Mix News for May 2003

May 20, 2003 12:00 PM, Sarah Benzuly


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

News May 1 - 15

Lake Technology, Dolby Agree on Royalty Payment
Lake Technology has entered into a formal agreement with Dolby Laboratories with respect to royalty levels relating to Dolby Headphone and Dolby Virtual Speaker. Both of these products were developed by Lake Technology and licensed to Dolby.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dolby guarantees Lake Technology a minimum royalty payment of $400,000 per quarter for the six quarters beginning on September 30, 2002, through December 31, 2003. The agreement also sets an upper limit on the amount for this period of $500,000 per quarter.

Chris Gilbey, CEO of Lake Technology, said, "Once again, the strength of our relationship with Dolby and their commitment to Lake's success has been demonstrated. This guarantee helps us to focus our resources and gives us the stability to develop our nascent direct licensing and pro audio divisions. The actual royalties for the last three quarters has been below this guaranteed amount, so we have already derived significant benefit from this arrangement."

Previously reported, Ed Schummer, Dolby Laboratories' senior VP and general manager of the consumer division, said "Dolby Headphone is what we call an 'at-will' technology. Its revenue growth has already outpaced the rate of early growth of our own similar licensed-in, at-will technologies, such as Dolby Pro Logic. Peaks and troughs in such revenues are typical of the early stages of such technology adoption, and even at the mature stage, seasonal peaks and troughs took place and should be expected."

For more, visit Lake Technology at www.lake.com.au and Dolby Laboratories at www.dolby.com.

Audio Technica Shows 3000 Series
Audio-Technica's new 3000 Series UHF True-Diversity Wireless Microphone Systems is a 200-channel frequency-agile UHF wireless designed for live performance, regional touring companies, fixed installs, public address and places of worship.

Operating in the 600MHz frequency band with 200 selectable frequencies, all components have soft-touch controls for quick, easy access for setup and operation. The 3000 also features Audio-Technica's Digital Tone Lock Squelch and an easy-to-read LCD in each unit.

The series comprises two system options: the ATW-3110 UHF UniPak Transmitter System (which consists of the ATW-R310 true-diversity receiver and the ATW-T310 UniPak body pack transmitter) and the ATW-3141 UHF Handheld Dynamic Microphone System, which also includes the ATW-R319 receiver, plus the ATW-T341 handheld microphone/transmitter; the ATW-T341 mic features the same capsule as the company's Artist Elite AE4100 microphone. Additionally, both transmitters have dual-power settings: high for maximum range and low for extended battery life.

The series comes complete with all rackmounting hardware and is currently available at these MSRPs: ATW-3110 UHF UniPak body pack system, $699; and ATW-3141 UHF Handheld Microphone System, $799.

For more information, visit www.audio-technica.com.

Birdland Gets a Digital Leg-Up
In 1997, Birdland's (New York City) recording engineer/house sound engineer David Ruffo built a control room designed to record live shows: "It’s small, but complete," he said. "It beats the kitchens and stairwells that you often encounter at other clubs. It’s all ready to go." Recently, the recording room made the switch to a completely digital path with the addition of a new Yamaha 02R96 as the main console.

"I’ve spent years working in studios, and the 02R96 has a ‘pro’ vibe," he said. "A lot of engineers respect it. I also read the reviews, compared features and auditioned other products. It has enough knobs to keep the operator from living in the keypad and scrolling around. The EQ and compressors have all the parameters on the desktop, and the board has a nice ‘analog’-type flow to it, so you don’t have to go through a lot of pages. Initially, that was my fear of doing any live recording with a digital board: If something goes down onstage, you don’t want to start paging through stuff."

Ruffo recently used the new board on recording dates for the Django Reinhardt Festival, the Roy Haynes Quartet and Scott Whitfield’s Big Band. "I was blown away by the mixes," Ruffo said. "They sounded really open and transparent; they had an almost ‘silky’ quality. The imagery and depth perception was incredible. We have a lot of big bands perform here, and many of the digital boards on the market didn’t offer enough mic preamps. These mic pre’s and A/D converters sound great. Now, with the recording path in the digital domain, we’ve noticed a 20 to 30-percent increase in the sonic quality. Even the rough monitor mixes are noticeably better.

"We’ve got Tascam DA-78 24-bit machines, which are TDIF’d through the 02R96, and a Panasonic SV3800," Ruffo continued. "I just purchased a new computer and am interfacing it with Nuendo, which can be controlled from the surface of the 02R96. I’m using the 02R96’s onboard effects, but kept some of the old outboard gear [a Lexicon PCM90 and MXP500, multiple dbx 1066 units and an Aphex Compeller 320A] since I hate to get rid of anything." A small video monitor and a pair of Event 20/20bas Direct Field reference cabinets monitor the action onstage.

Recent live broadcasts from the club have included radio station WBGO’s "Jazzathon" and the NPR broadcast of pianist Marian McPartland’s birthday party, with Billy Taylor, Nora Jones and Tony Bennett. "I also do remote recordings," Ruffo added, "and have purchased a road case for the 02R96, so it will travel with me."

For more on the 02R96, visit www.yamaha.com/proaudio.

