Archive for November 26th, 2013

Sennheiser Petitions FCC to Compensate Owners of Wireless Microphone Equipment as Spectrum Faces Repacking for Second Time

Pending Spectrum Auction Jeopardizes Future Use of Wireless Microphones Operating in the 600 MHz Range, Unfairly Forcing Content Creators to Reinvest Again in Wireless Equipment

Old Lyme, Conn., – November 26, 2013 – Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that it has recently filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in light of the pending spectrum auction scheduled to take place in 2014. The government auction, which jeopardizes the future use of wireless microphones and monitors operating in the 600 MHz range, will force many U.S. based content creators — including broadcast, film and live production professionals — to attempt to stage their shows using little more than half of the currently available UHF spectrum.

In the document filed on November 4th, Sennheiser argues that the winners of the spectrum auction should compensate owners of wireless microphone equipment that will be rendered obsolete as a direct result of the planned spectrum repacking. Currently, the FCC has not announced any plans to compensate wireless microphone owners, who play a critical role in U.S. content creation and who will have to make significant investments in new equipment for the second time within a few years.

“Wireless microphones are an essential ingredient of content creation in the United States,” commented Joe Ciaudelli, spectrum affairs, Sennheiser Electronic Corp. “Currently, the United States is the number one content creator in the world when it comes to broadcasting, film production and live events. The A/V professionals that produce this content, which is enjoyed by both domestic and international consumers, depend on the 600 MHz frequency spectrum each day. Now they are being told that they must vacate this UHF space, and with no contingency or recourse to recover their equipment investments. This is grossly unfair, especially considering that this will be the second time this has occurred within a few years. This time mics and monitors won’t be able to simply be relocated into lower portions of the UHF because it is already packed with replacement mics for ones rendered obsolete by the 700 MHz reallocation. TV stations currently operating in 600 MHz will also be relocated to lower channels, exacerbating the congestion.”

“Not only does the pending spectrum repacking threaten to diminish U.S. leadership in content creation, it creates an unecessary hardship to many thousands of audio professionals by forcing them to reinvest in compliant equipment,” he continued. “While adverse effects of the spectrum repacking will inevitably occur, simple fairness says that the auction winners who will derive revenue from the auctioned spectrum should provide compensation.”

Currently, the vast majority of U.S.-based major film productions, television broadcasts and major concert events in the United States rely heavily on the 600 MHz frequency range. Eliminating access to this not only significantly increases congestion in the 500 MHz frequency range, but also places unprecedented technical demands on both the equipment and operators working in this space. The FCC has also received letters of support for Senn-heiser’s position from industry leading companies including Shure, Audio Technica, Lectrosonics, and CP Communications. “We encourage others to write to the FCC as well,” states Ciaudelli.

Following is an excerpt from Sennheiser’s recent filing that illustrates the role wireless equipment plays in the U.S. commercial, political and economic arenas:

“Wireless microphones are ubiquitous in all aspects of the entertainment business, in news reporting, in sports, and in U.S. commercial, civic, and religious life. They are essential to the production of virtually all non-studio broadcast events, and to nearly all studio-produced programs as well. These include team sports from local college broadcasts to the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Final Four, and the Stanley Cup; the Democratic and Republican political conventions; post-election national and local coverage; the Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy Awards shows; events such as the Olympics, NASCAR races, the Kentucky Derby, and major golf and tennis tournaments; and on-the-scene news reporting of all kinds, both local and national. These broadcasts routinely attract millions of viewers.

Motion-picture production, from Hollywood blockbusters with nine-digit budgets down to student work at the local community college, relies heavily on wireless mi-crophones for clear, accurate audio. Live events, from Broadway productions to stadium-sized outdoor concerts, need wireless microphones to reach the back row. Presenters in auditoriums, lecture halls, and houses of worship find them indispensable.”

