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.
Nashville, TN (June 18, 2021)—They say that bad things happen in threes, but for the team behind Brooklyn Bowl Nashville, two was more than enough.
“Our grand opening was scheduled for Friday, March 13, 2020,” recalls Carl Gatti, head of production for the venue. “After the first day of orientation on March 1, we had a horrible tornado come through North Nashville. Structures across the street and behind us were totaled, but our only damage was a broken window, some smashed patio furniture and a knocked-over HVAC on the roof. We encouraged staff to volunteer in the neighborhood for the cleanup, and pushed orientation to the following week—we still had the VIP grand opening party set for Friday night. Thursday, as we were finishing the video install and running some lines for lighting world, we got the call to send staff home because of the coronavirus. We got the double whammy.”
A full 16 months later, Brooklyn Bowl Nashville will hold its long-awaited grand opening June 25 and 26 with a pair of Old Crow Medicine Show concerts, finally seeing the 1,200-capacity venue throw open its doors to the public. Coming 12 years after the original Brooklyn Bowl opened in New York City, the new LEED-certified venue serves up live music, 19 lanes of bowling and a patio overlooking third base of First Horizon Park, the next-door home of the Triple-A Nashville Sounds baseball team.
Tour pros who pull up to the venue can expect to use an audio system outfitted with Avid VENUE S6L-24C consoles at FOH and monitor world, while the crowd is covered via a sizable d&b audiotechnik rig based around Vi8 and Vi12 speakers, Vi SUB and B22 subwoofers, and various Y10p fill speakers; monitoring includes a passel of M4 wedges, V-GSubs and V8 sidefills. Available miking includes usual suspects from Shure, Sennheiser and Audio-Technica, and a variety of Radial DIs are on-hand as well.
There’s also plenty of streaming gear in-house, all of which has been put to good use. “It ended up being our saving grace to get us through this pandemic,” says Gatti. Over the last year, the venue hosted major livestreams by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Larkin Poe, Maren Morris, Margo Price and Billy Strings among others, and also became a movie studio for a day when Dierks Bentley filmed the video for his hit “Gone” there, using the stage for performance footage while commandeering the kitchen, bar and other areas to film send-ups of classic movies and sitcoms.
The livestreams will continue, but the venue’s looking forward to hosting live audiences—and bowling, which continues during shows. “The pins are on strings so they’re significantly quieter and dampened; you don’t hear pins crashing or being reset while the show is happening,” says Gatti. “Headliners go on around 9:30, play 90 minutes, maybe a two-hour set, and then while people are partying until we close at 2, we do what we call the Disco Load-Out.”
Austin, TX (April 30, 2021)—The Austin Stone Church (ASC) serves a community of nearly 8,000 weekly attendees throughout its six locations, and it’s most recent campus was added last year during the pandemic. Getting it up to speed meant that the ASC team and Brown Note Productions (BNP) did a number of AV updates over the course of 2020, including the installation of a d&b audiotechnik Y series line array system; in fact, all of the church’s locations sport d&b systems.
The extensive updating of the new 832-seat contemporary worship campus is necessary, as the church is aiming for it to become its primary broadcast campus along with offering regular Sunday services that feature seven musicians/vocalists (drums, keys, guitar, bass, and playback, as well as three lead vocalists). There are two services per week at the new campus.
“The main challenge with this install was the raked, fan shape of the space and trying to deliver a similar experience to every seat,” states Ryan Robertson, production audio manager, Austin Stone Church. “The previous system was an old clustered point source system that really did a poor job of that; you could move what felt like five feet in any direction and have a very different experience. One of our main objectives with any of our new venues is to give each person that attends the same experience, whether in the front row or way back in the corner. No other manufacturer does as good of a job of that than d&b in my opinion. Every system really does follow the ‘more art, less noise’ motto by putting sound only where it needs to go, especially when ArrayProcessing is deployed. I always feel confident when mixing on a well deployed d&b system that what I’m mixing at front of house is being heard and felt in essentially every seat in the venue. This install is no exception. On top of that, there is a clarity and sonic signature of d&b that fits perfectly with the style of music we are mixing and is highly preferred.”
System highlights include eight Y8 and eight Y12 loudspeakers, a trio of J-SUBs ground subwoofers, a pair of d&b J-INFRAs on the outside of the sub array, eight E6 loudspeakers for front fills, a Y10P loudspeaker, two Y7P loudspeakers for out fills, eight 30D amplifiers, a 10D amplifier and a DS10 Dante bridge.
The front of house is outfitted with a DiGiCo S31console with Dante I/O and Focusrite AES interface, and a Q-SYS Control system utilizing a d&b plug-in for complete AV system control and automation allowing for “self-serve” AV modes for a wide variety of uses. An Avid Pro Tools Dante-enabled broadcast package is provided for livestream and post-production use.
