Essential Electronics Theory for the Audio World

Hal Leonard Publishes Electronics Concepts, Labs, and Projects

Electronics Concepts, Labs, and Projects introduces concepts, techniques, and tools needed for productive growth in the fields of audio, video, and multimedia recording. It includes essential theory relating to electronics principles specific to the audio world, as well as practical lessons on soldering, how to use a digital multimeter for testing audio gear and cables, and how to use an oscilloscope and function generator to diagnose circuits. Also included are descriptions of the components found in electronic circuits and how they work.

“Even if you never open up a piece of gear, an understanding of the concepts of electronics will add to your ability as an audio professional,” says seasoned instructor Alden Hackmann. “This book will be extremely helpful when troubleshooting gear, such as bad cables, faulty microphones, malfunctioning preamps, consoles with bad power supplies, speakers with intermittent output, and other issues.”

Hackmann uses a bare minimum of math to demonstrate practical concepts, plus every chapter includes a hands-on lab to reinforce that chapter’s concepts. There are also seven projects to help the reader develop fundamental soldering skills, including the introduction of techniques for use with a broad variety of cables. The electronics topics includes voltage, current, resistance, and power, and how they are related to one another. Resistors, capacitors, diodes, batteries, switches, LEDs, transformers, diodes, transistors, inductors, and tubes are all explained in a clear and concise manner. With 12 distinct sections, this book can be used in both the class environment and for self-study.

The accompanying DVD-ROM contains lecturers and illustrations that support and reinforce the concepts presented in the text.

About the Author:
Alden Hackmann has been working with electronics from a very young age. A research biologist at the University of Washington for over 20 years, Hackmann is also one of very few high-end manufacturers of a obscure musical instrument called a hurdgy-gurdy. His work with this fascinating instrument led him to metal machining, woodworking, laser engraving, inlay, and resin casting, but it also prompted a strong interest in electronics, fueled by designing onboard amplification systems for the hurdy-gurdy. His custom hurdy-gurdies – manufactured in partnership with his wife, Cali – are in strong demand, both internationally and domestically ( An instructor for the Art Institute of Seattle, Hackmann teaches electronics, recording, and other audio classes. As his multiple intellectual worlds intertwine, he also designs custom electronics and enclosures for the biotech industry and has recorded and mixed live concerts and designed lighting for the Over the Water Hurdy-Gurdy Association. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Electronics Concepts, Labs, and Projects
$39.99 (US)
Inventory #HL 00119291
ISBN: 9781480342439
Width: 8.5″
Length: 11.0″
322 pages

For more information, please visit – Hal Leonard Books, An Imprint of Hal Leonard.

BB4 Studios Launches: World-Class Mixing & Mastering Facility Brings Innovative New Audio Resource to New York City

‘Brooklyn Born Brooklyn Bred’ Williamsburg Room Opens Up Fresh Creative Options for Mixers, Mastering Engineers, Producers, Artists & Labels

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY – November 18, 2014: It’s not easy to bring something new to the music production scene, but BB4 Studios has accomplished just that. Shorthand for “Brooklyn Born Brooklyn Bred”, this just-launched Williamsburg facility is providing producers, engineers, artists, and labels with an innovative audio resource.

1BB4 has created a studio unique to New York City, executing an acoustically excellent environment that is optimal for both mixing and mastering. Designed by owner Rafael “Raf” Planten and Christos Tsantilis (P. Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Mobb Deep, Mos Def, Brandy, Big Pun, Queen Latifah, Patti LaBelle, Saigon), BB4 provides mixers, mastering engineers, producers and labels with an exciting option for perfecting projects. World-class recording capabilities for vocals and overdubs are also onsite.

An Advanced Audio Environment
Built from the ground up as a brand new studio on Williamsburg’s famed Bedford Avenue, BB4 channels the artistic energy of its surrounding neighborhood into its precisely tuned space. A multi-platinum engineer, producer, quality-control expert, as well as an accomplished studio designer, Tsantilis focused his decades of audio experience into making BB4 a first-choice room for honing the best possible mixes and masters – accomplished via thoroughly modern workflows within a welcoming environment.

