Symetrix DSPs the Key to Altria Theater’s Sound
Built at the southwest corner of Richmond’s Monroe Park in 1927 and originally called The Mosque, the Altria Theater received a $5 million makeover and a new name-The Landmark-in 1994-95. In 2014, the theater was renamed the Altria as part of a far more extensive $50 million renovation that included an impressive new sound system. A breathtaking architectural gem, the Altria Theater is the largest performing arts theater between Atlanta and New York, with a seating capacity of 3,565. The Altria also offers an 18,000-square-foot ballroom that holds 1,100 people and seats 600.
Designed by Jaffe Holden in collaboration with the Richmond branch of global venue managers SMG, and installed by Professional Audio Designs of Wauwatosa, WI, the Altria Theater’s new sound system is based on four Symetrix Edge DSP units, with additional outputs supplied by two Symetrix xOut Dante-enabled analog expanders. “I’ve been using Symetrix products for more than eight years,” begins SMG Systems Engineer Hayden Nebus. “I have 19 Symetrix DSPs right now. They sound phenomenal but the biggest factor for me is reliability.”
Symetrix’ toolkit and value, Nebus asserts, are second to none. “You get a first order and a second order all-pass filter, and the second-order filter has a variable Q,” he details. “I can take a Smaart measurement, pull it into my FIR coefficient calculator, and import my FIR filter straight into the Symetrix DSP. Programming with Symetrix’ Composer software is more straightforward than any other open architecture DSP. And the value can’t be beat: Symetrix Radius and Edge DSPs are great values, and the Prism provides amazing DSP horsepower per dollar.”
Four Symetrix Edge DSPs are the brains of the Altria Theater’s entire system. “They handle the whole thing,” confirms Nebus, “including input matrixing, output matrixing, EQ, delay, FIR filters, and all-pass filters, plus 12-mix stage-monitor processing, distributed lobby and backstage 70v feeds, assistive listening, paging, and chiming.”
The Edge processors control a d&b Audiotechnik sound system with a dozen full-range V-series cabinets and two flown subwoofers per side, plus a center hang of ten V-series cabinets and two subwoofers. The system includes front fills and up fills, and the balconies are handled by a mix of delay speakers, divided into three rings: one for the orchestra level, one for the first balcony area beneath the second balcony, and an over-balcony ring.
A Symetrix ARC system is provided for control. “The ARC system is beautiful,” praises Nebus. “It’s modular and expandable and you can make it do whatever you want. It gives you concise, simple, idiot-proof user controls for house managers and stage managers.”
Nebus is especially enthusiastic about a processing feature he created for the Altair Theater. “My favorite part of that Symetrix rig, other than how gorgeous it sounds, is the ‘virtual babysitter’ I built into the processing. On all main PA outputs, I have threshold detectors and counters. Every time the output reaches -0.5 dBFS, the counter ticks. There’s a control screen with all the PA output meters, and each has a counter box above it that displays the corresponding threshold count. The counters get reset regularly, so I can tell you how many times you’ve clipped the rig, or come within 0.5 dB of clipping, since soundcheck began, and when it last happened.”
With his many years of experience, Nebus has great confidence in Symetrix processors. “With Symetrix DSPs, I know we’re getting the right tools, I know they will perform reliably, and the value can’t be beat,” he states. “Symetrix is the bleeding edge of audio processing.”
This article is originally from www.symetrix.co
Please contact us for information on Symetrix products.
Audio-Technica Microphones Selected for Barbra Streisand’s Live Recording of “The Music, The Mem’ries The Magic” Concert Tour
Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 50 years, is proud to be the manufacturer of choice for noted live and studio engineer David Reitzas, as he continues his longtime association with legendary artist Barbra Streisand. Reitzas (whose other credits include such acts as The Weeknd, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Seal, Stevie Wonder, Guns N’ Roses and many more) has been Streisand’s go-to engineer since 1993, for both studio and live album projects. In the early 90’s, Reitzas was working with producer and songwriter David Foster, when Foster was hired to produce Streisand’s Back to Broadway album, the follow-up to her smash hit The Broadway Album. Since then, Reitzas has been behind the glass for nearly every one of her studio projects and every single live album. Unsurprisingly for an artist of Streisand’s stature, Reitzas is tasked with capturing detailed multi-track recordings of nearly every single performance, and his arsenal of Audio-Technica mics has proven to be a good fit for the enterprise.
