Backnang, Germany (June 23, 2021)—d&b audiotechnik has unveiled its new D40 four-channel Class D mobile amplifier.
Intended for mobile applications, the D40 is the mobile version of the 40D installation amplifier. Its user interface consists of a 4.3-inch (480 x 272 pix.) color touchscreen and a digital rotary encoder, providing information of the device configuration and status monitoring.
The D40 amplifier has a dynamic range of 116 dB (unweighted) and is designed to drive high-voltage d&b loudspeakers while providing management and protection capabilities. The D40 reaches 180 V peak, reportedly delivering full performance from d&b KSL System loudspeakers and V-Series and Y-Series.
The D40 uses Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to incorporate loudspeaker configurations and user-definable setups, equalization and delay functions. Aiming to achieve a smaller environmental footprint, it also provides advanced voltage management to drive systems that demand less input power as a whole. The D40 includes enhanced energy saving features, power efficiency and Automatic Wake up for environmentally responsible and sustainable Green Building requirements.
Webster, NY (June 23, 2021)—Ashly Audio has expanded its AW Series On-Wall speaker line with a new Plus model, sporting a higher power transformer for integrations in larger spaces.
With the Plus model, Ashly Audio has increased the output power of its 70 and 100 volt transformers in a move to enable more integration options. All AW speakers are designed to coexist within the Ashly Audio ecosystem and make use of its Protēa and AquaControl DSP.
The new Plus model, which will be stylized as AWT+, offers a power upgrade to make the speakers more accessible for larger rooms, such as retail spaces, transportation centers or noisy sports bars. The AW-5.2T+ is now available at 30, 15, 7.5, and 3.75W at 70V, and at 60, 30, 15, and 7.5W at 100V. The AW-8.2T+ is available at 60, 30, 15, and 7.5W at 70V, and at 60, 30, and 15W at 100V.
A Directivity Optimized Crossover in the AW design reportedly reduces the off-axis deviation in sound pressure levels to <9 db, aiming to provide a wider “sweet spot” for audio. The AW-5.2T+ & AW-8.2T+ are also IP54 rated, so they are applicable for use in outdoor situations, like patios and public spaces, as well as for indoors.
Farmington Hills, MI (June 21, 2021)—Founded by award-winning composer Dan Yessian in a 300-square-foot bait shop in metro Detroit in 1971, Yessian, now a global enterprise, is celebrating 50 years in business.
“I was an English teacher with a dream: making music. I left teaching in the Detroit Public Schools to start creating jingles in a tiny space I rented for $50 a month, and fortunately I was embraced by the Detroit advertising community,” says Yessian, who was inducted into the Adcraft Hall of Fame in 2018. “Now, with my sons, who have taken the business to a level I could never have imagined, and with an outstandingly talented team, our current scope of work includes music for theme parks across the world along with network television and global advertising for Fortune 500 companies.”
His early success in creating jingles for companies such as Whirlpool, Dodge, Ford Motor Company and Frigidaire, plus music for TV shows like SesameStreet and The Electric Company, allowed for the creation of purpose-built studios. Since working alongside his two sons Brian Yessian, chief of operations; and Michael Yessian, head of production, Dan Yessian was able to expand the company into a global enterprise with producers, composers, music supervisors, research creatives and recording artists creating groundbreaking and award-winning audio. The company now maintains six full-service recording studios, a music licensing and research division and office space at locations in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City and Hamburg, Germany.
In April 2021, he was awarded two Gold Awards by 2021 American Advertising Awards Los Angeles for Detroit Youth Choir’s “Glory” which was recorded onsite in Detroit and in the studio, and Vistaprint’s “Unregiftable” advertisement. Other notable recent projects by Yessian include producing the sound for Hudson Yards Observation Deck in New York City, “Flying Over Indonesia” theme park ride at Trans Studios Bali, and Lincoln’s “Ivory Steps” ad for the 2021 Grammys featuring singer-songwriter Jon Batiste.
Yessian’s clients over the years have included Disney, RAM, Budweiser, Macy’s, United Airlines, Walmart, Coca Cola, L’Oreal, McDonald’s, Porsche, Nintendo, Proctor & Gamble, Mercedes-Benz, Samsung, Bosch, NBC (Sunday Night Football, The Voice, America’s Got Talent), ESPN (College Football, Major League Baseball), Disney Channel, HGTV, Lifetime, PBS, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force, among countless others.
