News March 3-14
MPR Adds Great River Electronics
Audio engineers at Minnesota Public Radio (St. Paul) have recentlyinstalled state-of-the-art microphone preamps from Great RiverElectronics, including five new MP-2NVs.
Four of the five MP-2NVs are being used in the studio with a rangeof mics, including models from Shure, Neumann, Schoeps and B&K. Anadditional unit, plus a Great River MP-4 mic preamp, is used for liveremote production.
"The MP-2NV has a lot of nice features that enable us to tailor thesound to what we want to attain with both voice and music," said ScottLiebers, audio engineer. "Unlike most mic preamps that you can onlyadjust for gain--and the sonic character stays the same throughout--theMP-2NV lets you change the sonic character of the sounds through avariety of different settings. This allows you to tailor the sound towhat you want and make it distinctive for different voices andinstruments. There's quite a palette to choose from that allows you toget a range of sound--not only 'big' sound, but cleaner sound and a lotmore in-between."
Liebers said that he was able to adjust the unit's input impedanceand load a Schoeps microphone to bring out more bass in a live studiostring quartet production that was partly "bright and edgy-sounding."Using the same impedance switch on the unit, Liebers was able to loadthe mic differently so it could reduce sibilance from some femalevoices. "There are a lot of things to use with the MP-2NV beforereaching for the EQ knob on the console," he said.
Ahern Mixes 5.1 Projects on Yamaha DM2000
Working from his Easter Island Surround facility in Nashville,producer Brian Ahern has been working on the re-release of EmmylouHarris’ 1980 album, Roses in the Snow, and the Johnny Cashalbum Silver (released on SACD in February), which were bothmixed on the Yamaha DM2000 Digital Production Console to create a 5.1mix.
"What I like about the DM2000 is Yamaha’s acknowledgement ofADAT technology," said Ahern. "This soon-to-be obsolete recordingdevice was made fresh again by Yamaha’s double-channeltechnology. So all these people who had ADATs on the shelf are nowdusting them off and hooking them up to Yamaha consoles and masteringon them at 24/96k. I’ve been mixing 5.1 surround sound records tomy old ADATs, and whatever’s in that DM2000, the masteringengineers are very impressed with it.
"I’ve always tried to mix surround sound in four sound stages:the normal stereo, the back sound stage in the rear speakers, and theright and left sides," Ahern continued. "Most people mix the front andback but ignore the sides. I’m experimenting on some reverbtweaks that will simulate a corridor on each side. On some records, Iput a bass right in the middle of the room, so all four speakers sharein the reproduction of that low-end instrument. If you keep the bassall in the front–which are many people’sinstinct–then you’ve wasted all of the energy availablefrom the other speakers. I discovered that while mixing Johnny Cash:There was more room front and center for his thunderous chesttones!
"Another thing I like about the DM2000 is the Solo Contrast," notedAhern. "On other consoles, when you pressed a Solo button, it’seither/or. Sometimes you want to evaluate one track against the band,but you want it to stand out and be featured a bit, not necessarily byitself. So, having that Solo Contrast is an amazing tool, as it cutsway down on mental fatigue. Fatigue is a big thing when working insurround sound because there’s so much to keep track of."
After completing the Roses in the Snow remix, Ahern’snext project is stereo reissues of the first six Emmylou Harris albums."I’m adding bonus tracks, things that I’ve kept in thebasement or Warner Brother’s vault. I affectionately like to callit Pack Rat Payoff."
For more on the DM2000, visit www.yamaha.com/proaudio. Visit Easter IslandSurround at www.baammusic.com/luminaries/gallery/pages/e_sur.html.
TerraTec Creates Audio Card, I/O Division
TerraTec Electronic's professional audio cards and I/O solutions forprofessional musicians and producers will be marketed under the brandname TerraTec Producer. This business unit has a dedicated sales andproduct design teams.
Dirk Cervenka played a pivotal role in this repositioning campaign.The 39-year-old industry pro joined TerraTec in Nettetal three monthsago as sales director and has since presided over this task.
All of the new TerraTec professional products will be marketed underthe new PHASE brand. The new PHASE Series is the designated short- andmedium-term successor to the EWS product line, and will be showcased atthis month's Musikmesse show, hall 5.1.
Find out more at www.terratec.com.
Megatrax Names Trust Managing Directory
Megatrax Production Music (Hollywood) has placed Benjamin Trust in thenewly created position of general manager. Trust will oversee allbusiness, sales and distribution operations for the company.
Before joining Megatrax, Trust was VP of sales and marketing withCounterpoint Systems Inc. and fresh ground software LLC (Los Angeles),where he was responsible for all sales, marketing and businessdevelopment activities.
Trust is also co-founder and owner of TruCo LLC. This LosAngeles-based management and investment firm specializes in small,emerging companies that require capital and professional management.Under this company, Trust's independent consulting projects haveincluded those for Estefan Enterprises (Miami), 615 Music (Nashville)and Killer Tracks (a unit of BMG Entertainment, Hollywood).
Contact Megatrax online at www.megatrax.com.
Florida School Opens THX-Certified Theater
A.R.T.I. (Audio Recording Technology Institute) is the first audioengineering school in the U.S. to be awarded with a THX pm3 Mix TheaterCertification at its newly expanded campus in Orlando, Fla. A.R.T.I.also has a campus in New York.
After two years of design and construction, A.R.T.I.'s new theateris open for business. The theater features an SSL Axiom 96/64 DigitalConsole, Digidesign Pro Tools and DSP rack gear.
"With the opening of the new A.R.T.I. mix theater and thecompetitive edge THX provides, it is most certain that more schools anduniversities will be seeking certification for their own facilities,"said James Bernard, president at A.R.T.I.
Baskind to Design Stealth Pro Audio Products
ADK Microphones has contracted physicist/acoustician/producer/engineerDavid Baskind to create products for the new ADK division, Stealth ProAudio. Baskind has done design work in microphone electronics, consoletopolgy and signal processing for numerous companies, and was theformer director of engineering at Aphex Systems and director ofresearch and development for Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs.
"David's design and production credits are simply amazing," said ADKCEO Larry Villella. Baskind will be heading up a design team tointroduce cutting-edge products that, according to Villella, are "Madein U.S.A. aerospace technology, highly feature-laden, psycho-acousticdigital and analog sonic-imaging devices."
Stealth Pro Audio will be introduced at the ADK Booth at AES inMarch.
For more, visit ADK online at www.adkmic.com.
Plugzilla to Run PSP Audioware Plug-Ins
Manifold Labs and PSP Audioware have announced that Plugzilla will nowbe running PSP plug-ins; the unit is on display at PSP's booth atMusikmesse (#A 87).
"We are excited to show the PSP plug-ins running on Plugzilla," saidJoe Waltz, founder of Manifold Labs, "as they are quickly gaining areputation of excellence for mastering and mixing--a perfect match forPlugzilla."
"We've been waiting for an opportunity to exist in best studios inthe world," said Antoni Ozynski, founder of PSP. "Plugzilla is a goodway to do it."
