Jaffe Holden installs SymNet in New York’s Merkin concert hall

Posted by Giacomo on February 10, 2012
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 2008: The 450-seat Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan’s Kaufman Center hosts over 60,000 concert-goers every year and recently underwent a multi-million dollar overhaul of seating, lighting, rigging, and sound reinforcement as part of the Kaufman Center’s $17 million renovation.

Ben Bausher, consultant in the audio and video systems group of Jaffe Holden, designed the new sound system around the flexible DSP- and interface-capabilities of the SymNet line of processors, and Larry Politi,
senior project manager at SPL Integrated Solutions, oversaw its installation.

Because most of the complaints about the old system centered on its overall fidelity and usability, Bausher was able to leave most existing microphones, mixers, and other front-end gear in place. He replaced the existing loudspeakers with an EAW array. Four EAW MK-series full-range loudspeakers comprise the hall’s main left-right system with front-fill provided by six UB 12s-series loudspeakers. Two EAW SB150 subwoofers provide low-end support, and six EAW SM-series monitors provide reference for the musicians on stage. Fifty Atlas D161-8s distribute sound throughout the rest of the building. Five Lab Gruppen C28:4s and one C16:4 power the system.

One SymNet Express 4×12 Cobra DSP provides all of the processing for the main speakers. Bausher programmed the unit with a heavy reliance on SymNet’s easy-to-use loudspeaker management modules, in addition to some supplemental equalization and gain. A SymNet Express 8×8 Cobra DSP handles all of the auxiliary systems, from infrared to backstage to the lobby, and, according to Politi, “contains all of the interesting control logic.” These include priority overrides for volume control, ducking algorithms for paging, interface with a bank of SymNet ARC controllers, and a nest of modules that serve to modify the behavior of other modules, such that the functionality of the entire system appears seamless and straightforward from the user’s perspective.

Said Bausher, “Jaffe Holden’s almost exclusive use of SymNet products came down to two things. First, we like SymNet’s variety of DSP blocks and are especially partial to SymNet’s all-important auto mixing and loudspeaker processing algorithms. The units are easy to programs and deliver stellar audio quality.

“The second deciding factor is SymNet’s line of ARC controllers,” he continued. “That’s where all the DSP companies are really differentiated. We find that the flexible architecture of the ARC controllers makes programming complicated functionality in a comprehensible way straightforward. Importantly, each controller is relatively inexpensive, so it’s no big deal to combine a lot of them!” Bausher implemented the Merkin Concert Hall’s nine ARC controllers in a non-standard way, using custom-engraved faceplates to depict the specific functions of each controller. Three ARC-SW4s each provide four push-button momentary switches; two ARC-SWKs each combine four similar switches with a rotary knob; two ARC-MICs each combine four similar switches with a built-in condenser microphone for ease of paging; one ARC-EX4 expands the push-button capabilities of the ARC-SW4s; and one ARC-EXK expands the bank’s functionality with a rotary switch.

“Previously, we would have implemented the Merkin Concert Hall’s control logic with a lot of manual push buttons and relays,” explained Bausher. “But with the growing sophistication of our systems, that was becoming more and more difficult. Now everything speaks the same language. The SymNet solution is simpler, less expensive, and easier to use.”

In addition to the systems described above, Bausher included a separate SymNet Express 4×4 Cobra DSP for the stage manager’s rack. Explained Bausher, “the dedicated stage manager’s DSP effectively decentralizes the rack from the rest of the system. Previously, we would have used a big mult that could have been plugged in at only a few places, each of which would be very costly to wire up. Since the SymNet system is connected via CobraNet, all the stage manager has to do is connect up to a network jack anywhere in the house and he’s in. It’s completely flexible.”

With the new system up and running, opening night went off without a hitch. The new sound system was noticeably clearer than its predecessor, and the SymNet processing and control logic was appropriately invisible to those in attendance. Indeed, an 800-word review in the New York Times mentioned only this as its very last line: “The newly installed digital sound equipment, by the way, functioned perfectly on this promising opening night.”

For more information on professional audio products from Symetrix, SymNet, Lucid and AirTools please call (425) 778-7728 or refer to websites, symetrix audio, symnet audio, air tools audio and lucid audio.


Danley SH-50s keep Highland Baptist church acoustically alive

Posted by Giacomo on February 10, 2012
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MERIDIAN, MISSISSIPPI – MARCH 2008: It was frustrating. Highland Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi contacted several nationally-known audio consultants and contractors to help solve their sound reinforcement woes, but all of them wanted to kill the beautiful acoustics in their 600-seat sanctuary and slap up line arrays.