Chicago, IL (June 21, 2021)—Lectrosonics’ D Squared line was in the mix when Chicago Opera Theater live-streamed La Hija de Rappaccini, a contemporary opera based on a Nathaniel Hawthorne story composed by Daniel Catán, this past April.
Chicago Opera Theater’s audio and video production partner Valhalla Media teamed with location audio experts Second City Sound on A/V support for the performance, which streamed from the Field Museum of Natural History, in keeping with the botanical theme. Lectrosonics DBSMD transmitter-recorders fitted to the cast members were picked up by a pair of DSQD four-channel receivers. DCHT portable digital stereo transmitters joined an M2T for monitoring by the conductor and mission-critical crew via M2R receivers.
“Midway through the pre-production process, we found out that the opera would be live at the Field Museum,” says Nikolas Wenzel of Valhalla Media. “This presented all sorts of logistical challenges for coverage. My first thought was that for reinforcement of the vocalists, we were going to need something stable, reliable, and easy to use between different levels of the museum. One of the performance levels was on the floor of the great hall and another was tucked off up to the side.”
“One thing viewers of the stream didn’t see was that the Field Museum was active and open to the public during the show run,” adds Gerry Formicola of Second City Sound. “This meant that everything had to be set up each day, then struck and stored. The fact that the Lectro system was so quick and easy to get up and running made a huge difference here.”
“I was the guy who had to deal with all of that,” comments audio director Brad Galvin. “Twenty, maybe 25 minutes and we were good to go every time.”
The wideband range of the D Squared hardware was even more key to ensuring the cast’s singing was captured without a hitch. “Chicago may not be the worst place in the country in terms of RF density, but it’s certainly not the best. So, the name of the game is bandwidth because you tend to spread channels all over the spectrum,” says Galvin, who first encountered Lectrosonics while working with Formicola on the Oprah Winfrey show. “I did all the control from the Wireless Designer software, which I’d never used before. I was amazed at how easy it was to use.”
Q: What is your new position, and what does it entail?
A: As the vice president of marketing at Listen Technologies, I lead the marketing team in implementing and executing campaigns to support the Listen brand and relevance in the global marketplace. I also oversee internal and external communications and public relations to ensure a consistent brand persona and work closely with sales and other stakeholders to develop and implement strategic marketing plans to support revenue and business goals.
Q: How has your background prepared you for your new role?
A: I’ve held several marketing positions and learned firsthand the many skills needed for a successful marketing team. I’ve also had the privilege of working on both small and large teams, which has given me the opportunity to challenge myself to grow as a leader.
Q: What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?
A: One important initiative is to share our vision for creating better experiences. At Listen Technologies, we firmly believe that everyone deserves the same great listening experience, and our products help people connect in a variety of environments, including classrooms, medical settings, courtrooms, manufacturing facilities, entertainment venues, on tours and in houses of worship.
Q: What are your short- and long-term goals?
A: One of my short-term goals includes supporting our partners as they rebuild their businesses and look for new ways to use technology to foster safer and better communication. It’s also important to me to share the Listen story of creating better experiences to foster engagement and inclusion. Being included is essential to human connection, and our technology makes it possible for everyone to hear and engage—regardless of whether they have hearing loss, speak a different language, or are having a hard time hearing because of distance, background noise, poor acoustics or face coverings.
Q: What is the greatest challenge that you face?
A: One of the biggest challenges we face is the uncertainty of business as we know it. Finding unique ways to connect and engage with our partners will be instrumental in our success and theirs. We have a great team with great partners and I am sure we will continue to innovate not only our products but the way we do business. We also will continue to deliver outstanding customer experiences.
North Bay, ON, Canada (June 16, 2021)—Canadore College, an applied arts and technology school 180 north of Toronto, is using a new SSL Origin analog in-line mixing console to teach students the similarities and differences between music production hardware and software.
“A lot of our students are used to using the computer and have never worked on a console; they’re not familiar with what a console is capable of,” says Ben Leggett, professor and coordinator on the new two-year Recording Engineering – Music Production program at Canadore College. Leggett is a Juno Award-nominated producer, engineer and mixer working in music production and film post production, and also has his own recording studio in North Bay.