Audio One Upgrades Chick Corea Studios
Audio One, Inc. recently completed two high-end audio and video projects for jazz pianist Chick Corea, which included installing Pro Tools|HD3 environments in two recording studios along with a Runco and PMC home theater for high-performance viewing and listening. The installation was done to support Corea’s forthcoming box set of DSD recordings at the Blue Note in New York.

The studios were focused around a Pro Tools|HD3 system with Studio Network Solutions fiber drives and a Digidesign 002. The studios also boast two Yamaha 02R96 consoles with PMC loudspeakers. Both studios were networked using copper fiber for drive storage and Ethernet for file transfers and Internet access. The studio needed to be designed, wired and installed in less than three weeks.

In addition to the studios, a front projection home-theater was installed next to the studios to view and listen to DVD-Audio and multichannel SACD. Corea’s home theater consists of a Runco projector and Marantz surround system complemented by PMC loudspeakers.

"We’re tremendously excited to continue to enhance the technological experience of a world-renowned artist such as Chick Corea," said Audio One founder and president David Frangioni. "Audio One is continuing a tradition throughout the music industry of delivering high-end, personal, yet professional multimedia installations."

"Audio One’s David Frangioni has that rare and great ability to make a simple and effective result happen in a field where complexities and floods of information abound and new techniques are invented daily," said Corea.

For more on Audio One, visit www.audio-one.com.

WiebeTech Adds FireWire, USB2 to MicroGB+
WiebeTech (Wichita, Kan.) has upgraded its MicroGB+ by adding FireWire and USB2 ports. The new MicroGB+TM Combo is now available in capacities up to 80 GB.

In addition, the USB2 port is backward-compatible with USB 1.1. The MicroGB+ Combo includes the enclosure, drive, cables, AC adapter and a compact, rugged carrying case made of anodized aluminum, as well as a copy of MediaFour's Mac Drive 5 software (a value of $59.95), which allows Mac-formatted drives to be read on Windows computers. The user-configurable version of the product also includes a screwdriver for easy installation of any 9.5mm notebook.

"The MicroGB+ Combo is based on the popular OXFW911 controller chip, and features extremely fast transfer rates, as well as compatibility with virtually all computers," said James Wiebe, CEO of WiebeTech LLC. 'MicroGB+ Combo utilizes an ultrathin aluminum case, which is superior to plastic enclosures in size and in heat dissipation."

To find out about different configurations and respective pricing, visit www.wiebetech.com.

Doyle Technology Consultants Enter DTV Foray
Doyle Technology now offers a multichannel master control solution that is designed to address ATSC data-stream management. The system includes NVISION's Master Control/Multiformat Routing Switcher and Titan™ automation system from Sundance Digital.

In addition to 128 system inputs, NVISION's switcher provides mixing, keying and voice-over capabilities, as well as built-in squeezeback and a logo store. Sundance Digital's Titan can support several business models including datacasting, time shifting and cooperative plants such as duopolies, as well as those needing to centrally automate operations across widely dispersed functions. The system's graphical user interface allows easy monitoring and control of playlists, and a distributed processing architecture ensures reliability. The Doyle solution can also be used with Sundance Digital's FastBreak Automation systems.

From Doyle Technologies, the system features a comprehensive visual monitor and control system, which allows operators to visually monitor, on one screen, branding operations while simultaneously maintaining override control, monitoring upcoming automated events, monitoring and managing AC-3 audio encoding settings, and displaying program services information in readable form. The system is also server-based to allow assignable multichannel status viewing nd multi-user access control.

"Like the broadcast industry, the business of systems integration is rapidly evolving from what it was just a few years ago," said Greg Doyle, president of Doyle Technology Consultants. "Integration is no longer merely the processing and interconnecting of signals. Of course, that's still important, but it also now involves the interconnection of information across hardware platforms and application software. With the development of the visual monitor and control application, we are taking the significant step of moving further into this new arena."

For more, visit www.doyletech.com.

InnovaSon to Debut Sy80
Designed for live sound touring, fixed install and broadcast apps, the Sy80 from InnovaSon features a brand-new control surface, new software and the ability for users to define any console fader's function.

The Sy80 features 80 inputs, 80 outputs, 80 faders and 48 mix buses houses in a new chassis weighing less than 176 pounds. Combined with a new version of the company's real-time console software manager, Sensoft 8, and a new DSP module built around the latest SHARC digital signal processors, the Sy80 offers greater mixing capabilities.

Sensoft 8 software includes XFAD technology and the Fader Configuration System that allow users to define the function of each fader on the console surface. For example, faders configured to control mix buses can be designated as mono, stereo or LCR; auxiliary or matrix masters; audio subgroups; or VCP group masters. A virtually unlimited number of VCA groups may be created. Faders designated as inputs can be configured as mono, stereo or multiple XFAD expanded faders. For example, an unlimited number of inputs, such as a group of drum channels, can be assigned and "stacked" beneath a single "development" fader for control by that fader. The user may then designate a "deployment" zone of faders anywhere on the console where the relative levels of individual inputs assigned to the development fader may be displayed when selected. Also, users are presented with visual cues regarding inputs assigned to mix buses.

The system also incorporates Mix Box, a local audio rack that is remote controlled from the control surface. Mounted in a separate flight case or located in the control room or remote vehicle, Mix Box allows outboard equipment to be directly connected to the console I/O, minimizing cable lengths and ensuring signal quality and reliability.

