pickett, Bootsy Collins, Solomon Burke,Jimmie Vaughan, Warren Haynes (of the Allman Brothers), Luther Vandrossand many others will join in the celebration, with posthumous tributesto Stax powerhouses Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor and Rufus Thomas.
With over 17,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Stax Museum willpreserve, promote, interpret and present the life and culturalcontributions of soul music. The Museum’s state-of-the-art,acoustically treated music exhibitory will outline the roots ofAmerican soul music, its significant contributors, its alignment tohistory and heritage, and its enduring presence in society. On theoriginal site of Stax Recording Company’s studios, the museumwill house archives and over 2,000 artifacts of the soul music labeland its artists.
Part of a $20 million revitalization project, the museum is adjacentto the 27,000-square-foot Stax Music Academy that provides urban youthmusic programming and lessons.
For more, visit www.soulsvilleusa.com.
Synchronicity-Music Adds Blue Sky Monitoring
Synchronicity-Music Inc.–a hard disk recording-basedproject-type facility, located in a comfortable homeyatmosphere–offers services such as music composition andrecording and audio for television, film and commercials. The studiorecently purchased Blue Sky System One 2.1 speakers from RSPE, aHollywood-based pro audio resource.
“I’ve never encountered a speaker in this price range orhigher, in many cases, that covers the entire spectrum so fully and sosmoothly,” said Graham Ward, owner and producer at Synchronicity-Music.Ward, also a drummer who has worked with such artists as Paul McCartneyand Tom Jones, as well as a mainstream session musician in London forsome 25 years, said that the types of music that have passed throughSynchronicity-Music have varied: Collaborating with music colleaguesMike “Smidi” Smith and Brian Steckler, Ward and Synchronicity-Musichave created and produced theme music for the Fox network’sNascar broadcasts, as well as worked with artists on Sony Records,Capitol Records, Atlantic Records and J Records, including recenttracks for O-Town and Play. The studio has also done audio-for-videowork for cable television companies including Showtime, MTV andVH1.
“What we’re getting is a tremendously broad range of projects,from urban music that requires low frequencies to perform well, totelevision, in which an entire frequency spectrum has to be compressedinto a smaller dynamic range, but still sound good,” Ward said. “TheBlue Sky 2.1 system was the only speaker system that could cover thiswide a range of projects and give us clear, clean and accuratemonitoring. They do it with no ear fatigue and, remarkably, they soundas good and are as accurate at either high or low volumes.”
For more information on Synchronicity-Music, call 818/505-5522.Check out the Blue Sky Systems at www.abluesky.com.
Technical Data From BSS Available Within Stardraw
BSS Audio (Nashville) announced that the full complement of technicaldata on all of its products can now be accessed from within Stardrawdesign and documentation packages via URL links within symbols.
BSS Audio has supplied Stardraw with links to dynamic pages on itsWebsite that use a script to give users instant and specific access toall available online product data through a single mouse click. Forexample, a single click on the appropriate link within the symbol forBSS’ Soundweb device takes users straight to the online data files forthat product, at which point they can view tech specs, DFX files,images and much more.
According to David Neal, marketing manager for BSS Audio’s worldwideheadquarters in the UK, “This is a prime example of how technology isintegrating in order to deliver an even more efficient and streamlinedservice to our customers. To be able to retrieve all of our technicalinformation from within a design and documentation package is a hugelypowerful tool and an extremely modern and forward-thinking solutionthat is clearly of great benefit to all concerned. Stardraw hasharnessed the power of the Web to enhance its service, and we, in turn,are able to make use of that to provide customers with access to all ofthe information they could possibly require on our products with justone click of the mouse.”
For more, visit BSS online at www.bss.co.uk.
PrimeSounds Releases New Sample CD
PrimeSounds has released a new sample CD entitled Metriam, whichis packed with ancient ambiences, ritual rhythms and shaman soundeffects.
The CD comes as .REX2 (and compatible applications), .WAV and audio,and can be played in any CD player or computer.
More info about Metriam can be found at www.primesounds-cd.com/metriam.html.
John Oram Restructures Company
John Oram announced the establishment of the Alphabet Belmont Group ofwhich he is currently chairman and managing director.
“The changes in the global economy have demanded a more streamlinedbusiness operation, and our new development incorporates more advancedtechnology in our offices and in our factories,” said Oram. “Our entiremarketing and product promotion is now tuned to higher volumes, yetstill retaining our high-end ‘Made in England’ quality. The TridentAudio and Oram Pro products are still made in their respectivefactories, although procurement and stock management are now combined;sales and marketing are also combined, as are the group accounts.”