“I wanted to get the Origin because of the EQ on each channel, and how you can shape the sound with the four bands, just like you can in the computer,” he says. “So we’re able to show students how to apply EQ manually with a physical piece of equipment. Another big thing is getting students to understand how the routing works, and how it’s very much the same in a DAW and a console, and having that lightbulb go off.”
For a generation of students that has only ever worked on a computer, the console also enables faculty members to highlight some of the differences between analog and digital audio processing. “Sonically, you can crank the console’s EQ knob all the way and it still sounds good, as opposed to digital, which sometimes doesn’t do the same thing,” says Leggett.
Plus, he says, “The sonic quality that the console will add when you push a signal into it is different. Depending on what you’re going for, you can push the signal louder into the SSL console and it will give you a different sound than pushing it into a computer program.”
The Origin was part of a complete studio package supplied by Studio Economik in Montreal, including an SSL Fusion processor. Leggett and other faculty members at the college installed, integrated and commissioned the new music production studio shortly before the program launched in September 2020. The new control room is housed in a former television broadcast studio on the campus that the college enlarged during summer 2020 to provide space for the recording engineering program.
Los Angeles, CA (June 16, 2021)—L.A.’s latest concert venue, The Vermont Hollywood, takes its unusual name from its location, North Vermont Avenue. Much like its name, the rest of the facility is a little different as well. First opening as a cinema back in 1939, the newly revamped space is now a 11,000-square-foot, multipurpose live performance venue capable of hosting 1,200 people, all of whom will be covered by a permanent L-Acoustics K3 loudspeaker system, supplied and installed by Camarillo-based RAT Sound Systems.
The venue, designed by Santa Monica-based Ryder Design & Architecture, features a 56-foot wide by 75-foot deep main room with a 30-foot-deep balcony, initially prompting RAT Sound to consider an L-Acoustics K2 or Kara system for the project. “In our early Soundvision models, K2 far exceeded our system needs for the space, so we switched over to Kara, which we knew would work well,” recalls RAT Sound Systems integration manager Adam Figueroa. Plans changed, however, when the L-Acoustics K3 was announced. “K3 was exactly what we needed,” he said. “It gave us the compact, full-range system we wanted without having to fly any sub hangs, and the system didn’t require any changes in amplification.”
Now in place, The Vermont Hollywood’s loudspeaker system features eight K3 flown per side for mains, four Kiva II spread out across the stage lip for frontfill, and six KS28 subs positioned under the stage. Left and right flown sidefills each comprised of one A15 Focus over one A15 Wide are complemented on stage by an X12 monitor package, while short-throw X4i and 5XT enclosures are located out in the lobby area for additional coverage. Driven by LA12X amplified controllers, the entire system is connected via AVB with an AES fallback coming from an L-Acoustics P1 processor at FOH. A QSC S-SYS system is also in place for control of the main PA and processing for the distributed audio system, and a DiGiCo SD12 mixing console is located at the venue’s FOH mix position.
Jacques Massachi, co-founder and managing partner of the venue’s owner, MCAP Partners, was pleased with Figueroa and RAT’s results, noting, “What they brought to the table allowed us to transform what was effectively an empty shell into a technologically superior venue—the best-sounding space we’ve ever heard! We definitely hit a home run with L-Acoustics and RAT together, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear our K3 system for themselves.”
Boston, MA (June 16, 2021)—Boston-based recording services provider The Record Co. (TRC) opened a new facility in January encompassing four recording studios and 15 rehearsal rooms.
Founded in 2010 by Berklee College of Music graduate Matt McArthur, TRC is a 503(c) non-profit enterprise dedicated to offering an affordable and equitable music workspace and providing space and resources to the entire spectrum of the city’s music makers. The new 12,500-square-foot space in Boston’s Newmarket Industrial District is expected to host upwards of 1,000 sessions and rehearsals per month, running 16 hours a day. The various studios and rehearsal rooms are outfitted with Focusrite preamplifiers and interfaces as well as Novation MIDI controllers.