The product is up and running at the show, and features an intuitiveuser interface, two independent fully routable machines that arecapable of running 32 channels of reverb and the ability tosimultaneously power as many as eight plug-ins.
Gibson Europe Launches at Musikmesse
Gibson Europe, the new centralized organization for distribution andmarketing Gibson products, officially exhibited at Musikmesse.Headquartered in Vianen, The Netherlands, with a multilingual staff,Gibson Europe will establish joint ventures in various countries tohandle sales functions; the first of these, Gibson Med, is based inMilan and will handle sales in the Mediterranean area, including Italy,France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta and Turkey.
"With a single, centralized distribution center, we can now bringthe entire Gibson family of instruments to authorized dealers for thefirst time," said Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson GuitarCorp. "And through our European sales partners, our connection with themusicians who play our instruments will be stronger than ever."
For more, stop by the Gibson Musikmesse booths in the ElectricGuitar Hall and the Keyboard/Electric Piano Hall. Or, surf to www.gibson.com.
301 Studios Installs VTC Console
Tom Misner, founder of SAE Technology Schools, has recently takendelivery of the first 56-channel TL Audio VTC Console for his newrecording facility in Byron Bay, Australia, the latest addition toMisner's expanding 301 Studios Group, which already has commercialstudios in Sydney, Cologne and Stockholm. The console was installedinto Studio Two ("The Valve Room") by P&G.
"Working with Pro Tools|HD and then mixing it on the valve consoleis the magic combination," Misner said. "The first three albums I'veproduced on it sounded great, and the musicians loved it."
TL Audio's managing director, Tony Larking, said, "Tom's SAE Schoolshave been enthusiastic users of TL Audio products for a few years now,so we were delighted when Tom invested in a VTC. It seems thatlarge-format VTCs are becoming in-demand items right now, with EMIPublishing having just installed a 48-channel console in London--itssecond VTC--and with other 48- and 56-channel boards currently inproduction destined for customers in Austria, Spain and the UK."
Gefen Intros VGA-to-DVI Conversion Box
Gefen's (Woodland Hills, Calif.) ex-tend-it VGA-to-DVI Adapter is thecompany's latest conversion solution.
For users who require the analog-to-digital connection but don'thave video memory to spare, Gefen's VGA-to-DVI Adapter converts laptopand computer video signals to a static resolution of 1280x1024, whilerequiring minimal video memory. The adapter directly identifies withthe computer's video card, bypassing the need for additional videomemory. It works with most legacy computers, either desktop or laptop,and can enable the upgrading of computer systems to include digitalscreens without updating the computer itself. The VGA-to-DVI Adapter,which is currently shipping, retails for $699. Included in the priceare a universal 28-volt power supply, a VGA 6-foot M-M cable and a6-foot USB cable.
For more product information, visit www.gefen.com.
Gold Sound Adds Five AudioFile Editors
Gold Sound (Southfield, Mich.), an audio post facility specializing intelevision commercials and a longtime user of AMS Neve editors andmixing consoles, has ordered a major upgrade and expansion of itscurrent Neve audio workstations to AudioFile SCs (bringing the total tofive) and will install a Neve StarNet fiber-optic post-productionnetworking system and Media Toolbox in late March.
"With the increasing demands of our clients, we need the speed,compatibility, plug-ins and up-to-date features provided by theAudioFile SC," said Bryan Gold, president of Gold Sound. "By upgradingmy workstations to SCs and buying the new SCs, my clients benefit fromthe added processing speed and plug-ins, and we also ensure that if asession is started in one post room, it can be finished in another. Itwas important to keep the system compatible to avoid schedulingconflicts and maintain workflow."
For more, visit AMS Neve at www.ams-neve.com.
Digidesign Offers Free Products With Purchase
Digidesign announced a buy-and-get sales promotion that providescustomers with free software and hardware with purchases of ProTools|HD and Digidesign control surfaces. All through this month,customers can take advantage of three promotional packages at theirlocal dealer.
Package 1: By purchasing a Pro Tools|HD 3 system and a 192 I/Ointerface, customers will get free plug-ins with the Pro Tools|Hdpack3Version 3.0 and a DigiDrive FireWire 80.
Package 2: When customers buy Control|24 with 16 Focusrite micpre's, they also receive a free 192 A/D card.
Package 3: With the purchase of ProControl Main Unit and at leastone Fader Pack, customers will get a free PRE.
For the more information, visit Digidesign’s Website at www.digidesign.com.
Cycling '74 Announced MODE Plug-Ins
Cycling '74 announced at Musikmesse the release of MODE 1.0, a set offive unique instrument and effect plug-ins for Mac OS X designed byCreativeSynth Development. The package includes three instruments andtwo effects units for VST- and RTAS-host applications.
The MODE collection includes: BANG, a single-voice percussion modulethat combines sample playback, FM synthesis and analog-modeling drumsynthesis; MONO, a monophonic synthesizer that combines the ease of useand warm filter effects of an analog synthesizer with the control andclarity of an FM engine; POLY, a versatile polyphonic synthesizerloosely based on classic DCO synths, that uses waveforms sampled frompopular vintage digital and analog instruments and features a uniquepolyphonic arpeggiator; SPIN, a rhythm-based effects processor thatfeatures a state-variable filter, panning effects, rhythmic gating,delay, distortion and bit reduction; and WASH, an effects processorbuilt around an interconnected network of six fully controllable,recirculating delay
MODE has a MSRP of $295 and will be available for purchase fromCycling '74 (www.cycling74.com) in the third quarter of2003.
Steinberg Intros HALion 2.0
At Musikmesse, Steinberg unveiled HALion 2.0. Among the new featuresare brand-new filters from Waldorf and surround sound material byWizoo.
The new Waldorf filters are provided in numerous differentconfigurations, including 12- and 24dB lowpass and highpass, bandpassand notch. It also offers practically unlimited number of layers perprogram, as well as modulation routing options. Its 32-stage envelopescan be synchronized to the tempo of the host software, and favoritesettings can be stored as presets and loaded for each envelope. Alsonew to HALion 2.0 is a feature called Step Envelope, a freelyconfigurable modulation source that is suited to rhythmic soundprogressions. In addition, extended support is provided for a vastrange of sample formats, including Roland S770 sample import andhandling of GIGA sample libraries.
HALion 2.0 will be available from April 2003 for a U.S. retail priceof $449.99. Updates for registered HALion 1.0 users will be availableonline for free. HALion supports VST and DXi under Windows 2000/XP andVST under Mac OS X.
For more, visit Steinberg online at www.us.steinberg.net. Stay tuned to mixonline.comfor more product announcements from Musikmesse.
Cakewalk Acquires Fxpansion VST Adapter Technology
Cakewalk announced at Musikmesse that it had acquired VST AdapterTechnology from UK-based FXpansion, a leading independent developer ofsoft synths, audio plug-ins and the VST-DX adapter.
As a result of this acquisition, Cakewalk gains exclusive publishingand distribution rights of the FXpansion VST adapter technology. Inaddition, all support and updates for registered FXpansion adapterusers will be handled directly through Cakewalk.
