Tag Archives: Pro Audio

Pro Sound News’ Top 10 Articles of 2020

Pro Sound News top 10 articles of 2020New York, NY (December 24, 2020)—With the end of 2020 upon us (and not a second too soon), we look back at the year that was, presenting the Top 10 Pro Sound News articles of 2020 that appeared on prosoundnetwork.com, as ranked by the site’s Google Analytics readership statistics. Intriguingly, while the biggest news of the year was the pandemic, virtually none of these articles even mention it. Instead, audio pros like yourself were mostly interested in either looking ahead to when things would get back to normal by checking out the latest gear, or looking back at great moments in audio, whether it was the recording of classic albums or the earliest known stereo recordings. No one knows what 2021 will bring, but for now, enjoy the most popular articles from our site, and we’ll see you in the new year.

10. Discovering—and Preserving—the Earliest Known Stereo Recordings
By Clive Young. In 1901, German anthropologist Berthold Laufer used two wax cylinder recorders simultaneously to record Shanghai musicians, unintentionally creating the earliest-known stereo recordings.

9. Apple Mac Pro Rack: A Real-World Review
By Rich Tozzoli. Producer/composer Rich Tozzoli shelled out $10,000 for an Apple Mac Pro Rack computer; was it worth it?

8. The METAlliance Report: The Recording of Steely Dan’s Aja
By The METAlliance. Widely considered a pinnacle of recording excellence, Steely Dan’s 1977 album Aja had an occasionally tortured gestation—but it won the Grammy for Best Engineered Album. Now METAlliance members Al Schmitt and Elliot Scheiner share the inside scoop on how…

7. Sennheiser Announces Layoffs Amidst Slowing Market
With consumer and live sound sales heavily impacted by COVID-19, Sennheiser will cut 650 jobs worldwide by the end of 2022.

6. Inside the Live Sound of Live Aid, Part 1: London
By Steve Harvey. We look back at the live sound effort that went into the legendary charity concert Live Aid, held simultaneously in London and Philadelphia. With 60+ acts on the bill and 160,000 in attendance—not to mention 1.9 billion watching it…

5. Creative Editing is Key to Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend Podcast
By Jim Beaugez. A variety of audio editing tricks help audio producer Matt Gourley ensure that the Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend podcast keeps the laughs coming.

4. Danny Leake, Legendary Studio/Live Engineer, Dead at 69
By Clive Young. In addition to working as Stevie Wonder’s FOH engineer for three decades, Danny Leake also recorded dozens of top artists in the studio, leading to six Grammy nominations for his efforts.

3. Tool Tours with Intricate, Immersive Sound
By Steve Harvey. Touring the world behind Fear Inoculum, Tool’s first album in 13 years, the prog-metal heroes are filling arenas with a massive audio system that takes a new approach to immersive live sound.

2. Exclusive: Yamaha Launches Rivage PM5, PM3 Desks, DSPs, More
By Clive Young. Take an exclusive sneak peek of Yamaha’s most ambitious expansion for the Rivage series yet, as the company introduces two new consoles—the PM5 and PM3—as well as a pair of new DSP engines—DSP-RX and DSP-RX-EX—and Version 4 firmware.

1. AKM Factory Fire—A Pro-Audio Industry Disaster
By Clive Young. A 82-hour fire in AKM’s semiconductor factory is already hurting numerous top pro-audio manufacturers around the globe.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

60 Seconds: Preston Gray, Yamaha Corp. of America

Preston Gray, the new director of marketing for Pro Audio, Yamaha Corp. of America.
Preston Gray is the new director of marketing for Pro Audio, Yamaha Corp. of America.

Q: What is your new position, and what does it entail?

I am excited to take on the role of director of marketing for Pro Audio at Yamaha Corp. of America. We are responsible for developing strategies to reach and engage new customers for Yamaha, Nexo and Steinberg products. At a deeper, more human level, I believe a simple melody, or even a few notes, can trigger an emotional bond with another person, and that sound and music have a transformational impact on individuals and the world around us. Our job in Yamaha’s Pro Audio team is to make sure those notes are heard, and to facilitate that connection between people.

