captive audience - American Radio History

captive audience - American Radio History
December 2001
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BROADCAST
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REVIEWS
Sony Oxford
EQ
plug-in
Gaylor Design Whizzer
Tascam CD-RW4U
Eventide Eclipse
Dolby DP570
The MS -10M: A monitoring myth exploded
Genex GXA8
Yamaha DM2000: Latest digital console previewed
DVD: Record
UFO:
company lifeline or missed opportunity?
Digital audio broadcasting lands in Taipei
Genex GXDB
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DAC1
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iternational Headquarters: Begbroke, Oxford OX5 1 RU, England
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DECEMBER 2001 Volume 43 Issue 12
CONTENTS
POSTPRODUCTION
RECORDING
BROADCAST
14
ANALYSIS
4
57
Digital magnetic recording gets a second
airing, with specific attention directed
Editorial
towards recording and data integrity
Cheap broadcasting and understanding
the work of the NS -10
6
Soundings
Breaking news on professional audio, post
and broadcast
59
63
REVIEWS
18
broadcasting masses, the DP570
22
tapeless recorders from SSL desks, the
Whizzer far outperforms its title
24
64
Maintaining his service to audio's elite,
Diary check for the seasoned supporter of
pro -audio events
Daniel Weiss offers a new,
Stereotypes & Top 10
26
28
30
UFO Radio
As Taiwan moves towards digital audio
broadcasting, Taipei's UFO is helping it
define its service and operation
Sony Oxford
EQ
plug-in
Genex GXAB & GXD8
prompted Genex to offer them as standalones
31
Tascam CD-RW4U
Redefining the market
in
rewritable CD,
44
The NS10 explained
Maligned, abused, discontinued yet
unapologetically popular, the real appeal of
Yamaha's misfit monitor is revealed here
for the first time
30
Tascam has pitched the RW4U mid -way
between the desktop and the computer bay
COLUMNISTS
54
TECHNOLOGY
DVD to the rescue?
If DVD really is the lifeline the record
companies desperately need for their
survival, why are they so readily passing
over its greatest opportunities?
dEo
Eventide Eclipse
41
Technology
Barry Fox argues that DVD and SACD are
41
OXFORD EQUALISER & FILTERS
Admiration for the convertors found in its
successful nonlinear digital recorders has
BROADCAST
14
D-A convertor
With its name betraying its expectations,
Eventide's new Harmonizer is intended as
an unabashed successor to the
established H3000
Recording at Brushy
Mountain Prison
Echoes of Johnny Cash's legendary
Folsom prison performance find Tony Brown,
David Z and Mark Collie redefining
country music
no -compromise
ro-
FEATURES
34
dowel
Oxford console provides Sony with its
TDM plug-in debut
field's impertinent questions
RECORDING
ee
The proven equalisation of the prestigious
Backchat
Taking time out from pioneering the future
of domestic audio, lmerge's Adrian Lucas
aöa ®e .nani
'ealn.,
Weiss DAC1
World Events
A new look at audio industry characters
and their listening habits
66
Gaylor Design The Whizzer
Filling a critical need for control of
Letters
Public images and private truths find good
company in projections for the future of
analogue
63
Dolby DP570
Bringing Dolby Digital encoding to the
Classifieds
Take a tour of the backstreets of the
pro -audio marketplace
Dr John
only the latest proof of the argument for
applied over pure technology
54
Business
Dan Daley referees the arguments over
race and politics that have dogged the
Latin Grammys
55
Delivery
Kevin Hilton explores
a
world in which we
are participants in, rather than observers
of, the news media
Published for 42 glorious years
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EDITORIAL
Out of sync
THE AFGHANISTAN conflict has demonstrated precisely how cheap and predictable
broadcasters can become when they really want
to. Surely few can now watch CNN's own particular
brand of `news' and take on the subject without longing to find solace somewhere else. Created seemingly
by some news equivalent of Sonic Foundry's Acid music
looping program, the joins are unfortunately too openly apparent and serve only to illustrate how the
repurposing of content has moved on in leaps and
bounds even since the Gulf War.
More disappointing still are the early attempts by a
number of broadcasters at remote live Internet delivery. Not so long ago we were content with a phone-in
by the reporter in question talking over a picture of
himself overlaid on a still of the location. Today some
bright spark has decided that more is now technically possible and we are subjected to streaming audio,
often with drop outs, running alongside, as opposed to
in-sync with, brutal resolution and jumpy `motion pic-
tures'. They've even had the _audacityto include
accompanying and extra edited footage from the scene.
While I can understand the technical difficulties that can
plague such ambition the general viewer will be left
wondering what is going on.
It does nothing for the cause of quality broadcasting and is actually a step back towards the use of
December 2001 Vol 43, No 12. ISSN 0144 5944
CMP Information,
7th Floor, Ludgate House,
245 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 9UR, UK.
Fax: +44 (0)20 7579 4011.
Net: www.studio-sound.com
Emails: (initialsurname@cmpinformation.com)
Direct lines: +44 (0)20 7579 (extension).
EDITORIAL
Executive Editor: Zenon Schoepe. X: 4604
Editor: Tim Goodyer. X: 4719
Production Editor: Dawn Boultwood.
Secretary: Eileen Sullivan.
subtitles and the employment of a live piano player
in the studio to add sobriety to what are very
serious matters.
It comes down to the incongruous behaviour of
large corporations blinded by technology and hell
bent on penny pinching who have lost touch
with their market. They have also lost sight of what
they have and what function they are supposed
to perform.
Zenon Schoepe, executive editor
X:
X:
4157
4169
Consultant Editors:
Broadcast: Florian Camerer,
ORF, Vienna.
Chris Wolters, VTM, Brussels.
Postproduction:
Paolo Biondo,
International Recording, Rome.
Lloyd Billing, The Tape Gallery, London.
Recording: Arthur
Baker, producer-remixer.
Trevor Fletcher, Criteria Studios, Miami.
The end of innocence
Consultants: Francis Rumsey; John Watkinson
Columnists: Dan Daley; Barry Fox; Kevin Hilton
THE REDISCOVERY of a 400 -year -old
music manuscript in the Spanish city of Lerma
settled many of the scholars' debates about
cat k Catholic church music, Studio Sound's loudspeaker analysis promises to settle the protracted
Regular Contributors: Jim Betteridge;
AS
discussion surrounding the NS -10. For while Yamaha's
much -derided and recently discontinued loudspeaker
has found itself cast as a `reference' monitor, the reasons have remained unclear... until now.
Having run a carefully -considered test programme
on some 36 close -field contenders at Studio Sound's
behest, Dr Keith
Holland was in a
unique position to
compare their respective performances and
what-if
anything-might
identify
account for the perceived performance
of the maligned
NS -10M.
Unique
because, unlike those
of us who might have
sought to compare
manufacturers' own
specifications only to
find mismatches in
measurements and
measurement techniques, Keith had a
consistent picture of
every monitor mea-
sured
using
the
considerable facilities
of the Institute of
4
Bench -testers: Keith Holland; Paul Miller
Sound & Vibration Research. And with the assistance
of studio designer Philip Newell and his son, engineer
Julius, the game was on.
Seeing the project through to its conclusion wasn't
without its setbacks, but the summarised results are
in your hands now. And they make revealing reading.
Far from being simply the consequence of an opportunistic marketing campaign, affordable studio chic
or plain happenstance, the suitability of the NS -10M
to the recording studio now seems based on readily
identifiable aspects of its performance-aspects not
generally shared by
Richard Buskin; Simon Croft; Andy Day;
Ben Duncan; Dave Foister; Tim Frost;
-
purpose -designed
speakers. Whether these
Neil Hillman; Rob James; Caroline Moss; Philip
Newell; Terry Nelson; Martin Polon;
George Shilling; Simon Trask
ADVERTISEMENT SALES
Group Ad Manager: Richard Lawn. X: 4432
Ad Manager: Sue Gould. X: 4491
Deputy Ad Manager: Sam Patel.
X:
4440
Classified Sales: Wendy Clarke.
X:
4723
are circumstantial or
the result of a canny
design is less likely to
Ad Production: Mark Saunders. X: 4739
be scientifically proven.
On the eve of Studio
PA to the Publisher: Lianne Davey. X: 4211
Circulation Manager: Luise Mulholland.
X:
4257
Sound's publication of
these findings, Philip
Newell presented them
in full to attendees of
the recent Reproduced
Sound 17 conference in
Associate Publisher: Joe Hosken.
the UK. He described the
opportunity as 'a pleasure' while one of his
UK £52; Europe £69; Overseas: $130; Single £6
audience commented,
X:
4179
Publisher: Steve Haysom. X: 4459
Executive Director: Paul Gallo
SUBSCRIPTIONS
For subscriptions contact:
`I've just realised that I've
Studio Sound, United Business Media International
been designing speakers
wrongly all my life'.
Now he knows the
truth. We all do...
Ltd. Tower House, Lathkill Street, Market
Tim Goodyer,
editor
Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 9EF, UK.
Tel: +(0) 1858 438893
Fax: +(0) 1858 461739
Email: Imulholland@cmpinformation.com
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER 2001
STUDIO SOUND
ANNOUNCEMENT
As part of an ongoing evaluation of its business strategy and
consolidation across its core markets, CMPlnformation has
announced that it will suspend publication of Studio Sound
following this December 2001 issue.
The Studio Sound brand will remain the property of
CMPlnformation and will form part of the CMPlnformation
product portfolio during 2002.
Sister publications Pro Sound News Europe, Installation Europe,
One To One and TVBEurope are unaffected by these changes.
STUDIO SOUND
SOUNDINGS
CONTRACTS
UK: London's Air Lyndhurst has added
four Sennheiser MKH800 mics to its mic
cabinet, in line with the greater
requirements
of 24-96
Korean barrier
team of courtroom -style CNN stenographers in the US. Since stenographybasically typed shorthand-involves the
typing -in of sounds, rather than words, this
Seoul:
occasionally results in nonsense words
digital
recording.
Turner Broadcasting Korea is
remaining tight-lipped about its presentation
of CNN News in this country, as currently an
affiliated company, CSTV, is providing local
Air has also
cable networks with programming that
taken a
number of
Marantz
includes both English open captions and a
simultaneous translation in Korean. Local
CDR500
CD -R
recorders
for use
throughout
the facility, It has installed Chameleon
ULH3000 amplifiers to handle its
sub -woofers. The new amps compliment
the 2kW Chameleon DP/2s presently
used to drive 'everything from Yamaha
NS -10s to Dynaudio M1 s'.
Air Studios, UK.
Tel: +44 20 77940660.
Sennheiser, UK. Tel: +44 1494 551551.
Marantz, UK. Tel: 1753 686080.
Chameleon Audio, UK.
Tel: +44 1594 827602.
Australia: Sydney's Global Television
has chosen a 48 -fader AMS Neve Libra
II digital broadcast console
for its new OB vehicle. Designed to be
a rapid deployment vehicle. DP3 is a
semi trailer with expanding sides,
accommodating up to 16 cameras.
Global Television, Australia.
Tel: +612 988 3222.
AMS Neve, UK.
Tel: +44 1282 45701 1.
Live Series
US: Milwaukee -based Narada
Productions recently installed an
AudioCube 4 -II in its mastering suite.
The Narada Cube is configured with
Dual Pentium processors, CD -Writer,
CD ROM, 100Mbit Ethernet and several
VPIs including Analog EQ, Loudness
Maximizer, MultiComp and FreeShaper.
Now part of Virgin Music Group, Narada
is the principal US licensee for Peter
Gabriel's Real World Records and the
world-wide licensee of David Byme's
Luaka Bop label.
Cube-Tec, US. Tel: +1 905 469 8080.
Portugal: Broadcaster SIC
has gone
to air with a 32 -fader Calrec Audio Alpha
100 digital desk, and a second 48 -fader
Alpha 100 in its 54 -ft OB vehicle. The
static console serves SIC News, a
24-7 news station while the OB also
packs a 48 -track recorder, FX units and
Dolby processors for 5.1 transmission.
It has already covered football
matches, music shows and spent two
months on a 24 -hour reality show.
Calrec, UK. Tel: +44 1422 842159.
6
CNN breaks
sources say that since the Korean
Broadcasting Commission has not yet
allowed stations to provide local dubbing of
foreign programmes, the broadcast is probably technically illegal.
Local company CSTV only distributes
CNN as a re -transmission of the programming coming from Hong Kong. In Korea
though, much of the programming is derived
from the European version of CNN, rather
than the American version. The 'bilingual
broadcasting' is a simultaneous translation
into Korean, with the original English soundtrack slightly audible underneath. Korea does
not have Nicam stereo or separate LR
soundtracks, which would allow the individual languages to be isolated.
The open English captions, which run as
two lines of white text on a black background
in the top 15% of the screen area, lag about
2s-5s behind the words being spoken by
CNN reporters. But, rather than being pro-
duced by advanced voice -recognition
Sandoski, Glasser mastered the recordings,
which were compiled from a large number of
separate collections in the US and Europe.
'We would do clean up work on one of
the tracks, then we would hear from a different collector who had a better version,'
software running on a powerful computer,
as some suppose, they are produced by a
Glasser explained to Studio Sound. 'We
probably ended up doing most of the tracks
three times.'
Glasser and Sandoski primarily used an
Audiocube and Sonic Solutions' No Noise
system on the project-the first time that a
Cube had been used at Airshow. Glasser
appearing in the visual transcript.
A source revealed that PanAmSat 8 is
used to provide the English open captions,
subtitles and local supers for international
ads from Hong Kong, while KoreaSat 2 is
used for the simultaneous Korean translation.
While the bilingual broadcasts can mostly
be heard in daytime hours, at other times
CSTV switches to open captions. For many
hours there is simply the original sound.
explained that 'we saw the cube at AES and
were impressed with its real-time capabilities.
And
Masters of
the blues
radio service
Mastering, whose use of an Audiocube and
Sonic Solutions' No Noise system on ageing recordings have made possible the new
box -set, Screamin' and Hollerin' the blues:
The world's of Charley Patton.
The 7 -CD retrospective has been
released by Revenant Records, and is
described as 'the most impressive package
I've ever seen; it must weigh 12lbs' by
Airshow Mastering founder, David Glasser.
Following extensive restoration work by Matt
plan more time
US: Creditors of debt-ridden US manufacturer Telex Communications have been granted a deadline extension to consider the
company's latest plan for writing off its massive interest payments
-some of which are at credit card rates. The company announced
its plan for 'financial restructuring' on 13th September, proposing
that senior creditors accept 'various combinations of cash and
securities' issued by a newly -founded operating company, thereby
making the senior creditors Telex' new owners. In anticipation of
their consent, the company missed an interest payment in
September and announced that it would also ignore a 1st
November payment. The same announcement also imposed a
12th October deadline for the creditors to agree.
However, the manufacturer has now decided to extend the
October deadline to early November, and says it has rejected the
previous plan in favour of a simplified version. On the day the
extension was announced, company president and CEO Ned
Jackson explained the changes to Studio Sound.
Q: What's different about the new plan?
It's fairly much the same. What happens is they create a new
company and they pass all of the revenue, the assets, to it. What
you've really done is pass the ownership over to the bond -holders.
People get new bonds at a lesser extent and more common stock,
and then there is one small group of people who get nothing but
warrants, which would mean that they would get common stock in
the future when we hit certain earnings targets. So it's a much
simpler program and it's very good for the company because it
keeps us involved with our original bankers. It basically gives the
equity to the bondholders and we, the company, end up with
considerably less debt in interest payments.
figured we'd save time with Sonic
Romania revamps
US: Over nine months of restoration work
has paid off for Boulder, CO's Airshow
Telex gives debt
I
Solutions'. However he added, 'h was mostly
having the luxury of time. That made it possible to do the project properly.' Airshow
Mastering, US. Tel: +1 303 247 9035.
Romania: State radio broadcaster SN
Radiocomunicatii has signed an $85m contract with Harris Corporation as part of a
program to modernise and expand its nationwide broadcast infrastructure. Under the
arrangement, which is expected to run for
three years, Harris will be Radiocomunicatii's
prime supplier It is anticipated that this will
involve the provision of radio transmission
systems for approximately90 sites through-
Q: Why the deadline extension?
These things never come down the way you start them. There
were negotiations between bankers and bondholders and the
previous owners and people like that. It just takes a long time.
don't think it'll go on any further. By the first week or so in
November it will close.
Q: What happens if the creditors say no?
Well, they're not going to! They will say yes. We're pretty
certain at this point in time that everything is moving smoothly.
And if they said no... mean, there's a recognition by people that
our capital structure is wrong for the company, and there's a
willingness among those involved to correct that.
Q: Is there a contingency plan in case they say no?
Yes. But we're pretty confident at this point that everything is
fine and moving very nicely. We've been negotiating very strongly
and in good faith and we have pretty good support on this matter.
Q: Will the plan involve any staff changes and how will it affect
you internationally?
The makeup of the board could change because now some of
the larger bondholders could come on, and see that as a very
positive thing because you want people on the board who have
a strong interest in the company. Internationally,
think it'll
strengthen us. Certainly in the United Kingdom we feel like we
have outstanding brands with Midas and Klark Teknik and if
anything it will make them much stronger. The same thing is true
with our subsidiary in Germany, Dynacord.
Qs Are you planning to sell off any brands?
I've had people come to me and ask if we'd like to sell Klark
Teknik or Midas and my answer has always been 'not unless you
want to part with a hell of a lot of money!' Of course we always
continue to look at things which you ultimately conclude are more
valuable to other people than yourself, but at this moment in time
we have nothing on the horizon. What we want to do is regroup
and with our new-found capital structure, compete like crazy.
I
I
I
I
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
SOUNDINGS
US: New independent Hollywood audio post facility, The Post House, is to
install two 80 -fader and one 48 -fader AMS Neve DFCs and Avid picture
editors for its spring opening. Designed by Hanson Hsu of LA's Delta H
Designs, the Post House will address the feature film mixing and image
editing market. According to Hsu (pictured with AMS Neve's John Hart),
'The whole facility will be digital. We're installing facility -wide Fibre
Channel, with facilities for real-time, uncompressed on-line video from the
Avid suites onto the dub stages. Being an independent facility gives us the
ability to be flexible, nimble and creative in a quickly responsive manner.'
out Romania, along with microwave links,
and centralised network management systems. Hams will also provide engineering,
installation and commissioning services.
The contract was formally signed when
Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase
visited Washington, DC. Prime Minister
Nastase, other Romanian officials, and Bruce
Alllan, president of Harris Corporation's
Broadcast Communications Division participated in the signing. 'Harris is honoured
to have been selected by Radiocomunicatii
for this project which, in addition to being
the largest in the history of its Broadcast
Communications Division, will include market leading products and technologies from
Harris' Microwave Communications and
Network Support Divisions,' Allan said. 'This
project will strengthen Harris' position as a
supplier of integrated solutions for the worldwide broadcast industry.'
and DVB broadcasting systems to deliver
audio, video, data, graphics and other broadband information directly to people whether
they are in their homes or on the move'.
Asked whether this meant that the IP
Forum would be pushing the uptake of
mobile phones with built-in DAB receivers,
McCann conceded that DAB would fall
under the Forum's remit, explaining that 'it will
certainly help the take-up of DAB'. But he
added that the use of mobile phones had
'not cropped up as a specific issue at the
moment'. Nevertheless, the prominent role
of mobile communications world leader
Nokia in the Forum is surely an indication of
firms promote
d atacasting
the organisations' future priorities.
Also included among the forum's original 10 members are wireless infrastructure
provider Crown Castle International, Finnish
broadcaster Digita 0V, software developer
The Fantastic Corporation, broadcaster
Retevision, networking infrastructure company SkyStream Networks and Swedish
network operator Teracom.
'It started off with informal talks between
interested people meeting at various exhibitions. Now the forum is moving to become
Europe:
a
Top
Ten of Europe's leading communications companies are working together
to promote Internet protocol datacasting
across multiple formats, naming themselves
the IP Datacasting Forum. The formation of
the group was announced on 13th
September at the IBC convention, with
founding members including Nokia,
Deustche Telekom, Philips and NTL
Broadcast-whose president, Ken McCann
more open organisation,' explained
McCann. Asked about initial speculation that
the forum would be concentrating more on
visual media, he added, 'IP datacasting is a
common mechanism that can deliver either
audio or video. It's flexible'. NTL Broadcast,
UK. Tel: +44 1256 752000.
First
BAFTA
for
has been named the group's chairman.
Speaking exclusively to Studio Sound
immediately prior to the forum's second
Music
meeting, McCann explained that its members 'share a common vision of an IP -based
UK: The Super Furry Animals' much hailed
DVD Rings Around The World has become
the first music DVD to be nominated for a
BAFTA Interactive Entertainment award, having been placed in the running for Best
datacasting system that will enable the
mobile information society'. He added that
such a system would use 'both the DAB
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
DVD
Interface Design and praised by the award
committee's chairman Malcolm Garrett as
the first release of its kind not to treat the
medium as 'glorified VHS'.
'Most of the DVDs you buy are simply linear media with moving menus,' explained
Garrett. 'But I've been trying to get bands to
see DVD as a creative form in its own right,
not just a glorified version of VHS. The Super
Furry Animals are the first band to do that.'
The sentiment was echoed by the disc's
producer, Mike Gillespie of Metropolis DVD.
'We've seen a lot of people since that disc
who want to do more on DVD for music,' he
reported. 'The music market hasn't really
broken through yet, but it's happening.'
Released simultaneously with an audio only album of the same name, Rings Around
The World includes a special 5.1 surround
sound mix, videos to accompany each track,
a large 'extras' library and a specially
designed menu system intended to encourage repeat viewings. Metropolis Group, UK.
1.
Tel: +44 208 742
1 1 1
Playing at work
CONTRACTS
Germany:
Hit Radio FFH has installed
six Orban Optimod-FM 8400s at its new
digital studio complex, where their
TCP-IP facility allows the units to be
located in the machine room and
controlled from the studios. Based in
Frankfurt, Hit Radio FFH owns three
radio stations-classical Hit Radio,
Planet Radio, and new easy -listening
station Harmony FM. Bayerischer
Rundfunk meanwhile, has ordered a
48 -fader Soundtracs DPC-II digital
console for its new Dolby EX -equipped
mixing theatre. Public service
broadcaster ZDF is to install a 24 -fader,
48 -channel SSL Avant digital in
Synchron Regie in a refurbished
dubbing studio in Mainz.
Hit Radio FHH, Germany. Net: www.fhh.de
Bayerischer Rundfunk, Germany.
Tel: +49 89 380602.
Orban-CRL, US. Tel: +1 510 351 3500.
SSL, UK. Tel: +44 1865 842300.
1
Manila: Along with Broadcast Electronics'
UK: Nottinghamshire -based
VauItXPRESS computer software, Manila
radio station DWTM-FM, 89.9MHz, has
recently acquired a BA 1230 digital console
from Fidelipac as well as an Optimod 8400
from Orban, replacing its 6-year-old model
8200. At the same time the station has finally
retired its Fidelipac CTR-90 cart machines.
Explains Armand Ursal, the station's chief
engineer, 'The cart machines had been part
of our operation for more than 10 years and
proved to be the one of the best and most
reliable ways to deliver the commercials to
our listeners.' The role of the machines will
now be taken over by VauItXPRESS.