The goal with BB4’s design was straightforward: Make a neutral room with as flat a sweet spot as possible. Only the highest-grade acoustical treatments and wiring were specified, combined with a custom mastering-style console outfitted with elite dynamics, EQs, and effects gear, plus a huge collection of plugins.

“Once upon a time, mix rooms and mastering suites were built to the same specs,” Tsantilis points out. “But at some point mix rooms had to get bigger, to accommodate the larger tracking consoles that were being brought in. The BB4 approach gets mixers back into a room that’s optimized for accuracy – this is a mastering-grade environment where they can mix. Having this purpose-built environment provides an extreme upgrade in your ability to hear the music, and make much more informed decisions.”

Equipping the Right Environment
Freelance producers, mixers, and mastering engineers alike will feel well-supported at BB4, which provides an assistant engineer for all sessions. With the gear selection that’s on hand, audio professionals should feel immediately inspired to get to work on their sounds.

BB4’s sweet spot begins with a custom mastering-style console designed by renowned studio designer Ken Capton (Eminem, Kid Rock, Music Works NYC, Yessian Music New York). Avid Pro Tools 11 and SonicStudio’s SoundBladeHD serve as the mixing and mastering DAWs, respectively, connecting to the hardware and monitors via Prism Dream and Avid HD Omni converters.

Outboard is extensive without being overwhelming. Compressors include dual RAD 4K-CS SSL’s, Manley SLAM!, Tube-Tech CL 2A, Alan Smart C2, TK Audio BC1, and custom 1176. EQs include four channels of Vintech 473, API 553, Nightpro EQ3-D, and a Weiss Eq1-LP/DYN combo. An Orban Stereo Synthesizer model 245e and classic Yamaha Spx90 are on hand for outboard FX. A Manley 16×2 tube mixer is available for summing.

For tracking and overdub sessions, microphones include a Manley Reference, stereo Audio-Technica ATM450’s, and a Shure SM7B. Mic pre’s are populated by the likes of four Vintech 573’s, two API 512c’s, and a stereo Melcore AML-27. Hardware can also be swapped in and out at a visiting engineer’s request.

Available plugins include Eventide Anthology, Waves Diamond Bundle including Platinum, Restoration, and Transform Bundles, Sonnox Oxford Elite, SoundToys with Eleven, Altiverb XL, and Lexicon – PCM Native Total Plug-In Bundle.

All mixing and mastering decisions go through the meticulously planned monitoring system, which features a PMC ib2 passive 3-way system flanked by dual ADAM Sub12 subwoofers. Bryston 4bst and THX amps power the system, all calibrated by a White Instruments Room EQ.

The attention to detail in BB4’s high-grade dead soft annealed solid pure silver (4N) wiring – overseen by wiring guru Mike Donahower (Jungle City, Robert Clivilles, Five Towns College) — illustrates the extreme care taken to deliver the truest possible sound. “The wiring makes all the difference in the world – it definitely affects the sonic character, depth and dimension that you can hear in a stereo recording,” says Tsantilis. “We strictly employed Furutech and Oyaide connectors, which are optimized for music by cryogenic freezing: That process changes the molecular makeup of the metal for less distortion, noise and resistance.”

Brooklyn and Beyond
While the emphasis is wholly on the music, BB4 is a comfortable place to work for hours at a stretch. A couch is behind the mix/master position in the main room, while a well-appointed lounge completes the experience for all clients and artists in attendance. The vibe is minimalist and stylish at the same time, deleting distractions while maximizing creative inspiration.

BB4 realizes Rafael Planten’s commitment to converging audio and art on a Brooklyn block that he loves deeply – he was literally born in the building whose ground floor the studio occupies. His room doesn’t just fill a need in New York City’s densely crowded studio scene, it creates a new category. That makes BB4 Studios bigger than just another business: it’s a way of contributing to the community, the local economy, and global music.

“Sound makes a difference in people’s feelings,” Planten says, summing it up. “If you’re hearing something good, it will feel good.”