“For the first several years I was recording Barbra’s live concerts, I noticed that certain mics they were using on stage were not ideal for the recording mix after the fact. We did what we could, but in my opinion there wasn’t enough rejection between the channels, considering the ensemble of 70-plus musicians and the carefully assembled array of stage monitor wedges. Everything was bleeding through to everything else, and it sounded great in the hall, but the recordings needed a more nuanced approach. Sometime around the mid-2000s we tried out the Audio-Technica AE5400 Cardioid Condenser Handheld Microphone on her lead vocal, and it was a revelation, both in terms of the live sound and the recording. It was great on her voice, and the channel isolation was a mixer’s dream. That mic, or the wireless iteration AEW-T5400a paired with A-T’s 5000 Series wireless, has been the rig of choice ever since, including for the recent tour, The Music, The Mem’ries, The Magic.”
Streisand’s flawless mic technique helps make Reitzas’s job easier. He notes, “She is such a pro at naturally using a microphone. She knows when she belts out to hold the microphone out a bit in the right position, and when she’s singing more intimately she brings it up closer to her mouth. With the AE5400, the proximity effect is just perfect. Her range is incredible, so you need a microphone that can pick up the subtleties of when she’s like singing in a lyrical, personal style, and then her signature high, long notes where she’s belting it out needs to also be able to be handled properly. Studio work and live performance are obviously very different, but one of the goals is to bring the fidelity and warmth of the studio experience to a live concert hall, and that involves using microphones that capture the nuances of her voice. I couldn’t be happier with the AE5400 for the whole range – it’s just perfect for her.”
An important element for Reitzas is one that is overlooked by some live recording engineers: the sound of the audience. “Barbra and her audiences have a deep mutual respect, so she interacts with them quite a bit. And they love her, so they freak out! It’s been an ongoing goal of mine to capture those audience reactions as precisely as possible. On this recent tour, I used an A-T mic that I hadn’t used before: the BP4025 X/Y Stereo Field Recording Microphone. It was exactly what I had been looking for – a nice wide, open sound, and enough rejection to where it was pretty directional but also wide so that I could capture a lot of people. And I also liked that it’s a nice small stereo mic that didn’t get in the way of the audience when I put it up on a stand, blocking the line of sight. So we ended up using a total of six stereo BP4025’s throughout the perimeter of the floor, and it was perfect.”
Beyond this, the rest of the mic setup is very heavy on A-T products. Reitzas remarks, “We’ve used the AT4060a Cardioid Condenser Tube Microphone on the overheads of the drums, for the bass cabinet we’ve used an AT4050 Multi-pattern Condenser Microphone, and for percussion we’ve used the AT4081 Phantom-powered Bidirectional Ribbon Mic, with additional AT4050’s on things like tympani and horns. We also use AT4041 Cardioid Condenser Microphones to capture the overall sound of the stage. So many of these mics end up back with us in the studio too, when we’re working on the studio productions. And I love my ATH-M50x and ATH-M70x Professional Monitor Headphones. I use the M50’s all the time, and so does Barbra.”
Reitzas adds, “It’s such a comforting feeling to have an intimate relationship with the products and people of Audio-Technica. They’ve been in the microphone business for over 50 years now, so the trust I have in their products is strong, and the personal care and attention they give to their artists and engineers is second to none. It gives me great confidence to know that when I choose an A-T mic for capturing a specific character of sound, it will always deliver the perfect result!”
This article is originally from www.audio-technica.com
Please contact us for more information on Audio-Technica products.
Attero Tech unD32 a Hidden Hero at Car Shows
Although best known for his work as a front-of-house and monitor engineer for such stars as Queen Latifah, Natalie Cole, and Roberta Flack, Rob Treloar does much more than mix shows. His company, Proscan Media, offers services ranging from live and studio engineering to production consultation, artist development, and web solutions. When not on tour, he provides audio services for trade shows, working for Ann Arbor, Michigan, technical services experts TLS Productions. Toyota is a TLS client, so Treloar often designs and installs multi-zone audio systems for car shows. The Attero Tech® unD32 32-channel Dante™ breakout box is at the core of these systems, hidden high above the sound and fury of the show.