Othe features include dual-redundant auto-switching power supplies, which can be fitted in the back of a console or in a rack. MSRP: $71,000.

For more, visit InnovaSon's U.S. distributor, Sennheiser, at www.sennheiserusa.com.

Sony Buys Sonic Foundry's Desktop Software Assets
Sony Pictures Digital and Sonic Foundry Inc. announced today that Sony Pictures Digital has reached an agreement to purchase all of Sonic Foundry's desktop software products and related assets for $18 million cash and assumption of certain trade payables, accrued liabilities and capital leases associated with the desktop software business. The acquisition of Sonic Foundry's desktop software follows the recent retail release of Sony Pictures Digital's Screenblast Movie Studio and Screenblast Music Studio video and music-mixing applications created in conjunction with Sonic Foundry's award-winning software team.

Included in the sale are Sonic Foundry's ACID, Sound Forge and Vegas series of software products, as well as other related assets. Sony anticipates maintaining the group's Madison, Wis. base. The Board of Directors of Sonic Foundry has approved the transaction and certain shareholders have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the sale. Approval of the agreement may be subject to Sonic Foundry shareholder approval and other various conditions.

"During the past three years, we have come to recognize and admire Sonic Foundry's engineering expertise and value their software applications. We are excited to integrate this world-class team and their products into our ongoing efforts to produce and deliver the next generation of consumer entertainment services," said Patrick Kennedy, executive VP of Sony Pictures Digital.

"The sale of our music and video digital software products is a key milestone in Sonic Foundry's history," said Rimas Buinevicius, chairman and CEO of Sonic Foundry. "We couldn't pick a better partner than Sony Pictures Digital to carry on the same passion and success we've achieved over the past 12 years. Consummation of this agreement will give us the cash we need to pay our debt and allow us to focus our attention on writing the next successful chapter of Sonic Foundry's story–rich media–and building upon the early success we've already achieved with our Web presentation solution, Media Site Live."

For more, visit www.sonypictures.com or www.sonicfoundry.com.

Allen&Heath Announces Console Giveaway
From today until July 31, 2003, anyone who purchases an Allen&Heath (Agoura Hills, Calif.) ML4000 or ML5000 live sound VCA mixing console in the U.S. will receive a free Allen&Heath MixWizard 16:2DX console.

MixWizard is a pro audio mixer in a compact package, offering 4-band EQ, six auxiliary sends on six discrete buses, 100mm ALPS faders and built-in programmable digital effects with external MIDI editing and control.

Purchasers who take delivery of the qualifying products on or before July 31, 2003, can pick up a copy of the redemption form at www.Allen-Heath-USA.com; users simply complete the form and send it with a copy of the sales receipt to the company's office to receive their complimentary MixWizard console.

Eventide Now Shipping Clockworks Legacy Plug-Ins
Eventide's (Little Ferry, N.J.) Clockworks Legacy Plug-Ins, including the H910, Omnipressor, Instant Phaser, Instant Flanger and H949 for Digidesign's Pro Tools TDM systems, are now shipping.

The Omnipressor, modeled after the analog hardware processor that was introduced by Eventide in 1971 and was available until 1984, is analog compressor that operates at 48/96/192kHz sample rates.

The Instant Phaser, modeled after the first analog phaser, was also introduced by the company in 1971 and sold through 1977. The Phaser retains the original's functions, including a sweeping filter bank with two outputs that are 180 degrees out-of-phase from each other. The plug-in also supports 48/96/192kHz sample rates.

The H910, Eventide's first Harmonizer brand effects processor, was introduced in 1975 and sold through 1984. The plug-in retains same functions as its predecessor, except MIDI is implemented in place of CV; sampling rates are at 48 and 96 kHz.

The Instant Flanger, an analog flanger, was first released in 1976 and sold through 1984. The plug-in features mono in and two channel outs with one 180 degrees out-of-phase from the other. Modulation sources can be blended between input level and the LFO and supports 48/96/192kHz sample rates.

The H949, its predecssor first introduced in 1977 and sold through 1984, re-creates the unique pitch change and delay functions of the original and operates at 48- and 96kHz sample rates.

For more, visit www.eventide.com.

CeBI CES Home Electronics Show Cancelled
CeBIT CES Home Electronics Show, a joint tradeshow co-sponsored by Hannover Faires and the CEA, has been cancelled due to a decision that the show should be postponed because of the outbreak of SARS. The tradeshow was originally planned for May 14-17, 2003, in Shanghai, China. Dates for the 2004 CeBIT CES Home Electronics Show have not been set.

Updated information can be found at www.home-electronics.com.cn.

Conway Recording Installs SSL Console
When Conway Recording owner Buddy Brundo upgraded Studio B, he chose a Solid State Logic XL 9000 K Series SuperAnalogue console to handle mixing projects.

"We have a J Series in Studio C and that room has been booked solid for the past six years, so the logical extension for Studio B had to be the next-generation console from SSL, and that is the XL," said Brundo.