Ursal explains, 'VauItXPRESS is an open -
Serendipity has installed a
tc electronic System 6000 surround
processor. The operation's activities
range from mastering through location
recording, to specialist restoration
and most recently surround
processing. Serendipity's audio is
handled by a Sadie 24/96 system
before being recorded to a Genex
hard -disk recorder. Clients are
mid -level record companies and
include Demon and Voiceprint.
architecture system which provides
broadcasters with sophisticated digital
recording, editing, storage and playback of
audio. In this system the digital or analogue
audio is converted to digital audio data files
and stored on a computer hard disk. The
system provides dynamic access to the digital audio for playback, so that the same
audio can be played on multiple computers
at the same time.'
Station DWTM-FM, popularly known as
Magic 89.9, is using 700MHz Pentium Ill
computers with 2x 128MB of RAM, and a
7200rpm, 60GB hard disk. The operating
system is Windows 2000, and the computers are linked via a 100Mb/s LAN. The
station is wired using CAT 5E UTP cables,
and the hub for the network is a D -link
DFE-2624i intelligent hub.
Ursal says the station's announcers and
newscasters were 'thrilled' the first time he
introduced the system to them, '...especially
since we also replaced the two large CRT
computer monitors with much smaller TFT
LCD flat -panel colour monitors from Sony.'
Ursal maintains that it took only one hourlong session to train users on the functions
and operation of the system. And since
DWTM-FM put it in, he adds, 'it hasn't
Serendipity, UK. Tel: +44 777 707404.
The M Corporation, UK.
Tel: +44 1425 479090.
1
Denmark: Andreas Johansson
has
installed a Miller & Kreisel surround
monitoring system at his
Tonemesteren studio in Ry from
which he provides sound design to
the Danish Broadcasting Corporation
and Nordisk film. The studio is
centred on a networked Pro Tools
setup with three new M&K MPS
2510P front monitors, two MPS 2525
tripole surrounds, one MPS 5310 sub
and an LFE 4 bass management
system in support.
Tonemesteren, Denmark.
Tel: +45 86 89 11 00.
AB Global, Denmark. Tel: +45 8619 8733.
7
IMUMBIIW
SOUNDINGS
bogged down once yet. Not only is maintenance easy, he says, but the station is able
to eliminate the delay in getting produced
material on -air. 'Once the production of a
project is finished on one workstation,' Ursal
says, 'VauItXPRESS automatically puts the
material in the database ready to be used
CONTRACTS
Sweden: Skylark Studios
has installed
Amek Media 51 multiformat analogue
console at its new facility in Norrköping.
The studio also uses a Pro Tools
system, four Fostex D-160 16 -track
recorder -editors, Alesis ADATs, and
Genelec monitoring. The studio is
owned by producer -arranger Lars-Ake
Svantesson and engineer-musician
Ronnie Roos and serves a range of
production duties, including DVD, film
and video projects.
Skylark Studios, Sweden.
Tel: +46 11 343044.
Amek, UK. Tel: +44 161 868 2400.
an
Japan: Imagica's programme production
and satellite TV channels employing over
40 digital video edit and associated suites
will see the installation of three SSL
Avant Plus consoles. The first 160 -input
post console, is already at work in
Imagica's Ginza -based Dio Group facility.
A second 32 -fader, 128 -input Avant Plus
will start operation imminently at the
company's Akasaka Studio. Imagica
Shinagawa, in the south west of Tokyo,
has specified a 32 -fader, 128 -input MT
Plus console for the end of September.
Imagica, Ginza, Japan.
Tel: +81 3 3542 1681.
SSL, Japan. Tel: +81 3 5474 1144.
by any other workstation.'
Magic 89.9 FM is currently using the system for commercials, promos, station liners
and jingles. 'However,' Ursal cautions, 'our
music tracks are not yet converted to digital audio files. We are still using Denon CD
players, as the DJs prefer to play the music
direct from CD's. guess that way they feel
they are still working!'
Ursal eventually plans to put the station's
music onto the computer and to put another
Vau tXPRESS station in the on -air booth. 'This
will serve as a back-up should one of the
VauItXPRESS stations fail,' he explains, adding, 'But of course we will not retire our CD
players. For two reasons-both obvious.'
I
UK: Picturesquely located beneath the walls of Cardiff Castle, the Welsh
College of Music and Drama also offers an impressive new recording
studio-thanks to the support of the Sony Europa Foundation and the
generosity of Cardiff native Sir Howard Stringer, chairman and CEO of
Sony Corporation of America. The studio was designed by Roger D'Arcy
Associates and centres on a Sony DMX R-100 digital console and Pro
Tools system with a Sony DRE-S777 sampling reverb taking pride of
place among its outboa"d. The studio has played a significant part in
enabling the College to offer its 4 -year music course for music
technology specialists and will also be used for mixing and posting OB
work. Head of Music Technology, Roger Butler commented, 'The
widespread adoption of the DMX-R100 by the professional audio
community made it an obvious choice for the college, as students are
increasingly likely to come across it in the commercial world after
completing their studies'.
New digital OB
trucks down under
Australia: A total of
15 new outside broad-
cast trucks are being constructed for use
in Australia and New Zealand following a
round of key contract renegotiations-and
all of the trucks are to be fully digitised.
'The Australian market is going through
Thy Digital Broadcast System
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Extensive I/O router
Intelligent recall TM
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Software upgradable
Network option
64 Inputs and 64 Outputs
Additional 2Tracks
Modular I/O
D&R Electronica B.V.
Rijnkade 15b
1382 GS Weesp
The Netherlands
Phone: +31(294)418014
Fax: +31(294)416987
mail: info@d-r.nl
website: www.d-r.nl
8
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
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WE DESIGN THE FUTURE
SOUNDINGS
CONTRACTS
US: California's The Village Studios has
placed a Neve 88R analogue console in
its Studio D, seeing first use with
veteran producer Roy Thomas Baker.
Responsible for the recent blockbuster,
Moulin Rouge, the console is providing
competition for The Village's Neve 4048.
The Village, US.
Net: www.villagestudios.com
AMS Neve, UK. Tel: +44 1282 457011.
UK: Virgin Radio has fitted Klein and
Hummel 0300D and 0104 speakers in
its new complex in Soho's Golden
Square. The O300Ds were chosen for
the presentation studios and 0104s for
the production areas. Meanwhile
national UK news provider ITN has
installed a Cedar DNS1000 dynamic
noise suppressor following the use of a
Hiss -2 system for the 1997 General
Election coverage.
Eicotec, UK Tel: +44 7720 404 624.
CEDAR Audio, UK Tel: +441223 881771.
Brazil: Andre Guidon's Sao Paulo -based
Estudios Guidon has installed a
40 -channel D&R Octagon console.
Estudios Guidon, Brazil.
Email: andre@estudiosguidon.com.br
D&R Electronica, Holland.
Tel: +31 294 418 014.
digitisation,' explained Peter Adams of the
Grass Valley Group, who are supplying
Kalypso switching systems for each of the
new trucks. 'It's been going on for a couple
of years but more so in the last six months.
We're broadcasting in high -definition and
the digitisation is off the back of that.'
Adams explained that the exchange of
key sports contracts plus an increasing thirst
among the public for outside broadcasts has
spurred on the ordering of the new trucks.
'The rights for all of the cricket coverage
were previously held by New Zealand
Television, but they came up for renewal
some months ago. A company named
Outside Broadcast formed a consortium
with Sky TV and put in a bid to broadcast
all cricket into New Zealand.'
The consortium has since ordered
three new trucks, while major domestic
broadcaster the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation has ordered a further eight.
Meanwhile, three more are being built for
Global Television, the first of which was
ready in November. 'Global TV is the biggest
independent broadcaster in this region,' continued Adams, who added that the company
mostly provides OB for Australia's Channels
9 and 10-the new owners of Australian
Rules Football on domestic television.
'People are realising that it's a false economy to re -equip a truck when they go digital,
because digital is so different,' Adams reasoned. 'It's better to trash the old truck and
build a new design.'
Hong Kong: Avon Recording Studios' has completed its new Room M, a
5.1 -channel editing and mastering suite, pictured here with mastering
engineer Raymond Yu. Described as 'the first fully -professional surround
sound suite to be built in the former British colony', Room M features a
fully -loaded Sonic Solutions SonicStudio HD workstation and a 5.1
monitoring system comprising matched Genelec 1030A and a 1092A Sub.
Yu and studio manager David Sum explained that local stores are offering a
range of Super Audio CD material but, to date, very few DVD-Audio releases.
The move towards digitisation is seen by
Adams as part of a wider trend towards highdefinition broadcasting throughout the Asian
hemisphere, commenting that 'part of the
deal has been that we will provide a path to
high -definition in these trucks'. However, he
believes that Australia's prospective adoption of the standard is likely to attract more
attention than other countries in the region.
'Asia in general is embracing high-definition,'
he declared, citing 'Japan, China and even
Korea. We're not an isolated circumstance.
But maybe we're more vocal than other countries. Plus, HD rollout in the US has been
less than satisfactory, so people are now
saying that's not how to do it.'
On the sales of Kalypso systems into the
new trucks, Adams concluded that 'we are
pretty happy. The release of Kalypso two
years ago heralded the beginning of a new
age for the Grass Valley Group'. Net:
www.grassvalleygroup.com
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2001
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SOUNDINGS
APPOINTMENTS
Sennheiser has promoted Jeff
Alexander to the new position of director
of distributed brands,
following the
promotion of Karl
Winkler to director
of marketing
communications.
Alexander will be
responsible for
developing the
company's organisational structure.
Harris
has appointed Roland Eid MD of
its digital broadcasting R&D unit based in
Rennes, France. Eid will report to Eduard
Schlauch, MD of Harris Broadcast
Europe and will manage all operational
aspects of the R&D operation. Previous
director of operations, Jean-Luc Pavy, is
to be director of business development
reporting to Eid. He will work within the
new Harris Broadcast Europe on product
standardisation and co-ordination of new
Great Britain and Germany, Scandinavia is
one of our key markets in Europe', commented Thomas Klotz, chief executive
officer and founder. 'By opening this new
sales office we strengthen our commitment
to the Scandinavian market.' Klotz' strategic Finnish partner Noretron will continue
its sales activities.
Newly -established Norwegian company,
Seemix Sound, has taken over all rights
for Seem products including service and
Business
UK console manufacturer Calrec Audio
has signed up for Dolby Labs' E Partner
Program. With Dolby E designed to ease
the transition for DTV broadcasters from
2 -channel to multichannel audio, the move
has enabled Calrec to equip its Alpha 100
line of digital consoles with 5.1 monitoring for
the Dolby E -Dolby Digital Encoding process.
New software allows the Alpha 100 to interface with Dolby's DP570 multichannel audio
'tool', enabling the desk output to be heard
while monitoring the effects of Metadata
and downmix options in real-time.
Klotz Digital Europe has opened a
new sales office based near Helsinki to
head sales, marketing and customer support for Scandinavia and the three Baltic
republics Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia under
sales manager Andreas Wirth. 'As we continue our growth strategy, beyond France,
Bryston targets
spares. The company's NTP audio routeing
system, however, will remain with Telecast.
Established products and those already
planned will now bear the name Seemix.
Seemix Sound has been established by
Seem Audio founder Finn Tuft. Net:
www.seemix.no
US-based signal processing specialist,
Symetrix celebrated 25 years this autumn
under the guidance of founder and owner,
Dane Butcher. From its first noise gate
US
business for the Rennes operation.
East Coast
DTS Europe has appointed Ted
US: Bryston, the US distributor of the Professional Monitor
Laverty director of business
development, Europe, based in Northern
Ireland. He will expand the role of DTS
surround in the broadcast and DTS gaming
projects. Laverty is an active member of
Company, has appointed one of its former key dealers as an
independent sales agent for areas including New York City, in a
move intended to reinforce the PMC brand on the East Coast.
The deal sees former Washington Music Center manager Mark
Towles take charge of the brand with his Baltimore based sales
office TMG, which also represents Behringer, Pioneer Pro,
CAD and ADK Microphones. Alongside NYC, Towles will
represent the brand in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware,
Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Following the appointment's
announcement, Bryston's US -based vice president of US sales
and marketing, Craig Bell spoke to the Studio Sound about the
new appointment and how business on the East Coast has
been affected by the 11th September terrorist attacks.
Q: Why did you choose TMG?
You know, we get a lot of people wanting to represent the
product but I'm really not interested in bringing people in that
don't understand what we do and what we're after. Mark
worked for one of the larger dealers on the East Coast for
15 years and he understands the client base. He's got a very
good connection with the studios and the broadcasting
networks and National Public Radio.
Q: Are you committed to expanding your rep network?
Oh, absolutely, I'm opening it up. The PMC factory has
the AES and Electrical Engineers.
Fairlight ESP has named Robert
Trebus director of European operations,
reporting to John Lancken. Previously
MD of Fairlight Germany, Trebus is
responsible for the German, UK and
French offices the European audio
production and postproduction markets.
Prior to joining Fairlight, Trebus was MD
at Berlin -based distributor and
developer, Audio Sonic.
Logitek Electronic Systems has
appointed of Cam Eicher as director of
sales and added John Davis to its sales
and support team based at the
company's Houston, Texas headquarters.
ties-tot-at-ion
in
DVD-4 Authoring .49
12
(a)
-
r
TEC
74 35
-
have agreed a partnership
addressing of software for the digital radio
broadcast sector.
'This agreement teams two of the
world's most powerful players in digital
broadcast solutions and brings a new impe-
tus to the market,' claims Christophe
Camiel, company chairman and founder
of Paris -based Netia. 'The most impressive cross-distribution agreement that this
industry has ever had,' is how Gustavo
Pesci, CEO and founder of Hardata,
viewed the agreement.
I
I
I
I
CD
r'
Hardata
changed locations and doubled their factory size over the last
three months and so now their output is far greater. We could only
sell what they could make there for a while, so now as our market
share increases I'm going to continue opening up more reps and
more dealers. We also have other products in line that are going
to address secondary markets such as home composers.
Q: TMG is covering NYC-has 11th September affected
business there and on the East Coast?
The nice thing about having reps located in particular zones
ìs that most of their travelling is done by automobile, and
automobile travel hasn't really changed much at all. A couple of
weeks after the attacks you had a tough time getting into NYC,
but now it's completely open. But it's affected the overall
attitude. just went to Philadelphia, Washington DC and then I
went up to Toronto and the overall attitude of the East Coast is
haven't seen any
very withdrawn. On the West Coast
difference. People on the film -lots and big facilities out here,
people talk about it but it didn't affect business at all. But on the
East Coast everything kind of slowed down. It's certainly put a
clamp on the money coming out of the East Coast. If people
don't need it right now they certainly aren't buying it.
Q: Is the US economic slowdown also affecting the new network?
think it's a very temporary effect. Where we're at right now
is pretty much where we were at before the attacks. For about
30 days you could feel kind of a drag but now the Dow Jones
and everything else is back to where we were. We had a big dip
which we wouldn't have otherwise seen, but don't think in
general where its sitting now is any different to where it would
have been sitting without them.
fa@cube-tec.com
r
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FACILITY
TAIPEI'S
UFO
As Taiwan moves progressively towards digital audio broadcasting,
Martin Green visits Taipei's UFO Radio for the inside story
NO MYSTERY to Taipei's UFO
Radio station. Though it occupies space on
THERE'S
the 25th floor of one of the taller buildings in
the Taiwan capital, the UFO image aligns with
the station's attitude rather than its altitude. It was drawn
from a company called UFO Music Company which
was one of the station's investors when it opened in
October 1996. Now having over 100 employees, about
a third being on-air staff, UFO is definitely flying.
Lambkin Ling Chia -yang, UFO Radio's chief recording engineer, says that its target audience is different
from that of radio stations in the US and other countries.
'We are a variety station rather than a format station,'
he begins. 'We have "day -parting" programme segments-like music, talk shows, and a variety of other
types of programme, because the age group we aim at
is from 10-100.'
UFO aims to attract the public in general, not just a
niche market, like classical, religious or jazz stations.
'In Taipei we broadcast on 92.1 MHz FM,' says Ling, 'but
we are island -wide, with eight other transmitters including [the southern industrial city of] Khaosiung, and
Taichung [on the west coast], as well as Hualien, Ilan,
and Taitung [also on the west coast], and the Penghu
islands [close to mainland China].'
Ling claims UFO is rated the No.1 station in the met-
ropolitan area. 'Our competitor, BCC [Broadcasting
Company of China], will say that they are No.1, the
biggest, but that's only in terms of coverage.' BCC is
held by the KMT-the Kuomintang party, which used
to be in government, but now is in opposition, just as the
SBC here in Taipei used to be owned by the military
and, although it is no longer, it is still state -funded. We
also have the Police Radio station [known in English
as the Public Radio System, or PRS-not to be confused
with the police operations radio system], and Hansen,
14
a military radio station. Back when we had martial law,
Taiwan was a controlled environment for TV and radio
broadcasting, just like mainland China today.'
About six years ago, when the government liberalised
the laws on broadcasting, more radio stations started to
spring up, and UFO Radio was among the first. The
most well-known radio station that started then was
the Voice of Taipei, or VoT. 'In fact, they started a year
before us, and they were No.1 at the time they launched,'
says Ling.
To begin only two or three new radio stations were
allowed, `because radio broadcasting is not like cable
TV,' says Ling. 'That technology came to Taiwan in the
eighties and at first it was underground, figuratively
speaking, as they were pirate stations. But once the law
on cable TV was promulgated, many cable TV stations
could start up since they were using cable, not the radio
frequency spectrum, access to which was restricted.'
Things have moved along since then. Currently UFO
and several other stations are doing digital audio broadcasting trials. Tests are being conducted in conjunction
with radio stations like Taiwan's BCC and CBS [Central
Broadcasting System, which also used to be run by the
military], with them sharing the airtime or frequencies.
'We use the ITU's frequencies 10B at 211.648MHz,
10C at 213.360MHz, and 10D at 215.072MHz,' says
Ling. `Using DAB we can have six channels of programmes. Since we are already broadcasting DAB right
now, anyone with a DAB receiver in Taipei can hear us
in digital sound. However,' he notes, `although Britain,
for instance, with perhaps the largest number of listeners, has around 2m so fay very few people in Taiwan have
digital radios.'
Taiwan's BCC began broadcasting digitally in March
2000; state-funded CBS, combined with the Police Radio
station, started in April; and UFO followed in June the
same year. VoT only started in February this year. UFO
is using the European Eureka -147 format for its digital
test broadcasts. Ling notes, `Engineers here feel that it will
most likely be used for transmissions in the future, as it
is better than other systems, like America's IBOC (In
Band, On Channel).'
Currently UFO offers four music channels, a news
channel and a data -only channel-PAD, or Programme
Associated Data. All the technology is from Europe,
mainly from manufacturer Hirschmann. `Right now we
are focussing on improving quality, and solving some
transmission problems,' says Ling. Asked what problems he forsees, implementing the DAB system, he replies
quickly, `Getting people to buy digital radios, first of
all... In the studio, it is just the same. We can easily have
simul-casting going on. UFO's sister company, right
across the corridor, is News 98, so we provide Music
Channels 1 to 4 and they provide the news channel.
`In Europe,' Ling observes, 'it seems the EC committee is pushing to get the infrastructure developed
first, and after that they will start to pay attention to
pushing the receiver market.' He puts the problem in a
nutshell: `It's always a chicken -and -egg situation, even
here. Do we start broadcasting first, in which case we
could be broadcasting to nobody, or do we try to get
people to buy the digital radios first, in which case there
could be nothing to listen to? Obviously we must have
some digital broadcasts for people to listen to when they
buy a digital radio, or what's the point of spending so
much money for something that doesn't appear to work?
All they've got is a piece of circuitry that is tying up
money, getting older, and of no obvious use yet. But the
same goes for the radio stations too-and our equipment is much more expensive.'
Currently there is only one company that Ling knows
of in Taiwan making digital radios-Tai Ming Company,
which uses the brandname TMC. `I've seen some on
sale,' he says. 'They have a `walkman' style digital radio,
but it is too big, as it is a prototype. Their standard
home receiver is about NT$10,000 or around US$295.'
But what are the advantages for a radio station like
UFO, to go to DAB? 'From both an engineer's and a
listener's point of view, it means better quality audio,'
Ling responds. 'But I think management are focussing
on the potential for data broadcasting. And they are
also concerned about when the analogue frequencies
will be taken back by the government. They don't want
to be behind in this-they want to be ahead. In Europe
I believe they are talking about taking back the FM frequencies in five years. In Taiwan certainly it will take
longer, but I haven't heard any dates mentioned.'
However, Ling worries, `There is an organisation
responsible for promoting DAB here, but it is not so
powerful. And if no one promotes DAB sufficiently well,
I think the government will not be able to take back the
FM frequencies-because most people will still be using
their old radios.'
Asked whose interest is best served by the move to
DAB-the government, which wants the FM frequencies back, the radio
stations wanting to
broadcast in better
quality and with
more channels, or
the listeners wanting to hear music in
CD quality, Ling
speaks remarkably
candidly. 'As a consumer who is also a
radio engineer,
think
I
I
would like
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER 2001
FACILITY
that. I mean, there is no noise, no multi path distortion, and the sound is clear.
But I am a professional working in the
audio world. And frankly, for many listeners, I don't think they really need it.
Even the data part-why do you need a
screen, just to listen to a radio station?
With FM, there is a sub-carriey but there
is no big market for data, like paging,
using that. In the nineties, many countries tried using the sub -carrier for information about the radio station-the
so-called RDS or Radio Data System.
Even in Taiwan we tried it, although we
didn't continue, because it was not found
to be worthwhile. So I don't know if the
ability to get data with DAB will "sell"
the idea to the public.'
Ling is not totally sold on the move to
digital audio either, `It has been said that
digital sound is somehow rather cold,
and I have to say that it does seem less
human. I think the main problem is the
NT$10m (US$295,000) each. That's the
transmission equipment, not the equipment in the studios, which is already
mostly digital. We will need to change
the transmitters and we will need to
change things on the tower. We will also
have to install coding machines, because,
even though we send a digital signal from
the studio, more coding is required, for
compression, to have frequency efficiency.
Coding can also introduce scrambling,
which can help prevent missing bits.'
But are there any reasons why a station might have one DAB channel which
is scrambled-a premium channel, for
which listeners would need to pay money
for the access code-for instance, a channel offering new releases on CD?
Ling observes, `Sure, DAB could do
that. But to my knowledge no radio station is doing so right now. I don't think
there would be any reason for it in the
future, basically because radio is for the
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sampling rate and the quantatisation,
although nowadays technology is providing more data, so it may improve over
time. Some people maintain that analogue sound is warmer. I believe that is
because there is more good distortion.
Even harmonics are better, and that is
what you get with vacuum tube amplifiers. With digital, there is no distortion.
It is nothing to do with sampling. Even
harmonics sound good.
'At the same time,' he continues, `there
really seems to be no pressure from the
consumers to move over to DAB, and
the government doesn't need to get back
the FM frequencies. But as engineers we
make recommendations to our bosses,
and maybe they are focussing on the perceived advantages to them, from the data
broadcasting, and the increased number
of channels. Of course, the receiver manufacturers will sell a lot more radios! I
believe there are even some radio stations which are sister companies of, or
owned by, receiver manufacturers...' he
won't reveal the names.
