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At Skaggs Place Studio in Nashville, Ricky Skaggs Depends on Neumann KH 120 Monitors to ‘Tell the Truth’

Nashville, TN – July 12, 2012: Once again, multiple GRAMMY winner and Christian artist Ricky Skaggs has been hard at work with “the boys” — his longtime band Kentucky Thunder, which have been playing bluegrass music alongside him for over 15 years. Each time Skaggs and his band enter the studio — usually at his own “Skaggs Place Studio” — the resulting music pays homage to the early trailblazers of bluegrass music, while forging entirely new paths within the seemingly timeless genre.

As an artist, Skaggs is wholly committed to authenticity and detail in his recordings. He is an avid collector of vintage microphones and esoteric gear, and constantly in pursuit of the latest sonic building blocks that will help make his recordings stand the test of time. The latest addition to his studio? The new Neumann KH 120 studio monitors. We chatted with Ricky to learn more about his recent projects, and why it’s important to have a loudspeaker that tells the truth…..

What have you been up to lately?
“Me and the boys [Kentucky Thunder] have gotten together and will be putting out a bluegrass record — the first one since Honoring the Fathers, which we recorded several years ago. We’ve cut two days of tracks, about six songs on which we are now working on overdubs. In the coming weeks, we will be doing more tracks, as well as singing and overdubs. For this record, which will have a lot of variety, I’ve brought in Gordon Kennedy [producer] for moral support. I really wanted him involved because I didn’t want it to be just another bluegrass record. Gordon is able to bring some input and creativity that I wouldn’t necessarily think to bring to the project. Beyond this, I’ve been working on a live CD of Bruce Hornsby and myself. Last time we toured, we did a lot of live recordings on the road and we’ve been going through those live shows and hope to get a record out soon.”

Tell us about your first experiences with the Neumann KH 120 monitors
“When I found out that Neumann was doing monitors, I knew they wouldn’t do anything unless it was excellent — because they have never done anything outside of excellence. If it was Neumann, it was going to be great. I first heard the KH 120s out at Winter NAMM and I was just blown away. I really loved what I was hearing. There is something in the midrange that highlights the acoustic instruments and strings, and the highs are not too bright or harsh. Finally, I just can’t believe how small they are and how great they sound.”

How about the low end?
“Typically it is a little bit harder to define the low end, but everything translates great through the KH 120s. In general, I was really impressed and surprised with their performance given their small size, and could not believe that that such clarity in the low end could be achieved without a subwoofer. The low end of my mixes sound tighter now — and in bluegrass, this is important on instruments like the upright bass and the acoustic guitar. We know that when we get to the mastering facility, that the entire low end will be nice and tight.

Why is the crossover important and how does the KH 120 perform in this regard?
“For any instrument that occupies the midrange, you’ve got to have crossovers that are extremely quick, smooth and transparent. The crossover on the Neumanns is very smooth and you can really hear this on acoustic guitars and mandolins. This is exactly what I hear from the KH 120s, and highlights the thing that I love most about them: the midrange. My instruments sound like I know they should.”

Why have the KH 120s earned a place at Skaggs Place Studio?
“I want the safety net of having a great monitor system — it takes the guesswork out of recording and mixing, and you can be more confident in what you are putting down to tape. I know the low end is there, as well as the mids and the highs. Nothing is falsified and it is the real thing. I don’t like cutting any corners — especially in the recording studio. Once you cut something and put it out, it is out there forever. As an artist, I want to make sure that the recording represented the best that I could be at that moment in time.”

You are no stranger to Neumann. Tell us about your collection of Neumann microphones

“My history with Neumann goes back a long way, and to me, the company’s microphones represent the gold standard. I have a U 47 that was once used by folks like Dolly Parton, George Jones and Johnny Cash. I also have two U 69s, which we use on everything including the piano on the recent Bruce Hornsby recording. I bought some KM 64s years ago that had been owned by a traveling gospel band, The Happy Goodman Family. My Neumann KM 66, an early version of the KM 86, is our all-time favorite guitar mic. I also use and appreciate the newer Neumann microphone models such as the TLM 102, TLM 103 and of course the M 149 and U 87.”