Studio B, part of Conway’s 48,000-square-foot campus, features a 25x20-foot control room with a large window overlooking scenic outdoor gardens and a small isolation booth for overdubs or voice-overs. As the XL is surround-ready, Conway is outfitting the room for 5.1 monitoring. "The 5.1 people usually bring in their own speakers," said Brundo. "But for the XL, we decided to install a complete surround-capable monitor system that meets the sonic specifications of the room.

"The center of the XL console has a video monitor in it that is compatible with Pro Tools," he continued. "The engineer can now run the Pro Tools from the console, so he doesn’t have to turn around to an outboard computer screen. The operator can be right there in the sound field throughout the mix, boosting the creative flow of a session. Engineers today are so busy running around like maniacs from studio to studio that they really don’t have the time to learn new automation systems, much less an entire control surface; they just want to come in, sit down at the console and work. Everyone is very comfortable with the SSL automation already, especially if they have worked on a J Series, so the transition to the XL is very smooth."

For more, visit SSL at www.solid-state-logic.com or Conway Recording at www.conwayrecording.com.

Edirol Releases Software Editor for PCR Keyboard Series
Edirol (Bellingham, Wash.) has released downloadable PCR Editor software for use with the Edirol PCR-30 and PCR-50 USB MIDI Keyboard Controllers, allowing for control over PCR keyboards from a PC or Mac.

The PCR Editor is designed to assist in creating control maps for the PCR and allow users to quickly and easily make assignments to any of the 27 assignable controls, as well as the ability to copy system-exclusive messages for the PCR into a sequence so the controls can be mapped or changed during a sequence. In addition to easy implementation of different MIDI messages, the PCR Editor allows the user to specify minimum/maximum values for each control.

The PCR Editor is available as a free download from the Edirol Website at www.edirol.com, and supports Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, Mac 8.6-9.x and OS X.

Wizoo Publishes Cubase SX/SL Book
Wizoo now offers Cubase SX/SL - Mixing and Mastering, an easy-to-read and practical book that will help readers improve their arranging, mixing and mastering skills using the features in Steinberg’s Cubase SX/SL, the book provides advanced tips and tricks.

Cubase SX/SL - Mixing and Mastering also includes a CD-ROM featuring many audio examples and Cubase projects, and is available now directly from Wizoo (www.wizoo.com) for $40.

Studer Receives Largest Order to Date
Studer announced that it has received its biggest ever order for large-frame digital consoles from Seoul Broadcasting Systems in Korea for the company's new Broadcasting Center in Seoul. With six D950 M2 and three Vista 7 consoles already delivered, SBS has ordered a another six Studer D950 M2 consoles and two more Vista 7 consoles.

The D950 M2 consoles will be installed as pairs in three new HDTV studios. Studio 3, for sports programming, will have a 32-fader main console with a 24-fader subconsole; Studio 4, designed for cultural and educational program production, will have a 40-fader main console and a 24-fader subunit; and the news studio, Studio 7, will be fitted with the largest main console with 48 faders with the third 24-fader subconsole.

The two 30-fader Vista 7 digital production consoles are destined for the two new HDTV post-production studios.

"This new order," said Studer AG president Bruno Hochstrasser, "was placed with Studer through our our exclusive Korean distributor, DYC Dong Yang Trading Co., because SBS was very satisfied with the first batch of consoles, in terms of both reliablity and ease of operation. It will make SBS one of Studer's largest installations worldwide."

For more, visit Studer online at www.studer.ch.

Mackie No Longer Distributing Soundscape
According to Mackie Designs' Website, the company is no longer distributing the Soundscape product line. Mackie notes that it will continue to provide support for Soundscape customers. No other information was provided. Stay tuned to mixonline.com as more information becomes available.

Visit www.mackie.com/mbp/index.html.

Billy Branch, Jack LeTourneau Win Best Blues CD of the Year
Blue Sun recording artist and 2001 Grammy nominee, Billy Branch, and Paragon Studio's (Chicago) producer/engineer Jack LeTourneau recently won for the "Best Blues CD of the Year" ( Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues) Award at the 22nd annual Chicago Music Awards banquet held recently in Chicago.

Recent clients at Paragon include comedian Vito Lantz mastering new comedy CD; Voiceless recording artists Apartment tracking their new CD with Marti Marro engineering; American English laying tracks for their new release; Evil Caesars recording artists Zeus Fuse mixing a new CD; Satellite Music recording artists Get Christy Love and Yvette Lera tracking for new CD releases with producer/engineer LeTourneau; and rap artists Do or Die recorded live at the Chicago Theater by Satellite/Remote.

For more, visit Paragon Studios at www.paragonrecordingstudio.com.

Aphex Used on Jimmy Kimmell Show
ABC-TV's Jimmy Kimmell Live late-night comedy talk show has been using the Apex Argos and Hera sound-level limiting system for its nightly outdoor live music performances. The Argos sound-level limiter and Hera controller are used to ensure that sound-pressure levels generated by the performance's sound reinforcement system do not disturb the Hollywood-based broadcast's nearby neighbors.

The show, which airs shortly after midnight, regularly features musical performances from an outdoor stage setup behind the broadcast theater, a former Masonic temple adjacent to Disney's El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Recent guests have included Godsmack, Saliva and former Guns 'N Roses guitarist Slash. With the loudspeaker system aimed in the direction of a residential area only a few hundred yards away, and musical acts often performing until well after 10 p.m., the Apex Argos sound leveler and Hera controller ensure that neighbors are not disturbed by out-of-control SPLs.

