Tag Archives: coronavirus

BREAKING: The Bristol Hi-Fi Show Cancelled for 2021, Going Virtual Maybe?

BRISTOL UK (PTA) — In a post made to social media, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show has announced the cancellation of their in-person event that was to be held in the last weekend of February of 2021, in the city of Bristol, UK. The event was cancelled due to the lingering concerns surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, public health, and travel safey. As a possible solution, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show organizers are working to keep options open as hosting a virtual hi-fi event may be the best course of action. This remains a developing story. Stay tuned for updates. The Bristol Hi-Fi Show celebrates its 34th year in 2021. The show is organized by Audio T (a UK dealer) in association with What Hi-Fi? (a UK publication) and is the largest and longest running consumer home audio show in the UK. From the Bristol Hi-Fi Show Facebook Page “Due to the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing pandemic, we have made the difficult decision not to host the Bristol Show 2021. We are currently looking at options to host a virtual event, so watch this space!”  

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Marist’s Pandemic Reopening Aided by A-T

A classroom at Marist College, featuring an Audio-Technica U851RO Boundary Microphone
A classroom at Marist College, featuring an Audio-Technica U851RO Boundary Microphone

Poughkeepsie, NY (September 23, 2020)—Like many educational facilities, Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY worked overtime this summer to prepare to reopen during the pandemic for Fall semester classes. Part of that meant taking Remote Learning students into account—and that in turn led the college to purchase and install 150 Audio-Technica U851RO omnidirectional condenser boundary microphones and 50 ATDM-0604 SmartMixers into 50 classrooms.

“We wanted to offer a learning experience as close to traditional in-person classes, using a blended synchronous model in which the teacher and half the class are live and the other half are remote, while still conforming to all the New York State and Department of Health requirements and staying within our budget,” explains Lee Walis, manager of Technical Services at Marist College, an AVIXA Certified Technology Specialist who would design and install the systems.

“At first, I thought we’d need a high microphone count in each room, at least five in the smaller classrooms and a minimum of 10 in the larger lecture halls, as well as multiple mixers per room to handle a variety of different processing needs. An additional design requirement is to include a voice-lift feature, because the instructors and students would be wearing masks. It was going to be a complicated project and the microphone costs alone were going to be substantial.”

Audio-Technica’s Phil Cajka Sets Retirement

However, Walis began to look into the idea of using boundary microphones, and ultimately chose to use three Audio-Technica U851RO microphones in each classroom. Using one U851 attached to a classroom’s podium and two more attached on either side of a piece of Dibond aluminum / polyethylene composite sheeting hung near the classroom’s ceiling-mounted projector, he was able to cover each room in full in terms of picking up instructors’ and students’ voices.

“You can hear students from the back of the room, with masks on, no problem,” he says, “and the pickup pattern on the boundary microphone means the professor isn’t closely tied to the podium, so everything feels very natural. And the microphone rejects HVAC and projector-fan noise, which would have been a problem with the choir-type microphone arrays we considered in the beginning.”

In addition, Walis is using Audio-Technica’s ATDM-0604 SmartMixers, one in each of the 50 classrooms he’s outfitted for the start of the semester. “The processing is fantastic,” he says. “We’re not doing sound reinforcement for the room mics, so there’s no feedback, even as we’re picking up the softest voices in the room. And even with such a variety of acoustical environments — some classrooms have absorptive carpeting while other have reflective linoleum flooring — we’re getting clear speech intelligibility and predictable response. Plus, the USB output on the mixer is our portal to the computers running either Webex or Zoom for the distance-learning part. In fact, where I thought I was going to have to program the DSP for each room, it turns out that with the ATDM-0604 and U851RO, I can have the exact same program in every room, with only minimal adjustments needed for a few rooms with extreme conditions.

“So, we were able to drastically reduce the number of microphones needed, and use fewer mixers, and I could tune one system once and use that same program in virtually every classroom, thereby reducing labor,” Walis continues. “We were able to accomplish all of this at a fraction of what we though it would cost, which for a small, private college is an achievement, even without the issue of the pandemic.”

