News December 1 - 15
Canadian Theater Installs InnovaSon Console
The Centre in the Square (Kitchener, Ontario) has installed anInnovaSon Sy80 digital live mixing console in its Raffi ArmenianTheatre. The first of its type to be installed in Canada, the Sy80console will be used to mix a wide variety of performances.
The console was selected to replace a vintage analog console at thetheater for a combination of reasons, as chief engineer Bob Luffmanexplained: "The space occupied by the console is in the midst of theseating, which is at a premium. The Sy80 has a much smaller footprintand for many events has freed up a number of seats for payingcustomers. The physical compactness is also important, as I need accessto console functions without a lot of physical movement that mightdistract patrons around me. We regularly put on shows with a rock bandbacked by an orchestra and need the full 80 inputs. The auditorium'ssound system is designed for zone coverage, which requires a consolewith a large matrix output capability. Also, the versatility of theconsole is important to us because we do so many different forms ofentertainment.
"The learning curve was very quick and the digital console can do somany more things than an analog console," he continued. "'ExpandedFaders' is a fantastic design implementation. For large shows, thewhole mic layout is within my immediate reach. Things like 'Copy/Paste1'OverRAM' and working offline are other great features that save a lotof time. A lot of the local shows we do have the same basic setups fromyear to year, so the time saved in being able to recall shows isinvaluable. By setting up templates to cover many different situations,it is very quick and easy to organize an event."
The Sy80 was installed by Sennheiser Canada, which already sold morethan 20 InnovaSon digital consoles in the country. "We are very excitedabout the prospects for the Sy80," reported Marc Vincent, VP sales andmarketing for Sennheiser Canada. "Four years' worth of market feedbackhas been incorporated into the new console, but what's so great is thatthe Sy80 retains the simplicity and ease of use of the earlier consolesdespite the increased feature set. We are at the dawn of the digitalconsole revolution in live sound but things are really starting toaccelerate now and the Sy80 is set to do extremely well."
The theater/auditorium is home to the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony,whose 52-member orchestra presents 70 concerts each season. All 2,047seats enjoy clear unobstructed views of the stage and the acoustics canbe adjusted according to the type of production being staged. Thetheater is designed to handle Wagner's Ring Cycle (140-piece orchestraplus chorus) and a variety of other events from rock to Broadway showsto one-man stand-up shows. Recent shows include a Saturday NightFever musical, David Copperfield's magic act and an evening withEric Idle of Monty Python.
For more information, visit InnovaSon's distributor, Sennheiser, atwww.sennheiserusa.com.
Stardraw.com Launches New Website
Software providers Stardraw.com launched its brand-new Website, www.stardraw.com,which boasts a re-worked navigational structure, back-end enhancementsand new capabilities and scalability to the many new Web services thatare part of Stardraw.com's ongoing strategy.
CEO David Snipp outlined the key back-end improvements:"Stardraw.com is a highly complex site that delivers huge amounts ofinformation to thousands of people every day, so efficiency andreliability are top priorities for us. To this end, we have made asignificant investment in new hardware to run the site and establishednew racks of dedicated servers in both Seattle and London offeringreplicated services. For the end-user, this means 24/7 uptime andoptimized global access times. We have also implemented SQL Server 2000databases across multiple dedicated machines to support Stardrawapplications. This has huge strategic implications, but for right now,it means faster data access, scalability, faster data transmission overincreased bandwidth and improved fault tolerance. We've also improvedthe LiveUpdate process whereby users of our shrink-wrapped applicationsinstall all-new monthly program updates. In this enhancement, newcompression techniques mean faster download and installation. We'vealso enhanced fault-tolerance offering improved error handling and alsogreater portability with improved platform support and browserindependence."
Cerwin-Vega! Opens China Office
Cerwin-Vega! has opened an office in the Dongguan, Guangdon region ofChina. Headed by industry veteran Jason Echols, the new office willserve as the Asian component of the new Cerwin-Vega! infrastructurebeing built.
By opening a regional office, Cerwin-Vega! can assess localmanufacturing capabilities, place quality control staff at all of itsvendors to ensure that quality standards are met, optimize logisticsprocesses so that product reaches the U.S. headquarters andinternational customers in a timely and cost-effective manner possibleand provide an Asian base of operations to implement a regional salesand marketing strategy.
For more information, visit www.cerwin-vega.com.
WCPO Cincinnati Orders Second Euphonix System 5
WCPO-TV9 in Cincinnati, Ohio, an ABC affiliate station, has purchasedits second Euphonix System 5-B digital broadcast console in less thantwo years.
Joe Martinelli, director of engineering, said, "We have always beenvery impressed with the 32-fader System 5-B that we purchased nearlytwo years ago. After doing a comprehensive review of the consoles thatwere on the market, the System 5-B stayed at the top of our list. We'vereally appreciated how dependable our first System 5-B has been and thecustomer support that we've received with it. In addition, the consoleis very easy to use: Switching operators is not a challenge."
The newly purchased 24-fader System 5-B will be used in thetelevision's production studio B for broadcasting programs such asSports of all Sorts, Around the House and HotSeat.
For more information, visit Euphonix at www.euphonix.com.
TerraSonde Launches New Interactive Website
TerraSonde's new corporate Website, www.terrasonde.com, features drop-down menus, aninteractive user support forum, news and information, online productregistration, online unlock code request form and an expanded sectionon the Institute for Audio Excellence (TerraSonde and Auralex's virtualaudio training facility).
"We want to provide prospective users and current end-users a wealthof information about our Toolboxes, but also general audio andacoustics as well. Our plans are to continue to develop our Websiteinto a robust audio-focused information portal," said Patrick O'Neal,director of marketing and sales at TerraSonde.