What does Ling imagine will be the
total cost for the move to DAB in
Taiwan? `I can't speak for any others,
hut for our stations in Taipei, Taichung
and Kaohsiung, it will cost us about
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
public good. We make our money from
the advertisers. I can't see radio stations
becoming like Pay TV.'
Ling reckons that the main target for
radio stations are car and truck drivers,
and students. 'A lot of students here listen while they study. However, the percentage of listeners in America is higher
than that in Taiwan, probably because
we have a higher population density here,
and so a lot more activities are done
indoors, where they can watch TV
instead.' To try to draw listeners away
from watching round-the-clock television, UFO has round-the-clock radio
broadcasting.
'We are a 24 -hour radio station,
with a total of five hours per day of
political talk shows. For instance, we
have UFO Breakfast for two hours,
then UFO Lunch for an hour and UFO
Dinner running for another two hours.
We devote about 30% of our broadcasting time to information-including talk shows, although they are not
always political. We have actually
reduced the percentage of call -in programmes, because it seems the listeners
prefer to hear the DJ talking rather
than to hear other listeners. About
50% of air time
is
given to
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some oldies, but mostly nineties and current hits.'
He continues, `Until recently, we didn't have any
Mandarin or Taiwanese soap operas, but recently we
started with one hour of Mandarin soap per week, and
I am proud to say that it is produced by my department. That's because we do more computer sound editing than anywhere else in the station. We take about
five hours to record the one -hour show, which is about
a young love affair.
'Most of our programmes are live shows, so of course
we cannot do any postproduction work. Even if we
pre -record a programme, we do it as live, with no post production work later It is time consuming, and anyway,
many of our DJs are famous-for instance, we even
have congressmen who are DJs-so we don't `tweak'
their programmes in any way. And our listeners like
that; they like the sound of the occasional mistake or miscue. And if, say, someone's mobile phone rings in the studio during recording, or they cough, we keep it in. We
record the programme for convenience, because the DJ
is available at that time, and then broadcast it later, just
as it was recorded.'
While at least one radio station in Taipei (Radio
Wave, FM 90.5) uses Taiwanese exclusively as the language of broadcast, Ling notes, 'We don't have any
Taiwanese -speaking programmes because we focus on
the metropolitan market. And in Taiwan, "metropolitan" means Mandarin -speaking.'
What equipment does UFO Radio use for audio editing?
'We have a sound card made by Digigram, running
on a Windows NT platform in a Taiwan -made generic
computer with a 300MHz CPU. We have 256Mb of
Recently, some stuck in the past know-it-alls were seen defacing our ads to
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RAM with a 10Gb
hard disk. At
another station
[BCC], they do
their soap opera
live, with stereo
miss in a big studio,
so the actors can
move around just
like a stage play.
Which means they
need to remember
their moves, too.
But in our station,
the soap opera production is fairly
simple-I guess because we don't really care so much
about that market. We do multitrack recordings, but I
admit it is less lively, although we can bring in many
sound effects. We get them off CDs coming from Europe,
America and Japan.'
With so little attention being devoted to it, how
popular is the series? `Actually it is a midnight
show-Sunday midnight, in fact. On Saturdays and
Sundays we have very few commercials, so it is not
a main programme. It is really more for fun-and
we can train editing skills for instance, as we
need those for the commercials we have to produce.
The scriptwriter is not a full-time scriptwriter-she
writes the script in her break time, and after work!
And the actors-well, we have several famous people, like DJs, who play the characters. And they are
very professional.
'For instance, most of our DJs come here just on
time. And when they start reading the script, they can
add some ab-libs on the way. Even without a script,
they can just chat. It's quite informal. Once, for example, we wanted a DJ to read a chapter a day from a
book. So we gave him the chapter to look over first
and he said, "What is it-in English or something?
It's in Chinese. I don't need any preparation. Let's
go!" So, after the commercials, he went straight into
it. I think this sort of informality is why we are so
popular among the younger listeners. Other stations
are more formal.'
Indeed, UFO's chief recording engineer feels the
station is different from, say, American radio stations, where the DJ may do everything-including
operating the equipment. `In Japan,' he explains,
'it is more like a TV production with announcers,
sound technicians, producers and directors. And
the director controls everything, even saying when
to open the mic. In our station it is rather like those
in Japan, but there are less people on the team. We
don't have a director, so we have more tacit understanding between DJ, sound technician, and producer. Our producers do the preproduction, the
songs, arranging the guests. But in the live show,
our hosts are famous, being TV stars, singers, or
congressmen, if it is a political show. So they are
the star, and they run the show-the others are just
helping them.'
But even with a variety of programmes to handle,
Ling would like to embrace more. He says, `I'd like to
do other things in the radio station, also, like marketing, producing, and so on. I would like more variety-but I have 10 staff under me, and also if I step
outside my normal job, I can't keep up with what is
happening in engineering so well. I know people say,
"Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond-or a
small fish in a big pond?" Me, I'd like to be a big fish
in a big pond!'
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
Dolby
E Encoder
Model DP571
DO Dolby
Dolby
E DECODE{
Model DP572
Whatever your multichannel audio needs, Dolby has the answer. In production and
broadcast, use Dolby E to carry eight channels of audio with metadata on a stereo digital
carrier. In DVD and DTV, use Dolby Digital to take 5.1 audio home to the consumer.
And where there is only regular stereo, use Dolby Surround. Visit our website or call us to
find out how Dolby can help you set up for multichannel audio.
www.dolby.com/pro
OD Dolby
BREAKING SOUND BARRIERS
Dolby Laboratories, Inc. Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire SN4 8QJ, England Telephone (44) 1793-842100 Fax (44) 1793-842101
100 Potrero Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94103-4813, USA Telephone (1) 415-558-0200 Fax (1) 415-863-1373 www.dolby.com
I
Dolby and the double -D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories 02000 Dolby Laboratories, Inc. W00/138
b
1=2J
UK
Distributor:
HHB Communications Ltd.
73-75 Scrubs Lane, London NW10 6QU
Tel 020-8962-5000
Fax 020-8962-5050
www.hhb.co.uk
Dolby DP570 Multichannel Audio Tool
Offering a faster, simpler, implementation of Dolby Digital encoding, the DP570
is sure
to find favour with broadcasters and beyond.
MANY PEOPLE reckon to detect the
whiff of sulphur around Dolby Digital.
Some people with vested interests
maintain the myths: dealing with
metadata is a black art and data compression
a Faustian pact. But ignorance breeds fear and
the pursuit of
Rob James reports
meters to the domestic decoder. Metadata carries
knowledge
® Dolby
effort...
A
iiii
Imo.
requires
Dolby
rr
MIt
YglAecr.
ors+o
data during mastering was to pass the audio through
an encode -decode chain. This process is not realtime or particularly convenient and making metadata
decisions for live broadcast has been awkward and
+i
i
ï
II Ill IN III
Digital encoder
combines
coded audio
with metadata
to produce a
single data stream for recording or transmission.
Until now the only way to hear the effects of meta -
use, and metadata can help ensure the producers
original intentions are realised whether the consumer is using a full-blown Dolby EX setup, 5.1, a
modest Dolby surround system or a mono or stereo
television. Broadcasters are lured by the promise of
attaining two of their desires. Consistent dialogue
level between
largely empirical. The DP570 aims to make the decision making process simpler and more transparent.
Dolby uses metadata-data about the data-carried along with the program in an encoded Dolby
Digital or Dolby E stream to convey control para-
programmes
é"tsttt:t
LI
has long been a
le
Holy Grail.
Another
is
mama
dynamic
3111.323
range control
appropriate to
af?
information about the production and various parameters and instructions about the dialogue level,
DRC (Dynamic Range Control), ProLogic decoding, bass management plus a number of
down -mixing options. A number of challenging
objectives can be achieved with skilled and intelligent
individual
listeners'
circumstances without resorting to the sledgehammer of indiscriminate compression or the
expense of altering the source material-not to mention keeping artistic integrity intact.
The DP570 enables real-time monitoring by
applying metadata parameters to conventional dig-
The Digital Studio Monitorin Solution
FDS-366 OMNIDRIVE COMPACT Plus
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Tel: +44 (0)1707 660667
Fax: +44 (0)1707 660755
Online: www.bss.co.uk
18
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Audio
OMNIDRIVE.
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Il
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STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
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REVIEW
............
Utley
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c
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OP.
ita) audio to provide an emulation of the consumers
experience. In addition, it offers a relatively simple
and convenient method of setting these parameters,
generating the metadata and outputting it in a format suitable for encoding with the audio.
Dialogue normalisation is fundamental to successful encoding. Therefore the Dialnorm parameter
Outute
Moue.
iwsai+r
((
..««.«.....+
perhaps the most important. The DP570 includes
an analysis tool which helps decide on the correct
setting. The operator simply plays sections of 'noris
mal level' dialogue and invokes the Measure
function. This measures average loudness over time
(LeqA). Choosing Measure again stops the measurement and displays the calculated value. If the
value is below -31dB the level of the source audio
must be raised before re -measuring. Once measurement is successfully completed the value can
either be set manually or the measured value set
with the Accept function.
Physically, the DP570 is a 2U -high rack mounting box. All digital audio connections are AES 31D
BNCs. Four AES input pairs accept any of the permissible Dolby Digital program formats. Another
AES input accepts an encoded Dolby Surround PCM
mix with loop through. The eight main channels
are fed into a router which enables the input channel assignments to be altered, if necessary, to
conform with the configuration expected by the
emulator. One set of AES outputs takes the output
of the router without any further processing, the
other set outputs the post emulator, post bass man-
agement signals for monitoring. Alternatively,
monitoring may be via a Dolby Cat548 analogue
TUBETECH SMC 2B
ANALOG STEREO
MULTIBAND COMPRESSOR
option card. This uses the same post emulation, post
bass management signals and routes them to D-A
convertors. The option also provides analogue level
control, muting and level trims before the balanced
outputs presented in familiar Tascam pin outs on a
25 -pin D -sub connector. A stereo solo input and
Left only, Right only and mono outputs aid integration with existing monitoring arrangements.
Three serial ports allow for two input and one output metadata streams. Two further serial ports, one
on the front, one on the rear deal with remote control and a 10baseT networking socket is for future
development. Thirty-two presets store complete
setups for future use.
The key to success is not simply what the DP570
does but how it can be controlled and integrated
into production, mastering and broadcast environments. There are several methods of controlling the
unit; from the front panel keys and indicators, a
dedicated hardware remote, via a (supplied) PC
application and crucially, serial and GPIO connec-
The TUBE -TECH SMC 2B is an all tube based stereo
multiband opto compressor. It features variable x -over
frequencies between the three bands. Each band features
separate ratio, threshold, attack, release and gaincontrol.
A master balance and output gain controls the overall level.
World wide representation:
Austria: (02)9975 1211 Belgium: (09)236 3718 Brazil: (011)604 8339 Czech republic: (0455)631 555
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tions and protocols which enable the unit to directly
interface with mixing console control systems. With
well thought out installation this will allow a sound
balancer to audition the effects of metadata decisions on a variety of monitoring systems simply by
using keys on the console surface. Without making
life impossibly complicated. In fact, the unit provides many functions normally in the province of a
monitoring controller.
While it is perfectly possible to use the front panel
controls to access most functions of the unit, Dolby
makes the point that it is far more conveniently
operated with the remote control software or from
a console surface. For live work it is likely to be
impractical to routinely change parameters during
a performance and it is here that tried and tested
preset setups will be invaluable. Empiricism still has
its place.
The DP570 is well thought-out and, in a carefully considered installation, will make the task of
setting metadata parameters a great deal easier. It will
also play a significant role in demystifying the
process and help banish the suspicion of witchcraft.
Anyone involved in multichannel content creation,
mastering or live broadcast is likely to find the
DP570 indispensable.
Contact:
Dolby Laboratories. USA.
Tel: +1 415 558 0200. Fax:
Email: info@dolby.corn
+1
415 863 1373.
Net: www.dolby.com
20
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
TOP PERFORMANCE
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The Dream ADA -8:
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Sampling rates from 32k to 96k including
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Built-in 4 -curve Prism Sound SNS noise shaping
Two
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8 -channel
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Separate digital and analogue stereo
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Built-in monitor mixer
Simultaneous
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1
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AES
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Exploit existing 16 -bit MDM's for 24/96 projects
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Prism Sound ADA -8
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Steve Power
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REVIEW
Gaylor Design The Whizzer
Bringing comprehensive control of tapeless recorders to SSL console operators,
The Whizzer is worthy of its name, as
George Shilling demonstrates
as an either -polarity power input, and a thermal -
N RECENT YEARS, more projects have dis-
reset internal fuse. A gold-plated balanced jack
pensed with the reel-to-reel multitrack, leaving
SSL users with a blank reel of tape striped with
time code acting as the master machine in order
to run computer, hard disk or MDM audio in con-
socket supplies linear time code at -10dBu which is
connected to the SSL's reader input and any device
that chases time code. Alternatively, the MIDI Out
socket outputs MTC exactly the same as the LTC
output, with a processor delay of only 4ps. Default
mode sends MMC Record keystrokes only and
MTC. Full MMC commands are also available. All
front panel toggles are wired to a 9 -pin D -connector
junction with the SSL computer. This ludicrous
situation results in the loss of much of the benefit of
a tapeless system-you wait for the (blank) multitrack to rewind, instead of getting on with the
business of mixing. As far as I am aware, the Whizzer
is the only unit currently available specifically
designed to tackle this problem.
The earliest Whizzer-described as a `virtual tape
machine', as its chief task is to fool the SSL computer into thinking that a real machine is attached
-was developed by Brian Gaylor in about 1996
during his tenure as Technical Manager at London's
Roundhouse Studios for the benefit of Atari 1040ST
users. And with Pro Tools and RADAR becoming
more prevalent, the need for such a device is greater
than ever.
The command to play mix automation data on an
SSL E or G -series console is inextricably linked with
location commands. And a successful location operation is dependent on the desk receiving tach pulses,
time code and direction information from a multitrack recorder. With the expensive Motionworker
machine control system no longer available, SSL
introduced a virtual machine solution for J -series
desks, however this will not varispeed.
The Whizzer comes as a 1U -high box, although
behind the front panel the actual case is significantly
narrower than lU and the front to back depth fairly shallow. The front includes a number of latching
and momentary toggles, plus some status LEDS.
A 25 -pin D -connector is wired to connect directly to
the SSL's S29E connector found underneath the
patchbay on SSL desks. Communication between
the Whizzer and the SSL is handled via this connection: the SSL receives tach pulses and direction
information, issues switch commands and receives
back 24V tallies to light the appropriate SSL transport buttons in the centre section of the desk. A
24V external power supply is provided; Gaylor's
maintenance background has led to such features
22
within seconds to an incredibly fast
wind speed-approximately 100x
play. This speed is not reached
instantly, some speeding up and slowing down occurs if direction is
changed, giving the feel of a tape
machine with incredibly responsive
ballistics. Alternatively, with the FastSlow toggle set to Slow, the unit
behaves more like a conventional tape
machine, winding at approximately
15x play. This is roughly comparable
to a Studer multitrack, and enables old-fashioned
`to-ing and fro-ing' with the buttons to locate a spot.
Furthermore, this `normal' wind speed is also achievable in Fast mode by holding down either fast wind
button. SSL locates were initially not very accurate
when using the recommended settings, but I soon
achieved times within 10 frames by setting
Autolocate Type '2' rather than the recommended '3'
on the SSL menu (The manual has now been updated). Burst mode plays six frames of time code after
MTC
OFF
TIMECODE
MMC
ON
DROP FRAME
TRANSPORT
BURST
30
I
EXT VIDEO
allowing the wiring of any switch to appear as a
button on the centre section of the desk. There is a
BNC for external video sync: the format is auto detected when activated by the front panel toggle.
The Whizzer can also then be used as a frame rate
convertor, as it will output a different frame rate
from the incoming signal. Via the toggles, 25fps,
30fps and 30fps drop frame can be chosen, all of
which are very accurate, running from a microprocessor governed by a crystal.
Setting up the unit is straightforward: all front
panel toggle switches are in their default position
when switched down. On the SSL computer a new
Master Tape Machine must be created, and a recommended list of parameters entered from the
Whizzer manual. Within a couple of minutes I was
up and `whizzing' on a G+ desk at Roundhouse
Studios. When locating, the Tach LED on the front of
the Whizzer flashes as the virtual tape speeds up
VARISPEED
SPEED
ON UP ON
SLOW
a locate for the benefit
of MDMs.
Varispeed range is about ±30%. There is no visual indication, however exact settings can be achieved
in a repeatable manner by referring to the manual
and flicking the momentary Up -Down toggles the
required number of times. For coarse adjustment
these can be held to rapidly change the speed setting.
In tests running LTC to a MotU Timepiece with Pro
Tools I was able to achieve over ±8% varispeed
before lock was lost.
SSL operators will love this box: it does exactly what
t is supposed to, transparently and reliably. Bottom
line? All SSL owners need one of these. Now!
Contact:
Gaylor Design,
UK.
Tel: +44 7801 693061.
Email: bran@gaylorb.freeserve.co.uk
Net: www.gaylordesign.co.uk
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
INPUT
8C-
LF.
Hz
PHANTOM
PHANTOM
(DULLON)
(PULLON)
J
`
V
-10
40 Hz
ATTENUATE
EQ OUT
+10
DIRECT
INPUT
-10
-_(("\I
/
+10
8
KHz
t
DUAL VOCAL COMBO
rt'".
-
v.
((.3:*
40 Hz
-10
METER
OUTPUT
NETER
OUTPUT
TT
REDUCTION
SEP
e
LINK
UMBER
REDUCTION
REDUCTION
_114,CM
COMBO
VOCAL
DUAL
ELOP LIMITER
STEREO MICPRE
DI
By
EQ
MANLEY LABORATORIES, INC.
The Langevin Dual Vocal Combo is a 2 channel microphone
preamplifier with 2 shelf equalizers plus 2 channels of
electro -optical limiters. Full -on STEREO, baby!
This combo is the result of suggestions from our
customers to combine two of our most popular Langevin
products and make the price irresistible, half the price of
the Voxbox in fact, for 2 channels of great sounding all discrete channel strips. Sound interesting?
The PVC includes real VJ meters, individual phantom power,
limiter linking, and time proven circuitry. This is an ideal box
for musicians and engileers on a budget and is equally at
home in a big league studio, mobile recording truck, or live
gig. It has the reliablity, functionality, and the sound
without the any of the complexity- the essential features
without the "sea of knobs" Easy on the wallet, easy to love.
Built with precision and pride by:
Manley Laboratories, Inc.
'3880 Magnolia Ave. Chino, CA. 91710 USA
tel: (909) 627-4256 fax: (909) 628-2482
Call
'or our new 2001 pro gear catalog!
POWER
OFF
www.rnanleylabs.com
80 Hz
ON
L.F.
EQ IN
(PULLON)
(e
+10
EQ OUT
REDUCTION
Tti
-10
+10
DUAL VOCAL COMBO
(l
40 Hz
-10
METER
OUTPUT
METER
OUTPUT
SEP
REDUCTION
)
+10
EQ OUT
REDUCTION
12 KHz
H.F.
PHANTOM
\Ks./
-10
\
GRIN
+10
1,
INPUT
);
1
8 KHz
IN
LINK
REDUCTION
TO IN,
L.F.
80 Hz
12 KHz
H.F.
EQ IN
BYPASS
ATTENUATE
DIRECT
INPUT
+10
EQ OUT
-10
REVIEW
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Yamaha DM2000
Developed for the production market, Yamaha's DM2000
digital console will ship in the first quarter of 2002 for
around £14,500 (UK). The digital console offers 96 input
channels at 24-96, extensive surround production
features, and integrated digital audio workstation and Pro
Tools cortrol. Providing more than nine times the
processirg power of the 02R, no loss of channels while
in 24-96 mode is attributed to the use of DSP7 LSIs with
32 -bit (accumulator 58 -bit) internal processing.
Yamaha has included a range of 96kHz-compatible
stereo effects, many that are specifically designed for
surround mixing, and the user can manipulate up to
eight internal multi -effects processors simultaneously.
24
Weiss DAC1
With the tip of the top -end in its sights, Daniel Weiss' new digital-to -analogue
convertor offers no compromises.
Dave Foister counts the bits
NAME you find in top -end digital rooms and nowhere else it's Daniel Weiss. When
digital EQ was viewed by many with suspicion,
F THERE'S ONE
Weiss' was the exception, and the versatility, performance and repeatability of Weiss designs has made
them standard equipment in mastering and elsewhere.
Now the processing units are joined by a reference digitalto-analogue convertor which has a place in mastering and
duplication facilities as well as studio control rooms.
Sporting the Gambit badge common to the familiar processors, the DAC1 shares their laboratory styling
and simplicity. Virtually everything you need to know
about what it does can be gleaned from the few front
panel controls, which are neatly and clearly laid out
but have something of a home-built look about them.
The back is more densely populated than the front,
since,it has no less than three AES-EBU inputs with
associated loop -through output connectors. The total
of four inputs is completed by an optical SPDIF terminal with no corresponding output. Digital signals at
sampling rates of up to 96kHz are automatically recognised, and LEDs on the front indicate not only the
frequency of the selected input but its bit depth as well,
a useful check in case you've forgotten to dither something down for a 16 -bit medium.
The DAC1 is software based, allowing Weiss to con-
tinue to upgrade the features and performance. The
current version runs everything at double sampling
rates, using upsampling in DSP to multiply the standard base rates to 88.2kHz or 96kHz before hitting
the convertors themselves. A development in the pipeline
will accept 192kHz signals, using Inputs 1 & 2 in a
two -wire configuration.
Currently the unit will provide a master word clock
if required. For this it has to be switched to Master
mode, and the sample rate selected with the input buttons. However, as part of a policy of continuous
improvement, Weiss is actually going to take this feature
out, as the jitter rejection of the convertors is claimed to
be so good that it makes no difference to the quality of
the output whether the DAC1 is slaved to a less -than perfect input signal or holding everything together with
a precise reference. Since it never tries to mix sources, but
locks to the selected input, this is all that is needed.
Several re -clocking schemes are used to achieve this,
and it's claimed to be virtually immune to jitter frequencies from a fraction of a Hz to tens of kHz.
The inputs are switched with simple illuminated push-
buttons, and the output thoughtfully mutes for a few
seconds (perhaps a few too many some might say) while
the new input is accepted and synchronised. It is then fed
to a conversion circuit that, like the companion ADC1,
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER 2001
REVIEW
uses two convertors per channel; the correlation technique is intended to give superior signal-to-noise and
distortion figures. The analogue output stage is a discrete
class -A circuit designed with a very high drive capability, almost zero output impedance, and no -compromise
audiophile performance that is quoted as going all the
can't wait for a commercially-available remote, or who
want to build its functions into a custom desk, full
technical details of the remote pin -outs are given in
the manual.
If you've used outboard D-As you'll be familiar with
the kind of difference they can make to the performance
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
The board employs 25 100mm touch -sensitive faders
to access the four layers and surround features
include panning, joystick, monitoring, bass
management, and a downmix matrix. The work surface
houses 16 user-defined keys which can be assigned
to such things as monitor switching. All available
inputs, outputs, effects and channel inserts can be
assigned to any console channel or output via a
versatile patching system. A direct out function
enables signal from any of the 96 -input channels to be
routed directly to any digital or analogue output.