For more, visit www.cakewalk.com.
Mackie Shows Control C4
At Musikmesse, Mackie Designs Inc. announced the newest member to theMackie Control family, the Mackie Control C4. The Mackie Control C4 isa sophisticated plug-in and virtual instrument controller that providesfour banks of eight V-Pots each, and four full-size displays forinstant access to as many as 32 separate software parameters withoutthe need for scrolling or bank switching.
"The C4 is the perfect addition to the Mackie Control family," saidMike Newman, director of product development at Mackie Designs Inc."It's the perfect time-saving tool that plays on the same ideals as theMackie Control by providing musicians, producers and audio engineers atangible, analog-style interface for sophisticated plug-ins and virtualinstruments."
The C4 also acts as a "quick-fix" tool for fader and pan settingsacross 32 channels, and can be used independently or with additionalMackie Control and/or Mackie Control Extenders.
The Mackie Control C4 ($1,099 MSRP) will be available at U.S.dealers in Q2, 2003, with European availability beginning in summer2003. At the time of release, C4 will be supported by MOTU DigitalPerformer and Emagic Logic Audio. Support from other Mackie Controlsoftware partners will follow soon after.
For more, visit www.mackie.com.
DMOD Offers WorkNet Software
DMOD Inc., a provider of secure workflow and distribution solutions,introduced WorkNet, a new hosted service that allows music, video andfilm production teams to securely share, track and review digital mediavia the Internet. Similar to its WorkSpace, WorkNet offers flat-fee,month-to-month pricing and is available now.
DMOD WorkNet secures files from unauthorized preview or piracy witha unique combination of its encryption technology and tight accesscontrols over how and when others can interact with it.
"DMOD WorkNet lets studios budget for secure media distribution on aproject basis and at a cost that fits easily within typical productionbudgets," said Mark Tarlov, a partner at estudionetwork, a Web servicesand networking provider for the entertainment industry. "DMOD WorkNetcan shorten turnaround cycles and lower delivery fees, tape consumptionand travel costs even on small or short-term projects. The ROI quicklybecomes apparent."
DMOD manages setup and administration; production team membersautomatically receive login and password information, download desktopsoftware from DMOD's Website, and can begin distributing media via aDMOD server to any number of recipients.
DMOD WorkNet pricing begins at $3,500 per project, and variesaccording to the number of users and length of project. It supportsMicrosoft Windows 2000/XP, Mac OS X, Linux and Sun platforms.
For more information, contact DMOD at 617/254-1024 or log on to www.dmod.com.
Propellerhead Releases Reason 2.5
Propellerhead Software announced at Musikmesse Reason 2.5 for bothWindows and Mac OS platforms.
New features in Reason 2.5 include: RV7000 advanced reverb, whichconsists of nine carefully crafted algorithms (small space, room, hall,arena, plate, spring, echo, multitap and reverse) with up to sevenindividual parameters each. In addition, the RV7000 also includes an EQand a gate section. The BV512 Digital Vocoder is capable of modulatingsounds both in an old-school analog style and in a digital FFT fashion,while also serving as a fully automated graphic EQ. Scream 4 Sound is adistortion unit with 10 different damage types (overdrive, distortion,fuzz, tube, tape, feedback, modulate, warp, digital and scream),incorporates a +/- 18dB 3-band equalizer and the unique Body Section,which is similar to a speaker simulator. The UN-16 Unison is areincarnation of the "Unison" button found on early '80s synths. Itfattens up incoming audio by emulating the effect of four, eight or 16detuned voices playing the same sound. Spider Audio is a utility thatmerges and splits multiple audio signals. Spider CV is the same asSpider Audio except that the splitting and merging is performed on CVand gate signals.
Reason 2.5 will be available during the second quarter of 2003.Reason 2.0 registered users can receive the 2.5 update for free.
For more, visit www.propellerheads.se.
Jerry Barnes Joins Avatar Studios
Bassist, songwriter and engineer/producer Jerry Barnes has joinedAvatar Studios (New York City), where he will work on various projectsin his new Studio H, located on the third floor of the building.
"Jerry's creative energy and strong desire to write songs bothindividually and collaboratively adds another dimension to Avatar'screative community," said Kirk Imamura, president ofAvatar. Barnes stated, "The vibe here is great and infectious, andthe staff is wonderful, helpful and quite talented. I am veryanxious to get started with my new projects."
Essentially a project studios, Barnes' Studio H houses a Roland2480, Soundelux U95, Avalon 737 preamp, Great River NV preamp andvarious other equipment, all relocated from his homestudio. According to Barnes, "For the serious artist, thepractitioner can get results no matter where the work is done. However, the practitioner should also make every effort to listen tosounds in different environments and through a variety of high-gradeequipment including large consoles and great acoustic live rooms foundin studios. Without being exposed to different levels of sound quality,you may not be aware of or be able to judge the level of sound qualityyou are producing. Being in a large studio and mingling with otherartists and engineers, the opportunities for exposure are virtuallyendless. Another bonus is the invaluable support that Avatar'smaintenance staff provides."
AMS Neve DFC Helps out 'Chicago'
An AMS Neve DFC provided automation and sound-processing tools on theBob Fosse 1970s-era musical Chicago.
Michael Minkler (Academy Award winner for Black Hawk Down)served as re-recording mixer on the film with Dominick Tavella using a48-fader Neve DFC at Sound One in New York. Minkler praised theperformance of the DFC on the movie, which was the first film he hadmixed on the console in its entirety. "The DFC did a great job," hesaid. "We were able to jump around from mix to mix, reel to reel andsnapshot to snapshot with relative ease."
Minkler also found the dip filters particularly valuable on such acomplex project. "I needed to have multiple dip filters going so that Icould get in and remove noises without altering the actors’voices when singing," Minkler said. "And the DFC’s dip filtersperformed very well."
Minkler also had to bring together the master edit, Foley, ADR,sound effects, dialog, score and songs, as well as accommodate a feweditorial changes late in the mix, such as the removal of the "Class"song and dance sequence.
"The entire picture was taken from the perspective of the characterRoxie, " Minkler said. "But [directory] Rob Marshall created thelandscape. Here you have a 1930s-era play with 1970s music that wantsto look and feel contemporary. So the job for us became finding a wayof effectively weaving these three eras together. We move betweenreality and fantasy, from music to dialog, and all of this had to beassembled in such a matter that you don’t really notice thatyou’re in one place or the other. You never feel manipulated bythe movie; you just sit back and go for the ride. It's seamless. Andthe DFC helped make that possible."
For more on the AMS Neve, visit www.ams-neve.com.
Gold Line Upgrades 30 MP
Gold Line (West Redding, Conn.) has recently upgraded themicroprocessor-based model 30 MP by adding new circuit boards andsoftware.
The 30 MP is a complete 1/3-octave, microprocessor-controlled,battery-operated portable audio spectrum analyzer with remote mic andsix nonvolatile memories. It also functions as a dB meter and has thecapability of reading SPLs in either "A" or "C" weighting. The 30 MPcomes with a standard measurement microphone with specifications of+/-1 dB from 20 to 20k Hz. The unit provides 12-volt phantom poweringfor use with any standard XLR audio cable.