Photo captions:
1. Ricky Skaggs, pictured alongside the Neumann KH 120 monitor
2. The Neumann KH 120 monitors are the latest edition to Nashville’s Skaggs Place Studio

Sennheiser’s Mentorship Program Immerses Students in Top Flight Broadcast Environments, Courtesy of HBO and Fox Sports

Old Lyme, CT, July 11, 2012– Since 2009, when audio specialist Sennheiser launched its Mentorship Program to help encourage the next generation of audio engineers to enter the field of televised sports, the company has initiated collaborations among a variety of higher education institutions and professional broadcast networks. For its most recent mentorship program, Sennheiser selected students Zachary Templin, from the New England Institute of Art in Boston, and Shawn Brewer, from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences near Phoenix, to participate in covering the Mayweather vs. Cotto fight by HBO Boxing and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 race by FOX Sports, respectively.

According to Randy Flick, senior audio mixer, HBO Boxing, immersing a student for several days in the setup and broadcast of a major sports event provides an experience that simply cannot be provided by the majority of audio schools. “You’ve got to have a grasp of all the technology in your head before you can even think about getting into a show,” says Flick. “Zach proved to be a great asset, and my senior RF guy, Lloyd Jacobsen, was very impressed with him.”

Templin got hands-on experience with two set-ups for the broadcast, one for the weigh-in and another for the fight, and was also introduced to the importance of the communications systems. “Randy placed an emphasis on covering the intercom system, which was the biggest mystery to me and is the backbone of any broadcast,” recalls Templin. “The A2s — Lloyd, Shep and Paul — covered RF, PLs, and IFBs with me, and taught me how to make sure they are set correctly for each different position.”

Broadcast Talent for Hire
For Jason Cohen, director of live events, HBO Sports, Sennheiser’s Mentorship Program serves to increase the talent pool in the industry. “But, altruistically,” observes Cohen, “it allows us to use the power and the tools that we have and give these young, aspiring, career-minded audio technicians the experience and learning that many of us were not fortunate enough to have when we were younger.”

“This is an initiative that is really on the shoulders of Sennheiser,” Cohen adds. “Sennheiser has to research and interview and weed through the potential candidates; they have to put their name behind the person; and they pay for their expenses and their time. We do the easy part — we just let them in our door!”

Fred Aldous, audio consultant and senior mixer for FOX Sports, notes that there is a big difference between the typical training a student receives at an audio school and an event such as the Coca-Cola 600. The long-distance race, one of the most-watched on the NASCAR calendar, was broadcast from Charlotte, NC last May. “It’s a bit overwhelming when students emerge from the nice, protected environment of a recording studio into this hostile live environment on the road,” says Aldous. “I don’t think even people in the industry know or understand what it takes to put together a show of this magnitude.”

The many benefits of giving back
Aldous says he became involved with the Mentorship Program because he believes in giving back. “When I was younger, I would have liked to have had somebody to spend a weekend with, and get an idea of what happens behind the scenes. That’s why I do it; I want to give somebody the opportunity to get a head start on a possible career.”

The race broadcast was done in conjunction with NASCAR, conducted onsite from Game Creek Video’s FX truck. During his three days on-site at the racetrack, Brewer was introduced to the main audio production room as well as the track effects and competitor communications submix positions, head-end patchbays, announce booth, track effect microphone setups and communications systems. “It was really valuable to be able to get into an actual broadcast event and see what kind of equipment they’re using, how fast everything moved and what actually goes into running a race of that caliber,” says Brewer.

What particularly struck him, Brewer says, was the change in tempo of the calls Aldous had to listen to from the producer, a director and associate director from the practice sessions and qualifying, on SPEED, to the race, which was broadcast on FOX. “During qualifying it was kind of laid back; there weren’t as many calls coming through. But when the actual race started it was a mile-a-minute. They were moving just as fast as the cars were!”

Photo captions:
1) Fred Aldous, A1 and senior mixer for FOX Sports, pictured alongside the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences student Shawn Brewer.

