ENG/NEE - American Radio History
December 1983
Volume 14
Number 6
Xi .0 C
o,C C")
r<r" 0
And a very special thanks to:
ABC -TV (New York)
Amazon Studios
Audio Affects
Audio Concept
Audio Innovators
Hunter Barth Agency
Begger's Banquet Recording
Buckskin Studios
CBS Publishing
Jeff Caloway
Castle Studios
Manny Charlton (Nazareth)
Kevin Cronin (REO)
Frank Cutre
Duchess Recording
Larry Dunn (E, W & F)
EFX Studios
The Eurythmics
John Farrar
Barry Fasman
Forum Studio
The Garden Studios
David Gates (Bread)
Gooseberry Studio
With deep appreciation,
Ground Control
Chris Halably
Steve Hallmark
Ed Hilbert
Hillside Studios
Jermaine Jackson
Marlin Jackson
Al Johnson
Plas Johnson
King Sound Studios
David Lee
Mad Dog Studios
Mark Recording
Mayfair Studios
McCune Sound Services
Media Recorders
Mitch Easter Recording
Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo)
Art Munson
Music Annex
Music Design Group
Music Works
Brian Neary
Phil Oakey (Human League)
Omega Productions
Phil Mattson School
Positive Video
Post Sound
Preferred Sound
Revolution Studios
Roman Sound
Gary Richrath (REO)
Sensa Recording
Studio Henninger
Sound Lab Studios
Tim Pinch Recording
Titania Studio
U -2
Frank Unruh
Gino Vanelli
Joe Vanelli
Ross Vanelli
Maurice White (E, W & F)
Joe Zawinul (Weather Report)
Have a
great 1984
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December 1983
D R -e /p 3
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For additional Information circle #3
December 1983
R -e /p 5
- Contents -
December 1983
Volume 14 Number 6
Production Viewpoint
Session producer, studio owner, songwriter, and label president
SPENCER PROFFER ... working with Allan Clarke, Tina Turner,
and Billy Thorpe ... finding Platinum success with Quiet Riot
page 40
by David Gordon
(A Conversation
the magazine to exclusively serve the
those whose work involves the
engineering and production of commercially
marketable product for:
Records and Tape
Live Performance
Video and Broadcast
-ART ...
the magazine produced to relate recording
to recording SCIENCE ... to recording
Feature Writer
Consulting Editors
ROMAN OLEARCZUK ... Technical Operations
DAVID SCHEIRMAN ... Live Performance
Assistant Editor
Art Director
Advertising Manager
Business Manager
Circulation /Subscription
Live- Performance Sound
page 56
by David Scheirman
Film Sound
RETURN OF THE JEDI Sound Design by Ben Burtt
Part Two: Final Dubbing Process
by Larry Blake
(THX Theater Sound Reproduction System page 84)
Studio Design and Construction
ROCSHIRE STUDIOS An Intricate Reconstruction
to Improve Sound Isolation between Studio and
page 96
Control Room
(The Genesis of a Recording Studio
- page 103)
The Recording Interface
by Paul D. Lehrman
(A Recording Engineer's Guide to MIDI, by Jeffrey Rona
page 109
- page
Special Report
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One year (six issues) subscriptions may be
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without the written consent of the publisher.
page 130
by Adrian Zarin
page 140
by Nigel Branwell
New York City's Lucas /McFaul Working
page 146
by Robert Carr
- Departments
Exposing Audio Mythology, by John
News - page 20 Industry Inventiveness in
Roberts -page
the Eighties: The "High- Tech" meets "Low- Tech" Recording
Philosophy of Denis Degher, by James Riordan - page 22 Digital
Dilemma: Potential Pitfalls in Mastering for the Compact Disc, by
First Impressions: &K 4000 Series
Roger Nichols - page 28
Condenser Omnidirectional Studio Microphones, including assessments from engineers Bernie Kirsh and Shawn Murphy -page 32
Products - page 156 Classified
Studio Update - page
Move - page 174 Advertisers Index
- page People on theNew
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R -e, p 6
December 1983
-page 174
- The Cover -
Control room interior at Rocshire Studios, Anaheim, California. A
feature article detailing the intricate reconstruction process to
improve sound isolation begins on page 96.
Photography by Barry Levine.
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December 1983
R -e /p 7
Every sound engineer
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from: Bob Burr, president
QL Mobile Recording
all night long will put you to sleep. So try
recording direct -to- digital. Like I said
before, all it takes is three things ...
Coral Gables, Florida
was pleased to read in October's
"News, Letters, and Views" column a letter by Jeffery Weber concerning recording
direct to two -track.
We all know that real men don't eat
quiche. I submit that the recording equivalent of quiche is the ever popular multitrack overdub approach to making music.
It didn't happen overnight. We are all
guilty of contributing to the collective evolution of what we now call "recording."
Have we not lost sight of reality in music?
When did the recording business get boring? When we started overdubbing
I can't expect you to agree with me if you
own, or make your living in, a modern multitrack facility. Your job is to give your
clients what they want. Play it safe. Overdub 'til the cows come home, usually one
track at a time. You will get it right eventually, and at $100+ per hour, who's complaining? Not the studio owner. Not the
union musicians.
My feeling is that at least 25% of popular
recording should be done live in the studio.
Obviously, classical music is rarely overdubbed. Most good jazz happens in real
time. Ditto for reggae, folk and new wave.
Why not record it in real time? All it takes
is three things ... talent, talent and talent.
Perhaps you've read books about the
early days of recording, or talked to people
who were there. If not, I'll tell you a little
story. You see, in the good old days, the
musicians actually showed up at the same
time, in the same place, and played
together. I know it sounds funny, but
sometimes something magic would
happen as the guys got to playing. On a
good day they would really get "into a
groove." The signal went directly to a
mono or stereo tape machine or, better yet,
direct to the disk cutting head. Bingo! A hit
record. Press it up.
In these modern times we can, at best,
create the illusion that the musicians
played together by donning headphones,
closing our eyes, and pretending to be
there together.
Since we live in the future now, let's take
this one step further. What if we record
direct to digital (or if you're still scared of
digital, half-inch analog). Book time in
your favorite world class studio for three
days instead of three months. A half dozen
or so takes of each tune can be electronically edited into a "perfect take." Disk
mastering may be performed repeatedly to
achieve dramatic results. Compact Discs,
analog and digital audio cassettes are
ready to be mastered from a purely digital
source. It doesn't get any cleaner than this
Please be careful. Once you've tried it
you may find, as I did, that multitracking
dBv or dBV?
from: Steven Graham
The University of Michigan
Public Radio Stations
Ann Arbor, Michigan
This is an addendum to the discussion of
dBv versus dBm found on pages 124 and
125 of the October, 1983 issue [ "Performing Meaningful Noise Measuerments in
Theory and Practice," by Paul C. Buff].
To more clearly distinguish between
dBv (0 dB = 0.775 VRMS) and dBV (0 dB =
1.0 VRMS) it seems that dBu and /or dBU
are being used quite often instead of dBv.
(It is often difficult to distinguish dBv from
dBV if it is handwitten, and "dB- small -v"
is a mouthful.)
Editor's Note: John Roberts' column
"Exposing Audio Mythology," to be found
elsewhere in this issue, should further clarify the differences between these often confusing reference levels. R -e /p would be
interested to hear from other readers
regarding the standardization of
dBu /dBU to designate levels referenced to
0.775 VRMS, to avoid confusion with dBV
from: Stephen F. Temmer
Gotham Audio Corporation
New York, New York
With reference to the increasing use of
Pressure Zone Microphones in recording
and production studios, readers of Recording Engineer /Producer may be interested
in the following translation made by this
writer of an article by Eberhard Sengpiel,
which first appeared in the May/June
1983 issue of the Newsletter of the Verband
Deutscher Tonmeister e.V. (Association of
German Studio Engineers), and titled
"Boundary Surface Microphones; A Cit-
icism of the PZM ":
"In recent times, more and more microphones have appeared on the marketplace
which one can categorize as boundary surface microphones. Different designations
such as boundary -barrier or pressure -zone
have been used for them. The first of this
series of microphones had the trademark
PZM® (Pressure Zone Microphone). The
deficiencies of this microphone type were
discussed in the AES preprint 1796 (F -5) of
May 1981: "The Acoustic Behavior of
PZM® and Pressure Zone Microphone®
are registered trademarks of Crown International, Inc.
Pressure- Responding Microphones Positioned on Rigid Boundaries
Review and
Critique," by Lipshitz and Vanderkooy,
University of W aterloo /Ontario (Canada).
Here is a short excerpt of the most important points made in this article:
The PZM microphone is a new type of
microphone. This kind of microphone is
exemplified by the fact that the sound does
not reach the membrane directly since the
membrane is oriented toward a hard
boundary surface. The microphone, so to
say, gets in its own way. As a justification
for this, we find the false assumption by its
developer, that in a direct sound field a
front oriented membrane at the front of the
microphone's main axis produces a rise of
high frequencies. The authors prove that
this is not true, and that the frequency
response and the polar diagram are very
adversely influenced by covering the
For large and sound impervious boundary surfaces one gets a pressure doubling
which results from the coherent addition
of the reflected signals combined with the
direct signal at the boundary surface. As a
result one has a level gain of 6 dB. This,
however, is only then true when the surface against which the microphone is
mounted is large by comparison to the
sound's wavelength. For low frequencies
the half-field directional characteristic
transitions into an omnidirectional characteristic, which leads to a loss of the pressure build -up, and manifests itself as a 6
dB rolloff below the transition frequency.
On top of that, the insufficiently sound
impervious hardness of the boundary surface and its finite size have effects which
cannot be neglected.
The idea of mounting a microphone to a
boundary surface was pursued because
comb-filter type interference patterns
which appear between the direct and
reflected sound wave from a surface might
be avoided. The most obvious solution is to
place the pressure transducer in the plane
of the effective boundary surface or to attach it in such a way, that the distance to
the boundary surface is small when compared to the sound's wavelength. For stereo recordings such boundary surface microphones can only be used in AB (widely
spaced) stereo. This leads to the wellknown adverse affect on the localizability,
the phase relationship, and the incompatibility with mono.
The name PZM was derived from the
pressure zone which exists only in the
most immediate neighborhood of a sound
impervious boundary surface. That is an
area in which the sound velocity at right
angles to the boundary surface tends
toward zero. If the surface is small, or the
wavefront does not impinge on it at right
angles, one gets a progressive acoustic
wave with a velocity vector which is tangential to the boundary surface.
Figure lA shows how in this version of a
PZM a pressure transducer membrane is
December 1983 O R -e/p 13
ed in such a way that it is opposite the
undary surface, instead of being being
in its plane and pointing frontward. From
Figure 1B one can see clearly that this
placement is acoustically equivalent to a
membrane in the plane of the surface, in
front of which an obstacle has been placed.
The sound cannot reach the membrane
except through a circular gap around the
edge of this obstacle.
A boundary surface microphone also
produces an effect on the relationship
between direct and diffuse sound (reverFIGURE 1B
beration) and, as a matter of fact, in favor
of the direct sound. As an explanation we
are given the following: One imagines a
reverberation chamber as shown in Figure
2 which produces a completely diffuse,
reverberated sound field. In Figure 2A we
find the microphone in this reverberant SOUND
field as well as in the path of a direct sound SOURCE
field of a sound source with distance
Now the distance d is kept constant and
the microphone is moved until it is in the
plane of a boundary surface, as shown in
addiFigure 2B. Because of the coherent
tion, the direct sound as well as the diffuse
sound pressure are raised by 6 dB at this
boundary surface. The diffuse sound
(reverberation) will, however, only be
received within a solid angle of two steradians (hemisphere), by contrast to the FIGURE 2A
initial four steradians (sphere). For pure
rophone 4134 with an effective membrane
diffuseness one obtains a 3 dB loss in dif- will therefore be raised by 3 dB.