That might not be so bad, except that Highland Baptist regular Sunday services include a live orchestra, a large electronic organ, and lots of congregational singing, all of which would have suffered tremendously if the room’s nice, 1.2-second, flutter-free reverb were knocked back to nothing.

Will Roland of local firm Gracenote Consulting, Inc. got his foot in the door by singing a different tune. As much an acoustics consultant as a sound reinforcement consultant, Roland recognized and praised the sanctuary’s unadorned sound and proposed to improve the reinforcement situation by designing a system with excellent pattern control to avoid over-energizing the walls and ceiling in the first place. The tight, low-frequency pattern control of the full range Danley SH-50 and the rich subsonic response of the Danley TH-50 proved integral to his success.

The sanctuary typifies traditional Southern Baptist architecture, with a sloped main floor, a balcony, stained glass windows, and an arched ceiling with exposed beams. It is 105-feet front-to-back, 60-feet wide, and roughly 30-feet tall. The old system splashed sound all around the room, which seriously degraded intelligibility and cut the gain before feedback to annoyingly low levels. The choir, for instance, which needed to be reinforced above the live orchestra and electronic organ, could scarcely get a dB without generating a spirit-crushing squeal.

The solution was, in Roland’s words, to “bring sound to the folks, not the walls.” The problem was that most full-range loudspeakers only maintain their pattern control above 500 Hz, leaving plenty of mid-low energy to splash around and muck things up. Roland had read about Danley Sound Lab’s remarkably tight pattern control, which extended well below 500Hz, and tried the SH-50 in a model of the room. “It modeled perfectly,” he recalled. “But I had never actually heard a Danley. I asked everyone I knew in the industry, from Los Angeles to New York, if they had heard Danley. Without exception, the reviews were glowing. They came from people I respected, and that, coupled with the way the SH-50 modeled, made me confident enough to specify them sight unseen.”

MS Audio, LLC of Jackson, Mississippi installed the system from Gracenote Consulting, Inc.’s design drawings. As the room has two aisle’s with a center seating section and two side sections, Roland used two Danley SH-50s powered by Lab Gruppen C48:4 amplifiers to cover each seating section with a tight split cluster in a far/near configuration. Although it would have been impossible with different loudspeakers, the SH-50s made it possible to cleanly cover the balcony without going to a distributed system. “In the model, the -6dB seam ran right down the outside aisle, between the pews and the wall on either side,” Roland explained. “I was amazed that when the system was up and running, you could really hear the seam, both at the aisle and in the front where the coverage drops just before the stage steps.”

“Even without subwoofers, the SH-50s have plenty of low-end,” he continued,”but I wanted to supplement that with some true subsonic energy – Not to give it an audible subwoofer ‘bump,’ but to give them something they could feel even at the relatively low 80-85dBA of their typical service.” Also, during special productions, when levels exceed 90dBA, they will have plenty of SPL. He added two Danley TH-50s, each also powered by Lab Gruppen C48:4 amplifiers, to provide 20Hz to 70Hz coverage. “If you go in there, you’d have a hard time hearing the seam between the arrays and the subs. The transition is very musical, unlike many contemporary systems where the presence of subwoofers as obvious. The whole system sounds like one smooth full-range cone loudspeaker.”

A Yamaha LS-9-32 console provides the input for the house system as well as an extensive live broadcast feed and a Peavey Architectural Acoustics Digitool MX DSP provides modest processing for the system. Some months from now, a second phase of the project will add additional ancillary equipment, a new technical mezzanine and modifications to the stage platform.

“The room is +/-2dB across the entire audible spectrum and rail flat from 50Hz to 18kHz, at nominal levels,” said Roland. “It sounds astounding and provides the operators with extremely accurate response to EQ and dynamics at the FOH console. Their old sound system wasn’t even close to being this good!”

He continued, “Highland Baptist emphasizes the point that not all churches need to be acoustically dead. There is a tendency among some to take the easy approach, killing the acoustic space and relying on the sound system, but this is not always a wise choice. We were able to take a nice acoustic space and add premium sound reinforcement. So now, reinforced audio works seamlessly with the room acoustics, and the blend of live orchestra, pipe organ, and congregational singing with the reinforced audio is amazing. The
tight pattern control of the Danleys put sound where we needed it and kept sound off the walls and ceiling. It was the perfect solution.”

Tom Danley is one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and is recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology. His legendary designs have been utilized in projects ranging from ground zero bombing simulation, jet engine active noise cancellation, and sonic boom generators to critical listening mastering studios, high-end home theatre, and houses of worship around the world.