Sources:
(*) Stephen E. Siwek, Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy: The 2011 Report at 15 and Appendix A (Economists Incorporated 2011). Available at http://www.ei.com/downloadables/2011CopyrightSiwek.pdf

(**) U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, News: U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, November 2012 at 3-4 (U.S. Dept. of Commerce released Jan. 11, 2013). Available at http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/current_press_release/ft900.pdf

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.

iZotope Masters Q&A: Charles Deenen Discusses Audio Processing for Video Games

iZotope Masters Q&A Series, Part 1:
Charles Deenen, Master of Audio: Video Games

Deenen Discusses The Evolution of Game Design and How Audio Processing is Better than Ever

Cambridge, MA, November 25, 2013 – Charles Deenen is one of the gaming industry’s preeminent sound designers and mixers, with credits like the Need for Speed series, Fallout, Startrek and his support on Activision’s Call of Duty®: Ghosts. Since writing a sound driver for Commodore PET at the age of 13, he has left his creative fingerprints among top selling games from Electronic Arts, Interplay and Shiny, and other companies. Over the course of his career, Deenen has remained aligned with innovations in audio software, particularly iZotope’s RX, which he has been using for many years. iZotope recently caught up with Deenen, who discussed the role that iZotope’s RX 3 and Insight played in how his design work assisted the studio teams on Call of Duty: Ghosts.

iZotope: What role does audio play in video games?
Charles: Audio connects the real from the unreal. In film, you always start with the real — you see a real image, a real portrayal, a real human. Audio enhances the storytelling and everything else. But in games, audio often serves as the connecting bit that makes the visuals that aren’t photo-realistic (yet) real to the viewer, adding an emotional feel. For example, if you add beautiful audio to Pac-Man, it it becomes a much more emotional experience — all through the use of audio. Try doing the same thing with a movie and it’s a little trickier because you are dealing with a more realistic picture.

iZotope: Why is efficiency important in your work nowadays?

Charles: Efficiency these days is a massive thing. In the old days, people were more reasonable about time frames — you might have three months to mix audio for a game, or six months to mix audio for a movie. But now they know you have this computer in front of you so there is a much greater expectation. When we get our trailers or game cinematics, the amount of time we can actually spend on it has to be the “computer equivalent” of those original three months or six months. So you need tools to speed up your workflow and that’s where tools like RX 3 really help. Also, back in the day, we would have a large staff of editors that would go through the dialogue and remove every little tick by hand. For that, there would be months and months of work involved. If we had RX 3 back in 1991, it would have been like, “here’s a batch file, run it, and come back a day after that.”

iZotope: Which iZotope tools are you currently using?
Charles: I use RX 3 and Insight, mostly. Because we have to deliver mixes in multiple formats at the same time, all my mixes have to adhere to various standards and levels. I have an auxiliary computer running multiple instances of Insight so I can see exactly what my outputs look like for television broadcast, Xbox, YouTube and other mediums. Insight lets me monitor and set the proper levels for each medium quickly and provides a really good overview each time of how far we can push the levels. Since I’ve been using it, it has performed really well.

iZotope: How did your use of RX 3 play a role in supporting development of Call of Duty: Ghosts?
Charles: It was used in the sound design for the movies in game. For example, wanted to present scenes depicting good vs evil. So, when we came in, we were looking to deliver very natural, yet oddball, ways to portray the characters’ good and evil tendencies. I went through all these recordings of thunder, water and other things that felt natural, and then heavily processed them with RX 3 and other tools. Using the Dereverb module in RX 3 Advanced, we would remove extreme broadband noise from these sounds and what was left was the grittiness, the unnatural bit.

iZotope: Did you use RX 3 in the mixing stage?
Charles:
Yes. During mixes, one of the biggest problems typically is noise. Basically, every single sound effect that has a hiss or some other noise gets processed in real time through RX 3: this reduces the noise by anywhere between 3 dB and 8 dB. Take a chopper. What you really want to get is the really heavy blades — the “chug chug chug.” You have to pull out all the stops in order to get those types of sounds to be as clean as possible—to get the essence of the sound, separating everything else. For us, this is how we make our mixes clean and punchy. Without something like RX 3, this would be impossible to do.

