Mix News for March 2003

Mar 21, 2003 12:00 PM, Sarah Benzuly

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News March 3-14

MPR Adds Great River Electronics
Audio engineers at Minnesota Public Radio (St. Paul) have recently installed state-of-the-art microphone preamps from Great River Electronics, including five new MP-2NVs.

Four of the five MP-2NVs are being used in the studio with a range of mics, including models from Shure, Neumann, Schoeps and B&K. An additional unit, plus a Great River MP-4 mic preamp, is used for live remote production.

"The MP-2NV has a lot of nice features that enable us to tailor the sound to what we want to attain with both voice and music," said Scott Liebers, audio engineer. "Unlike most mic preamps that you can only adjust for gain--and the sonic character stays the same throughout--the MP-2NV lets you change the sonic character of the sounds through a variety of different settings. This allows you to tailor the sound to what you want and make it distinctive for different voices and instruments. There's quite a palette to choose from that allows you to get a range of sound--not only 'big' sound, but cleaner sound and a lot more in-between."

Liebers said that he was able to adjust the unit's input impedance and load a Schoeps microphone to bring out more bass in a live studio string quartet production that was partly "bright and edgy-sounding." Using the same impedance switch on the unit, Liebers was able to load the mic differently so it could reduce sibilance from some female voices. "There are a lot of things to use with the MP-2NV before reaching for the EQ knob on the console," he said.

Visit Great River Electronics online at www.greatriverelectronics.com. Visit MPR at www.mpr.org.

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 Emmylou Harris’ 1980 album, Roses in the Snow, and the Johnny Cash album Silver (released on SACD in February), which were both mixed on the Yamaha DM2000 Digital Production Console to create a 5.1 mix.

"What I like about the DM2000 is Yamaha’s acknowledgement of ADAT technology," said Ahern. "This soon-to-be obsolete recording device was made fresh again by Yamaha’s double-channel technology. So all these people who had ADATs on the shelf are now dusting them off and hooking them up to Yamaha consoles and mastering on them at 24/96k. I’ve been mixing 5.1 surround sound records to my old ADATs, and whatever’s in that DM2000, the mastering engineers 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 the right and left sides," Ahern continued. "Most people mix the front and back but ignore the sides. I’m experimenting on some reverb tweaks that will simulate a corridor on each side. On some records, I put a bass right in the middle of the room, so all four speakers share in the reproduction of that low-end instrument. If you keep the bass all in the front–which are many people’s instinct–then you’ve wasted all of the energy available from the other speakers. I discovered that while mixing Johnny Cash: There was more room front and center for his thunderous chest tones!

"Another thing I like about the DM2000 is the Solo Contrast," noted Ahern. "On other consoles, when you pressed a Solo button, it’s either/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 by itself. So, having that Solo Contrast is an amazing tool, as it cuts way down on mental fatigue. Fatigue is a big thing when working in surround sound because there’s so much to keep track of."

After completing the Roses in the Snow remix, Ahern’s next project is stereo reissues of the first six Emmylou Harris albums. "I’m adding bonus tracks, things that I’ve kept in the basement or Warner Brother’s vault. I affectionately like to call it Pack Rat Payoff."

For more on the DM2000, visit www.yamaha.com/proaudio. Visit Easter Island Surround 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 for professional musicians and producers will be marketed under the brand name TerraTec Producer. This business unit has a dedicated sales and product design teams.

Dirk Cervenka played a pivotal role in this repositioning campaign. The 39-year-old industry pro joined TerraTec in Nettetal three months ago as sales director and has since presided over this task.

All of the new TerraTec professional products will be marketed under the new PHASE brand. The new PHASE Series is the designated short- and medium-term successor to the EWS product line, and will be showcased at this 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 the newly created position of general manager. Trust will oversee all business, sales and distribution operations for the company.

Before joining Megatrax, Trust was VP of sales and marketing with Counterpoint Systems Inc. and fresh ground software LLC (Los Angeles), where he was responsible for all sales, marketing and business development activities.

Trust is also co-founder and owner of TruCo LLC. This Los Angeles-based management and investment firm specializes in small, emerging companies that require capital and professional management. Under this company, Trust's independent consulting projects have included 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 audio engineering school in the U.S. to be awarded with a THX pm3 Mix Theater Certification 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 theater is open for business. The theater features an SSL Axiom 96/64 Digital Console, Digidesign Pro Tools and DSP rack gear.

"With the opening of the new A.R.T.I. mix theater and the competitive edge THX provides, it is most certain that more schools and universities will be seeking certification for their own facilities," said James Bernard, president at A.R.T.I.

For more, visit THX at www.thx.com. Visit A.R.T.I. at www.audiotraining.com.

Baskind to Design Stealth Pro Audio Products
ADK Microphones has contracted physicist/acoustician/producer/engineer David Baskind to create products for the new ADK division, Stealth Pro Audio. Baskind has done design work in microphone electronics, console topolgy and signal processing for numerous companies, and was the former director of engineering at Aphex Systems and director of research and development for Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs.

"David's design and production credits are simply amazing," said ADK CEO Larry Villella. Baskind will be heading up a design team to introduce cutting-edge products that, according to Villella, are "Made in U.S.A. aerospace technology, highly feature-laden, psycho-acoustic digital and analog sonic-imaging devices."

Stealth Pro Audio will be introduced at the ADK Booth at AES in March.

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 now be running PSP plug-ins; the unit is on display at PSP's booth at Musikmesse (#A 87).

"We are excited to show the PSP plug-ins running on Plugzilla," said Joe Waltz, founder of Manifold Labs, "as they are quickly gaining a reputation of excellence for mastering and mixing--a perfect match for Plugzilla."

"We've been waiting for an opportunity to exist in best studios in the world," said Antoni Ozynski, founder of PSP. "Plugzilla is a good way to do it."

