Archive of the The Wire Category

Audio-Technica to Hold “Ask Me Anything” Sessions at 135th AES Convention

— Featuring industry insiders and friends of A-T, these AMA sessions are set to be informative and revelatory for an audience of in-person AES convention attendees as well as a worldwide online audience —

STOW, OH, October 10, 2013 — Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 50 years, announces that, for the first time, it will be hosting several “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) question-and-answer sessions at its exhibition booth (2723) at the 135th AES Convention in New York, NY. Sessions are scheduled for two days of the convention: Friday, October 18, and Saturday, October 19. The session schedule is listed below, and additional details are available at the Audio-Technica booth or www.audio-technica.com/aes2013. (Note: this schedule is subject to change; updates will be made on this link).

Friday, October 18, 2013 (all times EDT):
1:00-1:30 — Joel Singer, GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer/mixer, co-founder and chief engineer of Music Mix Mobile.
2:00-2:30 — Jackie Green, VP R&D/Engineering at Audio-Technica.
3:00-3:30 — Frank Filipetti, GRAMMY® Award-winning music producer, engineer and mixer.
4:00-4:30 — Richie Castellano, musician and YouTube sensation.

Saturday, October 19, 2013 (all times EDT):
1:00-1:30 — Richard Chycki, mixer, engineer and producer.
2:00-2:30 — Carl Tatz, TEC Award-nominated recording studio designer.
3:00-3:30 — Frank Wells, President of AES.
4:00-4:30 — Jimmy Douglass, GRAMMY® Award-winning recording engineer/record producer.

“Ask Me Anything” questions are fed to the presenters through a moderator during a 30-minute Q&A session. Questions can be submitted by individuals present at AES booth 2723; online at www.livestream.com (free registration); and by Twitter #ATliveAES.

In addition, individuals may watch during and after the event at www.audio-technica.com/aes2013 (also accessible from A-T’s website or Facebook page).

“We are very much looking forward to the AMA sessions at the AES Convention,” stated Gary Boss, Audio-Technica Marketing Director. “This will be a wonderful opportunity to hear comments on a wide variety of topics from some of the leaders in their fields in an informal, no-holds-barred setting. And with the online presence, people who could not make the convention in person can get a taste of what the show has to offer and interact with these experts. We hope that this series of events will truly enhance the AES Convention experience for all who participate, and be the beginning a great tradition moving forward.”

Full details are available at www.audio-technica.com/aes2013.

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Antelope Audio Orion32 Interface Receives Technical Achievement Nomination for 29th Annual TEC Awards

Orion32 Captures Nomination in “Computer Audio Hardware” Category

Santa Monica, CA, October 14, 2013Antelope Audio announced that its groundbreaking new Orion32 interface has been nominated for the 29th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards in the ‘Computer Audio Hardware” category. The TEC Awards is the pro audio industry’s most prestigious awards show honoring outstanding achievement in product innovation and sound production. The 29th Annual TEC Awards will be presented during the 2014 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA.

Nominations are based on product entries made by a select panel of industry professionals in numerous audio categories. Products must be released and in commercial use during the period of September 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013 to be eligible for nomination.

Igor Levin, president and founder of Antelope Audio, commented: “We are pleased the Orion32 has been nominated for Outstanding Technical Acheivement by the TEC Foundation. The Orion32 is a best-in-class product that sets new standards in recording and playback in recording and live sound environments, delivering unmatched audio quality and value in a single 1U rackspace unit.”

Orion32: World’s First 32 Channel AD/DA and Master Clock in a 1U Rack

The Antelope Audio Orion32, which is priced at just $2,995, is compatible with all major recording software platforms and is the world’s first 32-channel AD/DA converter and audio master clock in a 1U rack. The device supports both MADI and USB interfaces and is clocked by Antelope’s renowned 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking (AFC) technology.

