Archive for Month: March 2018
Symetrix Prism manages audio at BLVD Chicago
One of the newest fine dining attractions in the Windy City, BLVD draws inspiration from Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard circa 1950, when Sunset was an iconic strip of dining and entertainment establishments. Located in Chicago’s West Loop neighbourhood, BLVD combines old Hollywood-style glamour, luxury, and decadence with contemporary cuisine, cocktails, and background music that sets just the right atmosphere. Citing its snug booths, curved staircase, huge mirrors, and countless chandeliers, Zagat declared it one of Chicago’s sexiest new restaurants.
To deliver BLVD’s music and announcements, systems integrator Encompass Audio Visual designed and installed a customised sound system built around a Symetrix Prism-series DSP. “They contacted us to begin designing an audio system from architectural renderings, prior to establishing a general contractor, about a year and a half before they opened,” notes Emmett Kelly of Encompass AV. “They have a private dining room upstairs, a downstairs bar, and an upstairs bar. At full capacity, the space probably holds 200 people. So we set up a system with five separate zones. They are sourcing entertainment using Comcast as well as a third-party micro PC and source. The entertainment is limited because the focus is on fine dining with background music, and they only have one TV that’s utilised for private functions and the occasional major Chicago sporting event.”
All loudspeakers in the new system are from Martin Audio, with CDD6 two-way speakers throughout, except for the restrooms, which have Martin C6.8T 6.5-inch ceiling speakers. “There are custom enclosures for the speakers, including the Martin Audio subwoofers in the ceiling,” Kelly reports. “there is custom woodwork and milling throughout the space, so we worked closely with the contractors to adapt our design.”
To manage the system, the Encompass AV team chose the Symetrix Prism 8×8 DSP, which provides 128 Dante channels (64×64), enabling reliable audio networking over IP. For BLVD’s system, the Encompass AV team added a Symetrix xOut 4 Dante-enabled analogue output expander, giving the 1U rack-mount Prism 8×8 a total of 12 analogue outputs. An Attero Tech unD610-BT Dante-networked audio wall plate connects to the Prism DSP to give the BLVD staff convenient stereo analogue input and output, as well as stereo Bluetooth audio input.
“We specify Symetrix DSPs for all of our jobs like this because we’re really impressed with the lack of audio colouration,” relates Encompass AV President Tim Pickett. “Symetrix processors provide the cleanest sound on the market. They’re also really geared for installations, rather than for touring. The analogue connections are bare wire with screw terminals, not XLR connectors, which fits our projects very well. We like their programmability with Symetrix’ Composer CAD software, and we like their accessibility from a control standpoint; they’re easy to use with our control system. They’re just solid processors that we can rely on.”
A year and a half after the project’s beginning, BLVD is thriving and winning accolades. Its new Symetrix Prism-based sound system is doing much the same. “The sound system is a real success,” reports Kelly. “The Prism DSP is flawlessly managing the audio throughout the space, it sounds great, it was easy to program, and the client is very happy. This is why we consistently choose Symetrix.”
Article from: www.pro-systems.co.za
Attero Tech interfaces prove crucial at Southlands
Nestled in the heart of this Denver suburb, the beautiful Southlands Shopping Center’s four-block Main Street and multiple cross streets are lined with retailers, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Visitors gather in the Town Square to relax and enjoy such activities as a children’s pop jet fountain in summer and ice skating in winter. A covered stage in the northeast corner of the square hosts a popular summer concert series as well as other events.
Southlands’ original sound system featured mushroom-style speakers situated in planting beds. The speakers were cute, and you could hear them when you were close, but as you walked away, the level faded, so coverage was uneven, including dead spots. Also, the planting beds contain trees, mulch, and flowers, which are lovely in the spring and summer. But mulch crept into the bottom of the mushroom speakers in warm weather, and snow covered them in winter, seriously compromising the sound.
To address these issues, Southlands contracted with systems integrator, Premier A/V, who installed a new sound system featuring Attero Tech unDIO2x2+ Dante-networked audio interfaces. A two-In, two-out audio I/O interface, the unDIO2x2+ provides a convenient way to add analog inputs and outputs to a Dante-enabled audio network. The unDIO2x2+ also includes switchable mic/line gain and switchable 48V phantom power on the inputs as well as software-adjustable output volume control. Audio flow assignment, input gain, and phantom power are all controllable over the Dante network.
“We replaced the old system completely,” recalls Premier A/V’s Brendan Clancy. “We installed 174 new JBL Control-series speakers covering the walkways around each building and the Town Square, mounted to light poles with special brackets. We utilised the fibre optic network infrastructure at Southlands to distribute the audio program over a VLAN using Dante to 10 Crown CDi DriveCore-series amplifiers around the campus. Nine Atterotech unDIO2x2+ interfaces ‘offramp’ the audio program to the amplifiers.”
The system is centered on a rack in one of the buildings, which holds a licensed audio player, a BSS Soundweb London BLU-806DA DSP, and the power amplifier that serves the speakers outside that building. The local power amplifier gets a direct analog feed from the DSP. The DSP also routes audio via Dante to and from the nine Dante zones for the nine remote amplifiers spread around the shopping centre. Each Dante zone employs an Attero Tech unDIO2x2+ to feed the amplifier for that zone and provide auxiliary audio inputs into the system that are routed back to the DSP via Dante. A mic connects directly to the DSP for announcements, during which an override ducks program audio.
“The system just serves the sidewalk adjacent to the streets,” Clancy points out, “except in the Town Square. We fill the centre of the Town Square with additional speakers that cover that area heavily to enhance it as an entertainment and leisure area.”