Mississippi World Trade Center Honors Hartley Peavey
The Mississippi World Trade Center honored Hartley Peavey, founder andCEO of Peavey Electronics Corporation, with its Guy Tozzoli "PeaceThrough Trade" Distinguished Leadership Award at its annual meeting inJackson, Miss.
"This award has a special meaning," said Liles Williams, formerMississippi World Trade Center president and current Board treasurer."It was created to honor a company or leader who best demonstrates thegoals of the World Trade Center: promoting peace and stability throughinternational commerce. Hartley Peavey keeps raising the bar forinternational companies, and he is a constant role model forMississippi entrepreneurs."
"I appreciate this recognition," said Peavey, "but I only startedthis company. All of this certainly was not just my doing, so on behalfon everyone at Peavey Electronics, I thank you for this award. When Istarted this company 38 years ago, people said, 'Hartley, you'recrazy.' Maybe they were right. If someone told me we would be puttingaudio systems in Heathrow Airport's new terminal in London or in theSydney Opera House, I would've thought they were crazy, too, but that'sexactly what we've done."
Peavey and keynote speaker James Bagley, chairman and CEO of LamResearch Corporation, also addressed specific problems facingMississippi and the United States, including the growing trade deficitwith overseas nations and the exporting of American manufacturing jobs."The challenge has been significant in the past, but it will be evengreater in the future," said Peavey. "Today, our competitors are Chinaand Indonesia. We're not just competing with companies, but withcountries. It's a battle we can win. There's an old song that goes,'You can make it if you try.' Peavey Electronics is an example of thetruth of those words."
For more, visit www.peavey.com.
Final Winners Announced for BLUE Silly SongwritingContest
Dr. Demento has chosen the top three winners of BLUE Microphones' SillySummer Songfest.
Winning first price was Tex Brasher from Silver City, N.M., with his"Wanda the Dancing Cook." Brashear won a BLUE Baby Bottle microphonewith pop and shockmount and a Blueberry mic cable. Stephanie Szostekfrom Westminster, Colo., took home second price for her "Pizza ofLove." She received a BLUE Ball mic and Blueberry mic cable. Winningthird price for his "One Blue-Eyed Diner," Kent Ippolito fromFredericksburg, Virg., received three BLUE Blueberry mic cables.
BLUE announced that it will be posting online downloads of the Top10 finalists' works, as well as limited-edition CDs available from BLUEretailers.
For more information, visit www.bluemic.com.
Lexicon Pro Ships Omega Desktop Recording Studio
Lexicon Pro, a Harman International company, announced that it isshipping its Omega Desktop Recording Studio. Omega Studio is anintegrated computer recording system that includes the Omega 8x4x2 USBI/O mixer, ProTracks Plus!" 32-track recording software, BIAS Deck SEand Lexicon's reverb plug-in Pantheon.
The Omega 8x4x2 USB I/O mixer is based on a mixer paradigm andincludes input, output and mixing functions that support a variety oftracking/monitoring applications while requiring no additional mixinghardware. The Omega I/O mixer provides eight inputs that are assignablein pairs to any of four simultaneous record channels featuringultratransparent, high-resolution analog-to-digital converters. Two ofthe inputs feature extremely low-noise dbx mic preamps with 48-voltphantom power and TRS insert points. Four TRS active balanced lineinputs accept up to +22dBu signals to allow interfacing to eitherunbalanced or professional high-output level balanced equipment.Included is an S/PDIF input combined with an additional DAC for zerolatency, and direct monitoring of the S/PDIF source to allowsimultaneous tracking of analog and digital sources. A high-impedanceinstrument input is accessible on the front panel.
The Omega I/O mixer provides a peak indicator for each analog inputand an assignable bargraph meter for signal level monitoring. Bymonitoring the signal at the A/D converters, it avoids the problemswith software-only level monitoring that can miss clipping. The OmegaI/O mixer also includes a fully opto-isolated MIDI input to ensure thatthere is no annoying ground loop hum or MIDI talk-through noise. MIDIoutput syncs to USB frame rate.
ProTracks Plus is a 32-track recording suite that includes all themodules to track, edit, process, sequence and mix. It also includesnonlinear editing, plug-in support and acidized looping features, aswell as a full-featured MIDI sequencer with event editing, automationfeatures and soft synth support.
Omega Studio (street price: $349.99) is now available.
For more information, visit www.lexiconpro.com.
Steinberg Neundo Helps Out on Fuel Album
Post-grunge rockers Fuel have just released their latest CD, NaturalSelection, and relied on Steinberg's Nuendo as a hard disk recorderfor overdubs, as well as for all editing, comping and submixing.
"Pretty much every song had at least 100 tracks, all recorded at24-bit/96k resolution," said editor Fred Maher. "Nuendo wasunquestionably the only DAW out there that could handle a project likethis, and it ran flawlessly from start to finish." Producer MichaelBeinhorn concurred: "It's the most flexible DAW system I've encounteredfor doing digital recording and editing.
"For a DAW-based system, Nuendo's audio engine seems to be the bestthat I've heard; it's really outstanding," continued Beinhorn. "Michaeland [engineer] Frank [Filipetti] are famous for being extremely pickyabout sound quality," added Maher, "and about the effect of editing andprocessing on their tracks. When they were first auditioning Nuendoduring the making of Korn's Untouchables CD, as a test they hadme take some multitrack files and do random editing—just cut themto ribbons—then piece them back together again usingcrossfades.
"Crossfading is something that different DAWs handle in differentways," Maher continued, "but the way that Nuendo does it is superior.The drums on the Fuel album, for example, occupied at least 20 tracks,with both close mics and multiple pairs of room mics: close room mics,far room mics, pairs of overheads, pairs of mics behind the drummer. Itwas something that could have been a phase nightmare if everythingwasn't handled totally coherently by the editing process. When Ifinished the test edits, we did extensive A/B blind listening of boththe edited files and the original source tracks, and we could not tellthe difference at all pre- and post-editing. That was my moment oftruth regarding the sound quality of Nuendo."