2) Zachary Templin of New England Institute of Art participated in covering the Mayweather vs. Cotto fight by HBO Boxing.

3) Randy Flick, senior audio mixer, HBO Boxing, pictured alongside student Zachary Templin of New England Institute of Art.

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Sennheiser Silent Disco brings interactive club atmosphere to The Governors Ball Music Festival

New York– July 9, 2012 – Audio specialist Sennheiser hosted a Silent Disco during The Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island on June 23 and 24. Thousands of festival-goers donned Sennheiser RS 120 wireless headphones and danced under a ‘big top’ tent to energetic mixes from international DJs. To onlookers, it appeared as though participants were dancing in silence as the mixes could only be heard by those wearing Sennheiser wireless headphones.

“The Sennheiser Silent Disco was one of the festival’s biggest draws,” said Tammi Montier, senior vice president of partnership marketing for Revolution Marketing, who worked closely with Sennheiser and The Governors Ball Music Festival to host the event. “At a festival like this, there is always dancing by the stages while the bands are playing, but there are plenty of people who want to interact with friends and express themselves in more of a dance club experience — it creates a memory. With Sennheiser running the silent disco, it heightens the quality of the experience for music fans while bringing even more credibility to the festival as a whole.”

The Sennheiser Silent Disco began at 2:00 p.m. on each day of the festival. International DJs such as Nobody Beats the Drum, Cont^ct, DJ Sookai and Hype Machine pumped out mixes for 10 hours straight each day before the festival closed at 11:00 p.m. each night. During the evening hours, the silent disco tent was illuminated with strobes, colored lights and a mirrorball, adding a psychedelic visual touch to the audio experience.

Amsterdam-based act Nobody Beats the Drum, longtime users of Sennheiser’s legendary HD-25 DJ headphones, gave headline performances each day and were enthusiastic about the event: “I really like the vibe,” commented Sjam Sjamsoedin, one third of Nobody Beats the Drum. “It is a very intimate style of performance where everyone hears exactly what you are doing. As far as our equipment is concerned, we’ve been using Sennheiser HD 25 headphones for ages and prefer their quality both in the studio and on the road. The one I am using is 11 years old — the entire frequency range holds up and they just don’t distort.”

Sennheiser is in a unique position of being able to provide a complete solution at silent discos such as this, which are becoming more popular at top-level music festivals around the world. “For an event like this, we are able to provide not only premium wireless consumer headphones, but also professional wireless systems that are used by top touring artists around the world,” said Tim Moore, artist relations manager at Sennheiser’s U.S. headquarters. “Both of these products work seamlessly together to offer a complete solution for the Governors Ball NYC, or any other large festival.”

Photo captions:
1. Sjam Sjamsoedin of Nobody Beats the Drum works the Sennheiser Silent Disco on the first day of The Governors Ball Music Festival.
2. In the evenings, the Sennheiser Silent Disco was illuminated with a mirror ball, colored lights and strobes, adding a psychedelic visual element to the audio experience.
3. Sjam Sjamsoedin and Jori Collignon of Amsterdam-based DJ act Nobody Beats the Drum are long time users of Sennheiser’s HD 25 headphones.

Renowned Psy-Trance Group Infected Mushroom Takes Music to the Next Level with SmithsonMartin Emulator

HOLLYWOOD, June 28, 2012— Multi-touch software developer SmithsonMartin Inc., announced that renowned Israeli trance band Infected Mushroom is using Emulator DVS to enhance the stage performance of the band’s current world tour.

Infected Mushroom has been pushing the edge of electronic psychedelic trance music since the duo emerged on the electronic music scene with its ground-breaking 1999 album, The Gathering. Known for its combination of analogue and digital instruments and vocals in the evolving psy-trance sub-genre, the group recently turned to SmithsonMartin’s Emulator DVS to makes its live show more technically and visually stunning.

The Emulator DVS, which was introduced in November 2011 as the next generation of DJ systems, provides a multi-touch MIDI control interface on a huge transparent screen to artists. For electronic artists, the software and technology offers the ability to customize the multi-touch layout of the screen so it fits to the artist, rather than forcing the artist to conform to it.

