Harry Connick Jr. Does it All on New Album

Harry Connick, Jr. recorded his latest album at home, performing and self-recording each instrument.
Harry Connick, Jr. recorded his latest album at home, performing and self-recording each instrument. Erik Kabik Photography/ erikkabik.com

New York, NY (February 17, 2021)—Grammy and Emmy Award-winning musician Harry Connick Jr. is releasing a new album, Alone with My Faith, that he engineered and recorded at his home studio during the coronavirus pandemic, writing and arranging all of the songs, playing every instrument and singing every part.

In a released statement, Connick writes, “In March 2020, right after news of the pandemic hit, when my tour was cancelled and I headed home for however long it would last, I decided to record some music. Not only because I wanted to, but because I needed to. With no tour dates in sight, and with everyone’s realities upended and futures uncertain, recording was what was necessary for me to help guide me through the uncharted odyssey in which we all unexpectedly found ourselves.

“I found myself alone (with my faith!) in my home studio, surrounded by instruments and gear, bursting with an abundance of ideas. I was able to go deep within myself as a musician and a man, uninterrupted by the normalcies of collaboration or human interaction. It was a sort of ‘musical isolation chamber,’ a silent retreat, the silence only broken by the sound of my own voice, the instruments I played and the occasional microphone I inadvertently knocked over, as I’m not the most graceful recording engineer that ever lived!”

As for the production process, he writes, “I set up the mics and did all of the tracking. I used Logic to track and edit. When I was playing an immovable instrument, like drums or organ, I used Logic Remote, with my iPad as the controller. I sang all of the lead and background vocals, as well as played each of the instruments. In addition to all of the acoustic instruments, I used many electric instruments — basses, guitars, synthesizers, etc. However, there are no soft synths on this recording — all synthesizers, keyboards and organs are real. No instruments were ‘in-the-box.’

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“After all of the edits were made and all of the tracks consolidated, I sent the files to my good friend, Tracey Freeman, to mix. A couple of weeks later, I rented an RV and drove to New Orleans to finish the mixing process with him at his home studio.”

Connick notes, “Seven months later, after countless tracks and edits, I can say that it was not only the secluded nature of the recording process, but the content of the songs themselves that helped me through this strange period. In fact, this was the first time that I found this level of comfort, peace and truth throughout the process of making music. Because the lyrics are all about the spectrum of faith, I found myself interpreting them in real time – they were allowing me to heal as much as I wanted them to help heal others. I didn’t have to pretend or put myself in another place or time, as one often does as a singer or actor.”

Regarding the album’s content, he also writes, “Besides the familiar, traditional songs, I wrote and recorded new music that tells the story of my experience during the lockdown. I, like most of us, felt joy, sadness, doubt, conviction, melancholy and inspiration – all the emotions that faith, or lack thereof, can elicit. Even though many of the songs are Christian, my hope is that they will resonate with people of all faiths, as it gives me great comfort to know that faith is an immeasurably beautiful gift that, with its universal spirit, can help bring us together in the most arduous of times.”

Harry Connick, Jr. • www.harryconnickjr.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

VUE Audiotechnik on the Move

Michael von Keitz
Michael von Keitz

New York, NY (February 17, 2021)—Big changes are afoot at VUE Audiotechnik, from who the loudspeaker manufacturer’s management to how you reach the company.

Michael von Keitz, who co-founded VUE Audiotechnik in 2012, recently acquired full ownership of the company. It’s not his first time dealing with live sound, as von Keitz established his first speaker company in Solingen, Germany in 1980. Since then, he has grown a fully integrated, international pro-audio portfolio with the brands vue audiotechnik, se audiotechnik and mivoc. Along with changes at the top comes a change in the company’s internet presence, as its domain name has changed to www.vue-audiotechnik.com.

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“The huge potential of an absolute high-end brand such as VUE was always clear to me,” said von Keitz. “The synergy of bringing together all our resources under one organization will allow us to better meet customer needs without any compromise.”