For more information on Nuendo, visit www.steinberg.net.
Griffin Church Receives New Sound System
Recently, Griffin First Assembly of God moved into a new facilitylocated near the Atlanta airport. Television Production Service (TPS),a local professional lighting company, implemented lighting systems forthe new church, while members of Griffin's technical ministry installedthe video systems. dB Acoustics & Sound Inc. (Gainesville, Ga.)oversaw acoustics and the design and installation of the new audiosystems.
dB Acoustics & Sound's president Mike Hedden specified anexploded mono loudspeaker design. The center cluster is comprises fourSPL-td1s by Sound Physics Labs supplemented by two SPL-td1 subwoofers.The left and right cluster each feature an SPL-trik loudspeakercovering the extreme edges of the seating area, and an SPL B-DEAPsubwoofer for the low end. "The SPL B-DEAP subwoofers are trulyamazing!" Hedden said. "I am not aware of any other subwoofer systemthat can supply 118 dB at 30 Hz uniformly across a room that seats over3,000 people—with only two cabinets!"
Hedden, who has dubbed Griffin First Assembly of God the "biggestroom on the south side of Atlanta," is relying on SPL loudspeakers onan increasing basis. "The ratio between performance and the amount ofsignal processing is unparalleled, and the arrayability is off thescale," he said, noting that the speakers are designed with roomaesthetics in mind. "I want to have similar frequency responsethroughout the auditorium, and still for the amount of horsepower theyput out, they are extremely unobtrusive. Griffin's space is a veryperformance-oriented room with black ceilings and catwalks, but westill didn't want to forget about the aesthetics. These speakers justdisappear."
Additional equipment included two Yamaha 01V96 audio consoles linkedtogether at front of house. Monitoring is achieved through Aviompersonal monitoring systems.
Future Sonics Reduces Price on EM3
Future Sonics has lowered the price on its universal-fit Future SonicsEars!" model EM3 from $198 MSRP to $159 MSRP. If purchased beforeJanuary 30, 2004, the price is $99 when bought through the FutureSonics Online Store at www.futuresonics.com.
Future Sonics has also extended the "Dare to Compare" program, whereif a user purchases a set of Future Sonics Ears model EM3 and performsa own side-by-side comparison with other brands, if the EM3 does notoutperform, then the company will take them back within 30 days oforiginal purchase date. (This offer is subject to a 15-percentrestocking fee.)
Moog Calendar Marks 50 Years of Innovation
Moog Music announces its 2004 calendar, which celebrates 50 years ofmusic technology.
The full color, 12x12-inch hanging wall calendar features 12 monthsof current and vintage Moog photos, chronicling 50 years of the man andhis instruments. It is available from www.moogmusic.com.
DMT Rentals Supplies Gear for 'Peter Pan' Sessions
DMT Rentals supplied an array of high-precision converters to scoringengineer Shawn Murphyfor use during the recording of James NewtonHoward's score to Peter Pan, which is scheduled for releasewithin the U.S. this coming Christmas.
Equipment rented from DMT for the project included 32 channels ofPacific Microsonics Model Two 192kHz AD/DA converters; 64 channels ofGenex GXA8 and GXD8 192kHz converters, and 24 channels of dBTechnologies M.AD824 and M.DA824 96kHz converters.
For more information, visit DMT Rentals online at www.dmtrentals.com.
Sennheiser Mics Used at CMA Awards
At the 37th Annual CMA Awards, held November 5, 2003, at the Grand OleOpry House in Nashville, all but two of the vocal microphones featuredin 21 live performances were Sennheiser's, as were all of the wirelesslavalier mics. Among those performing at the show were Alison Krause,Patty Loveless, Martina McBride, George Strait and Darrel Worley, allof whom were mixed through an ATI Paragon PII Production console.
"There were 14 Sennheisers," said production mixer Pat Baltzell,whose Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Baltzell Audio has also been involvedwith the annual Academy Awards broadcast for many years and suchtelevised events as the opening and closing ceremonies of the WinterOlympic Games in 2002. "This is the only music award show that I'veseen where the majority of the wireless microphones were one brand. Andwe ended up using all of them."
Sennheiser 5000 Series wireless handheld vocal microphones andNeumann KK 105-S capsules for the telecast were supplied by KevinSanford's Wireless First. Jeff Drigette, based out of the company'sBoston office, was on hand to set up and maintain the RF systems, whichincluded Sennheiser EM 3032 receivers and MKE 2 lavalier microphonesand SK 5012 miniature beltpacks. Head broadcast mixer Mark Reppspecified the Sennheisers for the show.
The three-hour music awards show, telecast live on CBS, was thefirst outing for the custom-manufactured, 64-input ATI Paragon II. Themixing console was commissioned by Gaylord Entertainment Center, ownerand operator of the venue, to replace an 11-year-old ATI P40 desk.
"I told them that I would like to have the new console that wasscheduled to be put in place in time for the CMAs," said Baltzell, whowas the sound designer of the installed loudspeaker system in the hall."So they went ahead and expedited the shipping and installation. Itperformed just fine and the EQ worked great. I was basically doing thelive-to-track performances. I also did all the production mixing, allthe dialog—such as the awards, the podiums, the lavs, thevideotape inserts—all the housekeeping stuff of an awardsshow."