 

Audio-Technica • www.audio-technica.com

 

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

COVID-19 and Pro Audio: An Industry Interrupted

 

The October edition of Pro Sound News is usually our annual State of the Industry issue, featuring extensive rundowns of where recording and live sound stand in the moment. Our October, 2020 issue won’t be one of those, however, because at this moment in time, the state of things is both obvious and impossible to tell. Everything continues to hinge on the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-shifting—and occasionally shifty—timetable as to when we’ll have vaccines, when they’ll get rolled out, who’ll take them first, and how far and how fast we’ll get back to “normal”— whatever that is now.

The whole world seems determined to make sure our post-pandemic lives move forward as if nothing ever happened, however, so while we’re faced with an industry interrupted by the pandemic, if we’re going to pick up where we left off, it’s important to know where we were before 2020 went off the rails.

Recording studios today may not be the high profile, big room facilities of yesteryear, but they continue to proliferate at a surprising pace. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2018 (the most recent year on file), there were 1,894 recording studios in the United States. That number has climbed every year since 2009, and there are, believe it or not, hundreds more studios now than there were during the height of the record industry in the late 1990s. Some remain focused on music, others are podcast-only and most specialize in “anything that comes through the door,” but while the early lockdown days of the pandemic shuttered all of them, cursory evidence suggests that studios are bouncing back in a big way.

Numerous studio owners I’ve talked to in recent weeks volunteered with incredulous voices that things were looking up, the general sentiment being, “I was busy all August and it hasn’t slowed down. It’s actually a little busier than it was before the pandemic.” Their theories as to why it’s happening range from “pent-up demand from musicians and content creators who developed lots of material while in lockdown” to “people who built home studios only to realize that professional-sounding results require not only professional gear, but professionals, period.”

There are a lot of recording professionals these days, to be sure. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2019, there were roughly 13,000 “sound engineering technicians,” which the bureau basically defined as recording engineers/ mixers for music, film, television, podcasts and so on. Those pros made a mean annual wage of $67,000. Are there as many engineers now in 2020? Lack of income during lockdown may have caused a shakeout with some audio pros turning to other forms of employment to keep the lights on — or it may have led to more people stuck at home with a personal studio to declare it and themselves now “professional.” Time will tell.

And about those personal studios. If there’s any business that happened to be in the wrong place at the right time during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s pro audio manufacturers that make affordable entry to mid-level audio gear, ranging across mics, interfaces, mixers, headphones, studio monitors and so on. Demand for their products has exploded this year, getting bought up by corporate professionals trying to up their Zoom game while working at home, recordists, musicians, audio professionals scrambling to build pro-level facilities at home so they can keep working, podcasters, and more.

Live Events Pros Set for #RedAlertRESTART

Many manufacturers that serve those categories are finding the unexpected success to be a double-edged sword. The out-of-left-field upsurge allowed them to keep employees working full-time instead of having to enact furloughs—a great thing in a difficult time. However, the upswing also brought with it concerns that they could appear to be profiteering off a terrible time. That said, it’s hard to accuse a company of gouging the customer when they don’t have products to sell. With the pandemic affecting overseas manufacturing before COVID-19 even hit U.S. shores, until recently, numerous brands found themselves scrambling to get units on shelves. Much like the current housing market, there’s too much demand and not enough inventory, and some manufacturers have found themselves sold out of certain products for weeks at a time while awaiting shipments from overseas.

For all the unexpected success related to recording, however, there’s little to be cheerful about in the world of live sound. There are far more people working in that side of the industry, and few are making any money in the field this year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2019, there were 74,000 “audio and video technicians”—defined loosely as production pros for tours, concerts and events—making a mean annual wage of $51,000. They haven’t earned nearly as much this year, as alternative outdoor events like drive-in concerts proved to be intriguing experiments in most cases rather than fiscally sustainable entertainment formats. Some manufacturers serving the live sound industry, too, have had to implement shortened work weeks, furloughs or layoffs to keep moving forward.