McArthur says the concept of TRC came to him a decade earlier as he was looking for a business model that would allow the greatest number of users to access a highly flexible facility that could accommodate music producers of any genre and virtually any skill level. “It needed to be a shared resource that no one really owns, a community resource,” he says. “We would need space, gear, a good attitude, and an open mind about how the space is used and who uses it. A non-profit was the way to go.”
Focusrite solutions in use at TRC include the Red 16Line 64-In / 64-Out Thunderbolt 3 and Pro Tools | HD-compatible audio interface; the ISA 428 MkII and ISA 828 MkII devices; the RedNet A16R 16-channel analogue I/O interface; and a number of interfaces from the Scarlett Range, deployed in some of the 15 rehearsal studios in the new facility.
McArthur also realized that the nature of how recording studios are utilized now had changed significantly in recent years, with the large battleship consoles of yore giving way to a plethora of software applications and digital control surfaces. “Music makers today all have their own ways of working, their own preferred software and plug-ins,” he says. “That makes RedNet and the other Focusrite technology we selected the best fit for a facility like TRC this because of its expansive interfacing options and compatibility with almost any DAW.”
In partnership with The Boston Foundation and more than 500 donors, TRC has distributed more than 750 low-barrier COVID-relief grants to local musicians, producers and engineers experiencing lost income as a result of gig cancellations due to COVID-19. To date, it has distributed more than 750 grants totaling more than $160,000
Nashville, TN (June 16, 2021)—Wrapping up this Friday in Brandon, MS, The Blessing USA Tour was one of the first productions out of the gate as the pandemic started winding down this spring. Having first hit the road in mid-April, the 24-date production featured six-time GMA Dove Award winner Kari Jobe and husband/partner Cody Carnes, carrying audio production gear from Nashville-based Spectrum Sound.
While COVID restrictions are now easing by the day, throughout the run, the tour implemented “socially distanced and/or reserved COVID-safe seating and capacities” in each venue. Tour members were regularly tested and all attendees were temperature checked as well, in addition to other standards and local requirements.
Production manager/engineer Brenton Miles operated a DiGiCo Quantum338 console, mixing the show’s front-of-house sound as well as the in-ear monitors for both the entire band and a 10-person VIP group before every show. Those weren’t typical meet-n-greets, however; VIPs were typically house of worship production staffs that used the opportunity to discuss gear, workflows and more with the band, artists and crew. “If a church’s keyboard player is in the VIP group, our keyboard player will come out and to talk to them about their setup, or if they’re a tracks person, we’ll go through our tracks rig with them,” Miles explained.
The production used nearly all of the 56 channels on the DiGiCo SD-Rack, and everything was directly split, double-patched in the console, to avoid latency in the monitors. “Everything also has its own section on the console surface, which is part of why I love this desk so much—the flexibility is incredible,” he explains. “I have all my control groups in the center, along with the 24×24 matrix that includes the VIP mix; all of my front-of-house input channels on the left, and all of my ears on the right including 10 channels of RF onstage. Everything has its place and I know where everything is, which is critical for speed when you’re wearing this many hats on a show. And that’s important, because it’s just me. I’m the only audio guy out there.”
Scotts Valley, CA (June 14, 2021)—Universal Audio has acquired the assets of modeling microphone manufacturer Townsend Labs Inc., best known for its TEC award-winning Sphere L22 Microphone System.
As part of the agreement, the Sphere L22 microphone will become a UA product; Townsend Labs founders Chris Townsend and Erik Papp will join the UA team, working to develop future microphone products under the UA brand. Townsend Labs was founded in 2015 by thirteen-year Avid alum and DSP architect Townsend, together with Papp, previously CEO of Summit Audio Inc. In July the following year, the company released its modeling system, Sphere.
It’s not the first time the two companies have been associated with each other—UA has partnered with Townsend Labs since 2017, most notably on the Ocean Way and Bill Putnam Microphone Model Collections for Sphere L22 on the UAD and Apollo platforms. UA will continue to support all of the Sphere L22 system’s current audio platforms, including UAD, AAX DSP, AAX Native, VST, and AU.
“The Sphere L22 microphone is the perfect platform for us,” said Bill Putnam, CEO of Universal Audio. “With UA’s expertise in modeling vintage audio gear, and Townsend’s industry-leading mic modeling technology, we’re poised to bring customers significant innovations in this fast-growing segment of the pro audio industry.”