The Orion32 allows 192 kHz I/O streaming of 32-channel digital audio through its custom-built USB chip, which provides simple connectivity to any USB-enabled DAW or computer. The converter also provides 32 channels of 96 kHz audio through its Fiber Optic MADI I/O connections, which can be used to connect with any suitably equipped MADI device.

For more information about the Orion32, visit:
www.antelopeaudio.com/en/products/Orion32-Multi-Channel-AD-DA-converter

For more information about the TEC Foundation, visit:
www.tecfoundation.com

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.

# # #

All brands and trade names are the property of their respective owners.

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GROWING SONNOX AAX COLLECTION SPARKS 40% DISCOUNT OFFER

OXFORD, UK: Beginning on Oct. 15th and running through the pre-Christmas shopping period until November 30, Sonnox will offer a substantial 40% discount on all plug-ins and bundles (excluding Codec Toolbox, GML Option.)

“We’ll shortly be releasing the next entry in our growing collection of 64-bit AAX plug-ins,” reveals Sonnox Sales & Marketing Manager, Nathan Eames. “The Oxford Reverb has been on many Pro Tools users’ wish lists for Pro Tools 11 compatibility, so we’re delighted to be releasing an AAX version in the coming weeks. Now is an opportune time to buy Sonnox AAX plug-ins, as we’re currently running our biggest promotion to date,” Eames adds.

###

Photo: Sonnox offers a 40% discount on plug-ins and bundles Oct. 15 – Nov. 30, 2013

For detailed information on Sonnox Oxford Plug-ins please visit: www.sonnox.com

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StreamGuys Powers In-Store Broadcasts for Custom Channels

Cloud-based streaming architecture supports custom music services with dynamic ad insertions for businesses

BAYSIDE, CALIFORNIA, October 15, 2013 — Internet music service Custom Channels is helping retail businesses like Whole Foods Market transform in-store environments with broadcast-quality audio programs, mixing music and dynamic advertising that deliver a branded, radio-like experience. The company is relying on robust, cloud-based streaming services from StreamGuys to support its customers.

Custom Channels brings a rare broadcast perspective to the growing business of in-store audio streaming. Its principal partners, including President/Co-Founder Dave Rahn, launched Custom Channels following years of experience working at and consulting for radio stations. Today, Rahn and his team leverage their professional production skills and broadcast programming knowledge to build custom in-store programs for retailers like Whole Foods Market, for which they support two-thirds of their stores.

The company recently switched to StreamGuys for content delivery support, recognizing its broadcast expertise as well as its shared spirit of customization to meet client needs.

“We have always used an outside CDN because the specialized technical knowledge required to maintain servers, bandwidth and overall infrastructure is frankly beyond our area of expertise,” said Rahn. “The difference with StreamGuys is that they are not forcing us into one business model for streaming services. They instead provide us with the streaming services that are right for our model, and deliver the ongoing recommendations, support and troubleshooting we need. That helps us keep costs low and leaves us to focus on program content and customer relationships — which is what we do best.”

Custom Channels takes program content beyond music by incorporating dynamic ad insertions in the form of “mid-rolls,” which Rahn cites as a particularly strong tool to trigger ads and promos for in-store streaming models. StreamGuys incorporates third-party ad insertion software into its streaming architecture, targeting broadcasters and IP-based music services that wish to incorporate promotional content in the form of pre-rolls, mid-rolls and post-rolls — and potentially generate new revenue streams.

“The ad insertion software in the StreamGuys architecture allows us to manage content at the server side as opposed to just pushing messages to individual players and boxes,” said Rahn. “For example, we work with a large chain of dental offices, Comfort Dental, with offices all over the country. The mid-roll insertions allow us to take a single Comfort Dental radio channel and insert specialized ads for each region, or even down to the local office level. The messages don’t have to live in the origin stream; instead, we create a place in the stream and insert them on a very targeted basis. It’s a very efficient model, and makes for good use of IP delivery.”