TerraTec Producer Now Shipping SINE SLM Series
TerraTec Producer is now shipping the SINE line's second offering: atrio of stereo line mixers. Housed in compact enclosures, the three newrack mixers cater to keyboardists seeking to premix their instrumentsonstage, guitarists who want to mix their effectors and recordistslooking for an ancillary mixer to lighten their main mixing console'sload.
The19-inch mixers offer a signal-to-noise ratio of >97 dB andfrequency response ranging from 20 to 20k Hz, ensuring incoming signalsare routed through with no signal loss. The SLM 82 sports eight inputchannels (or four stereo pairs), a master volume control and a balanceknob for each channel's pair of inputs. In addition, the SLE 82 offersan effects loop with a stereo return whose level may be adjusted foreach channel using a rotary knob. The SINE SLM 162 offers eight stereochannels with a total of 16 inputs and two outputs.
Now available, the mixers have an MSRP of $129 (SINE SLM 82), $159(SINE SLE 82) and $189 (SINE SLM 162).
For more, visit TerraTec Producer online at www.terratec.com.
New DVD Production, Post House Opens
Cloud Nineteen (West Los Angeles) is a new full-service DVD productionand post-production studio that specializes in four primary serviceareas: DVD design and authoring, motion graphics and compositing, sounddesign and music composition, and editing and finishing. In addition,the company will also offer DVD packaging design and duplicationservices. President/founder Scott Boutté will also be thecompany's DVD executive producer.
Cloud Nineteen's initial clients include DEJ Productions Inc., FirstLook Media Inc. and Velocity Home Entertainment. The new company isalso currently in discussions with several home entertainment divisionsof major studios and with leading home entertainment distributors toprovide future DVD production and post-production services.
In addition to Boutté, Cloud Nineteen's other principals areMichael Tucker, sound producer, and Andrea Morin, executive producer."We have established Cloud Nineteen as a full-service, one-stop-shopDVD production studio that is capable of providing state-of-the-artservice for any DVD-related need," said Boutté. "My partnersMichael and Andrea are brilliant production and post-productionexecutives, and I am confident that, together, our new company willquickly become a 'player' in the DVD arena."
Cloud Nineteen's suites are state-of-the-art and are equipped withPhillips 42-inch HD Plasma Cinema Displays for client viewing. The DVDSuite offers two Sonic DVD Creator workstations, Sony Digital andAnalog VTRs, and has digital routing and signal patching capabilities.The 5.1 surround sound Audio Suite offers Digidesign's Pro Tools, alongwith many other music production tools. The Audio Suite also has a4x8-foot recording booth with a Phillips HD flat panel to accommodateADR, original voice-over recordings, commentary tracks andsingle-instrument recording sessions. The Editorial Suite is equippedwith two Final Cut Pro 4 workstations using AJA's new I /O box thatallows for 10-bit uncompressed SD video capture, along with SonyDigiBeta and Beta SP decks for finishing.
The company is located at 3767 Overland Ave., Ste. 104, Los Angeles,CA 90034; 310/839-5400. For more information, visit www.cloud19.com.
Production Duo Relies on GML Gear for Hit Records
Producer Cory Rooney and engineer Peter Wade's recent projects thisyear have included Jennifer Lopez, Mark Anthony, Toni Braxton, TamarBraxton (Toni Braxton's younger sister) and Tarralyn Ramsey at theirPool House Studios in Long Island, N.Y.
"I've used all the GML gear for years now going back to my stint atSony's studios," Wade said. "I always find one or two 8200 EQs or 8300pre's in the great studios in L.A. and New York. When we designed MarkAnthony's personal studio, we installed both the GML 8304 4-channel micpreamp and GML 8200 equalizer. Both saw heavy use for vocals, drums andall percussion on his last salsa CD. I love them; it's quite possiblythe most powerful parametric EQ and best-sounding unit in the world. Weuse it on everything, but mostly we reserve it for mixdown—forthe final lead or background vocal EQ or across the mix bus whenprinting. I keep it patched on an insert in Pro Tools always ready togo. For recording, I do a lot of stereo miking of guitars. There issomething about the 8200: It adds the proper amount of life toanything.
"For recording at the Pool House," Wade continued, "I've been usingeither the Universal Audio 2-610 tube mic preamp or my Vintech X81modules, which both have EQs. Sometimes I leave them flat andexperiment with the 8200 to carve out whatever frequencies I need todump or boost. I wish I had an entire desk of 8200s. It's such a greatworkhorse. You can set up powerful notches or set it for a really broadboosting! For Tamar Braxton, I started vocals with a Neumann U87 andthe 8200 helped tremendously with the sound of those vocals. The shelfknob on the right side—20kHz boost—it'll bring anythinginto focus!"
On Jennifer Lopez's album, This Is Me Then, with BruceSwedien, Wade used the 8200 to track all of the MIDI instruments at theHit Factory in New York. "We were holed up in Studio 2 for almost ayear," Wade said. "Having the 8200 around was amazing to make synthsand drum machines sound 'bangin,' and if need be to make them morepleasing. The 8200 makes it easy to clean up grimy-sounding samples orsynths. My sounds had to blend with the great live sounds Bruce got onmusicians like drummer Omar Hakim and bass player Verdine White. Reallywhat I like about the 8200 is that I know what I can get out of it andI can get what I need—fast! There are a lot of other boxesI could use but they're just not as fast and don't sound as good."
Penn & Teller Composer Upgrades Studio to Digital Gear
For Emmy Award-nominated composer Gary Stockdale, working on Penn &Teller's Bulls--t! TV show is an exercise in every musicalgenre, "from Mozart to '60s porno music" that calls for a large numberof cues, changes in mix configurations and a combination of new andvintage gear.
"Penn & Teller never go for the easy trick," said Stockdale, whohas been associated with the duo for more than 15 years. "For thisshow, most of the scoring is done in post-production. Since it'sdocumentary-format, they'll shoot a bunch of footage and edit it down,and then I'll write the type of music that best helps get the messageacross. As the composer, I'm simply adding an extra level ofeditorializing to the show."