The 30 MP is powered by eight AA alkaline or nicad batteries, or1.5-volt nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries. An externalsupply can also be used to power the unit via a 3.5mm jack.
"The new spectrum analyzer gives the user the best of both worlds,"said Marty Miller, president of Gold Line. "The automatic SPL readingsmake it a snap to use. Users can easily see the large LED readouts andmake adjustments, while the RS 232 port increases functionality. It's aperfect fit between our handheld RTAs and the industry-standard DSP30."
For more, visit www.gold-line.com.
Rocket Network Shutdown
Rocket Network (Burlingame, Calif.) announced that after five years ofdeveloping and integrating its collaboration and delivery system, ithas been forced to shut down operations.
According to the company, while it reached a market of 65,000 users,very few of them were willing to pay for the Rocket service, and thosewho did were not using it often enough to cover Rocket's costs ofoperation.
Rocket Network president and CEO Pam Miller said, "We believe itwill be a couple of years yet until the market begins to embracedigital delivery and collaboration. Given the current economic climate,we have been unable to secure additional financing to hold us until themarket catches up. We still deeply believe in the dream of music andpost-production communities working on a project simultaneously fromanywhere in the world."
Rocket Network plans to shut down its servers on March 31, 2003, andusers with remaining time on a pre-paid account as of that date will becredited the unused balance.
For more, visit Rocket at www.rocketnetwork.com.
Count Basie Orchestra Sessions Receive Genex Recorder
Genex Audio (Santa Monica, Calif.) recently supplied a GX9048 systemto CEO/master recordist Mike Pappas of American Digital Recording for aseries of concert recordings with the Count Basie Orchestra. Themultichannel sessions, held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,in mid-February, will be used to prepare a special Super Audio CDcelebrating the 75th anniversary of the Neumann company and the 100thanniversary of Count Basie's birth.
Using various surround sound arrays of Neumann and Sennheisermicrophones, Pappas made simultaneous multitrack Direct Stream Digitalrecordings of the 18-piece orchestra to the Genex GX9048. "I have beenusing Genex recorders for a number of years," said Pappas. "We securedGX9048 Serial #0001--the first production model--and it performedflawlessly on the session. The system proved rock-solid and totallyreliable.
"Because we were making a series of recordings to show off fivedifferent 5.1-channel microphone arrays for comparison on the NeumannAnniversary SACD--in addition to a pair of stereo mixes--it wasimportant that we secure the best possible quality DSD tracks," Pappascontinued. "The Genex GX9048 is the only recorder that could handle ourmultichannel requirements." Neumann microphones used on the CBO sessioninterfaced with Grace Design preamplifiers through Cardis Audio miccables. Monitoring was via Avalon Acoustic loudspeakers.
Commenting on DSD, Pappas said, "Of all the formats I've used duringmy 30 years in the industry, Direct Stream Digital still knocks me out;it flawlessly captures every nuance--specifically the detailed harmoniccontext--of a performance. I do not worry about what I put into thesystem; it will come out exactly the same. It's been a personalrevelation."
Mackie Intros 6-Channel Mixer
Mackie Designs showed the new TAPCO 6306, a 6-channel mixer atMusikmesse. This is the first product in the new TAPCO family.
"We are really excited to introduce this new line of cost-effectiveproducts," said Ken Berger, senior VP of marketing at Mackie Designs."TAPCO by Mackie will allow us to significantly grow our customer baseby introducing Mackie technology to the entry-level market. We arecommitted to redefining the entry-level space by growing the TAPCOfamily of products."
The TAPCO 6306 features two low-noise mic preamps, two instrumentinputs, a stereo aux return to monitor, two aux sends, 8-segment LEDmetering, as well as separate phones and control room levelcontrols.
The TAPCO 6306 will begin shipping in Q2, 2003, and will have aretail price of $119.95 (MSRP). For more, visitcolor="#0000FF">www.mackie.com.
Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance Debuts
The non-profit Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA) makesit debut by veteran industry executive Paul Gallo. PAMA intends to bethe collective voice and forum for the senior executives of more than400 branded manufacturers of professional audio products.
PAMA's mission is to promote the growth and profitability ofprofessional audio manufacturing, while providing a forum for issues,trends and innovations. It will also share and promote common goals andpolicy concerns.
According to PAMA executive director Paul Gallo, PAMA will achievethis through highly specific and targeted program elements, whichinclude "defining and promoting the industry and the markets it serveswhile highlighting the contributions of the high-tech, value-addedproducts the industry manufactures; executing and offering valuablebenchmark research, compiling and disseminating market data, includinglegislative and legal news; sponsoring an executive-level annualretreat and summit, as well as alliance business meetings tied toexisting events; monitoring current issues in the industry andreporting on external developments via a Web-based executive-leveldigest; lobbying to enhance relations with the financial and legalcommunities and the public sector; and serving as a conduit to otherassociations to provide input and support on standards, education andother industry initiatives."
Gallo said, "PAMA has been formed to speak for the executives of aunified professional audio industry. We will work with all existingassociations to help make them and their shows more effective for themanufacturers that support them. PAMA will not host trade shows.
"I have been a member of the professional audio industry for most ofmy adult life, and I view the formation of this critically important,non-profit manufacturers alliance as essential in this challengingbusiness climate," Gallo continued. "The industry needs its own voice,and PAMA will be that voice. It will provide a unified presence as theindustry seeks new opportunities for future growth andprofitability."
Charter regular membership will be offered to senior executives ofprofessional audio manufacturers. Executives of companies affiliatedwith the pro audio industry can enroll their company as an associatemember. PAMA will be based in New York City and retain Washington,D.C., legal representation.
For additional information, contact Paul Gallo at 212/696-1799 orvia e-mail at email@example.com.
Yamaha 02R96 Captures Vocalist Kevin Mahogany
Vocalist Kevin Mahogany recently appeared in "Jammin’ at theGem," part of the regular season at Kansas City’s Gem TheaterCultural & Performing Arts Center, with a backing combo thatincluded Phil Upchurch on guitar, Red Holloway on sax, Grady Tate ondrums and Norman Simmons on piano. To capture the event for a possiblelive album project, Mahogany enlisted the help of longtime friend andengineer Doug Walker, VP of dBVisionWorks (Overland Park, Kan.).
"Kevin called and asked me to record the show, since he had somepretty strong players with him," Walker said. "Since this was to be anintimate setting, we agreed that we should really capture thatatmosphere, so I chose a new Yamaha 02R96 for the job. I’ve beenan 02R user for a number of years and always had consistent, cleanrecordings. That’s particularly important when recording jazz;that is, no coloration and allowing the performances to really speakfor themselves. Sonically, the Gem is pretty live, but notoverbearing.