Danley Sound Labs danley sound labs


Top Dance Producer Stuart Crichton and sE Electrocnis in Dance Floor Heaven

Posted by Giacomo on February 10, 2012
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Whether tracking for Kylie, Pet Shop Boys or Sugababes, Stuart Crichton uses SE mics “on every production I do”…


For producer and engineer Stuart Crichton, making records that move the dance floor is a passion that can be charted back to the very beginnings of Progressive House. With hundreds of releases to his name, Stuart has not only released tracks on seminal labels (FFRR, Epic, ZTT, Mushroom, Nettwerk, React), but was also instrumental in making Limbo Records a leading light on the early ’90s progressive scene.

Since those early days he has immersed himself in the world of music production. And with over 15 years production experience he’s forgotten more about making dance floor bombs than most producers will ever know – how else do you get to work on tracks for Jamelia and Kylie (Parlophone), Simon Webbe (Innocent), Delta Goodrem (SonyBMG), Jonas (Universal) and Brian McFadden (Sony/BMG).

He’s also just returned from a successful writing trip in Nashville and won The Miami Best Pop Award in 2005 for his artist project Narcotic Thrust (not in any way a reference to ‘disco beans’, but rather an anagram of Stuart Crichton!), with “I Like It” (UK No.7).

Stuart may have his roots in dance but vocals play a huge part in his productions, and he can easily turn his hand to most styles of music, as previous successes with Kylie, Charlotte Church, Pet Shop Boys, Bond and The Sugababes will testify.

His back catalogue reads like a who’s who list of dance and pop heavyweights, and this experience has led him to experiment with practically every type of microphone going…and from all of them one brand sits on top of them all for Stuart – sE Electronics.

“I’m using a few sE mics in the studio right now,” Stuart reports from his Hastings-based studio. “I particularly like the Z5600aII [multi-pattern tube condenser], the SE1a [small diaphragm condenser] stereo pair, and the new GM10 [guitar mic]. The Z5600aII I use on every vocal production I do.

…and having just got the GM10, well, I’m using that absolutely every time I record acoustic guitar… it’s just amazing!”

As is often the way when deciding on new microphones, it was a suggestion from a fellow engineer that got Stuart into the sE mics in the first place. “My friend Javier Weyler recommended the Z5600a to me when he was an assistant engineer at Sahara Studios. He told me that sE mics offered amazing quality for a great price – and he wasn’t wrong! He’s now the drummer in the Stereophonics… clever chap!”

“Sure, with microphones it’s all about the sound, but sE mics make my life easier. These mics are just so flexible. I don’t think I’m being overly dramatic when I tell you that I couldn’t live without my sE mics now. These mics can handle all of my recording needs – period!”

“When you’re capturing a performance there’s one rule that I use to decide if I’ve got the recording I need: if it sounds right, it is right. And with sE mics I can be really confident that they’re giving me exactly the results I need.”

Further information from seelectronics


All pro sound system for Troy university’s footbal and baseball stadiums.

Posted by Giacomo on February 10, 2012
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TROY, ALABAMA – AUGUST 2008: The 50,000-seat Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium at Troy University hosts the southeastern Alabama school’s Trojan football team.


Until recently, the crowds of screaming fans who showed up every Saturday threatened to drown out what was a weak, but otherwise respectable sound system. In a stroke of good fortune, the school hired Chad Edwardson of Florida’s All Pro Sound to design and install a new sound system for the new baseball stadium. Edwardson soon recognized that the existing sound system in the football stadium would serve wonderfully in the baseball field, and that he could upgrade the football stadium’s output by 6dB by installing a five-over-five array of Danley SH-25 full-range loudspeakers along with some minimal processing and few new amplifiers.

“It was a natural.  The baseball stadium had a maximum throw of roughly 350 feet as compared to the football stadium’s 650 feet,” Edwardson explained.”The old system in the football stadium wasn’t really bad. In fact, it sounded great right up to game time. But when the fans filled the stadium, the ambient noise level grew to 90 or 95dB, which was all that the existing system could manage. Since the throw was so much shorter in the baseball stadium, I knew it would fare well in its new home.”

The SH-25 is Danley’s latest addition to its patented Synergy Horn line of full-range loudspeakers, and is the world’s first high-output loudspeaker that is seamlessly arrayable both horizontally and vertically. Edwardson took advantage of that capability with a five-over-five array that, in his words, “effectively acted like one powerful point source.” The SH-25 delivers 10dB more output than its sibling SH-50 with a perfect, 25-deg x 25-deg beamwidth. All Pro Sound built a custom frame to house and mount the speakers on the Trojan’s scoreboard, located behind the end-zone opposite a U-shaped fan of seats that wrap around the field. Danley speakers are manufactured with a weather-resistant coating so that the SH-25s could endure southern Alabama’s summer thunderstorms.