“In the beginning, we thought it might just look cool, but it’s actually useful,” said Erez Eisen, one-half of Infected Mushroom. “This is obviously the only product that does and looks something like that.”

With a futuristic stage design by Vita Motus supported by 3D visuals by another company using Emulator, V-Squared Labs, Infected Mushroom found Emulator DVS fit right into the atmosphere they were trying to create while also offering a unique control experience provided by no other system. Reliable and flexible in its design and application delivery, Emulator Modular has transformed electronic music and provided Infected Mushroom with a system that has prompted spectacular reviews from audience members and critics alike.

“It’s open. You can do whatever you need. If you need the basic stuff for DJ-ing, it has presets ready, which is great. If you want to go beyond that and do crazy controlling, you design your own interface. It’s simple with drag-and-drop,” said Eisen, who is planning on adding two more Emulator DVS units to his repertoire for studio recording purposes.

WATCH FULL INTERVIEW HERE: http://youtu.be/jvgGPfXeLGA

In the future, Infected Mushroom plans to expand on its use of the Emulator DVS platform for modular synths and to continue using it to enhance the futuristic multimedia atmosphere of its live shows.

“It’s not just beauty. It’s a really, really powerful tool,” Eisen said. “I learned the tool in two days while I was doing other things. I don’t know how I didn’t have it before.”

K-array Ensures Graduation Message to San Diego Bernardo Heights Middle School Students is Heard Loud and Clear

San Diego, Calif. – June 28, 2012 — The K-array KR400S ultra-light powered speaker system provided a clear and superb listening experience for faculty, staff, students, friends and family at the San Diego Bernardo Heights Middle School graduation ceremony in mid-June.

Paul Svenson, owner of San Diego-based audio/video specialist PSAudioVideo, consulted with Sennheiser Area Sales Manager John R. Borja to outfit the outdoor ceremony with a single KR400S speaker, as well as Sennheiser ew 100 G3 wireless transmitters and receivers. Svenson ran the microphones directly into a PreSonus digital mixer, which was then connected to the K-array KR 400S.

“In previous years, people on the periphery of the 1,200-person crowd complained about not being able to hear very well, but this year, we received compliments,” said Svenson, who has been the school’s trusted provider of audio solutions for more than a half-dozen graduations in recent years. “I believe this was due to the effective sound dispersion characteristics of the K-array KR400S.”

Svenson adopted the KR400S after using a pair of the speakers to provide audio for an indoor concert for 3,000 people. The compact speakers were able to deliver so much power that Svenson immediately added them to his audio toolbox and now uses them for indoor and outdoor events.

For the graduation, Svenson set up only one KR400S, which he says provided more than enough coverage for entire area — including the 80-foot wide stage, the gallery of graduates, seating for family and friends, and standing room. Svenson said the KR400S not only provided high-quality sound to the entire graduation ceremony, but could also be heard across the parking lot to the local high school.

The KR400s cast a wide dispersion without any appreciable drop-off, giving Svenson a long throw to hit the very back row of people and the standing room only section, which he has not been able to achieve with other speakers.

In addition to the speeches given by graduates and faculty, the graduates and their families were also treated to the vocal harmonies of the school’s 250-singer choir, for which Svenson used three ew 100 G3 Sennheiser wireless microphones on the soloists, among other microphones.

“The K-array KR400S has surprised me time and again for its ability to throw long distances while still maintaining a consistently high sound quality,” Svenson said. “The choir leader was also very impressed with the speaker’s ability to cast a wide dispersion while retaining the sharpness needed in a vocalist microphone.”

‘Vlado Meller Mastering Workshop’ Is Announced, Debuting In New York City, Summer, 2012

New York, NY – June 20, 2012: One of the world’s most accomplished mastering engineers, two-time GRAMMY-winner Vlado Meller, has announced the debut of the Vlado Meller Mastering Workshop (VMMW,) a three-day intensive hands-on course, set to launch in New York City this summer. The first course will be offered between August 1 and 3.

Qualified students will have the opportunity to learn personally from Meller. His 43-year career includes albums for Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Public Enemy, Jack White, Metallica, Andreas Bocelli, Oasis, Johnny Cash, and Shakira.