The product is up and running at the show, and features an intuitive user interface, two independent fully routable machines that are capable of running 32 channels of reverb and the ability to simultaneously power as many as eight plug-ins.

For more, visit Manifold Labs online at www.manifoldlabs.com. Visit PSP Audioware at www.pspaudioware.com.

Gibson Europe Launches at Musikmesse
Gibson Europe, the new centralized organization for distribution and marketing Gibson products, officially exhibited at Musikmesse. Headquartered in Vianen, The Netherlands, with a multilingual staff, Gibson Europe will establish joint ventures in various countries to handle sales functions; the first of these, Gibson Med, is based in Milan 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 bring the entire Gibson family of instruments to authorized dealers for the first time," said Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp. "And through our European sales partners, our connection with the musicians who play our instruments will be stronger than ever."

For more, stop by the Gibson Musikmesse booths in the Electric Guitar 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 taken delivery of the first 56-channel TL Audio VTC Console for his new recording facility in Byron Bay, Australia, the latest addition to Misner's expanding 301 Studios Group, which already has commercial studios in Sydney, Cologne and Stockholm. The console was installed into Studio Two ("The Valve Room") by P&G.

"Working with Pro Tools|HD and then mixing it on the valve console is the magic combination," Misner said. "The first three albums I've produced on it sounded great, and the musicians loved it."

TL Audio's managing director, Tony Larking, said, "Tom's SAE Schools have been enthusiastic users of TL Audio products for a few years now, so we were delighted when Tom invested in a VTC. It seems that large-format VTCs are becoming in-demand items right now, with EMI Publishing having just installed a 48-channel console in London--its second VTC--and with other 48- and 56-channel boards currently in production destined for customers in Austria, Spain and the UK."

Check out the VTC online at www.tlaudio.co.uk. Visit 301 Studios at www.studios301.com.

Gefen Intros VGA-to-DVI Conversion Box
Gefen's (Woodland Hills, Calif.) ex-tend-it VGA-to-DVI Adapter is the company's latest conversion solution.

For users who require the analog-to-digital connection but don't have video memory to spare, Gefen's VGA-to-DVI Adapter converts laptop and computer video signals to a static resolution of 1280x1024, while requiring minimal video memory. The adapter directly identifies with the computer's video card, bypassing the need for additional video memory. It works with most legacy computers, either desktop or laptop, and can enable the upgrading of computer systems to include digital screens without updating the computer itself. The VGA-to-DVI Adapter, which is currently shipping, retails for $699. Included in the price are a universal 28-volt power supply, a VGA 6-foot M-M cable and a 6-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 in television commercials and a longtime user of AMS Neve editors and mixing consoles, has ordered a major upgrade and expansion of its current Neve audio workstations to AudioFile SCs (bringing the total to five) and will install a Neve StarNet fiber-optic post-production networking 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 the AudioFile SC," said Bryan Gold, president of Gold Sound. "By upgrading my workstations to SCs and buying the new SCs, my clients benefit from the added processing speed and plug-ins, and we also ensure that if a session is started in one post room, it can be finished in another. It was important to keep the system compatible to avoid scheduling conflicts 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 provides customers with free software and hardware with purchases of Pro Tools|HD and Digidesign control surfaces. All through this month, customers can take advantage of three promotional packages at their local dealer.

Package 1: By purchasing a Pro Tools|HD 3 system and a 192 I/O interface, customers will get free plug-ins with the Pro Tools|Hdpack3 Version 3.0 and a DigiDrive FireWire 80.

Package 2: When customers buy Control|24 with 16 Focusrite mic pre's, they also receive a free 192 A/D card.

Package 3: With the purchase of ProControl Main Unit and at least one 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 of five unique instrument and effect plug-ins for Mac OS X designed by CreativeSynth Development. The package includes three instruments and two effects units for VST- and RTAS-host applications.

The MODE collection includes: BANG, a single-voice percussion module that combines sample playback, FM synthesis and analog-modeling drum synthesis; MONO, a monophonic synthesizer that combines the ease of use and warm filter effects of an analog synthesizer with the control and clarity of an FM engine; POLY, a versatile polyphonic synthesizer loosely based on classic DCO synths, that uses waveforms sampled from popular vintage digital and analog instruments and features a unique polyphonic arpeggiator; SPIN, a rhythm-based effects processor that features a state-variable filter, panning effects, rhythmic gating, delay, distortion and bit reduction; and WASH, an effects processor built around an interconnected network of six fully controllable, recirculating delay

MODE has a MSRP of $295 and will be available for purchase from Cycling '74 (www.cycling74.com) in the third quarter of 2003.

Steinberg Intros HALion 2.0
At Musikmesse, Steinberg unveiled HALion 2.0. Among the new features are brand-new filters from Waldorf and surround sound material by Wizoo.

The new Waldorf filters are provided in numerous different configurations, including 12- and 24dB lowpass and highpass, bandpass and notch. It also offers practically unlimited number of layers per program, as well as modulation routing options. Its 32-stage envelopes can be synchronized to the tempo of the host software, and favorite settings can be stored as presets and loaded for each envelope. Also new to HALion 2.0 is a feature called Step Envelope, a freely configurable modulation source that is suited to rhythmic sound progressions. In addition, extended support is provided for a vast range of sample formats, including Roland S770 sample import and handling of GIGA sample libraries.

HALion 2.0 will be available from April 2003 for a U.S. retail price of $449.99. Updates for registered HALion 1.0 users will be available online for free. HALion supports VST and DXi under Windows 2000/XP and VST under Mac OS X.

For more, visit Steinberg online at www.us.steinberg.net. Stay tuned to mixonline.com for more product announcements from Musikmesse.

Cakewalk Acquires Fxpansion VST Adapter Technology
Cakewalk announced at Musikmesse that it had acquired VST Adapter Technology from UK-based FXpansion, a leading independent developer of soft synths, audio plug-ins and the VST-DX adapter.