According to Andrew "Fletch" Fletcher, who frequently serves as FOH engineer for the outdoor musical segments, the Apex system is transparent in operation. "Argos subtly adjusts my output level," said Fletcher. "I don't even notice when it's working. It is much more acoustically friendly than a limiter, which means that not only are the neighbors happy, but so are the musical guests' engineers."

For more, visit Apex online at www.apex-audio.be.

Copyright Office Publishes Proposed Rates, Terms for Webcasting
The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress has published proposed regulations that set rates and terms for the use of sound recordings in eligible nonsubscription transmissions (e.g., Webcasting) for the 2003 and 2004 statutory licensing period; for the use of sound recordings in transmissions made by new subscription services from 1998 through December 31, 2004; and for the making of ephemeral recordings necessary for the facilitation of such transmissions.

The rates and terms do not pertain to the use of sound recordings in digital transmissions of simulcasts of AM and FM radio broadcast programming, including transmissions made by noncommercial entities and to small commercial Webcasters who elect to operate under the Small Webcasters Settlement Act of 2002. These regulations will go into effect unless the Office receives written objection from a party with a substantial interest who objects to the proposed rates and terms and who files a "Notice of Intent to Participate in a Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel."

Comments are due by June 2, 2003. See the Copyright Office Website at www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2003/68fr23241.html.

Lake Technology Moves U.S. Office
Lake Technology, makers of the acclaimed Lake Contour DSP-based loudspeaker control/equalization system (www.contour.lake.com), has moved its U.S. headquarters to expanded new facilities at 340 Brannan St., San Francisco, CA 94107. The company's phone (415/861-1147) and Website (www.lake.com) remain the same.

SMPTE Requests Feedback on Proposed Change
SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) is requesting feedback regarding changes to the SMPTE 299M-1997 embedded audio standard, "24-Bit Digital Audio Format for 292M Bit-Serial Interface"; SMPTE 299M is currently undergoing revision within the N26 Technology Committe and a change has been proposed that may affect compatibility of existing devices.

The 299M standard was written to support a 1125 line-video standard, but since its original publication, according to SMPTE, the scope of the 299M serial interface has been extended to support other video formats. The current 299M standard does not support at least one format currently defined for the 292M interface, and the proposed change is a solution to solve the incompatibility with this video format and other formats that may be defined for the 292M interface in the future.

According to SMPTE, in the current 299M standard, the audio clock phase field is limited to 12 bits, or 4,096 video-sample clock periods, meaning that the current standard is incompatible with video formats with a total line length greater than 4,096 sample clock periods. It has been proposed to extend the audio clock phase field to 13 bits to support video formats that exceed this number of clock periods per line. Currently, there is only one video format defined for the 292M interface that exceeds this limit–the 1280x720 24Hz progressive format defined in SMPTE 296M–which has 4,125 video-sample clock periods per line.

To send your feedback on the proposed change, e-mail Carl Girod, director of engineering, at CGirod@smpte.org. Responses will be accepted until the week of May 19, 2003.

Annex Digital Changes Name
Digital Audio Productions, headed by president Russell Bond, announced that it has assumed the assets of the Menlo Park, Calif. arm of Music Annex Inc.; also announced was the company's new name from Music Annex to The Annex.

The company's engineering staff–Robert Iriartborde, Tom Carr, Chris Cooper, Matt Campagna and Mark Bruhn–will stay onboard, with Carr filling the role as studio manager. Also remaining with the company are CTO Bob Grudulis and Aaron Peterson, as well as Tony Wentzel continuing as operations manager. Forrest Lawrence will add new services to the duplication departmetn, Chris Wolfe will handle backup and support for all activities, while both will act as house assistant engineers during larger sessions. New hire Kimberly Contreras will be handling customer service.

Other changes to the company include upgrading the studio by adding Pro Tools|HD, high-end DAWs, enhancing Studio B in the coming months, as well as its lobby and common areas.

The company also unveiled its newest division, MindLab, which is a certified Digidesign Pro School, offering dedicated Pro Tools training at the end-user level. The Annex also offers Digidesign Certification Curriculum from the entry level to Pro Tools Expert certification.

For more, visit www.theannex.us.

Universal Audio Hires Mike Barnes
Universal Audio (Santa Cruz, Calif.) has appointed Mike Barnes its director of marketing.

Most recently, Barnes was marketing manager for software products at Creative Labs, as well as Internet marketing manager for that company. A native of London, Barnes moved to Santa Cruz in 1996 to develop a sound design/library division at E-mu Systems and productize its digital filtering/mixer technology.

"Mike Barnes is a great fit for Universal Audio," said the company's president, Matt Ward. "He has extensive expertise with steering technology from R&D to market, and has the drive to help take Universal Audio to the next level. On top of that, he approaches his work and products with a passion that is the core of this company."

For more, visit www.uaudio.com.

Bob Dylan Albums to be Released as 5.1
Sony Music Entertainment confirmed that a number of titles in its upcoming series of classic albums by Columbia Records artist Bob Dylan on hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD) will be issued in 5.1 multichannel surround sound. These titles are the first Sony Music hybrid SACD releases produced in the U.S. and will be available mid-summer.