Rahn’s broadcast experience also means a focus on audio quality. Custom Channels currently delivers most audio content using the aacPlus codec at bitrates ranging from 64 to 96 kb/s, and uses other high-quality codecs like Ogg Vorbis for specialty services such as ReMix, which allows customers to create their own custom mixes. Rahn will explore Ogg Opus moving forward, the new versatile, open-source audio codec for low-latency, high-quality audio streaming. StreamGuys is the first CDN to announce support for Ogg Opus audio streaming.

“We’re dealing with businesses, and we try to keep as light of a footprint as possible since there are other demands on their bandwidth and technical infrastructures,” said Rahn. “StreamGuys allows us to use various high-quality, bandwidth-friendly formats so we are comparable to FM quality and usually higher than satellite quality — a sweet spot that our clients can easily handle on their networks.”

Rahn also points to several restaurant brands as Custom Channels clients, including the 200-plus Which Wich sandwich shop chain; and the fast casual Mod Pizza chain based in the Seattle region. Another interesting client is Floyd’s Barbershop, which operates more than 70 barbershops around the country. Custom Channels produces a true “retail radio” station in this case, with full-blown professional production, deejays and live requests.

“We focus on music-conscious brands that essentially want custom radio stations, and many of these clients also stream their channels on their websites,” said Rahn. “Ultimately, StreamGuys offers an ideal service for in-store delivery, whether it’s conventional streaming of a radio station or a business that wants something a little more unique.”

More information on Custom Channels can be found at http://www.customchannels.net.

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

Neumann Announces Special Offers on Microphone, Monitor Purchases as Part of 85th Birthday Celebration

Old Lyme, Conn. – October 14, 2013: In celebration of its 85th birthday, premium audio brand Neumann USA has announced two very special incentives for U.S. based consumers interested in purchasing its microphones and studio monitors.

Effective immediately, customers purchasing any Neumann microphone are eligible to receive a free Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphone, while customers purchasing a pair of Neumann KH 120 studio monitors, or a single KH 310 monitor, are eligible to receive a free soft carrying case, courtesy of Neumann.

Rebates are valid on products listed above, which must purchased from an authorized Neumann dealer between now and December 31st, 2013. Eligible rebate claims require the following:

• A completed rebate form, which can be downloaded from the Neumann website: http://www.neumannusa.com/promos
• The original UPC and EAN code, cut from the box (no photocopies will be accepted)
• A copy of the sales receipt, dated between October 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013, from an authorized Neumann dealer for a product listed above
• All materials must be postmarked no later than January 31, 2014

Authorized Neumann dealers are listed online at www.neumannusa.com/dealerfinder. To download the rebate forms, please visit www.neumannusa.com/promos.

Neumann was founded in Berlin in 1928 and has since become ubiquitous in the recording, broadcast and live sound industries. Neumann offers a range of world-renowned microphones for studio recording, live sound, broadcast and many other applications. The company’s line of studio monitor systems, including the KH 120 and KH 310, reflects Neumann’s philosophy of achieving the most accurate sound reproduction using state-of-the-art technologies and techniques.

To learn more about Neumann microphones and studio monitors, please visit http://www.neumannusa.com.

About Neumann

Georg Neumann GmbH, with its headquarters in Berlin, Germany, is well-known as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of microphones. The company, which was established in 1928, has a long track record of world-leading product designs and has been recognized with a string of international awards for its technology innovations. From 2010, Neumann offers this expertise in electro-acoustic transducer technologies to the studio monitoring market, and will provide optimum solutions to its customers in the areas of TV and radio broadcasting, recording, and audio productions. Neumann is now the perfect partner for both the input and the output of the audio signal path. Neumann has manufacturing facilities in Germany (microphones) and Ireland (loudspeakers), and is represented in over 50 countries worldwide by Sennheiser subsidiaries, as well as by long-term trading partners. Georg Neumann GmbH is a Sennheiser Group company.

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, Conn. 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 www.sennheiserusa.com.