“The booths at these shows are huge and spread out,” Treloar begins. “TLS Productions is primarily a lighting company, and they set up gigantic lighting systems with 200- to 300-foot sections of truss. At car shows, the companies have their various models on turntables. I set up 15 to 20 separate audio zones for these different locations on the show floor, with two to four loudspeakers per zone. I use high-end loudspeakers with tight pattern control because these are open areas, and we don’t want overlap between zones. In each zone, the car company has presenters, and we might have a dozen wireless microphones running. Toyota also has a stage with a sort of game show called Toyota Live that’s going on every hour, as well as celebrity appearances, and sometimes a DJ plays. It’s a challenging environment.”
In the past, building these car-show audio systems required running an analog snake up into the truss, branching it out over a 350 x 250-foot or larger expanse of five or six trusses, and then doing the cable drops. “It’s a lot of analog cable, so you run into ground loops, and maybe some of the connections are bad because it’s an old snake, that sort of thing,” Treloar asserts. “And you only get one chance to do the setup right. If you have to go back, you need to bring in a union guy with a lift, which costs a lot. It’s a logistical nightmare.”
Fortunately, Treloar had the knowledge and experience to come up with a better solution. “Because of my other projects, I understand the Dante transmission protocol,” he explains. “I started looking for a way to use Dante and run lightweight CAT5 cable up into the truss instead of big analog snakes. Then I discovered the Attero Tech unD32 Dante breakout box, which gives me 32 outputs over one CAT5 cable. It was like finding the Holy Grail!”
You often find the Attero Tech unD32 in permanent installations, such as hotels and houses of worship, but Treloar wanted to use it in a temporary rig for live sound. “I adapted the unD32 for live sound by adding 32 XLR connectors to the unit,” he relates. “I put it in a rack, and I mount that up in the truss. So I’m using the unD32 as a Dante-to-analog breakout box up on the truss, and then I branch out. It makes my life so much easier when we’re doing setup.” Treloar uses Dante-enabled wireless mics and consoles whenever possible, with the consoles handling the DSP, so the system is Dante all the way through.
Last year, Treloar supplied the audio system for a car show at the Los Angeles Convention Center. As with most such shows, the audio team was just Treloar and one other person, and he needed to get the installation done quickly to avoid holding up the much larger lighting crews. “Everything runs in catwalks at that convention center, and it takes 15 minutes just to get up there,” recalls Treloar. “Doing cable runs up there is crazy. But with the Attero Tech unD32, I was able to run just one CAT5 cable up to the catwalks, place the unD32 in a central location, and then branch out to do drops down to the truss. I had all my outputs in one place. It was fantastic!”
In addition to logistical and technical advantages, Treloar has found the Attero Tech solution extremely cost effective. “When I saw a single-rackspace Dante breakout device that could provide 32 outputs, my jaw dropped,” he admits. “In order for me to get that anywhere else, I’d have to spend thousands of dollars more, and my client probably wouldn’t agree to it. With the unD32, I have exactly what I need for a very affordable price. And Attero Tech is a cool company with very good people. They really have made my life much easier.”
Please contact us for more information on Attero Tech products.
PL+S 2017: Audio-Technica launches AT5047 studio mic
Audio-Technica has announced a new addition to its flagship 50 Series studio microphone range – the AT5047 cardioid condenser model – at Prolight + Sound 2017.
Following the original AT5040 vocal microphone and AT5045 condenser instrument microphone, Audio-Technica’s new AT5047 broadens the scope of the line-up with its improved dynamic performance.
Based on the distinctive, four-rectangular-diaphragm design of the AT5040, the AT5047 is a cardioid condenser with a transformer-coupled output that delivers a noticeably smooth sonic character and ensures high SPL handling without the risk of overloading mic preamps or console inputs. With its ability to cope with wide variances in dynamic range, the new model is designed for outstanding performance on everything from brushed snare drums to powerful vocals, guitar amps to brass instruments.