By means of a theoretical model and diameter of 7 mm [0.27 inches], it can be
fuse reverberation intensity. As a result,
that the
the relationship of direct to indirect sound practically using a B&K calibrating mic- proven and even calculated
reverse application of the PZM microphone as shown in Figure 1A, is based on
false assumptions. Using further diagrams it is easy to see that an obstacle in
front of the membrane will lead to standing waves which effect frequency response
and polar characteristics in very unequal
fashion. Only a small pressure transducer
with a membrane diameter of less than 12
mm [0.47 inches] which is in the plane of a
sound impervious large boundary surface,
will deliver an ideal frequency response
and a polar diagram with great integrity
over the entire audible range.
These investigations have led to the
development of new boundary surface
microphones which do not suffer from
these errors. The future will show what the
applications for this new microphone type
are going to be, and whether they will be
successful. Comparative investigations
// /wm..
about boundary surface microphones
made by different manufacturers are not
yet available."
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R -e /p 14
0 December
(716) 681 -3040
Reply from: Bruce Bartlett
Microphone Project Engineer,
Crown International, Inc.
We agree that flush -mounting a
pressure -calibrated microphone in an
infinite plane provides a flat frequency
response. In fact, at Crown we use a 1/4 -inch
flush-mounted B &K pressure-calibrated
microphone as a flat-response reference.
As you mentioned, Pressure Zone Microphones gain 6 dB in sensitivity when
mounted on a large surface. The ratio of
direct sound to reverberant sound is
increased 3 dB, which helps aid clarity by
reducing the recorded room ambience.
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9, -'
Most of the assertions of Lipshitz and
Vanderkooy are true as far as they go, but
may be misleading. Let's explain:
1. The experiments they did with
obstructing a flush -mounted pressure microphone with a baffle are academically
interesting, but unrealistic. They made
measurements with circular baffles much
larger than the size of PZM elements; the
smaller the baffle, the higher in frequency
the effects occur. Also, rectangular baffles
(which PZMs use) have less effect than circular baffles. (Crown also advises against
circular -baffles for PZM mounting, due to
their rougher frequency response.)
When a microphone has an obstruction
the size of a PZM cantilever (0.315 by 0.370
inches), the resonant boost occurs above
the audible range. Consequently, the frequency response and polar response are
not severely degraded by PZM -type
mounting. Even if a high- frequency rise
does occur, it can be controlled with careful
acoustic design.
Interestingly, the diaphragms of many
conventional microphones are obstructed
intentionally by a Helmholz resonator to
boost the high- frequency response.
2. After thousands of hours of usage, the
PZM has yet to be demonstrated to have
off -axis coloration. It is optimized for unithe
form polar response below 10 kHz
most important range for stereo imaging.
3. When a microphone is used in or near
a finite baffle, the loss of pressure buildup
at low frequencies results in a 6 -dB shely-
3. There's an airspace or gap between the
capsule and the sound -reflecting plate it
faces. By varying the gap parameters, we
have an extra measure of control in tailoring the frequency response.
New information about PZM acoustics
is gradually becoming available to the
public in revised data sheets (dated May
'83 or later). Crown also has a new "PZM
Theory and Application Guide" which is
available free for the asking, and is
included with each new PZM.
We highly value subjective user comments since they tell us what parameters
are audibly important. Measurements and
listening tests don't always correlate. For
example, many much -loved studio microphones have off-axis coloration and
erratic phase response. PZM measurements do indicate a wide- range, smooth
response and very low self- noise; but it's
the sound of the microphones and their
that really
enthusiastic acceptance
I've used high -quality condenser microphones in situations where they've worked
better than PZMs, and was impressed with
their beautiful sound. But I've also used
PZMs in situations where they sounded
better than condensers! It all depends on
the application and the taste of the listener. That's why there's a need for many
types of microphones. The PZM is not the
greatly increased sensitivity, signal -to- best mike for every application no micnoise ratio, and directivity. Permanent rophone is. But it is a legitimate new tool
flush -mounting doesn't offer this flexi- for the professional recording engineer.
John Roberts' column, "Exposing
2. The capsule is better protected from
Audio Mythology," begins on page 19
dust and spills.
ing, not a rolloff. This is quite a different
effect. For example, the response of a PZM
on a two -foot square boundary is down 6
dB at 94 Hz and below. This can be a desirable effect to reduce room runable.
4. It's true that spaced -pair stereo miking provides less -sharp imaging and
poorer mono compatibility than near coincident or coincident miking. However,
PZMs can be mounted at the junction of
vertical boundaries and the floor. This
allows near-coincident stereo miking.
PZMs also can be mounted back -to-back
on a suspended panel, or on boundary
assemblies, for mono-compatible recordings (see Mike Lamm's article, "Realistic
Stereo Miking for Classical Recording," in
the August issue of R -e/p).
5. PZMs do not require a microphone
capsule with a pressure-calibrated frequency response. We design PZMs to compensate for any effects of mounting the
capsule face-down. It's possible to achieve
almost any desired response (including
flat) with a PZM by careful acoustic /mechanical design.
We find that mounting the capsule facedown in a cantilever holder offers several
1. The capsule /cantilever can be
removed from the plate. This allows the
user to mount the capsule at the junction of
multiple boundaries (say, in corners) for
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R -e /p 16 D December 1983
For additional information circle #10
Brooklyn Bridge
Centennial Celebration,
May 24, 1983.
4 .4
The momenf of truth.
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R -e /p 18
December 1983
For additional information circle #12
Laying to Rest
... or at least
exposing the false premises upon which
they are based ... some of the Pro -Audio
Industry's more obvious "Old Wives Tales"
by John Roberts
this month's column I would like to
shed a little light on the proper usage of
Volume Units and Decibels. In the second
part we'll take a look at some of the theoretical and practical differences between +4
dB and -10 dB level systems.
On VU and dB and
dBm and dBV and ...
Some of the better advice I received in
the course of researching this month's
column was that I ought to find something
else to wite about; I agree that the subject
of reference levels has been the source of
much confusion. But please bear with me,
because I think this is worth getting
The beauty of the decibel is that we can
and do use it routinely for tasks that range
from setting equalizers to measuring frequency response, without having to know
that a decibel is defined as being equal to
10 times the log of the ratio between two
given power levels.
n = 10 logo (Pl/P2) ... #1
By virtue of the ear's logarithmic
response to sound levels, the use of decibels
allows us to draw useful conclusions about
the relative loudness of signals. The operative word here is "relative "; PI /P2 in
Equation #1 is simple the ratio of the two
powers being compared. If you have a
scientific calculator handy (and which has
log -base 10
not In or natural log) you
may wish to follow along.
Have you ever wondered why frequency
response and crossover filters are often
specified by their -3 dB points? Well, it is
no coincidence that -3 dB is exactly 1/2 the
power of 0 dB:
n = 10 log,,, (0.5)
n = 10 (- 0.301)
n = -3.01 dB (close enough)
Although decibels are technically
limited to describing power ratios, allowances have been made to accommodate
available measuring devices. To actually
measure power we would have to simultaneously measure the vo'tage as well as
the current within a circuit. Then multiply
the two (P = E x I). Much easier said than
Using Ohms law (I = E /R), we can substitute E/R IOr I in the power equation,
resulting in Pl = El x El /R1, or Pl =
E1' /R1 and P2 = E22/112. Inserting these
new relations for power into Equation 1 we
= 10 log [(E12 /R1) /(E2' /R2)I ... #2
Now is we assume Rl = R2, Equation
further reduces to:
n = 10 log (E1' /E21) ... #2A
We can further simplify equation 2A if
we take advantage of the relationship, log
(x2) = 2 log (x). Equation 2A now reduces to
the popular form:
n = 20 log (El /E2) ... #3
So far we have discussed the decibel's
ability to describe relative levels; however,
it is often desirable to define a level absolutely. To do this we may describe a level as
being ±n dB from some predefined refer
ence. In audio, the most popular and prob-
the secondary voltage is increased, the
output current decreases a like amount for
a roughly equal power at both the input
and output. Thus the gain of any transformer, no matter what the turns ratio, is()
dB. (Note: there will actually be slight
losses for a small -dB gain).
The VU
Now that I've beaten the poor decibel to
death, lets take a look at the "Volume
Unit." The VU Meter, or more properly
"Standard Volume Indicator," is a very
tightly defined (USA C -16.5 1961) movingcoil voltmeter. While the actual specification is quite long änd detailed, the more
critical definitions are: (1) an in -use sensitivity of 0 VU 1.228 volts; (2) the VU or
unit of measure is equal to 1 dB; and (3) a
very specific overshoot and signal integration ballistic.
Uniform sensitivity between VU meters
facilitates the interfacing of various
equipment by providing standard operating levels to design around. The uniform
ably most misused reference is 0 dBm.
Quite simply 0 dBm = 0.001 watts. You will
notice that dBm is strictly a power refer- ballistic allows users to reliably interpret
ence. The most common mistake is to us/5 what is essentially an average- responding
dBm as a 0.775 -volt voltage reference. meter when driven by complex (speech and
Specifications thus made will only be true music) waveforms, even when dealing
for circuits terminated by 600 ohms (0.001 with equipment from different manufacW = 0.7752/600). Perhaps in the good old
days when everything was 600 -ohms in
However, true VU meters are relatively
and 600 -ohms out, such casual specifica- expensive (about $50), and not commonly
tion could be tolerated. Much of today's found on lower-cost equipment. The majorequipment, however, is designed to be used ity of meters used to monitor audio levels
with a wide range of terminating today don't even try to meet the 20- year -old
standard thus the high price for the few
Let's take the example of a black box that do try.
specified for a nominal operating level of()
This inconsistency between "true" VU
dBm, with a maximum input /output level meter ballistics and their lower-cost brethof +20 dBm. For input and output termina- eren is made somewhat less problematic
tions of 600 ohms, we obtain a perfectly by the proliferation of peak indicators into
reasonable nominal voltage of 0.775 volts even budget -priced equipment. With peak
and a maximum of 7.75 volts. But should information readily available, the u'ser is
we terminate the output with 20 kohms, less likely to grossly misjudge a signal's
that +20 dBm output would have to deliver dynamics. In fact, widespread use of dig44.7 volts to realize the same power as 7.75
ital electronics will make the display of
volts into 600 ohms!
peak information somewhat more imporIt is acceptable and probably still useful tant than average levels for all except
in transformer-coupled interfacing to spec loudness balancing, since digital overload
an output level in dBm, followed by a qual- is analogeous to electrical clipping, and
ifying impedance in parenthesis, such as rather abrupt.
+20 dBm (600). However, most contemporToday, with the cost of electronics dropary equipment is voltage not power ping faster than their mechanical counlimited, and will put out roughly the same terparts, it might be worth considering
voltage into a wide range of impedances. building RMS computing into dedicated
Specifying the output relative to a voltage loudness or volume meters, and rely upon
reference will provide more meaningful peak indicators for headroom information.
The term "dBV" is used when referenc+4 versus -10 dB Systems
ing voltage ratios independent of impeAs anyone who has ever tried to hook up
dances. Proper usage of dBV requires stat- a piece of hifi gear into a studio chain has
ing an actual reference voltage. For quickly learned, all 0 VU levels are not
example, the preceding example could created equal. It's safe to assume that a $99
have been stated as +20 dBV (0.775V). cassette deck will not feature true VU
Popular usage has linked 0 dBV to 1 volt, meters. In all fairness to USA C16.5 1961,
and dBv, dBu, and dB.7V to 0.775 -volt ref- there is only one 0 VU, so let's call nominal
erences but, to my knowledge, these popu- system operating levels their "0 dB point."
lar forms are not official. When in doubt
The more expensive consoles designed
spell it out
it is always better to have for +4 dB output levels usually offer those
more information than you need to evalu- real VU meters, and thus have a nominal
ate a specification, than not enough.
operating point of() dB = 0 VU =1.228 volts.