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Hal Leonard Publishes Down the Rhodes – The Fender Rhodes Story

The Fender Rhodes story told in interviews with the greatest musicians of all times

Montclair, NJ (October 14, 2013)Down the Rhodes: The Fender Rhodes Story is the first and only book documenting how the Rhodes changed the sound of music and was part of the greatest hits and most influential music ever recorded. Invented by Harold Rhodes as a rehabilitation tool for soldiers in World War II, the Fender Rhodes piano both revolutionized and empowered musicians to explore a new, electric frontier of music.

Through interviews with a remarkable cast of music notables, the book takes an insider’s look into how this electric piano has played an integral role in the creation of a wealth of music, from the 1960s through today. Down the Rhodes: The Fender Rhodes Story brings together a large collection of prominent artists to talk about their music and experiences with the Fender Rhodes: Michael Bearden, George Benson, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, D’Angelo, Eumir Deodato, George Duke, Larry Dunn, Donald Fagen, Ronnie Foster, Rodney Franklin, Robert Glasper, Jay Graydon, Dave Grusin, Don Grusin, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Ellis Hall, Herbie Hancock, Lalah Hathaway, Rami Jaffee, Bob James, Quincy Jones, Ramsey Lewis, Jeff Lorber, Robin Lumley, Ray Manzarek, Les McCann, Marcus Miller, Steve Molitz, John Novello, David Paich, Jerry Peters, Greg Phillinganes, James Poyser, Patrice Rushen, Joe Sample, Lenny White, Maurice White, Vince Wilburn Jr., Allee Willis, the CBS musical instruments staff, and others.

A Blu-ray of the documentary film about the Fender Rhodes Electric Piano, on which Down the Rhodes is based, is included with each book. Readers can enjoy rare moments with some of the greatest artists of all times and learn how the Rhodes inspired their music.

The modern-day revival of the instrument’s popularity, the intimate stories, and the never-before-seen photographs of artists and pianos make this book a must-have for anyone interested in keyboards, piano and music history. A special Limited Edition is presented in a beautiful leather case, Down the Rhodes is a definite collector’s item and a wonderful gift. More information at www.HalLeonardBooks.com – including video samples of the movie.

About the authors
Gerald McCauley is from Los Angeles and has an extensive production career, working with many prominent artists and songwriters in the music industry. He worked as A&R Director for Monster Music, where his projects included 3 Doors Down’s concert DVD The Better Life (Rarities Edition), and served as A&R/Production Consultant for the Grammy Award-winning George Benson/Al Jarreau album Givin’ It Up. His debut release, The McCauley Sessions, and his CD/DVD Gerald McCauley’s West Coast All-Stars Live Sessions have become favorites among music lovers worldwide.

Benjamin Bove lives in Los Angeles and is a pianist and television music composer, and the Fender Rhodes piano is essential to his sound. Exposed to the Rhodes at the age of 14, Bove became a resident expert over the next decade, restoring and custom building Fender Rhodes pianos. As a graduate from the State University of New York at Buffalo, he worked in production for E! Entertainment and drew on his experience to produce Down the Rhodes: The Fender Rhodes Story. Currently working on his debut record, Bove is being lauded as a young force to watch in a new generation of Rhodes pianists.

Down the Rhodes: The Fender Rhodes Story
$44.99 (US)
Inventory #HL 00119290
ISBN: 9781480342422
Width: 10.0″ Length: 10.0″ 288 pages, Blu-ray with documentary included!
More information at www.halleonardbooks.com

Please contact Music Marcom if you’d like to interview the author, print an excerpt or would like to request a review copy of the book:
Music Marcom
Martina McConnon
v: 610-577-4982
e: martina@musicmarcom.com

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SADiE Helps Producer Steve Portnoi Capture Elgar

Producer and engineer Steve Portnoi used a SADiE LRX2 to produce Elgar’s The Apostles – a double CD that was recently awarded a much coveted Gramophone Classical Music Award.

Portnoi’s recording of the Hallé Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, won the 2013 Gramophone Award in the Choral category. Earlier this year, the CD also won BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Year and Choral Recording of the Year Awards.