For more information on BB4 Studios, visit


RTW, the market leader in visual audio meters and monitoring devices, will exhibit its new TM3-Primus, the company’s latest Smart Series product, alongside other members of its award-winning TouchMonitor line of audio-monitoring instruments, at SATIS 2014. The TM3-Primus, which offers users a full set of easy-to-read instruments for level and loudness metering in commercial and non-commercial broadcasting and production environments, will take its place next to the TouchMonitor TM7, TM9 and TM3 metering solutions at the booth of RTW’s French distributor, Audiopole (Booth D33).

Recently introduced, the RTW TM3-Primus is a multifunctional audio-measurement desktop unit featuring unbalanced RCA-type two-channel analog, digital (SPDIF) and USB interfaces. It also features an advanced USB hybrid mode that allows users to visualize a metering point in a digital audio workstation, using a specific RTW plug-in, directly on the new TouchMonitor’s screen. Also, a USB port allows for implementing an innovative USB/plug-in hybrid mode that enables metering to be performed on the DAW so that a user can process and visualize the information instantly.

As a compact and low-cost member of the TouchMonitor family, the TM3-Primus is suited for professional use in minor or secondary workflows for broadcasting, video editing and a variety of other environments. It offers a new, quality solution for non-commercial use in small radio environments or podcasting. Like other TouchMonitor models, the TM3-Primus comes with a highly intuitive and user-friendly 4.3-inch touchscreen interface that simplifies system handling even for operators without extensive experience in audio production.

The TM3-Primus supports the ITU BS.1770-3/1771-1, ATSC A/85, EBU R128, ARIB, OP-59, AGICOM and CALM audio-loudness standards. It includes level and loudness display with bargraph type or numerical readout plus MagicLRA type. Other instruments included with the meter are PPM, moving coil, correlator, RTA, vectorscope, numerical and chart.

All of RTW’s metering solutions conform to the EBU R128 loudness standard, as well as ITU-R BS.1770-3/1771-1, ATSC A/85, ARIB, OP-59, AGCOM, SPL mode and the U.S. Calm Act regulations.

Sound Devices Announces Expanded List of Approved Media

Comprehensive Testing Process Determines if Media Meets Requirements for Mission-Critical Production Applications

REEDSBURG, WI, NOVEMBER 18, 2014Sound Devices, specialists in audio and video products, announces an expanded Approved Media List designed to identify media fully compatible with and meeting the high-quality standards of the Sound Devices and Video Devices mission-critical production recorders. Since a recording is only as good as the medium in which it is stored, identifying and using approved media ensures that the company’s products will operate with the utmost reliability in the field. Approved Media more…

The Audio Engineering Society to Host 57th International Conference on the Future of Audio Entertainment Technology


New York, NY, November 10, 2014 — The Audio Engineering Society is set to host its 57th International Conference on Friday, March 6 – Sunday, March 8, 2015, in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, at the renowned TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, with hotel accommodations across the street at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. With the participation of industry partner SMPTE – the Society of Motion and Television Engineers – and following on the heels of the highly-successful Sound for Picture program track at the recent AES137 International Convention in L.A., the 57th Conference is perfectly positioned to set yet another milestone for the AES. With a direct focus on the Future of Audio Entertainment Technology, this conference will explore the latest issues facing audio professionals today in regards to cinema, television, online content and more, and is being co-chaired by Brian McCarty and Dr. Sean Olive.

Sound production for multi-media has evolved over a much different route than the more unified approach taken by the producers of visual assets, and this approach has left a streamlined production path for motion pictures but a complex and expensive production path for sound. Several dramatic changes are occurring in cinema exhibition, with “immersive sound” being the new buzzword. While Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) looks to be the next step in home entertainment, consumers are increasing their use of personal media devices, with headphones and portable audio looking to be a major segment of the entertainment technology future. This first-ever Future of Audio Entertainment Technology Conference brings together the best researchers, acousticians and engineers to address the current and future audio needs of the cinema, television and Internet (online) mediums.

Also of note at the AES 57th Conference is the SMPTE report entitled B-Chain Frequency and Temporal Response Analysis of Theatres and Dubbing Stages in regards to current standards and practices regarding B-chain electroacoustic response and calibration ( The paper was produced with extensive participation from AES members and will serve as a foundation for further necessary advancements in audio technology in the Sound for Picture arena.