According to von Keitz, the integration of the entire value-added chain with the group’s engineering and manufacturing  resources will drive the pace of growth of the brand’s products and technologies. VUE expects this to pave the way for a quicker time to market and an early extension of the product portfolio into installed applications. Likewise, the integration of the sales and marketing departments is anticipated to lead to better communications and customer support.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

The Stillery is Stuck on EAW

The Stillery is a new restaurant/venue in Chandler, Arizona, sporting an EAW RSX PA system paired with a Midas M32 digital console.
The Stillery is a new restaurant/venue in Chandler, Arizona, sporting an EAW RSX PA system paired with a Midas M32 digital console.

Chandler, AZ (February 12, 2021)—The Stillery is a new restaurant/venue in Chandler, Arizona, the latest location in a burgeoning chain based out of Nashville, TN. The site includes new audio systems based around gear chosen and installed by upstart audio company Backstage Backyards.

Backstage Backyards, an exterior design and installation company, was brought on to design, integrate and install the venue’s stage and sound system. That company was created by music industry veteran Joe Denim to employ music industry touring professionals who are out of work due to the pandemic. Denim, working alongside Jim Brentlinger, selected an EAW RSX PA system paired with a Midas M32 digital console, with an eye towards ensuring that the space had even coverage at lower volumes during the dinner rush, with the ability to crank up the system later in the night and for special events.

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The PA rig includes eight RSX208L 3-way self-powered loudspeakers (four per side), three RSX218 dual 18-inch subwoofers, two RSX129 2-way self-powered loudspeakers and two CIS400 flush-mount ceiling speakers for the bathrooms. The system was designed in a mono block subwoofer array with a slight arc to cover the room without overpowering the staff at the bar area.

“The space has a low ceiling with a raised stage, so we needed a compact array that could deliver equal coverage at all volumes, for a reasonable price,” says Brentlinger. “It has long been my opinion that there is no single ‘best’ in the audio world; rather, it is all application specific. For this project, we felt that the EAW RSX Series paired with the Midas M32 digital console was the best fit.”

EAW • www.eaw.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Festival Returns for Summer Down Under

Adelaide, Australia (February 12, 2021)—It’s summer down under and for some Australian music lovers, that meant honoring the age-old tradition of going to a festival and having a blast. Reinvented to meet pandemic protocols, South Australia’s Summer Sounds Festival was a four-week outdoor concert series of 18 shows that each played to a 2,100-capacity audience situated in separated in “Party Pods.” Headliners for the festival included Bernard Fanning, Mallrat, Spiderbait, Will Sparks and ABBA tribute act, Björn Again.

Adelaide-based audio provider Novatech provided the live sound system for the project, collaborating with promoters Five Four Entertainment, Groove Events and Secret Sounds, and South Australia authorities, including the territory’s health and chief public health office professor Nicola Spurrier, who in turn got the nod of approval by South Australia’s premier, Steven Marshall.

With fans restricted to their pods, providing coverage to the whole audience area was crucial, which the Novatech team took into account with its approach to the festival. The main PA consisted of 12 L-Acoustics K2 line array elements and eight SB28 subs per side, and four Kara for frontfill hidden behind scrims.

For delay, Novatech turned to its Syva colinear line source, cleverly rigged to the rear of the Party Pod, with Syva Sub tucked below. The Syva provided ample coverage for the pods in the back rows while ensuring clear views of the stage. Providing audio for the performers onstage as well, Novatech used 10 L-Acoustics X15 HiQ as foldback wedges, accompanied by two L-Acoustics SB18 subs to shake the bottom end.

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The pods themselves were key to the festival’s success, with different packages available at a variety of price points. Festival goers could choose from VIP, Gold, Silver, or Bronze seating packages. VIP pods occupied the first five rows and boasted an exclusive toilet block, faster drink service, and a choice of premium drinks.