"There’s a lot of detail in the room," Walker continued, "so Icould get the mix right fairly up front. We didn’t have time todo a big soundcheck, but I had been able to set up things prior to thegig, particularly the input and output patching, which was a plus.Another good thing was that I got to record in what resembled an isobooth, almost like having my own control room. The room had been theoriginal house mix position, but since it was all behind glass, theboard [Allen and Heath 9000 Series] had been moved out into the house.I dropped my own snake and plugged into a 24-channel splitter that camefrom the house and listened through a pair of KRK V6 referencemonitors."
Walker’s gear for tracking included an Apple Mac G4 laptoprunning Logic Audio Platinum, a pair of MOTU 896 interfaces andFireWire drive, a Mackie 2496 hard disk recorder, a Fostex 16-trackhard disk recorder, CD burner and DAT.
"We decided to record in 24-48, since this concert may be part of alive CD, and we weren’t sure what facility would receive it afterthe recording. I also did a 2-track mix off of the board so it could bepreviewed, and used the onboard effects of the 02R96."
Mics included Sennheiser KM84s, Audio-Technica 4040s and 4050s, E-VRE20s and Crowns.
Walker took the rough tracks and the 02R96 back to his facility,where he is currently doing mixes.
For more, visit www.yamaha.com/proaudio.
TerraTec Takes Over BeSonic
TerraTec Electronic announced that it has acquired Internet musicplatform BeSonic. The company plans to revamp BeSonic and in the comingmonths, transform it into an artist and promotion platform.
"We are delighted that with the takeover of BeSonic, we are now ableto support the music scene with a free publishing platform," saidTerraTec's manager Heiko Meertz.
For listeners, BeSonic offers contents that can be accessed viaTerraTec's hi-fi/MP3 and PC audio products. BeSonic will remain aneutral forum open to those who offer products and contents for themusic industry.
For more, visit www.terratec.net.
M-Audio Ships New Artist CDs
M-Audio has released M-Powered V.2 and M-Powered V.3,two new volumes in a series that present artists who use M-Audio gearin their work. Many of the artists on M-Powered V.2 andV.3 created cuts exclusively for these compilations.
M-Powered V.2 includes tracks from Los Lobos, Moist, Deepsky,Andy Hunter, Joe Zawinul, Marcus Cliffe, Chris Falson, Jeff Rona, TomScott and Michael Bearden. M-Powered V.3 includes tracks fromCrystal Method, the Benjamin Gate, Supreme Beings of Leisure, ElectricSkychurch, Philip Bailey, Duncan Shiek, Scott Kinsey, Gerry Leonard,Kurt Rosenwinkel and Rique Pantoja.
The two CDs are currently available; a copy of either volume isincluded free in all currently shipping M-Audio product packages.
For more, visit www.m-audio.com.
News March 17-31
PrimeSounds Launches Prime SFX
PrimeSounds, an online store for downloadable samples, announcedVersion 2.5 of PrimeSounds, featuring a brand-new sound effects sectioncalled Prime SFX.
All of the sound effects and backdrops were created by sound effectcreators Sound Control, a company involved in numerous motion picturesand television productions. The majority of the effects in the librarywere originally created for commercial projects.
Check out the Prime SFX sound effects library atwww.primesounds-sfx.com. While you're there, cruise on over to www.primesounds.com/prime2/sfx/external.jhtml?path=/external/articles/interview_ken.htmlto read an interview with Ken Skoglund, owner of Sound Control andcreator of Prime SFX.
Edirol Introduces New USB Audio-Recording Interface
Edirol's UA-1000 is a multiport, high-speed USB (USB2.0)audio-recording interface that delivers exceptional audio capabilitieson 10 separate channels via a wide variety of connections.
Additionally, the UA-1000 offers high-quality microphone preampsusing premium analog components, including XLR/TRS combo jacks, hi-Zguitar, S/PDIF, 8-channel ADAT, MIDI, and inserts for effectsend/return.
Other features include: 480Mbps transfer speed, allowing the UA-1000to offer 10-in/10-out 24bit/96kHz, full-duplex performance viahassle-free USB connection; 4x front-mounted XLR/TRS combo jacks withphantom power; 2x stereo (4) inserts I/O for effects sends and returns;ASIO 2.0 and WDM driver support; zero-latency direct monitoring; and ablue 1U metal rackmount case.
In other company news, Edirol showed its new assignable controlsurface with USB audio and MIDI: the UR-80. The UR-80 is an all-in-onestudio box for computer musicians, combining a fully assignable controlsurface, USB audio interface with 24-bit/96kHz capability, MIDI and thehigh-quality GM2 Hyper Canvas software synthesizer. The UR-80 controlsurface resembles a digital mixer, with transport controls, a timewheel and assignable switches for quick access to music softwarefunctions. It comes with a Control Map Editor and eight preloadedcontrol maps supporting such sequencers as Sonar, Cubase and Logic,plus a variety of soft synths. More control maps will be available fordownload on the Edirol Website.
Find out more at www.edirol.com.
Audio-Technica Mics Used at Rock & Roll Hall of FameInduction Ceremony
The 18th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony washeld March 10, 2003, at the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom in midtownManhattan, with a VH1 broadcast of the event premiering on March 16.For the sixth year, over 50 Audio-Technica mics were employed.
The 2003 performer inductees to the Hall of Fame were AC/DC, TheClash, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, The Police and theRighteous Brothers. Sidemen inductees included Benny Benjamin, FloydCramer and Steve Douglas, while the nonperformer inductee was MoOstin.
The company’s new Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless Systemwas the leading choice for frontline vocal performances by GwenStefani, John Mayer, Steven Tyler, Paul Schaffer and the RighteousBrothers. Paul Simon’s vocals featured the hardwired AT4054. Inaddition, most drum kits at the show employed the AE2500 kick drum micwith the AE3000 on toms. The AE5100 was utilized on orchestral bells,percussion and string overheads. The AT4055 was chosen for horns, andATM35s were used for close-miking on strings, as well as under everycymbal for AC/DC. The AT4047 and AT4050 were used on guitar cabinets,and overheads also employed the AT4050. Background vocals on theRighteous Brothers performance were also captured with the AT4054.
Audio-Technica’s live sound consultant, Joel Singer, worked incooperation with Effanel Music, which recorded the program and mixedthe broadcast from their state-of-the-art, all-digital L7 mobilerecording studio and Chelsea production facility. Mitch Maketanskyserved as audio coordinator once again, responsible for organizing andassigning all the inputs and microphones for the event. Maketanskysaid, "For the past six years, Audio-Technica has been a mainstay atthis event, and we stayed true to that proven strategy this year. Manyartists performed with the new Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF WirelessSystem, all with excellent results. I continue to be impressed with thesound quality and dependability of Audio-Technica wireless, and the5000 Series systems provided the closest sound to a hardwiredmicrophone I’ve heard to date."
Dolby Laboratories, Texas Instruments Connect Personal Computersto Home Theaters
Dolby Laboratories and Texas Instruments Incorporated announced thatthey have jointly sponsored the design and development of a device thatallows consumers to easily connect PCs with 1394 connectors to theirhome-theater systems.