Q: How has your background prepared you for your new role?

I am fortunate that I have been able to follow my passion for music and technology from day one of my career. I spent time touring with national artists in arenas and stadiums, where I gained firsthand experience with how the Yamaha, Nexo and Steinberg products perform cohesively as integrated systems in the real world. I experienced daily how Yamaha’s unique and intimate connection with music and musical instruments shines through in the sound quality of our pro audio systems.

While most pro audio systems are designed to amplify music, Yamaha uniquely knows exactly what that music should sound like, as we empower artists to create music by developing musical instruments. My role in the field, touring and tuning our systems, confirmed this confidence and excellence in sonic performance, and I can’t wait to share that experience with the world.

60 Seconds with Robert Trebus of d&b audiotechnik

60 Seconds with Zack Salpeter of Mackie

Q: What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?

Yamaha empowers artists to make waves with sound and music. We will focus on initiatives that provide the systems and solutions to amplify art and voices that inspire connection to make waves.

Q: What are your short- and long-term goals?

In the short-term, we want to continue to be a solid and trusted partner to our customers, building on our strong brand image and reputation. As we look further into the future, we will continue to share our expertise in music and sonic quality across every aspect of our pro audio systems, from recording and creation with Steinberg, to processing, mixing and performance with Yamaha, and powerful, linear sound reinforcement from Nexo.

Q: What is the greatest challenge you face?

As the world faces changes and uncertainty, we know that music has the ability to unite and connect us. We must not lose sight of the fact that, as professionals in the pro audio industry, we have the power to amplify the voices of those around us to make an impact, progress personally and come together with others. At the same time, we will continue to support our customers in every way as the live event and commercial sound industries embrace new opportunities.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Every Pro Sound News Holiday Gift Guide Ever!

Pro Sound News Holiday Gift GuideWe’ve compiled pro audio gift guides since 2007, believe it or not, so here’s links to every guide we’ve ever done. Looking back at them is fascinating—2007’s is the funniest, while 2009’s is probably the coolest (celebrities weigh in with gift ideas, and then there’s the letter from a soundman’s mom). Some feature products you’d never buy today (a pocket translator? There’s apps for that now), and of course, the further back you go, the links are less likely to work, but that shouldn’t stop you from Googling for that item—good gift ideas for audio folks are eternal. Find something fun for the audio pro in your life—or yourself!

The Pro Sound News Holiday Gift Guide, 2020 Edition!

The Pro Sound News Holiday Gift Guide, 2019 Edition!

The Pro Sound News Holiday Gift Guide, 2018 Edition!

The Pro Sound News Holiday Gift Guide, 2017 Edition!

The Pro Sound News Holiday Gift Guide, 2016 Edition!

Russ Long’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Pro-Audio Gift Help: PSN’s 2014 Book/DVD Reviews

The Gift That Keeps On Gigging (2013)

We took a year off in 2012; in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, we were running pretty low on holiday spirit.

What to Give a Live-Sound Roadie for the Holidays, 2011 Edition!

What To Get A Live Sound Pro for the Holidays, 2010 Edition!

2009’s guide had four parts:

What To Get A Live Sound Roadie for the Holidays. 2009 Edition—Part 1 (Practical Presents)

What To Get A Live Sound Roadie for the Holidays, 2009 Edition—Part 2 (Musical and Unusual Presents)

What To Get A Live Sound Roadie for the Holidays, 2009 Edition—Part 3 (Advice from the Pros)

What To Get A Live Sound Roadie for the Holidays, 2009 Edition—Part 4 (The Letter from ‘MOM’)

What to Get A Live Sound Roadie for the Holidays, 2008 Edition!

What To Get A Live Sound Guy For Christmas (2007)

…and for good measure,

Mr. Bonzai Unveils Christmas Tree, John Lennon’s Tooth

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

‘Working Class Audio’ Podcast Tackles Realities of Recording Life

For more than 300 episodes, Matt Boudreau has explored the recording life with his Working Class Audio podcast.
For more than 300 episodes, Matt Boudreau (seen here at Jackpot Studios) has explored the recording life with his Working Class Audio podcast.