Novatech managing director Leko Novakovic noted, “The VIP and Gold sections are really nice, with their white picket fencing and vines, and everyone has tables and chairs. The Silver and Bronze pods that are further back are on raised decks, so everyone has good sightlines. Audiences need to experience this system for the first time to appreciate how great it is. While some people were apprehensive about being ‘penned in,’ all doubts were removed after the first weekend. About 80% of the feedback we’ve heard is that this is the way all festivals should be staged from now on, COVID or not. Most people want comfort and luxury, and to be able to sit down.”

L-Acoustics • www.l-acoustics.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

InfoComm 2021 Moves to October

infocomm 2021Orlando, FL (February 12, 2021)—AVIXA has announced it is moving InfoComm 2021 to Oct. 23–29, to be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The annual trade show as originally slated to take place at the same location on June 12–18.

In a statement, Dave Labuskes, AVIXA’s CEO, noted, “AVIXA has continued to monitor the vaccine rollout, economic indicators, travel restrictions, and the show community to better gauge overall trends and future conditions for holding a major event in the U.S. in June of 2021. With a holistic perspective of all factors in North America, AVIXA is announcing the move of InfoComm 2021….

“In January, after receiving an opportunity to explore new dates, we gathered key stakeholder feedback and industry opinion, where we received overwhelming support for a postponement. As excited as the community is about the show, and as hopeful and optimistic as we remain in combatting the pandemic, it is believed that the U.S. will be further along in the battle against the pandemic by October than in June.

…Since the early months of this global crisis, we have done our best to prioritize the long-term interests of our AVIXA members and InfoComm community across the pro AV industry. We have not made this decision to postpone lightly and have relied on a great deal of feedback from the InfoComm show community, and we are grateful to you for engaging with us and supporting this decision.”

InfoComm 2021 • www.infocommshow.org

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Anamorphic Adds Hybrid Workflow

Producer Thomas Statnick has installed a Neve 8424 console in his studio to support his hybrid workflow.
Producer Thomas Statnick has installed a Neve 8424 console in his studio to support his hybrid workflow.

North Carolina (February 10, 2021)—Producer Thomas Statnick, one half of electronic/experimental ambient project Anamorphic, has installed a Neve 8424 console in his North Carolina studio to support his hybrid workflow.

“I chose a Neve 8424 because I like using a large, fully featured console for tracking and mixing,” says Statnick. His studio is mainly used to record, mix and master projects for Anamorphic, which he established in 1996 with Elod Horvath.

Originally established in Lafayette, IN, the studio moved to New York City before finally relocating to the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2015. The studio’s new Neve 8424 was installed at the end of 2020 as a replacement for an in-line analog console that was showing its age.

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“Given the substantial investment I have made over the years in outboard gear, going totally ‘in-the-box’ is not a practical option. What I wanted was a desk that could cope with a hybrid digital environment by delivering a low noise floor, high output levels and a high channel count for mix-down. Recall capability and the build and sound quality of the console were also important. The Neve 8424 meets all these criteria and also allows me to easily integrate my collection of classic analogue outboard gear into my workflow.”

Statnick says, “I perform all of the engineering, mixing, and mastering duties and assist in creating soundscapes and arrangements. As an electronic music studio, we don’t feature a huge microphone or mic preamp collection, so our outboard gear is mostly comprised of compressors, equalizers and effects units. We also have a 32×32 Apogee Symphony DAW interface and standalone A/D and D/A converters from Dangerous Music for mastering and monitoring.”

He adds, “This is my first Neve purchase and although I have heard a lot of really great music produced on Neve consoles, this is the first time I’ve been directly exposed to the Neve sound. I have been an audiophile since my early 20s and use a high-end audiophile system to proof masters and preview mixes. One of my biggest engineering interests in the studio is trying different things during mixing and mastering, and listening to the result on an audiophile system. Sound quality and soundstage/imaging is extremely important to me, and Neve’s reputation for sound quality was definitely a factor in my decision to get an 8424.”