The assumption that "Rl = R2" from The identification as " +4 equipment" is a
between Equations 2 and 2A is fundamen- carry over from the implied 600 -ohm tertal to the use of dB for describing voltage minations, with 1.228 volts into 600 ohms
ratios. If Rl doesn't equal R2, the power delivering a power level of +4 dBm.
ratio will not be a simple function of the
Equipment referred to as " -10 dB gear"
voltage ratio, and only Equation 1 should is not usually designed to drive 600 ohm
be used. To see why, take the example of a levels, and has a nominal system operatmicrophone step -up transformer. While ing level of 0 dB = -10 dBV (1V) = 0.316
December 1983 R -e /p 19
Reading for Extra Credit:
" +4
24 dB
0dB (OVU)
60 dB
69 dB
10 dB
10 dB
Equation 3, we get:
20 log (1.228/0.316)
n = 11.78 dB
Thus the +4 gear has an almost 12 dB
hotter 0 dB level than the -10 system.
Now onto the promised comparison, as
outlined in the accompanying diagram.
First, the Theoretical
To facilitate this comparison, I have set
up two bar graphs with an absolute dBV
(1V) indicia running between the two; each
system's relative dB ratios are shown to
either side. I have had to make a number of
assumptions, and these graphs are not
representative of any one manufacturer's
console, but what I feel a competent
designer would come up with given the
same constraints.
I assume identical high -quality microphone pre-amps with -130 dBV EIN (equivalent input noise). (Note: the +4 system's
signal receives an additional 12 dB of gain
to bring levels upto 0 dB.) I further assume
that both consoles use low -noise integrated circuits (BIFET or equivalent), and
lastly that the -10 system uses a single ended output with ±15 -volt power supplies,
versus the +4 system's differential output
and ±22 -volt power supplies.
The results of such a +4/-10 comparison
are a little surprising. The signal -to -noise
ratios of both systems are identical, and
dominated by the microphone's thermal
noise; the -10 board actually delivers a 4
R -e/p 20 D December 1983
Reference #2 is a detailed specification
defining True VU meters.
References 3 and 4 are articles containing general information about noise and
console specs /performance.
1. IEEE Std 100 -1977; "IEEE Standard
Dictionary of Electrical and Electronic
Terms" (second edition).
2. USA C- 16.5 -1961.
3. "Fact or Fiction: Console Noise Specifications," by Paul C. Buff; R -e /p,
December 1977.
4. "Performance Limits in Contemporary Console Design," by John Roberts; Rep, April 1980.
PS As I have only recently arrived at
this heightened awareness of proper
usage, don't be surprised to find some of
the "common" mistakes show up in my
past writing.
PSS (Opinion) As a circuit designer I
find the use of the decibel irresistible for
describing voltage gains (yes, even transformers), usually with no pretense of
power ratio equivalence between input and
output circuit. (How many power amps do
you know of with 8 -ohms input impedance?) I accept that this may be a theoretical no -no, but until a voltage ratio -only
equivalent for the decibel arrives, I see no
volts. If these voltages are substituted into
Standard Dictionary that I have used for
numerous definitions. Since this reference
is dated 1977, there may be changes
already in the works, and I would appreciate hearing of any more recent references
that contradict Std 100-1977.
50 dB
My first reference is simply the IEEE
dB better headroom spec! We would have
to assume a 10 dB hotter signal (10 dB less
microphone gain) before the circuitry
noise floor degrades the -10 system's SNR
by even 1 dB, and that's assuming what I
believe to be conservative figures for circuitry noise floor.
Really Now?
(The Practical Comparison)
While the theoretical comparison is an
interesting exercise, it only shows what
can be done. Most studio equipment
designed to operate at -10 c1B levels is
engineered to be lower cost, which often
results in less than SOTA microphone pre-
amps, and noisier electronics. Another
factor that doesn't show up in the theoretical comparison is non -thermal noises,
such as hum, RF, etc. I've yet to see a studio
that didn't have any; the diligent ones
keep it under control, but it's always there
The +4 studio has the advantge of almost
12 dB more signal (15 times the power) in
line -level feeds. Broadcasters use a 0 dB
system level that's even another 4 dB hotter. +8 dBm (600).
In conclusion I must give the +4 studio a
slight edge in ease of obtaining a clean
signal, but by no means is the -10 studio
out of the running. Properly set up and
properly used, the available dynamic
range of both is likely to be limited by other
factors. Ho hum, another wishy -washy
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ing a greater world-wide distri'dution system for all of its products.
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continued from page 23 ..
of this a lot of eight -track stu.
dios began to pop up in England. This was
coincidentally all taking place with the
decline of the `Megabucks' in the recording
industry. At the same time record budgets
were plunging, this underground thing
was happening where people were saying
we don't need all that technology to record.
This was all perculating through my mind
when I realized that with my experience as
an engineer, and with the right mikes and
so on, I could probably get an excellent
sound by building my own studio. It's just
a matter of more pre -production planning.
"After seeing all of this rawness coming
out of Europe, and the critical acclaim that
was going to some of the garage albums
that LA bands were cutting, I decided I
could combine elements into a high -tech
meets low-tech recording philosophy."
The best example of this philosophy can
be found in DeeJay Studios, the label's
recording facility, and which represents
something of an inventive approach to the
music industry. "I have an Otani MX 5050
it's totally state-ofMkIII eight-track
the-art, and has all of the features that
most 24- tracks have. It also has a signal to-noise ratio and frequency response
that's as good as most 24- tracks.
"The important thing about the recorder
for the way I use it is that it is SMPTE
compatible. This allows us to cut our basic
tracks in my studio, transfer them up to
24- tracks, and then the 24 -track becomes
the master. We stripe the 24- and eight track tapes with SMPTE, and then make
slave copies. We make several slave tapes
of each song by putting the timecode on
track #8, and then a rough mix of the basic
track in stereo, giving us five tracks to play
with. We may use one slave tape for the
vocals, one for the percussion, and another
for additional guitars. We then lock those
up to the 24 -track and transfer them up.
"Everything is one generation down, but
that loss is offset by the fact that our 24track master has made only a few passes,
giving it better sound quality than a normal master that has been shuttling back
and forth for the entire recording. When
you're working with a rock 'n' roll band
you can spend a long time tracking if you
want to do it right, and this process gives
me the freedom to do that. I wouldn't have
that freedom if I was paying for time in a
major studio."
Recording this way, according to
Degher, is bringing back experimentation
into the studio. "We can take more time to
experiment and work on sounds than a lot
of acts with major recording budgets in a
big studio, allowing us to get a sound quality on a par with major studios. In the end
we have a 24 -track master that can be
mixed in any of the major studios, giving
us a totally high -tech sound.
"My console is very clean and very
punchy because that's what I need. It was
custom built by Dan Kipman and it has a
lot of Trident A-Range microphone pre amps, as well as some Jensens, so we're
getting the same kind of signal path you
find on a really expensive console. We kept
every gizmo to a minimum on each module
so that the signal is not processed at all,
giving us maximum flexibility when we
mix in a major facility."
There are a few things one has to be
aware of when recording this way as
Degher points out. "You really do have to
be aware of the proper way to use SMPTE
timecode. You should always put the
SMPTE on the highest track, and it's a
good idea to leave an open track next to it.
SMPTE sounds like it's easy, but in fact it
is very high technology. If you do it incorrectly you'll end up with nothing because
the tapes won't lock back up. You can't just
go in and throw a timecode on there and
transfer it across. There's a lot of steps you
have to know.
"Obviously you have to work with a
major studio that has the SMPTE gear.
You have to be prepared to pay for time in
that studio when you're doing your
SMPTE work, and your mixing. You
should be able to transfer your basics and
do your rough mixes to make your slave
tapes in one session, so it's not that
"Another advantage is that we're
already geared for video because of having
the SMPTE code on the master 24 -track
tape. People spend a fortune on video
without getting good sync, we're almost
assured of that."
DeeJay Records is looking for new signings, according to Degher. "Now that
Darius & The Magnets is to the point
where other people are active in their
career, I am looking at other acts to work
with after the new album is finished. John
Collins of Golden Image Management is
managing Darius & The Magnets, and his
firm, New Image Public Relations, is doing
their press, so I will have the time to work
with another artist once the album is done.
I've had to become a legal beagle and
launch publishing ventures and so on to
give DeeJay Records an adequate base,
but now we're ready to expand."
With Degher's attitude toward making
technology work for instead of against
him, and his "Create Your Own Destiny"
philosophy, he has clearly shown that
being inventive in these times is not only a
necessity, but a key to the future as well.
continued from page 20 ..
machines on an OEM basis, in the form of
circuit cards to be interfaced with tape
transports to produce open-reel, fixed -head
CPDM digital recorders. Such a move will
enable recorder manufacturers to offer
CPDM machines that will be compatible
with each other, unlike the various PCM
recorders on the market that currently are
not all compatible with one another. To
further ensure the compatibility of all
recorders equipped with dbx digital
(CPDM), dbx is also specifying the track
format to be used.
The CPDM -to -PCM transcoder will
accept CPDM bits as an input from any
manufacturer's two -track machines
equipped with dbx digital. The transcoder
will then convert, in the digital domain,
CPDM bits into PCM bits in a format suitable for mastering of Compact Discs.
more NEWS on page 36
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Extremely wide control range -80 dB maximum attenuation offers precision control
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Program Dependent Attack Shortens attack time automatically when required by
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Feedforward VCA technology Gatex employs the state -of-the -art in VCA technology, the Valley People TA 104. The use of this gain element ensures that no noise or
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Gatex. Now that's smart!
USAudio Inc. /P.O. Box 40878/NASHVILLE, TN 37204, (615) 297 -1098
December 1983
R -e/ p 27
by Roger Nichols
The purpose of this article is to clear up a
few misconceptions relating to the quality
of digital audio. Hopefully it will be worth
the time it took to write it.
It looks as though we are in the middle of
a technological "bit war" Analog versus
Digital. The most widely publicized battle
at present seems to be over Compact Discs.
A lot of people, some quite prominent in the
music business, are attempting to "byte"
off more than they can chew.
There is so much ammunition flying
around that it is hard to find a place to
start. I'll just put on my flack jacket and
high boots, and jump in the middle.
I have noticed quite a few reviews of the
Compact Disc format comparing a digital
release to its analog counterpart, and
denouncing the Compact Disc as being
inferior to the vinyl version. Comparisons
like this are good, and should continue. It
is a shame though, that after enjoying a
photograph of an apple for years, your first
real apple is infested with worms.
To compare an analog pressing and a
Compact Disc of the same product, they
should both be produced properly that
is, from the correct source material. Just to
clarify the process, I will use the following
example (ficticious of course):
Artist: Doo Wah Joel.
Album: Nylon Stockings.
Producer: Phil Producer.
Multitrack: 3M 32 -track Digital Mastering System.
Mix: Sony PCM -1610 digital two -track
processor and U -Matic VCR.
So, up to this point we have a well
recorded, completely digital album. The
tape used to produce the lacquer masters
for the analog pressings was the original
digital two -track VCR master. The analog
version seems to be as good as it can possibly be.
During the mastering process, an equalized, Dolby- encoded, analog 15 IPS tape
copy was produced per the record company's instructions. Why? "Because we
always order an equalized tape in case we
need to make copies." I guess if someone
needs a cassette ... So far, so what?
Now someone decides that this album
should be made available in the new Compact Disc format. The Compact Disc
Why spend thousands of dollars for equipment to create just the right sound from your instrument only to lose
that sound because of poor feed to the mixing console caused
by conventional miking. The
Stewart Active Direct
Box Model ADB -1 has the ability to be used directly in line with a speaker enabling more faithful reproduction than
conventional miking.
See us at NAMM in Anaheim,
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Engineered for maximum performance.
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Battery or phantom power
No transformer
Flat Response
Low Distortion
Low Noise
Affordably priced.
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60317, Sacramento, CA 95860
R -e /p 28 D December 1983
916/929 -4431
- Roger Nichols department calls down to the production
department, and orders a Sony PCM -1610
copy of the album for the Compact Disc
pressing plant. The production department whips out a "production master" of
the album, and transfers via the Sony
PCM-1610 to a U -Matic vedeocassette.