A 22 x 8 (4 -stereo) matrix system is included while a
way down to DC. The output level from this stage is
adjustable by means of screwdriver multiturn pots on the
front panel, up to a maximum of +27dBu.
With an eye to the kind of installations that might
make best use of the facilities the DAC1 has to offer,
there is a remote control connector on the back that can
be used to integrate the front panel functions into a
central monitoring console, adding features not found
on the unit itself. Weiss is considering making a dedi-
cated remote available, although there is nothing
currently on offer apart from a very home -built demo
remote that was supplied to me to show what could be
done. Connections for source select switches and mimic
LED feeds are provided on the connector, but the big
bonus is the facility to strap a straightforward analogue fader across the appropriate pins to control level.
The demo unit had a simple rotary control for this
function, which is carried out in the digital domain
complete with the necessary dither, and it was remarkably smooth and natural in operation. For those who
of even quite decent professional gear. Any expectations
that a Weiss D-A would do this and more are emphatically confirmed by its sonic behaviour, with the kind of
clarity that should be mandatory listening for those who
underestimate the effects of jitter There's no question that
the performance of both digital and analogue elements
in the DAC1's signal path warrants its description as a
reference convertor, and its ability to get the best out
of disparate sources makes it an ideal component in a
multi-machine monitoring system. An electrical SPDIF
input would have been a useful addition-perhaps more
so than the optical connector provided-but otherwise
this is a very complete and useful box.
Contact:
Weiss Engineering. Switzerland.
Tel: +41
Fax: +41
940 2006.
940 2214.
Net: www.weiss.ch
1
1
patching system enables the 24 buses to be assigned to
any output connector. The desk has six mini-YGDAI
slots for -O option cards and two desks can be
cascaded together.
Yamaha, UK. Tel: +44 1908 366700.
I
7 enhanced
its new Radio -Assist 7 range, Netia has designed a
database which can be fully customised for each user
group or sub-group. This system implies powerful
filtering management in a single database. 'Multi -Radio'
being the objective, Radio -Assist 7 can handle several
different groups of broadcasting stations.
Radio -Assist 7 provides new tab management functions
and enables each personal work space to be entirely
customised. Users enter their name and password to
gain automatic access to the functions they require.
With dynamic tabs, each department can have direct
and sole access to its own files.
Netia, France. Tel: +33 4 67 59 08 07.
Radio -Assist
In
aninnoramonsaglall
Genelec S3OD and 2029B - the two Digital Monitoring Systems
which match the sophistication and performance of the finest digital
studio equipment, combined with an unparallelled ease of use.
When you need a powerful full bandwidth nearfield monitor
from 35 Hz to 50 kHz, then your choice is the S30D,
and for precision closefield monitoring, the 2029B is the one.
With both you have 96 kHz/24 Bit digital interface with
AES/EBU connectors. And analog as well, of course.
Activate yourself and visit our website: www.genelec.com
to learn more about about your digital future.
GENELEC°
ACTIVE MONITORING
www.genelec.com
The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth
International enquiries: Genelec Oy,Olvitie 5,FIN-74100, lisalmi, Finland, Phone +358-17-83881, Fax +358-17-812267
In
the U.S. please contact Genelec, Inc.,
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
7 Tech
Circle, Natick, MA 01760 Phone 508/652-0900, Fax 508/652-0909, Web: www.genelec.com
25
REVIEW
Sony Oxford EQ plug-in
Offering the equalisation of Sony's prestige Oxford console as a plug-in is as bold a move for
Rob James
Sony as it is an endorsement for the Pro Tools platform.
THE SONY OXFORD GROUP has built itself
an enviable reputation. The OXF-R3 console
has a loyal following and the DMX R-100 is
widely regarded as one of the best sounding,
affordable digital consoles going. EQ has played a not
inconsiderable part in this success. Now, the same
algorithms have been packaged as plug -ins though at
present these are only available for Pro Tools on the
TDM Mac platform. But plug -ins are crucial; without
them, Pro Tools and it's ilk would
not have become ubiquitous.
Hardware DAW manufacturers
dency providing a soft and gentle response. Graphically
there is a strong resemblance to the OXF-R3 with substantially the same layout and controls.
In these types, when top and bottom EQ bands are
switched to shelving, the Q control controls the degree
of `overshoot'. This produces similar complex interactions to classic Neve, later SSL G -series and other
EQs where boosting one frequency also cuts another.
This sounds `natural' to our ears.
When
purchased, the
GML8200 option appears as the
fifth EQ `type' and emulates the
GML8200 outboard unit but with
a full 20dB of boost and cut. The
Oxford filter sections may be run
at the same time if required.
The OXF-R3 uses 32 -bit,
fixed-point proprietary processors while the DMX R-100 uses
32 -bit float SHARCs and Pro
Tools currently uses Motorola
56k processors. Regardless of
obviously agree, since several have
been working hard to incorporate them in their products.
Breaking the Oxford EQ out
into a plug-in is something of a
departure for a console manu-
EQIJAUSER:6FtLTERs
facturer, and the marketing
channel chosen is equally adventurous-they are only available
direct from Sony via the
Internet. There will be no dealers, no CDs, no printed manuals
and no trial versions.
I am not a huge fan of this
method of distribution although
I can appreciate it keeps costs
down. On the plus side, Sony's e -commerce system
seems well sorted and very fast. I think there is
another question of speed. By circumventing the conventional production and marketing chain the product
is probably available months earlier than would otherwise be the case.
Once Sony has contact details and a credit card
number, a version of the product is `built' for the individual customer to download using a temporary 'pass
number'. This is all part of stringent anti -piracy measures Sony feels it necessary to employ to combat
rampant plug-in piracy. Once downloaded and
installed, Pace Interlok software generates a unique
`challenge' code. The plug-in will work for 30 days.
Thereafter it is deactivated until the correct `response'
code is entered. Sony will provide this once payment
is cleared. I have had trouble with this style of copy protection before, but this time the only irritation was
changing the order of a couple of system extensions.
A new license will be required if the hard drive is
replaced or the system hardware altered but Sony
assures me they will make this as painless as possible.
The EQ is 5 -band parametric with separate filter
section providing variable slope (6dB-36dB in 6dB
steps) low- and high-pass. Four types of EQ are supplied with the option of a fifth at extra cost.
Type 1 has minimal gain -Q dependency and so
remains precise and well defined with small amounts
of boost or cut. Type 2 is identical when boosting but
uses constant Q when cutting, useful for removing resonances while applying a more subtle boost to fill
other areas. Type 3 has moderate dependency between
gain and Q. The more gain is changed, the higher the
Q. This is reminiscent of the behaviour of classic Neve
designs. Type 4 uses a greater degree of gain -Q depen-
26
weighs it up
these inconsistencies, Sony insists
there has been no compromise in
porting the DSP code between
platforms. Controls are fully
interpolated with all coefficients
calculated `on -the -fly'. In plain
English this means no zipper noise when twiddling the
virtual knobs and a consistent response. Such purism
has a down side. Two 5 -band EQs with filters use one
DSP chip on a Mix Plus card. This is a whole lot greedier than DigiRack or similar EQs but you don't get
anything for nothing and a quick listen will leave no
doubt as to why the Sony EQ uses more processing. I
had hoped to do a direct comparison with a DMX
R-100 but this was not to be. From memory, the plug ins sound every bit as good with more options.
EQ is a deeply personal thing. Different types suit
different people and applications. Whilst I love the
surgical precision of many digital EQs for their power
and lack of coloration, I often miss the more subtle
shades obtainable from the best analogue EQs. With
this plug-in Sony manages to evoke a similar emotional response. You can warm things up, or cool them
down in a highly musical and satisfying manner. When
something more drastic is called for there is plenty of
range but the Q could do with being higher for really
tight clean up work.
If the asking price seems a little high, compare with
the hardware equivalents. I have always considered
excellent EQ to be beyond price and the Sony offering
is well into this category. No amount of flashy effects
are a substitute for really good EQ and this plug-in
will lift the game of any recording. For mastering in Pro
Tools, it borders on essential.
Contact:
Sony BPE,
UK.
Tel: +44 256 355011
Fax: +44 1256 474585.
Net: www.sonyproaudio.com
1
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Stereo direct box
New from Whirlwind, the pcDl is designed to interface
unbalanced stereo sources with professional balanced
low impedance equipment. Signals can be routed with
one 3.5mm mini TRS stereo jack, or two sets of
colour-coded RCA type phono input and through jacks.
Output is via corresponding colour coded XLRs. Each
section features a ground lift switch to help eliminate
hum, and a 20dB pad switch for connecting to hot signals.
Selectron, UK. Tel: + 44 1634 840500.
Cat5 extension
Computer peripheral extension is what Gefen's ex -tend -it
suite of Cat5 extenders is all about. Latest additions are
the CAT5-1000 and CAT5-5000. CAT5-1000 is a compact
cross -platform KVM extension enabling VGA analogue
displays and USB peripherals to be placed up to 330ft
from the computer while the CAT5-5000 is a cross -platform
KVM extension that extends two monitors in addition to
USB peripherals. Each monitor has the ability to be placed
either locally or remotely with one output for each.
All of Gefen's Cat5 ex -tend -it products have built-in
rackmount enclosures and are equipped with Cat5 cable
connections. Options include the RMT-16 remote control
unit and front panel buttons that allow the user to switch
and assign computers to a specific workstation.
Gefen, US. Tel: +1 818 884 6294.
Studio sync generator
Lucid has introduced the GENx6-96 studio sync
generator, an extremely low jitter clock source outputting
word clock or Digidesign's superclock format. The
GENx6-96 generates clock frequencies of 44.1, 48kHz,
88.2kHz, and 96kHz. All six BNC clock outputs have
corresponding front panel switches to select word or
super on a per output basis. It can reference an
incoming word, superclock, or AES sync signal via
selectable AES and BNC inputs. It also functions as a
simple 1x6 clock distribution amplifier if desired.
Lucid, US. Tel: +1 425 742 1518.
Panasonic DVD burner
Panasonic's DVD Burner can burn write -once DVD-Rs
which can be played on standard DVD-Video players and
DVD-ROM drives and can also bum DVD-RAM media
DVD-RAM/R DRIVE
with
a rewritability of 100,000 cycles and fast access.
This combination of features combined with CD variant
playback compatibility and a highly attractive price make
the drive an interesting proposition for desk top systems.
The LF-D311 drive can read and write to 4.7GB DVD-R,
4.7(9.4)GB DVD-RAM and even older 2.6GB DVD-RAM
discs. For 4.7GB media DVD-R media transfer rate is
11.08Mbs with twice this attainable with DVD-RAM. The
latter hits an average seek time of 75ms, the former 65ms.
The internal drive is relatively easy to install and works
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
00X3216. The world's first digital mixer with analog feel
ANALOG
32 full-fledged channels 16 busses intuitive operation 8 aux sends 4 ground -breaking effects processors your dream machine
4-band parametric EQ, compressor, gate on all 32 channels 12 high -end INVISIBLE MIC PREAMPS NOW SHIPPING full static and dy
dynamic automation 100mm moving ALPS faders 5 years of development internal digital patchbay unlimited internal dynamics 1
lips powered by 4 SHARD' DSP's ultra -high resolution 24 -bit AKM /CRYSTALSi converters unlimited connectivity 2 card slots for T
free Windows editor software £1.258 MSRP* BEHRINGER did it again 32 full-fledged channels 1
for TDIF, ADAT' and AES/EBU
on
www. ddx3276 . corn
Asia +65 542 9313
Canada +1 902 860 2677
Europe +49 2154 920 666
Japan +81
3
528 228 95
USA +1 425 672 0816
JUST LISTEN.
REVIEW
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
reliably and consistently and comes bundled with
software that includes Ventas Primo DVD for burning
DVD-R, Sonic DVDIt! for DVD Video authoring,
Cyberlink PowerDVD for DVD Video playback and
Cyberlink PowerVCR II SE for TV and video capture.
Price is £399 inc VAT (UK).
Panasonic, UK. Tel: +44 845 600 3535.
Eventide eclipse
Industry standards can be a blessing and a curse as Eventide has found in trying to
supersede its H3000 Harmonizer.
H3000 IS STILL AVAILABLE after many
THE
years of remarkable service. And it's still popular with audio engineers, despite numerous
attempts by Eventide to introduce a `better'
Signal processing from ADC
ADC's NV500 Series signal processing equipment
comprises 10 modules, including a variety of AES,
analogue, video, SDI, plus HD -SDI distribution and
processing modules. The DA processing platform
provides support for the requirements of today and
tomorrow via a series of AES3, SDI and HD -SDI -DAs,
plus others to be added in the future. The NV500 2U
tray accommodates front-loading, slide -in card slots for
up to 10 distribution amp and -or processing modules,
many of which offer dual -channel modes. Three rear module connector types are offered: BNC for digital video
SDI and HD -SDI, BNC for AES digital audio, and Phoenix
for AES digital audio. ADC's NV500 Series signal
processing equipment comprises 10 modules, including a
variety of AES, analogue, video, SDI, plus HD -SDI
distribution and processing modules.
ADC, UK. Tel: +44 117 987 3306.
model-witness the DSP4000, DSP7000 and Orville.
Despite the technical superiority of these newcomers,
--__
i
EC
4,SE
Creative has made a move on the higher end of the
market with the introduction of its Sound Blaster
Audigy line of PC audio cards with 24-96 capability.
The range includes three models with steps up in
w
)hrEt Fai 341
1
Wm
N
The main display is exceptionally clear with a bright
green dot matrix on a dark background; the display
can be set to dim automatically after a preset time. Four
softkeys appear beneath the screen, and onscreen to the
right of their labels there often appears a page number
to indicate clearly that additional settings are available.
7- ooaoa
MM
LEVEL
1«NM
Pitch:
(
AELXY
f
600 Y1t5
t
vea«
COMM
hp.
CHOICE
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®
OODOM ammuir
. s,...
there is something more immediate and bullet-proof
about the friendly H3000. Perhaps with the Eclipse,
Eventide hopes to finally, err, eclipse its old workhorse.
In half the rack space, Eventide has managed to pack
in five times the processing power of an H3000D/SE,
along with 24-bit/96kHz capability, all for several hundred pounds less. It's pedigree is unmistakable, the thick
and robust, yet elegantly -finished front panel bears many
features obviously derived from previous models. An
astonishing array of connections is crammed onto the
back panel: analogue jacks and XLRs, optical SPDIF
or ADAT, phono SPDIF, XLR AES-EBU, word clock
in and out BNCs, two footswitches, RS232 and full
MIDI are all provided.
I/re
New Creative card
George Shilling evaluates its latest bid
QUALITY
VALUE
RELIABILITY
Made by professionals...
for professionals
-
,
or
The LED level meters are accompanied by a LEVELS key
which accesses many related options, including fine
adjustment of inputs and outputs and myriad metering
options. LEDs indicate the sample rate.
This was initially set to 48kHz so obviously I was
itching to switch it to 88.2kHz or 96kHz. I pressed the
SETUP key and found my way to the Dig In Clock setting, but I found only 44.1, 48 or External. Resorting
to the manual I discovered that it wouldn't switch if
one of the non -96 -compatible programs was loaded.
Some programs feature versions for high and standard sample rates, some others work only at rates
above 50kHz and have a little '96' by their name.
There is a `splat' on the output when the rate (or dig -
you're seeking versatility and
flexibility, look no further than the
M&M Flexi-patch.
Mosses & Mitchell are highly
specialist in the manufacture and
distribution of equipment to the
broadcast and studio industries.
We are committed to delivering a
choice of innovative, reliable, user
friendly, high quality, cost effective
solutions to these industries,
without ever compromising service
It
or quality.
Flexì-patch Jackfields -- Features
Prewired to simplify installation
Connectorised to speed up
installation/removal
Easily configured/reconfigured
for full normalled. half normalled
or no-normalled or combinations
of each
- Earth
linking or bussing available
to chassis or isolated earth
MOSSES& MITCHELL
MOSSES _::MITCHELL
832 Yeovil Road Slough
Berkshire SL1 4JD
Tel: 01753 637900
Fax: 01753 637901
E-mail: mamsales@arlen.co.uk
Website: www.mosses-mdchell.com
28
FLEXI-PATCH
Flexible Patchbay
-
Suitable for use with analogue of
digital audio
Available equal space or
stereo spaced
Available in lu 1.5u or 2u
- Cross talk measurements outperform conventional wired fields
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
REVIEW
ital source) is switched. Pressing the PROGRAMS button
allows you to scroll through the programs with the
knob. However, a marvellous innovation is the categorising of effects, so you can sort Programs by effect
e, (Reverb, Pitch...), Source they were designed for
(
cals, drums...), a combination of the two, or User
G oups for saved programs. And Programs can be
li ed numerically or alphabetically. This is an immense
help when you know vaguely what you are looking for,
unlike the rather hit-and-miss techniques required for
previous Harmonizers, and is better executed here
than similar ideas on rival units. The HOTmEYs button brings up the essential adjustments for the
currently loaded program. These can be user re-
defined, and consist of two pages (up to eight
parameters). PARAMETERS takes you deeper, with access
to the routeing of the two effects blocks and more
ex ert adjustments. The keypad enables direct entry
of Program numbers and parameters as an alternativ to scrolling with the knob, and a useful flashing
T button works much like those found on rival manu cturers' units for setting delays and so on.
The card slot is for Compact Flash cards to store
programs (although plenty can be stored internally)better than the harder to find PCMCIA card format
used previously. The H3000's confusing LINE IN button
has been replaced by a configurable BYPASS.
Each Program can use two FX Blocks which each use
one of 90 algorithms, routed in parallel or series. Each
parameter can be modulated by setting a modulation
source such as an internal LFO or ADSR or an external MIDI control. Some parameters are linked or include
further options on the same key, and the display indicares this with graphic clues. Despite a Global setting
for FX mix which was set to 100%, a number of pre-
sets are internally set to a 50% mix which is slightly confusing and irritating. However, the 200 or so Programs
are excellent, with a number of the best ones trans-
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
planted from the H3000 and DSP4000 series units.
The effects are impressive, with clarity, roundness,
smoothness and depth of character. Pitch changing is
unsurprisingly the area in which Eventide excels, but
there are plenty of unusual delay effects and some very
good sounding reverbs, although these sometimes have
unusual parameters, (what exactly is Glide?) But all
those super flanger effects are there, along with some
mad filtering and tremolo Programs. Many clever combinations are provided, including some very effective
fuzz and distortion.
The manual is, unfortunately, true to usual Eventide
form: the pages fell out of the binder, it is poorly printed and more akin to a workshop manual than
something for the average sound engineer. Even the
Quickstart section includes unnecessary waffle,
although thankfully I didn't seem to receive the
Algorithms manual.
As a main studio effects unit, I suspect that most
will go for a more meat -and -potatoes reverborientated unit before splashing out on such luxuries
as a fairy-dust Harmonizer, and Pro Tools users might
be content with plug -ins. However, if you like previous
Eventides, you will love this-it sounds great, the
search feature is excellent, and contains some unique
and beautiful effects.
Contact:
Eventide,
US.
Tel: +1 201 641 1200.
Fax: +1 201 641 1640.
Net: www.eventide.com
ertraE arc features culminating in the Audigy Platinum
e3 222g tic VAT LK) which includes an external drive
fo- arniectivity and EAX Advanced HD optimised
dryer vi -h its ASIO support. This cones with dual
SF1334 connectors and a wireless ranote control
plus z acMare pacxage that adds Scn c Foundry's
AC D CJ ?..0 and (nage Line's Fruity _oops to
the basc package cf Steinberg's Cubesis VST
Ce<tve
tion, Ar-uria's Storm Platinum Edition,
()bads VijeoStudio 4.0 SE Basic, Mxv1eister
TEû-ronges' Mixlveister, Unibrain's RreNet, Vienna
SacedFon Studio 2.3 and iM Networ-cs iM Tuner.
The 7ocrd claims foc r times the procem rig power of the
previcus .:xeative audio processor and supports discrete
mal_Llamal playback.
Catie, Europe. Net: www.europe.creative.com
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STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
29
REVIEW
Genex GXA8 & GXD8
Dave Foister
WHEN SOMEONE MAKES bold claims
for elements of a system, there's often
a
feeling that they should put their
money where their mouth is and release
the elements as separate units. If a desk has preamps
the equal of esoteric outboards, let's have them as outboards as well; and if a digital recorder has convertors
as good as separate dedicated boxes then let's have
the option of using them with lesser recorders.
Euphonix did exactly this with the convertors out of
the R-1 hard -disk recorder, and now it's the turn of
Genex to give us the benefit of the GX8000 technol-
ogy to use with other MDM systems.
Hence the release of two separate 8 -channel units,
one for A-D and the other for D-A conversion. In
place of the home-grown image of early Genex prod-
MDMs, with the appropriate interface in place,
although it's a bit alarming to see these already referred
to as `legacy' in the manuals.
The A-D is the GXA8, and as well as the expected
selection of sample rate and bit depth functions, it has
features clearly designed with reference precision in
mind. These include a special metering mode where
incoming tone at one of several levels can be accurately calibrated using front -panel screwdriver presets,
and a useful ability to set how many consecutive maxima constitute an Over, again available and indicated
on the front panel. One quibble is that all the functions reset to defaults on power-up, so that
for example if you're working with 16 -bit
media you always have to remember to reset
the word length before starting work.
The complementary D-A is the GXD8,
and it looks virtually identical, except that
some of the function indicators simply show the status of the received signal rather than allowing it to
be altered. The word length indicator seemed unsure
of itself with certain signals, defiantly showing 24 bits
8 -track
when the
ucts comes a styling
reminiscent of Apogee,
with a slick panel finish
sporting contoured buttons for setting up the
source
machine
could only
have been
producing
various configuration
options. LEDs showing in the acrylic panel indicate the
status of the various functions, including the eight level
meters, and in combination with the solid edge and
rack ears the result is a sleek and expensive-looking
package. The button count is high enough to suggest
that there's more going on here than straight conversion, and the option slots on the back panel confirm
that Genex has done much more than just lift the circuits out of the recorders.
The basic units deal simply with AES-EBU on four
XLRs and analogue on eight. What's available on the
digital connectors depends on what's being converted, as the units will deal with 2 -wire or single -wire
double rates and dual- or quad -wire quadruple rates.
Obviously the existing four XLRs cannot handle eight
channels at more than single -wire, so for these modes
to be fully exploited the AES expander card must be fitted, although even then quad -wire working only allows
four channels. This is one of several options that add
to the basic usefulness of the units, and the others can
be guessed easily: direct interfaces for ADAT, TDIF
and the DAW data standard, plus an SDIF2 card. Two
slots are available in the back for these interfaces, and
the front panel decides whether it's one of these or the
standard AES-EBU inputs or outputs that are fed to or
from the convertors. The big bonus is the option of a
DSD card on either unit that can handle conversion of
the full eight channels to and from Direct Stream
Digital. DSD can also be handled via the DSD-overAES 4 -wire format, although the manual's warnings
about the possible corrupting effects of PCM error
correction on a DSD signal recorded in this way are
enough to put you off trying it. The units are
also equipped to encode and decode bit -split high resolution recordings in the PAQRAT format on 16 -bit
30
16, and only flickering the 16 -bit LED when 24 were
present. The output was unaffected though, remaining at a very high -quality throughout. The received
sample rate is shown, together with little arrows
that indicate whether the actual frequency is significantly above or below the lit value. The convertors
use two alternative internal modes to track incoming synchronising clocks, selected on the
front-Precision uses a very heavily damped phase
locked loop to seriously attenuate jitter on the source,
while the more tolerant Wide mode will accommodate greater variations in the source rate with an
inevitable trade off in jitter rejection. Even so I managed to find one signal that it didn't like at all,
refusing to lock to it without glitches and complaints,
but since this was the same one that confused the
wordlength indicators it perhaps suggests a problem in the source. As with the A-D, precise level
calibration is provided, this time on the analogue
outputs obviously.