Topics slated to be covered at the AES 57th International Conference include:
- Acoustical design and performance of the modern motion picture theater
- Testing and alignment practices for cinemas
- Dialog intelligibility
- Playback of film as well as live event broadcasts in a cinema
- Immersive sound and psychoacoustics
- Reproduction of immersive sound in home theater applications
- Reproduction of multi-channel audio using lesser numbers of speaker locations
- Speech intelligibility and microphone design
- Production sound immersive audio recording
- Loudness control and OSHA/European Standards
- Lossless coding of immersive sound for low bandwidth channels
- Immersive sound using headphone technologies
- Loudspeaker performance from all-in-one television receivers and sound bars

30-year veteran Hollywood sound engineer Brian McCarty, co-chair of the conference, said “AES expertise has been responsible for major improvements in live sound, streamlining of game audio production, and advancements in music production. The AES has called this conference to bring together the traditional production communities of cinema and television with the ‘new media’ audio distribution channels to address current and future audio needs.”

AES Past President and 57th Conference co-chair Dr. Sean Olive states, “This is the first international conference of its kind focused solely on audio applications, technology and research related to sound in cinema, television and multi-media. It’s exciting to be hosting this event in the entertainment capital of the world, where many audio-visual content creators, scientists and engineers live and are able to participate in this historic event.”

“SMPTE has been involved heavily in examining and exploring ways in which standards work can help to enhance the production, delivery and presentation of audio for moving images,” said Barbara Lange, SMPTE executive director. “We partnered with the AES at the AES137 International Convention to deliver compelling sessions addressing the future of audio engineering in both the cinema and television sectors. The Conference gives us another chance to work closely with the AES to offer industry members a fresh look at critical issues and advances in the realm of audio and visual entertainment technology.”

For further information on the Audio Engineering Society AES 57th Conference visit

Chandler Limited celebrates NAMM TEC Award Nomination with TG2-500 Pre-Amp GIVEAWAY

Chandler Limited celebrates NAMM TEC Award Nomination with TG2-500 Pre-Amp GIVEAWAYChandler Limited celebrates TG2-500 NAMM TEC Awards nomination with giveaway

Shell Rock, IA – November 2014 …Chandler Limited is proud to announce the TG2-500 Pre Amp from our esteemed EMI/Abbey Road Studios series has been nominated for the 30th annual NAMM TEC Awards.

Chandler Limited’s TG2-500 pre-amp is a recreation of the rare EMI TG12428 pre-amp used in EMI/Abbey Road Studios recording and mastering consoles from the late 60s and early 70s. The sound of the EMI/Abbey Road Studios equipment is world renowned, and imparts a unique and pleasing sonic character as heard on many famous recordings done at Abbey Road including The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” albums.


In jubilation over the NAMM TEC Awards nomination, Chandler Limited is giving away TG2-500 Pre Amp serial No. 1 to one very lucky winner. Click here to enter the TG2-500 Giveaway.


About Chandler Limited

Headquartered in Shell Rock, Iowa, Chandler Limited, Inc. is a boutique manufacturer of high-end signal processors, mixers, and amplifiers for musicians and audio professionals. Recognized globally for its exquisitely handmade products and the company’s high profile clientele, Chandler’s product offerings include the Abbey Road/TG line, its unique Germanium transistor series of products, the 500 Series Modules, plus its recently introduced guitar pedals and amplifier. For additional information about all Chandler Limited products, please visit the company online at

About Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios are the most famous recording studios in the world and an iconic symbol of British music.  They have been home to countless landmark recordings and pioneering advances in recording technology.  Opened in November 1931, Abbey Road Studios were the world’s first purpose-built recording studios.  The hallowed building has a phenomenal history spanning over 80 years, during which the studios have hosted many of the world’s most famous artists, including the Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Hollies, Kate Bush, Oasis, Florence and the Machine, Adele and Lady Gaga.  Abbey Road is also one of the world’s premiere locations for movie scoring.  Since the 1980s, scores for films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Braveheart, and The King’s Speech have been recorded there.  The list continues with many other major titles, including Shrek, Prometheus, Harry Potter, Skyfall, and The Hobbit.


Abbey Road Studios, EMI, TG and their associated logos are trademarks of EMI (IP) Limited.