Meanwhile, their customers — local, regional and national live sound companies — are looking for every way possible to cut costs, whether reassessing their inventory and then eBaying aging gear, shifting focus to installation if they can, or changing their warehousing strategies by subletting, moving to smaller facilities or packing their entire shop into storage. They’re fiercely determined to tough it out, but the truth is, they shouldn’t have to.

It is a disgrace that at this writing, months after their introduction, Congress hasn’t passed either the RESTART Act or the Save Our Stages Act, both of which would directly or indirectly help struggling sound reinforcement providers.

The bipartisan RESTART Act would extend the Paycheck Protection Program, providing small businesses— like sound companies and venues, for example—with 16 weeks to use those funds if they have fewer than 500 full-time employees and have had a decline in revenues of at least 25%. It would also provide small business loans that businesses could take up to seven years to pay back, allowing up to two years before they have to start paying.

Meanwhile, the Save Our Stages Act, which has 28 bipartisan cosponsors, would create a new $10 billion Small Business Administration program to provide grants of up to $12 million to eligible venues, producers, promoters and others to help cover up to half a year’s worth of expenses like payroll costs, rent, mortgage, utilities, and PPE, among other needs.

Given that venues across the country annually generate $9 billion in ticket sales alone, protecting the businesses behind such a strong economic driver should be a no-brainer.

The need for those acts’ passage is all the more necessary because local and regional audio providers and the venues they serve are crucial if the concert industry’s going to return. As regions slowly relax capacity regulations over time, local, club and theater-sized shows will lay the foundation for that comeback; now is the time for our elected officials to make sure those vendors and venues will still be in business to make it happen.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Providing Socially Distanced Concert Sound in Belgium

The Studio 100 Pop-Up Theatre in Belgium usually hosts 2,000 spectators, but is now holding concerts for 200 spread across the same space.
The Studio 100 Pop-Up Theatre in Belgium usually hosts 2,000 spectators, but is now holding concerts for 200 spread across the same space.

Puurs, Belgium (September 3, 2020)—Large-scale musical spectaculars are the stock in trade for the Studio 100 Pop-Up Theatre in Puurs, Belgium. Billing itself as the world’s largest temporary show venue, the 7,000-square-meter site is a flexible space with mobile seating for around 2,000—in non-COVID times.

Before the pandemic, the venue was hosting alternating productions of the wartime-focused 40-45 and a tale about a pioneer for social justice, Daens, The Musical. However, with lockdown cancelling the ability to host the audiences needed to support such sizable productions, Studio 100 looked for other ways to use the space, ultimately settling on music performances.

Scientists Hold Concerts to Determine How to Bring Shows Back

Working with artist management and booking company House of Entertainment to cfrate a concert series that would observe strict social distancing measures, Studio 100 hosted ‘The Living Room Concerts’ featuring a range of artists who performed 30 concerts in total during July. Although only 200 customers were permitted per show, it was essential that the audio system was still large enough to cover the whole space to cater for the socially distanced audience tables.

Studio Haifax used a Coda Audio system comprising 22 x ViRAY, 4 x APS, 4 x G308 and 24 x SCV-F in a cardioid arc. Thirty concerts took place during the season including appearances by Natalie & Jef Neve, Snelle, The Starlings, Glannis Grace, Christoff, Belle Perez, Samson & Marie, Willy Sommers, Hooverphonic, Nick & Simon, De Romeo’s, Dana Winner and Clouseau.

Coda Audio’s Director of Global Marketing, David Webster comments, “Whilst the timescale for a return to normal in the live performance sector remains uncertain, events such as the ‘Living Room Concerts’ continue to demonstrate the creativity and determination of the industry to overcome, in whatever ways possible, the constraints of the pandemic. We’re pleased to hear that our versatile systems are front and centre in these efforts to reconnect artists and audiences.”