Two titles originally announced for the first series of releases–Royal Albert Hall and Time Out of Mind–will now appear later in the series. Planet Waves and Blonde on Blonde will take their places in the first group of releases, with Blonde on Blonde debuting as a multichannel 5.1 release, superceding the original stereo SACD version of the recording. Another five titles–Another Side of Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home, Blood on the Tracks, Slow Train Coming and Love and Theft–will also be released as 5.1 multichannel releases with accompanying stereo mixes.

The first 15 titles will also be the first Sony Music recordings to be released on hybrid SACD and will be produced on a new this month at Sony Disc Manufacturing’s flagship facility in Terre Haute, Ind. "The release of these classic Bob Dylan albums on hybrid Super Audio CD will extend the benefits of this exciting format to a much wider audience," said Jeff Jones, senior VP at Legacy Recordings. "Each of these Dylan titles will be painstakingly remastered and reproduced to the highest quality standards."

Symetrix Upgrades SymNet Software
Symetrix (Mountlake Terrace, Wash.) has upgraded its SymNet Audio Matrix system with the Version 3.5 release of SymNet Designer application software and the new Control I/O hardware. Improvements include basic time alignment to compensate for DSP latency within the SymNet hardware, a volume ramp-up after downloading for loudspeaker protection, increased interactivity between Adaptive Remote Control (ARC) units connected to a SymNet system, graphic EQ processing modules in mono and stereo, and automatic verification of firmware version in the SymNet hardware units when bringing the system online with a Windows PC; expected release date is June 30, 2003.

Version 3.5 will support a new hardware device, Control I/O. Intended to be connected to a SymNet ring via RS-485, this unit offers users expanded external control options through the eight analog control inputs, eight open collector outputs with +5-volt pull-up resistors, four control relays, RS-485 port, four Adaptive Remote Control (ARC) ports and 15-pin "joystick" MIDI port. Control I/O gives system designers the ability to generate external commands for a SymNet system through ARCs, generic programmable MIDI controllers, potentiometers, incremental encoders, rotary switches and more. Control I/O can then interface directly with lamps, LEDs, lighting systems, audible and visual alarms, cart machines, routers, etc.

"Since the early days of SymNet, we've been looking for new and better ways to control the system," said Jim Latimer, director of sales for Symetrix, "and once again, our customers have shown us the direction. They've asked for more ARC control, more external analog rotaries and switches, and MIDI. So that's what we're giving them."

Other additions to the software include a Trace Wire function, an onscreen color distinction to show which software functions are assigned to external controls and an increase of Q values in parametric EQ modules to 50 for extremely narrow notch-filtering applications.

Additional features and functions can be found by downloading the 3.5 application from www.symetrixaudio.com.

ShuttlePRO Now Supports dbsVelocity, Pro Tools
Contour Design Inc. (Windham, N.H.) has added Leitch's dpsVelocity and Digidesign's Pro Tools to the growing list of applications with preprogrammed settings for its Contour ShuttlePRO multimedia controller. The new application settings are available for free download on Contour Design's Website, www.contourdesign.com. Pro Tools settings for Contour's new ShuttleXpress multimedia controller are also available now, with dpsVelocity settings to follow later this month.

Application features with the added dpsVelocity support include: frame-by-frame-accurate clip editing; VTR control; fingertip access to most common commands such as Mark-In, Mark-Out, etc.; programmable to any keyboard command supported by dpsVelocity; and support for dpsVelocity 8.1 and the forthcoming dpsVelocity/Q 8.2. Digidesign Pro Tools' support features include: sevent speeds of shuttle forward and reverse with sound; jog dial-accurate down to beats, ticks or measures; cycle through edit tools and edit modes; transport controls such as Record, Play,Stop, Fast Forward and Rewind; programmable to any keyboard command supported by Pro Tools; and support for Pro Tools Versions 5.x and 6.x for Windows-based systems and 6.x for Mac OS X-based systems.

Emerson Drive Hits the Road With First MH3
Emerson Drive, newcomers to the country music charts, took delivery of the first U.S.-bound Soundcraft MH3 console in February. Sold by Greg Mace at GJM Sound in Placerville, Calif., the band immediately took the 32-mono/4-stereo-channel dual-purpose desk out on their ongoing tour in support of the self-titled DreamWorks Nashville album released last summer.

Emerson Drive is currently using the MH3 as a dedicated monitor board for festival and fair dates to theaters and clubs. Engineer Carita Sword, who has been out with the group for more than a year now, uses the desk's dozen auxiliaries to provide six stereo in-ear mixes for the bandmembers, all of whom are using Shure PSM 600s outfitted with Ultimate Ears UE-5 and UE-7 custom molds. Group outputs from the board's kick and bass channels further drive a subwoofer positioned behind the drummer, while another group output is employed to deliver reverb sends across all of the mixes.

"Even with the minor delays of going out with a brand-new desk for the first time, the band was absolutely thrilled with the MH3 from the start," said Sword. "The EQ sounds so incredibly nice; it's very reminiscent of the Series FIVE, which is such a rare treat to find on a board in this price range. Interestingly enough, in the short time that we've had our MH3, we've already come across three others out on the road. They're popping up all over the place. I think a lot of companies are pretty excited about its features and quality for the dollar. I know we were. The specs on this board were far beyond anything else in its price range."