“The new d&b system sounds fantastic,” adds Robertson. “The power and clarity of the system really draws you in as a listener. It was fun to see the reactions and smiles on the face of our leadership team as they listened to it for the first time. Their main reaction was how intelligible everything was. They felt like they could actually hear distinctly everything that was happening in the mix, not just a wall of sound. The band has said they have a new level of confidence in what they play and sing and that it is accurately being conveyed into the room. It makes them that much more excited to get up early on a Sunday and lead our people.”
Kaohsiung, Taiwan (March 10, 2021)—Taiwan’s new Kaohsiung Music Center (KMC) isn’t merely unique due to its shape; now it’s also the site of the first d&b audiotechnik KSL Soundscape installation.
The Kaohsiung Music Center, located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, includes a vast outdoor stage HI-BREEZE Square, four auditoriums and a large main stage, HI-ING Hall, which is seen as the most important symbol of the entire park. The final auditorium is located outside the building on top of a bridge overlooking the Love River. The main stage there can be subdivided into smaller units, giving the center greater flexibility in its hosting capabilities.
In order to make the most of HI-ING Hall, the music center and supplier Topsound Audio used d&b Soundscape immersive technology and d&b KSL loudspeakers for the installation. The venue features seven hangs of KSL line arrays (five for the mains, and two for outfills) to provide full-band directivity control to the space, with the aim of providing the same sound to the entire audience, regardless of their location in the venue.
The Soundscape installation is powered by the DS100 Signal Engine, an audio system processor based on a Dante-enabled signal matrix. The technology’s coverage is controlled through its software module, En-Scene, a sound object positioning tool allowing the individual placement and movement of sound objects.
The venue’s asymmetrical construction was a challenge, with the additional concern that the entire venue needed to ensure optimum rear rejection, as it backs directly onto a noisy shopping mall. “We were concerned with the proximity of the shopping mall and needed to make sure that wouldn’t cause any issues during performances,” commented Kenny Liu, general manager of Topsound. “Everyone was absolutely taken aback by the exceptional rear rejection provided by the d&b SL-SUB Cardioid Subwoofers. It really helps us control the sound.”
The center opened on Feb. 3, 2021, with a technology testing event held at the Hi-ING Hall. There, hundreds of music professionals were invited to hear the system in order to rigorously test and provide feedback on how the system handled multiple genres. While the d&b team could not be on site due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, all parties involved have vocalized extreme satisfaction with the training they received through d&b virtual webinars.
“We were supported by d&b every step of the way, and their online training initiatives taught us so much and ensured we felt extremely comfortable with the system,” commented Liu. “This is an extremely impressive looking venue, and we needed a sound system that would match, d&b gave us that and more, and we are very excited for audiences to experience this one-of-a-kind system in a one-of-a-kind venue.”
Singapore (July 27, 2020)—Singapore’s Tin Box: The Live House, a showcase venue for up and coming acts, opened in early March, aiming to provide audiences with tour-standard staging, lighting, and audio. Covering the 250-person room are installed d&b audiotechnik A-Series augmented arrays.
As a basement venue, Tin Box has low ceilings and is only about 240 square meters in size, but the facility was focused on concerns that were less technical and more aesthetic, with the main issue being that the sound system would block views to the stage. Fortunately, after the installation process was complete, there was no obstruction and the audience has a good view of the stage throughout the club.
Unfortunately, the club is not able to hold any live music events currently due to COVID concerns, but prior to that, facility owners IMC Captasia’s group director of artist management and development, Joy Yong, noted, “The entire show experience is of top-notch quality, not just for the audience off-stage, but for the performers on-stage. Musicians and singers are able to deliver a high standard of performance, and the audience, from right upfront to the back of the room, enjoys an equal richness of sound.”
Ravenna, Italy (July 9, 2020)—Cancelling this month’s annual Ravenna Festival in Italy, running through July 30, was never an option, so regional audio provider BH Audio took on the challenge of providing sound that would give visitors to the opera and classical music festival an uplifting audio experience. That entailed deploying a d&b Soundscape immersive sound system to bring it to life.
Now in its 31st year, the Ravenna Festival is facing the same COVID-19 concerns seen around the world, so new programs were put in place to ensure the organizers could offer the best cultural and artistic experience to an audience while simultanously keeping it safe. “This is our most important festival yet—people in Italy and around the world have been waiting months to experience the joy of live music,” commented Giulia Artemisia Nicosia from BH Audio, who supplied the audio system for the festival.
This year, a large part of the program is taking place in the open air of the Brancaleone Fortress in the center of Ravenna, where more than 300 people can enjoy the shows live and thousands more can watch the shows streamed online. For the audience, as well as the performers, temperature checks and masks are in full effect.
BH audio turned to d&b’s Soundscape to provide an immersive sound experience both for the audience at the festival and those at home. “We knew we needed a system that would provide the audiences—no matter where they were—with a truly immersive sound experience and d&b Soundscape was the only way to do that,” said Nicosia. “One of the main challenges for the orchestra was the distance between them, which of course has a huge impact on the sound. In order to combat that, we used the virtual acoustic shell with Soundscape to help the musicians hear to each other and simulate better acoustics on stage.”