In common with the rest of the 50 Series, the AT5047 is hand-assembled and crafted from aluminium and brass, with an internal shock mount that decouples the capsule from the microphone body. The elegant, custom-designed AT8480 mount, included with the AT5047, also ensures isolation from knocks and transmitted vibrations in the studio.
Supplied in a hard-shell carry case with die-cut foam compartments, the AT5047 has a recommended retail price of £3499 / €3999 inc VAT and will be available in Europe from summer 2017.
Please contact us for more information.
ETC acquires High End Systems
ETC and High End Systems announce today they are joining forces as ETC completes the acquisition of the Austin, TX based company from Barco Inc.
ETC CEO Fred Foster says, “Today we welcome the High End team to the ETC family. ETC will provide a supportive environment enabling High End to continue to innovate and make great products for the industry.”
Under the ETC umbrella, High End gains the oversight of an experienced lighting industry team to grow its capabilities in service, support, and product development. “Bringing High End to the family furthers our goal of growing and diversifying ETC. We plan to help High End become a market leader for live event industry products,” says David Lincecum, VP of Marketing at ETC.
ETC will operate High End as a separate company located in its current Austin, Texas, USA facility. High End customers should continue to use normal means of contact for sales and service. Current contact information is listed here: www.highend.com/company/regional-sales#RDS
While there are no immediate changes to the sales and distribution channels, High End plans to evolve and improve the company’s reach in all markets by partnering with the existing distributor and dealer base and investing more in the support of these channels.
Mark Vassallo, ETC VP of Sales, and David Lincecum welcome feedback, questions or concerns regarding the acquisition.
Electro-Voice delivers world-class sound at Hard Rock Stadium
- Installation was part of a three-year renovation to transform the facility into a destination for world-class sports and entertainment events
- Over 3,000 loudspeakers provides seamless coverage to all seating areas, concourses, offices, and public areas
- Comprehensive system was designed and installed by Diversified Systems in collaboration with the Bosch/Electro-Voice team
Hard Rock Stadium is owned by, and home to, the NFL Miami Dolphins. It also hosts University of Miami football and major entertainment events throughout the year. As part of a three-year, facility-wide renovation, the re-named facility now boasts a massively upgraded sound system by Electro-Voice.
With the stadium’s addition of a roof and massive video displays, crowd noise levels are substantially higher than the original open-air design, making even coverage critical, both in terms of SPL and frequency response. In addition to the primary task of improving the fan experience through better audio, the sound system is also used for mass notification of life safety information. The Dolphins selected Diversified Systems to design and integrate the system, charging them with the task of overcoming increased levels due to roof reflections while delivering both vocal intelligibility and musical fidelity.
Drawing from all parts of the diverse yet sonically matched Electro-Voice loudspeaker portfolio, the installation delivers concert-quality sound via 186 XLCi-127DVX line array elements, weatherized and integrated into custom-engineered frames to withstand extreme storm and wind conditions. These are augmented by EVF-1122S front-loaded loudspeakers and EVH-1152D long-throw loudspeakers to cover hard-to-reach zones like corner seating areas. In addition, 48 dual 18-inch subwoofers, custom designed for the project, add an exciting bass element that was absent in the stadium’s previous system.
An ongoing installation challenge was the management of the installation across the renovation’s phased construction timeline, requiring ongoing support of the legacy sound system while the new Electro-Voice system was being installed, tuned, tested, and deployed. To ensure even coverage throughout all seating areas, EASE modeling and intelligibility plots were critical tools in selecting the appropriate loudspeakers and their placement. Two Electro-Voice NetMax N8000 digital matrix controllers allowed the integration team to apply FIR filtering to optimize loudspeakers as needed and appropriate.
In addition to the primary task of improving the fan experience through better audio, the sound system is also used for mass notification of life safety information. Electro-Voice ceiling and surface-mount loudspeakers ensure smooth, continuous coverage in luxury suites, concourses, restrooms, offices, and all public areas throughout the stadium. This task required approximately 1800 ZX1i indoor/outdoor loudspeakers and over 1000 EVID ceiling-mounted designs selected from EV’s wide range of options.
The Dolphins team are pleased to report that the system has exceeded their performance expectations while meeting budget and timing requirements. The system is at its best when the stadium is full, enhancing the fan experience with clear, effortless coverage, and rising to the occasion to amplify crowd energy in big moments.