AMS Neve • www.ams-neve.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

PMC Celebrates 30th Anniversary

PMC founder Peter Thomas at Tape London.
PMC founder Peter Thomas at Tape London.

Biggleswade, UK (February 10, 2021)—UK-based PMC is celebrating 30 years in business, during which time, the company’s workforce has gone from just two—founders Peter Thomas and Adrian Loader—to 60, with offices in England and across the U.S.

Thomas, PMC founder and owner, says, “When I started the company with my friend and colleague, Adrian Loader, I had no idea that our audio knowledge and passion for music would one day end up with our small company designing and building universally respected loudspeakers for audiophiles and for some of the biggest artists, producers and audio facilities in the world.”

Thomas, then a BBC engineer, and Loader, an engineer with FWO Bauch, established PMC in 1991 in response to requirements from the BBC for a monitor speaker that could handle the high sound levels required for pop and rock monitoring, but with ultra-high resolution. The pair created their first loudspeaker, the “Big Box,” in Thomas’ garage, and its accompanying electronics in Loader’s garage. Once refined and renamed the BB5, it was installed into BBC Maida Vale Studios.

Shortly after the introduction of the BB5 and formation of PMC, the pair launched their first domestic loudspeaker, the LB1, addressing the home audio and custom installation sectors, with products that bring studio quality audio reproduction into the home. Thomas explains, “In terms of music reproduction, there shouldn’t be a distinction between a loudspeaker designed for studio use and one for domestic use; the speaker is either reproducing the music correctly or it isn’t.

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“The guiding principle for our R&D team is that the same ultra-high-resolution loudspeaker can be used throughout the entire recording and playback process, from studio to home. The work we do developing new studio speakers directly benefits our hi-fi product development, and conversely, some of the discoveries we make when creating a new range of hi-fi loudspeakers find their way into our pro models. This means that domestic users can experience their music sounding the same as it did in the studio and exactly as the artist intended.”

PMC’s core technologies, shared between pro and domestic, include the Advanced Transmission Line, or ATL, bass loading, the aerodynamically designed Laminair vent, dome midrange drivers and tweeter dispersion grilles. These technologies can be found in the QB1 monitors in studios like Capitol in Hollywood and 301 in Sydney, and the recently launched fact fenestria and twenty5i series hi-fi speakers, and the high-performance Ci Series for studios and home theatres.

In recent years, PMC loudspeakers have been installed in Dolby Atmos music mixing rooms around the world. In addition, PMC has engineered Atmos mixes for artists such as Miles Davis and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band and built its own Atmos-enabled mix facilities in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles. Its speakers were also chosen by the Rolling Stones for the Atmos presentation at the band’s Unzipped exhibition.

PMC’s head office is in Biggleswade, UK. The company also has satellite offices in Los Angeles, Nashville and New York and two manufacturing plants in the UK.

PMC • www.pmc-speakers.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Good Shepherd Church Rounds Up New Gear

Good Shepherd Church audio team assistant manager Ji Hyeon-seok (left) and team leader, Kim Hyun-seok, with their new Allen & Heath Avantis console.
Good Shepherd Church audio team assistant manager Ji Hyeon-seok (left) and team leader, Kim Hyun-seok, with their new Allen & Heath Avantis console.

Bokjeong-dong, South Korea (February 10, 2021)—Local house of worship Good Shepherd Church in Bokjeong-dong, South Korea, recently updated the audio system in its secondary chapel, Glory Hall, with the new addition of an Allen & Heath Avantis console, along with a set of ME-1 personal mixers for the praise team. Despite the pandemic, both chapels are still in active use, though services are being held with reduced capacity.

The previous digital console installed in the Glory Hall had begun to show its age and was struggling to accommodate growing channel counts. Working closely with Allen & Heath distributor, Sama Sound, Good Shepherd Church made the upgrade to a 64-channel, 42-buss Avantis mixer, expanded with the dPack processing upgrade and a GX4816 AudioRack for onstage I/O.