iZotope: How do you deal with audio that comes in from multiple sources on a project?
Charles:
I use iZotope Ozone 5 Matching EQ quite a lot. For example, we supported some of the dialogue in Call of Duty: Ghosts, which was recorded over multiple days, in multiple sessions with many different people when it came to the foreign languages. We had finished the original English mix and then had to match all these different languages to capture the vibe of the original English one. In order to do that, the starting point was matching the EQ with Ozone 5’s Matching EQ feature. Then we applied these EQ levels to the takes in foreign languages. When we do trailers and different dialog comes in at the last minute, it can be from any source — including phones. That happens quite a bit, and my main starting point is the Matching EQ to quickly match one to the other.

iZotope: When have you had to fix audio that was recorded less than perfectly?
Charles:
On a different project, a crew had gone overseas to shoot interviews. They came back and realized that the audio had all this massive background noise and hissing. Had it not been for RX 3 to remove the noise and reverb, they would have had to go back and re-shoot everything. It would have been over the top and cost-prohibitive, if not impossible, because all of the audio had been captured at a “once a year” event. Afterwards, somebody asked me how I got the dialog to sound so crisp and intelligible, and a lot of credit went to RX3.

About the iZotope Masters Q&A Series
The iZotope Masters Q&A Series will profile masters of various audio professions including audio for video games, broadcast, film composition, and more. Stay tuned for more interviews with Audio Masters through 2013.

About iZotope RX 3
RX 3 is an industry-leading audio repair solution for audio engineers, post production professionals, broadcasters, podcasters, archivists, forensic specialists, videographers and more. Work up to six times faster than before thanks to processing enhancements and a redesigned user interface. Remove or reduce reverb, clean up dialogue on the fly, recall session details with the new RX Document format, and much more with the new RX 3.
For more information on RX 3 and RX 3 Advanced, please visit: http://www.izotope.com/rx3

About iZotope, Inc

iZotope makes innovative products that inspire and enable people to be creative. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, iZotope has spent over a decade developing award-winning products and audio technologies for professionals and hobbyists alike. Used by millions of people in over 50 countries, iZotope products are a core component of GRAMMY-winning music studios, Oscar and Emmy-winning film and TV post production studios, and prominent radio studios, as well as basement and bedroom studios across the globe. Through a robust licensing program, iZotope also powers products made by industry partners such as Adobe, Avid, Microsoft, and Sony. iZotope was recently honored with an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development for its flagship audio repair suite, RX®.
For more information on iZotope products, please visit www.izotope.com

ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, and CALL OF DUTY GHOSTS are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.

Antelope Audio Announces its Largest Black Friday Sale to Date on Clocking Devices and AD/DA Converters

Musicians and Audio Professionals Can Take Advantage of up to 29 Percent Discounts on Antelope Audio Products from Friday, November 29th to Friday, December 6th

Santa Monica, Calif., November 25, 2013 – Just in time for the holiday rush, Antelope Audio announced its largest sale ever with an entire week of discounts — including deals on single and bundled professional merchandise. By contacting certain dealers, customers can take advantage of discounts up to 29 percent on Antelope’s selected products such as the renowned Trinity and 10M, Eclipse 384 mastering AD/DA converter and Zodiac+ D/A converter. The top selling, TEC Award nominated 32-channel audio interface Orion32 will come in an attractive bundle price with the extremely stable 10M atomic clock.

“We are pleased to provide such an amazing opportunity for audio professionals and enthusiasts to upgrade their studio equipment, and this year we are expanding our offering to include even more industry-leading converters and clocking systems,” said Marcel James, Director of Sales for Antelope Audio USA. “Our digital audio equipment has seen unprecedented success through world tours and studio recordings this year, and this resounding success makes it possible for us to significantly expand our Black Friday offerings.”

In the United States, customers interested in purchasing discounted items may visit Alto Music, B&H or Sweetwater and Studio Economik (Canada). For more information on seasonal discounts, please visit Antelope Audio’s product page.

About Antelope Audio
Antelope Audio is the brainchild of Igor Levin who has more than 20 years’ experience and a number of innovations in digital audio and synchronization technology. The company is widely acknowledged as the leading manufacturer of audio master clocks.

In 2009 Antelope Audio launched its product line of high-resolution USB D/A converters, being among the pioneers designing a 384 kHz DAC. Antelope’s DACs employ their renowned 64-bit clocking and jitter management technologies and custom-designed circuits, achieving unprecedented precision and sound clarity.

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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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