Archive for November 21st, 2013

Sennheiser raises the bar for wireless transmission at CMA Awards

Nashville, November 21, 2013: At the 47th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on November 6, Sennheiser’s Digital 9000 wireless system helped usher in a new era of digital wireless in live sound production as superstars The Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum delivered ‘magical’ performances to an audience of millions of viewers around the world.

In addition to the performances by The Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum, this year’s CMA Awards featured Taylor Swift and Jennifer Nettles, who used Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld transmitters coupled with MD 5235 microphone capsules; Miranda Lambert (winner of “Female Vocalist of the Year”) and Blake Shelton (winner of “Album of the Year” and “Male Vocalist of the Year”), both of whom sang through Sennheiser SKM 2000 transmitters with MD 935-1 capsules; and Kenny Rogers, who used a Sennheiser SKM 5200-II transmitter in combination with a Neumann KK 105-S capsule. Hosts spoke through SKM 5200-II handhelds with KK 105-S capsules for the duration of the program.

From an RF perspective, the show presented a daunting challenge: “We had 200 frequencies we were dealing with – this is a formidable number of radio frequencies in any environment, especially when everything is in UHF,” says James Stoffo, RF coordinator of the CMA Awards. “We ended up using several channels of the Sennheiser Digital 9000 in performances by both Lady Antebellum and The Zac Brown Band and it performed flawlessly.” Sennheiser Global Relations played a key role in facilitating equipment and support for the performance, which not only included wireless systems but also dozens of wired and wireless microphones used throughout the CMA Awards. “Our flagship Digital 9000 system is designed to deliver uncompromising audio with maximum RF flexibility for today’s challenging RF enviroments,” said Kristy Jo Winkler, Global Relations Manager, Americas. “When James Stoffo, one of the industry’s foremost RF consultants, said he would use it on the show, we were especially delighted. Refining technology and partnering with audio professionals to help make the event a seamless experience for engineers and artists is our priority.”

Sennheiser Digital 9000: the future of wireless is here:

Stoffo, who has been navigating challenging wireless terrain in top awards shows, sporting events and large corporate events for more than 30 years, is extremely concerned about the increasing congestion of the RF landscape and sees digital systems such as Digital 9000 as a fundamental solution moving forward: “It is getting almost impossible to organize and coordinate a large production, especially in awards shows that are approaching 200 frequencies. I’ve done a lot of testing with digital wireless systems and have found that they are much more tolerant to interference than analog systems. Also, the fact is that with Digital 9000 we don’t have to worry about intermodulation – or the mixing and blending of signals. We can therefore pack more signals into the same amount of spectrum.”

In addition to the reliability and spectrum efficiencies gained, Stoffo says there is a dramatic increase in audio quality with the Digital 9000 system: “You can absolutely hear the difference. For one thing, there is no noise floor like you have on FM-based systems.” John Harris, music mixer of the CMA Awards, said Sennheiser’s SKM 9000 handheld digital transmitter, which was coupled with an MD 9235 capsule, sounded spectacular on The Zac Brown Band’s vocals: “Zac is a very strong vocal act and with the Digital 9000 system, I had great separation and tone from all the singers. The new SKM 9000 digital transmitter was really great for rock vocals.”

During Lady Antebellum’s performance, lead singer Hillary Scott ventured beyond the stage out into the audience – where RF coverage can be tricky since the primary antenna coverage is on the stage, Stoffo says. “We never had a hitch. The RF levels on the Digital 9000 system remained pegged the entire time and I didn’t have to sweat it.”

Simple integration and operation:

Stoffo, who originally requested a Digital 9000 for testing but instead found himself putting it in the CMA Awards production days later because of its stellar performance, says he encountered zero difficulty integrating it within the rest of the audio system. “I had no issues whatsoever, and in fact was more confident using Digital 9000 than older analog systems,” he says.

After experiencing the increased performance and reliability of the system, other benefits soon became apparent: “With Digital 9000, you don’t just have battery bar indicators, you are actually shown the remaining time you have left. When you are juggling 40 microphones, changing batteries and handling other responsibilities, this is huge. Once you get into show mode, one of the biggest maintenance issues for the RF tech is simply changing batteries throughout the show. Being able to see exactly how much time you have is priceless for me.”

Neumann: voiceover microphone of choice at the CMA Awards:

As a high-energy award show featuring over 20 musical acts and a constant flow of introductions, nominations and award announcements that serve to anchor the progression of the show, voiceover announcements are critically important. “Our microphone has to cut through loud music, heavy applause and crowd cheering without having to be ridiculously loud,” explains Tom Davis, audio producer at the CMA Awards.