The FireWire-S/PDIF converter allows Dolby Digital and PCM audio tobe transferred from a network of IEEE 1394 devices (which may includelaptops and desktop PCs) to the S/PDIF connection commonly found ontoday's home audio equipment. This allows music and gaming enthusiaststo play back popular stereo and multichannel 5.1 computer music files,such as MP3s, AAC and WMA, through their home-theater systems fromtheir PCs. A prototype implementation of this design was shown at TexasInstruments' booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) inJanuary.
The converter, created by Island Digital Media Group, consists of anIEEE 1394 connector at one end and a coaxial S/PDIF connector at theother. It requires no additional wires if power is available from the1394 cable, though a DC connector is available on the device for anexternal power supply, if needed. The device runs on a TexasInstruments iceLynx-micro (TSB43CB43A) chip.
According to Bob Brummer, director of technology strategy at DolbyLaboratories, "Because Dolby is prevalent in both consumer electronicsand PC entertainment, Dolby Digital is an obvious choice for compellingaudio entertainment that can bridge the gap between these environments.As home networks grow in popularity, PCs will play a more prominentrole as home entertainment platforms. Simplifying and enabling theconnection of PCs to traditional CE devices gives the consumer new waysof enjoying music and gaming entertainment."
WaveLab, Nuendo Preserve Historical Recordings
The Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution havecollaborated on a landmark project to preserve America's audioheritage. Thanks to funding from a White House Millenium grant,numerous organizations have been subcontracted to archive thousands ofpivotal recordings in both digital and analog formats.
According to archivist Dudley Connell, "I can't imagine doing thisarchiving any other way than using [Steinberg] WaveLab. When we wereinitially setting up the lab, we were going to try to do itfreehand--to go straight from analog tape or DAT to CD--but there wasjust no way to get an exact marking in the correct place withoutspending a lot of time. With WaveLab, you have the visual right therein front of you, so it couldn't be easier for getting tracks startedexactly where you want them."
Because some of the DAT material arrives at 48 kHz but needs to bearchived to 44.1kHz CD-R (as well as to linear digital tape and toanalog tape), Connell used WaveLab's sample-rate conversion algorithm:"It sounds perfect!" he said. "I'm completely happy with the results,and the Library is happy with what they're getting, too." Connell alsonormalized the data internally and then used WaveLab's cue and clipsheets for identification purposes. "We attach them to the .WAV filesas metadata so that somewhere down the line, the Library of Congressarchivists will be able to go through the material and easily determinewhat each track is."
When backing up to analog tape, Connell used WaveLab's globalanalysis tool to search for the peaks in each track in order to set thelevels on the reel-to-reel machines.
Through its record label--Smithsonian Folkways Recordings--theSmithsonian is also directly involved in this major archivinginitiative as part of the publicly and privately funded Save our Soundsproject. According to sound-production supervisor Pete Reiniger, "Thekind of material we're archiving is music, primarily, though we alsohave some spoken-word material--narrative sessions from festivals andthat type of thing--which are targeted for preservation. We have tapesthat date back to 1967 and field recordings that were done prior tothat, including acetates that date back to the 1930s. Because of theirage and vulnerability to decomposition, they are high on the list ofthings that are being archived; we have one person here who is actuallytransferring acetates all day, every day."
Like Connell, Reiniger's audio editor of choice is WaveLab. He andhis team record the material to be archived into the program at24-bit/96kHz resolution and then save it to linear digital tape at thatsame resolution. The edited audio is also played back from WaveLab at24/96 to make analog tape backups. Throughout the process, reference16-bit/44.1kHz CD-Rs are created for listening purposes, usingWaveLab's internal sample-rate conversion and Red Book CD-burningtools. "I certainly like the sound of WaveLab, and I'm happy with theresults I get from its SRC," he said. Reiniger also relied on theprogram's various analysis screens, including the bit meter, thespectrum analyzer and the phase meter, which he found useful forsetting azimuth on old tapes.
Reiniger also used Steinberg Nuendo for archiving, as well. "Thething that's nice about Nuendo is the ability to edit on atrack-by-track basis. On some of the material I'm working on, it's notjust a matter of editing the tracks, but editing between takes andwithin tracks. In Nuendo, I can do multitrack work and really get downto the nitty-gritty," he concluded.
For more, visit Steinberg at www.us.steinberg.net.
L-Acoustics Performs at Boston Symphony Hall
Symphony Hall, home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra for more than 100years, recently upgraded its house audio capabilities with a newL-Acoustics loudspeaker system.
Steve Colby, of New Hampshire-based Evening Audio Consultants, wasselected to head up the retrofit. To assist him on the project, Colby,a senior sound engineer for the Boston Pops and frequent engineer andconsultant for the Boston Symphony, chose to assemble a group ofseasoned professionals, including both Mark Brosnan and John "Klon"Koehler of Greenfield, Mass.,-based Klondike Sound.
Colby said, "It's essential that a sound system in this room be ofexceptional fidelity, as the acoustic environment is very pristine andunforgiving of distortion and other undesirable P.A. artifacts. Thesystem must also perform with the same quality as a fine musicalinstrument in order to blend convincingly with acoustic sound beingproduced onstage. Over many years of auditioning systems in this space,it was agreed between representatives of the artistic, management andengineering teams at the hall that L-Acoustics systems best satisfiedthis requirement."
Suspended above the proscenium, the new system features a centralcluster of seven L-Acoustics V-DOSC enclosures with a pair of dV-DOSCsmall-format/downfill array elements hung beneath. Both the V-DOSC anddV-DOSC array elements incorporate a patented DOSC waveguide tofacilitate virtually seamless element-to-element coupling. The clusteris augmented on the ground by several portable stage systems, includinga front-fill array featuring four MTD108a 8-inch coaxial cabinetsmounted on stands and a deck-fill system of stage left/rightgroundstacks, each comprising a pair of dV-DOSC cabinets mounted on adV-SUB triple-15 subwoofer. Adding to system versatility, the dV-DOSCdeck-fills can be replaced as needed with a pair of MTD115a 15-inchcoaxial cabinets for special lower-volume applications.
For more, visit www.l-acoustics-us.com.
SpinAudio Joins Forces With Soundart
Soundart, in partnership with SpinAudio Software, announced the firstfruits of their collaboration: the full release of a software plug-inported to Soundart’s Chameleon platform.
FXDesigner from SpinAudio is the first VST/DX plug-in to be portedto the Chameleon platform. It is a delay-based digital audio effectsprocessor with a flexible signal-processing design that allows toproduce such audio effects as chorus, flanger, phaser, spatial effects,various reverbs and any combination of above. FXDesigner offerssix modulated delay lines with LP/HP filter sections, six freelyassignable LFOs and flexible tap interconnection matrix. It comes witha factory bank of 70-plus ready-to-use presets.
AKG Intros Wireless Mic System
At NSCA, AKG Acoustics introduced its new wireless WMS 4000 microphonesystem, a true-diversity wireless system that is flexible enough formulti-users and multichannel applications.
According to Tom Stotler, AKG’s market development manager,music and touring sound, "The WMS 4000 is very rugged and extremelyreliable in environments hostile to RF transmission."