“I use the LRX 2 at every stage in the process,” explains Portnoi. “I record both the live concert in the Bridgewater Hall and the rehearsal direct to the LRX. We want to keep the excitement that you only get at a live performance, so what ends up on the CD is essentially the concert recording. The rehearsals are only used to cover points where audience noise is obtrusive, or where there are minor blemishes, which could become annoying on repeated listening.”

Portnoi’s LRX configuration is two mic input cards, giving him 32 mic amps, and an AES card which he uses to connect to external devices and to give him extra track inputs for large projects such as this. Using a 16 channel A to D increases his track count to a possible 48 – he used 44 tracks on The Apostles.

“There were a lot of elements in this recording,” Portnoi says. “Not only did we have a full symphony orchestra to contend with, but we also had two choirs, six soloists, and for the first time on a recording of this work, a separate Apostles chorus, not to mention an offstage Shofar (a Hebrew horn).

Back at his studio, Portnoi used the LRX to create his stereo mix.

“For such a small box, the LRX is a remarkably powerful mixer, enabling me to create the sound-world that I require, as well as matching the sound of the empty hall to the concert mix,” he says. “Also, any shift in perspective of the soloists can be smoothed out using the LRX automation.”

Any patch editing is also carried out on the LRX. At this stage Portnoi uses Izotope RX2 to remove some of the noises inherent in a live performance, meaning that he can use less of the rehearsal patches and more of the live performance.

Portnoi has been a Sadie user since the early 80s and upgraded to Sadie 6 at the first opportunity, having helped with the Beta testing. “Of course, I also use Sadie for the final, mastering stage. Sound Suite gives me full PQ and DDP mastering facilities.”

Gramophone Magazine described The Apostles as ‘a set not to be missed’ and reviewer Andrew Aschenbach drew particular attention to Steve Portnoi’s production, which he described as ‘astutely balanced’, ‘thrilling’ and with a ‘colossal dynamic range’. This is the second of the great Elgar Oratorios that Portnoi has recorded for the Hallé Label and the second time his efforts have been rewarded with a Gramophone Award.

-ends-

About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The range now includes SADiE digital audio workstations and location recorders. Prism Sound also manufactures audio test and measurement products such as the DSA-1 and the dScope Series III audio analyzer.

For more information please visit www.sadie.com or www.prismsound.com

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iZotope to Unveil the New Nectar 2: Vocal Production Suite and Show the New Emmy Award-Winning RX 3: Audio Repair Suite at AES 135

Press conference and panel discussion will feature innovative new products and workflow solutions from iZotope

New York, October 11, 2013iZotope Inc. will host a press conference and panel discussion at this year’s Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention on Friday, October 18th. The press conference, starting promptly at 10:30 a.m EST, will feature the new Nectar 2 Vocal Production Suite and iZotope’s new RX 3 Audio Repair Suite. Immediately following at 11:00 a.m., iZotope will present the panel discussion, Tips from a Pro LIVE! Audio Woes in Music and Post Production.

• WHAT: An iZotope press conference and panel discussion.
• WHEN: Friday, October 18: 10:30 a.m. press conference, 11:00 a.m. panel discussion
• WHERE: Knowledge Center (Room 1E05), Javits Center, New York City.

Press Conference: Introducing Nectar 2 and RX 3

Press conference attendees will get a thorough preview of the new Nectar 2 vocal production suite as well as the long-anticipated RX 3 audio repair suite. Nectar 2 brings the best of digital innovation and analog character into a complete set of tools designed specifically for voice, while iZotope’s RX 3 helps post production and audio professionals overcome audio issues with unprecedented efficiency.