Sennheiser Portable Speakerphones: Exceptional Design and Outstanding Quality in a Premium Conferencing Solution

The SP 10 and SP 20 Speakerphones from Sennheiser Deliver an Outstanding Communication Experience From Just About Anywhere

Old Lyme, CT, November 13, 2014: Sennheiser, a leading provider of premium headset and speakerphone solutions, announced the availability of its new range of SP 10 and SP 20 portable speakerphones for business professionals. The new SP 10 and SP 20 are flexible, completely portable conferencing solutions that feature excellent sound and user-friendly functionality in an elegant design. With the SP 10 and SP 20, it is easy to facilitate both personal or small group conference calls in the office or while traveling.

1The Sennheiser Speakerphone Series features Sennheiser’s renowned high definition audio quality in a stylish, eye-catching design. A winner of both the prestige 2014 red dot and 2014 iF design awards, the new Speakerphone Series elevates the anonymous meeting room conference phone to the level of ‘must have’ workplace innovation. Both the SP 10 and SP 20 showcase Sennheiser’s sound heritage and iconic design, while bringing a stylish visual element to just about any work environment.

Simply Plug in for Great Sound

The Sennheiser Speakerphone Series enables business professionals to easily make personal or small group conference calls. Each model features ‘plug in and talk’ simplicity, with the SP 10 connecting to PC/softphone and the SP 20 connecting to PC/softphone via USB cable or mobile phone/tablet via 3.5 mm jack plug. Furthermore, the SP 20/20 ML versions allow call participants to be connected via mobile phone and PC.

2Tori Seliokas, Channel Manager, Telecommunications of Sennheiser Electronic Corp., said: “Mobile professionals crave greater flexibility for collaborations and small group conferences, whether they are moving around office complexes, or holding ad hoc teleconferences while travelling. With the introduction of the Speakerphone Series, Sennheiser adds an important new category of portable conferencing solutions to its product portfolio, designed to enhance productivity in the office and the field.”

Both the SP 10 and SP 20 variants of the Speakerphone Series use Sennheiser’s high definition sound quality, voice clarity and echo cancellation to ensure an outstanding communications experience for user and listeners. The Speakerphones’ ‘dual talk’ function enables users to interrupt a conversation more naturally, ensuring better call interactions.

The intuitive user interface on the SP 10 and SP 20, with its clear call and volume control and mic mute buttons, ensures easy call management and ‘hands free’ control, no matter where the location. When not being used for calls, the Speakerphone Series can also be used for playing music.

Compatible with all main UC providers, the Speakerphone range is also Optimized for Microsoft® Lync® on both Microsoft® Windows® and Mac® and compatible for use with UC providers such as Avaya, IBM and Cisco.

The SP 10 [$179.95] and SP 20 [$199.95] are available now.


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. For more information, please visit

Photo captions:
1) The Sennheiser SP 10 Speakerphone
2) The Sennheiser SP 20 Speakerphone

Producer Niko Bolas Reflects on Neil Young’s New LP Storytone


— Longtime Young collaborator Bolas encourages a new set of approaches on a consummately personal deluxe double album —

— Bolas: “Amazing records are the ones where your second thought is how good it sounds. Your first thought is how good it feels. That’s what you try to capture with every record, and we got it here” —

LOS ANGELES, CA, November 10, 2014 — Through his career in music and beyond, Niko Bolas has had many roles: producer, engineer, mixer, technologist, consultant, entrepreneur and so on. The list of artists he’s worked with is long and varied: Melissa Etheridge, Warren Zevon, Kiss, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Fiona Apple, Toto, Tracy Chapman, The Jacksons, John Mayer (for his contribution to Disney/Pixar’s Cars), Disney’s Frozen: The Songs, Demi Lovato, The Mavericks, OneRepublic, Zedd and scores of others. But his closest association is very likely with Neil Young; Bolas has been producer and/or engineer on a dozen or so of Young’s LP’s over the last three decades, including Freedom (1989), Ragged Glory (1990), Living With War (2006) and several others. An artist as driven, restless and prone to creative detours as Young is thrives with a sympathetic collaborator, and Bolas has proudly served as such for the mercurial songwriter on and off since the mid-1980s. The latest chapter of this collaboration is Young’s most recent release Storytone, for which Bolas and Young share producer credit.