WMS 4000 Components and optional accessories include: The SR 4000 isa true-diversity, frequency-agile UHF receiver on a 30MHz-wide UHF-widebandwidth containing preset intermodulation-free frequencies and accessto up to 1,200 switchable frequencies. Three separate 30MHz channelsmay be selected for use in the U.S., offering a maximum ofapproximately 50 usable channels that are limited only to otherexternal RF interference. Dynamic range is greater than 112 dB; anOutput Level switch allows the selection of three output levels at -30,0, +6 dB.
The PT 4000 bodypack and the HT 4000 handheld UHF transmittersincorporate programmed, prematched, optimized frequency groups thatallow for quick, easy frequency selection. Other features includebacklit LCD for system status monitoring and a jog wheel for quicksystem setup and navigation. These transmitters are encased inmagnesium metal chassis for rugged onstage use, and have a usableoperation distance of up to 330 feet. with a system audio bandwidthfrom 35 Hz to 20 kHz.
The CU 4000 charging unit features two charging bays that aredesigned to hold two separate HT 4000 handheld, PT 4000 transmitters orBP 4000 battery packs. The CU 4000 can charge two battery packssimultaneously in one hour. A three-step LED on the CU 4000 displaysthe charging status. It can be powered by either an external DC adapteror by the optional PSU 4000 central power supply.
For more, visit www.akgusa.com.
A-T Hosts Syn-Aud-Con Seminars for Employees
Audio-Technica U.S. recently sponsored an intensive two-daySyn-Aud-Con seminar for employees at its Stow, Ohio, headquarters. Theevent took place February 10 and 11 and was attended by 25 employeesfrom the sales, marketing, R&D/engineering, quality control andservice departments, who were subsequently certified in Sound SystemOptimization. The System Optimization program focused on the setup anduse of sound systems.
Syn-Aud-Con, or Synergetic Audio Concepts, instructor Pat Brown, acontractor/consultant who has designed and installed sound systems forall venue types, provided an in-depth and comprehensive program toensure that A-T employees are proficient in the numerous aspects ofoptimizing a sound system in a practical manner.
Allen & Heath Upgrade Denver Club
The Church, one of Denver's nightspots, recently performed a majorupgrade to its sound and lighting systems on all three dancefloors,replacing the existing desks with Allen & Heath Xone Seriesprofessional club mixers in the process.
Tim Hannum, of Diavolo Systems in Houston, was contracted to performthe refurbishment. Head of sound Mike McCray and club promoter BradRoulier of Together Productions recommended that the existing mixers atboth venues be replaced with Allen & Heath equipment.
McCray and the technical crew installed an Allen & Heath Xone:62mixer in the main room at The Church. The professional club mixerprovides six dual-stereo channels plus VCF filters and a powerful4-band EQ section. "The fact that the Allen & Heath has the filterson it is a huge benefit. The filters are really clean," said McCray."The inputs and outputs are really nice, and it's really flexible andfits in with any system that I can imagine. I've been a DJ for 13years, so I know both sides: mixing and working with the consoles aswell as installing them. That was one of the only mixers that I feltcomfortable putting in with that system."
Diavolo Systems and McCray designed a custom, four-corner speakerstack system using a four-way JBL AE Line system. The system alsoincorporates large subwoofers and is controlled by a BSS ProSys PS-8810system processor.
For more, visit Allen & Heath at www.allen-heath.com.
Soundcraft Board on Tour with Idlewood
Marquee Audio reported that is has supplied a Soundcraft MH4 audiomixing console to Tour Tech, which immediately went out with Idlewood,initially to support Coldplay on its European tour.
The first engineer to use Tour Tech's new board is Glasgow-basedRichie Dempsey, who is using it for the Idlewood tour. Dempsey has beenworking with the band since the V2001 festival and said that thecombination of Tour Tech's support and the intuitive dependability ofthe desk made this choice easy. "Although the priority was Coldplay,Tour Tech's Jon Burton, who was babysitting the system, was reallyhelpful," said Dempsey. A matrix connection was provided fromColdplay's FOH desk straight into the MH4.
With Idlewild, he mixed three guitars, two vocals, bass, drums andacoustic guitar with pickup, using 25 channels on the board and fourstereo FX returns. "We were playing back through a V-DOSC system, whichis fairly unforgiving; if you make a mistake, you will be found out.Fortunately, the MH4 didn't allow me to. The EQ sounded particularlygood at the high end. I was able to roll off a bit of the highs and itsounded really nice. I really liked the desk prompts and the fact thatit tells you what to do with reference to the mute groups and VCAs, forexample. You really couldn't fail."
For more, visit www.soundcraft.com.
HSR Studios Mixes Sirius Satellite Radio Spots
HSR Studios' (New York City) mixers Steve Rosen and Fernando Ascanirecently completed the audio mix for Sirius Satellite Radio'sbrand-identity campaign. The first four animated 30-second spots, "BearWitness," "Bounce," "Planet Jazz" and "Strings," and a minute cinematicversion of "Bear Witness" were developed through Crispin Porter &Bogusky (Miami). The first of six spots in the campaign rolled outnationally February 3, 2003.
Rosen used a Soundtracs DPC-II digital console and an AVIDAudioVision, while Ascani used Pro Tools with ProControl.
Find out more about HSR Studios at www.hsrnewyork.com/.
Cycling '74 Ships radiaL
Cycling '74 today announced the release of radiaL 1.0, a loop-basedcomposition and performance tool designed for the Mac.
The program is based on loop channels represented by circulardisplays, each with its own performable multifilter andpitch-shifting/time scaling. Almost every aspect of the system canconfigured for live performance or studio recording and can becontrolled from a variety of sources (control surfaces, MIDI,keyboard or mouse). radiaL features complete multichannel audioI/O support, audio and effects routing, and support for VST plug-ins;all major audio file formats and I/O standards are supported. Userswill also receive a dozen VST plug-in effects from the Pluggocollection and a tempo-synched filter/delay.
Other features include: sample-accurate loops and synching; supportfor .AIFF, .WAV and MP3 files; dynamic interchange of loops and DSPeffects; built-in library of external MIDI-controller templates and theability to add your own; flexible audio routing and support for ASIO,ReWire, DirectConnect and VST on OS 9; and record direct to diskon-the-fly.
A fully functional radiaL demo can be downloaded and tried out for15 days. At this time, radiaL is available for Mac OS 8.6 through 9.2.The OS X upgrade, available this summer, will be free to radiaL owners.radiaL is $249 (packaged) and $239 (downloadable).
For more, visit www.cycling74.com/products/radial.html.
Otari Exhibits IEEE-1394 mLAN Card
At NSCA, Otari showed the IEEE-1394 (FireWire) I/O Card for its FS-9696kHz Digital Format and Sample-Rate Converter. The IEEE-1394 I/Oallows users to send and receive multichannel digital audio signalsover an IEEE-1394 S400 network at up to 400 Mbps/second. The cardsupports Yamaha’s mLAN protocol.