These units between them offer a range of options
and practical solutions to compete with anything else
on the market. Audio performance is excellent in all
respects, with a quality and precision available that
allows their use as reference convertors for all kinds of
media. Genex has already cornered a little market in
the classical recording field with its recorders; these
convertors could well make them a familiar name right
across the board.
Contact:
HHb Communications, UK.
Tel: +44 20 8962 5000.
Fax: +44 20 8962 5050.
Net: www.hhb.co.uk
Lectrosonics news
The UCR301 compact receiver is compatible with all
300 Series transmitters, and provides up to 256
selectable UHF frequencies as programmed by the
dealers and -or Euro service centre to alleviate
Breaking out the convertors from its high -end digital recorders may bring British -based
Genex broader international acclaim, reckons
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
interference problems and meet licensing
requirements. A highly visible LCD provides all audio
and RF activity and adjustments, plus a RF site
scanning feature to perform radio spectrum surveys
and identify clear operating frequencies. The balanced
XLR audio output is adjustable in dB increments and
is powered by 9V battery or external DC.
The UH300D transmitter is an XLR plug -on capsule
with selectable 48V, 15V or 5V DC phantom power for
use with high -end microphones and all 300 Series
Lectrosonics receivers. Sufficient current is provided to
properly power any known electret microphone. A bias
oFF setting is also provided for use with dynamic mics
and modest line level inputs. The transmitter provides
50mW output power and up to 256 selectable UHF
frequencies. A wide input adjustment range is
combined with a high performance dual-FET input
limiter and dual LEDS allow accurate input level
adjustment and mark the onset of limiting.
The LecNet range of automatic mixers for standalone
or patch-point use with mixing desks feature a mixing
algorithm that provides seamless NOM attenuation to
eliminate feedback and background noise. The model
AM16/12 provides 16 mic-line inputs and 12
assignable line level outputs, with four outputs
switchable to mic level. The model AM8/4 provides 8
mic-line inputs with 4 assignable line level outputs. The
models AM8 and AM8TC provide 8 inputs with a
single master output and direct outputs on each
channel. All models can be mixed, matched and
stacked to accommodate large, complex system
requirements. LecNet software for Windows
operating systems is included with all models to
simplify setup, control and monitoring.
Raycom, UK. Tel: +44 1789 400600.
1
2 -inch ATR-108C
Twenty five years after it was introduced, the Ampex
ATR-102 is now available in a 2 -inch version as the
Ampex/Aria ATR-108C 16/8/2 -track convertible
recorder which can
be reconfigured
easily for 16 or
8 -tracks on 2 -inch
tape, or stereo on
-inch or 1/2 -inch.
All machines will be
supplied standard
with Aria Reference
Electronics, an
all-discrete pure
class -A package of
record -playback
electronics designed
by David Hill of
Crane Song. Heads
are Flux Magnetics
Mastering Series.
Although the basic deckplate and motors of the ATR-100
Series is sufficiently robust for 2 -inch operation,
converting to the wider tape required custom fabrication
of all tape path parts as well as upgrading reel motor
electronics and the power supply.
ATR Service Company, US: +1 717 852 7700.
1
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
REVIEW
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Tascam CD-RW4U
Serial digital analyser
is described as a
'Swiss army knife' for digital
The SDA1
Bridging the gap between the standalone and the integrated PC drive, Tascam
is
the first to go USB with a CD-R/RW.
Zenon Schoepe
NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, in the time
well before the advent of a CD-R/RW drive
in absolutely every off-the -shelf PC in existence, I spied the inclusion of a SCSI port on
the back of an early Marantz CD-R machine and had
to have its presence explained to me. Apparently computer users would be able to employ the drive not
investigates
just for audio but for plain old data storage
purposes as well. I couldn't see the point of it at the
time but since then all standalone audio CD -R
machines have been devoid of any interconnectivity to
the PC world. That is until the Tascam CD-RW4U.
This little box is unique to the standalone recorder
market in having a USB port on the back together
with the software that
will install it on Mac or
PC. I'll not concentrate
on this aspect but it will
appeal to those who
want to bolt such a
machine to their systems. However, for
those who don't, the
CD-RW4U defaults
to `audio' mode as
.:j !r
....
oeannn
.:'!
`!
1:
opposed to USB mode
and can consequently
be treated just like
any other standalone
recorder.
0
®camrvm earuerear.
,..
CO REWRITABLE RECO R ER
Now it's a fine
looking machine as
most things can if they
1
audio. Visual indication is
provided to indicate sample
rate, line errors and channel
status. The three output BNC
connectors when connected to
an oscilloscope will allow
further investigation of data
word length, eye pattern, and
jitter. Word clock output is also
possible from the incoming AES/SPDIF signal.
The hand-held battery device will accept sample rates up
to 96KHz at 24 bits and will allow monitoring via headphones
or internal loudspeaker of the incoming AES or SPDIF
signals. The analyser can also edit and retransmit
channel status bits to establish a temporary working
connection between two devices.
ADT, UK. Tel: +44 20 8977 4546.
New software for tc's 6000
Release 1.30 for tc's System 6000 includes multiple Icons
controlling one or more M6000s. Up to eight Icons can
control the same or several mainframes. The Icons will
update each other constantly but different engines can be
controlled individually from each Icon. SMPTE time code
automation is enabled and by having the automation
generated from the Icon, one common cue -list can be
shared across several mainframes. A new algorithm,
BackDrop, incorporates an ear model, taking human
perception into account to combat artefacts found in other
THE ULTIMATE
AUDIO INTERFACE
With 24 -bit analogue inputs, sampling rates up to 200kHz, a low -jitter PLL sample clock and
of three multichannel analogue configurations, the new LynxTWO audio interface rivals the
a
choice
performance of many of the world's most desirable standalone converters. And with a list of
features that includes AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital I/0, expansion modules for ADAT and TDIF
support, powerful synchronization and timecode facilities plus an on -board digital mixer, you'll
find its surprisingly low price tag equally attractive.
Unusually, the LynxTWO is the product of
dedicated, visionary hardware and software
engineers working together, not the wishful thinking of
some marketing department. So you can count on
exceptional compatibility with all major Mac and
Windows -based audio and video applications.
For full details of the ultimate PCI audio interface card and
a list of dealers, contact HHB or visit hhb.co.uk
Also available: LynxONE 2-channel audio interface card
FIRST WE LISTEN
All trademarks recognised as the property of the.i respective owners
Exclusively distributed by: HHB Communications Ltd
HHB Communications USA Inc
Manufactured in the USA by
Lynx Studio Technology, Inc. www.lynxstudio.com
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
HHB Communications Canada Ltd
.
T:
.
T.
T.
020 8962 5000 E: sales@hhb.co.uk
.
310 319 1111
.
E:
sales@hhbusa.com
416 867 9000 E: sales@hhbcanada.com
www.hhb.co.uk
31
REVIEW
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
equipment for this application. There is also a new
algorithm improvement for the VSS-5.1 Reverb. The
multidirectional rendering model has controls to
discriminate between angles of arrival as well as a balance
control between early and higher order reflections.
The SP -1 Surround Sound Panner Joystick for System
6000 is now shipping. It is designed to compliment tc's
future generations of interactive multichannel algorithms and
parameters as an option to the existing virtual joystick on
System 6000's Icon touch screen remote control surface.
The SP -1 features Learn and Grab program modes and is
also a general purpose device capable of controlling features
and parameters within several System 6000 algorithms.
tc electronic, Denmark. Tel: +45 87427113.
Pure mics
Pure Distribution has introduced the XIX range of studio
microphones with the Pure 1 and Pure Valve models. The
former is a large diaphragm condenser supplied complete
are free of the constraints of the 19 -inch rack format.
We're majoring on the brushed stainless steel plastic look here right down to the chunky leading edge
of the drive door which opens to prove that it is
just as flimsy as any drive you will find in a PC.
Control layout is fairly simple with a shallow menu
and a push -to -make parameter, value and track
increment -decrement dial. Larger buttons control
PLAY -PAUSE, RECORD and STOP with small ones doing
for MENU SELECTION, FINALISE, SYNC RECORD and
INPUT SELECT which chooses between the phono analogue and coaxial digital inputs. The same flavours
are available as outputs and 20 -bit convertors are
used at both ends.
Tiny pots control analogue input level (there's no
balance control) and the headphones output level. A
infra -red remote is provided which adds the CD-RW
functionality, accesses program and repeat play modes
and tracks directly, activates the 4s record mute, and
instigates fade in and fade out.
Menu parameters include auto track increment-
(£129 inc VAT
UK), the latter
ing, threshold level, SCMS status, and fade times (up
to 24s!). Unusually there's a power save function that
powers down to a standby mode following five minutes of inactivity. It's commendable and the CD-RW4U
is the first piece of audio gear that I have checked out
that has this planet -friendly feature. Expect to see
many more implementations of this principle in these
is a large
increasingly energy conscious times. Full marks
diaphragm
to Tascam.
There really is very little more to say about this
machine's feature set. As a new release it lacks CDText, which is not an enormous drawback, and I
shudder to think how it would have been implemented
on this compact little unit. The display is adequatel
with a
shockmount
and aluminium
flightcase
valve
microphone
supplied with power supply, shockmount and aluminium
flightcase at £399 including VAT (UK).
Pure, UK. Tel: +44 20 7328 0660.
le>
informative and no smaller than that found on full
size machines but contains fewer icons as there is less
to write about. Metering is peak hold and a bar shows
available tracks. Like all Tascam machines of this sort,
a monitor mode is available for straight through conversion without a disc in the drive. The sample rate
convertor cannot be hard bypassed but works automatically which is a process that is not always the
ideal that it ought to be.
It's hard to dislike it as a box and it certainly is
painless to operate and get around. If you're an experienced CD -R driver then you really won't need the
manual but it is difficult to assess how welcoming it
will seem to the absolute beginner that it is clearly
aiming to attract. The USB feature is unique.
And it sounds good if you can live with the connectivity restrictions which will be significant if you
absolutely do have run balanced.
Ultimately this machine will appeal to first timers
who will be drawn by the incredibly low price
and a pretty idiot proof operating process that is
about as close to compact cassette in its simplicity
as CD -R machines get. There are undoubtedly
compromises for more serious users for whom the
simplicity will translate as minor irritation. For
the money it is unbeatable, it is all down to whether
this is all you want and whether this is all you
want to spend.
Contact:
Tascam, UK.
Tel: +44 1923 819630. Fax: +44 1923 236290
Tascam US.
Tel: - 323 726 0303 Fax: +1 323 727 7635.
1
RICHMOND
FILM
SERVICES
+44 (0)20 8940 6077
44>
FPS
020 8746 2121
24 hours
FOR ALL
DENECKE INC.
www.fxgroup.net
32
TIMECODE EQUIPMENT
SALES AND RENTAL
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
TASCAM MX -2424:
The Perfect Pro Tools` Companion
The perfect th nci about the TASCAM Mr -2424 is that it
designed to wort alongside your :c.n uter cased CLAW,
not instead of it. The MX -2424 is intended to integrate
with computer posed DA\A.s. provicing an ircredibla
powerful expars on path, b2 brin,iic 3ddit onal lirear
and non -lineal recording, alayba=k, storage and
processing capabilities to'r-ur system :ou
of s x
dedicated and o SHARC DSF chips
is
try
Time -Stamped sound Deegner I and Broadcast Nave
Audio File Forriats The Mx -2424 operates with both
Sound Designe -II on HFS/H+- Macirtosi-forr-tted crives
and FAT -32 Brcadcast Wave on PCcisks. Eoth suppc-t
time stamping giving you a fast, ccnvenie. 1t .way otransferring audio into yo_r Pro Theis or otter DAV'.
system. MX -2424 s time-sta-'nped rilesviil appear inthe
exact location 'r which they nere origi-al y ra_orced.
Hot-Swappable
SCSI Driv as The IV X-2424 records to
reliable, robust, hot Swappaole SCS drives. Unlike IDE
drives, you don't have to slut doinr efery tin e you ieed
to exchange a dir ve. SCSI format crrves ensue the I-ighest
degree of compatibility wilt- all DAN sisterrs.
Portable Solution Transporting your computer based
DAWs around studios or recording locations is hardly
convenient. The MX -2424 on the other hand is a sturdy,
staid alone recorder that fits into just 4U of rack space.
Leave your computer in the studio - the MX -2424 is your
nobile recording solution.
Feels Like A Tape Deck The MX -2424 transport controls,
jog/shuttle wheel and editing buttons give you the familiar
feel of a tape based recorder instead of being forced to
House through your tracking session.
Superb Audio Quality While the power of nonlinear
editing is hugely creative, the sonic fidelity of your DAW
ma,/ not satisfy your highest expectations. The high
cuality 24 -bit converters on the MX -2424 and its 24ciannel analog interface module have found favour with
professional engineers, even for audiophile classical
recording.
The MX-2424 also comes with its own FOC
edit and ccrtrol software. Operable on
either Windorvs,m or MacTM OS platforms,
a
MX View provides the Pro ToolsTMIMX user
with an additiDnal waveform editing
environment for powerful editing of
programme material within the MX-2424.
-
---1I1111111Ì
..
11111321551
. oo
®
030
TASCAM
TASCAM
5
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Sales Hotline: C1923 43888) Brochure Hotline: 01923 4388888
www.tascam.co.W< errail:infcßtascam_co.uk
a
whole world of recording
RECORDING
All mod cons: making music for the Brushy Mountain Inmates
BACK
To
THE, FUTURE
Country music rediscovers its roots in Brushy Mountain Prison, where Dan Daley finds
Tony Brown, David Z, Mark Collie, digital recorders and the spirit of Johnny Cash
T WAS A CHILLY DAY in January, 1968, when
Johnny Cash took to a makeshift stage inside a cell block at California's Folsom State Prison. In the
process, Cash, along with his backup band the
Tennessee Three-Luther and Carl Perkins, drummer WS
Holland and abetted by Cash's soon -to -be wife June
Carter on vocals-stepped into history. Live At Folsom
Prison has become a touchstone not just of country
music, but of American music. The recording was audio
cinema vérité-a black and white Polaroid snapshot of
an America already being torn by social upheaval. The
recording tellingly includes the organic soundtrack of
prison itself: on the tracks you can hear the din of hard
surfaces filled with hardened men, with the occasional
reminder of where you really are, such as when the warden calls out on the PA system, `Sandoval, prisoner
88-419, is wanted in reception.'
Cash, no stranger to the criminal justice system, went
into one of the most notorious and vicious prisons in the
US, stood in front of a few hundred seriously violent
convicts, and simultaneously declared himself to be one
of them and challenged them to change themselves. To
re-route their self-directed anger at something more
meaningful, as he was trying to do through his music. He
was also challenging the system itself, and more than
just the penitentiary system: country music performers
were known for their conservative inclinations, so to
have one of country's luminaries declaring solidarity
with the inmates and suggesting that the penal system
could do better than it had was a double whammy.
The record changed music itself. Cash's contempt
for pitch and rhythmic precision, and stripped -down
music contrasted sharply with the pop glossiness of the
Beatles and the Beach Boys, the icons of the day, as
well as with the lush `Countrypolitan' sound that the late
Chet Atkins was refining on many Nashville record-
34
ings. The pop stars were singing of free love and fast
cars. Cash was singing about the impulsive, coke -fueled
slaughter of his girlfriend on `Cocaine Blues': 'Shot her
down 'cause she made me slow/I thought I was her
daddy, but she had five more.' And Charles Manson
was still developing his act.
On another chilly day 33 years later, another country music performer mounted a temporary stage at
another US prison. Mark Collie lifted his guitar, hit a
chord and showed that little had changed in three
decades save the need to keep trying to change the
world and yourself.
Collie was born 45 years ago in south-west Tennessee.
He had his own problems with the law but by 1991
had moved himself to Nashville and signed with MCA
Records to make the first of what would be four albums
with that label. He was signed after performing a showcase at a club called Douglas Corner, where Tony Brown,
then head of A&R for MCA Records and its future
president, and current president (now chairman) Bruce
Hinton sat mesmerised by how Collie could grab an
audience by the collar and get them to follow him.
-7
-.;,
'He had that place in the palm of his hand that night,
remember?' says Brown to Hinton, who nods vigorously in agreement. Brown had already established
himself as one of Nashville's and the music industry's
leading producers, producing huge hits for artists including George Strait, Reba McEntire and Vince Gill, but was
also known for bucking Music Row's cautious approach
by signing and producing artistically brilliant but commercially marginal talent such as Steve Earle and Lyle
Lovett. Earle's Guitar Town album is still regarded as a
leading progenitor of the alt -country and Americana
music movements. Brown produced Collie's first two
albums, and of the four he would record on MCA, a
couple yielded a handful of hits, such as 'Even the Man
in the Moon is Crying.' But Collie's career path was
more ordinary than extraordinary. In Cash's era, Collie's
smattering of hits would have allowed him to make a nice
living off the bar and small -theatre circuit for the next
20 years. In post-modern Nashville, you hope the next
lawn you mow doesn't belong to anyone who bought
your records.
But Collie didn't put the time to waste. He turned
some of his songwriting fire towards screenplays, and
began acting, shuttling between Nashville and
Mark Collie and Tim McGraw
Hollywood, using the natural cragginess of his sharply
creased face to gain minor roles, usually as the villainous heavy. At some point, he connected with a
young director, John Lloyd Miller, with whom he scripted and acted in a short feature called I Still Miss
Someone, also the title of one of the songs from the
Folsom Prison recording.
Any thoughts that Collie was trying simply to cloak
himself like Cash and seeking to recreate and exploit a
moment in history are trashed by this 14 -minute film,
which cost a mere $2,500 to make and which took first
place at the 1999 New York Film Festival. Collie does
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2001
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RECORDING
not play Johnny Cash-he becomes
Johnny Cash, portraying him first in a
dream-like drug sequence which morphs
into a sweat -stained performance of
'Ring of Fire,' and then turns sharply
onto the fast straightaway of an anxious
and disturbing narrative in which Cash's
internal demons are plainly visible in
Collie's eyes. It is a tour de force, a transference worthy of a Lon Chaney. And
that is what stepped up on the stage at
the Brushy Mountain State Prison that
October morning: not an imitation of
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, but an
evocation of a tortured soul at the gates
of a landscape which toggles endlessly
simply because of the nature of the country music business. 'You know going in
that there are not likely going to be any
hit singles off a record like this,' Brown
explains. 'And you need hits to drive
radio, which is what drives all of country music. So the CD would need
something that could be used to market
and promote it, and a documentary, especially one that got a theatrical run, would
be one good way to do that.' Outside
financing for the film project fell through
several times, and finally Hinton and
prtish `uih.can-
proligrt+sound
creating emotions
Brown offered Collie and Zarpis
$150,000 for the lot-concert, recording,
mixing, mastering and documentary, as
well as a pair of music videos
and a sixties trailer which
could be edited from it.
Collie and Zarpis vowed
they could do it. And though
the film is far from complete
at this writing, that vow was
Mark Collie and Kelly Willis
sealed the moment Collie
stepped up on stage at
Brushy Mountain.
Brown and Z had been
brought together by Collie,
and they readily agreed to
co -produce the live concert
recording. Co -production
does not come naturally to
either man. Brown has
between heaven and hell.
And they got it on tape.
Collie had been spending time in
Nashville developing new songs with
producer David Z, and Memphis, where
he ran through a slew of first albums for
an array of blues -tinged artists. Collie's
fixation with Johnny Cash led to his own
authentic interest in prison reform. He
and film producer Chris Zarpis, a former associate of director Ridley Scott in
Hollywood but who had recently moved
to Nashville, would go out to Brushy
Mountain and interview prisoners,
sculpting the foundations of what was
hoped would become a feature-length
documentary. At its core, the film would
be a concert movie, a paen to Cash's
Folsom Prison and later San Quentin live
recordings. (While the Folsom Prison
record was the ground -breaker and gave
Cash his strongest record in the previous five years as well as his first Grammy,
Johnny Cash at San Quentin, released a
year later, was the bigger commercial
success, his first and only No.1 album,
driven by several hit singles including 'A
Boy Named Sue' and `I Walk the Line.')
Collie, who continued to maintain a
friendly relationship with his former producer and label head, pitched the idea
to Brown several times over the course of
a year, each time piquing Brown's interest a bit more, until intrigue turned into
enthusiasm. Brown is a record producer;
and it was the music that appealed most
to him. But he and his label co -leader
Bruce Hinton also agreed that the documentary was critical to doing a record,
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
increasingly shared production credits
with any artist that he produces, but hasn't piloted a recording from the outset
with another producer since he apprenticed under Nashville legend and his
predecessor as president of MCA
Records, Jimmy Bowen. Z is a self acknowledged loner in the studio,
creating his own trance as he builds drum
machine loops and does much of his own
engineering. However, this seemed to
make them a good fit for this project.
Brown's success is due in large part to
his exceptional ability to pick the right
songs for each project, then step back
and give the artist room to unfold; Z is
one of the industry's more technically
adroit producers, which dovetailed well
with Brown's self -admitted but selfimposed technical limitations. `I did what
I always do and concentrated on the
songs, and let David worry about the
recording,' Brown says.
David Z was specific about the tools
he wanted for the recording. `There was
only going to be one chance to get this
right, so I wanted people I was sure
about,' he says. `[Record Plant Remote
truck owner] Kooster [McAllister] and I
had worked together before, most recently on a Johnny Lang concert video done
at Disneyworld. We also had done the
live parts of Purple Rain together. So
Record Plant Remote got the call for the
remote recording. Tony and I also wanted to pick musicians we knew would nail
it right away.' The band included noted
session and touring players, including
bassist Willié Weeks and keyboardist
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RECORDING
Mike Utley, as well as singer Kelly Willis, another onetime MCA artists signed and produced by Brown.
Brown had envisaged a show structure similar to
touring country shows of a half -century ago. `You'd
have the star come out and do a few songs with the
band, then one of the other band members would do a
few songs, then maybe a guest artist,' he explains. 'Then
you bring it down with ballads before you take it to the
big finish.' In fact, the concert went exactly along those
lines, with Willis doing a pair of songs-much to the
delight of the female-deprived captive audience-and
guest appearances by country superstar Tim McGraw
and legendary bluesman Clarence `Gatemouth' Brown.