The second full-length from Young in 2014 (after the lo-fi covers LP A Letter Home earlier this year), Storytone actually exists in multiple incarnations. The deluxe edition’s first disc contains the version that was recorded first – beautiful and simple solo renditions featuring solely Young singing and playing an instrument. This bare-bones document stands on its own quite successfully, but it also doubled as worktapes for some serious arrangers to do their thing. As Young toured with Crazy Horse, Bolas worked with arrangers Michael Bearden and Chris Walden to create fully fleshed-out approaches to the songs, integrating orchestral and big-band arrangements. When Young was ready to come back into the studio, an entirely new version of the album was well on its way to completion. Although Young’s records have featured lush orchestration before (notably on his 1972 classic Harvest), Bolas took this opportunity to encourage a set of new approaches in Young’s singing style – drawing upon croonerism and unique phrasing that breaks from anything released by Young in his decades-long career.

Bolas recalls, “In working on the album’s fuller version, which we recorded second, the main experiment was to have Neil sing without holding an instrument. I encouraged him not to hold an instrument because it changed his phrasing completely – he became a singer, not a singer-songwriter. There is a big difference there, and it’s one that we hadn’t gotten around to exploring before. Suddenly you’re focusing on where you put your consonants, how long you hold your vowels, how you deliver the lyric. And that is not to take anything away from Neil’s vocal takes on all the other records he’s done, with me or otherwise – obviously he’s one of the all-time great rock singers, period; but taking the guitar or keyboard away from him really changed his approach, and he adapted beautifully, and frankly it sets this work apart from all the other great albums in his catalog.”

That isn’t to say that Bolas was pushing Young into uncomfortable territory or commandeering the project: “There’s really no ‘producing’ Neil,” Bolas laughs. “What you have to do is gather the adjectives he’s giving you and figure out how to build it. He had noted to me before how it was a dream of his to stand in the middle of a room and sing with an orchestra. When we started tracking his vocals, on the downbeat it was terrifying, but within about 30 seconds, he understood and was comfortable, and there was no stopping him after that.”

The orchestrated album was completed relatively quickly over four days of sessions at Los Angeles’s Sony MGM Studios – two with Bearden and two with Walden. The earlier solo acoustic version was completed over just two days at Capitol Studios. Bolas remarks, “Neil called me up said ‘I have 10 new songs I want to record,’ and they were all really fresh emotionally. We went in the studio with Al Schmitt, one of my favorite engineers and favorite people and someone whom Neil has worked with before and really trusts. We built what I call a ‘pawn shop’ – unique old guitars, vintage keyboards, ukuleles and other toys. Nothing from Neil’s ranch, and nothing that he was used to playing. So he’d pick up a new tool that he wasn’t familiar with, and we’d immediately cut a take of a song. I believe all instruments have an energy, and there’s always a song in them. If you pick it up for the first time and you’re the kind of person that is connected to a muse like Neil is, you’ll get that energy. It was inspiring and fresh, and the results were extraordinary.”

Schmitt’s involvement was an ace-in-the-hole for Bolas: “Al is the best engineer I know. Although Neil and I share producer credit on this project, it was important that Neil more focused on his performances than the specifics of the production. I knew that if he looked through the glass and saw Al – because he trusts Al implicitly – he would stay focused on his amazingly inspired solo performances in the early sessions or the nuanced vocal approach of the later sessions, and he wouldn’t shift his concentration and try to come into the control booth too often!”

This dual song cycle is actually not the end for this material. Bolas notes, “There is a great protest song in these sessions – ‘Who’s Gonna Stand Up,’ and there are even more versions of that song that we produced. There is one that was recorded live with Crazy Horse that we added horns to, and there’s a version with a children’s choir that Neil plays a Storytone keyboard on. I’m sure these versions will see the light of day somehow. And there’s a version of the whole album that we’ve been working on that edits together different aspects of the different versions – Mixed Pages is what we’re calling that one. I imagine that will also show itself at some point.”