The Otari ND-20 audio-network distribution system, YamahaPM1D/DM-2000 or any other available IEEE-1394 mLAN product can beconnected to the IEEE-1394 audio network. Installation of the optionboard in the FS-96 permits audio data conversion between IEEE-1394 andall common data formats (including AES/EBU, TDIF, SDIF and ADAT)supported by the FS-96. The option board can handle up to 24 channelsof 96kHz digital audio signals.
For more, visit www.otari.com.
Focusrite to Distribute Blue Microphones in UK, Ireland
Blue Microphones (Westlake Village, Calif.) will now be distributed inthe United Kingdom and Ireland by Focusrite beginning April 1, 2003.Focusrite replaces Sonic Sales of the UK, and will be headed up byFocusrite sales director Chris Gooddie and his management team.
Blue owner Skipper Wise said, "This distribution move is a naturalprogression of a tremendously successful cooperative marketingpartnership that we've forged in the United States with the help ofDino Virella, national sales manager of Focusrite U.S. We would like toextend our thanks and deep appreciation to Sonic Sales for all of theirefforts. They have been instrumental in the growth and awareness ofBlue products in the UK."
Norah Jones Upcoming DVD Mastered by Charlie Watts
At 5.1 Entertainment Group in West Los Angeles, Charlie Watts iscurrently mastering new and catalog material for an upcoming NorahJones' DVD-Audio and CD release using digital technology fromZ-Systems.
"I pretty much got rid of all my analog stuff," said Watts, whosemastering suite at 5.1 Entertainment is outfitted with the Z-Systems24-bit/96kHz z-Q6 6-channel digital mastering equalizer and the z-CL66-channel digital dynamics processor. "They're really fantastic. I findthat these things are really musical. They make EQ'ing natural, and thecompressor and dynamics section is just truly awesome on any programmaterial."
Watts, who has been mastering in the surround format since 1995,said that, even compared to 12 months ago, mastering DVD-Audio andDVD-Video is no longer such a time-consuming process. "We're masteringone to two DVD audio discs a day typically. Our mastering bookingscurrently service 10 to 25 discs per month, on average. We're movingcapacity up to 50 a month, due to a huge increase in demand forDVD-Audio discs. We can deliver a mastered DVD-Audio disc within eighthours if we have to, but we try not to do that every day!"
Megatrax Adds New Sound Libraries to Catalog
Megatrax Production Music, a supplier of original, high-qualityproduction music for film, television, advertising and multimedia,announced that it is now offering three new music library catalogs:Intervox, a top European library from Germany; Amusicom Records,boutique film and TV catalogs; and ARTS, an audiophile classicalcollection. Also, the company has produced MEGASONICS, astate-of-the-art producers' sound design toolkit forpost-production.
Intervox is an international music library specially designed forfilm, television, radio and new-media productions. With over 40,000tracks in both nostalgic and contemporary styles, Intervox offers abroad range of genres on over 80 CDs.
Amusicom's catalog has been featured on HBO's Six Feet Under,Showtime's The Chris Isaak Show, CBS' Judging Amy andABC's The Drew Carey Show and many others.
The ARTS catalog offers classical hits, chamber music, concerts andsymphonies, soloist works and operas, as well as an extensive range ofrarities, niche-repertoire and world-premiere recordings.
MEGASONICS was produced by some of today's top sound designers andengineers utilizing state-of-the-art technology, and features literallyhundreds of the most useful and creative atmospheres, drones, musicalbeds, stagers, sweepers, transitions and sounds.
For more, visit www.megatrax.com.
"Tonight Show" Upgrades Cast Mics
Audio engineer Pat Lucatorto, show mixer on NBC's The TonightShow with Jay Leno for the past two years, has recently upgradedall eight cast mics. "We use five lavaliers for guests, and now allfive of those are Sennheiser MKE Platinums, plus Jay and Kevin Eubanks[house band leader and Leno sidekick], so that's seven. The eighth is aspare."
The eight lavalier microphones–normally allocated to Leno,Eubanks and the show's speaking guests–are occasionallysupplemented for larger performances. "Depending on the number ofguests, we will add to that," said Lucatorto. "I think the most lavswe've had on the show was close to 30. We had a theatrical productionas our musical number, so we probably had 20 cast mics on singers. Inthose cases, we used the venerable Sennheiser MKE 2s."
The Tonight Show, which features an Innova-Son digitalconsole mixing the house sound for the audience, switched over toSennheiser SK 5012 subminiature wireless bodypack transmitters a fewmonths ago. "The SK 5012 sounds great and it's perfect for guests,especially women, who prefer a 'barely there' transmitter," saidLucatorto. "The extraordinarily small dimensions of the 5012 make themeasy to hide on the person." Lucatorto noted that many guests are notused to wearing wireless microphone apparatus, "since boom microphonesare more typically used in film and TV production. Wearing a lav andbodypack is a chore for them. We figure the smaller we can get them,the easier it is to get them to wear them, so we can put them on in theright position."
For more on the Sennheiser microphones, visit www.sennheiserusa.com.
ATC Loudspeakers Found on "Dark Side of the Moon"
Pink Floyd has recently re-released their The Dark Side of theMoon in 5.1 surround on Super Audio CD. Producer and engineer JamesGuthrie, who has worked with the band for more than two decades, wasasked to handle the remix.
"This was a very difficult 5.1 mix," Guthrie said. "Not from amusical point of view, because the record really lends itself to athree-dimensional treatment, but from the point of view that everyoneknows the original mix so well. It is indelibly printed on our minds.We've had 30 years to live with it, and some people don't want thatimage to be altered. Knowing that you are about to start work onsomething controversial can be unsettling.
"The issues with a 5.1 remix all come down to one question: Have youretained the emotional impact of the songs?" Guthrie continued. "Allthis technology is meaningless if you've turned the album into a videogame."
Guthrie said that he wanted to mix from the original 16-track tapes.Fortunately, the source material was cataloged at Abbey Road and was ingood shape. The studio made copies for safekeeping and sent theoriginals to Guthrie's das boot studio in Northern California.
"As this is a conceptual work, we agreed that I should mix theentire album and then play it to the individual bandmembers for theirinput. That way, they could experience everything in context." Guthriemade sure that all of the bandmembers experienced his mixes through thesame ATC speaker line that he created them on. "ATC speakers are simplyfantastic. I cannot say enough about them. The imaging is unlikeanything I've experienced. The dispersion characteristic isexceptional, and the speakers always remain phase-coherent." Guthrieused five SCM150ASLs and two SCM0.1-15 subwoofers.
For more on the ATC system, visit www.transaudiogroup.com.
AES Conference Focuses on Signal Processing
The AES 23rd International Conference (May 23-25, 2003, in Copenhagen,Denmark) will feature a technical program including papers sessions onsignal conversion and perceptual effects; DSP in recording; interfacingloudspeaker and room; creating space with DSP; and DSP inloudspeakers.
The keynote address by Jeff Bier of Berkeley Design Technology Inc.(Berkeley, Calif.) is entitled, "Trends and Directions in SignalProcessing Hardware for Audio Applications" and will explore how recentadvances in DSP hardware have altered audio processing.
Online registration and complete program information is available atwww.aes.org/events/23.