(They didn't want to wear out the equalized tape, so they made a copy of it and
called it the production master; this is the
tape they always use to produce requested
copies.) Ta da! We now have our Sony
PCM -1610 tape with which we will produce
our Compact Discs.
So, the plot thickens! Now we have an
analog pressing produced from the original digital two -track master, and we have
a digital pressing produced from a secondgeneration 15 IPS analog tape copy!
Give me strength! If the analog pressing
didn't sound better than the Compact Disc
in this case, I'd eat my Fl.
A digital recording will not be any better
than the source material it is not supposed to! If you make a Compact Disk from
an inferior tape, you are going to have an
inferior Compact Disc. The Compact Disc
must be made from the best possible
source: the original two -track master.
I tried an experiment. Having recorded a
live source onto a Webster Corp. wire
recorder, I then transferred the recording
to a Mitsubishi X -80 digital two -track
recorder. When I played them both back I
couldn't hear any difference at all. Does
this mean that the $25,000 digital machine
- the author -
Roger Nichols has been a recording
engineer for the past 15 years. He has
engineered all of the albums by Steely
Dan, which have won him three Grammies and five Grammy nominations. His
credits also include the Donald Fagen
Nightfly album, which was recorded
and mixed digitally; he also recorded and
mixed the last two John Denver albums
to digital. Nichols has used the 3M, Sony,
and Mitsubishi digital multitracks, as well
as the Sony, JVC, Soundstream, 3M and
Mitsubishi two -tracks. In the fall of 1982
he recorded 28 John Denver concerts in
Europe using a pair of Sony PCM -F1 processors synchronized to provide f ourtrack capability.
An announcement
from Audiotechniques, Inc.
about digital recording .. .
are pleased and proud to have been appointed a Digital Audio
Sales Representative center by the Professional Products division
of the Sony Corporation of America. Audiotechniques, Inc., is
the first company to receive an appointment to supply the entire
Sony Digital Audio product line. We have accepted this honor,
well knowing the responsibilities involved and the traditionally
high standards required by Sony.
Digital Audio Sales
Audiotechniques now offers for sale the full range of Sony Digital Audio products,
from the PCM F -1 ... Sony's remarkable, low -cost stereo digital audio processor
through the industry standard PCM 1610 processor and DAE 1100 editor to the
elegant PCM 3324 digital multitrack recorder. We are able to provide your choice of
Betamax and U -matic video units for recording. All of the popular interface units,
such as the RTW and Propaks, are available, as well as a full stock of the highest
quality Sony digital audio tapes required to achieve great results.
Digital Audio Rentals
Our well -known Audiotechniques Rentals now supplies individual digital recording
items ... such as PCM 1610's, F -l's and video recorders ... plus complete systems
ready to use in their own custom styled flight cases. So call us for all of your digital
recording rental requirements. Our experienced technicians will be glad to provide
operational help or to answer any of your digital audio questions.
Digital Audio Editing & Transfer
soon be completing, in our mid -town New York City facilities, the newest
and most complete digital audio editing and transfer suite in the east. Here we will
be able to edit and assemble all your digital tapes. prepare CD compatible masters
from a variety of digital recorders, and supply numerous other digital services.
PCM F -1 enthusiasts can edit and make transfers to PCM 1610 for eventual
Compact Disc applications. Another important service will be the configuring of
analog masters for CD. While we are waiting for the contractors to finish the job,
we offer digital audio editing on a limited basis. Call Gene Perry or Jim Flynn in
our New York Office for further details.
We will
TELEPHONE: (212) 586 -5989
TELEPHONE: (203) 359 -2312
For additional Information circle #19
December 1983
D R -e/p 29
is no better than the wire recorder I picked
up for 50 cents at a garage sale? No, but it
does mean that the digital tape copy is no
better than the recording made on the wire;
it is an exact copy.
Who's to Blame?
The problem with Compact Discs is not
the medium, but the record companies and
the uninformed people shoveling the product out into the marketplace without paying attention to what they are doing.
The consumer is not as stupid as the
record companies make him out to be. If
the Compact Disc falls flat on its face, it
will not be the fault of the digital medium,
but the fault of the record companies who
insist that "Nobody will know the difference, let's just do it the easiest and quickest
way we can." This is surely a penny wise /dollar-foolish attitude.
The consumer will not accept an inferior
product; they are already screaming about
Compact Disc quality (or lack thereof) in
Europe and Japan.
Now that I have done some screaming of
my own, I would like to add some constructive comments.
Not all of the record companies are trying to do everything wrong. I have personally followed some Compact Discs through
the entire process from recording, mixing, mastering, CD master, to Compact
and compared the disk with the
original two -track digital master. When
done properly, the results are amazing.
If anyone wants to compare an analog
pressing with the Compact Disc version
done the right way, then run out and get a
U.S. copy of the Donald Fagen Nightfly
album, and tell me which one sounds better. (Please see the note below on which
"version" of the Donald Fagen album to
listen to.)
If you get a Compact Disc that sounds
bad, complain! Not about the digital
medium, but to the record company that
produced it. Demand they do it over again
the right way. And make sure they
replace your bad disk with a good one
when they fix it. It's time for the record
companies to treat Compact Discs as
records, and to master them the way that
records are supposed to be mastered.
For those people that are too embarrassed to ask how to correctly produce a
Compact Disc master, included at the end
of this article is a guideline of the proper
procedure. If any of the record companies
wish further assistance, I am more than
willing to help.
Please! I am running out of space to store
my bad Compact Discs.
One quick note on the Nightfly album.
As with any manufacturing process, there
are sometimes mechanical problems not
caught in time. If you plan to make the
comparison mentioned above, make sure
that you get the domestic U.S. Compact
Disc release of the album. There are two
ways to tell which one you are getting.
First, the U.S. release is packaged in a 6- by
12 -inch box, with information about the
disk and the artist printed on the outside of
the box. The imported versions are just the
Compact Disc in its 5- by 6-inch plastic
case, with no outer packaging. The second
way to tell the good one from the bad one is
cat Aligned
Stau Aligned
precision magnetic
test tapes
These dependable tapes are used by broadcasters,
recording studios, equipment manufacturers,
governments and educators throughout the world.
STL offers the most accurate reference in the widest variety...
Alignment. Sweep, Pink Noise, Level Set, Azimuth and
Flutter /Speed. Available on reels, in broadcast carts, in home
carts and in cassettes...2" to 150 mil tape widths. Also avail
able is the Standard Tape Manual and the Magnetic Tape
Reproducer Calibrator.
Write or phone for fast delivery or free catalog.
R -e/ p 30
December 1983
to look at the laser imprinted number
located on the music side of the disk near
the center hole; the number consists of the
album number and some production
information. The number of importance is
at the end of the sequence in the clockwise
direction. The bad disk number ends "021
02," while the good disk number ends 021
For Albums Mixed Digitally:
1. Contact the producer of the project.
Tell him that you require a Compact Disc
master tape. Let him be involved.
2. Locate and use the original digital
master. Not the EQ copy!
3. Arrange to master the Compact Disc
at the facility that originally mastered the
analog release. (Note: there is a reason
that the producer and artist chose this
mastering facility; those reasons still
apply to Compact Disc mastering.)
4. Tell the mastering facility that you
will be mastering for Compact Disc, and
that you will need the equalized tape to be
in the following format: Sony PCM -1610,
JVC DAS -90, or Mitsubishi X-80. The format needed will depend on the pressing
facility being used (i.e. Denon, Toshiba,
Sony, Polygram, etc).
5. Tell the mastering facility in which
format the original two -track digital master was recorded, so that they can obtain
the proper playback machine (i.e. 3M,
Sony PCM -1610, JVC DAS -90, Mitsubishi
X-80, Soundstream, etc).
6. It is up to the producer to decide
whether the same EQ and level adjustments as made on the analog master are to
be used during Compact Disc mastering.
(For example, if minimal EQ and level
changes were used, such as 1 dB boost at 12
kHz on one tune, and a 1 dB boost on
another, then in all probability these settings will be fine for the Compact Disk. If
heavy high -frequency limiting or significant level drops are required for a tune
placed in the inner diameter of the analog
master, then these settings will need to be
changed for the Compact Disc master,
since there are no such restrictions with
7. The tape you receive from the mastering facility is an equalized digital master.
Because sides of an analog album are cut
separately, the equalized digital master
must be edited so that there is no break
between sides one and two.
8. The edited tape now becomes the
Compact Disc master. The method of
arriving at the edited version of the tape
depends on the tape format required by the
pressing facility:
(a) If the format is to be Mitsubishi X80, then the equalized digital master is
edited with a razor blade, and the equalized digital master then becomes the Corn pact Disc master.
(b) If the format is to be JVC DAS -90 or
Sony PCM-1610, then the equalized digital
master must be electronically edited, a
method similar to videotape editing. The
equalized digital master remains intact,
and the digitally edited copy becomes the
Compact Disc master. Because it's a
digital-to- digital process, there is no generation loss.
In both cases, SMPTE timecode must be
added to the Compact Disc master; the
timecode must be locked to the sampling
9. The timecode for the start and end of
each selection on the album must be accurately noted to the frame. Each pressing
facility requires that a different offset
value be added or subtracted from these
figures to produce the timecode number
that is entered onto the Compact Disc
order form. Follow these directions
10. Make a Sony PCM -F1 digital copy of
the Compact Disc master. No analog
copies! You can't okay a digital disk from
an analog tape copy. Send the Fl copy to
the producer for approval. This is the same
procedure as approving a master ref or test
pressing of an analog record.
There have been instances where a few
seconds of an intro to a song were cut off
accidently during the digital editing process. It is much easier to catch these errors
at this stage than when the Compact Discs
are in the stores. Not all producers have an
Fl yet. Warner Bros. and Motown have
extra sets to loan to the producers so that
they can approve the Compact Disc
11. From the Compact Disc master, two
digital copies must be produced with
regenerated timecode. This is easy to do.
There is no generation loss.
12. One of the digital copies must be listened to from beginning to end to make
sure it is perfect. This copy is labeled the
"A" copy, the other copy the "B" copy.
13. Both the "A" and "B" copies are sent
along with the timecode list to the Compact Disc pressing plant.
14. The Compact Disc master is retained
for future use and archiving.
Albums Mixed Analog:
All procedures are exactly the same
except for the following amended steps:
2. Use the original two -track master! Do
not use the equalized copy! As sacred as
you think the original two -track master is,
that's the tape you must use. The people
handling the tape are professionals who
know how to take care of it. Besides, the
digital equalized master you end up with
will not be a generation down, and in 10
years it is going to be in much better shape
than the analog tape stored in a Bekins
5. Telling the mastering facility the format of the original is not as important with
analog masters. The tape will usually be
either half- inch /two -track or 1/4-inch /twotrack. They can handle it.
14. Remember, this new digital master
can be used to archive your precious
Old Catalogue Albums:
Follow the same procedure as for
Albums Mixed Analog, except as follows:
1. Sometimes the original producer and
artist are not available to supervise the
project. In this case, involve someone who
can make the proper judgements regarding the mastering of this album. A good
choice would be the mastering engineer, or
an available engineer or producer working
on another Compact Disc project.
2. Use the original two -track master!
This time it is even more important that
you use the right tape get a digital master of this project before the original master turns to dust in your hands!
... continued overleaf
The Peavey CS"Series power amplifiers are well -known for their power and
dependability, but noteveryone realizes that each amp has a full complement of
"intelligent" circuitry desig -ed to meet the rigorous demands of today's sound
reinforcement applications.
Both the CS -400 and CS -800" fea ure our crossover network configuration
that provides totally modular crossover selection. With our optional PL
crossover modules, the musician /soundman can pre-select optimized
crossover points with built -in equalization. Bi- amping, even tri- amping,
becomes as easy as plugging into the system.
There's also our exclusive DDT" compression circuit that "senses" the onset
of clipping and engages another special circuit that virtually eliminates the
possibility of driving the amplifier into clipping.
Where the smart circuits end, the heavy -duty construction begins. Both the
CS -400' and CS-800' feature, massive cast Iront panels in fully rack -mountable
packages built to give years of rugged, depeidable service.