Since meeting the duo in 1989, Stockdale has written and performedoriginal music for their NBC TV special, Don't Try This at Home,the Broadway show Penn & Teller Rot In Hell, the ABCprime-time special Home Invasions, their current exclusiveengagement at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, and the television varietyseries, Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular, which earnedStockdale his first two Emmy nominations for his work as composer,music director and bandleader. Although his composition tools include anumber of vintage keyboards and effects, he has transitioned tocomputer-based recording and scoring, with some recent acquisitionsthat include a Yamaha 02R96 digital mixing console and a hard diskrecording system.
"Though the object of our show is to point out scams wherever theyexist, there's no B.S. with the 02R96," Stockdale said. "It's a greattool. Going to hard drive video and adding the 02R96 has reallysimplified things. The weak link in my digital audio chain was workingwith an analog mixer, as well as locking up a VTR with my sequencer bySMPTE. My engineer, Bob Kearney, would say, 'Get hard drive video! Areyou crazy?' We both agreed that the old mixer wasn't giving us enough'punch.' Bob had been working around L.A. on digital boards,specifically 02Rs, where you could save mixes, so he was a biginfluence in my getting the 02R96. There's something to be said foranalog, but it all gets heard in digital eventually, especially with TVproduction. I really like the fact that with the 02R96, you caninstantly save any setup that you're working on and download or uploadit; that's especially helpful for someone like me when I'm doing a lotof different cues.
"We're using our Apogee Rosetta AD/DA converters less now that wehave the 02R96, and we're also using the console's onboard effects.We're running everything off word clock from the Rosettas andeverything seems to be working perfectly; there were no sync problemswhen the board was installed. The MOTU audio system/Digital Performercombo is my main hard disk recording system, and there are a number ofdifferent digital sources like SPDIF and AES going right into the02R96—almost all the connections are Lightpipe, and it handleseverything smoothly. The sonic quality has definitely increased.Everything seems bigger and crisper-sounding."
Stockdale's facility in Los Angeles includes a live room and anelectronics room housing two Tascam Gigastudios that are pluggeddirectly into the 02R96, plus various Mac G Series computers, Genelec1029A near-field monitors and a 1091A subwoofer. "Besides all thedifferent plug-ins I have," he said, "I also use a lot of more'vintage' gear. Since we're using a Gigastudio and plug-ins, we've beenable to sell off lot of chip-based synths, since everything is beingduplicated so well on the computers these days. Most of my keyboardmodules are now in the Mac, but I have an 88-key Fender Rhodes.
"Even though Penn & Teller are called 'magicians,' the truth is,they were drawn together by their mutual hatred of magic," Stockdaleconcluded, "so there has always been an element of seriousness and somevery strong artistic and intellectual concepts behind their work. As aresult, I've never had to write music to fill time while people pullrabbits out of their hats. They always have ideas that are wellthought-out and play against expectations, which is also good formusic. The best scores are those that are a little bit surprising andtake you into an area that you weren't expecting. They've always keptme challenged, and as a result, I've written some of my best stuff forthem."
Soundart, Spin Audio Release New Reverb Soundskin forChameleon
Soundart and Spin Audio have released a dedicated reverb soundskin forthe Chameleon: RoomVerb M1. With this skin loaded, the Chameleon rackbecomes a high-quality true stereo reverb unit for use onstage or inthe studio.
Features include acoustic space sizes range from small bath rooms tolarge halls room/hall/plate simulation; diffuse control for simulationof irregular room shapes; separate mix and predelay control of earlyand late reflections; relative L/R shift control; reverb tails up to 20seconds; reverb tail modulation; comprehensive tone control system thatincludes separate 2-band shelving equalizers for early and latereflections; 2-band frequency-dependant decay filters; detailed levelmeters; and 42 ready-to-use presets with a total of 128 user-presetlocations.
RoomVerb M1 is currently in beta use with a full version to followshortly. The full version will include many more features such asbypass and system lock, input clip meters and 100 presets crafted bypro studio engineers. All Chameleon users can download the new skinfree at www.soundart-hot.com/english/users1_9.htm.
In other company news, Soundart has finished up an extensive updateto its Website, www.soundart-hot.com. The redesigned site offersbrand-new areas such as demos and tips and tricks, which are hintswritten by the Soundart team and other pro users.
The navigation has been also enhanced, including the ability todownload all of the latest soundskins for the Chameleon DSP rack unitfrom the front page, either individually or together as the "fullpack."There are also minute-long audio tours of all the soundskins on onepage. The company has also updated its Soundart Chameleon community,with interviews with pro musicians, engineers, educators and DSPdevelopers who work with the Chameleon.
Digidesign Announces Blue, Focusrite Bundle
Digidesign, the North American distributor for Focusrite products, andBLUE Microphones have teamed up to develop three bundles that featureFocusrite Platinum Series models and the new Bluebird microphonespecifically developed by BLUE for Digidesign.
The VoiceMaster Pro Pak features the VoiceMaster Pro channel stripmated to the Bluebird microphone and its accessories; the Focusrite24-bit/96kHz A/D card is also included in this bundle. The VoiceMasterPro features a Class-A mic pre, instrument level input, a latency-freemonitoring section for seamless connectivity to DAWs, an Opto-Expander,an Opto-Compressor, a Tube Sound Circuit, a unique vintage harmonicscircuit and more. This bundle will have a special price of $1,299U.S.