Whether deployed for sporting events or major concert events, Hard Rock Stadium offers a winning combination of full-range fidelity, comprehensive coverage, and high intelligibility that plays a key role in transforming the venue into global entertainment destination for large-scale events.
This article is originally from electro-voice.com
ETC scales new heights with introduction of Prodigy P2 hoist
ETC is kicking off a new era in upper stage machinery with the introduction of the P2 hoist. Offering quick installation, easy operation, revolutionary features and affordable system expansion, P2 – the newest hoist in ETC’s Prodigy® family – can go where other rigging systems can’t.
The compact, 130-kilogram* P2 fixed-speed hoist has a 300-kilogram load capacity and can be used as a complete system by itself, or it can be combined with larger hoists in a hybrid system. Using five millimetre lift wire rope, it offers 15 metres of travel with up to eight lift lines. ETC’s QuickTouch® and Foundation® families of rigging controllers are feature rich, yet intuitive and uncomplicated, and work seamlessly with P2, and all of the hoist solutions from ETC Rigging.
The revolutionary features and capabilities that set ETC’s rigging products apart from others are at work in P2. The P2 hoist can be installed with or without ETC’s unique compression tube, is engineered to fit into the smallest spaces without adding lateral loads to buildings, so venues that aren’t able to use other larger hoists will finally be able to access automated rigging. Additionally, loft blocks can be positioned independent of the building’s structural mounting points, and allows users to support the attached load in a manner best fitting the load, instead of the building.
Safety is at the heart of P2, which includes load cell, and slack line detection. It also has a self-locking worm-gear system to prevent accidents. P2’s control electronics are built into the hoist, and incorporate hard-wired deadman and E-stop circuits.
Thanks to its advanced features and design, P2 is easier to install and commission than most other hoists on the market. “It takes very little time to get P2 in place,” says ETC Rigging Product Manager Nils Becker. “A pair of technicians could install six fully-commissioned hoists in a single day. That saves venues on installation costs, and results in less disruption to a production or event schedule.”
Adding additional hoists to a P2 system or upgrading existing hoists is also a simple process. “Rigging systems from other manufacturers often require significant control and wiring changes to add hoists, but ETC systems don’t,” explains European Rigging Sales Manager Enrico Nobile. “The faster installation and compatibility of our system components results in cost savings for our customers.”
For more information about P2 and all ETC Rigging systems, visit www.etcconnect.com.
Sustainable lighting solution for the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama
Situated at the heart of The University of Manchester’s campus, the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama recently underwent a significant refit, including the installation of a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient production lighting package, featuring a control desk, LED luminaires and power controls from ETC, and auditorium lighting from GDS, all supplied and installed by Stage Electrics.
An important arts venue for north-west England, the Martin Harris Centre offers students a fantastic space in which to study and perform, as well as hosting many professional musicians, performers and prize-winning authors. It provides an excellent space for contemporary and classic theatre, music and comedy events, and holds a reading series that has in the past featured such literary luminaries as Martin Amis, Will Self, John Banville and Clive James.
The project, which was made possible due to significant funding from the Faculty of Humanities, is part of a campus-wide initiative that supports the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability and saw a complete overhaul of the lighting in the venue’s Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall and John Thaw Studio Theatre.
Longstanding supplier to the University, Stage Electrics was appointed to design, specify and install a complete lighting system for the two multipurpose facilities. Karl Spencer, the venue’s technical services manager, worked closely with Stage Electrics’ Rob Beamer and Karl Formstone to ensure the right solution was selected and installed.
“Energy efficiency was a driving factor in this project, but there were other points to consider too, like flexibility,” says Rob Beamer.
“The venue hosts a lot of classical concerts where maximum light levels are critical, whereas colour rendering and colour mixing capability is important for lighting dramatic performances, for example. For power controls, space was at a premium, so we had to bear that in mind too.”
The comprehensive solution, specified following extensive demonstrations between Stage Electrics and the University, includes an Ion® console with two fader wings; a Unison Paradigm® power control system; Sensor® dimmers with ThruPower modules; and an array of ColorSource® PAR, Source Four® LED Series 2 Lustr® and Daylight HD fixtures and a comprehensive state-of-the-art house lighting system from GDS.