One look at the CS" Series stereo power amps will convince any "thinking
person." A glance al the price tag reveals the best part of all ... the CSTM Series
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Get smart and check oLt the "intelligent' wattage your authorized Peavey
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December 1983
R -e /n 31
3. If the original mastering facility is not
available, pick one of the best places
around. They know what they are doing.
This album has already paid for itself; the
Compact Disc sales will be all gravy. Get
somebody who will make it sound good.
The rewards will more than make up for
the extra five dollars it costs to do it right.
"Best of Albums ":
This procedure requires a couple of extra
steps important ones:
2. Use the original two -track masters of
each of the albums being compiled,
whether they are digital or analog. Do not
use an EQ copy.
2.5 Align the master playback machine
to the master tape, and transfer the
required material to a digital tape
machine. Repeat this process for each
master tape until all the material to be
compiled has been transferred. You now
have a compiled master without a generation loss.
Continue with step #3.
The reason why the tunes must be transferred from the original masters is that
different albums are usually done at different studios, on different tape machines,
using different types of tape, with different
alignments. Therefore, if a playback tape
machine is aligned to properly reproduce
one master tape, it will not playback
another master correctly. The playback
machine must be re- aligned for each subsequent master tape. Since you must play
all of the tunes on one side of an album
without stopping when cutting the master
disk, there isn't enough time to change
tapes and re -align machines between
- An
In -use Equipment
The recently
introduced 4000 Series condenser microphones from Bruel & Kjaer are
noteworthy in several respects. In keeping with
B &K's established range of instrumentation and
calibration mikes
which, interestingly, despite their intended measurement application are
used by a number of session engineers to record
a wide variety of instruments
all four models
that make up the new series feature omnidirectional polar patterns. And, while the majority of
engineers are possibly more used to working
with dynamic and condenser cardioid or directional mikes
to ensure adequate acoustic
separation during multimike/multitrack sessions, or as a stereo coincident array
makes a good case for offering omnis to the
studio recording industry. In its product literature, the company makes reference to the following advantages: freedom from fringe effects,
owing to a broad amplitude response extending
well beyond the audio range; smooth phase
response; high on- axis/off-axis uniformity for a
clean, transparent, and well- balanced sound;
wide usable dynamic range; low sensitivity to
boom or stand movement, and wind /breath
induced noise.
And, commenting on the cardioid- versusomnidirectional argument, and associated
sound -isolation problems, B&K offers that in
those situations where a cardioid might seem
The David Hafler Company
Department RD
5910 Crescent Boulevard
Pennsauken, N.J. 08109
R -e p 32
December 1983
more appropriate to ensure maximum sound
separation, the amount of leakage can also be
controlled by altering the source -to- microphone
distance. Since an omni microphone does not
exhibit any proximity effects in particular, an
increase in bass frequencies it can be placed
closer to the instrument to reduce sound leakage from nearby sources.
The 4000 Series currently comprises four
models: 4003, 4004, 4006, and 4007. The 4003
and 4006 are acoustically identical mikes with a
quoted on -axis frequency response of 20 Hz to
20 kHz, ±2 dB, and very low equivalent noise
levels of typically 15 dBA. Types 4004 and 4007
feature a quoted on -axis response of 20 Hz to 40
kHz, ±2 dB, and can handle peak sound pressure levels of 168 dB before clipping. Each
basic design is available as a Line-level version
4003 and 4004
for use with B&K's Model
2812 130-volt combined power -supply and preamplifier unit, or as a standard P48 Phantom
version 4006 and 4007. Use of the Model 2812
line -level PSU /pre -amp unit is said to provide a
higher output level (in balanced mode, 18 dB
higher than the corresponding phantompowered versions, for increased headroom)
and, by dispensing with coupling transformers,
to avoid core saturation at low frequencies, and
improve amplitude, phase, and distortion
... continued overleaf
r1\ lot of people have always dreamed of
awning a Harrison. Now, we can help make
For more information call or write:
BE Harrison
P.O. Box 22964, Nashville, TN 37202
(615) 834 -1184 Telex 555133
that dream a reality -with a new console that
offers you high Harrison quality while also
remaining highly affordable. The Raven.
The Raven is the latest in a long line of
renowned Harrison consoles, with the same
'outstanding engineering and workmanship as
its predecessors. With the latest in Harrison
technology 4n circuit design and signal handling. With Harrison's new VSI Fader which gives
it the capability of interfacing simultaneously
with automation and your video system. In
addition, a high degree of field programmable
signal pa'h options allows you to tailor the
Raven to your needs. Harrison quality is built in
through features like transformerless balanced
+4 (or +8) inputs and outputs, DIN standard
Eurocard connectors, laser- trimmed thick -film
resistor networks, and socketing of all integrated circuits. And, the Raven is designed to
be ergonomically correct.
Best of all, even as the Raven is built to our
high standards, it's also built for your budget.
That makes it a rare bird indeed. The stuff that
dreams are made of.
Additional Raven Features: Minimum, audio-path
State -variable equalizer
24 tracks,
plus direct outs 4 mono sends, plus 1 stereo
send (all sends switchable main /monitor) Automatic PFL
Optional non -interrupting stereo solo
Dual switchable mic inputs to each module
Extensive communications
P&G faders.
For additional Information circle #23
December 1983
D R -e.'p 33
B &K 4000
Series Omnis
To discover more about the potential applications of 4000 Series microphones in "typical"
recording environments, R-e /p arranged for
operational assessments with two leading engineers: Bernie Kirsh, and Shawn Murphy.
While, because of time limitations, we were
unable to try out the B &K condenser microphones on as wide a range of instruments and
material as we would have liked, the results from
this necessarily brief trial were certainly
Bernie Kirsh is chief engineer of Chick
Corea's Mad Hatter studio in east Los Angeles.
Various combinations of 4000 Series mikes were
used on a selection of instruments, and compared with conventional studio microphones
during basic tracking dates for a jazz ensemble
session, comprising drums, bass, acoustic
piano, and acoustic guitar. A Model 4004 (high level/130 -volt PSU) placed on the kick drum
produced a "more mellow and fuller body"
sound than Kirsh's normal choice, even when
mounted very close to the rear skin near the
beater. On piano, a 4003 (low-noise /130 -volt
PSU) on the bottom strings, and a 4007 (high level/48 -volt phantom) on the high strings produced a "balanced, open sound," and one that
compared very favorably with conventional studio condenser mikes.
On acoustic bass a 4003 positioned about 1
foot from the F -hole resulted in a "more open
and 'airy' sound," Kirsh comments, "with
slightly more top -end and string noise. And, by
moving the mike closer in towards the bass, the
sound increases in body and warmth. All in all,
the 4003 is very quiet in operation, and has an
added 'presence' over other mikes."
For acoustic guitar, Kirsh elected to try
another 4003 mounted about six inches away
from the fingerboard, and pointing at the bridge
and sound hole. "The 4003 reproduces the
sound of an acoustic faithfully," he offers, "and
picks up more 'bloom' than other mikes. Also,
as the sound is moving through and away from
the instrument, the B&K is still 'hearing' it. It is
also capable of capturing the percussive transients produced."
One comment that Kirsh had to offer was that
the sound produced by the B &K was a "little
less exciting" than that from his normal choice
of microphone set to omnidirectional pattern.
He was quick to concede, however, that certain
kinds of added coloration produced by conventional mikes might be the type of sound studio
engineers are more used to, and that they might
have to adjust their assessment in light of the
more faithful and accurate sound produced by a
B &K model.
Kirsh did acknowledge one potential problem
that might be encountered when using B&K
omnis during a multimike ensemble session
sound leakage. In particular, because of the
4000 Series' extended high- frequency response,
the sound from instuments such as cymbals and
high -toms can easily spill into nearby mikes.
That being the case and it was certainly true
that crash and ride cymbals leaked into the kick
and piano mikes
he offers that the models
under assessment might be more appropriate
for two- or three -mike spaced -omni distance
miking of jazz and orchestral sessions, or for
overdubs of single acoustic instruments. On
acoustic -guitar or piano overdubs, he offers, the
"beautiful high degree of sound definition, and
top-end response" makes the B &K 4003 an ideal
Shawn Murphy is a Los Angeles -based music
scoring mixer who works primarily on a contract basis for Walt Disney Productions, where
he recorded and mixed the digital re -issue
soundtrack of Fantasia (see R -e /p October
1982 issue). In addition, Murphy has recorded
most of the music for the many EPCOT Center
film presentations. Recent work outside of Disney includes music soundtracks for Brainstorm
and Testament.
Murphy made extensive use of the B&K microphones over a period of two weeks, with
direct comparisions being made to other high quality condenser omnidirectional models.
"First and foremost," he notes, "they really
are good- sounding mikes. The mikes sounded
clearer and more revealing than anything I compared them to."
The clarity became evident during percussion
overdubs, when Murphy used a 4007 (high level /48-volt phantom) omni. "The mike had
good clarity, good impact, and good low -end. In
addition, it was not fussy in terms of positioning.
I heard more of the instrument; it was more like I
was in the room [than it would be with his normal mike choice].
Murphy noticed the same "you- are- there"
presence of the B&K mikes during a narration
recording session. However, he became quickly
aware that a function of the good design was
that the microphones "tell you how good or bad
your acoustical situation is. If you have someone
reading narration from a music stand, you can
hear the bounce off the stand. You can hear
whatever baffling you have around the person,
and you can hear the room very clearly.
"So, if your narration booth has a slap off the
Newest version of the Aural Exciter" from Aphex the
originators of psychoacoustic enhancement.
Uses the same principles as the more expensive Aural
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Restores natural brightness and presence, makes
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Improves intelligibility; makes individual sounds
distinct from one another.
Increases perceived loudness without changing actual
gain or EQ.
R -e p 31
Aphex Systems Limited
December 1983
13340 Saticoy St.
Improves the acoustic performance of any environment.
Synthesizes program related harmonics to generate
a musical, natural sounding enhancement instead of
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phasing, notching, filtering, etc.
Cost effective enhancement for any audio application,
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and video), club sound and communications. Possibly
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Aural Excitement is a patented, proprietary process
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December 1883 o R -e /p 35
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"The M -50 has a phenomenal low -end and a
directional high -end, which allows you to control
the perspective and the distance from the
orchestra that you are miking, so that if you
have a very large orchestra you can back it off.
And if you want a little more definition in one
section, you can just move the mike."
"Compared to [my normal omnis], the B&K
has less `personality.' The high -end [of my
omnis] is a little more forgiving, and I think it
narrows a bit on the high end."
Murphy thought that the low -noise/130-volt
power- supply version was "noticeably quieter,
and had a different -sounding high -end than the
phantom version. I wonder if it was caused by
difference in capsules, or in the powering
K 4000
Series Omnis
glass, or if the situation has any air conditioning
rumble or other noise that you don't normally
hear, these mikes tend to reveal them."
Such a lack of coloration would preclude,
Murphy says, his using the B &K omnis in all but
the best situations, although he is quick to note
that he "would love to hear them in a concert hall situation with known good acoustics.
Around here, maybe Royce Hall [UCLA] or the
Ambassador [Auditorium in Pasadena, CA]. I'd
even like to hear them in MGM Stage One,
which is a terrific-sounding room."
Along the same lines, Murphy offers that he
uses coincident pair and MS stereo microphone
techniques less than he otherwise might
because of their revealing nature.
"I find that [in an average recording studio] I
use two -thirds overall and one -third spot mikes.
When I use an MS mike, I use two-thirds spot
mikes to get added definition.
"Omnis ... would be more useful for me than
an MS [mike] due to the flexibility of positioning
three [spaced] mikes versus one. Also, with an
omni you are going to get a better low-end and,
theoretically, a better high -end than the MS
"Of course, it could be that because the trans fomerless power- supply version gives you a very
high output it comes out basically, or nearly, at
line level, and I was able to pad the console input
down far enough so that the [console] pre -amp
noise was less of a factor.