Davis and his team used three Neumann TLM 49 large-diaphragm condenser microphones to facilitate the voiceovers: two are used on site at the Awards, and one is used for work done in advance at Davis’ SeisMic Sound in Nashville. Since space is often at a premium in the makeshift voiceover booths constructed on site, there is often very little room for processors and other gear. This is not a concern though, says Davis: “You can plug the TLM 49 into just about anything and it sounds fantastic. It has so much presence for the spoken word and cuts through everything. This has been my mic of choice on this show for several years now, and it is really sexy to look at!”

Sennheiser: “part of the crew”:

At an internationally televised show with 22 acts in just three hours, expectations are high for all personnel involved in the production. “There are a lot of quick changes, and this is a very demanding audio project,” observes John Harris. Sennheiser was on hand to provide support for the show, including rehearsals and tear down. “I couldn’t have done it without Sennheiser,” says James Stoffo, “Tim Moore [Sennheiser Artist Relations] came in and was ‘on-call’ almost as if he was part of our crew. Overall, the support I got from Sennheiser was top shelf, as I would expect.” Tom Davis concurs: “Our relationship with Sennheiser has always been very comfortable and professional and they are always willing to step up and help. This time we got to get a close-up view of one of their great new products, the Digital 9000. What a great experience that was.”

The Sennheiser Group, with its headquarters in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. In 2012 the family company, which was founded in 1945, achieved a turnover of around 584 million euros. Sennheiser employs more than 2,300 people worldwide, and has manufacturing plants in Germany, Ireland and the USA. The company is represented worldwide by subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Germany, Denmark (Nordic), Russia, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and the USA, as well as by long-term trading partners in many other countries. Also part of the Sennheiser Group are Georg Neumann GmbH, Berlin (studio microphones and monitor loudspeakers), and the joint venture Sennheiser Communications A/S (headsets for PCs, offices and call centres).

You can find all the latest information on Sennheiser by visiting our website at www.sennheiserusa.com.

Photo captions:
1: The Zac Brown Band performs at the 47th CMA Awards using a Sennheiser Digital 9000 wireless system

2: Sennheiser’s Digital 9000 system provided artifact-free RF performance during performances by The Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum at the 47th Annual CMA Awards

3: J. Mark King (l.) and Tom Davis in the voiceover booth, pictured with the Neumann TLM 49 during the CMA Awards

4: Each year, the audio crew at the CMA Awards relies on Sennheiser’s unwavering support

Sennheiser HMDC 26-II Headsets Provide Immaculate Communications for The Lion King, the Fifth Longest Running Musical in Broadway History

Epic Broadway Musical Counts on Sennheiser Headsets Night after Night to Ensure Seamless Interaction Among Stage Operational Personnel

New York City – November 21, 2013 – Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that The Lion King, Broadway’s fifth longest running musical, is now using its HMDC 26-II broadcast headsets to ensure intelligible communications among key stage personnel, including the stage manager and spot operator. The headsets, which provide a critical function prior to, during and after performances, are used to call operational cues to spotlight operators and many others involved in the production.

The success of The Lion King is celebrated well beyond Broadway, where it has captured many awards including a Tony for Best Musical directly following its opening in 1997. The production, which is now considered an indelible part of Broadway’s musical fabric, originally debuted at the New Amsterdam Theatre in 1997 and moved to the Minskoff Theater in 2006 where it has been ever since.

“We purchased the Sennheiser HMDC 26-II headsets for two primary reasons,” says Alain Van Achte, head of sound department at Lion King. “First, by using these headsets, our entire team can hear the calling and direction better. The second reason was to protect the hearing of the staff, particularly the spot operators who are perched up near the speaker clusters. They are in such close proximity to the sound system that the safety factor became very important.”

The HMDC 26-II headsets are primarily designed for use in live sound and broadcast applications in extremely noisy environments. The headset is extremely lightweight, features outstanding passive noise attenuation and Sennheiser’s patented NoiseGard active noise reduction technology.

Head Follow Spot Operator Doug Graf, who receives calls from the stage manager and then gives instructions to other spot operators, says that the new headsets dramatically increased both hearing and speech intelligibility. “The HMDC 26-II comes in especially handy when I am in directly on my spotlight perch front of the [speaker] clusters,” he says. “I noticed that I could turn the volume down and leave it at a comfortable level. When the volume is quieter, I can still hear all the dialog on stage from the show feed and it allows me to focus even more on the task at hand.”