VMMW’s intensive curriculum is designed for professional mastering engineers, as well as working mixers, engineers, and producers looking to broaden their understanding of the mastering process.

Over the course of the three-day workshop, Meller will illustrate his personal techniques through before and after examples of past releases, detail the steps taken to arrive at finished results, and guide students as they work hands-on at the mastering console on their own program material. Class size will be limited to only a few students to allow for individualized attention.

VMMW will take place at Arf! Mastering in midtown Manhattan. Owned and operated by GRAMMY-nominated mastering engineer Alan Silverman, Arf! was selected by Meller for its world-class signal path, accurate monitoring, and spacious, day-lit room.

“I welcome the opportunity to share 40+ years of best practices with the next wave of mastering engineers and audio professionals.” says Meller, “Now is the time for me to let the younger generation benefit and learn from my experience.” Silverman adds, “VMMW gives students a rare opportunity to learn from an established master of the craft.”

For more information on the course and Vlado Meller, as well as registration, visit www.masteringworkshop.com.

Sennheiser Appoints Andrew Kornstein as House of Worship Market Development Manager

Old Lyme, CT – June 15, 2012: Audio specialist Sennheiser [InfoComm 2012 booth C9736] announced that Andrew Kornstein has been appointed to the position of House of Worship Market Development Manager, effective immediately. In his new position, Kornstein will be responsible for identifying and driving opportunity for Sennheiser in the U.S.-based HOW (House of Worship) market. He will report directly to Dawn Birr, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Integrated Systems, Sennheiser.

Kornstein, who brings eight years of HOW A/V experience to his new role at Sennheiser, has applied his expertise at a broad range of worship environments, including mega-churches. As Worship Market Development Manager, he will be tasked with raising awareness of Sennheiser’s product line within the HOW market as well as engaging churches and worship facilities to help them find Sennheiser products to improve their overall ministry and worship experience.

“Andrew comes to us with several years of HOW audio and business experience. We are pleased to have him join the Sennheiser team,” Birr commented. “I believe our HOW end-user customers will find Andrew to be both very capable and personable. Additionally, he brings incredible enthusiasm to his role, which I believe our customers will find inspiring.”

Kornstein, who will be based out of Kansas City, MO, has been using Sennheiser products in HOW environments for many years and is very familiar with the entire product line. “I believe in Sennheiser products,” stated Kornstein. “They have always been my preferred product of choice in both microphone and wireless applications, and I have firsthand experience of their quality and performance in many different worship scenarios.

“I am very interested in not only raising awareness of Sennheiser in the entire church market, but also in helping communicate how Sennheiser solutions can improve the overall worship experience,” he continued.

Caption:
Andrew Kornstein, House of Worship Market Development Manager, Sennheiser

Sennheiser Partners with Channel IQ to Implement Dealer Verification Badges for its Network of Authorized E-commerce Dealers

Old Lyme, Conn., May 30, 2012: Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that it has partnered with channel management solutions developer Channel IQ to implement an innovative badging program for its network of authorized e-commerce dealers beginning this month. The program provides assurance to consumers that they are purchasing genuine Sennheiser products from an authorized dealer.

The authentication system, developed by Channel IQ with cooperation from Sennheiser, provides ‘instant dealer verification badges’ on authorized e-commerce sites, thereby adding an extra layer of protection for consumers during the online purchasing process. The badging system also enables Sennheiser to more effectively implement pricing controls, while mitigating the potential for grey market and counterfeit activity.

“By partnering with Channel IQ on this authentication program, we are able to tighten our distribution network while providing assurance to our loyal customers that they are purchasing genuine Sennheiser products,” commented Bill Whearty, vice president of sales and marketing for Sennheiser’s U.S. Retail division. “This is a tool that will help protect our premium brand image, while providing consistency in pricing among our valued dealer network.”

Sennheiser is an early adopter of the new Channel IQ program, which is beneficial to both consumers and dealers. The dealer verification badges — which provide third party indemnification to the consumer at the SKU level — each contain a unique serial number that changes any time a page is refreshed and cannot be copied.