Coda Audio • https://codaaudio.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Podcast Explores Yorkville Sound’s Ventilator Production During Pandemic

 

Yorkville Sound PodcastToronto, Canada (August 31, 2020)—Yorkville Sound has released Episode #2 of its ongoing Yorkville Sound Podcast, this time featuring product designer Peter Till. While the company and Till may be focused on pro audio, the episode instead focuses on how the manufacturer responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action.

In March of 2020, Peter Till, Yorkville Sound’s product designer, looked at a mixing board and imagined a hospital ventilator. With that, Yorkville pivoted its manufacturing efforts from building loudspeakers that can shake stadiums to producing machines that can save lives.

Yorkville Sound Launches Pro Audio Podcast

In the episode, Till recounts his own background, discussing how his early beginnings as a Grade 6 Yo-Yo string manufacturer with a passion for drumming created a path to Yorkville’s Production team.

The Yorkville Sound Podcast, a monthly discussion-format podcast geared toward the Music & Pro Audio enthusiast, is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, along with a video version on Yorkville’s YouTube channel.

The podcast is produced using gear all currently available in the Yorkville catalog, down to the last cable. The gear list includes the ART Tubemix and HeadAmp 4, Apex headphones, two Aston Stealth mics and a variety of Yorkville cables and stands.

Yorkville Sound • www.yorkville.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Snapsound Takes Its Shot with Atmos

Snapsound's Dolby Atmos-capable mixing room
Snapsound recently upgraded one of its four rooms for mixing in Dolby Atmos, outfitting it with Meyer Sound speakers, an Avid S6 M10 controller and more.

North Hollywood, CA—Zach Seivers went to school to pursue his dream of telling stories through film but found that sound was his true calling. In 2006, straight out of film school, he started his own audio post company, growing the business from one to four rooms before recently adding to his storytelling tools with an upgrade to Dolby Atmos mixing capabilities.

Seivers set up Snapsound in an office tower in North Hollywood in a deal with a documentary filmmaking client. “I was able to bring equipment into a room that they traded with me. I said, ‘I’ll be an in-house guy for you guys, but I want to be able to pursue my own clients.’ And they were cool with that.”

He still maintains a working relationship with the company but has since leased his own space in the building, initially focusing on non-theatrical content, primarily for broadcast. “We built three 5.1 nearfield rooms and a voiceover/ADR recording space. Eventually I stopped recording dialogue and repurposed that room as a fourth nearfield room. If I was doing any projects with a theatrical destination, I partnered with a facility like Deluxe” in Hollywood, he said.

Working with an acoustical designer, Seivers value-engineered the rooms to get good, basic acoustic treatment and isolation in the studios at minimal expense. “I didn’t know how long I would be in the space,” he explained. “Now it’s been over 10 years, but I knew I would never be able to take those physical investments with me if I had to leave the building.”

Instead, he said, “I decided to put the emphasis on digital tools to account for any acoustical issues. We worked with Trinnov and brought the DMON [monitoring processor] into all of the studios. That was a game-changer.”

The layout and equipment complement, including JBL 4328 speakers, was designed to be identical in every room: “The DMON allowed us to fix the more complex problems and matched the sound of each of the rooms so much more closely than we were able to do without it.”

The monitors have since been upgraded to JBL 708s. All four rooms have also transitioned from Digidesign Control 24 surfaces to C24 desks over the years.

As the momentum behind Dolby Atmos built in recent years and the essential tools became more readily available to independent facilities, Seivers decided it was time to take the plunge. “Netflix embraced and pushed delivery in Atmos. That was the catalyst for me as a business owner,” he said.