Graf particularly appreciates the NoiseGard noise cancellation feature: “This really blocks out all the low end and boominess of the sound,” he observes. “There is a scene called ‘The Stampede’ where there is a ton of low end being pumped through the house subwoofers — the Sennheisers cancel all of this out so I can keep hearing the dialog clearly.”

With eight full performances per week, form factor and comfort become critical, says Follow Spot Operator Brendan Nolan: “When you are doing 2-1/2 hour shows almost every day, and on some days doing two shows, you will take your headphones off and really feel it on your ears. But not with these headsets — they are very lightweight. Also, the fact that you can flip up one of the ear cups is great in case you need to hear something going on right around you.”

Van Achte recalls a recent special event at the Minskoff Theater when he donned the HMDC 26-IIs: “The crowd was incredibly loud and boisterous and it was a full house. It reminded me of a celebration during Mardi Gras in New Orleans,” he says. “There was no way that I could sustain that decibel level for two hours, so I called back for the sound crew to bring me one of the new Sennheiser headsets. I put them on, and they really saved the day for me because I was able to hear everything. I actually mixed the entire show on them, and it proved to me how well the product works.”

Van Achte considers the purchase of the new Sennheiser HMDC 26-II as an investment in quality: “There was no second guessing about purchasing them,” he added. “They were a little more expensive than other headsets, but Sennheiser backs them with a two year warranty and we know they are willing to stand behind them.” ?

About Sennheiser:

Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sennheiser’s pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

You can find all the latest information on Sennheiser by visiting our website at http://www.sennheiserusa.com.

Photo captions:
1) Alain Van Achte, head of sound department at Lion King, donning a pair of Sennheiser HMDC 26-IIs

2) Follow Spot Operator Brendan Nolan in his perch, wearing the Sennheiser HMDC 26-II headsets and operating the main spotlight.

3) The Sennheiser HMDC 26-II is designed to excel in extremely noisy broadcast and live sound environments.

New StreamGuys Interactive HTML5 Multimedia Player Breaks Compatibility Barriers

Unique player design solves metadata challenges, simplifies multiscreen advertising for broadcasters, audio publishers across multiple devices

BAYSIDE, CALIFORNIA, November 21, 2013StreamGuys announces the launch of its HTML5 player to help broadcasters and streaming services retain and increase audiences with a multiplatform approach, ensuring one player can accommodate revenue-supported live streams on iOS, Android and other mobile and desktop devices.

StreamGuys’ new interactive player supports all popular mobile devices in alignment with the HTML5 markup language, which is quickly becoming the streaming platform of choice among broadcasters, publishers and advertisers who favor its multi-device support.

StreamGuys differentiates its HTML5 player by providing integrated metadata support, which seamlessly synchronizes live audio streams with relevant data of interest to consumers. This gives broadcasters and audio publishers a unique opportunity to offer audiences a full featured, interactive HTML5 player that works on every device. Radio stations, musical artists and other service providers can now easily, and dynamically, display artist and song title information, Amazon live links, social network connections and more alongside audio streams.

“There is no HTML5 standard for extracting the song title and artist name from a media stream and displaying it within a web page, which creates integration headaches for service providers and a less satisfying consumer experience,” said Dean Mitchell, lead developer, StreamGuys. “StreamGuys solves this problem by integrating a robust, server-side metadata parser with a flexible HTML5 media player. Broadcasters can now offer their audience a feature-rich, revenue-supported media player that has a consistent user experience across all devices.”

The launch also comes at a time when broadcasters and streaming services are exploring ad insertion technologies for multiscreen advertising. StreamGuys supports live ad insertion within its new player, using dynamic advertising technologies to trigger pre-rolls, mid-rolls and post-rolls. Similar to its metadata application, the HTML5 player automatically coordinates player content with the ad server to trigger the right advertisements for the right audiences at the right times.

Mitchell adds that StreamGuys will extend its HTML5 player functionality to other multimedia streaming services in future versions.

About StreamGuys, Inc.
In business since 2000, StreamGuys is a provider of audio and video streaming toolsets and services. The company has a reputation for outstanding customer service, a robust and reliable network, and competitive rates. More than 600 clients worldwide, across many industries, depend on their mission-critical service. Projects include serving as the technology backbone for live streaming/podcasting for top public broadcasters such as New York Public Radio, WAMU Washington D.C., KQED San Francisco and WXPN Philadelphia; live video events for major auto racing circuits and the British Royal Wedding; audio streaming for government entities such as D.C. Court of Appeals, U.S. Army, and the National Science Foundation; mobile video content for Cisco Systems; and IPTV content for international broadcaster ABS-CBN.