"In any event, gitting rid of the transformer
means that, theoretically, you get better low -end
and better transient response and, theoretically,
a better-sounding mike."
The only problem Murphy forsees with the
130-volt powered microphones (4003 and 4004)
is a potential high -end loss with a long cable from
the mike to the power supply.
"If you have a RF problem, or any kind of
interference, you should be careful. Once it gets
to the power supply it's great the output is so
hot that anything getting to the console is no
problem. The only time you might have a problem is in a remote situation, such as that in a
concert hall, where you might have to fly the
mikes up where there is no AC power." DOD
During one scoring session at Walt Disney
Studios, Murphy compared a pair of 4003 (low noise /130 -volt PSU) mikes mounted next to his
left and right M -50 mikes. "In this room I normally use M -50s instead of the [normal omnis]
because I find that even with [my normal choice], the room reflections are not good enough
sounding to where you would want to let an
omni operate as an omni.
The 1983 Video Production Association's Monitor Award for Engineering
Achievement has been presented to Lexicon for introduction of the Model 1200
Time Compressor, and in recognition of
the company's contribution in the area of
digital processing.
"The Model 1200 Time Compressor has
allowed variable speed film to tape and
tape to tape transfers while maintaining a
high standard of audio quality," according
to the VPA's Monitor Committee. "Altering program segment lengths during the
editorial process is a service that producers
have come to expect. The Model 1200 is the
most widely requested device to this end."
Shown above with the award are Ronald
P. Noonan, president, and Charles Bagna-
schi, vice president and director of
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At either location, or send check or money order for freight collect delivery.
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Los Angeles, CA 90036
(213) 936 -5118
R -e /p 36
December 1983
6609 Van Nuys Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91405
(213) 908 -1500
The three -day seminar, entitled "The
Digital Revolution: In Search of a Peace
Treaty," to be held at the University of
Miami, March 8 thru 10, 1984, is intended
to define the proper role to be played by
digital technology both today, and in
the future
and to shed some objective
light on the "state -of- the-digital art."
Seminar I, An Introduction to Digital
Audio, to be given by Ken Pohlmann,
director, Music Engineering Technology,
University of Miami, is designed as a
review of the basics of digital technology.
In addition, it will offer participants a brief
status report on digital audio today.
Siminar II, Digital Audio On Trial: If
It's So Good, Why is it So Bad ?, will be
moderated by Michael Tapes of Sound
Workshop; For the Prosecution: Doug Sax
of The Mastering Lab; For the Defense: a
speaker to be announced; with Witnesses
John Eargle of JBL, and Len Feldman.
Digital audio has been widely praised by
its promoters, and often damned by the
critics. Are the promoters trying to sell the
recording industry an immature technology? Are the critics expressing nothing
more than the usual distrust of new technology? Is there something inherently
wrong with the concept of Pulse-coded
Seminar III, Digital in Perspective,
will discuss the proper role of digital technology. Is it supposed to (eventually)
replace everything else, or are there some
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December 1983
R -e,'p 37
tasks that will always be better left to
analog? At this time, are we making
unrealistic demands on the medium?
Seminar IV, Digital for Dollars, will
be moderated by Hamilton Brosius of
Audiotechniques, with panelists Bruce
Botnick of Digital Magnetics, and Joe
Tarsia of Sigma Sound.
Seminar V, Review of the Proceedings, will consist of a question -andanswer period, in which all of the previous
speakers will be available for further
Seminar VI, Ear Training, will com-
prise a concert of un- amplified music by
faculty and student artists of the University of Miami School of Music.
Seminar VII, Standardization: Is it
Time ?, will be presided over by Ken Pohlmann, with speakers: Almon Clegg of
Matsushita, and Bob Younquist of 3M.
Ken Pohlmann will present a brief description of the recently announded DASH
(Digital Audio Stationary Head) format,
which has been adopted by several manufacturers. The adoption of a unified format
by several manufacturers may bring the
industry a little closer to a de facto standard, which may eventually be followed by
more formal standards.
Seminar VIII: CD Or Not CD, Was
That The Question ?, will be addressed
by Len Feldman and Richard Elen.
Further details of this digital seminar
program, for which the registration fees
range from $250 to $350, are available
from SPARS, P.O. Box 11333, Beverly
Hills, CA 90213. (213) 651 -4944.
In a recent move that reflects, according
to Sony, the growing importance of digital
recording technology in professional
audio, Audiotechniques has been
appointed the first of several new direct
sales representatives for the company's
range of PCM products. The Stamford,
Connecticut -based company, headed by
Ham Brosious, will represent the entire
line of Sony digital equipment, in addition
to its continuing role as dealer for MCl/
Sony consoles and tape machines. In the
photo below, taken at the recent contract
signing, are (L to R): Ham Brosious, with
Rick Plushner, national sales manager,
Mike Faulkner, regional sales manager,
and George Currie, VP and GM of Sony
Professional Audio.
CMS Digital
All four companies will support a new
common format in stationary -head recording called DASH Digital Audio Stationary Head. The new format combines features of the original format jointly
promoted by Sony and Studer, with new
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developments from all four companies.
The new format agreement takes into
account recent developments in technology, including the possible use of thin -film
heads, a format for low-speed recording
with increased robustness in signal processing, and the recommendation of the
AES Standard Committee on Digital
Audio for standardization of the 48 kHz
sampling frequency.
DASH's specifications and features will
be submitted as a proposal for an international specification, and also actively
promoted among the manufacturers and
users of digital audio as the recommended
format for stationary -head digital
The DASH format covers a wide range of
application from two -channel (7'/2 IPS,'/ainch tape) to 48- channel machines (30 IPS,
1/2-inch tape), and has three track /channel
versions depending on tape speed (fast,
... NEWS continued on page 174
t -e p 38
December 1983
labs and studios, necessitated the use of one
quarter million feet of cabling, 1350
patch points and extensive custom work:
Milam Audio provided all audio
equipment, fabrication, installation and
room tuning, in cooperation with Mr. Jim
Gundlach of Kirkegaard and Associates of
Chicago, acoustical and systems designers
for the project.
Mr. Martin J. Wilson exemplifies our working relationship with our valued clients.
clients deserve professional and
intelligent respect that is provided
only through the absence of high
pressure selling and the use of
binding sales contracts.
clients are entitled to know the
truth about products and
manufacturers before a sale is made.
the best application of a client's
funds is when it enables them to
compete in their market place within
their budget.
a dealer's obligation is to support
what he sells, relieving clients of
initial and long range service burdens.
"From the inception of the Denver
Center's new World Class Recording and
Research Center, our goal was to produce
one of the finest, State of the Art, analog/
digital facilities in the country. Our goal
certainly has been met with the help of
professionals like Milam Audio.
Milam Audio's participation in our
project involved an enormous amount of
detail planning and custom work, in addition
to the supply and support of all audio
equipment and installation. They delivered
on time and within budget as promised. The
lack of problems we have encountered since
start up is evidence of their expertise and
Mr. Martin J. Wilson;
Director of Administration of the
Recording and Research Center.
For the past fifteen years the number of
major Milam Audio installations and design
and construction projects has continually
grown throughout the USA. One recently
completed project at The Denver Center for
the Performing Arts in Denver, Colorado, is
among the finest multi -room, 24 track
analog + digital recording and research
facilities in the country. Requirements of the
recording and video control centers, research
1470 VALLE VISTA BLVD., PEKIN, IL 61554 -6283
309-346 -3161 (SERVICE DEPT. 309-346 -6431)
For additional information circle #29
December 1983
R -e /p 39
Session Producer ..
Studio Owner ..
Label President
Interviewed by David Gordon
Transformerless energy and well- earned pride coursed through Los Angeles' Pasha Music House Metal Health by
Quiet Riot had just hit #1 in the charts, to become one of the most successful debut rock albums. As a Platinum "metal"
album, it had the added distinction of shaking up the old foundations of the record industry. Quiet Riot has abruptly put
Pasha, and its producer, studio owner and label president, Spencer Proffer, in a very powerful position. Pasha has a
long, dues-paying history, and now it is a hot entity; it means Quiet Riot; it means two strong tracks from the soundtrack
of Staying Alive; it means a tune in the film, All The Right Moves; and the long- awaited Vanilla Fudge reunion album.
How did Proffer slip into such an enviable position? He began as a songwriter for A&M at the age of 17. Gary Lewis
and the Playboys recorded his song "Picture Postcard," and by the time he was 20 he had over 70 recorded songs. He
recorded as an artist for ABC /Dunhill, MGM Records, and CBS Records. A successful relationship with Clive Davis led
to a position on the CBS staff. Meanwhile, he was pursuing studies at UCLA, and went on to law school. In 1974, he
became national executive director of United Artists, where he produced 11 Top 50 hits in 18 months, and got industry
attention for his progressive production of Tina Turner's Acid Queen.
After leaving UA, Proffer formed his own music company and received critical acclaim with Allan Clarke, lead singer
of The Hollies. His production of serialized concept albums with Australian success Billy Thorpe, and a touring laser
show, exemplified the pre- occupation at Pasha with big productions, bold visuals, and a departure from the usual visual
support for recording artists. It's no surprise that Spencer Proffer supervised the Quiet Riot videos, and is energetically
courting profitable marriages with the film industry.
R -e/p (David Gordon): How did you first
come in contact with Quiet Riot? What
made you single them out as a potential
Pasha act?
Spencer Proffer: In January
1982 I
met Kevin DuBrow who, along with
Randy Rhoads and Rudy Sarzo, were
the founding members of the band. I met
Kevin while picking up a friend of mine,
a manager named Pat Armstrong, who
handles Molly Hatchet, amongst other
R -e /p 40 o December 1983
bands, and they were discussing potential management. Kevin and I just
started talking about music; he sings in
the tradition of some of the classic English rock singers. And that's my favorite
genre of rock and roll music the days
of Humble Pie, Deep Purple, Sabbath...
early Rod Stewart. So I immediately
asked Pat if I could take a listen to the
tape that Kevin left with them. Upon
hearing it, I thought, boy, what a classic
voice, reminiscent to a degree of Noddy
Holder when he was in a band called
Slade. Having heard the tape, I was real
keen to see what Kevin and his band
were all about live.
At that time, the band lineup included
Kevin and drummer Frankie Banali;
Carlos [Cavazo] the present guitar
player wasn't yet in the band, and Rudy
Sarzo was still playing bass with Ozzy
Osborne. After seeing them perform
Paul Bliss bought his first Soundcraft console in 1978.
As a song writer and record producer, he has always
enjoyed the benefits of composing straight onto tape
that's why so many of his songs have been hits for
performers as varied as Uriah Heep and Olivia Newton
But we amazed him with the Producer Package. With
the Series 1600 console and Series 760 multitrack, Paul
found he could take an affordable leap from 8 to 24
track recording. And that took him from the realm of
demos to top quality masters, all in a home studio
"I recorded the master of 'Casualty' for the Holliies in
my studio, and we overdubbed the vocals with Graham
Nash over in the States. The engineers in the studio in
LA were quite amazed at the quality of my recording.
"Where the Series 1600 really scores for me is the
patchbay. That lets me connect up my keyboards,
synthesizers and drum machine to the console and tape
machine with just 5 multicore cables. And lets me patch
anything to anything without leaving my chair.
"Soundcraft call the 1600 and 760 the Producer
Package. It really feels like it was designed especially
for me. So perhaps they should call it the Composer
Package too."
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p 42
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watching Frankie play drums, and
Kevin sing
I really felt that this is
something that would be tremendous in
front of a large audience. I saw a lot of
distinctiveness in Kevin's visual and
movement approach to rock and roll, as
well as some of the best drumming technique from Frankie. So that was really
step #1 in our collaborative process.
R -e /p (David Gordon): At
that point did
you go into the studio and start working
on demos for the band?
Spencer Proffer: That was the cata-
lyst for me to take it to the next step, in
the true sense of artist development. I
didn't want to commit them to me, or me
to them, without seeing how the work
experience would translate in the studio
context. Being fortunate enough to have
my own studio, I was able to take some
time over a weekend and go in with the
two of them. At the time they had
another guitarist and bass player, but it
was really the foundation of Kevin and
Frankie, and the cooperative spirit in
which we worked, which made me say,
"Yeah, I'd like to pursue this relationship."