Related: Netflix Unveils Audio Streaming Improvements, by Steve Harvey, May 2, 2019

 

He contacted Chris Bolitho, sales director at Vintage King Audio in Los Angeles, about upgrading Snapsound’s Studio A. “I’ve known Chris for a long time,” said Seivers. “He quickly connected me with Miles [Rogers, cinema/studio development manager] at Meyer and introduced me to Jose Castellon [senior studio and cinema design engineer] at Dolby. VK is very hands-on and has a very personalized service. And they have a wonderful guy on their staff, audio consultant and technician Frank Verschuuren. It’s nice to have that level of support.”

Snapsound's Dolby Atmos-capable mixing room

Seivers had heard Meyer Sound’s Acheron Designer cinema speakers in sound designer and re-recording mixer Will Files’ room at Sony Pictures in Culver City, CA. “It’s a relatively small room, but they had such a huge, theatrical sound, and resolution, detail and color,” he recalled.

With the Acherons, “You can emulate a theatrical sound, and I’ve increasingly been moving into more theatrical work,” he said—a move that led to installing three Acherons for LCR coverage in Studio A. “The way the sound moves in the room is so much more dynamic that I’m able to make choices that I have found translate better from a small to a big room. If I’m going to another facility and four-walling a large stage, I want to minimize the amount of time I spend translating the work to that room.”

Meyer’s UP-4slim speakers support the Dolby Atmos side and overhead zones. “I like that they have more than enough power, the resolution is fantastic, and they have a really interesting look. I also like that they’re extremely modular and easy to install—and remove. And we didn’t have to deal with cutting holes in the ceiling.”

Related: COVID-19 Can’t Stop Pro Audio Retail, by Steve Harvey, June 25, 2020

Studio A’s spec was barely compliant with Dolby’s criteria for Atmos Home Entertainment Studio certification, he said. The room just squeaked through. “Because our room has a sloped ceiling, the rear overheads were right on the edge of what Dolby considers their minimum spec. They’re very careful with when and how they make concessions, since the point of the certification is that it is a standard. But we were so on the edge that they were willing to be flexible. They balanced that with the other aspects of the room.”

Signal transport between the Pro Tools system and the Dolby Atmos RMU—both running on Mac minis—and the Avid MTRX controller is via Dante. To continue taking advantage of Trinnov’s optimization technology, Seivers also upgraded Studio A’s DMON to a Dante-enabled version capable of handling the new 7.1.4 speaker configuration and communicating with the MTRX.

He also swapped out Studio A’s C24 for an Avid S6 desk. “I love the reaction of the faders,” he said. “As simple as that sounds, that was the biggest reason I wanted to invest in it.” The S6 is popular for mix-to-picture rooms, but Seivers initially resisted the upgrade because of the expense. “But there’s a little bit of a future-proofing aspect because the S6 is built with Atmos in mind,” he said.

As it turns out, there’s an active used console market through online portals such as UK-based Resurface, including for the component parts of Avid’s M10 version of the S6, which doesn’t include the display screens. That’s fine by him, said Seivers, who finds the displays distracting. “I’m looking at the image on the screen and not Pro Tools or the board displays. You can get an M10 at a fraction of the price of a new M40 system, so I ended up buying the S6 used.”

Now, like everyone else, Snapsound is facing an unpredictable future in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s super strange, but we’re creative people and we can be creative in ways beyond our craft,” said Seivers. “I’m confident that people are going to find ways to tell stories no matter what.”

Snapsound • www.snapsound.com
See Snapsound’s portfolio of work: www.snapsound.com/portfolio

Vintage King Audio • www.vintageking.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Peek at All-Star Damian Lillard’s Mini-Studio Inside the NBA Bubble

Five-time NBA All-Star, Portland Trailblazers point guard Damian Lillard has a second career as rapper Dame D.O.L.L.A.
Portland Trailblazers point guard Damian Lillard has a second career as rapper Dame D.O.L.L.A. Frenchieinportland/Creative Commons

The NBA is back in action despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with 22 teams living and playing within ‘The Bubble’ of Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex as they complete their season. Living in lockdown has left some with little to do other than play, but five-time NBA all-star Damian Lillard has been putting his downtime to good use, recording in his hotel. Waxing lyrical is not a new passion for the Portland Trailblazers point guard, who has recorded as rapper Dame D.O.L.L.A. for some time.