Although the unDIO2x2+ aux inputs are not currently in use in every zone, the ability to use them when desired is a valuable benefit. The inputs proved immediately useful in the Town Square, however. “The ability to use auxiliary inputs to send audio back to the head end is amazing -and it wasn’t something I had looked into that much,” admits Clancy. “But when I saw that the Attero Tech unDIO2x2+ provided this feature, I came up with a need and a way to use it.”
The most compelling use of the audio inputs will be during the summer concert series, when bands bring in a small concert system to handle the sound in the Town Square. “When they’re performing, we can mute our speakers at the Town Square and the buildings surrounding it,” Clancy explains. “But the unDIO2x2+ lets us provide a wireless mic input that bands can use to send a feed to the unDIO2x2+, which converts the feed to Dante and sends it to the DSP. We can then pipe the music up Main Street and to the other areas our system serves. Southlands can also use the unDIO2x2+ stereo audio input to plug an iPad or whatever they want into our system.”
The Southlands project was Clancy’s introduction to Attero Tech products. “I needed a good, affordable way to offramp just one or two Dante audio channels per zone to feed the amplifiers,” he recalls. “It made no sense to buy the expensive eight-channel systems I saw elsewhere. I found Attero Tech with a Google search, liked what I read, and contacted them. They put us in touch with Darby Reps, the regional sales rep here in town, and we took it from there.”
His experience at Southlands sold Clancy on Attero Tech. “The Attero Tech unDIO2x2+ is plug-and-play, so it is very easy on my end,” he observes. “I didn’t have to do additional configuration. The ability to bring local audio into the Dante system provides functionality I’ll use in the future. Their tech support is great too: I called them once, and the support rep I spoke to was super helpful. It turned out to be a network issue unrelated to the Attero Tech interface, but he helped me figure it out. Now I love Attero Tech’s stuff, and I’m looking at putting it in most of my future projects. Attero Tech makes it way easier to use network audio.”
Article from: www.pro-systems.co.za
Electro-Voice X2 line array system covers Dublin’s 3Arena for Celtic Woman
- Electro-Voice X-Line Advance line arrays delivered perfect coverage across fan-shaped 3Arena for Celtic Woman homecoming show
- Compact size of Electro-Voice X2 system provides ideal sightlines for filming
- Front of house engineer praises X2 line array system as “sounding great”
As one of Ireland’s most successful musical exports, Celtic Woman received a rapturous welcome upon returning to Dublin for a sell-out homecoming show. As expectations ran high amongst the four piece vocal ensemble’s legion of fans, the challenge for front of house engineer Michael Manning was to achieve the best possible audio coverage within the 3Arena,. Helping him to do so was leading regional rental and events specialist Murt Whelan Sound, and the sonic superiority of X2 line-array loudspeakers from the X-Line Advance family by Electro-Voice.
“X2 is so versatile that it can be used for any kind of show”
Combining traditional Irish music with orchestral backing, Celtic Woman is currently touring the world in support of the group’s recent Billboard number one album, Voices of Angels. But with tickets sold-out for concerts across six continents, it was the special one-night only return to Dublin’s 3Arena that added a sense of pressure for the group and crew alike.
“We did a couple of days of pre-production rehearsals in the venue and then the event was recorded for DVD, so the pressure was on,” recalls Murt Whelan, founder and MD of Murt Whelan Sound. Adding more pressure was the fan-shaped configuration of the arena itself. “It’s a very wide venue which can be challenging in terms of achieving even dispersion,” explains Whelan. “We had to ensure that every seat had the same quality of sound.”
Intelligibility is vital for the Celtic Woman sound, adds Michael Manning, describing it as “big and warm, almost comforting, and there are a lot of orchestral tracks so it’s important that the vocals aren’t harsh. It’s not a rock and roll gig, in fact it probably edges more towards theatre in terms of sonic quality and precision.”
With a company ethos that emphasizes quality of service above all else, Murt Whelan is no stranger to solving the challenges of the 3Arena. Accordingly, he immediately recommended the Electro-Voice X2 line-array system.
“Using Electro-Voice X2 212/90 and 212/120 cabinets meant that we benefited from a choice of 90-degree or 120-degree dispersion angles,” he explains. “With a mixture of both we were able to get perfect coverage.”
“In total, we flew four hangs of X2. The two main hangs comprised 12 X2-212/90 loudspeaker elements plus three X2-212/120 elements per side. Then there were two out-hangs of nine X2-212/90 elements plus three X2-212/120 elements per side, acting as side-fills.” Front fills and out-fills were served by a further 12 X2 212/90, while 18 X12-128 subwoofers provided low-end extension. The system was powered by 40 Electro-Voice TG7 amplifiers fitted with RCM-28 Remote Control Modules.
“X2 is so versatile that it can be used for any kind of show,” continues Whelan. “It’s all about the compact size of the cabinets, the ease of rigging and the quality of the sound. For a concert like Celtic Woman, where the show was being filmed, it’s a huge advantage that the hangs are so unobtrusive, yet the quality and power on offer suggests a much bigger system. That combination is phenomenal.”
The Celtic Woman concert was Manning’s first experience of using X2, but he’s equally enthusiastic: “It works perfectly. It sounded great during the concert and I didn’t hear a single complaint. I found it very easy to use and to achieve the coverage we needed. I just enjoyed using it.”
With the 3Arena homecoming declared a success, Celtic Woman is now back on the road, taking 12 Electro-Voice X-Line Advance X2 enclosures with it, as well as a number of Electro-Voice XLE compact line array enclosures. “I have to say that it is still sounding great,” Manning concludes.
Article from: www.electrovoice.com