As a result of this acquisition, Cakewalk gains exclusive publishing and distribution rights of the FXpansion VST adapter technology. In addition, all support and updates for registered FXpansion adapter users 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 the Mackie Control family, the Mackie Control C4. The Mackie Control C4 is a sophisticated plug-in and virtual instrument controller that provides four banks of eight V-Pots each, and four full-size displays for instant access to as many as 32 separate software parameters without the need for scrolling or bank switching.

"The C4 is the perfect addition to the Mackie Control family," said Mike Newman, director of product development at Mackie Designs Inc. "It's the perfect time-saving tool that plays on the same ideals as the Mackie Control by providing musicians, producers and audio engineers a tangible, analog-style interface for sophisticated plug-ins and virtual instruments."

The C4 also acts as a "quick-fix" tool for fader and pan settings across 32 channels, and can be used independently or with additional Mackie 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 summer 2003. At the time of release, C4 will be supported by MOTU Digital Performer and Emagic Logic Audio. Support from other Mackie Control software 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 and film production teams to securely share, track and review digital media via 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 with a unique combination of its encryption technology and tight access controls over how and when others can interact with it.

"DMOD WorkNet lets studios budget for secure media distribution on a project basis and at a cost that fits easily within typical production budgets," said Mark Tarlov, a partner at estudionetwork, a Web services and networking provider for the entertainment industry. "DMOD WorkNet can shorten turnaround cycles and lower delivery fees, tape consumption and travel costs even on small or short-term projects. The ROI quickly becomes apparent."

DMOD manages setup and administration; production team members automatically receive login and password information, download desktop software from DMOD's Website, and can begin distributing media via a DMOD server to any number of recipients.

DMOD WorkNet pricing begins at $3,500 per project, and varies according to the number of users and length of project. It supports Microsoft 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 both Windows and Mac OS platforms.

New features in Reason 2.5 include: RV7000 advanced reverb, which consists of nine carefully crafted algorithms (small space, room, hall, arena, plate, spring, echo, multitap and reverse) with up to seven individual parameters each. In addition, the RV7000 also includes an EQ and a gate section. The BV512 Digital Vocoder is capable of modulating sounds 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 a distortion 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 a reincarnation of the "Unison" button found on early '80s synths. It fattens up incoming audio by emulating the effect of four, eight or 16 detuned voices playing the same sound. Spider Audio is a utility that merges and splits multiple audio signals. Spider CV is the same as Spider Audio except that the splitting and merging is performed on CV and 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 joined Avatar Studios (New York City), where he will work on various projects in his new Studio H, located on the third floor of the building.

"Jerry's creative energy and strong desire to write songs both individually and collaboratively adds another dimension to Avatar's creative community," said Kirk Imamura, president of Avatar. Barnes stated, "The vibe here is great and infectious, and the staff is wonderful, helpful and quite talented. I am very anxious to get started with my new projects."

Essentially a project studios, Barnes' Studio H houses a Roland 2480, Soundelux U95, Avalon 737 preamp, Great River NV preamp and various other equipment, all relocated from his home studio. According to Barnes, "For the serious artist, the practitioner can get results no matter where the work is done.  However, the practitioner should also make every effort to listen to sounds in different environments and through a variety of high-grade equipment including large consoles and great acoustic live rooms found in 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 quality you are producing. Being in a large studio and mingling with other artists and engineers, the opportunities for exposure are virtually endless. Another bonus is the invaluable support that Avatar's maintenance staff provides."

For more on Avatar Studios, visit www.Avatarstudios.net. For additional information on Barnes, check out www.avatarstudios.net/community/barnes.html.

AMS Neve DFC Helps out 'Chicago'
An AMS Neve DFC provided automation and sound-processing tools on the Bob 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 a 48-fader Neve DFC at Sound One in New York. Minkler praised the performance of the DFC on the movie, which was the first film he had mixed on the console in its entirety. "The DFC did a great job," he said. "We were able to jump around from mix to mix, reel to reel and snapshot to snapshot with relative ease."

Minkler also found the dip filters particularly valuable on such a complex project. "I needed to have multiple dip filters going so that I could get in and remove noises without altering the actors’ voices when singing," Minkler said. "And the DFC’s dip filters performed very well."

Minkler also had to bring together the master edit, Foley, ADR, sound effects, dialog, score and songs, as well as accommodate a few editorial 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 character Roxie, " Minkler said. "But [directory] Rob Marshall created the landscape. Here you have a 1930s-era play with 1970s music that wants to look and feel contemporary. So the job for us became finding a way of effectively weaving these three eras together. We move between reality and fantasy, from music to dialog, and all of this had to be assembled in such a matter that you don’t really notice that you’re in one place or the other. You never feel manipulated by the movie; you just sit back and go for the ride. It's seamless. And the 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 the microprocessor-based model 30 MP by adding new circuit boards and software.

The 30 MP is a complete 1/3-octave, microprocessor-controlled, battery-operated portable audio spectrum analyzer with remote mic and six nonvolatile memories. It also functions as a dB meter and has the capability of reading SPLs in either "A" or "C" weighting. The 30 MP comes with a standard measurement microphone with specifications of +/-1 dB from 20 to 20k Hz. The unit provides 12-volt phantom powering for use with any standard XLR audio cable.

The 30 MP is powered by eight AA alkaline or nicad batteries, or 1.5-volt nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries. An external supply 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 readings make it a snap to use. Users can easily see the large LED readouts and make adjustments, while the RS 232 port increases functionality. It's a perfect fit between our handheld RTAs and the industry-standard DSP 30."

For more, visit www.gold-line.com.

Rocket Network Shutdown
Rocket Network (Burlingame, Calif.) announced that after five years of developing and integrating its collaboration and delivery system, it has 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 those who did were not using it often enough to cover Rocket's costs of operation.