Now, having posted a photo of his mobile recording set up on Instagram, we can take a look at what he’s using to capture those tracks inside The Bubble.

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Live from the Bub… #JustTurned30

A post shared by Damian Lillard (@damianlillard) on

Capturing Lillard’s flow is a Telefunken-Elektroakustik ELA M 251E large-diaphragm tube condenser mic—not an impulse purchase at $9,495 list price, but given that he’s expected to make just shy of $30 million this year, he can probably afford it. That mic is perched atop a Gator FrameWorks GFW-MIC-0821 compact base bass drum and amp mic stand.

Next stop is the Universal Audio Apollo x4 Thunderbolt 3 audio interface, which in turn is sending everything to Avid Pro Tools on an Apple MacBook Pro. Keeping that laptop connected to something via a Cat 5 cable—let’s guess it’s hotel internet—is a J5Create JCD383 USB-C multi adapter.

Last and realistically least, the hard-to-see headphones leaning against the Apollo x4 aren’t high-end cans but rather a Sony PlayStation platinum wireless headset—which means Lillard is probably games for fun when he’s not, you know, playing games for a living. On the other hand, it’s always a good idea to hear your tracks the same way the eventual listener is going to, so having a set of down-to-earth consumer ‘phones around isn’t a bad idea actually.

Those headphones are crucial, however, as he pointed out to the Associated Press, noting, “I saw people saying that there would be complaints of him recording music, but I don’t have any speakers. Everything is in the headphone speakers. I’m rapping out loud, but not screaming to the top of my lungs. Nobody is going to hear me rapping.”

Peek Inside Green Day’s Old Home Studio

Damian Lillard's latest singlePerhaps neighbors won’t hear him rapping in his hotel, but more and more people are hearing him in the outside world. Hip-hop is more than just a hobby for Lillard, who aspires to have dual careers in basketball and music, much as actor Donald Glover has a separate occupation as Grammy-winning rapper Childish Gambino. June saw Lillard drop two tracks—“Goat Spirit” with Raphael Saadiq, and “Blacklist”—while July found him releasing “Home Team.” He’s also worked with the likes of 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne in the past, the latter of whom he performed with during this year’s NBA All-Star weekend. With NBA players not allowed outside The Bubble until their season ends, who knows how many tracks Dame D.O.L.L.A. may leave Disney with?

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

View from the Top: Alan Macpherson, L-Acoustics

Alan Macpherson
Alan Macpherson

L-Acoustics started in France back in 1984, and it’s no exaggeration to say that its impact has been felt around the world since then. Founder Christian Heil, Ph.D., took the largely abandoned concept of the line array and reinvented it for a new era with the landmark V-Dosc series, transforming how live sound has been presented ever since. Since then, L-Acoustics has been a major presence in the U.S. live sound industry, and the company has changed with the times, as seen by its product offerings and also the recent launch of its Americas division, led by its newly appointed CEO, industry veteran Alan Macpherson.

For Macpherson, joining L-Acoustics is the latest step in a career that has always had music and technology at its core. “I started out as a guitar player and singer, playing in bands back in Toronto, Canada, some decades ago,” he said. “Early on in my musical journey, I became entranced with the live sound aspect of the performance and quickly became the P.A. owner/operator in addition to being the front man. This love of the gear, and music in general, led me to Yamaha when it became clear that playing music was not going to be a full-time career. Pretty soon after starting with that company in a sales role, I moved into product management, and a few years later into sales and marketing leadership, where I had my first taste of the B2B business that is commercial audio. I moved to the U.S. in 2008 to take on the challenge of growing [Yamaha subsidiary] Steinberg’s presence and thereafter accepted other leadership roles at Yamaha that were mostly pro audio-focused.”