Panel Discussion: LIVE! Audio Woes in Music and Post Production

This panel discussion, moderated by mastering engineer Jonathan Wyner (James Taylor, David Bowie), will feature GRAMMY-Award winning engineer Chris Shaw (Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen) and post production mixer Jared Bartlett of Clean Cuts Audio. The panel will highlight personal stories of audio mishaps and solutions, while providing useful insight on production processes that can be applied to just about any audio workflow environment. The panel will be followed by a lively Q&A discussion, as well as personalized product demos of both RX 3 and Nectar 2.

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.

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Hal Leonard publishes The Power in Cakewalk SONAR

Experience the horsepower in SONAR, the new exciting digital audio workstation from Cakewalk

Montclair, NJ (October 9, 2013) Hal Leonard Books, the musician’s best source of books on the music business, audio technology, instrument history, and more, is now shipping The Power in Cakewalk SONAR, the Quick Pro Guide to all the core features along with powerful new workflows: recording, editing, mixing, and releasing.

Every chapter presents the most up-to-date approach to working in SONAR, helping the user to simplify the appearance of the program so they can focus more on the music and less on the technology. The book will show how to develop practices and techniques that provide a solid foundation for creativity, efficiency, and productivity.

Learn how to navigate SONAR’s enhanced Skylight user interface with Auto and Timeline Zooms and with Smart Grid. Edit audio and MIDI tracks using the enhanced Smart Tool and powerful Piano Roll view and get the most creative potential out of the Matrix view.

William Edstrom, Jr. also teaches how to bring a project from start to finish using virtual MIDI instruments, audio tracks, and loops, followed by the application of ProChannel effects to craft a track into a professional and polished mix. To conclude the production workflow, he demonstrates how to render a multi-track project down to a stereo file suitable for burning to a CD or uploading to the Web. The accompanying DVD-ROM contains valuable video tutorials that will help you see how the techniques described in the text apply to real-life creative scenarios.

About the Author
William Edstrom, Jr. (Milwaukee, WI), an author, audio engineer, and business owner, is best known for his video tutorials on DAW technology, mixing, mastering, and plug-ins for Groove 3. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering, plays guitar and bass, and has decades of experience in all aspects of recording and sound reinforcement. A lifelong student, instructor, and the creator of Lilacwriter.com – an online co-writing tool for songwriters – Edstrom is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music, the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Harvard Business School.

The Power in Cakewalk SONAR
$16.99 (US)
Inventory #HL 00333874
ISBN: 9781476806013
Width: 8.5″Length: 11.0″, 222 pages, DVD-ROM included

More information at www.halleonardbooks.com

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Sennheiser Delivers Flawless Wireless Performance on Bruno Mars ‘Moonshine Jungle Tour’

New York City, October 10, 2013: Superstar Bruno Mars finished the North American leg of his Moonshine Jungle Tour in September ­ a run that consisted of over 40 U.S. and Canadian dates, a spectacular appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards, and an announcement that he will perform at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show on February 2, 2014. This month, the Moonshine Jungle Tour continues on to Europe before setting out to Australia and New Zealand in early 2014. Bruno and his band rely on Sennheiser microphones and wireless systems.

At the VMAs, which were broadcast from New York City’s Barclays Center and reached more than 10.1 million viewers, fans were treated to a thrilling rendition of Mars’ new single, “Gorilla”. Dressed in a leopard skin shirt on a stage awash in green lasers and gorilla imagery flashing on a massive LED screen, Mars delivered a memorable, soulful vocal performance through a Sennheiser SKM 5200-II wireless transmitter and MD 5235 capsule. During the VMAs, which also featured performances by Justin Timberlake, Kanye West and others, Mars picked up two Moonman awards: Best Male Video for his #1 hit single “Locked Out of Heaven”, and another for “Best Choreography” for his latest single, “Treasure”.

The VMAs were the icing on the cake for Bruno Mars’ production team, who has endeavored to continually raise the audio quality and production standards of the touring operation for the past several years. Sennheiser’s global relations team has played a direct role in helping them achieve this goal by providing superb wireless and microphone technology. “When I took on the Bruno Mars gig over 2-1/2 years ago, he and the background singers were using a competitor’s model. I just knew there was a better microphone and capsule combination for him,” recalls James Berry, monitor engineer for Bruno Mars. “I began transitioning the background singers first, then worked with the front-of-house guy to get Bruno to try a Sennheiser microphone. Now you couldn’t pry that microphone out of his hands if you tried!” he says.