San Francisco, CA (October 1, 2020)—If audio pros listening to the Working Class Audio podcast take away one thing, Matt Boudreau hopes it’s the lesson of diversification. As every studio hound learns, all it takes to lose your recording is a single point of failure. Running a studio business, he says, works the same way.

Working Class Audio Logo“One thing I preach about endlessly on my show is diversification of income and creating income streams, making it so there’s not a single point of failure,” says Boudreau. “This pandemic has really highlighted the strength of that concept.”

As the podcast’s creator, host and producer, Boudreau knows what he’s talking about. When he was a recording studio owner in San Francisco in the 2000s, he had a hard time navigating the Great Recession—and once the financial tension spread from work to his home life, he knew he had to make some changes. He also knew he wasn’t the only one in that situation.

“I didn’t have a strong financial sense about me,” says Boudreau. “I thought, ‘I have to completely rethink this approach. I want to do audio, but I don’t want to fail financially. I’ve got to come up with more of a ‘working class audio’ way of doing things.’” That meant shutting down his studio and rebuilding his career through freelance audio work. And then it meant starting a podcast.

Boudreau established the Working Class Audio podcast to share his experiences, as well as provide a forum for other audio pros to share their stories—how they’re surviving, how they deal with money and how they create work-life balance while continuing to work in audio at the level they want. “Everybody’s story is very different,” he says, “and everybody’s situation is vastly different. Some people have been far more successful. Jacquire King’s story is going to be vastly different from Michael Rosen’s story, or Steve Albini’s.”

Boudreau's home-based mixing and mastering studio.
Boudreau’s home-based mixing and mastering studio.

After more than 300 episodes, Boudreau still produces the Working Class Audio podcast from the Bay Area home-based mixing and mastering studio where he does much of his work these days. He typically conducts his interviews over Zoom while recording locally to a Sound Devices MixPre-6 through either an AEA KU5A hyper-cardioid ribbon mic or an Audio-Technica BP40 dynamic mic.

One benefit of interviewing studio engineers and producers is not having to worry about getting bad audio from them when he syncs. That wasn’t always the case, though. “The early episodes don’t sound that good, but the later episodes do,” he confesses, noting that those initial segments were recorded over Skype. “It took me a while to figure out, ‘Oh yeah, I could just have them record themselves.’ And it worked. Now the quality of the show is closer to that NPR goal.”

The podcast can take Boudreau on the road, such as when he interviewed Grammy Nominated Mastering engineer Kim Rosen at The NAMM Show in January, 2020.
The podcast occasionally takes Boudreau on the road, such as when he interviewed Grammy-nominated mastering engineer Kim Rosen at The NAMM Show in January, 2020.

In his transition to freelance work, precision and speed became more important than ever, and Working Class Audio puts those principles into action. Turnaround on an episode is typically one week from recording to publishing. He and editor Anne-Marie Pleau send Pro Tools session files back and forth, running them through iZotope RX to reduce accidental noises and even subtle annoyances like the whoosh of a computer fan.

Once the podcast goes out to the world, what comes back to him are often tales of listeners’ own experiences. The goal, though, is for others to not have to learn the hard way.

“I have learned so much from guests over the years,” he says. “But when listeners send me an email and say, ‘Hey man, I drive a van for a living and I’m getting into a studio situation, and I followed the advice that this guest gave, and this guest gave, and you gave, and I’m really doing well’—that’s when I think, okay, this is serious. This is providing something of value to people.

“As those messages come in, I think my focus is shifting. It’s not so much about what I want to learn, but about what I want others to be able to get out of it.”

Working Class Audio podcast • https://solo.to/wca

Matt Boudreau • www.mattboudreau.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Barry O’Hare, Legendary Jamaican Engineer, Dead at 56

Barry O’Hare, mixing at the CarnRiv Festival in Lagos, Nigeria in 2013.
Barry O’Hare, mixing at the CarnRiv Festival in Lagos, Nigeria in 2013. PreSonus

New York, NY (September 23, 2020)—A mainstay of Jamaica’s recording and live sound scene for decades, engineer Barry O’Hare died from COVID-19 on Saturday, September 19, at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. Over the years, O’Hare worked with the likes of Burning Spear, Third World, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Morgan Heritage, Sean Paul, Beres Hammond, Toots and the Maytals and Shaggy. O’Hare was 56.