Rocket Network president and CEO Pam Miller said, "We believe it will be a couple of years yet until the market begins to embrace digital delivery and collaboration. Given the current economic climate, we have been unable to secure additional financing to hold us until the market catches up. We still deeply believe in the dream of music and post-production communities working on a project simultaneously from anywhere in the world."

Rocket Network plans to shut down its servers on March 31, 2003, and users with remaining time on a pre-paid account as of that date will be credited 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 system to CEO/master recordist Mike Pappas of American Digital Recording for a series of concert recordings with the Count Basie Orchestra. The multichannel sessions, held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in mid-February, will be used to prepare a special Super Audio CD celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Neumann company and the 100th anniversary of Count Basie's birth.

Using various surround sound arrays of Neumann and Sennheiser microphones, Pappas made simultaneous multitrack Direct Stream Digital recordings of the 18-piece orchestra to the Genex GX9048. "I have been using Genex recorders for a number of years," said Pappas. "We secured GX9048 Serial #0001--the first production model--and it performed flawlessly on the session. The system proved rock-solid and totally reliable.

"Because we were making a series of recordings to show off five different 5.1-channel microphone arrays for comparison on the Neumann Anniversary SACD--in addition to a pair of stereo mixes--it was important that we secure the best possible quality DSD tracks," Pappas continued. "The Genex GX9048 is the only recorder that could handle our multichannel requirements." Neumann microphones used on the CBO session interfaced with Grace Design preamplifiers through Cardis Audio mic cables. Monitoring was via Avalon Acoustic loudspeakers.

Commenting on DSD, Pappas said, "Of all the formats I've used during my 30 years in the industry, Direct Stream Digital still knocks me out; it flawlessly captures every nuance--specifically the detailed harmonic context--of a performance. I do not worry about what I put into the system; it will come out exactly the same. It's been a personal revelation."

For more information from Mike Pappas, American Digital Recording, call 303/988-0976 or e-mail mpappas@qwest.net. Genex can be reached online at www.genexaudio.com.

Mackie Intros 6-Channel Mixer
Mackie Designs showed the new TAPCO 6306, a 6-channel mixer at Musikmesse. This is the first product in the new TAPCO family.

"We are really excited to introduce this new line of cost-effective products," said Ken Berger, senior VP of marketing at Mackie Designs. "TAPCO by Mackie will allow us to significantly grow our customer base by introducing Mackie technology to the entry-level market. We are committed to redefining the entry-level space by growing the TAPCO family of products."

The TAPCO 6306 features two low-noise mic preamps, two instrument inputs, a stereo aux return to monitor, two aux sends, 8-segment LED metering, as well as separate phones and control room level controls.

The TAPCO 6306 will begin shipping in Q2, 2003, and will have a retail price of $119.95 (MSRP). For more, visit color="#0000FF">www.mackie.com.

Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance Debuts
The non-profit Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA) makes it debut by veteran industry executive Paul Gallo. PAMA intends to be the collective voice and forum for the senior executives of more than 400 branded manufacturers of professional audio products.

PAMA's mission is to promote the growth and profitability of professional audio manufacturing, while providing a forum for issues, trends and innovations. It will also share and promote common goals and policy concerns.

According to PAMA executive director Paul Gallo, PAMA will achieve this through highly specific and targeted program elements, which include "defining and promoting the industry and the markets it serves while highlighting the contributions of the high-tech, value-added products the industry manufactures; executing and offering valuable benchmark research, compiling and disseminating market data, including legislative and legal news; sponsoring an executive-level annual retreat and summit, as well as alliance business meetings tied to existing events; monitoring current issues in the industry and reporting on external developments via a Web-based executive-level digest; lobbying to enhance relations with the financial and legal communities and the public sector; and serving as a conduit to other associations to provide input and support on standards, education and other industry initiatives."

Gallo said, "PAMA has been formed to speak for the executives of a unified professional audio industry. We will work with all existing associations to help make them and their shows more effective for the manufacturers that support them. PAMA will not host trade shows.

"I have been a member of the professional audio industry for most of my adult life, and I view the formation of this critically important, non-profit manufacturers alliance as essential in this challenging business climate," Gallo continued. "The industry needs its own voice, and PAMA will be that voice. It will provide a unified presence as the industry seeks new opportunities for future growth and profitability."

Charter regular membership will be offered to senior executives of professional audio manufacturers. Executives of companies affiliated with the pro audio industry can enroll their company as an associate member. 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 or via e-mail at pgallo@pamalliance.org.

Yamaha 02R96 Captures Vocalist Kevin Mahogany
Vocalist Kevin Mahogany recently appeared in "Jammin’ at the Gem," part of the regular season at Kansas City’s Gem Theater Cultural & Performing Arts Center, with a backing combo that included Phil Upchurch on guitar, Red Holloway on sax, Grady Tate on drums and Norman Simmons on piano. To capture the event for a possible live album project, Mahogany enlisted the help of longtime friend and engineer Doug Walker, VP of dBVisionWorks (Overland Park, Kan.).

"Kevin called and asked me to record the show, since he had some pretty strong players with him," Walker said. "Since this was to be an intimate setting, we agreed that we should really capture that atmosphere, so I chose a new Yamaha 02R96 for the job. I’ve been an 02R user for a number of years and always had consistent, clean recordings. That’s particularly important when recording jazz; that is, no coloration and allowing the performances to really speak for themselves. Sonically, the Gem is pretty live, but not overbearing.

"There’s a lot of detail in the room," Walker continued, "so I could get the mix right fairly up front. We didn’t have time to do a big soundcheck, but I had been able to set up things prior to the gig, particularly the input and output patching, which was a plus. Another good thing was that I got to record in what resembled an iso booth, almost like having my own control room. The room had been the original house mix position, but since it was all behind glass, the board [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 came from the house and listened through a pair of KRK V6 reference monitors."