Making that happen are a pair of DS100 processors with the d&b Soundscape software, plus more than 60 d&b loudspeakers; one processor handles audio for the audience while the other provides a virtual acoustic shell for the musicians.
Meanwhile, for audiences watching from home, a third DS100 is being used for the streaming service, to create an enhanced mix for the stereo stream. En-Scene is utilized to virtually position the objects in the stereo mix, while En-Space simulates the 360° loudspeakers at the venue to create concert hall-like acoustics through an ambisonic plug-in.
“We are using a 360° En-Scene set up in the venue, which, combined with En-Space, helps us to recreate the acoustics of different rooms depending on the type of performance,” commented Nicosia. “For example, we used the newly acquired 9th room—San Vitale, the cathedral—for sacred music, while for the orchestra on the opening concert, we used the classical large room—in an open-air environment. The effects that we can achieve outdoors with En-Space really are a game-changer.”
Backnang, Germany (June 25, 2020)—d&b audiotechnik has introduced a new set of capabilities for its d&b Soundscape audio platform, expanding on the system’s ability to deliver audio imaging, resolution and emulated acoustics.
A Soundscape system has three elements: DS100 Signal Engine, the hardware platform with matrix functionality that can operate in a standalone system configuration mode or be combined with one or both of two software modules; En-Scene, an object-based positioning tool; and En-Space room-emulation software.
The latest feature updates are: Scenes – hardware-based scene memory capabilities within the DS100 Signal Engine and for the Soundscape software platform; two new room signatures within En-Space; and a configurable ‘Spread factor’ for function groups in En-Scene.
Scenes enables snapshots of all DS100 and Soundscape parameters (Matrix / En Scene & En Space) to be stored within the DS100 hardware memory.
The user can create scenes in R1, d&b’s remote control software, offline without the DS100 for later transfer to the DS100 hardware memory. These scenes can be recalled from there using R1, but also via OSC commands, either as a direct call to a desired scene number or by stepping through the Scene list step by step using the “Next” / Previous” function. These OSC functionalities allows d&b systems to be easily integrated into third-party control systems, from show control software such as Q-Lab up to creation of UIs on a tablet or smartphone with e.g. TouchOSC.
En-Space room emulation software is an in-line technology, meaning to generate or expand the acoustic environment. Two new rooms, from Ravenna, Italy, join the existing seven concert and recital halls. With the very short and “dry” reverberation of 1.3 sec from the Alegrie Theatre and the (massive and manifold) 5.6 sec from the Cathedral of San Vitale, users now have two new environments at their fingertips.
The Soundscape update also includes the new addition of Spread Factor for Function Groups. The Soundscape software already allows for loudspeakers to be combined into Function Groups, allowing them to be organized and addressed as such—for instance, groups might be appropriately labeled “mains” and so on. The new Spread Factor allows users to apply an individual spread factors of function groups, adjusting how the spread setting of the objects are handled by the various function groups, thus determine the energy distribution between the loudspeakers within the different function groups according to the specific needs of the setup.
Derry, Ireland (June 8, 2020)—Following an architectural refurbishment and technical systems upgrade to match, St. Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry, Ireland, now sports a sizable d&b audiotechnik xC-Series system to help parishioners hear sermons within the massive stone house of worship.
Built in 1873, the cathedral is from an era before audio systems, and has the reflections and reverberations to prove it. Looking to tame them, however, the church turned to acoustical consultant Michael Kielty of Belfast-based MK Audio, who in turn recommended a distributed system, and contacted Absolute Technologies for a specific solution recommendation that would meet the church’s requirements.
Absolute Technologies brought on the xC-Series column loudspeakers from d&b audiotechnik. Supported by Oran Burns from d&b’s Application Support team, Absolute made an initial design for the church using d&b ArrayCalc software to predict coverage and decide on suitable loudspeaker positions. Following this, an in-situ system demonstration was arranged and was decided upon as the solution for the church.
The design uses an inner pair of d&b 24C-E cabinets at the front and an outer pair of 24C serving the aisles; further down the room are two more pairs of 24Cs as delays, again arranged as inner and outer pairs. The system is powered by two d&b D10 amplifiers. For control, simplicity was key, with as little user interaction required as possible. An Allen & Heath Qu-Pac mixer is provided, with presets for the various regular services.
Aside from intelligibility, St. Eugene’s presented another major challenge: building restrictions forbid the fixing of hardware to walls and pillars. The only option was the creation of custom floor-mount brackets. Designed in conjunction with the architect and a specialist engineering company, each bracket is unique, to account for floor height and pan angle, and incorporates a plate for mounting beneath the floorboards and a rear cover to hide mounting bolts and cable. The back plate is finished in the same RAL colour as the loudspeaker, and the base plate in stainless steel to reflect its surroundings.