The concert took place in the central courtyard of
the prison, a space about the size of an American football field. Hugh Johnson, long-time production
coordinator for Vince Gill on tow, was tapped by Brown
and Z to handle the same role here. He constructed a
stage in front of the prison's gymnasium, built in 1941
and the newest structure on the prison grounds. Brushy
Mountain Prison is well over 100 years old and is notorious as a holding pen for unruly prisoners, including
convicted Martin Luther King assassin the late James Earl
Ray, who escaped twice from the prison grounds. He
stayed out for about 77 hours before he voluntarily
returned to the prison, defeated by the harshness of the
surrounding terrain. 'Once you get outside these walls,'
the Warden told David Z, 'the only thing out there is you
and the snakes.'
`It was definitely a strange gig, being in a prison and
all,' says Z. 'But it was a pretty standard microphone
setup, like most concerts. The key was to do everything
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possible to create a
positive live performance environment
and then get the
best performance
possible out of the
musicians.'
And
that's
what happened.
Not without the
occasional glitch,
including a conflict
between Kooster
McAllister's need
for 30fps non -drop
time code and the
23.98fps rate the high-definition cameras were generating. 'In the past, when we've done shoots, we've always
supplied the time code-30fps non -drop,' McAllister
explains in the truck as the Sony PCM3348 and Tascam
DA-88s rolled. 'The problem is, they want to use their
own time code, which is a derivative of 24fps which
my digital machines don't want to lock to because [the
camera crew] can't give me a video reference signal.'
McAllister; normally unflappable, is clearly annoyed,
adding that the camera crew was working with the highdef cameras for the first time, and also had never before
interfaced them with a remote truck. The first set was
recorded with compromise of 29.97fps house-synch
generated by the truck and recorded on the 3348's control track, which was also used to feed the electronic
slates that were flashed before the cameras at the start
of each song. 'So even if they have to hand -synch this in
the end, they'll at least have something that will relate
to what's on their tape,' McAllister concedes wearily.
The second set saw the same procedure in place, with the
high-def cameras' 23.98 recorded to an audio track on
the 3348.
There was also the dramatic change in temperature
that an autumn day in East Tennessee brings, which
affected the tuning of the many guitars on stage during
the morning performance. But this was to be expected
on a live recording under the best of circumstances, and
several days were booked at Nashville's Ocean way
Studio A for minor touch-ups; the studio's B room,
equipped with a Neve VR, was booked for both a stereo
and surround mix.
Yet the serendipity of the day seemed boundlessthe director of human resources for the Tennessee State
Department of Corrections, Merlin Littlefield, had previously been an executive at ASCAP in Nashville for
19 years. `I don't know how you could have found anyone more perfect for making sure that this event would
happen,' says Brown. `Anyone else and it would have
been tied up in bureaucracy for years.'
The project might also provide a turbulent music
industry in Nashville with a visceral reminder of how
Johnny Cash reinvigorated country music over 30 years
ago. Brown is quick to point out that Mark Collie has
a lot of aspects to his talents. But the manner in which
he has assumed even some of the subtlest movements of
Cash on stage are quite visible, such as raising the
acoustic guitar up to the vocal microphone for the final
chord of a song. At the same time, though, Brown says
he's beginning to see some of the old Mark Collie, the
one he signed to MCA in 1991, shining through again,
rejuvenated by the task at hand. Observes Brown from
the couch of the tour bus taking us out to Brushy
Mountain Prison, 'Mark is more now like who he was
when I first met him.'
Collie, sitting across from him, nods in agreement,
adding, `I've missed me. I'm glad to have me back.'
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER 2001
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TECHNOLOGY
FUTURE TENSE
Is DVD the lifeline the record companies so desperately need or another media misdemeanour
in the making?
Chris Hollebone reports on an opportunity being missed
about DVDs,
can recommend an excellent book: the 691 pages
plus a DVD-ROM that comprise DVD Demystified
by Jim Taylor. This book is now in its second edition and I imagine there will be others. Such is the
complexity and rapid developF YOU REALLY WANT to know all
I
for DVD's success are improved sound and video quality, and these are in almost equal measure. The
out-takes, director -producer's commentary, subtitles
and all the other extras that can be seen on many
DVDs, are well down the popularity list. The bottom
line is that, whether you are
talking about DVD-Audio or
DVD-Video, the buyers expect
better sound and picture quality, which they get with most film
releases on DVD. The sound
obviously takes on even more
importance when a music project is involved. How is it, then,
that the vast majority of music
ment of DVD, that I am not
going to attempt to summarise
Jim's magnum opus.
Instead, we will focus on the
opportunity that DVD offers
the record companies, and
should be providing a lot more
business for studios both now
and in the future. Unfortunately,
the record industry does not yet
seem to realise the importance
of DVD to its future. That is to
say, it is producing DVDs but
generally not ones that do justice to either the material or the
medium. This may seem a little
curious since there are already
endless streams of statistics that
prove that DVD is the fastest -
DVDs are only in stereo, whereas the opposite is true for movie
releases? A number of the more
famous releases have even been
remixed to 5.1 when the original
was only stereo.
People will nod their heads
sagely and mutter about the disaster of quadraphonic haunting
the record industry. It is quite true
growing consumer format ever.
CIS rejuvenated the record industry before, so why
would this opportunity be wasted? Furthermore, the
success of DVD has been assured by the video and
film industries so there is no risk attached to supporting DVD. It is the proverbial 'free lunch' which
always used to be so popular in the record industry.
'Part of the problem is that CD was a free lunch in
the sense that it was an opportunity to reissue material with little or no production or postproduction
costs. Having now had 20 years of doing the Greatest
of the Best Hits Ever..., it goes against the grain to
spend money to further develop the catalogue.
However, simply putting the CD on a DVD or transferring VHS to DVD will not do. There is also a lot of
market research that indicates that the major reasons
"Get your
that quad failed but mainly
because the home delivery system could not provide
sufficient improvement to the sound, but not because of
lack of support from the record industry. In fact there are
many hundreds of quad tapes in archives all over the
world which could easily be released in surround on
DVD. Now the position is the opposite; the hardware
works and is accepted by the public; it is the software producers that are not really supporting the format.
There is another factor that is certainly not helping
the development of music -only surround products. It is
the usual format war so hated by the record industry and
which provides an excellent excuse to sit on the fence.
SACD is pitched against DVD but in fact the two are
not mutually exclusive, as we will establish. Despite
early statements to the contrary, the proponents of
SACD know that surround sound is the key to their
future as well. The world does not need a higher quality stereo format because it does too little to enhance the
listening experience and will only be appreciated by a
small minority of the listening public. DVD-A also suffers from the same problem so the motivation to buy a
DVD-A or SACD player is not very great considering
is typically significantly higher at the
moment. The format that is already successful which will
fuel sales of surround music software, is DVD-V not
DVD-A. Virtually all current SACD players are modified DVD-V players so are quite capable of playing
back a DVD-V disc (or the video zone of a DVD-A). All
DVD-V players can also play the video compatibility
part of the DVD-A as well as playing a DVD-V in surround with the video. All DVD-A players will also play
DVD-V discs and there are already some players that
support SACD as well as DVD-A and DVD-V. Are you
following this? In case you missed the point; any disc
containing surround information in a DVD-V format
can be played on any of the players mentioned.
It is necessary to explain the video zone and what it
that the cost
means for the production of software.
A
DVD-A
disc provides for a number of higher quality PCM stereo
options but
the multi-
channel
portion of
the disc
has to be
encoded
MLP
(Meridian
in
Lossless
Packing).
This requires
a DVD-A
player to
decode the
surround
sound
for each video application i "
y
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d remi
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éi ó
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STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
41
TECHNOLOGY
information. The specification allows an optional
zone to be used using either (or both) of the lossy
compression systems that are a standard feature of
DVD-V, namely Dolby Digital and DTS. This allows
the disc to be played back in excellent quality 5.1 on
all existing DVD-V systems. In real terms, the difference between MLP and DTS will be very subtle
and will depend on the quality of the playback system as a whole. This feature has been exploited by
Warner Bros, DTS, Naxos, 5.1 Entertainment and
other early adopters of DVD-A, but there are some
major labels still not convinced to produce DVD-A let
alone use the video zone. This is most unfortunate for
them as well as us since they clearly control a lot of
the catalogue.
I have been involved with DVD long enough to
know how effective a good concert DVD-V can be.
A great widescreen picture and a well -mixed 5.1
track in DTS is an entirely different proposition to
watching a VHS in stereo, and offers a whole new
market to the copyright holder. This fact seems to
have been grasped eagerly by such companies as
Image Entertainment and Eagle Rock but many of the
major labels still produce very inferior products with
indifferent picture quality, no 5.1 track and a paltry
number of extras. These products are competing
with the latest blockbuster movie disc, which increasingly has so much on it, that it has now become a
two -disc set. Under these circumstances, sales are
probably nowhere near as good as they could be,
and consumer satisfaction is probably fairly low.
More investment in the postproduction of these titles
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42
would yield
far better sales
over a longer
period.
Attendees
of recent AES
Conventions
and
other
audio events
have
been
bombarded
with information on the
importance of
surround, the
techniques, the
technology; there have been any number of surround
sound events all over the world. Famous artists,
engineers and producers have pontificated at great
length, on the wonders of working in surround, yet
the record industry seems to be hoping that surround
will fail as it did before. Having been involved with
several new format launches since CD, this phenomenon is not new, yet it is remarkable that there is
virtually no correlation between hardware and software producers and artists and record companies.
This time, as with CD, I think the record companies
have got it wrong and my suspicions are that it will
take something extra to bring them round. Any record
executive who has not heard 5.1 in a car probably
ought to be fired, but accepting that most of them
have not, we will probably have to wait until they
have. This is really an interesting place to appreciate how exciting 5.1 audio can be. I know it is hardly
an ideal listening environment in some respects, but
then you can really use all those speakers to the full.
The major car manufacturers are all taking this very
seriously and it is a certainty that 5.1 DVD systems
will be options or standard equipment on a wide
range of vehicles within two years. The car also avoids
one of the other difficulties of 5.1; where to put the
speakers in the average European room and since
many of us spend time in cars alone, this does not
require lengthy negotiations with other members of
the family. They like to hear the results of surround
sound but they prefer not to see it.
So I hope we have established that there really is
a business to be made from surround mixing and it
is unfortunate that there is so little material being
mixed in 5.1 at the time of the stereo mix. This will
result in a terrific shortage of titles and it will cost
substantially more to go back to these tapes in the
future and remix them for surround. Those people
that have issued dire warnings about the expense of
working in surround are not doing anybody any
favours because the real point is that to do the surround mix at the same time adds very little time
relative to the whole project. Certainly any and every
opportunity to discuss surround with A&R staff and
the management of the record companies should be
grabbed, because there are some clear messages
emerging from sales of DVDs and most companies
probably have some examples of where the numbers may have surprised them. The weight of evidence
is slowly starting to bear on the decision making
process but until then, the market is being led by
the smaller companies, who are hampered in many
cases by having less effective distribution. Scanning
the music racks in a Tower, HMV or Virgin is still a
little depressing if you are a surround enthusiast but
it can only get better. If you are in a position to help,
I urge you to do so.
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
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WHY THE
ISS -10?
With comparable measurements for 36 close -field studio monitors to hand, it is
now possible to identify specific reasons for the success of the Yamaha NS -10M.
Philip Newell, Keith Holland and Julius Newell present the facts
exhibited the more valued characteristics of the Auratone,.
The NS -10 was widely considered to fill that need.
The original NS -10 fell short of the requirements on
two counts; firstly it was somewhat lacking in output
capability, and secondly it was considered to have an
excess of high frequencies. The former problem prompted frequent driver replacements, while the second was
commonly solved by the fixing of a piece of toilet paper
(2) Roland DS-50A
(1) Auratone 5C
STUDIO SOUND'S LOUDSPEAKER measurements began in 1998, partly with the aim that
the collated data would prove to be useful as an
analytical tool, especially in cross -correlation
with subjective experiences. The cessation of production of the Yamaha NS -10M loudspeaker provided
an opportunity to test that hypothesis on a widely known but no longer commercially sensitive example.
Indeed the measurements were used as the basis for a
paper presented to the Reproduced Sound 17 conference of the UK Institute of Acoustics in November
2001. (The paper contains 112 figures, all the plots
being accessible on the Studio Sound web site.)
The original NS -10 was conceived as a domestic
hi-fi loudspeaker for bookshelf mounting. As such it
was not a great commercial success, and neither was it
well received by the international hi-fi press. However,
it was readily adopted by many recording personnel as
a close -field studio monitor for rock -pop recording,
effectively taking over the mantle carried by the
Auratone SC Sound Cube. Despite the output of the
Auratone being prodigious for its size and era, its limitations had led many users to seek other loudspeakers
with higher output levels and wider frequency ranges.
Nevertheless, many still sought loudspeakers which
(3) SLS S8R
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^a
FlqutAJ
IW
IH['1
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lNu
Fig.1: Waterfall Response
over the tweeters. Tales of discussions over which brand
was most appropriate and whether one sheet or two
were required, were not a joke-such discussions did
take place. Yamaha subsequently dealt with both prob-
lems in the mid-eighties through the NS -10M Studio,
hereinafter referred to as the NS -10M.
The NS -10M is a 2 -way loudspeaker consisting
of a 180mm paper-coned low -frequency driver and a
tubebracl-per 8/2 valve mixer
The new M-3 TubeTracker 8/2 valve mixer offers a compact
and sweet sounding solution for all tracking and submixing
applications. Whether you need
digital HD recorder,
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a
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console or a pristine quality mixer for live music recording
then the TubeTracker will deliver expensive sounding results
-
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STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
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Video digital
response is shown in Fig.3. A battery connected to the
loudspeaker terminals via a switch can also be used
as a crude source of a step function. Rise time, simultaneous response of all drive units in a system, and
ringing in the decay tail are things which step functions show up well.
Fig.4 shows the harmonic distortion performances
of the same nine loudspeakers as in Figs.1 and 2.
Again, neither the NS -10M nor the Auratone are bad
performers. This is made even more emphatic when
we consider that the other seven loudspeakers (and the
other 34 represented in Reference [11) are all of reputable make and are designed for professional use.
It is widely considered that a reference monitor
loudspeaker should exhibit a relatively flat frequency
response. However, it should be remembered that
the loudspeaker and its mounting in a room are part
of one system. It is the frequency response of that system which really needs to be flat in order for the
35 mm soft domed tweeter, all in a 10.41 sealed box.
The crossover is second -order passive with asymmetrical turnover frequencies and in -phase connected
drivers. The frequency range is quoted as
60Hz-20kHz, sensitivity is 90dB for 1W at 1m, and
maximum (peak) input power is rated at 120W. The
crossover frequency is 2kHz and the nominal impedance 852.
The review of the NS -10M (Studio Sound, August
2001) revealed a frequency response with a deviation of +5dB over the range from 85Hz-20kHz under
anechoic conditions. This would hardly be impressive
in itself but closer examination shows that this deviation is due to an `inverted -V' characteristic response
shape, rather than the irregular wiggles shown by
some loudspeakers.
Fig.1 shows a selection of nine of the 36 waterfall plots published in Reference [1] (and previously
in Studio Sound). These represent the last eight of
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Time (ms)
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Time (ms)
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IU
Time (ms)
Fig.2: Step Response
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the alphabetical order of the 36 plots, plus the
Auratone. The two outstanding features of the
Auratone and NS -10M are the inverted V response
shape and the very rapid response decay over the
entire frequency range. Both of these characteristics
are largely due to the sealed box nature of the designs.
We will return to this point, but suffice it to say that
of the 36 waterfall plots published in Reference [1],
the only other loudspeakers exhibiting a similarly
rapid response decay were the ATC SCM20A, the
AVI Pro 9, and the M&K MPS -150.
Fig.2 shows the step function responses of the
same nine loudspeakers. All of these are very good
compared with many typical monitor loudspeakers of
20 years ago. The Auratone exhibits the more exemplary rise because of its single driver nature. The
separate peak of the tweeters responding early can be
seen in most of the other plots. The Yamaha shows
a better than average step function response, which
is a good indicator of its transient response. The
response tail is also well damped, which corresponds
with the rapid decay shown in the waterfall plot.
Incidentally, for anybody not familiar with a step
function, an electrical input signal having such a
recording personnel to perceive a frequency -balanced representation of the music being recorded.
The free -field response of the loudspeaker is not
what is heard in a control room. Figs.5-8 help to
clarify this point.
Fig.5 shows the response curves of an idealised
loudspeaker of approximately similar size to the
NS -10M, both in free -field conditions and flush
mounted. Fig.6 shows the response of an NS -10M
suspended in the open air about 4m from the nearest
reflective surface. The response wiggles are due to
the reflections from nearby surfaces, but the overall
shape can be seen to be very similar to the free -field
response shape in Fig.5. Fig.7 shows an NS -10M
mounted on top of the meter bridge of a mixing console both suspended in mid-air. Additional
comb -filtering of the response is evident due to the
proximity of the top surface of the mixing console,
but the overall trend is that of the flattening of the
bass response. Fig.8 shows the response of an NS 10M on top of the meter bridge of a mixing console
in a room typical of many recording studio control
rooms. Despite the extra irregularities due to boundary reflections, the trend of the low -frequency
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER 2001
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response shape is in the direction of the flush mounted response shown by the dashed line in Fig.5.
In the article published in August, Nick Cook was
quoted as saying, 'They also sound good when sitting
on top of SSL consoles'. Well, the structure and shape
of the console on which they are mounted will affect
the response, and although a serious discussion of
the subject is way beyond the scope of this article,
perhaps it is likely that the more solidly -built consoles like SSLs will colour the sound less than would
be the case with lighter, more resonant consoles.
Nevertheless, Figs.S-8 seem to reinforce the concept
of the NS -10M, plus a mixing console and a typical
control room, yielding an overall frequency response
of a nature that many recording personnel wish to
hear. That the mixing console plays its part in the
response is perhaps reinforced by the
number of people who work daily
with NS-10Ms but who do not choose
to use them at home-where mixing
consoles are usually conspicuous by
their absence.
The mid -range response peak which
is clearly observable around 1.7 kHz
in Fig.1 and Fig.6 appears to be
responsible for the `harsh' description
which is often referred to. This could
objectively be considered to be a negative asset. However, in the August
1
0
E
o
issue, London -based songwriter producer-studio owner Michael Klein
said 'What I really like about the NS -
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1
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Fig.3: A Step Function
.
_
10
Time (ms)
tow-mrwmi
.
5
10Ms is that they make the mid -range clear and
prominent. This is normally where many instruments
are fighting for the same space. The NS-10Ms allow
me to concentrate on getting the mid -range finely
balanced, and once that is done the basis of a mix is
usually well established. I don't record on them
though, and I certainly wouldn't use them at home,
but for mixing they are a great help'. Many people
would no doubt echo Michael's comments (although
of course, many would not), but his words again
highlight how the NS-10M has been seized as a tool
to help to get a job done.
Certainly in terms of frequency response, the
NS -10M appears to have a free -field response which,
when in the typical surroundings of a recording studio, gives many people what they need in order to
get a job done. The relatively low distortion no doubt
also helps.
But what of the time response? Let us turn again
to the waterfall plots of Fig.l. Again, during the interviews leading to the August article, several people
referred to the 'rock and roll punch' or the 'rock and
roll sound' as Alan Douglas was quoted as saying.
This clearly relates to the rapid decay of the NS10M.
Two other things can also be said to result from the
time response. The first is that the rapid decay is reminiscent of many good, large monitor systems in
well -controlled rooms. Such systems often have cabinet resonances tuned way down below 30Hz, and
they are usually without any protective filtering in
the audio frequency band. The tuning ports and protection filters which are typically inside the lower
bass region on smaller loudspeakers give rise to the
low-frequency ringing which is typical of most of the
plots shown in Fig.1. The NS-10M has neither tuning ports or protection filters. The tightness of the
bass can, however, be influenced by the amplifiers
driving the NS-10Ms, and amplifiers with extended
low -frequency responses should be used if the full
potential punch is to be realised.
The second point is that the rapid decay of the low
frequencies from the NS -10M is less likely to cause
confusion by distorting the time responses of the bass
drums and bass guitars. One repeated complaint from
many mastering engineers is that people who mix on
a variety of small monitors often get the bass -bass
drum ratio wrong. As these exist in the same frequency range, an inappropriate balance between the
two can often not be resolved by equalisation (or any
other process) at the mastering stage. It could be that
fast decays are less likely to lead to such erroneous
relative balances. Although this is conjecture, there
is nonetheless much evidence to support the case.
From the above investigations it would appear
that the following four statements can be made:
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
GI
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PRECI SION
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truly worthwhile if it can be used in
the design of future loudspeakers for
studio use. General acceptance of any
such loudspeakers is, however, not
The free -field frequency response of
the NS -10M gives rise to a response in
typical use which has been recognised
by many recording personnel as being
what they need for pop -rock mixing.
The principal characteristics are the
raised mid -range, the gentle top end
roll -off (which is typical of many large
monitor loudspeakers) relatively low
merely
distortion and a very short low frequency decay time. The last of these
is aided by the 12dB/octave low frequency roll-off of the sealed box design.
10- 12 JULY 2002
HONG KONG CONVENTION
AND EXHIBITION CENTRE
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response, which implies good reproduction of transients.
The output SPL is adequate for
close -field studio monitoring with
good reliability.
They appear to mimic, in many
ways, the characteristics of good, large
monitor systems (within their limited
range) and hence they are recognisable
Of course, the information pre-
My company activity:
0
The time response exhibits a
better than average step function
to many recording personnel in terms of
their overall suitability for their needs.
2002.
sented here will only be deemed to be
Manufacturer
Agent
Dealer
Buyer
a
technological challenge.
Widespread acceptance requires widespread exposure, which implies mass
manufacture with good world-wide
distribution networks and an affordable price. These are non -technical
realities which nonetheless affect the
choices in today's recording industry.
A strong implication from this investigation is that loudspeakers which
exhibit a flat free -field response will
not have a flat response characteristic
when placed on top of a mixing console in a control room. Many of the
manufacturers of active loudspeaker
systems provide significant ability (via
dip switches and the like) to contour
the low -frequency response to the
mounting conditions, yet it is remarkable in how many studios the switches
are set 'flat' in a belief that this provides the flattest response, even when
mounting conditions dictate otherwise.
One alarming result of looking at
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STUDIO SOUND
50
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Fig.5: Response of Idealised Loudspeaker: Flush Mounted (----) Free Field
(-
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
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meter bridges because that is where they have been
found to exhibit their flattest overall response, even
if some other aspects of their performance are corn -
low frequency time responses. However, this is another huge subject in itself.
Another great controversy is whether it is
wise to place the loudspeakers on the meter
bridges or whether they should be on stands
just behind the console. The latter system does
tend to give a more open stereo imaging and
less comb-filtering because of the reduction
of desk -top reflections. On the other hand,
you then lose the desk -top bass reinforcement
shown in Fig.7. There are obvious compromises being made here. Clearly, though, it
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promised. The NS -10M therefore almost certainly
found a waiting gap which it was at least reasonably well suited to fill. It had many of the
characteristics needed for the then relatively
unconsidered (1982) task of close -field
monitoring in rock -pop music studios.
Nevertheless, whether by design or accident, it has made its presence felt in the
music recording world, perhaps like no
other loudspeaker to this day.
-10
Reference
= t...
I,ILId,LI
would seem that for optimum mounting
behind the console, a design with a little more
bass than the NS -10M would be desirable.