Walker’s gear for tracking included an Apple Mac G4 laptop running Logic Audio Platinum, a pair of MOTU 896 interfaces and FireWire drive, a Mackie 2496 hard disk recorder, a Fostex 16-track hard disk recorder, CD burner and DAT.

"We decided to record in 24-48, since this concert may be part of a live CD, and we weren’t sure what facility would receive it after the recording. I also did a 2-track mix off of the board so it could be previewed, and used the onboard effects of the 02R96."

Mics included Sennheiser KM84s, Audio-Technica 4040s and 4050s, E-V RE20s 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 music platform BeSonic. The company plans to revamp BeSonic and in the coming months, transform it into an artist and promotion platform.

"We are delighted that with the takeover of BeSonic, we are now able to support the music scene with a free publishing platform," said TerraTec's manager Heiko Meertz.

For listeners, BeSonic offers contents that can be accessed via TerraTec's hi-fi/MP3 and PC audio products. BeSonic will remain a neutral forum open to those who offer products and contents for the music 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 gear in their work. Many of the artists on M-Powered V.2 and V.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, Tom Scott and Michael Bearden. M-Powered V.3 includes tracks from Crystal Method, the Benjamin Gate, Supreme Beings of Leisure, Electric Skychurch, Philip Bailey, Duncan Shiek, Scott Kinsey, Gerry Leonard, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Rique Pantoja.

The two CDs are currently available; a copy of either volume is included 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, announced Version 2.5 of PrimeSounds, featuring a brand-new sound effects section called Prime SFX.

All of the sound effects and backdrops were created by sound effect creators Sound Control, a company involved in numerous motion pictures and television productions. The majority of the effects in the library were originally created for commercial projects.

Check out the Prime SFX sound effects library at www.primesounds-sfx.com. While you're there, cruise on over to www.primesounds.com/prime2/sfx/external.jhtml?path=/external/articles/interview_ken.html to read an interview with Ken Skoglund, owner of Sound Control and creator 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 capabilities on 10 separate channels via a wide variety of connections.

Additionally, the UA-1000 offers high-quality microphone preamps using premium analog components, including XLR/TRS combo jacks, hi-Z guitar, S/PDIF, 8-channel ADAT, MIDI, and inserts for effect send/return.

Other features include: 480Mbps transfer speed, allowing the UA-1000 to offer 10-in/10-out 24bit/96kHz, full-duplex performance via hassle-free USB connection; 4x front-mounted XLR/TRS combo jacks with phantom power; 2x stereo (4) inserts I/O for effects sends and returns; ASIO 2.0 and WDM driver support; zero-latency direct monitoring; and a blue 1U metal rackmount case.

In other company news, Edirol showed its new assignable control surface with USB audio and MIDI: the UR-80. The UR-80 is an all-in-one studio box for computer musicians, combining a fully assignable control surface, USB audio interface with 24-bit/96kHz capability, MIDI and the high-quality GM2 Hyper Canvas software synthesizer. The UR-80 control surface resembles a digital mixer, with transport controls, a time wheel and assignable switches for quick access to music software functions. It comes with a Control Map Editor and eight preloaded control maps supporting such sequencers as Sonar, Cubase and Logic, plus a variety of soft synths. More control maps will be available for download on the Edirol Website.

Find out more at www.edirol.com.

Audio-Technica Mics Used at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
The 18th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held March 10, 2003, at the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom in midtown Manhattan, 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, The Clash, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, The Police and the Righteous Brothers. Sidemen inductees included Benny Benjamin, Floyd Cramer and Steve Douglas, while the nonperformer inductee was Mo Ostin.

The company’s new Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless System was the leading choice for frontline vocal performances by Gwen Stefani, John Mayer, Steven Tyler, Paul Schaffer and the Righteous Brothers. Paul Simon’s vocals featured the hardwired AT4054. In addition, most drum kits at the show employed the AE2500 kick drum mic with the AE3000 on toms. The AE5100 was utilized on orchestral bells, percussion and string overheads. The AT4055 was chosen for horns, and ATM35s were used for close-miking on strings, as well as under every cymbal for AC/DC. The AT4047 and AT4050 were used on guitar cabinets, and overheads also employed the AT4050. Background vocals on the Righteous Brothers performance were also captured with the AT4054.

Audio-Technica’s live sound consultant, Joel Singer, worked in cooperation with Effanel Music, which recorded the program and mixed the broadcast from their state-of-the-art, all-digital L7 mobile recording studio and Chelsea production facility. Mitch Maketansky served as audio coordinator once again, responsible for organizing and assigning all the inputs and microphones for the event. Maketansky said, "For the past six years, Audio-Technica has been a mainstay at this event, and we stayed true to that proven strategy this year. Many artists performed with the new Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless System, all with excellent results. I continue to be impressed with the sound quality and dependability of Audio-Technica wireless, and the 5000 Series systems provided the closest sound to a hardwired microphone I’ve heard to date."

For more, visit Audio-Technica online at www.audio-technica.com. For more on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, visit www.rockhall.com.

Dolby Laboratories, Texas Instruments Connect Personal Computers to Home Theaters
Dolby Laboratories and Texas Instruments Incorporated announced that they have jointly sponsored the design and development of a device that allows consumers to easily connect PCs with 1394 connectors to their home-theater systems.

The FireWire-S/PDIF converter allows Dolby Digital and PCM audio to be transferred from a network of IEEE 1394 devices (which may include laptops and desktop PCs) to the S/PDIF connection commonly found on today's home audio equipment. This allows music and gaming enthusiasts to play back popular stereo and multichannel 5.1 computer music files, such as MP3s, AAC and WMA, through their home-theater systems from their PCs. A prototype implementation of this design was shown at Texas Instruments' booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.

The converter, created by Island Digital Media Group, consists of an IEEE 1394 connector at one end and a coaxial S/PDIF connector at the other. It requires no additional wires if power is available from the 1394 cable, though a DC connector is available on the device for an external power supply, if needed. The device runs on a Texas Instruments iceLynx-micro (TSB43CB43A) chip.