The TwinTrak Pro Pak will also be included with a Bluebirdmicrophone, the BLUE BirdNest pop filter, the BirdCage shockmount and apremium Blueberry cable. The dual-channel TwinTrak Pro features a ClassA-mic pre, instrument level input, a stereo, latency-free monitoringsection, built in D/A, a stereo/mono Opto-Compressor, a unique "scoop"EQ and the availability of Focusrite's 24-bit/96kHz A/D card option.The TwinTrak Pro Pak will have a special price of $1,099.
The last bundle is the TrakMaster Pak, featuring the TrakMasterChannel Strip, with the aforementioned BLUE components. The TrakMasterfeatures a Class-A mic pre, instrument level input, an Opto-Compressor,a voice/instrument EQ and the availability of Focusrite's 24-bit/96kHzA/D card option. The TrakMaster Pak will retail for $1,335 U.S. butwill sell for $899.
Digidesign's strategic alliance manager, Dino Virella, stated,"These three bundles are the next step as Digidesign and Focusrite'srelationship with the creative minds at BLUE evolves. When I approachedBLUE about making us a versatile, great-sounding and visually uniquemic, they responded, and the Bluebird far exceeds anything I everdreamed of. This really makes the process of buying a premiumfront-end/microphone combo a snap for our dealers and customers. Theyhave told us that they really appreciate this. These Focusrite bundlesare only the start. We intend on developing some very unique andcompelling Bluebird and Digidesign product bundles in the nearfuture."
"We are extremely proud of how Bluebird turned out," stated BLUE'spresident Skipper Wise. "We listened very carefully to Digidesign'sinput and together with our creative engineering team, have developed amicrophone that will be a very nice addition to anyone's recordingarsenal."
For more information, visit Digidesign online at www.digidesign.com.
James R. Bonfiglio Named President, CEO for FurmanSound
Furman Sound has appointed James R. Bonfiglio as the company'spresident and CEO. Bonfiglio recently held positions as president andCEO with Home America, an independent appliance and electronic retailoperation in the Southwest; Texscan Corp., an Arizona-basedmanufacturer of cable television equipment; and senior-managementpositions with Rockwell International, Cenco Inc., and The GilletteCompany, Paper Mate division.
In other company news, next year, Furman Sound will celebrate its30-year anniversary. Furman Sound's VP of sales and marketing, JoeDesmond, stated, "Over the past 12 months, Furman Sound has implementedmore improvements to company operations than possibly any othermanufacturer in the pro audio industry. The addition of high-profileinfluential sales reps, an aggressive advertising and marketingcommunications program, and superior order processing and same-dayshipping of core products has made Furman Sound integral to thedealer's profit center. Furman Sound's elevated brand stature has alsoallowed the company to expand distribution into Europe and other partsof the world faster than projected.
"The addition of James R. Bonfiglio as president/CEO of Furman Soundmarks an exciting new phase in our company's history," he continued."With his vast experience in guiding and developing companies to theirfull potential, James' vision and entrepreneurial management style isperfectly suited to continually position Furman Sound as an industryleader in new and existing markets while dramatically improvingsales."
"I am very excited about joining Furman Sound," Bonfiglio said."Over the years, Furman Sound has continued to expand its distribution,consumer and product base while remaining profitable. I look forward tocontributing to, as well as improving existing, and developing new,processes as Furman Sound extends its vision into the future."
Soundmirror Uses Genex Hard Disk System for SACDReleases
Genex Audio recently supplied a GX9048 48-track Multiformat DigitalSystem to Soundmirror, a fully digital recording and post-productioncompany that specializes in acoustic music and sound-for-picture.Soundmirror owner/producer John Newton has been busy during the pastseveral months using the GX9048 to record a series of Klezmer Music(Jewish music from the Warsaw Ghetto) and two orchestral works by JohnCorigliano, Second Symphony and The Red Violin.
All recordings were made in Direct Stream Digital format and editedon Soundmirror's Merging Technologies Pyramix Digital Audio Workstationentirely within the DSD domain. The resultant material is destined forstereo and multichannel Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) release. "Ihave been using Genex recorders since the GX8000 and GX8500 [MO-basedsystems]," Newton said. "Although for opera and jazz, I normally record24 or 32 tracks, the 48-channel format will give me room to grow.
"Normally, I use a Studer Model 961 or 922 analog mixer andMillennia Media Model HU3D preamplifiers," Newton continued. "For theKlezmer recordings, I used 16 microphones routed to 16 tracks of GenexDSD, while for the Corigliano sessions, I used just eight channels,including one for the solo violin." The resultant tapes were edited inthe UK on a SADiE DSD-format Digital Audio Workstation.
Cycling '74 Debuts Audio Source Libraries
Cycling '74's new Cycles series of audio source libraries offers soundeffects, ambient sound, rhythmic loops and incidental music for use bymusicians, sound designers and media producers. The company tappedsound library pioneer Ron MacLeod, creator of the Poke in theEar libraries, to produce and curate the Cycles series. With thisnew series, MacLeod produced a continuing series of "inspirational"sonic collections and used Cycling '74's Max/MSP, Pluggo andRadial.
The first volume in the series, "Sustained Encounters," compriseslong, evolving environments and unfolding atmospheres. The Cyclesseries of releases are packaged as a dual-disc release created with ahigh-capacity DVD-ROM, as well as a standard audio CD for easyauditioning. "Sustained Encounters'" 24-bit/48kHz .WAV files areprepared for ease of use in film, DV and multimedia productions, and44.1kHz versions are included for direct compatibility with musiccomposition tools. This release also includes a sampling of 5.1multichannel pieces. The files are looped end to end for laying downbeds imported directly to DAW, playback in loop sequencers ormanipulation by any sampler.
"Sustained Encounters" will be available in Q1 2004 for a MSRP $99.For more information, visit Cycling '74 at www.cycling74.com.