R -e /p (David Gordon): What contribution do you think you made to the band,
in terms of maybe molding their music?
Spencer Proffer: Well, subsequently
Carlos joined from a local metal band
called Snow, when we decided that we
needed a different guitar player; he also
came to the band as a collaborative writer. So, in listening to all of their material
both Kevin's, and Kevin's and
Carlos' they truly had a sense of what
the kids would react to. I sensed that one
thing that was missing in a lot of the
Heavy Metal being played on the radio
was the sense of melody, the sense of
true song construction. And a real sense
of audience participation; metal bands
are primarily live, exciting, visual
bands. The thing I felt most excited
about with Quiet Riot was the musicianship of everybody involved; their
sense of truly knowing who their
audience was; and having music with a
melodic flow.
I really just helped nurture and
encourage that. I worked with them on
some of the arrangements, and heightened that sense of participatory rock,
which is what I would call the Quiet Riot
"musical genre." It's melodic participatory rock, not necessarily Heavy Metal,
although with Carlos' guitar playing,
Rudy's bass playing, and Frankie's
drumming, it certainly competes as
hard and as heavy as anything out
R -e/p: Do you feel that you were adding
something to the typical Heavy Metal
form with Quiet Riot?
SP: Oh, absolutely. I thought that we
were really expanding the genre. We
were adding an element of melody, but
with enough lyrical content and story
line so that the kids would enjoy the
record once they heard it, and be motivated to go and see the band. We try to
have the vocals and the ambience of the
record sound as live as possible, so that
when you heard it on the radio, first you
want to get the feeling of: "Who was it ?"
and "Where are they playing?" and
"When can we see them ?" Fortunately,
the feeling of being out in a large stadium. While working on the vocals, I
didn't restrain Kevin; I tried to push him
even harder, to sound as loose and as
natural as he is on stage.
R -e /p: I assume that
there'll be a second
SP: There will be a second album that
we'll be recording in January, which
will be entitled Condition Critical.
R -e /p: Do you plan to make a departure
from the sound of the first album?
SP: Not at all. It's going to reinforce it.
We'll retain everything we had, and
might be a bit more adventurous but, by
and large, it's going to retain the same
"melodic anthem," participatory feel.
R -e/p: Let's move on to you personally.
It's not too common these days for one
individual to have so many hats in his
closet; you're a studio owner, producer,
and you have your own label. Do you
also get involved in the engineering
SP: Oh, I get involved in it. I've got a
first-rate engineer in Duane Baron,
who's been with me now for six years
-he actually started his career at
Pasha. But I'll mix my own records.
Duane's been working with me long
enough to know what sounds to go for,
relative to the nature of the project we're
working on. But, insofar as putting the
records together, I need to have that
total involvement in order for me to be
the record has been the #1 most called the producer. If I turn it over to
requested album in this country for someone, I can't feel that I am justifiaabout the last 12 consecutive weeks [mid bly doing my job. So I do get involved on
November], so that we happened to a very broad context in the music and
strike it right on the money with that the arrangements, and certainly in the
way the records ultimately are put
together, which is the final mix.
R -e /p: How did you achieve that live,
When you mention my wearing varopen sound in the studio?
ious hats, all of those are support mechSP: By not going for a lot of overdubs. anisms to my first and foremost love
For the most part, we recorded the and function, which is to make records. I
album, using our entire building [Pasha built my own studio because I wanted to
Music House] as a studio not just our have the tools necessary to make statecontrol room and actual studio. We of- the -art records.
ripped apart our lounge, which is all
brick and wood, and put Carlos' amps in R -e /p: When did you build Pasha Music
there. We ripped apart our second stu- House?
dio, and put Rudy's amps in that. We SP: In 1978 ... and literally mortgaged
had the ambience of the drums as the everything that I had in order to do it!
only sound in our main studio. By using But I don't like looking at a clock when I
separate environments we gave the work, and I don't like going places and
album as much of an open -air, large feel having certain things not functioning
as possible. There was a lot of reflective on the level that I would choose to deal
wood and brick on the walls.
with. I felt that if I had my own facility,
It didn't take us more than five weeks which was built to complement my style
to make the Quiet Riot album. We didn't of recording, and the way that I make
approach it in a very sterile sense, but records, then I would have an edge in at
rather in a very aggressive, live -feeling least offering every option, sonically,
sense, so that sonically it would give you
... continued overleaf
grown up as a songwriter and performer, I
think that sometimes the best producers and writers
are those people that really have an understanding of
the entire medium.
December 1983
R -e /p 43
\O /Hs: KM88
R -e /p: Is there any special sound or
facility aspect you were after in building
your own studio?
SP: The monitoring is real true. I'll give
you an example. We master our records
with George Marino, who's with Sterling Sound in New York. George
happens to be, for me, the finest mastering engineer, but he has an easy job
with our records. Everything we put on
tape requires very little, if any, equalization going into the translation to disk.
The room is accurate.
When Larry Brown, who is a fine
engineer, and I built the room in 1978,
we took great pains to make sure the
monitoring was true. The room felt like
the kind of place you could spend several months making a record.
Aesthetically, the room is called The
Pasha Music House, and our whole
building is meant to feel like a home.
People spend a good deal of their lives
here, so the ambience of it is like being in
an English country house, which does
set it apart from the normal "commercial feel" of most studios I've been in.
R -e /p: Before we get on to the intraworkings of the Pasha family of companies, why did you decide to form your
own record label?
SP: To have a little more control over
the ultimate destiny of my work. I found
that having had some experience working for record companies both at CBS,
aesthetically, emotionally, and practically.
and running A &R at United Artists I
could see some of the system's shortcomings. Having had the benefit of that
experience, no one understands the
music better than the people who make
December 1983
R -e/p 44
it. Fortunately, having some music -
industry background, I have ideas
about the marketing of the music I'm
involved with. The logical corollary of
this experience would be that if I found
something I believed in, to then make
use of a major company such as CBS,
with its marketing, promotion, and distribution resources, thereby allowing
me to make some of the creative
With the way our label is set up, CBS
is my partner, but they do give me the
latitude to find an artist; handle artist
development; bring the project to them
in a recorded form; and give them some
ideas both in the marketing, merchandising and promotion. When you're just
Console: Transformerless MCI JH -500 Series with JH -50 Automation Package.
Monitors: Big Reds with Mastering Lab
Crossover, Yamaha NS -10Ms, and Aura
tones Sound Cubes, powered by Yamaha
P -2200 and P -2050 amps.
Multitrack: MCI JH -114 24- track.
Tape Machines: MCI JH -110A two -track,
Studer A80 half- and ?A -inch two -tracks, and
Sony TC850 two- track.
Reverbs /Delay Lines: EMT 140 plate
reverb, AKG BX10 and BX20 spring revherb, Fairchild 658, Cooper Time Cube,
EMT 251, and AMS RMX -16 digital reverbs,
Lexicon PCM41 and Prime Time, Eventide
1745M and H -949 Harmonizer, Marshall
Time Modulator, B &B Audio EQF -2, Orban
Dynamic Sibilance Controller and Stereo
Synthesizer, plus Aphex ll Studio Aural
Compressor-limiters: Teletronix LA -2A,
UREI LA -3A, 1176 and 1178, Valley People
Gain Brain and Kepex II, plus Inovonics 201.
a producer, you might have a lot of good,
valid ideas, and the label can say, "Go
make your records, and keep your
mouth shut." At least with a label identity, and the staff to back it up, we can
present ideas, campaigns, concepts, and
video ideas that, if the major agrees
and fortunately CBS has been wonderfully cooperative with us we can then
keep a continuity of image and profile
that the artists want to have when they
make their music.
So I just get involved in the conceptualization, but I move on and continue to
make records while my organization
does the follow- through consistent with
the ideas that the artists and I have
about the music. It's relative security
-there's no security in this business
anyway but at least I know that when
I finish a record it's going to be handled
in a manner consistent with the spirit in
which it was made.
R -e/p: When you're developing an act,
do you take those demos or preproduction forms to CBS for approval?
SP: No. They have pretty much given
me the latitude. There are some very
musical people at CBS that I have a lot
of respect for but, from an A&R standpoint, it's pretty much my call. Tony
Martell, who is most responsible for
bringing Pasha to CBS, is the vice president of CBS' Associated Labels, and
has been very much the guiding light for
me at CBS, together with Don Dempsey
and Walter Yetnikoff, who blessed the
whole deal at the top corporate level.
Tony has been tremendously supportive
on every level, and I find it a pleasure to
submit my ideas and my projects to him
as a sounding board.
... continued overleaf
condensor microphone is
designed for applications
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©AIK:3 1982
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December 1983
R-e /p 45
as a true "boutique" record company.
Can you elaborate on that description?
SP: Boutique is a clothing term. When
you go into some clothing stores, you've
got to buy off the rack. When you come
to Pasha, you have it custom tailored.
And some of our projects are not necessarily on the Pasha label. We make
some records for other record companies, if I'm very motivated about the project and the artist.
R -e /p: Someone once referred to
R-e /p: What are the main differences
when you're handling an outside project
like that?
SP: We make less money! We also have
somewhat less control, although most of
the major labels we're dealing with welcome out contribution. Fortunately we
get involved in some of the follow through areas, but we don't have as
much to say because they aren't our
artists that we've developed from the
ground up. But I offer that as an adjunct
to my creative services, so that the time
I've invested is somewhat protected and
accentuated by our ability to get some
records on the radio, and set up the
campaigns in conjunction with the
management and the respective labels.
R -e/p: What was your first job in the
music industry?
SP: I was a songwriter, and I wish I
could have gotten a job being one! I was
working my way through UCLA in a
band and, through a series of events,
wound up having a number of my songs
recorded, the first of which was "Picture
Postcard" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys back in 1967/68. By the time I was
20, I had about 100 of my songs recorded
by various artists throughout the
R -e /p: What were you studying at
SP: I was pre-law. I had two majors
- political science and music
and was learning how to orchestrate
symphony, and trying to hone down
my mind to go to law school, which I
ultimately did.
that you are a qualified lawyer helped your career in the
music business?
SP: Well, it certainly allowed me to
receive what I was contracted to receive!
It's made it easier for me to become
involved with projects, and conclude
them without a lot of red tape. I've been
able to understand the business
parameters, and how they actually
work in an operational sense; I have to
live my deals. Most lawyers make and
negotiate the deals, and then walk away
from them. By being able to up -front
negotiate the deals that I and my company have to live with, they become
more realistic, more functional, and
R -e /p: Has the fact
R -e /p 46
December 1983
there are less potential legalities to
present problems. I've never had a legal
problem in any contract that I've ever
signed in my career! I've found that to be
a tremendous aid in getting more business concluded quicker, so I could spend
more time on the music and not get hung
up on the red tape.
R-e /p: Let's talk about a few of what you
personally consider to be the major
breakthroughs in your career over the
previous decade or so. One that comes to
mind is the album Acid Queen.
SP: That brings to mind a really fertile
period in music, back in 1974/75, when I
got involved producing Ike and Tina
Turner. Tina was cast as the Acid Queen
in the Ken Russell movie of Pete Townshend's rock opera Tommy. I felt that
this particular role would be a great
broadening device for Tina's audience;
she would be seen by people who loved
The Who, and loved contemporary con-
body. I'd rather try and set trends, than
follow them. That was really my first
opportunity to take one form of music,
integrate it with another style, and
achieve something that would create a
new appeal.
R -e/p: Is there
anything about the
sound of Acid Queen that you consider
to be a step forward in terms of
SP: Well, it was more the coalition of her
style and rock and roll. I had some great
musicians involved on that album: The
Crusaders' Wilton Felder and Joe Sample played keyboard; Ray Parker, Jr.
and myself did the guitar work. The
sound of it was technically as good as
records may have sounded in that day.