Oram also announced his new recording studio, which has beencompletely redesigned and now known as John Oram’s Analogue Barn; itwas previously called the Old Forge Barn. As part of the redesign, Oramhas installed new multitrack tape machines, along with a plentifulassortment of outboard from the ’70s. “The sound is totally stunning.Many artists from the ’70s and ’80s are booking time to re-create theoriginal sound quality that made their hits,” commented Oram. Recentprojects include mastering a single with P.J. Proby, due for releaselater this year.
Soundart Releases Fahrenheit for Chameleon
Soundart announced the first full release of the dance music modulesoftware, Fahrenheit, for the Chameleon platform, a fullyreprogrammable DSP-based rack unit.
The final release of Fahrenheit includes a multitude of routingoptions and new production features, such as a freely assignableresonant KeyFilter and audio input to the mixer section. Otherhighlights include: emulation of Roland’s dance music production tools,the TR909 and TR808 drum machines and two TB303 bass synths, with allparameters; every sound (including the individual drums) can beprocessed independently through the mixer section; the mixer sectionhas 26 channels, one for every sound source, with two FX inserts, twoFX auxiliaries, and stereo panning and volume; and totally flexiblemixing and routing options to filter, distort and compress individualsounds of any combination of sounds, as well as Reverb FX and threedelays.
Mixer inserts feature four compressor and four distortion units, aswell as a global resonant KeyFilter for sonic sculpting. Users cantrigger the KeyFilter envelope from a MIDI keyboard, while mappingfrequency across the octaves. Users can input any line-level audio intothe Fahrenheit mixer to route alongside the internal sounds.
Fahrenheit is available now as a free download for Chameleon userson Soundart’s Website, www.soundart-hot.com/english/users1_4.htm.
Maserati Relies on A/V SAN
Mix engineer Tony Maserati has been using a Studio Network Solutions’Fibre Channel-based A/V SAN drive system on sessions with BeyonceKnowles, Christina Aguilera and Destiny’s Child.
“I transfer files either from CDs or SCSI hotswaps,” said Maserati.”Whole projects fit on one A/V SAN drive, which allows me to manageeverything completely and easily. On the recent Christina Aguilerasessions, I never once had to think about the drive, which is optimalfor me. No matter what stress I put on the A/V SAN, it simply neverstops working.
“I have my own A/V SAN that I cart around with me from studio tostudio,” continued Maserati. “I will not go into a session without it.I don’t have to do anything! I don’t ever have toinitialize or defrag the drives. In fact, I’ve never defraggedthe drives and I’ve had it for a year-and-a-half. It worksflawlessly every single day of the week, and I work a minimum of sixdays a week.”
The A/V SAN can deliver 128 tracks of 24-bit/48k audio from a singledrive. Featuring up to 400 MB/s of throughput and concurrent access formulti-users, the unit also allows simultaneous data backup while usingthe drives. The A/V SAN package includes a 1U enclosure, up to fourFibre Channel drives, a Studio Network Solutions’ PCI card, custom SNSsoftware and optical cables.
Find out more at www.studionetworksolutions.com.
ICIA Focuses on Importance of A/V at InfoComm
The International Communications Industries Association Inc hasannounced funds for a three-year, $1.2 million industry awarenesscampaign, branded “AVolution,” to promote the contributions ofAudiovisual Solutions Providers (AVSPs) to the success of professionalcommunications and presentations. The awareness campaign will launch atInfoComm, May 31 to June 6, 2003, at the Orange County ConventionCenter in Orlando, Fla.
ICIA will conduct the AVolution campaign through its InternationalCommunications Industries Foundation (ICIF), a non-profit charitableand educational organization chartered to support the A/Vcommunications industry.
ICIA and ICIF representatives will contact broadcasters and videoprofessionals, among others, to demonstrate the practical and creativeuses of A/V technology.
“ICIA is active in 60 countries, and everywhere we go, we see newand exciting applications of A/V. Although the A/V industry isubiquitous, it’s often misunderstood and taken for granted,” saidRandal A. Lemke, Ph.D., ICIA’s executive director. “Through thiscampaign, we want to open customers’ eyes and ears to theimportance and necessity of A/V technology to modern communications,and to recognize the professionals who design and integrate permanentinstallations, as well as event systems that support meetings andconferences.”
For more, visit ICIA at www.icia.org.