Trident Announces LS101 Near-Field Monitor Speaker
Trident Audio introduced the LS101 Near-Field Monitor Speaker, ahigh-quality monitor featuring two 5-inch low to mid drivers and one1-inch dome tweeter. The design features a magnetic screen built intothe cabinet to shield speaker magnetism from close-proximity computermonitor screens.
The power handling capability of the monitor is 50 watts RMS @ 4ohms and the dual gold-plated speaker terminals allow for bi-wiring.The frequency response is from 30 to 22k Hz with a very low distortionrating. The cabinets are finished in cherry wood veneer. Measuring17x12x7 inches and weighing 20 pounds each, the speakers retail at $799per pair and are available now.
For more information, visit www.oram.co.uk.
Game Composer Duane Decker Relies on Blue SkyMonitoring
This past August, Duane Decker left his position as audio lead forMicrosoft Gaming Studio and began his own production company, DDMusic(Seattle), which will allow Decker to focus on his career in game andmultimedia audio development and music scoring. As part of thetransition, Decker installed a Blue Sky 5.1 Sky System One as his solemonitoring system.
"As soon as I got them into the studio and hooked [them] up, I wassimply floored at the sound quality, the transparency and the frequencyresponse," said Decker, who composed the score to Big Huge Game'sRise of Nations. The Rise of Nations' soundtrack wasreleased this past June on producer/artist Nile Rodgers' Sumthing ElseMusicworks record label, becoming the first game soundtrack to bereleased in 5.1 on DVD. Decker also composed, produced, mixed andmastered the musical elements for the game's newest iteration, whichwill be in stores in March 2004. "The game development industry is nowbecoming more aware of how much 5.1 sound adds to a game's value andenjoyment. Surround audio for games is now limited to dedicatedplatforms, such as the Xbox and Playstation 2. But in the future, asPCs get surround capability, we'll see more and more games havingmultichannel audio as part of the package."
Decker also said that the Blue Sky monitors solved several issues inhis transition to freelance. "I knew that I would need moresophisticated monitoring in my own studio, and that the success of mybusiness would be contingent upon proper, accurate monitoring. Astartup like mine can't afford to spend $20,000 on monitors, yet Iwould still need speakers capable of full-range reproduction. The BlueSky 5.1 system was exactly what I needed: full-frequency playback at acost-effective price. They sound great, and there's no ear fatigue atall. The Blue Sky speakers were a great way to start the next phase ofmy professional life."
Genex Offers New Accessories for GX9000 Series
Genex Audio announced three new accessories for the GX9000 8-track andGX9048 48-track high-resolution multiformat digital multitrack systems,which both provide 192/24 PCM and Direct Stream Digitalcapabilities.
The GXR948 Remote Controller (MSRP: $2,500) for the GX9000 andGX9048 allows individual, direct control of up to 48 channels ofrecord-arming and monitoring with no bank switching. The large,ergonomically designed control surface features dedicated buttons foreach function, plus dedicated displays for critical parameters,including sample rate and input source. The unit outputsindustry-standard P2 control protocol with full "Go To," memory, cycleand related functions, and is similar in layout to the Sony PCM-3348digital multitrack remote.
The GXPC Edit ($500) is a plug-in waveform editor for Genex' GXR PCcontrol software that enables cut, copy, paste and erase operations onup to 48 channels of audio data. "GXPC Edit is the only cost-effectivesolution that provides sample-accurate edits across 48 DSD datachannels," commented Genex' president Kevin Brown. "And there is noconversion to PCM involved in the editing process." The GUI-basedapplication features an intuitive, user-friendly interface that allowssingle element or block moves between tracks. Connection to the GX9000or GX9048 is via a USB 2.0 port. The program is currently WindowsXP-compatible; a Macintosh OS X version is under development.
Lastly, the GX9MB Meter Bridge ($1,000) provides up to 48 channelsof 24-segment level metering, organized as two rows of 24 channels. The19-inch 4U chassis features a brushed anodized construction, and can befreestanding, rackmounted or mounted on to the GXR948 remotecontroller. Features include integral timecode display, recorder statusand signal-present LEDs. Meter dynamics, fine-scale calibration andoversensitivity can be controlled remotely from the GXR PC software orthe GXR948 remote. A single BNC cable connects to the GX9000 or GX9048,passing control and PPM data. The unit includes a 110 to 240-voltuniversal power supply.
For more information, visit Genex Audio at www.genexaudio.com.
Roland Announces MC-909 Drop-a-Beat Contest Winners
Roland has announced the winners of its MC-909 Drop-a-Beat Competition,in which more than 100 competitors composed their entries entirelyusing the MC-909 workstation; winning compositions can be found at www.mc909.com/dab_winners.html.
Winning first place and an Edirol PCR-50 USB/MIDI controllerkeyboard was Matthew Buri of Lockport, N.Y. "I have been into makingelectronic dance music now since 1992," Buri said. "For the RolandDrop-a-Beat Competition, I wanted to create strictly a trance track.The MC-909 really shines with all kinds of great drums, bass and synthstacks for this creation."
Taking second place and an SRX expansion board was SanFrancisco-based Tekrah Davide, aka DJ DROID. "I've been making techno,industrial and hard trance for the last seven years," said Davide. "DJDROID evolved from the MC-303 to the MC-909. Phat grooves meet 3Dsounds."
Third place and an MC-909 Groove Bag went to Ramon Grajales of MountFreedom, N.J. "I am a trance producer from New Jersey with seven yearsexperience in making music," he said. "Right now, I produce for a hobbyand I hope to one day do it for a living. The track produced for thiscontest is based on progressive trance [Euro-style] and that is myspecialty. You'll notice a sample of the trance vocal that comesdirectly from the MC-909 and I combined that sample with some greateffects and was able to capture that raw underground feel."