For wireless audio at the VMAs, as well as with the rest of the tour, the Bruno Mars production team has relied on Sennheiser. At the VMAs, one particular challenge was the massive LED walls at the rear of the stage. “We had to shoot the wireless signal right through the LED walls,” Berry recalls. “We did a lot of pre-planning on antenna placement when we got there. It was all rock solid and performed flawlessly.” The monitor crew used Sennheiser’s WSM software to save set-up time: “We used WSM to preload all the frequencies we were sent, so when we arrived, we just booted up the system and were ready to go in about ten minutes. In the past, we would have had to go to every individual unit and program all this information in.” Berry also used the software to monitor each wireless element in real time: “I rely on WSM to see my battery and RF levels, as well as all the inputs and outputs,” he says.

Honing In on Bruno Mars’ Microphone and Wireless Touring Rig

Derek Brener, who has been Bruno Mars’ front-of-house engineer for 3-1/2 years, recalls a point where Bruno’s audio infrastructure took a huge step forward: “One of the main turning points was when James came in and said he would not use anything else but the Sennheiser wireless ­ that’s when everything changed. James is such a heavy hitter having worked with Beyoncé, Weezer and lots of other great bands, I trusted his opinion.”

After trying various Sennheiser capsule and transmitter combinations for some time, Berry and Brener eventually settled on an SKM 5200 handheld transmitter with an MD 5235 capsule. “For me, the MD 5235 capsule punches through the PA system better than any other microphone we’ve used on Bruno Mars,” says Brener. “Bruno is very involved with Derek and me on the way things sound and has very clear ideas on what he wants and what he expects,” Berry adds. “Now, it is a comfort thing. Whether we are playing arenas, stadiums or awards shows, there is no debating ­ he wants Sennheiser, and that’s what he’s going to get.”

For vocals and horns, the band’s wireless consists of ten channels of Sennheiser EM 3732-II receivers, seven SKM 5200-II transmitters with MD 5235 capsules and three SK 5212-II bodypack transmitters. Berry says that one of the primary reasons they chose the EM 3732-IIs was because of the AES3 digital output with external word clock synchronization: “We are clocking our wireless devices at 96kHz to get the best sound quality we can. We didn’t consider anything other than this unit because we knew it would give us the best sound quality and reliability on the RF side.”

“For me, clocking at 96kHz opens everything up so it sounds more full,” Berry continues. “You have the entire frequency expanse in there, and what you put in is what you get out. Therefore you can hear the Sennheiser MD 5235 microphone capsules we are using with even greater fidelity.”

The band also relies on Sennheiser for its wireless monitor systems, of which Berry has sixteen channels of SR 2050 IEM. This covers the entire band, as well as off-stage technical staff. “I’ve used a lot of in-ear systems, and the reason I chose Sennheiser is because of sound quality,” says Berry. “The wireless IEMs deliver a wide stereo image so I can put things right into place where they need to go in my mix. For me, there is no other option than the 2k series because of that.”

All in all, over the course of the entire North American tour including the VMAs, the Sennheiser equipment has performed flawlessly, reports Brener: “We have never, ever experienced a drop out as long as we have had the Sennheiser wireless. It is all rock-solid. I have major confidence in Sennheiser.”

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 http://www.sennheiserusa.com.

Photo captions:
1: Bruno Mars on stage during the Moonshine Jungle Tour with his Sennheiser SKM 5200 transmitter and MD 5235 capsule (photo credit: Getty Images)

2: James Berry, monitor engineer for Bruno Mars, beside his racks of Sennheiser wireless (photo courtesy of DiGiCo)

3: Bruno Mars‘ front-of-house engineer, Derek Brener

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