The group has already garnered two Top Five country singles ("I Should Be Sleeping" and "Fall Into Me"), a Number One video on CMT and a Juno Award nomination. The band is currently putting the finishing touches on its second album for DreamWorks Nashville.

For more, visit Soundcraft online at www.soundcraft.com.

Los Angeles Pro Tools User Group Announces First Meeting
Pro Tools Users is a new organization that brings together users of Digidesign's Pro Tools hardware and software in the Los Angeles area to create a wealth of knowledge, expertise, networking opportunities and information exchange for the benefit of its members and the audio community. Its first meeting will be held on Thursday, May 15, 2003, at 7 p.m.

The group is free to join for qualified industry professionals. Join online at www.ProToolsUsers.org.

Regular meetings usually take the form of a talk or presentation from a member of the group or a figure from the audio community, followed by a question-and-answer session. The meeting then breaks off into smaller training workshops and discussion groups. Admission to meetings and events is free, but on a members-only basis.

Future Sonics Reinforces Brand Name
In 1992, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Future Sonics (Pineville, Pa.) a federal registration for the Ear Monitors trademark. Since then, the company continues to enforce this trademark.

According to Daniel East, director of marketing for Future Sonics, "We, as a business, are simply monitoring any potential confusion in the marketplace that might occur by similar references to our brand. Therefore, any use of the words 'ear' or 'ears' and 'monitor' or 'monitors,' used concurrently, will be understood as a direct violation of our trademark rights. We are pleased to see that competitor companies like Shure, Sennheiser, Crest and others are either accommodating our rights or working to do so. We try to respect the branding of every company and only expect the same in return."

Future Sonics has retained the services of trademark-enforcement law firm Kenyon & Kenyon to advise on the continuous protection of its valuable trademark. According to the attorneys, violations could include packaging, advertising and other uses where the "ears" and "monitors" terms may appear together.

For more, visit www.futuresonics.com.

New Berkleemusic Online Courses
Berkleemusic.com now offers four new online courses for the semester starting June 16, 2003: Pro Tools 101 (Berklee/Digidesign certification); The Music of John Lennon: The Beatles Years; Songwriting Workshop; and MIDI Sequencing Basics.

As Digidesign's exclusive provider of online Pro Tools 101 instruction, Berkleemusic brings Digidesign's three-day course, offered at authorized Digi training centers, through the ease of working online. Using real-world examples and frequent hands-on assignments, the course teaches the skills needed to record, edit and mix on a basic level using a Digi Pro Tools system.

The Music of John Lennon: The Beatles Years examines Lennon's songs during the period of 1964 to 1969, focusing on form, lyric, melody and harmony.

Songwriting Workshop teaches students how to brainstorm ideas, overcome writer's block and effective express oneself. This hands-on workshop balances technical principles with creative expression.

With hands-on lessons and downloadable examples, students will learn how to create natural-sounding MIDI arrangements in the MIDI Sequencing Basics class using the school's version of Reason (which comes free with the course). Students will also learn how to record parts, use different sounds, effects and devices, including a mixer, sound modules, drum machine and effects such as reverb and EQ.

For more, visit www.berkleemusic.com.

Drawmer Offers New Speaker Protector
The new Drawmer SP2120 Speaker Protector is now available in the U.S. for $849. The Speaker Protector eliminates the possibility of "unauthorized" excessive sound pressure levels on speaker systems, which could result in damage to the chassis drivers and electronics. The SP2120 also provides venues with the ability to comply with local legislation regarding noise levels.

Intended for insertion in the sound system immediately before the amplifier stage, the SP2120's signal path combines a multiple time-constant circuitry and automatic gain control. The front panel of the 1U, 2-channel processor features an integral security lock to ensure that only keyholders can adjust maximum volume levels. In "unlocked" mode, two front-panel presets are available to adjust by the installer: The first calibrates the 16-segment L/R bar graphs and the second sets the absolute volume level.

For more, visit Drawmer's U.S. distributor, Transamerica Audio Group, at www.transaudiogroup.com.

Propellerhead Ships Reason 2.5
Propellerhead Software has released Reason 2.5. New features include:

The RV7000 advanced reverb is a stereo-effect module. The reverb engine consists of nine algorithms: small space, room, hall, arena, place, spring, echo, multitap and reverse, with up to seven individual parameters on each. The RV7000 also includes an EQ (parametric EQ, a low-shelving filter) and gate (can be applied to any reverb algorithm and can be triggered with CV or MIDI) section.

The BV512 Digital Vocoder is a 4- to 512-band vocoder capable of modulating sounds in analog or in digital FFT; it can also be used as a fully automated graphic EQ.

The Scream 4 Sound destruction unit is a distortion unit with 10 different damage types: overdrive, distortion, fuzz, tube, tape, feedback, modulate, warp, digital and scream. Scream 4 also incorporates a +/-18dB 3-band EQ and the unique Body section, which is similar to a speaker simulator. There are five basic Body types to select–each with its own vibe–as well as separate controls for Body Resonance and Body Scale. The Auto function is an amplitude respondent envelope follower that controls the scale parameter.