A Kingston native, O’Hare became interested in music at an early age and played piano in his father’s church by age 9. In the late 1980s, he began working as an apprentice studio engineer at Grove Recording Studio, where in time he would become a full-fledged producer/engineer who also composed music and worked as an occasional background vocalist. As the studio was a subsidiary of Ocho Rios radio station IRIE FM, O’Hare eventually became an on-air DJ at the station as well.

Producer Robert “Bobby Digital” Dixon, Dead at 59

O’Hare began producing for reggae act Morgan Heritage in 1992, contributing to albums like Don’t Haffi Dread, Caught Into A Trap and Reggae Road Block. Gramps Morgan, a member of the group, told the Jamaican Gleaner, “Barry was more than just a colleague in the music industry; to our family, he was a brother. After meeting him for the very first time in 1992, we realized how far and above he was at that time as an engineer. His personality was calm, and also his spirit and his  professionalism were far and beyond. He will truly be missed. To his family and all who are left behind, this is another big loss for our genre.”

Among his career highlights was engineering Burning Spear’s 1999 album, Calling Rastafari, at Grove; the record won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.

As time went on, O’Hare added live sound engineering to his resume, engineering large-scale events such as the Jamaica International Kite Festival and Summer Sizzle. He eventually became a go-to FOH engineer for internationally touring reggae acts, including Sean Paul, Third World and Beres Hammond, though most notably, he worked as Shaggy’s touring engineer for a decade. The “It Wasn’t Me” singer noted on Instagram, “Lost our dear brother @barry_ohare_jamaica. Barry was my engineer and a great guy; he was instrumental in helping to establish Shaggy and Friends, especially on the technical side, and engineered a lot of the shows. We toured together for years; he made us sound great night after night. Thank you for your friendship, your talent and love! Rest well, my brother, R.I.P. – condolences to his family.”

The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) recognized O’Hare for his contribution to the growth and development of reggae music in 2018.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Live Concerts Come Back to Alaska

Koch Sound fielded its Allen & Heath GLD console at Backyard BBQ 3 in Sterling, Alaska. The August concert featured artists such as Craig Morgan, Matt Stell and Jimmie Allen
Koch Sound fielded its Allen & Heath GLD console at Backyard BBQ 3 in Sterling, Alaska. The August concert featured artists such as Craig Morgan, Matt Stell and Jimmie Allen

Kenai, Alaska (September 16, 2020)—“Business has been slowly but surely picking back up—we did three major shows over the last four weeks,” reports Alex Koch, owner of Koch Sound. Providing audio around the Kenai Peninsula, the company covers the subarctic South-central Alaska area. Like all parts of the U.S., the region’s live sound events essentially stopped with the arrival of the pandemic, but Koch used the time to reassess his company’s inventory, ultimately opting to upgrade his main console to an Allen & Heath Avantis—one of the first in the state—and his PA to VUE Audiotechnik AL4 speakers.

Recent shows included concerts by national acts like Parmalee and Tim Montana & the Shrednecks, as well as the socially distanced annual Backyard BBQ 3, which featured national acts like Craig Morgan, Matt Stell and Jimmie Allen. “We tackled a couple of them with our trusty [Allen & Heath] GLD-80 paired with AR2412 and AR84 AudioRacks,” said Koch. “It was great to get back to mixing…Avantis came in later and we are loving it at front of house with the GLD shifted to serve up monitor duties.”

Lake Hills Church Goes All in on Allen & Heath

In addition to the recent Avantis acquisition, Koch Sound also added a GX4816 48 input / 16 output Portable Expander with DX sockets. Koch continues, “The ability to easily tie in ME Personal Monitors to the system through the GX4816 is such a big deal. Most churches are skipping floor wedges and going in-ear, so we get a lot more requests for ME systems now. Simply plug them in to the GX box and call it a day. You can even daisy-chain them or choose to go with PoE power for a super clean and easy setup.”