# # #
StreamGuys, Inc – info@streamguys.com – www.streamguys.com – 707.667.9479
P.O. Box 828 Arcata, California 95518 – fax 707.516.0009

Barix IP Audio Solutions Help Soma FM Grow Radio Footprint

Multichannel internet broadcaster specifies Barix Exstreamer 500 devices for reliable, cost-efficient and high-quality HD2 broadcasts at radio stations nationwide

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, November 21, 2013
— IP audio and control specialist Barix is helping multichannel internet radio broadcaster Soma FM grow its presence in the over-the-air broadcast space, with Soma FM specifying reliable, affordable Barix IP Audio solutions for radio stations receiving its programs.

Soma FM is a multichannel internet radio broadcaster offering 27 channels of indie-leaning programs exploring rock, electronic and other music formats. The listener-supported, commercial-free service streams its programs on its website and via a Roku streaming app in addition to supporting over-the-air HD Radio side channels, otherwise known as HD2 feeds.

Soma FM owner and president Rusty Hodge says that Barix helps to minimize costs for his over-the-air radio clients, which include KPBS-FM in San Diego, while providing radio stations with reliable, high-quality audio streams.

“The only other solution we considered for signal decoding and playout were desktop-class machines with professional grade audio cards, and these were three times the cost of Barix,” said Hodge. “Barix eliminates the need to worry about problems like software upgrades and security issues. They are compact, and don’t consume much power. Foremost, they are extremely reliable.”

The last point is the most tangible benefit for Hodge, as he also employs Barix Instreamer audio encoders for remote broadcasts. One recent remote project focused on encoding live broadcast feeds from the Kennedy Space Center to cover space shuttle launches. Soma FM also recently produced live broadcasts from the DEFCON hacker conference in Las Vegas.

Additionally, Soma FM encodes police scanner feeds to enhance certain electronic music programs heard on its website. “Think of it as using Barix as a mixer,” said Hodge. “We connect the scanner to the Instreamer, which injects a priority stream over the music feed. It allows us to do something that you often hear in live or recorded electronic music but is unique for radio broadcasting.”

Hodge also acts as a consultant for large commercial radio networks, and he often specifies Barix solutions for these stations based on his experience. He especially likes the Exstreamer 500, which offers broadcast-quality inputs and outputs among other professional features. Reliability aside, Hodge points out that Barix produces excellent audio quality, with flexible format and bitrate options to meet various network and bandwidth requirements.

“We rely on Barix solutions to feed the broadcasters, as they typically don’t want super hi-fi feeds due to network congestion issues,” said Hodge. “They simply plug in the devices at the stations and get great sounding broadcast audio. And to date we have never had to reboot or power cycle one of their devices.”

Barix: The Voice of Simplicity (www.barix.com)

Barix AG, headquartered in Zurich Switzerland, specializes in the research and development of state-of-the-art IP based communication and control technology. The company is a long-term and reliable supplier of IP audio and control devices, with more than 150,000 devices shipped in its first decade of business. Barix products are stand-alone and able to remotely connect worldwide over standard networks/Internet, offering new and improved solutions to the commercial audio distribution, communication and automation industries. Barix products provide solutions in Audio over IP (audio distribution and monitoring, communication, security) and automation (remote controlling, monitoring and maintenance).
# # #
Barix AG, Seefeldstrasse 303, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 43 43322 11, Fax: +41 44 2742849
Barix Technology Inc, St. Paul, MN – (866) 815-0866

http://www.barix.com

http://www.ip-audio.info

LECTROSONICS KEEPS AUDIO IN CHECK AT LEE COUNTY EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER

Ft. Meyers, FL – November 2013… The Lee County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the official county warning point for natural or man-made hazards such as hurricanes, water shortages, and wildfires that may threaten the area. The EOC receives emergency information through the Emergency Dispatch Center (E-911) and reports serious emergencies to the State Watch Office located at the State EOC in Tallahassee, who then coordinates State and/or Federal involvement or assistance within the County. Lee County’s EOC is a state-of-the-art facility that makes extensive use of audiovisual equipment—and to ensure trouble free audio, the facility utilizes Aspen audio processing technology from Rio Rancho, NM-based Lectrosonics. more

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The Radio magazine The Wire provides information from manufacturers and associations about industry news, products, technology and business announcements. The information shown here is posted by companies and their representatives and are not edited or previewed by the Radio magazine staff. The content providers are solely responsible for the content of their posts. If you would like your company's news and information to appear here, contact us.

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