It would therefore seem probable that the
NS-10Ms are placed so frequently on the
_._..._..._T...._...
10
dB
I
Fig.7: Response of NS -10M on Mixing Console Meter Bridge, Outside,
Flown 4m from floor to wall
Fig.6: Response of NS -10M outside from 4m from Floor to Wall
all 36 waterfall plots is the enormous variability in the
,
100
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Holland, Keith R,
Newell, Julius P, The Yamaha NS10M:
Twenty Years a Reference Monitor.
Why? Proceedings of the Institute of
Acoustics, Vol 23, Part 8, (2001)
[1] Newell, Philip R,
I
10000
Fig.8: Response of NS -10M on Mixing Console Meter Bridge,
Inside with Console on Floor
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TECHNOLOGY
BUSINESS
The great rate race
Big trouble in
The opportunites offered by
technology are only as good as the
creative and commercial applications
they find-as DVD and SACD amply
demonstrate, writes Barry Fox
JVC FOUND OUT the hard way when it tried
to launch Super-VHS with tapes that would
not play on standard VHS decks, that the public at large is not interested in buying into a
new format simply because it offers marginally higher quality sound and pictures. So it is wholly
unsurprising that DVD-Audio already looks dead in
the water, and will survive as a format only because
DVD-A playback will be built into future DVD-Video
players as a `free' feature.
The audio benefits of MLP lossless compression
will be lost by the budget circuitry manufacturers use
to cut costs. Only a few artists will be able to afford
the luxury of wide -band 5.1 recording or remastering. Most surround recordings will be sourced from
stereo masters, tricked up with reverb, electronic processing or-as EMI is doing with its DVD-A releases
-playing stereo tapes through speakers in Abbey
Road and re-recording in surround.
Super Audio CD is a good system with far more
interesting software, but it will only survive as a format if manufacturers build SACD playback into CD
and DVD players as a free feature.
The masses of extra bits pace available on DVD
when there is no movie material would be far better
used to squeeze higher quality from existing formats
running at higher dates. This is exactly what is happening in the US with Superbit DVDs.
The DVD format lets the video coding rate vary so
that scenes with a lot of movement and detail are allocated more bits than stationary views. But the bit
average has to be kept down to let a single `side' store
a full-length feature. The movie studios want the second `side', or second recording layer, for `added value'
features-like interviews with the cast and their dogs
PAVAS
-which
justify charging more for the DVD than its
VHS equivalent.
Sony-Columbia TriStar in the US has now released
special edition DVD movies, including Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Fifth Element and Air
Force One. Instead of wasting bit space on cringe making extras, Superbits double the coding rate, from
an average of 3-4Mbits/s to 6-8Mbits/s. There is also
a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS, and at higher
audio coding rates.
Benjamin Feingold, president of Columbia TriStar
says: `Standard DVDs are like fully -loaded luxury
automobiles. In contrast, Superbit DVDs are like
Formula One race cars; built for pure performance'.
It is significant that the move comes from Sony,
Philips' partner in SACD. If Panasonic, Warner and
Universal were to promote SuperBit DVDs, it would
just underline their mistake in making DVD-A a
new format.
The data rate used for 6 -channel Dolby Digital on
the Superbits has been upped from 384kbps to
448kbps, and all decoders in consumer equipment
will cope with this. Indeed some ordinary DVDs
already use 448kbps. The theoretical maximum bit
rate for Dolby Digital is 640kbps, but Dolby Labs
warn that although all decoders can handle this rate,
there may be some compatibility issues with some
DVD players; so 640kbps is only occasionally used
for demo discs.
Consumer DTS decoders can handle much higher
6 -channel rates, anything from 384 to 1.5Mbps.
Superbits use the same 750kbps used on most DVDs
and theatrically, but future discs could go to 1.5Mbps.
German digital satellite broadcasters are already
transmitting Dolby Digital 5.1 and this winter Sky in
the UK starts adding 5.1 to the widescreen Movie
channel and a couple of Box Office channels. BBC
and Channel 4 may follow. This is possible because the
DVB standard for digital television provides for a 'private' stream that can carry any extra data. The receiver
strips out this data and delivers it through the SPDIF
socket, provided of course that the digital receiver has
one. The socket then connects to a home cinema system decoder. There is no restriction on what kind of
data is slotted into the private stream.
This is why DTS is now publicising a deal
with Canadian company Leitch to slot DTS
5.1 surround sound into the private stream,
at any bit rate between 384kbps and
1.5mbps. Unfortunately the announcement
has been confused, by garbled talk from DTS
and Leitch about using apt -X compression.
This is the proprietary system which DTS
uses for cinema sound, and has no relevance
to consumer DVD or consumer digital television. The apt -X coding is used to route the
signals between studios and transmitters.
(Tip: it really would help all round if someone with technical knowledge checked press
releases before the companies sent them out.)
Digital terrestrial broadcasters, like ITV
Digital (formerly OnDigital) can only offer
matrix stereo surround. They are so strapped
for bit space, already desperately trying to
squeeze six or more TV channels into a single multiplex, that they cannot afford to
spend any of that space on digital surround.
54
Ill
tlil
little Havana
Race, politics and race politics have
rarely laid such clumsy hands on the
music business as they have over the
Latin Grammys, writes Dan Daley
OLTTICS AND MUSIC have long been familiar
bedfellows. But what's gone on in Miami recently
takes this relationship to a new level. Latino
music has become one of the fastest -growing
music genres in the US, and because Hispanics populate
so much of the rest of the hemisphere, from Spain to the
Caribbean to Latin America, the implications for the
overall music business are significant, particularly when
the music industry in the US is starting to show a noticeable decline, dropping from 488.7bn units in 1999 to
447.7bn last year.
Latino music seems to hold a lot of long-term promise
for the US record business. It is, in many ways, a parallel universe unto itself-Hispanics now make up nearly
20% of the US population, and they are projected to be
nearly 50% by the middle of the century. This Hispanic
concatenation is as diverse as the rest of the music buying public here-there are Latino rock and pop categories that range from the glossy sound of Gloria Estefan
and Enrique Iglesias to the edgy rock of Argentinean
rocker Fito Paez; the Mexican category is the largest,
comprising Tejano and Mariachi and is driven by the fact
that 60% of the US Hispanic population is Mexican or
of Mexican descent. And all this hardcore Hispanic music
acts as the backdrop to the Latino which crosses over
into mainstream pop, and 2000 was a watershed year
for that, from Ricky Martin's `Livin' La Vida Loca' to
Carlos Santa's `Smooth', which between them moved
over 20m records.
Small wonder that Miami quickly got hot as a music
recording destination over the last two years. The acquisition of the legendary Criteria by The Hit Factory set the
stage for a number of new and rejuvenated studio ventures. Miami has become a magnet once again, as it was
in the seventies, for engineers and producers.
So the advent of the Latin Grammys, which were
inaugurated in 2000, seemed to be a perfect fit with
Miami, which had clearly become the hub of the hemisphere's Latino music business. Los Angeles could take
the attitude that its Mexican heritage gave it at least an
equal claim on that assertion, and LA has been a hothouse
of much of the new generation of contemporary Latino
music. But LA simply could not match the sizzle that a
rejuvenated Miami could bring to a new awards show,
and apparently NARAS president Michael Greene and
the CBS network agreed: Miami was the place to base the
Latin Grammys. That is, until politics got involved.
A brief primer on Cuban -American relations: Cuba
became a US protectorate in 1898, after a quick war
against Spain-incited by publisher William Randolph
Hearst to sell more newspapers-gave the US its first
overseas empire. For the next half -century, the States
treated Cuba ambivalently, offering a little more freedom than Spain had but casting a larger shadow over
virtually every aspect of Cuban life. Still, Havana thrived
as an entertainment metropolis after the Second World
War; by the fifties, it was everything Las Vegas strived to
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
l
DELIVERY
become, with the
added benefit of
being truly exotic-and beyond
the immediate
reach of US laws.
Everything
changed on 1st
January, 1959,
when Fidel Castro
rolled down out
of the mountains
and finalised a
decade -long struggle to replace the US -backed Batista
government with a Cuban revolutionary one. And for the
last 42 years, the new Cuban -US relationship became a
trope for the Cold War, and has remained one even after
the Berlin Wall became a memory. That relationship
infuses everything in Miami to this day. And it cost
Miami the honour of hosting the first Latin Grammys last
year. That particular instance was traceable to a specific law, on the books at the time in Miami's Dade County,
that prohibited the use of any county facilities by any
Cubans, and applying it in the case of the Latin Grammys
was heavily backed by the mega -conservative Cuban
exile community in Miami, from which the city's mayor
and much of its leadership is drawn. That would have
made it hard for Cuban artists to attend the Grammy, let
alone perform at them. And few could argue that Havana
still held onto its reputation as the musician's capital of
the Latin world. So NARAS threw up its hands and took
the show to Los Angeles.
Once the dust had settled on the show, it became evident that Miami had screwed up royally. Not only did it
lose the prestige of hosting the show on an international
broadcast stage, it lost an estimated $30m-plus in revenues that the Latin Grammys reportedly generated. To
top it off, the Dade County law forbidding the use of
municipal facilities by Cubans was ruled unconstitutional in the meantime and struck from the books.
For this year, Miami's executive leadership sought to
rectify what they recognised as the previous year's blunder. During the regular Grammy broadcast, in February,
in Los Angeles, a delegation convinced Greene to give
Miami another chance. The show was set for 12th
September, at the neon -lit American Airlines Arena in
Miami. But less than eight weeks before the show,
NARAS pulled up stakes and vacated Miami once again,
steering the show back out to LA.
The reasoning on this one was purely political. The
group of anti -Castro demonstrators which had been
cleared to participate, but from a specified distance from
the Grammy red carpet, had enlisted the aid of the
American Civil Liberties Union and got the local police
chief to agree to move them closer to the front of the
Arena. Greene, who had seen a video of how similar
demonstrators had pelted concert attendees with batteries at a show by Cuban rock group Los Van Van earlier
in the year, didn't want a similar confrontation.
How politics has such an impact on music is something
that a Basque or a hard-core IRA member might readily understand. However, it seems anachronistic in the
US, as though it were some kind of parody of our own
immigrant roots. But there's nothing funny about what
has happened vis-a-vis the Latin Grammys and Miami.
And the city that is best positioned to become the next
(and, in the Internet Age, possibly the last) major centre
of music production in the world, has managed to shoot
itself in the foot twice now. At least with the recent spate
of shark attacks in Florida, you can say that they were
just hungry. In the case of Cuban -American relations,
however, it's just todos estupido.
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
Breaking the news
The immediacy with which
information can now be delivered
to the world is changing the
definition of the word `news', and
moving us from onlookers to players,
writes Kevin Hilton
THERE IS A TRIVIAL PURSUIT question
that asks `Who was the first murderer to be
executed on live television?'. Answering
this is made more difficult by the brain saying that such a thing has never happened, all the
while wracking itself for the correct answer. The
solution is, of course, Lee Harvey Oswald, who was
gunned down by Jack Ruby in the full glare of TV
cameras while being transferred to jail.
Marshall McLuhan-who more or less invented
media studies but is best known today for his cameo
in Woody Allen's Annie Hall-suggested that the
inability of the cops to prevent the incident was
more to do with the influence of television than any
conspiracy. In his seminal yet almost impenetrable
tome Understanding Media, McLuhan wrote: `Jack
Ruby shot Lee Oswald while tightly surrounded by
guards who were paralysed by television cameras.'
This may sound fanciful but what is striking about
that footage, even after 38 years, is the shock and
confusion, with flashes of clarity-`Oswald's been
shot!'; `It's Jack Ruby!'-that create a more effective
commentary than anything scripted. So it was with
the newsreel of the Hindenburg collapsing into
flames; the commentator's exclamation of 'Oh my
God! This is terrible! Terrible!' is more eloquent
than anything half an hour in front of a typewriter
could have produced.
The 21st Century now has something to rival, if
not surpass, those distant, monochrome images. The
disbelief that an airliner was seen to plough into a
tower of the World Trade Center on live TV is equal
to that of Lee Oswald being summarily executed on
prime time, despite this being a more televisually
aware and, up to the 11th September, blasé age. As
has been said many times since, it looked like an
elaborate CGI sequence: the sky was almost unnaturally blue and the impact had a terrible beauty.
The day after the attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon, I flew out to Amsterdam
for IBC where the talk was predominantly of what
had occurred in the US. This was partly because it
is such a huge event and partly because of the part
television was playing. Some of my colleagues were
surprised when I said that for a large part of the
coverage I had been listening to the radio, not watching the TV. I had heard the news on a music station,
when it was initially believed to be a terrible accident,
and then switched to a rolling news service when it
became clear that this was a deliberate act. Because
I was working to clear my desk before leaving for
Amsterdam, it did not occur to me to turn on the TV
until a few hours after the attacks.
The radio reports had given a fair impression of
what to expect but seeing actual pictures was both
a shock and vaguely unreal. As with the Hindenburg
footage, the confusion and unvarnished shock of
reporters helplessly watching the story grow huger
by the second added to the effect. Since the second
jet became a living missile, the whole affair has been
played out on television, with unexpected non-professional video footage of the aftermath of the first
crash turning up later.
After that, it was pretty much continuous news
coverage on the majority of channels. Sometimes
being away at an exhibition for a week can isolate
you from what is going on in the world; not so this
time. CNN, BBC News 24, RTL and the main Dutch
channels were dedicated to the story, almost to the
point of saturation. As the various elements developed it became too much for a friend of mine, who
became very upset. The rest of us vacillated between
this and attempts to numb the shock.
Since then we have experienced George W Bush's
deeply unimpressive and uninspiring TV addresses
and strange editorial decisions designed not to offend
anyone directly affected by the tragedy. The BBC
pulled an episode of Sien feld because it featured a
joke about an airship exploding (echoes of the
Hindenburg again). As far removed as October, Sky
One edited an episode of The Simpsons that origi-
nally showed Homer messing up
a
hostage
negotiation.
As trivial as it sounds, the advances in television
delivery have enabled us to be almost a part of this
event; there has been an immediacy fo the coverage, rather than images reaching us some time later
when we are less emotional. When the US began
bombing Afghanistan, pictures from the al-Jazeera
network were on Western screens within half -an hour. As Albert Brooks said in Broadcast News, `I
talk into here and it comes out there'.
Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based news channel, .has
become a major tool in this affair, being used by
Osama bin Laden, British prime minister Tony Blair
and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Filtering real life
through the lens of a camera usually gives it a sense
of unreality; and while world leaders continue to
posture, the underlying truth remains. Many people died on that day and people continue to die. It
must be real-I saw it on TV.
55
Pro Audio A to Z directory now New publication
provides global
available to aid global contact
database of pro
WORLD
CMP Information reports
that the second volume of the Pro
Audio A to Z is now available.
Launched in September 2000,
the Pro Audio A to Z directory was
the first ever comprehensive and
definitive listing of all the world's
leading audio manufacturers and
distributors. The 300 -page volume
has since become an invaluable
source of reference for anybody in
the business of professional audio,
manufacturers
particularly
for
seeking new distributors and
dealers (and vice versa).
Produced by CMP Information
(part of United Business Media) publisher of Studio Sound, Pro
Sound News (Europe, Asia, USA),
Installation
Europe,
Systems
Contractor News and EQ - the Pro
Audio A to Z brings together key
market contacts from a multitude of
information sources.
The eagerly awaited second
edition was published in October
and features all the new
contact details for companies that
have re-located, changed their
company name or come into
existence in the past 12 months.
The Pro Audio A to Z costs £25
(40 euros or $35) and can be
ordered by calling CMP
Information on +44 20 7579 4169,
(fax number +44 20 7579 4011) or
2001
by emailing
esullivan@cmpinformation.com.
PSNE
audio contacts
- The Pro Audio A to Z, published by CMP
Information, contains a wealth of contacts essential
to anyone in the business of pro audio.
The first section,
Manufacturers, is a
comprehensive list of pro audio companies from
around the world - 186 pages of them, in fact.
Where that information was available, an address,
phone and fax number, email address and website
have been printed. And where a particular
manufacturer has invested in an 'enhanced' entry, all
its distributors are listed too. Readers can see at a
glance how to reach a certain product in a certain
region of the globe - from Albania to Zimbabwe.
Contrarily, a distributor can see where a
manufacturer doesn't have coverage, and act on
that information.
The second section lists Distributors, by A to Z of
country of operation. Here, at least one contact is
given, be it telephone, email, or both. Got a
product range that needs an outlet in Fiji? There are
several distribution companies to choose from
here...
The third section, Fast Track, is a collection of
useful numbers and contacts for a variety of
essential services: industry organisations (NSCA,
Institute für Rundfunktechnik, EBU...); equipment
hire; exhibition
organisers; pr/marketing/
publicity businesses; a round -up of publications
and magazines; studio design and construction;
and support services (finance agencies, hire firms,
and more).
The Pro Audio A to Z costs £25 (40 euros or $35)
and can be ordered by calling CMP Information on
+44 20 7579 4169, (fax number +44 20 7579 4011)
or by emailing esullivan@cmpinformation.com.
WORLD
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9ver 300 pages
Morn than 3,000 entries
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Contact: Eileen Sullivan. E-mail: esullivan@cmpinformation.com
Tel: +44 (0)20 7579 4169. Fax: +44 (0)20 7579 4011
Total number of
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- Ever wondered how many businesses are
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Section four of the directory lists all the
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The Pro Audio A to Z costs £25 (40 euros or $35)
WORLD
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PSNE
A
56
to /Volume 2: "invaluable"
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
DR JOHN'S VIDEO LIBRARY
DIGrTAL MAGNETIC RECORDING
Getting further into the details of recording and data integrity, John Watkinson
continues his examination of the vital topic of digital magnetic recording
DISCUSSED last
month, digital heads
AS
and media do not
know they are digionly the associated
IDEAL
SIGNAL
RESTRICTED
BANDWIDTH
EF
tal. It is
signal processing which makes
it possible to recover discrete
data from the medium. The
NOISE
head and the medium together can be considered as a
channel or signal path having
Fig.1: Digital replay signals are non-ideal
certain characteristics. Fig.1
but the pulse amplitude falls as the pulse gets
shows some of these characteristics, which include a
shorter. Eventually the waveform cannot be sliced.
frequency response that may be irregular and restrictAt Fig.3b the opposite duty cycle is shown. The siged, along with the addition of noise, distortion and
nal level drifts to the opposite polarity and once
timing errors or jitter.
more slicing is impossible. The phenomenon is called
Digital recorders have to overcome all of these
baseline wander and will be observed with any sigissues adequately rather than perfectly. In the digital
nal whose average voltage is not the same as the
recording domain, there is only one thing that can go
slicing level. At Fig.3c it will be seen that if the transwrong: the recovered data is not identical to the origmitted waveform has a relatively constant average
inal. When an error correction system is available, it
voltage, slicing remains possible up to high freis not necessary for every single bit to be correct, as
quencies even in the presence of serious amplitude
any which are incorrect will be put right. This means
loss, because the received waveform remains symthat the recording and data recovery circuitry do
metrical about the baseline.
not need to be perfect.
It follows from the above that it is not possible
The characteristics of most channels are that sigsimply to serialise data in a shift register prior to
nal loss occurs which increases with frequency. This
recording because successful slicing can only be
has the effect of slowing down rise times and thereobtained if the number of ones is equal to the numby sloping off edges. If a signal with sloping edges is
ber of zeros; there is little chance of this happening
sliced, the time at which the waveform crosses the
consistently with real data. Another problem is that
slicing level will be changed, and this causes jitter.
if there is a run of identical bits, the serial signal
Fig.2 shows that slicing a sloping waveform in the
maintains a constant state and there is then no timpresence of baseline wander causes more jitter.
ing information to help count the bits. Instead, a
The slicer is implemented with a comparator that
modulation code or channel code is necessary. This
has analogue inputs but a binary output. In a cable
converts the serial data into a waveform which is
receiver, the input waveform can be sliced directly.
DC-free-or nearly so-and which has a guaranIn an inductive magnetic replay system, the replay
teed clock content.
waveform is differentiated and must first pass
As ideal transitions occur at multiples of a basic
through a peak detector or an integrator. The signal
period, an oscilloscope, which is repeatedly triggered
voltage is compared with the midway voltage,
on a channel -coded signal carrying random data,
known as the threshold, baseline or slicing level by
will show an 'eye pattern' if connected to the output
the comparator. If the signal voltage is above the
of the equaliser. Fig.4 shows that study of the eye
threshold, the comparator outputs a high level, if
pattern reveals how well the coding used suits the
below, a low level results.
channel. In the case of transmission, with a short
Fig.3 shows some waveforms associated with a
cable, the losses will be small, and the eye opening
slicer. At Fig.3a the transmitted waveform has an
will be virtually square except for some edge-sloping
uneven duty cycle. The DC component, or average
due to cable capacitance. As cable length increases,
level, of the signal is received with high amplitude,
Fig.2: A DC offset can cause timing errors
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
TIMEBASE
ERROR
REAL
SIGNAL
the harmonics are lost and the remaining fundamental gives the eyes a diamond shape. The same
eye pattern will be obtained with a recording channel where it is uneconomic to provide bandwidth
much beyond the fundamental.
Noise closes the eyes in a vertical direction, and jitter closes the eyes in a horizontal direction. If the
eyes remain sensibly open, data separation will be
possible. Clearly, more jitter can be tolerated if there
is less noise, and vice versa. If the equaliser is
adjustable, the optimum setting will be where the
greatest eye opening is obtained.
In the centres of the eyes, the receiver must make
binary decisions at the channel bit rate about the
state of the signal, high or low, using the slicer output. As stated, the receiver is sampling the output
of the slicer, and it needs to have a sampling clock in
order to do that. In order to give the best rejection
of noise and jitter, the clock edges which operate the
sampler must be in the centre of the eyes.
The only way in which the sampling clock can be
obtained is to use a phase -locked loop to regenerate it from the clock content of the self -clocking
channel-coded waveform. In phase -locked loops, the
voltage -controlled oscillator is driven by a phase
error measured between the output and some reference, such that the output eventually has the same
frequency as the reference. If a divider is placed
between the VCO and the phase comparator, the
VCO frequency can be made to be a multiple of the
reference. This also has the effect of making the loop
more heavily damped. If a channel -coded waveform
is used as a reference to a PLL, the loop will be able
to make a phase comparison whenever a transition
arrives and will run at the channel bit rate. When
there are several detents between transitions, the
loop will flywheel at the last known frequency and
phase until it can rephase at a subsequent transition.
Thus a continuous clock is re-created from the clock
content of the channel waveform.
In a digital audio or video recorder, this clock will
have a defined relationship to the sampling rate of the
original material. For example, in compact disc, the
master clock is 98 times the sampling rate.
In a recorder, if the speed of the medium should
change, the PLL will, within reason, change frequency to follow. This mechanism is adequate to
allow for speed irregularities due to disk run -out or
57
DR JOHN'S VIDEO LIBRARY
Ad Index
sampled by the PLL
AKM
Aphex
OBC
A -Z Directory
56
Behringer
27
BSS
18
C B Electronics
42
Cube Technologies
12
D&R
8
Dolby
17
Doremi
41
DPA Mics
29
FAR
38
Focusrite
15
Frankfurt Musik Messe
37
Funky Junk
19
FX Rentals
32
for a reasonable period. In data recorders,
which have discontinuous recorded blocks
to allow editing, the
solution is to precede
each data block with a
pattern of transitions
whose sole purpose
is to provide a timing
reference for synchronising the phase -locked
loop. This pattern is
known as a preamble.