Rob Beamer adds: “We put a lot of time into getting it right. The challenge was to deliver a versatile, energy-efficient lighting solution to maximise the experience for both performer and audience, without compromising on quality. And I think we have succeeded.”
Karl Spencer, the Martin Harris Centre’s technical services manager said, “As part of this extensive lighting project, our spaces have been converted to energy-efficient LED, for both lighting performances and house lighting. The end result is excellent and our performers and audiences alike are already enjoying the improved lighting. The installation offers us a flexible, efficient and sustainable lighting solution which underpins the University’s environmental sustainability strategy.”
David Butcher joins ApexPro
ApexPro would like to officially welcome David Butcher to the team. David joined as of the first of March. He is the newly appointed Technical Support Manager. With more than 10 years’ experience in AV Design, Software Conceptual Design, Sound Design, Hardware Interfacing and Generic and Automated Lighting, David is an institution in the local industry. His addition is a major boost to ApexPro’s capabilities. Welcome David!
Pictured left to right are: David Butcher, Jeremy Roberts (Associate Regional Manager, ETC Ltd), Mathew Lewis (ETC Product Specialist) and Ian Blair (GM Lighting and Structures). With unmatched levels of practical experience and expertise and the right combination of the very best people in their respective fields, ApexPro is poised to make a huge success of 2017.
ETC prepares for Prolight+Sound
Germany – ETC is powering up to demonstrate a selection of its latest and most popular lighting and rigging solutions at this year’s Prolight+Sound, taking place in Frankfurt from 4–7 April. ETC representatives from around the globe will be available to answer your questions regarding lighting control, luminaires, rigging and complete system solutions, in hall 3.0 on stands E47, E51 and F51.
Hall 3.0 – Stand E51
Visit stand E51 to see the recently launched Gio @5 console. This lighting desk brings the acclaimed, professional-grade control of the Eos Ti® and Gio® consoles within reach of users with tighter spaces – and tighter budgets. Receive a demo using the Gio @5, another Eos-family console, or Cobalt Wings, and see in action a selection of ETC’s Source Four® LED Series 2 luminaires. The Lustr® array, with its x7 Color System, provides the brightest light in the colours you use most, and the Daylight HD and Tungsten HD can be tweaked to perfectly illuminate individual skin tones. Additionally, you can see the Irideon FPZ, a fixture that pairs the best of the Source Four Mini LED platform with exceptional output and a sleek industrial design to light spaces with elegance and subtlety.
Hall 3.0 – Stand E47
On stand E47, product specialists will show you all the features of the entire ColorSource family of products. Developed for those with limited budgets who want a complete, high-quality LED lighting system with plug-and-play setup, the family includes ColorSource and ColorSource AV consoles, ColorSource® Spot, PAR and Linear fixtures, and ColorSource Relay and ThruPower power control solutions.
Hall 3.0 – Stand F51
Talk to the experts on stand F51 about ETC’s selection of cost-effective rigging solutions, designed with halls and smaller stages in mind. Explore the features of QuickTouch® and Foundation controls, and the latest Prodigy P2 hoist, which expands the possibilities of upper stage machinery systems. This is also where you can find the latest innovations in Unison Echo® and Paradigm® architectural control solutions, and the new Sensor3 TPSR app, programmed to enable you to identify and change the mode a circuit is set to – all from within the app.
Also on stand F51, don’t miss special guest Birgit Mörtl, a multiple world champion in bodypainting, who will be demonstrating the artistic connection between body, colour and light, every day of the show.
ETC Student Session
ETC will host one of its internationally acclaimed Student Sessions, on Tuesday 4 April at 5pm, in Forum Level C, Raum Substanz. The always-energetic event gives students an exclusive look into ETC’s unique culture, service philosophy, and product development, with the opportunity to ask questions, learn about employment opportunities and win swag. To attend the Student Session, pick up a ‘VIP pass’ at ETC’s registration desk on stand E51 during show hours.
For further information about ETC at Prolight+Sound 2017, visit etcconnect.com/About/Events/Tradeshows/Prolight2017/.