Through all the stylistic departures, Bolas, Schmitt, the arrangers and Young captured what Bolas considers the goal of any great record: “When you’re listening to a truly great record, you don’t think about what it sounds like, because you’re too busy being immersed in the emotion and the performance. Amazing records are the ones where your second thought is how good it sounds. Your first thought is how good it feels. That’s what you try to capture with every record, and we got it here. It was easy. When you get a chance to work with talented people, and they bring their ‘A-game,’ you can sit back and let them do their work. On the days that mattered, all I had to do was make sure the food got delivered!”

Both standard and deluxe editions of Storytone are now available from Reprise Records.

Photo Caption: Neil Young and producer Niko Bolas, in the studio recording Young’s vocals for the new LP Storytone. Photos by Chris Schmitt.

Ottawa Hills School District Taps Powersoft K Series for Reliability, Sound Quality and Remote Capabilities

Powersoft Helps ‘The Green Bears’ Raise Quality of Audio Performance in Sonic Makeover of Gymnasium, While Keeping Equipment Footprint Lean and Mean

Toledo, OH, November 12, 2014: The Ottawa Hills Local School District, based just outside of Toledo, OH, is highly regarded for both its academic and athletic programming. The district, which is comprised of an elementary and a junior / senior high school and roughly 400 students, is home of the Green Bears — and considers its athletic program to be an integral part of students’ overall learning experience. As an academic institution focused on providing students with a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum, The Green Bears’ athletic program has won multiple state titles and excels in sports such as football, soccer, volleyball and basketball.

gymwideThe athletic program at Ottawa Hills is not only appealing for enrolled students, but also for fans and spectators including alumni, staff, visiting teams and the broader community at large. The high school’s gymnasium, an important venue that hosts basketball games, volleyball games and many other district activities and events, was constructed roughly a decade ago and has a capacity of 2,000 persons. This year, the gymnasium was outfitted with a new, state of the art PA system comprised of Powersoft and EAW components.

The catalyst for the sonic upgrade was lack of intelligibility, reports Eric Harter, President of Montpellier, OH—based Harter Sound. “They have a fairly young gymnasium as compared to most other schools,” he observes. “But the problem was that all the spectators, especially alumni and athletic directors, complained that they could not hear or understand any of the announcements in the gym.” Since the gymnasium is routinely used for commencement activities, meetings and other district related events, achieving audio intelligibility was a primary concern for the administration.

Out with the Old, In with K Series

Harter’s firm was given the nod at the recommendation of one of the administration’s technical directors who had worked with him in the past. The first order of business was for him to evaluate the existing environment, the legacy sound system and determine what needed to be done differently to achieve greater intelligibility. Harter notes that the legacy sound system consisted of four powered cabinets placed at center court, each with an estimated frequency range of between 500 Hz to 12 kHz. The speaker placement proved to be inefficient and cumbersome, and the technical crew tried to adapt it to different events by merely aiming speaker cabinets in various directions depending on the activity in the gymnasium. “Unfortunately, system had been put into place without taking into consideration speaker positioning, time alignment, EQ and power requirements,” Harter says.

kseriesThe acoustic environment itself was sound however, so after removing the existing components Harter’s team was soon able to focus on equipment choice and integration. “We did not have to do much acoustic work outside of choosing the right equipment components, putting them in the right places and powering them properly,” he recalls. After determining the different locations where the audience would be seated and each respective distance from the sound source, Harter selected a two-way point source system consisting of ten speakers in three different ‘zones’ across the length of the gymnasium. Each speaker was placed horizontally rather than vertically approximately 18′ from the floor, enabling the system to maintain a relatively low profile. The speaker height and horizontal orientation also made it less likely to be struck by an errant ball, intentionally or unintentionally.

At the core of the new system were three K series amplifiers, each driving respective zones consisting of 12″ woofers and for high frequencies, a single 1.75″ driver. According to Harter, one of the reasons Powersoft was chosen was because of its ability to drive such a substantial amount of power while taking up just three rack space units. Another reason was that the system amplifiers could be set up in a secure location and controlled remotely using Powersoft’s Armonia software. “We set it up so that if someone gets access to the rack, they can’t change anything unless they know exactly what to do and how to do it,” explains Harter. “The sole person with the ‘key’ is technology director, who we’ve trained how to use the system and the software.”