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Concurrent to the arrival of the new console was the implementation of a compact, discreet ME personal mixing system, replacing the praise band’s wedge system. Connected to the Avantis via a ME-U hub, a half-dozen ME-1 units allow the musicians to create their own headphone mixes. “Thanks to the ME-1 personal mixers, the sound on stage is well managed, making mixing easier, and the performers are comfortable because the sound quality is very high and they are easy to operate,” explains Kim Hyun-seok, leader of Good Shepherd Church’s audio team.

They aren’t the church’s first A&H consoles, either, as SQ series mixers were already installed in two spaces, with an SQ-7 console in the 300-seat Vision Hall, a multi-purpose facility used for youth worship, and an SQ-6 mixer installed in the praise team’s rehearsal space in the Church’s basement.

Allen & Heath • www.allen-heath.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

U.K. Producer Eddie Serafica Installs PMC Monitors

Eddie Serafica
Eddie Serafica

London, UK (February 8, 2021) — Eddie Serafica, a U.K.-based Grammy Award-winning producer and writer associated with Buddy Guy, James Bay and Michael Kiwanuka, recently installed a pair of PMC twotwo.6 monitors in his project studio in London.

“When I decided to replace my old monitors, I did a lot of research and heard great things about twotwo6s,” says Serafica. “I demoed them for a couple of weeks and absolutely loved them. They have great clarity and really amazing, tight and accurate low end.”

As a recording and mix engineer, Serafica has worked on numerous high-profile projects, including James Bay’s Electric Light, Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate, and Buddy Guy’s The Blues is Alive and Well, which won Best Traditional Blues Album at the 2019 Grammy Awards. Serafica works mainly in the box, and his production room in Hornsey is equipped with keyboards, synths, guitars and a 500 series rack incorporating Chandler TG2s and Camden Audio Pres, a Urei 1176 Blue Stripe clone and two UAD Apollos.

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“Since installing the monitors, I’ve been getting very good results, with sounds translating really well,” he says. “The monitors have significantly sped up my workflow and made my life a lot simpler.”

KMR Audio supplied Serafica’s monitors, which are currently being used across a range of projects for artists such as Loski, Popcaan, Fredo, Hamzaa, Tom Grennan, Joy Crookes and Mimi Webb.

PMC • www.pmc-speakers.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Solid State Logic Launches UF8 DAW Controller

Solid State Logic UF8 DAW Controller
Solid State Logic UF8 DAW Controller

Oxford, UK (February 5, 2021)—Solid State Logic has introduced its new UF8 Advanced Studio DAW controller, offering users remote access to faders, encoders and high-resolution color displays. It’s primarily intended for use in music creation, production and mixing, post production and webcasting.

The UF8 is expandable to a 32-channel control surface and offers integration for all major DAW platforms. SSL’s new 360° control software (both Mac and Windows-compatible) manages multi-controller configurations, customised user keys, and DAW switching across multiple layers, allowing for switching between numerous sessions.

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The unit offers 100 mm touch-sensitive faders; high-resolution colour displays; eight “endless” rotary encoders; creation and use of custom workflows via five banks of eight user keys and three quick keys, adding up to 43 assignable keys per UF8; an intelligent multi-purpose Channel encoder; mouse scroll emulation, providing control of any plug-in parameter you hover the mouse over; the ability to switch control between three simultaneously connected DAWs; the ability to chain up to four UF8s together for a total of 32 channels of control; and a pair of SSL plug-in: SSL Native Vocalstrip 2 and Drumstrip.

Andy Jackson, SSL studio product manager, noted “UF8 is an obvious next step in SSL’s development in ergonomically designed studio tools for todays’ mixers, producers and creators. The layout and build quality are all about our fixation with ‘human engineering’; creating products that keep you in the creative zone with high-speed access to every fader or control, without operator fatigue or discomfort.”

Solid State Logic • www.solidstatelogic.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com