The UN-16 Unison is a reincarnation of the Unison button found on early-'80s synths. Now in a half-rack unit, the Unison fattens up incoming audio by emulating the effect of four, eight of 16 detuned voices playing the same sound.

Spider Audio merges and splits audio; multiple audio signals can be merged and processed with the same insert effect or an instrument's output can be split into four and sent to four different effect processors.

The Spider CV is similar to Spider Audio except that the splitting and merging is performed on CV and gate signals. The Merge function comes with individual attenuators for each input, and the Split function also inverts one of the CV outputs.

Reason 2.5 is available now; Reason 2.0 registered users can upgrade for free at Propellerheads' Website, www.propellerheads.se.

Live 2, PowerFX Sample CD Bundle Now Available
Ableton and PowerFX announced a special bundle package consisting of Ableton's LIVE 2 audio software with three PowerFX sample CDs. The limited LIVE 2 bundle is currently available for only $449 through the Ableton Webshop (www.ableton.com).

The PowerFX sample CDs include:

The New World Order series offers instruments from places like India, Africa, Cuba, the Carribean, Japan, Ireland, Texas and Brazil. Funk Master is a special collection from Jabo Starks who has played on numerous James Brown classics. Extreme Rock Funk Rage includes skateboard grooves and riffs that are prominent in today's cutting-edge music.

Allen & Heath Launch iDR System Manager Version 3.1
Allen & Heath's Windows PC software that configures iDR hardware components into an integrated audio distribution system, the iDR System Manager, has been upgraded to Version 3.1.

The upgrade supports the forthcoming PL-7 remote LCD and PL-8 units from the PL Series of remote-control devices that supplement the iDR DSP-based system, scheduled for release at the PLASA show in the UK in September.

The new software has the additional features of "draggable" curves for EQ and dynamics processing sections, crossover slopes in the output PEQ and a new cut-and-paste system where information appears on the toolbar. Other new features include password protection for Ethernet and RS232 connections, centered windows, new front-panel diagnostics options and a plug-and-play ability if PL units are disconnected and reconnected. There is also an IP Gateway support for inter-networking connections to the iDR, and range parameters have been added to the PL-Anet faders and rotaries.

For more, visit www.allen-heath.com.

PostWorks Acquires Tapehouse Companies
Post-production company PostWorks New York has acquired the Tapehouse Companies and all of its affiliates (including Tapehouse Editorial, Tapehouse Digital Film, Tapehouse Broadband, Black Logic and The Anx), as well as SMA Realtime. Additionally, PostWorks has purchased 50% of audio post house Caterini Studios.

"In an age of shifting formats and technology, our goal is to provide a safe haven for producers to realize their projects," said Billy Baldwin, PostWorks CEO. "We are taking the best parts of these companies and bringing them forward into a new era of post-production that will surpass client's expectations and focus on service, not just services."

The new company, based in Manhattan's SoHo district (with the exception of The Anx, which will remain in its current downtown Manhattan location), will offer clients 25 Avid offline edit suites; two Discreet Inferno compositing suites; numerous Flame, Smoke and Maya 3-D workstations; two Spirit Datacines with Pogle MegDefs for color correction; a Quantel iQ and Sony-equipped HD linear bay; a Millenium machine; a da Vinci 2K; and two Avid DS HD suites.

In addition, the company will also house six Pro Tools mixing suites, a live recording room, a LaserGraphics film recorder, an Arri-Laser film recorder, a Teranex standards converter and a high-def screening room.

New employee titles include: longtime Tapehouse director of HD/data services Tim Spitzer will serve as the new company's VP of Operations; Todd Ruff, director of graphics; senior editor Peter Heady; Henry artist Jay Tillin; senior visual effects designer/supervisor Brian Benson; broadband manager Scott Ettin; CG artists Doug Johnson; Kuan Lin; and colorists John Crowley, Eric Alvarado, Alex Berman, Scott Olive and Sam Daley, to name just a few.

For more, visit www.pwny.com.

17 Manufacturers Support PAMA
Seventeen leading professional audio manufacturers have signed on to become Charter Members of the Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA); members include AKG Acoustics, Altec-Lansing, Audio Technica, Calpine, DiGiCo, Dolby Labs, Group One, Harman Pro Group, Klotz Digital, Meyer Sound, Neutrik, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony, Tascam, Telex and Yamaha.

PAMA will host its first business meeting on Thursday, June 6, 2003, in Orlando, Fla. The meeting will include an agenda that addresses a number of business and organizational issues, and will include presentations by industry trade associations, the alliance's Washington, D.C.-based legal counsel and an outside consultant who specializes in developing marketing intelligence for business communities.

"I fully expect that we will come away from our first meeting with a list of short- and long-term objectives that can be immediately acted upon," PAMA's executive director Paul Gallo said. "We will also have nominated and approved our initial Board of Directors. From there, we can go forward to serve the needs of a professional audio manufacturing community that is navigating its way through a period of unprecedented challenge and change. We will work to identify and commercialize all opportunities for future industry growth and market expansion."

Companies interested in joining or learning more about PAMA and its mission can contact Paul Gallo at 212/696-1799.

Read Mix News for May 16-30, 2003

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