According to Bob Brummer, director of technology strategy at Dolby Laboratories, "Because Dolby is prevalent in both consumer electronics and PC entertainment, Dolby Digital is an obvious choice for compelling audio entertainment that can bridge the gap between these environments. As home networks grow in popularity, PCs will play a more prominent role as home entertainment platforms. Simplifying and enabling the connection of PCs to traditional CE devices gives the consumer new ways of enjoying music and gaming entertainment."

Parties interested in bringing this design to market should contact Island Digital Media Group at 206/463-6667, or via e-mail at bob@isdmg.com. Visit Texas Instruments online at www.ti.com.

WaveLab, Nuendo Preserve Historical Recordings
The Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution have collaborated on a landmark project to preserve America's audio heritage. Thanks to funding from a White House Millenium grant, numerous organizations have been subcontracted to archive thousands of pivotal recordings in both digital and analog formats.

According to archivist Dudley Connell, "I can't imagine doing this archiving any other way than using [Steinberg] WaveLab. When we were initially setting up the lab, we were going to try to do it freehand--to go straight from analog tape or DAT to CD--but there was just no way to get an exact marking in the correct place without spending a lot of time. With WaveLab, you have the visual right there in front of you, so it couldn't be easier for getting tracks started exactly where you want them."

Because some of the DAT material arrives at 48 kHz but needs to be archived to 44.1kHz CD-R (as well as to linear digital tape and to analog 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 also normalized the data internally and then used WaveLab's cue and clip sheets for identification purposes. "We attach them to the .WAV files as metadata so that somewhere down the line, the Library of Congress archivists will be able to go through the material and easily determine what each track is."

When backing up to analog tape, Connell used WaveLab's global analysis tool to search for the peaks in each track in order to set the levels on the reel-to-reel machines.

Through its record label--Smithsonian Folkways Recordings--the Smithsonian is also directly involved in this major archiving initiative as part of the publicly and privately funded Save our Sounds project. According to sound-production supervisor Pete Reiniger, "The kind of material we're archiving is music, primarily, though we also have some spoken-word material--narrative sessions from festivals and that type of thing--which are targeted for preservation. We have tapes that date back to 1967 and field recordings that were done prior to that, including acetates that date back to the 1930s. Because of their age and vulnerability to decomposition, they are high on the list of things that are being archived; we have one person here who is actually transferring acetates all day, every day."

Like Connell, Reiniger's audio editor of choice is WaveLab. He and his team record the material to be archived into the program at 24-bit/96kHz resolution and then save it to linear digital tape at that same resolution. The edited audio is also played back from WaveLab at 24/96 to make analog tape backups. Throughout the process, reference 16-bit/44.1kHz CD-Rs are created for listening purposes, using WaveLab's internal sample-rate conversion and Red Book CD-burning tools. "I certainly like the sound of WaveLab, and I'm happy with the results I get from its SRC," he said. Reiniger also relied on the program's various analysis screens, including the bit meter, the spectrum analyzer and the phase meter, which he found useful for setting azimuth on old tapes.

Reiniger also used Steinberg Nuendo for archiving, as well. "The thing that's nice about Nuendo is the ability to edit on a track-by-track basis. On some of the material I'm working on, it's not just a matter of editing the tracks, but editing between takes and within tracks. In Nuendo, I can do multitrack work and really get down to 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 100 years, recently upgraded its house audio capabilities with a new L-Acoustics loudspeaker system.

Steve Colby, of New Hampshire-based Evening Audio Consultants, was selected to head up the retrofit. To assist him on the project, Colby, a senior sound engineer for the Boston Pops and frequent engineer and consultant for the Boston Symphony, chose to assemble a group of seasoned 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 of exceptional fidelity, as the acoustic environment is very pristine and unforgiving of distortion and other undesirable P.A. artifacts. The system must also perform with the same quality as a fine musical instrument in order to blend convincingly with acoustic sound being produced onstage. Over many years of auditioning systems in this space, it was agreed between representatives of the artistic, management and engineering teams at the hall that L-Acoustics systems best satisfied this requirement."

Suspended above the proscenium, the new system features a central cluster of seven L-Acoustics V-DOSC enclosures with a pair of dV-DOSC small-format/downfill array elements hung beneath. Both the V-DOSC and dV-DOSC array elements incorporate a patented DOSC waveguide to facilitate virtually seamless element-to-element coupling. The cluster is augmented on the ground by several portable stage systems, including a front-fill array featuring four MTD108a 8-inch coaxial cabinets mounted on stands and a deck-fill system of stage left/right groundstacks, each comprising a pair of dV-DOSC cabinets mounted on a dV-SUB triple-15 subwoofer. Adding to system versatility, the dV-DOSC deck-fills can be replaced as needed with a pair of MTD115a 15-inch coaxial 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 first fruits of their collaboration: the full release of a software plug-in ported to Soundart’s Chameleon platform.

FXDesigner from SpinAudio is the first VST/DX plug-in to be ported to the Chameleon platform. It is a delay-based digital audio effects processor with a flexible signal-processing design that allows to produce such audio effects as chorus, flanger, phaser, spatial effects, various reverbs and any combination of above. FXDesigner offers six modulated delay lines with LP/HP filter sections, six freely assignable LFOs and flexible tap interconnection matrix. It comes with a factory bank of 70-plus ready-to-use presets.

For more, visit SpinAudio and Soundart at www.spinaudio.com and www.soundart-hot.com/english/index.htm, respectively.

AKG Intros Wireless Mic System
At NSCA, AKG Acoustics introduced its new wireless WMS 4000 microphone system, a true-diversity wireless system that is flexible enough for multi-users and multichannel applications.