The Advantis is housed in a ProX Live Performance Gear ZCase—a hydraulic lift case that moves from a vertical transport position to a typical horizontal operation position. “The ZCase takes it up a few levels,” Koch admits. “Push the magic button and it flips up for you. Have FOH done in about 30 seconds…We’re excited to keep ramping it up with A&H as live shows come back more and more.”

Allen & Heath • www.allen-heath.com

Koch Sound • www.facebook.com/KochSound

ProX • www.proxdirect.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Breaking: NAB Moves Spring Show to Fall of 2021

NAB Show 2021 bumped from April to October, 2021.Las Vegas, NV (September 9, 2020)—The National Association of Broadcasters has decided to move the 2021 NAB Show from April to October of next year.

President/CEO Gordon Smith broke the news in an announcement to the industry. The new dates are Oct. 9 to 13, 2021, in Las Vegas.

Also announced: the 2021 fall Radio Show will be held concurrently in Vegas.

The question of what NAB might do in 2021 with the huge spring event — after cancelling it in 2020 just a few weeks before the show in the face of COVID-19 — has been a pressing and closely watched one as the industry moved into autumn for the Northern Hemisphere and as organizations began planning next year’s travel (or lack of it) without clarity on when the world health situation would ease.

The decision affects a lot of people. Registration at the most recent physical NAB Show in 2019 was reported by the association at around 91,460 people, more than a quarter of them from abroad.

Smith said NAB was aware of “a good deal of reluctance around participating in large events in the first half of next year.” He wrote that the pandemic “remains a significant threat and the evidence suggests it will be well into next year before it could be under control in the U.S.”

He said NAB also had concerns “around being able to deliver the type of event in April that will not only drive results, but one that can be produced safely for all involved and without significant limitations on the experience.”

NAB Show Express Draws Virtual Crowds

“Moving NAB Show to October means we are considering alternative 2021 dates for NAB Show New York, held annually in October,” Smith wrote.

“On the plus side, the 2021 Radio Show will co-locate with NAB Show in Las Vegas, as will NAB’s Sales and Management Television Exchange; and there is opportunity to add additional partner events.” (Next year’s Radio Show had been slated for New Orleans.)

An NAB spokeswoman told Radio World that the following year’s spring show schedule is not affected; that convention is scheduled for April 23-27, 2022.

Smith didn’t mention other shows by name but wrote, “We have done our best to avoid direct conflicts with other domestic and international events, and have reached out to allied organizations and partners to both share our thinking in advance and to offer to work collaboratively toward turning this into an opportunity for all.” The IBC Show is another large event around that time of year; it is slated next year for mid-September.

Earlier, planners of another big Vegas show, the 2021 CES, announced that their event this coming January would be held virtually

Also today, Chris Brown, NAB’s EVP of conventions, wrote to exhibitor partners, “We did not make this decision lightly and we’d like to thank you for your continued support and guidance over the last few months as we considered your feedback while also monitoring the ongoing health and safety concerns around the fight to contain the pandemic in the U.S., the projected state of the economy and travel restrictions around the world.”

Brown told exhibitors that the NAB Show staff “will be in touch in the coming weeks to review next steps to reserve your participation in the 2021 NAB Show.”

This story originally appeared at http://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/headlines/breaking-news-nab-moves-spring-show-to-fall-of-2021

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

60 Seconds with Marc DeGeorge of SSL

Marc DeGeorge
Marc DeGeorge Marc DeGeorge

What is your new position, and what does it entail?

I have just been named national sales manager of Solid State Logic’s audio creation products for the United States. My area of responsibility has now increased to oversee our relationships with the major MI retail chains, as well as most of our independent MI and pro audio dealers. In addition to that, I’ll be assisting the wider team with the studio consoles side of the business, and marketing of all of these, too. This includes building new relationships and strategic alliances within the industry.

How has your background prepared you for your new role?