Spending those years working in the pro audio and MI marketplaces, Macpherson took on a variety of roles ranging from corporate communications leader to divisional general manager to vice president of integrated marketing—all experiences that now inform his work at L-Acoustics: “I am truly fortunate to have been able to acquire extensive experience in leadership and team building, combined with a strong understanding of the market. Also, I think that being responsible for P&L, sales, support and marketing in most of these prior roles gives me a unique viewpoint of the market from a very high level.”

Several recent shows and tours took advantage of L-Acoustics L-ISA technology, including Bon Iver, Lady Gaga, Star Wars at the Colorado Symphony, Childish Gambino and deadmau5. L-ISA was also put to use at NYC’s ArTecHouse and at an Atlanta church in recent months.

Of course, that market has changed pretty radically in the last few months—a fact not lost on Macpherson, who joined L-Acoustics in February 2020, just as the coronavirus was starting to have an impact on the United States. COVID-19 is testing the mettle of every pro audio manufacturer, but Macpherson is confident in the ability of his company—and the industry—to ride out the worst of the pandemic: “A strong European heritage combined with a focus on premium product has allowed L-Acoustics to buck the tide and prosper in spite of economic upheavals over the decades. I believe that a quality brand with the very best people on board can weather virtually any storm—economic or pandemic. L-Acoustics’ leadership remains committed to the team, our market partners and the U.S. market, where we have managed to grow our installation side of the business dramatically this year. We remain hopeful that the mobile side of the market—touring, event production, et cetera—will rebound relatively quickly.”

That confidence in L-Acoustics is well-founded. Today, the company has more than 500 employees worldwide, with 20 percent of the team working in R&D and another 40 percent in manufacturing. That production work is based around three facilities in France—metal components, wood components and assembly—as well as another facility in Germany that develops and manufactures the company’s electronics.

While production is centrally located in Europe, sales and operations are broadly spread out around the globe. The company’s main offices are in Paris, London and Los Angeles, and there are additional offices in Stuttgart, New York City and Singapore. “The CEO of L-Acoustics, Laurent Vaissié, is based in Los Angeles and drives the business teams globally, while the CEO of L-Acoustics Group, Hervé Guillaume, is based in Paris, overseeing global operations,” explained Macpherson. “Our sales and applications teams have off-site team members spread throughout the world, organized into mobile- and installation-facing teams that we feel better suit the unique needs of our customers in each master segment.” Meanwhile, Heil is hardly out of the picture—no, he heads the upstart L-Acoustics Creations division based in London, bringing the company’s insights and technologies to private residential, architectural, artistic and cultural settings.

Related:
View from the Top: Christian Heil, Founder, L-Acoustics, by Daniel Gumble, Jan. 3, 2019
L-Acoustics Creates Americas Division, July 1, 2020

L-Acoustics’ global reach speaks to the breadth of products it offers, from its A-Series constant curvature loudspeaker lineup launched in 2019 to its much-discussed L-ISA technology. Macpherson said, “L-ISA sets a new benchmark for truly inspiring, immersive audio experiences in live music, theatrical performance, worship and even in our Creations product designed for more personal immersive listening. We are just getting started with L-ISA and think it will finally disrupt the ‘stereo’ paradigm in much the same way we revolutionized array technology!”

Not that array technology is going away, even with a pandemic on. “From a vertical perspective, we see large growth opportunities in house of worship, Broadway/theatrical, stadium/arena and others on the installation side of our business,” he noted. “We remain bullish over the medium term with regard to our mobile business segment, especially once there is some sort of viable therapy or vaccine for the current pandemic so that audiences are able to return to ‘raising the roof.’ Our new Creations line—distinct from L-Acoustics’ series of product aimed at the professional audio market—offers an exciting new direction for the residential, marine and architectural segments.”