Propellerhead Releases ReCycle 2.1
Propellerhead Software's ReCycle 2.1 will be a free update forregistered users of ReCycle 2.0. The upgrade offers a new suite oftools that include Reason Adapted (a Reason version streamlined forloop composition that includes Dr. REX, REX2 file player, a mixer,effects, the NN-XT sampler and the Reason Sampler) and the Reloadutility to import Akai samples. In addition, ReCycle 2.1 is compatiblewith Mac OS X.
ReCycle prepares drum loops by analyzing and slicing them, and thencreates the necessary audio elements and embeds the required sequencerdata to the specialized REX file format. The effect of this is that theloop becomes tempo-independent, the user can edit its components freelyto "rebuild" the loop and the timing information in the recording canbe applied to other sequenced elements of the music. REX files can beplayed and edited by all major audio sequencers such as Cubase, Logic,Digital Performer and Sonar. In addition, they can also be played backby software sampling applications such as Propellerhead SoftwareReason, Steinberg Halion, Emagic's EXS24mkII and many more.
For more information about the free download, visit www.propellerheads.se.
Tapeworks Installs Genelec Monitors
Tapeworks Inc., an audio post-production and music recording facilitiesbased in the Northeast, has purchased and installed a pair of Genelec1037B tri-amplified monitors, which will serve as the main far-fieldmonitoring system for the facility's principal control room, Studio A.The Genelec 1037B monitors, which were purchased from Parsons Audio inBoston this summer, were mounted in fixed soffits. They will complementthe studio's near-field monitoring system, which comprises a pair ofGenelec 1031A monitors.
According to chief engineer at Tapeworks, Bill Ahearn, the installwas prompted by specific recording project: "Scott Childs is abrilliant artist with an amazing acoustic rock sound. The band was alsoincredible, with great session players like Jeff Pevar on guitar. Weespecially wanted the new Genelec 1037Bs in here to mix that record.The Genelecs allow us to crank up the level and feel the power of themusic, yet still hear the nuances that are part of acousticrecordings."
For more information, visit Genelec online at www.genelec.com.
Sterling Sound Welcomes Leon Zervos
New York City-based Sterling Sound has hired Leon Zervos as seniormastering engineer; Zervos was recently a senior mastering engineer atNew York City's Masterdisk.
Zervos began his career in 1982 at EMI Studios in Sydney. By thelate 1980s, he had established himself as a top engineer in Australia,mastering hits for artists such as INXS, Crowded House and MidnightOil. In 1993, Zervos moved to New York City, where worked on suchrecords as Aerosmith's Nine Lives, Avril Lavigne's LetGo, Maroon 5's Songs About Jane and N'Sync's self-titledalbum. He also mastered numerous surround projects, including AlanisMorissette's Feast on Scraps, Santana's Supernatural andShaman, and Willie Nelson's Live in Amsterdam.
"Leon has that unique gift of great mastering engineers—theability to intuit what a client wants to achieve sonically—andthe talent and technical expertise to deliver it," said SterlingSound's president Murat Aktar. "He is also extremely versatile, withPlatinum-selling credits in rock, R&B, hip hop, dance, pop,orchestral and Latin."
"The name Sterling Sound is synonymous with mastering excellence,"commented Zervos. "When it comes to studios, innovative audiodevelopments and work philosophies, Sterling Sound is not onlystate-of-the-art, but state-of-the-future."
Zervos will be available for mastering sessions beginning January15, 2004. For booking info, contact Caryl McGowan at 212/604-9433 ore-mail email@example.com.
For more information on Sterling Sound, visit www.sterling-sound.com.
Mackie, Universal Audio Announce OS X Compatibility With UAD-1DSP Card
Mackie and Universal Audio have released beta version 3.3 software withMacintosh OS X support for the Mackie UAD-1 DSP Powered Plug-In card.the public beta release of this software is currently available as afree download for registered UAD-1 owners from both the Mackie andUniversal Audio Websites (www.mackie.com/uad-1, www.uaudio.com/PPI/downloads/downloadmacxau.html,respectively). The final version is scheduled for release on December18, 2003.
"We recognize the importance of the Macintosh platform in musicproduction and have therefore made support for Macintosh OS X ourprimary focus over the last year," commented Matt Ward, president atUniversal Audio. "For this reason, we are very excited to make thisbeta version available in advance for wider testing among Mac-basedUAD-1 users."
Version 3.3 will support OS X on all Mac platforms including G5processors.
Paul Jacobs Named President of Klipsch AudioTechnologies
Klipsch Audio Technologies announced that Paul Jacobs will be promotedto the position of president. According to chairman and owner FredKlipsch, Jacobs will assume responsibility for all company operationson January 1, 2004.
For the past three years, Jacobs has served as executive VP and COOof the Klipsch Worldwide Products Group. He was responsible for overalldirection of the company's sales, marketing, engineering and productdevelopment functions, as well as being a critical member of the seniormanagement team. Prior to this, Jacobs progressed through severalexecutive-level positions at Klipsch, including executive VP, companyVP and VP of worldwide sales. He first joined Klipsch as amanufacturer's representative in 1991 after having served as salesmanager for Lyons & Associates, a consumer electronics rep firm,and regional sales manager for Fretter Appliance.
"I want to thank Paul for his hard work, leadership, commitment anddedication," Klipsch said. "Klipsch has achieved an importantleadership position within the consumer electronics industry, which isa great source of pride for all of us. With an awe-inspiring number ofnew and ground-breaking products on their way, a world-class teamassembled to make, market and sell them, and with Paul Jacobs as thepresident of our organization, the future of Klipsch Audio Technologieshas never looked brighter."
For more information, visit Klipsch at www.klipsch.com.