According to Tom Stotler, AKG’s market development manager, music and touring sound, "The WMS 4000 is very rugged and extremely reliable in environments hostile to RF transmission."

WMS 4000 Components and optional accessories include: The SR 4000 is a true-diversity, frequency-agile UHF receiver on a 30MHz-wide UHF-wide bandwidth containing preset intermodulation-free frequencies and access to up to 1,200 switchable frequencies. Three separate 30MHz channels may be selected for use in the U.S., offering a maximum of approximately 50 usable channels that are limited only to other external RF interference. Dynamic range is greater than 112 dB; an Output Level switch allows the selection of three output levels at -30, 0, +6 dB.

The PT 4000 bodypack and the HT 4000 handheld UHF transmitters incorporate programmed, prematched, optimized frequency groups that allow for quick, easy frequency selection. Other features include backlit LCD for system status monitoring and a jog wheel for quick system setup and navigation. These transmitters are encased in magnesium metal chassis for rugged onstage use, and have a usable operation distance of up to 330 feet. with a system audio bandwidth from 35 Hz to 20 kHz.

The CU 4000 charging unit features two charging bays that are designed to hold two separate HT 4000 handheld, PT 4000 transmitters or BP 4000 battery packs. The CU 4000 can charge two battery packs simultaneously in one hour. A three-step LED on the CU 4000 displays the charging status. It can be powered by either an external DC adapter or 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-day Syn-Aud-Con seminar for employees at its Stow, Ohio, headquarters. The event took place February 10 and 11 and was attended by 25 employees from the sales, marketing, R&D/engineering, quality control and service departments, who were subsequently certified in Sound System Optimization. The System Optimization program focused on the setup and use of sound systems.

Syn-Aud-Con, or Synergetic Audio Concepts, instructor Pat Brown, a contractor/consultant who has designed and installed sound systems for all venue types, provided an in-depth and comprehensive program to ensure that A-T employees are proficient in the numerous aspects of optimizing a sound system in a practical manner.

For more, visit Audio-Technica online at www.audio-technica.com. Visit Syn-Aud-Con at www.synaudcon.com.

Allen & Heath Upgrade Denver Club
The Church, one of Denver's nightspots, recently performed a major upgrade to its sound and lighting systems on all three dancefloors, replacing the existing desks with Allen & Heath Xone Series professional club mixers in the process.

Tim Hannum, of Diavolo Systems in Houston, was contracted to perform the refurbishment. Head of sound Mike McCray and club promoter Brad Roulier of Together Productions recommended that the existing mixers at both venues be replaced with Allen & Heath equipment.

McCray and the technical crew installed an Allen & Heath Xone:62 mixer in the main room at The Church. The professional club mixer provides six dual-stereo channels plus VCF filters and a powerful 4-band EQ section. "The fact that the Allen & Heath has the filters on it is a huge benefit. The filters are really clean," said McCray. "The inputs and outputs are really nice, and it's really flexible and fits in with any system that I can imagine. I've been a DJ for 13 years, so I know both sides: mixing and working with the consoles as well as installing them. That was one of the only mixers that I felt comfortable putting in with that system."

Diavolo Systems and McCray designed a custom, four-corner speaker stack system using a four-way JBL AE Line system. The system also incorporates large subwoofers and is controlled by a BSS ProSys PS-8810 system 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 audio mixing 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-based Richie Dempsey, who is using it for the Idlewood tour. Dempsey has been working with the band since the V2001 festival and said that the combination of Tour Tech's support and the intuitive dependability of the desk made this choice easy. "Although the priority was Coldplay, Tour Tech's Jon Burton, who was babysitting the system, was really helpful," said Dempsey. A matrix connection was provided from Coldplay's FOH desk straight into the MH4.

With Idlewild, he mixed three guitars, two vocals, bass, drums and acoustic guitar with pickup, using 25 channels on the board and four stereo FX returns. "We were playing back through a V-DOSC system, which is fairly unforgiving; if you make a mistake, you will be found out. Fortunately, the MH4 didn't allow me to. The EQ sounded particularly good at the high end. I was able to roll off a bit of the highs and it sounded really nice. I really liked the desk prompts and the fact that it tells you what to do with reference to the mute groups and VCAs, for example. 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 Ascani recently completed the audio mix for Sirius Satellite Radio's brand-identity campaign. The first four animated 30-second spots, "Bear Witness," "Bounce," "Planet Jazz" and "Strings," and a minute cinematic version of "Bear Witness" were developed through Crispin Porter & Bogusky (Miami). The first of six spots in the campaign rolled out nationally February 3, 2003.

Rosen used a Soundtracs DPC-II digital console and an AVID AudioVision, 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-based composition and performance tool designed for the Mac.

The program is based on loop channels represented by circular displays, each with its own performable multifilter and pitch-shifting/time scaling. Almost every aspect of the system can configured for live performance or studio recording and can be controlled from a variety of sources (control surfaces, MIDI, keyboard or mouse). radiaL features complete multichannel audio I/O support, audio and effects routing, and support for VST plug-ins; all major audio file formats and I/O standards are supported. Users will also receive a dozen VST plug-in effects from the Pluggo collection and a tempo-synched filter/delay.

Other features include: sample-accurate loops and synching; support for .AIFF, .WAV and MP3 files; dynamic interchange of loops and DSP effects; built-in library of external MIDI-controller templates and the ability to add your own; flexible audio routing and support for ASIO, ReWire, DirectConnect and VST on OS 9; and record direct to disk on-the-fly.

A fully functional radiaL demo can be downloaded and tried out for 15 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-96 96kHz Digital Format and Sample-Rate Converter. The IEEE-1394 I/O allows users to send and receive multichannel digital audio signals over an IEEE-1394 S400 network at up to 400 Mbps/second. The card supports Yamaha’s mLAN protocol.