“Given its long horn, the SH-25 has a tight pattern control at even lower frequencies than the SH-50, and the SH-50 is already impressive,” said Edwardson, who has specified the SH-50 in numerous indoor installations.”The long throw and the 25-degree beamwidth are a perfect match, allowing me to focus energy on the seats. Very little energy is wasted sending sound to places where it isn’t needed.”

The existing processing and amps moved with the existing speakers to the new baseball stadium. To complete the football stadium upgrade, Edwardson selected an Ashley 24.24M DSP and a modest rack of QSC’s PLX-series amps.”We had previously been doing two-way, three-way, and even four-way amplification,” Edwardson explained. “The Danley SH-25 is a passive box and does all of its crossovers internally. It’s quite flat right out of the box. We were able to use fewer amps and a smaller DSP than we had with the old system. Despite that, the Danley loudspeaker system is up 6dB over the old system!”

Troy University’s new system gets up over 100dB – enough to top the respectable lung power of the Trojan fans. It’s an obvious improvement, and although the football season has yet to begin, the school has put the Danleys through their paces for pre-season camps, a Special Olympics meet, and a handful of other events. Indeed, the change has inspired unsolicited praise from fans! In the first game of the 2008 season, the Trojans will take on the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders on August 28th.

Tom Danley is one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and is recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology. His legendary designs have been utilized in projects ranging from ground zero bombing simulation, jet engine active noise cancellation, and sonic boom generators to critical listening mastering studios, high-end home theatre, and houses of worship around the world.

Danley Sound Labs
danley sound labs


Doug Sax Bill Schnee two-track digital recoding format at AES

Posted by Giacomo on February 10, 2012
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 2008: ATC (Acoustic Transducer Company) will put the spotlight on a new high-resolution music recording technique at the 125th AES Convention at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.


All of the stereo source material played in the ATC demo room during the convention has been recorded using this new technique, which was co-developed by mastering engineer Doug Sax and recording engineer Bill Schnee, and utilizes A/D and D/A converters designed by Josh Florian of JCF Audio.

For Sax and Schnee, who pioneered high-quality, live, direct-to-disc studio recording on the audiophile Sheffield Lab label over three decades ago, the new format is a return to the fidelity of that golden age. “What we’re getting is true high-fidelity, true dynamics again, and realism that you haven’t heard in thirty years,” states Schnee. “The level of true high-fidelity in recorded music has consistently gone down from the LP to the CD of the early 80s, to the overly compressed CD of the last fifteen or so years, and now finally to the mp3. With HDTV being the current state-of-the-art for video, shouldn’t we once again have high-definition audio for music?

The new two-track material was recorded live by Bill at Schnee Studio with a variety of ensembles and comprises mainly acoustic instruments which benefit most from the high-resolution recording method and also serve as an excellent demonstration of its fidelity. The recording chain includes Schnee’s custom, minimal signal path, analog mixing console with tube microphones, preamps, and summing through JCF Audio 192kHz/24-bit converters, with the mix printed to disc in a Tascam DA-RV1000 high-definition master recorder.

“Doug and Bill’s live to two-track digital recordings, can’t help but impress,” stated Billy Woodman, president of ATC, “for they have high-resolution with great quality and integrity. When I first heard sample recordings at Doug’s mastering studio in Ojai, California I was confronted with a large image that was three-dimensional, stable and coherent whilst also having natural acoustics. A great achievement.”

Interspersed between the Doug Sax/Bill Schnee presentations, ATC will present 5.1 surround program playback using DSD Pure technology from the Sonoma multi-track recorder/editor. In an analog studio, the Sonoma DSD Pure multi-track offers sonic fidelity like that of analog tape, and the production power of a digital workstation. Gus Skinas of Somona Systems will handle the surround presentations and be available to answer questions.

Sax and Schnee hope that, in addition to providing the highest possible quality audio with which to demonstrate ATC’s reference monitors, the new recording technique will attract pro audio manufacturers and record labels interested in commercializing the method. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the ATC demo room #111.

ATC will be showcasing the stereo demonstrations though their SCM150ASL speakers and the surround sound presentations through the SCM150ASL 5.1
system supported by two SCM0.1/15ASL subwoofers.

ATC’s drivers are manufactured in-house to exacting tolerances and are legendary for their many design innovations, such as the innovative SL magnet system and the company’s renowned Soft Dome mid-range driver, which achieves exceptionally broad and even dispersion to produce a flat response anywhere in the room. Situated in Aston Down in rural Gloucestershire, England, ATC was established in London in 1974 by acoustics engineer and musician, Bill Woodman., a division of TransAudio Group, provides customers with unique equipment, useful information and long-term support.

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