To Armonia and Beyond

With Powersoft’s Armonia software, all the key features of the new PA system are literally at the fingertips of the technology director. “We put an ethernet system in place and it hooks up to the WiFi — it was very easy to configure,” he says. “We can enable everything from EQ, to delay to trimming different zones up and down. But all they really needed to be able to do was turn the different zones on and off or up and down, and they can now do all this wirelessly using the Powersoft Armonia application. It is incredibly easy to operate during a game or other event.”

gymdetailFrom a broader project perspective, it was important for Harter to ensure that Ottawa Hills Local School District was pleased with the gymnasium sound system, since his company is being considered for a much larger, football stadium project due to kick off in the spring. “We wanted to make sure that whatever we did in the gymnasium left a very good impression so that we are the ones the district wants to partner with on other projects,” says Harter. “In this regard, Powersoft and EAW took us a long way towards achieving our goals.”

Making the Right Choice

While the Powersoft K3s were not the least expensive product under consideration, they were the clear long-term value choice. “We were asked why the Powersoft units were more expensive than other more common brands,’ recalls Harter. “Our response was that the Powersoft units take up less rack space, are extraordinarily reliable, and the power efficiency is spectacular. Once we got past the initial sticker shock, the conversation shifted to value based topics like reliability, intelligibility, power conservation and size and space requirements — soon enough my client agreed that it was the right choice.”

“The administration is just thrilled,” Harter concludes. “They realize they purchased a premium product that is not ‘middle of the road’ and that it delivers precisely what was needed for this installation: plenty of power, headroom and remote capabilities — all in a small physical space that is contained and secure.” Harter says that Powersoft’s premium amplifier solutions help distinguish him from the crowd: “We are not the lowest price guy in this market, but we believe there is a reason for that. We don’t want to compete on cost, but on long-term investment and value. For me and my clients, brands like Powersoft represent an advantage on many levels.”

About Powersoft:

Powersoft is the world leader in lightweight, high power, single rack space, energy efficient amplifiers for the professional audio market. Founded in Italy in 1995, headquartered in Florence, Italy, with offices in Ventura, CA, Powersoft couples the experience and precision of its production department with exceptional components to deliver products with perfect audio response and high performance reliability. Its state-of-the-art amplifiers can be found in an array of markets, ranging from stadiums, sporting arenas, theme parks, performance venues and airports to convention centers, churches and clubs, and are used by the world’s leading tour sound companies. For more information, visit the Powersoft website @

1) The Ottawa Hills Local School District chose Powersoft to drive its new state of the art PA system.

2) The Powersoft K series bring unparalleled efficiency in a single rack space.

3) Detail of the PA installation in ceiling of the gymnasium.

New Middle Atlantic Configurator Goes Live

MAP Configurator Live

Fairfield, NJ­­––Middle Atlantic Products today announced its new web-based configuration tool is now live at  Enabling customers to easily select, configure, quote and purchase the precise infrastructure system to fit their project needs, the Configurator platform was developed to improve nearly every facet of the customer experience.


Many systems integrators were engaged in testing the new Configurator, including Dave Hatz of AVI Systems in Eden Prairie, MN who commented, “I’m definitely impressed with how easy it is to use. I really do like the fact that I know I need a rack, I know I need a power strip but it leads me through the configuration options that I might not have thought about: lacing bars, power sequencers, UPS’s batteries, extra shelves. It really presents me with all the various options.”


The Configurator allows users to create a personalized design with the right products and accessories for any type of system along with a priced materials list. Further enhancing the company’s website, which was redesigned earlier this year, this new configuration tool is accessible from anywhere in the world with internet access, on any browser-enabled device.


Designed for anyone from beginner to expert, users can be guided through the configuration process or they can choose to build a system at their own pace.

With built-in intelligence to ensure that only components that fit can be selected and smart recommendations along the way, the Configurator helps users build the most effective and reliable system.


The Configurator enables users to export CAD and other design documents to be easily integrated into their standard design process. It enables 24/7 access to a stored history of user projects, the ability to create new projects, and convenient direct online ordering.


For technical specifications and in-depth information about Middle Atlantic Products, please click to or call 1.800.266.7225.



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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