I come from a varied employment background, and I think that is to my benefit. I’m a musician and audio engineer, I’ve run successful stores for a major MI retail chain, and I’ve been in sales for over 22 years. All of this experience enables me to really get the bottom line on the business side, and to speak directly to clients and end users from my own personal experience.

What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?

There has been significant ecommerce development in the past few months that we’ve already seen. For instance, I recently hosted a Meet the Producers program for SSL with producer/engineer JC Losada. This is an interview-based program in which we talk with some of the world’s most recognized producers. It was a great experience. By collaborating with our regional offices and our headquarters in Oxford [England], we’re able to make a significant impact as a brand that is engaging with the next generation of creatives. We will also continue to do what has always been successful for us. For instance, our educational initiatives in all the markets where we play will continue to be a major focus—the only question being what delivery medium we favor. Ideally, that would be as much face-to-face interaction as makes sense.

SSL Meet the Producer JC Losada
Click to watch on Facebook

What are your short- and long-term goals?

In the short term, I will be looking to further streamline our fulfillment to better serve our rapidly increasing number of dealers, and getting to know some of the dealers that have just come under my supervision. It’s important for me to understand what they’re really about so we can enable them to be as successful with our product line as possible. Long term, I’d like to find new markets in which our products are a solid fit, as well as find new problems we can solve with our current and future offerings.

60 Seconds with Phil Wagner of Solid State Logic, Dec. 5, 2019
SSL Broadcast Tech Wins Queen’s Award, April 22, 2020
Innovations: Solid State Logic System T Broadcast Console, by Thomas Jensen, April 9, 2020

What is the greatest challenge you face?

The greatest challenge I face is the same that all manufacturers of audio equipment for music production face. What will the studio of the future look like? How do we continue to educate our new end users—some of whom have never touched an analog console before—about best workflow practices, and why a storied company like Solid State Logic, which has been on the cutting edge of audio design for nearly 50 years, is still as important now as it was many years ago.

Solid State Logic • www.solidstatelogic.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Full Compass President Mark Nash Retires

Full Compass President Mark Nash
Full Compass president Mark Nash

Madison, WI (July 7, 2020)—Mark Nash, president of pro audio retailer Full Compass, is retiring after 35 years with the company.

Hired by owners Jonathan and Susan Lipp, Nash originally joined the company in 1985 as a national sales representative. Susan Lipp recalled, “Mark was our son Jeff’s teaching assistant while he [Jeff] was at the University of Wisconsin studying Theater. Jeff said Mark was the best teacher he ever had, so we hired him. Mark earned every promotion as he earned our trust and love.”

Nash worked his way up through the ranks in a variety of positions. As operations manager, he helped develop customized systems that provided Full Compass with flexibility as the company grew. Revamping systems such as inventory control, purchasing and shipping, he found ways to enhance the company’s speed in order to better serve customers. Later, Nash founded the FDW wholesale division of Full Compass in 1991 which still provides services to resellers that turn to Full Compass for professional audio, video, and lighting needs.

Full Compass to Advocate for Music Education

Looking forward, Nash will continue to support grassroots organizations focused on positive political and social change, and spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Nash stated, “Many things have changed in the industry over the last thirty-five years. In 1984, it was at a different time with advances in digital recording and signal processing along with the technology of multitrack recording becoming affordable for individuals. These changes presented an opportunity for a company like ours to market products to a large segment of new customers. Today is an unconventional time as well. The needs of our customers to create, communicate, and collaborate are still expanding and will continue to do so. Our efforts are based on a passion and love for what we do. There will always be room for a company that is fervent and personal about its business. Full Compass excels at this and will continue to do so.”

As Full Compass transitions forward, its current Executive team has a combined 80 years of experience at Full Compass and at least 150 years in the industry. Many of Nash’s duties will transition to Dave Chaimson, Full Compass’ new COO, who started in January, 2020. “I am very comfortable leaving these in Dave’s hands,” said Nash. “It is apparent to me Dave and I share many of the same values when it comes to taking care of customers and, more importantly, taking care of our employees. He has the advantage of entering into this with many years of outside expertise, coupled with deep industry experience, that will serve the company well.”

Full Compass •  www.fullcompass.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com