“Channel IQ has a longstanding relationship with Sennheiser on minimum advertised pricing (MAP) violations and monitoring, and they were the first to step forward and implement this progressive program,” commented Jeff Messer, general manager, brand protection services, Channel IQ. “Consumers want to know that they are purchasing products through a secure and trusted partner. This program not only provides that confidence, but also adds legitimacy and authenticity to a dealer’s online shopping cart. It is a win-win for the consumer, the dealer and Sennheiser.”

Sennheiser is a world leading manufacturer of high performance and best-selling headphones and microphones, considered indispensable among music lovers, audiophiles, recording studios, sound professionals, custom installers and home theater enthusiasts. Sennheiser products feature superb sound reproduction quality, making them the first choice for many high-profile recording artists.

Sennheiser’s Professional System Division Names B&H Photo Video “Dealer of the Year” for Third Year in a Row

bh_sm.jpgOLD LYME, Conn. – May 30, 2012: The U.S. subsidiary of headphone and microphone manufacturer Sennheiser named B&H Photo Video its 2011 dealer of the year for excellent sales, customer support and comprehension of Sennheiser’s diverse line of professional audio systems and solutions.

“We are pleased to announce B&H as Dealer of the Year, Professional Systems,” said Jeff Alexander, vice president of sales and marketing for Sennheiser Electronic Corporation’s professional systems division. “Having achieved Dealer of the Year for three years in a row is quite an accomplishment. B&H remains an incredible resource to the professional audio community and is known for having one of the easy-to-use websites in the industry. We congratulate their entire team for their continued success and for their incredible ongoing customer commitment.”

“We are extremely pleased to receive the Dealer of the Year Award from our more

Influential Tech Brand BGR Brings Production Integrity to the Fore with Sennheiser Wireless Mics as it Debuts The BGR Show

Old Lyme, CT – May 24, 2012— For six years, BGR (Boy Genius Report) has been a primary destination for consumers to get a first glimpse at breaking news and cutting-edge consumer products in the tech space. For BGR, one of the most prominent tech and mobile sites in the world, quality is key. Now, as it is making new forays into video, BGR has turned to Sennheiser for the best possible audio.

BGR, which was originally founded under the precept of providing viewers with not only the latest tech and product news but also leading commentary and insights from industry influencers and tastemakers, is focused on quality rather than quantity when creating content for its viewers.

Therefore, as it launches The BGR Show, a weekly video report that looks at the different ways technology has permeated our daily lives through the lens of manufacturers, celebrities, personalities and executives, BGR has armed its production team with a fleet of DSLR cameras coupled with Sennheiser ew 100 ENG G3 wireless microphone systems. The BGR Show debuts on BGR.com on May 31st.

“Most devices that are connected to the Internet these days — whether they are laptops, monitors or headphones, wired or wireless — are capable of delivering a high quality experience to people,” commented Jonathan Geller, President and Editor-In-Chief of BGR.com. “In terms of production quality, we wanted to partner with Sennheiser to make sure that everything we did with audio was to the highest standard.”

“Regardless of where we are capturing the content, Sennheiser’s microphones and wireless equipment play a fundamental role in this process,” he continued. Sennheiser’s wireless expertise regularly contributes to the success of events such as The Super Bowl, The Grammy Awards® and many other major broadcast productions.

The BGR Show is being launched in partnership with Pharrell Williams and Google and will cover the latest tech and lifestyle products, while featuring prominent celebrities, executives, and other influencers. Ken “Duro” Ifill, a Grammy winning mixer & producer who has worked alongside chart topping artists such as Jay-Z, The Beastie Boys, Usher, Mariah Carey and many others will be co-executive producing the show alongside Geller.

Video content will be capturing using Canon’s DSLR family, which provides both image quality and editing flexibility and the audio will be captured with Sennheiser ew 100 ENG G3 wireless microphone and transmitter sets, which provide not only outstanding audio quality but also ruggedness and reliability in the field.

For more information on The BGR Show, please visit http://www.bgr.com/2012/05/21/presenting-the-bgr-show/.

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