In interfaces, the transmission can be continuous and there is no
difficulty remaining in
lock indefinitely. There
will simply be a short
delay on first applying
24/25
Genelec
HHb
10,31
HW International
35
IBC
65
IIR
50
Klotz ais
46
KT Group
39
Lawo
45
Lexicon
-
20
Mackie
IBC
Manley
23
Media Tools
51
Merging Technologies
36
Mosses
28
&
Mitchell
Neutrik
52
Prism
21
PSS
13
Richmond Film Service
32
Roland
the signal before the
receiver locks to it.
One potential probFig.3: Slicing a signal which has suffered losses works well if the duty cycle is
even. If the duty cycle is uneven, as in (a), timing errors will become worse
until slicing fails. With the opposite duty cycle, the slicing fails in the opposite
direction as in (b). If, however, the signal is DC free, correct slicing can
continue even in the presence of serious losses, as (c) shows
43
Lydkraft
9
Sennheiser
40
Soundtracs
11
SPL
16
SSL
IFC
Studer
47
Studio Spares
53
Tascam
33
TL Audio
44
58
edge at the centre of an
eye is the value of a
channel bit.
Clearly, data cannot
be separated if the PLL
is not locked, but it
cannot be locked until
it has seen transitions
48
warp, tape stretch or capstan eccentricity. Data recovery continues with timing locked to the instantaneous
speed of the medium, and the timing errors are
removed in the subsequent time-base corrector which
outputs samples at a constant rate.
However, phase -locked loops are optimised to
reject jitter and this makes them limited in the
frequency range that they can accommodate. This is
the reason why the variable speed range of
stationary -head digital audio
tape recorders is limited. In
rotary head machines it is possible to vary the head speed as
a function of tape linear speed
so that the off-tape bit rate stays
lem area frequently
overlooked is to ensure
that the VCO in the
receiving PLL is correctly centred. If it is
not, it will be running
with
a
static phase
error and will not sample the received waveform at the centre of the eyes.
The sampled bits will be more prone to noise and
jitter errors. VCO centring can simply be checked
by displaying the control voltage. This should
not change significantly when the input is momentarily interrupted. In the Serial Digital Interface
(SDI) a large number of problems can be
avoided by correct adjustment of the VCOs
during installation.
D
the same. This head speed variation can clearly be heard in
DAT machines and DVTRs
during shuttle.
Once the loop is locked,
clock edges will be phased with
the average phase of the jittering
edges of the input waveform. If,
for example, rising edges of the
clock are phased to input transitions, then falling edges will
be in the centre of the eyes. If
these edges are used to clock the
sampling process, the maximum
jitter and noise can be rejected.
The output of the slicer when
Fig.4: The eye pattern resulting from the use of channel coding
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
Design Consultancy Section
Design, Installation and Consultancy Section
Oxford Sound Company Ltd
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STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
SPONSORED BY:
LETTERS:
WORLD EVENTS
Focal Press
ESSENTIAL BOOKS FOR THE AUDIO
PROFESSIONAL ANI) STUDENT
EMAIL YOUR LETTERS
November
30-3 December
TO THE EDITOR:
tgoodyer@cmpinformation.com
AES 111th Convention
LEITER OF THE MONTH
Jacob K Javits Convention Centre,
New York, USA.
Contact: Exhibitions and Events.
Net: www.aes.org
Public image
WRITE WITH REFERENCE to Stuart
Tarbuck's letter, your reply, and the published photo of myself (Letters, Studio
Sound November 2001).
Ambushes from man -hole covers is one
thing, but reviving paparazzo shots from a
drunken Christmas outing (just look at the
table in the picture!) approximately seven
years ago when was sporting a rather
unwise hairstyle, not to mention an enormous analogue mobile phone, is grossly
unfair, and surely against all the principles
established by the Press Complaints
Authority. shall be speaking to my
lawyers-and stylist-forthwith. Please
see more recent photo enclosed.
I
I
George Shilling,
sound engineer and
Studio Sound contributor
This month's letter of the
month wins a free copy of
the latest edition of
The Art of Digital Audio by
John Watkinson from the
Focal Press range
Tim Goodyer replies
The camera never lies, George, though
sometimes the photographer does. We
heard from your stylist this morning,
although your solicitor has yet to return
ou- calls. Strangely, however, the CMP
A pedant
Sad to say that
can't point you
the
direction of the source research, apart from
to comment that it was American. It was all
grabbed from a broadcast on the fly-in
the best musicians' tradition.
I
in
Goodyer's editorial this month (November
2001) that the sentence '...the statistics
tell that if you're not still listening to new
musical forms at the age of 23, there's a
After digital
TDK produced a reel-to-reel tape of
cassette quality, digital recording would
become a thing of the past. Ampex 456 is
prehistoric compared to the quality of TDK
cassette tape. With this in mind, have
IF
95% probability that you never will', is gram-
matically confusing. My question, to avoid
me making a false assumption, is what
exactly does the research tell? And which
research are you referring to, that is where
can look to read more of it?
would be grateful to hear from you.
I
designed a 24 -track tape recorder on completely new principles:
1. Sensors on the motor carrier sense
the weight of tape and the offset of tension.
2. The record -sync head is staggeredthat is there are two record heads, one
even, one odd and two playback heads,
one even, one odd-to allow (a) adjacent
overdubbing (b) better coil winding.
3. Tape profile head on the edge of the
tape stores every noise (music -white) and
registers the position of the tape (profile
of tape noise).
4. Transport is entirely logic-there
is no play or loose tape to compromise
for inaccurate tape transport... precision
tape handling.
I
I
Mike Robinson, UK
Tim Goodyer replies
The missing word would be 'again'.
The study-picked up on a BBC Open
University programme, if remember correctly-describes wo/mankind's increasing inability to accept change with age.
What struck me was that while so much
of the record business betrays its 'youth
I
culture' status through the old bastards
that populate its key areas, the recording
industry remains uncharacteristically openminded about the development of music
I\I
t)I:AI \I
I0\ t)\
v\
vv
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
B Braunds, Worcester, UK
\I It
\
\\ tt)..11}Irr,,.(:))n1
2001
I
I
1111
I,
\
I
+
Sound 2002
ICE India 2001
Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India.
Bombay Exhibition Centre,
Mumbai, India.
Email: exhibitionsindia@vsnl.com
Tel: +91
Contact: Exhibitions and Events.
Fax: +91
11
463 8680.
11
462 3320.
Email: exhibitionsindia@vsnl.com
New Delhi, India.
7-8
Surround 2001
Beverly Hills Hilton, USA.
Contact: Exhibitions and Events.
Tel: +1 800 294 7605 x507.
Net: www.surroundpro.com
3-6
I'm sure you will agree on rereading Tim
()I:
6-8
February 2002
and the technology behind its creation.
writes
ALLOW ME to preface this by stating that
it is not my intention to be an irritating
pedant, but to seek clarification of one of
your always thought -provoking editorials.
I
13-17
ProLight
BCS & Comms India
I
Frankfurt, Germany.
Contact: Messe Frankfurt.
Tel: +49 69 75750.
Email: prolightsound@
messefrankfurt.com
Net: www.prolight-sound.com
December
6-8
switchboard is now closed to teenage girls
calling simply for 'George'. The office
sweepstake is open on the likely response
to your latest 'persona'-my money's on a
February FHM cover.
13-17
Frankfurt Musik Messe
Net: www.exhibitionsindia.org
April
6-11
NAB
Las Vegas Convention Center,
Las Vegas, US.
Contact: Exhibitions and Events.
Tel: +1 202 429 5300.
Fax: +1 202 438 7327.
Email: Webmaster@nab.org
SIEL
Net: www.nab.org
Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles,
France.
Contact: Exhibitions and Events.
Tel: +33 47 56 50 42.
Fax: +33
47 56 24 64.
Email: siel@reedexpo.fr
Net: www.siel-expo.com
May
10-13
1
1
4-6
ENTECH 2002
Darling Harbour, Sydney.
Contact: Exhibitions and Events.
Tel: +61 2 9876 3530.
Fax: +61 2 9876 5715.
Net: www.conpub.com.au
112th AES
MOC Center, Munich, Germany.
Contact: Exhibitions and Events.
Tel: +1 212 661 8528.
Net: www.aes.org
21-23
Production Show 2002
Broadcast Thailand 2002
National Hall, Olympia, London, UK.
Contact: Exhibitions and Events.
Tel: +44 20 7505 8000.
Email: toby.wand@media.emap.com
Net: www.productionshow.com
Queen Sirikit National Conference
Centre, Thailand.
June
21-23
Contact: Overseas Exhibition
Services.
Tel: +44 20 7862 2082.
Fax: +44 20 7862 2088.
Email: ajones@montnet.com
Net: www.besmontnet.com
March
6-8
Convergence India 2002
Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India.
Contact: Exhibitions and Events.
Tel: +91 11 463 8680.
Fax: +91 11 462 3320.
Email: exhibitionsindia@vsnl.com
Net: www.exhibitionsindia.org
1
7-21
BroadcastAsia 2002
Suntec Singapore International
Convention and Exhibition Centre,
Singapore.
Contact: Exhibitions and Events.
Tel: +65 233 8627
Fax: +65 835 3040.
Email: sus@sesmontnet.com
Net: www.broadcast-asia.com
Email your event details to
Dawn Boultwood:
dbou ltwood@cm pi nformation. com
for prompt inclusion in World Events
63
LETTERS
rats to warm ale as the culprit, and rather
Long words &
warm ale
AM WRITING to you after finally recovering from a bout of exhaustion foisted upon
me during the reading of the second sentence of the Soundtracs D4 review in the
April 2001 issue of Studio Sound for which
Zenon Schoepe is designated author and
I
Lincoln Zimmanck,
Audio Intervisual Design, US
technology that transformed the recording
industry in the early 1980s.
bought and
learnt but very quickly outgrew the
information provided by the so-called 'audio'
magazines available in newsagents. A
chance invite from a record duplicator to an
APRS show saw me enter another world. It
was a world suspected existed and it was
where saw my first copy of Studio Sound.
Your magazine has been with me ever since
and feel deeply grateful that it has existed
to grow up with.
I
executive editor. And while could only manI
age to conjure up a paltry 46 -word sentence
compared to yours, the requirement for longwindedness and mental acuity necessary to
follow the apparent train of thought is obvious (and that was only 35).
All in good fun-I certainly appreciate
those authors who are capable of writing
more than eight or 10 words per sentence.
They are (dangerously!) assuming that the
reader is capable of retaining a train of
thought across so many words in succession. I'm of the view that it's the writer's task
to challenge them, rather than the all-too obvious 'word bytes' for the fast-food/MTV
acolytes. was actually moved to write you,
as had previously similarly chastened another British contributor to a classic motorcycle
periodical. will refrain from the obvious'referI
I
I
The last ten years have seen the
biggest changes in the technology that
have used professionally and to your
credit you have always been ahead of
the game. You've changed the format
and content in line with my changing
information needs. It's incredible that the
magazine has evolved so dramatically
yet still retains the values that attracted
me to it in the first place. It looks great,
is so current and my colleagues and
look forward to every issue because it is
the best.
don't think there is a point to my letter.
just want to say thank you.
thank you
consider it fortunate that we have such credible contributors to your most -preferred
industry periodical.
LIKE SO MANY OTHERS,
explosion
I
was bom to the
affordable personal recording
in
I
I
I
Zenon Schoepe replies
I
thank you for your comments on your
breath -taking experience. am particularly
pleased with the sentence in question and,
I
while cannot pretend that it is anywhere
near my Personal Best, it serves to demonstrate that our readers are selected on application and the need to know as well as lung
capacity and unbroken attention span.
(Paah! 47 words and I'm not even trying.
Deeper breaths Lincoln).
The temptation to resort to the lazy snippet approach to writing in this soundbite-driven age is strong but ultimately the quality of
the readership is what decides whether or
not it is acceptable. Studio Sound readers
expect more, and that is what we deliver.
References to 'warm ale' are not that
obvious as we don't imbibe nearly as much
as we perhaps ought to but it's an interesting concept. If nothing else, it should put the
wind in 'long-windedness'.
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
Nick Frieze, Paris, France
BOOK REVIEW
brief walkthroughs for
Creating a Music Website
Mike Simmons
ISBN
1-870775-72-4
Bedroom musicians around the world have
long argued that the World Wide Web has
the record industry gasping its last breath,
and whether right or wrong, you'd think
that Mike Simmons, author of Creating a
Music Website, would have seized upon
this as a nice marketing angle for his book.
But thankfully Simmons avoids the soap-
box-well, almost.
His rather gung-ho introduction begins with the declaration, "The
music industry is changing", then gives way
to enthusiastic chatter on the potential of the
Internet as
a
marketing and sales tool.
However, as befits a book that started life
as a series of articles within the pages of the
UK's Sound on Sound magazine, the first
chapter's tone quickly settles into a purposeful
amble, taking the reader step by step through
every conceivable element of establishing a
web site for audio.
It's all here, from basic HTML coding and
site construction to streaming media-even
popular packages such
as RealAudio and
Quicklime are included.
Nor does Simmons rest
there. Readers are
taught to register their
site with search engines,
sell their music from the
web and find a decent domain name. It's an
holistic approach to a broad subject and it
occasionally feels shallow in places (web
authoring software is skimmed over in three
paragraphs, and even the author recommends tracking down a HTML manual).
Nevertheless, with such a wealth of
information on offer it's impossible not to
team something, and a novice using Creating
Music Website to establish their on-line
presence could certainly deliver the kind of
site those DIY enthusiasts believe will take
over the music business. In order to create
something of a high enough quality to make
Sony tremble in its Gucci loafers, however,
prospective moguls would have to read a
little deeper into the subject.
a
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the Noze
Massage with
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STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
/
2001
Leading the world in electronic media
...visit
A1I'sAf
íbii.or-g
Exhibition
Conference
1BC2002
RAI Amsterdam
September
Exhibits 13 17
12 - 16
IBC
Aldwych House
81 Aldwych London WC2B 4EL
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7611 7500
Fax: +44 (0)20 7611 7530
Email: show@ibc.org
www.ibc.org
BACKCHAT
ADRIAN LUCAS
Adrian Lucas is the original founder of Imerge, British -based pioneer of cutting edge audio and
video deliver systems. Currently, the company's XiVA is bringing the Internet to your hi-fi
What suspicions should pro -audio
people have about the future of
domestic audio?
None-it's a great opportunity.
Here's why: (a) No longer will people
be restricted to the choice of music
AN EXPERIENCED and
proven international business developer and strategic leader, Adrian Lucas
has taken Imerge from its early
embodiments in 1994 through incorporation in 1997, all funding rounds
to its present leading and mature
position in the market. Previously, he
worked at Sony in the digital TV
available in high street stores (pretty
limited in most towns)-the entire
wealth of the world's music content
will be available through your hi-fi system, easily. Early recordings, unsigned
artists, massive back -catalogues, outtakes... The demand for getting more
music to the `online' market will
explode as suddenly we can find more
music we like. You can see this happening on the Internet already with
companies like PeopleSound/V taminic.
(b) Convergent products, like those
based on XiVA, don't necessarily mean
nasty MP3 music-full-CD quality,
surround sound music, and so on,
can all be stored and accessed on
convergent products. (c) New software upgrades and features can be
downloaded to convergent domestic players of the future, making it
possible to access sound processing
applications as after -market
upgrades to living room products.
arena and then moved to
Cambridge -based consultancy,
Scientific Generics, to head up its
digital New Media group. Here he
was responsible for all business
development and strategy for digital
broadcast consulting, hard -disk based media server products and
New Media services.
At Scientific Generics, he lead
pioneering work in streaming video
from hard disk drives in 1994 and
took this to market ahead of the
competition with clients such as the
Financial Times (for financial TV
distribution) and Thorn. He was
the leader of the team which developed the seminal thinking behind
today's digital TV receivers for Sky,
back in 1994, incorporating interactive TV applications alongside
video programming.
With Sony, he worked on highdefinition TV systems for the TV
and film industries. His career started in electronic engineering, cutting
his teeth in military radar in the
mid -eighties.
Adrian has a PhD in machine intelligence and an
electronic engineering degree from the University of
Surrey. Outside work, he plays guitar and dabbles
in home music recording projects on the rare occasion where time permits. He enjoys sailing (but only
in the warmer waters of the world).
Will there be any use for vinyl in
five years?
Most hard disk -based audio players can, or will shortly, be able to
record from any source (LP, cassette)
directly onto the hard disk giving a
new lease of life to old collections.
Why do we need XiVA-your domestic fusion of
audio video and the Internet?
Consumers need it to bring the next generation of
entertainment to their living room; our licensees need
it as it allows them to make appropriate products faster
without building a huge teams to master the underlying technologies to make this happen.
In 50 words, what is your vision for the future of
domestic entertainment?
Much of today's PC functionality will migrate to
`living room' products. `Whole house' entertainment
-any content, anywhere, anytime-will become
more mass -market, available at the touch of button
in most rooms. The Internet will be connected directly into the domestic entertainment system to drive
content and services directly into the main entertainment centre, not just the PC. Today's music and
video broadcast scheduled programming will coexist with time -shifted content (delivered at various
speeds and times, watched in an order defined by
the listener or viewer) as well as streamed content
sourced directly from the Internet.
66
What was the last film you paid to see?
Amelie.
What CD is presently in your car CD player?
Shaun Colvin, A Few Small Repairs.
How long before we see it in the high street?
It's already there-we started selling the first XiVAbased products in November 2000 and products from
our licensees based on XiVA started selling in February.
By the end of 2002, there will be 6-10 further brands selling product based on XiVA... it's becoming a standard.
Will older generations buy into it?
The features, convenience and benefits of XiVA-based
products are attractive to all generations. My aunt is 84
and has owned a CD player for about five years...
unthinkable 20 years back?
How smart will the average western household
need to be to use the home entertainment system
of the future?
Hmmm, hopefully, with an easy to use TV interface controlling all music and video functions, I hope
they will need to be much less smart than today.
With Americans staying at home instead of boarding aeroplanes, is this a good time for the enter-
tainment industry?
The gut feeling is that it's a very good time, but
we don't have enough history or data to really
confirm this.
STUDIO SOUND DECEMBER
2001
REC
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RECORD! EDIT! PLAY!
Save your computer
....>
,e,......
.
c
Plug in the HDR24/96 Recorder/
Editor and start recording. No
;..
e
0000
external computer to boot up. No
hardware and software configuration
night- mares. No compromises like settling
for 20 -bit
audio or
just
12
tracks at a time.
Recording is easy with the HDR24/96.
"...the HDR24/9E is a
stunning develop-
Simultaneously record 24 tracks of 24 -bit
digital audio...without waiting for lock-up,
tape shuttle or CPU lag. Drop up to 192
alternate takes into "virtual tracks." Record
onto affordable, removable media that you
ment with excellent
can swap in and out for each
sonic quality! (and)
project.
And do it all
with your hands
an extensive feature
set...it's easy to use
and priced right.
This one rocks!"
George Petersen
Ihr Magazine March2001
t
The part of the track after the insert just "slides
down".
You can audition regions or modify their
start/end points instantly, capture them as
"sound elements" for later use or quantize
them to user-defined time grids.
Create fade-ins, fade-outs and
crossfades just by dragging and
dropping them ...and then set their
length by dragging the mouse.
Add volume envelopes for simple level
automation of regions or whole tracks.
Then use Track Render to combine all or
selected regions of a track just as you hear
it complete with crossfades, volume envelopes,
mutes, etc.
Play with the HDR24/96.
Play back 24 tracks of
pristine digital audio
-instantly without any
pause or lag time. It
analog -style machine
(or two sizes of wired
will be synched rock Professional
remote for
remotes) instead of
solidly to everything in
a very professional hard
resorting to myriad mouse
your studio
from
disk recorder. Our new Remote
clicks. All basic functions are
48 lets you rum two HDR24296s - 48
MIDI -based sequencers
right on the HDR24/96 front tracks of total control including a weighted
to VTRs (via SMPTE and
jog/shuttle wheel and full display!
panel including transport
video black burst). Then
buttons and a Record Enable
let your partners, clients and friends "play"
button for each track.
with your tracks anywhere in the world, thanks
to the HDR24/96's Ether -net port and built-in
Editing is easy with the HDR24/96.
FTP server.
Twenty- four track
Plug in an SVGA monitor,
masters for
Get a demo at a Mackie dealer.
keyboard and mouse, choose
-
you'll
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of Cat[ eamd Systems.
an existing track without erasing anything.
on a familiar,
under £10 each*!!
Divide the cost of
a Mackie Media
M90 into
the 20+
pop tunes
you can
record on
it and
*hi sz o] average oflengtt at curent
pop sa. gs usis4 24 tracks CittlirJta-
for e-mail.
appreciate
why we
call it an affordable medium. Nonlinear hard drives
store audio data
only, not silence.
Tape (and linear
hard disk recorders) just roll merrily along... eating
oxide and costing
money.
from 2x, 4x, 8x, 12x or 24 -track
views and then watch them
scroll smoothly past a
centerline.
Mark hundreds of cue points
and four locate points for
looping and auto -punch -in
modes.
Use the mouse to "scrub"
individual tracks, Cue, Punch
and Loop points with continuously variable velocity.
You can mark a segment (or
multiple non -adjacent
segments) as a region and
then cut, copy and paste it
anywhere
onto a blank
track or right in the middle of
-
We honestly believe that we've created
the best of two worlds: the best standalone
non-linear digital recorder, and an extremely
robust editing system with ultra -functional
graphic user interface.
Call toll -free or visit our web site (using that
computer you won't rimed to tie up) for more
info.
www.mackie.com
UK
*44.1268.571212 email: mackie.uk@rcf-uk.com
Germany .49.2572.96042.0 email: info@mackie.de
France +03.85.46.91.60 email: rcf.commercial@wanadoo.fr
Italy +39.0522.354111 email: mackieitalia@rcf.it
Illeeti to
back up
a couple
of
songs? Plug
a Mackie
Media"'
Project drive
into the
HDR2496
external bay
and transfer
over 2GB to
an ORB"
disk.
maybe ìt's not your muer
You know how
impact and detail get lost through recording and mixing. And you just can't EQ,
compress or mix the life back in. When you're at wit's end, the Aphex Model 204 can save your sanity.
your sound. The Aural Exciter°restores and improves definition and detail.
At the same time the Optical Big Bottom® solidifies and strengthens the bass without hogging all the level.
The Model 204 renews and vitalizes
If you need professional and impressive sound you owe it to yourself to get a Model 204. You'll
your sanity and
a
lot of perfectly good mixers. You've got
a
probably save
problem - We've got the solution!
The all new Aphex Model 204 Aural Exciter and Optical Big Bottom
API-IEX
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11068 Randall Street, Sun Valley, CA 91352 U.S.A 818-767-2929 Fax: 818-767-2641 www.aphex.com
No mixers were harmed in the production of this ad.
Aphex, Autal Exciter and Big Bottom are registered trademarks of Aphex Systems
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