That diversification will undoubtedly stead L-Acoustics well in the immediate future while live sound is largely sidelined, but it also is indicative of the company’s broadminded view of what its objectives can be and how to accomplish them. Indeed, Macpherson sees the pandemic slowdown not as an obstacle but rather an opportunity to set the stage for future successes.

“As our world is challenged by a viral enemy that has forced economies to lock down into self-induced comas, I think companies that keep their focus on future strategic goals by way of continuous improvement will ultimately stay on top,” he said. “Thanks to the forward-thinking, relentlessly improvement-oriented and very human-focused culture at L-Acoustics, I think that we are very well positioned to come out of this global crisis in an even stronger leadership position.”

L-Acoustics • www.l-acoustics.com  |  Twitter L_ACOUSTICS

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

COVID-19 Guidelines for Safe Audio Production Released in UK

AudioUK

 

United Kingdom (July 23, 2020)—New COVID-19 guidelines for safe audio production during the pandemic have been released by AudioUK, a UK-based trade organization for independent radio, podcast and audiobook production companies.

The 15-page report, Keeping Workers and Customers Safe during COVID-19 – Guidelines for use by UK audio production companies, was prepared in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), along with input from audio professionals, content producers and broadcasters, the music industry, industry bodies, unions and others. As the pandemic is global, many of the guidelines are applicable to audio production facilities and workers around the world.

Recording Academy Advises How To Reopen Studios

AudioUK’s 100-plus member companies previously had access to a ‘beta’ version of the guidelines, prepared using the latest UK government advice. AudioUK is a member of the DCMS working group on film, TV and content production, which the DCMS has used to provide support and advice to representatives of content production from across film, TV, video games, music and audio.

A pdf file of the guidelines can be downloaded for free at

https://www.audiouk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/AudioUK-COVID-19-Returning-to-Production-Guidance-Public-v1.0-21.7.20.pdf

AudioUK • https://www.audiouk.org.uk/

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Communication System Key to COVID Testing Truck

An all-in-one video collaboration system that includes a Yamaha CS-700 provides communication between medical personnel at COVID-19 rapid testing sites.
An all-in-one video collaboration system that includes a Yamaha CS-700 provides communication between medical personnel is being used at some sites offering rapid COVID-19 tests.

McLeansboro, IL (July 22, 2020)—With the pandemic still in full swing around the United States, increasing number of people are getting COVID-19 tests for the virus. Helping answer the call for that, mobile command center equipment manufacturer Draxxon has introduced a new DX-1000 Advanced Virology Testing Platform truck, outfitted with extensive technology, including a Yamaha Unified Communications’ CS-700 Video Sound Bar, allowing medical personnel working at rapid testing sites to interact with each other inside and outside the unit safely while speeding up setup, operation and data collection.

The AVTP is a multipurpose platform designed to be deployed to the middle of an outbreak or event. Agencies can send healthcare officials to investigate, communicate and mitigate the problem Once on-site, sample collection and rapid testing can begin within minutes.

The full mobile control room
The full mobile control room.

The Yamaha CS-700 is integrated into Draxxon’s DX-INTERCHANGE System, which provides video and audio communication between personnel inside and outside the AVTP. Using the unit’s comprehensive conferencing system at sites where rapid COVID-19 tests are offered, personnel are able to effectively work together in real time while maintaining safe social distancing.

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The AVTP features two CS-700 devices; one is installed inside the vehicle, and a second unit is integrated into the vehicle’s rear DX-Outdoor Work Station, which provides medical personnel interacting with the public the same access to information and relevant data provided to personnel working inside. The CS-700 features an adaptive beamforming microphone array for captured conversation even when the vehicle is on and the air conditioning unit is running. Four Yamaha speaker elements provide audio intelligibility and a wide-angle HD camera allows personnel to see each other, including those working 6 feet apart outside the vehicle. As a result, personnel are able to maintain safe, real-time communication and rapid response that’s critical for testing.

Yamaha Unified Communications • http://uc.yamaha.com

Draxxon • www.draxxon.org

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com