The Otari ND-20 audio-network distribution system, Yamaha PM1D/DM-2000 or any other available IEEE-1394 mLAN product can be connected to the IEEE-1394 audio network. Installation of the option board in the FS-96 permits audio data conversion between IEEE-1394 and all common data formats (including AES/EBU, TDIF, SDIF and ADAT) supported by the FS-96. The option board can handle up to 24 channels of 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 in the United Kingdom and Ireland by Focusrite beginning April 1, 2003. Focusrite replaces Sonic Sales of the UK, and will be headed up by Focusrite sales director Chris Gooddie and his management team.

Blue owner Skipper Wise said, "This distribution move is a natural progression of a tremendously successful cooperative marketing partnership that we've forged in the United States with the help of Dino Virella, national sales manager of Focusrite U.S. We would like to extend our thanks and deep appreciation to Sonic Sales for all of their efforts. They have been instrumental in the growth and awareness of Blue products in the UK."

For more information, visit Blue Microphones online at www.bluemic.com. Contact Focusrite online at www.focusrite.com.

Norah Jones Upcoming DVD Mastered by Charlie Watts
At 5.1 Entertainment Group in West Los Angeles, Charlie Watts is currently mastering new and catalog material for an upcoming Norah Jones' DVD-Audio and CD release using digital technology from Z-Systems.

"I pretty much got rid of all my analog stuff," said Watts, whose mastering suite at 5.1 Entertainment is outfitted with the Z-Systems 24-bit/96kHz z-Q6 6-channel digital mastering equalizer and the z-CL6 6-channel digital dynamics processor. "They're really fantastic. I find that these things are really musical. They make EQ'ing natural, and the compressor and dynamics section is just truly awesome on any program material."

Watts, who has been mastering in the surround format since 1995, said that, even compared to 12 months ago, mastering DVD-Audio and DVD-Video is no longer such a time-consuming process. "We're mastering one to two DVD audio discs a day typically. Our mastering bookings currently service 10 to 25 discs per month, on average. We're moving capacity up to 50 a month, due to a huge increase in demand for DVD-Audio discs. We can deliver a mastered DVD-Audio disc within eight hours if we have to, but we try not to do that every day!"

Find out more about 5.1 Entertainment at www.5point1.net. For more on Z-Systems, visit www.z-sys.com.

Megatrax Adds New Sound Libraries to Catalog
Megatrax Production Music, a supplier of original, high-quality production 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 classical collection. Also, the company has produced MEGASONICS, a state-of-the-art producers' sound design toolkit for post-production.

Intervox is an international music library specially designed for film, television, radio and new-media productions. With over 40,000 tracks in both nostalgic and contemporary styles, Intervox offers a broad 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 and ABC's The Drew Carey Show and many others.

The ARTS catalog offers classical hits, chamber music, concerts and symphonies, soloist works and operas, as well as an extensive range of rarities, niche-repertoire and world-premiere recordings.

MEGASONICS was produced by some of today's top sound designers and engineers utilizing state-of-the-art technology, and features literally hundreds of the most useful and creative atmospheres, drones, musical beds, 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 Tonight Show with Jay Leno for the past two years, has recently upgraded all eight cast mics. "We use five lavaliers for guests, and now all five of those are Sennheiser MKE Platinums, plus Jay and Kevin Eubanks [house band leader and Leno sidekick], so that's seven. The eighth is a spare."

The eight lavalier microphones–normally allocated to Leno, Eubanks and the show's speaking guests–are occasionally supplemented for larger performances. "Depending on the number of guests, we will add to that," said Lucatorto. "I think the most lavs we've had on the show was close to 30. We had a theatrical production as our musical number, so we probably had 20 cast mics on singers. In those cases, we used the venerable Sennheiser MKE 2s."

The Tonight Show, which features an Innova-Son digital console mixing the house sound for the audience, switched over to Sennheiser SK 5012 subminiature wireless bodypack transmitters a few months ago. "The SK 5012 sounds great and it's perfect for guests, especially women, who prefer a 'barely there' transmitter," said Lucatorto. "The extraordinarily small dimensions of the 5012 make them easy to hide on the person." Lucatorto noted that many guests are not used to wearing wireless microphone apparatus, "since boom microphones are more typically used in film and TV production. Wearing a lav and bodypack 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 the right 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 the Moon in 5.1 surround on Super Audio CD. Producer and engineer James Guthrie, who has worked with the band for more than two decades, was asked to handle the remix.

"This was a very difficult 5.1 mix," Guthrie said. "Not from a musical point of view, because the record really lends itself to a three-dimensional treatment, but from the point of view that everyone knows 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 that image to be altered. Knowing that you are about to start work on something controversial can be unsettling.

"The issues with a 5.1 remix all come down to one question: Have you retained the emotional impact of the songs?" Guthrie continued. "All this technology is meaningless if you've turned the album into a video game."

Guthrie said that he wanted to mix from the original 16-track tapes. Fortunately, the source material was cataloged at Abbey Road and was in good shape. The studio made copies for safekeeping and sent the originals to Guthrie's das boot studio in Northern California.

"As this is a conceptual work, we agreed that I should mix the entire album and then play it to the individual bandmembers for their input. That way, they could experience everything in context." Guthrie made sure that all of the bandmembers experienced his mixes through the same ATC speaker line that he created them on. "ATC speakers are simply fantastic. I cannot say enough about them. The imaging is unlike anything I've experienced. The dispersion characteristic is exceptional, and the speakers always remain phase-coherent." Guthrie used 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 on signal conversion and perceptual effects; DSP in recording; interfacing loudspeaker and room; creating space with DSP; and DSP in loudspeakers.

The keynote address by Jeff Bier of Berkeley Design Technology Inc. (Berkeley, Calif.) is entitled, "Trends and Directions in Signal Processing Hardware for Audio Applications" and will explore how recent advances in DSP hardware have altered audio processing.

Online registration and complete program information is available at www.aes.org/events/23.






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