My standard of sonics was always one
of creating some drama and adventure
on record, so I tried to make it sound
exciting and the kind of record you could
actually visualize.
R -e /p: Let's move on to the
Allan Clarke
solo album project, including Legendary Heroes. Was that another involve-
ment that altered the course of your
SP: It was an interesting collaboration.
I grew up listening to the Hollies, Beatles, Stones, and The Who. In terms of
the manner in which they structured
their harmony, Allan Clarke, Graham
Nash, and Tony Hicks of The Hollies
were a very influential component of my
own musical development. Having a
chance to do some of his solo records
was very exciting.
I remember he and the Hollies were
the first people to record Bruce Spring steen material outside of Bruce's own
recordings. Allan and Bruce had developed a relationship, and one of the first
songs that I recorded with them, cut #1,
side one of Allan's I've Got Time album
was a song called "Blinded By the
When I delivered that album, which
cert rock. Since Janis Joplin there had original songs by Springsteen,
hadn't been a female rocker who really Carole Bayer Sager, Melissa Mancheskicked ass, and who could take a rock ter, Nicky Chin and Mike Chapman, the
song and interpret it. I thought Tina to record company [Elektra] did not agree
be one of the finest interpretative sin- that "Blinded By the Light" was the
gers of our generation. I had just pro- kind of material that would be played on
duced a single for Ike and Tina prior to the radio. They thought the lyrics were
this movie coming up, and thought that too obscure; that Allan would be better
it might be pretty exciting to take a voice off doing other kinds of material. As a
like Tina's, couple it with songs by peo- result, another English band, Manfred
ple like Pete Townshend, Jagger and Mann, did a version of the song not far
Richards, and open up her audience to a away from our version, and it went on to
much wider demographic.
be the biggest record of 1976.
I found that album be be a very excitA little heartbreaking from our end
ing project, because it fused her style of maybe, but at least it vindicated my own
singing with progressive, melodic rock, belief that [it would work if] I took a
and was one of the first projects I had voice like Allan's, put it into a different
ever coproduced that went a little left of genre with writing like Bruce Springcenter. Acid Queen wasn't quite your steen's, and did something that I felt
normal commercial record, although its was true to what Allan deserved to
novelty itself became commercial.
record. We did subsequently have a hit
Sometimes people lead, and some- with a song called "Shadow in the
times people follow; my own personality Street," which made the Top 30. I found
has a tendency to want to take a step working with Allan just a wonderful,
forward, and not necessarily look over enriching experience.
my shoulder to see if I'm copying anyThe next male artist that I had gotten
... continued on page 51
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no one in the industry hit the "celestial
sphere" in music. Okay, they hit it with
album covers ELO, for example, put a
spaceship on their cover
had laser
shows, but they were singing songs that
dealt with other subject matter. "Last
Train to London" was an ELO song on a
space-oriented cover. Boston had a tremendously successful debut album, but
they sang love songs yet the band put
the space theme on the cover. So we
thought it would be really hip to take the
last scene in Close Encounters one step
further, and tell a story on record: the
birth of the Children of the Sun.
involved with was an Australian
"superstar" by the name of Billy
Thorpe. Allan Clarke and Billy had
been friends when he lived in London.
Billy actually came in and played a
guest solo on one of my later Allan
Clarke albums, which was the beginning of my collaborative, cross pollination idea of having Pasha artists
work together with one another.
R -e /p: How would you describe the way
in which you helped shape Billy
Thorpe's career? As maybe an example
of your contribution to the overall concept of his records, performance, touring, tie -ins from record to record; a long range type of thing, not just a quick
SP: Well, I can't take all the credit for
that. Billy is one of the brightest human
beings, both intellectually and creatively, that I've ever met. He came here
from Australia, where he'd had 15 #1
records and 10 Platinum albums. When
we decided to work together, we really
wanted to come upon an approach to
break his career in the U.S., so that he
wouldn't have to start over totally. We
really spent a lot of time getting to know
each other, and establishing a pulse on
what was happening in society, and
how we could make an impact on that
R -e/p: What was that story line?
SP: In the year 1991, the Nostradamus
66 I like to make
memorable records
that ... are very positive
with music.
The seminal event that charted our
course together was going to see Close
Encounters of the Third Kind. At the
same time the entire space phenomenon
had hit the world in the broadest sociological sense. Omni magazine became a
well -known publication; Star Wars and
Battlestar Galactica went on television.
There was a space orientation that pervaded almost every form of life, but yet
-A Conversation with Pasha Engineer Duane Baron
R -e/p caught up with engineer Duane
Baron during a typically hectic day of
sessions at The Pasha Music House. An
afternoon of basic tracking with a Los
Angeles band, Pictures, called for drums,
keyboard, bass and guitars to be set up in
the main Studio A recording area. Mike
lines and cue feeds were run down the
adjacent hallway to the lounge, where
dual Marshall guitar amps had been set
up in the brick -lined room. To intensify
the degree of reflective ambience, Baron
had placed sheets of plywood underneath and around the guitar amps, and Spencer Proffer and Duane Baron
had miked them with a vintage ribbon mike close to one of the cabinets. A pair of Neumann U87s
mounted on high booms also were placed 10 feet from the amps to pick up room ambience. With
the proven chart success of the Quiet Riot album, Metal Health, and the anticipated success of
the Vanilla Fudge reunion album, titled Mystery, and due for release early next year, we asked
Duane Baron to elaborate on his particular recording and production techniques.
"We wanted an `expansive' sound with Quiet Riot and The Fudge," he explains, "and wanted
to keep Jeff [Beck] happy. He oversaw everything that we did. I didn't really do anything different
with him than I do with most guitarists I work w @h."
Jeff Beck's lead guitar tracks posed a considerable challenge because scheduling required that
they be recorded mono in England. Session producer Spencer Proffer felt that the original tracks
weren't in keeping with the overall sound of the album, and worked with Baron to re- record
them. To recreate a more live sound, the mono guitar track was fed to a Marshall amp placed in
the studio, and a ribbon microphone placed close in front of it. In addition, two room mikes were
used to capture stereo ambience. The feed from the close ribbon mike was split to two input
channels on the board, one of which was routed through an Eventide H949 Harmonizer. "I used
the Harmonizer to split the pitch a bit on the right," Baron recalls, "and then I added the room
mikes in stereo. You don't really hear the Harmonizer; the effect is blended with the room mikes,
so you get the illusion of hearing the true size and sound of a very big guitar."
... continued overleaf
prediction of the Eastern and Western
powers joining to fight a middle power,
and causing the world to blow up,
created a shift in the earth's axis. Half
the world was disintegrated, and the
other half was burning up as the earth's
orbit shifted closer to the sun. The
Children of the Sun were a friendly race
from another galaxy who'd been watching man's self-destruction since the
beginning of time on earth, and they
came to earth in a very friendly fashion
and offered everyone a choice of staying
or leaving. And, of course, by the end of
the first song on the Children of the Sun
album everybody split; they figured
there was new hope.
The overall theme of the project, and
of Billy's recordings, was very hopeful,
very positive.
It's truly a fantasy, a movie in sound.
Billy and I spent nine months making
the first record, in the truest collaborative sense. We co-wrote the song "Children of the Sun," and from there it
spawned Billy's fertile mind into creating this whole story.
R -e /p: How did you support such complex space theme music, in terms of
sound to augment the basic concept?
SP: A lot of drama. Children of the Sun
opened up with three minutes of sound
effects and ships flying from left to
right. We recorded them 46 -track by
linking two 24 -track machines together,
so we would have optimum separation
and sonic brilliance in our stacked vocal
harmonies. But we created sonics; in
21st Century Man, the follow -up album
to Children of the Sun, we had an atomic
bomb burst that lasted two minutes. To
create the effect, we used 24 banks of
synthesizers, and it rumbled speakers.
Many stereo shops throughout the West
Coast used that album as a demo for
their sound systems, because if it could
withstand all the transients that we had
on the record, you knew you were buying
a good system!
R-e /p: And you played around quite a
bit with stereo panning and effects,
didn't you?
SP: Oh, yeah, very much so. We had
things coming in and out, left to right.
We had something coming in for four
bars that you never heard again 'til the
December 1983 D R -e/p 51
next album. It took me back to the days
when I studied classical music; you'd
have motifs for different characters.
And there were sound effects that you
would hear only briefly, and then would
reappear, or certain harmony structures. On Children of the Sun, the song
"We Welcome You" had the children of
the sun welcome the earthlings onboard
the ships. We used the exact same vocal
harmony structure and approach on the
next album during a similar encounter.
Those are subliminal links that only the
truest fans of the project might pick up
on, but we were real proud of it.
R -e /p: Is there a third album in the
SP: Yes. It's the unfinished part of the
trilogy. Pasha is going to re- release
Children of the Sun in 1984, the "George
Orwell" year. The album sold about
400,000 domestically after nine months
of shopping it. Everyone told me I was
crazy, that the kids would never relate to
it, yet it became one of the most
requested albums in 1979. To coincide
with its re- release, I'd like to do a video,
which we were not permitted to make at
the time of its original release because
visual -music was not "in."
R -e/p: Before moving on to your involvement with video, let's talk about the
stage show you mounted for Billy
Thorpe. That was pretty progressive at
the time, wasn't it?
SP: Well, not only was the particular
performance aspect of Billy's show very
visual, but we also had a touring laser
show in 1980 that choreographed the
storyline for both Children of the Sun
and 21st Century Man. We ran that
show in planetariums all over the world
to really encapsulate audio -visual entertainment. It was too expensive to mount
the laser show on video itself, although
we approached RCA Videodisk and a
number of other companies, and said it
would represent sufficient abstract
entertainment to warrant tremendous
repeatability, if we could get it on the
air. But it proved to be too expensive a
process to put on the air, so we just
toured it in a way that would have been
cost-prohibitive to do with the band. To
have the touring planetarium show run
in nine cities simultaneously, however,
- continued ..
What made him select a vintage tube ribbon microphone to record loud amplified guitars, we
"I've tried all kinds of mikes," Baron says. "I get old ribbon mikes from radio stations. People
think they are junk, but I've found that they work best for me. Other engineers feel that I'm crazy,
because you can blow them out if you put ribbon mikes in front of Marshalls. And yes, after a
while, they are only good for guitar; the ribbon stretches out. But, when the pressure of those
Marshalls hits them, you get a killer guitar sound. I have to admit I've felt guilty putting these old
suckers in situations like this."
Any particular choice of vocal mike? "We set up an assortment of microphones: usually a
Neumann U47, a U49, a U87, and AKG C12, C414, and C24. The singer will try all of them, and
Spencer and I will listen and decide which one works best for the particular voice. We test old
mikes before we buy them because it's like buying a used car; just because it's a Ford doesn't
mean that it's going to be a great Ford. You take them for a test drive, and a lot of them don't
sound good. But then you find one that still has its old quality. The AKG C12 is one of my favorite
vocal mikes. We used it a lot on the Vanilla Fudge sessions."
Baron began his career as an assistant engineer for Larry Brown, who also had a hand in the
design of Pasha. Studio A is comprised of a large recording room with drum booth, and a
spacious control room. Studio B is smaller, and used mainly for overdubs and vocals. With the
recording of groups such as Quiet Riot, additional areas of the studio complex have been utilized
recording areas.
"For basic tracks," Baron recalls, "we have instruments everywhere. The rooms were originally designed for MOR work, and were relatively dead sounding. We have added a lot of
reflective surfaces, and expanded into rooms like the lounge for versatility. The whole building
has become the studio."
An unrestricted approach to recording, and a solid relationship with Spencer Proffer, has
resulted in a production team that suddenly has leapt into the limelight. What was Proffer like to
work with in the studio?
"He lets me do my job," Baron says. "The great thing about working with Spencer is that he
gives me the ball; he lets me go. He will give me an idea, describe what he is looking for, and then
leave it up to me. The more we work together, the more he can say just one word and I'll know
what he wants.
"There is a big advantage to working with a producer who owns his own studio I have the
time to take an idea as far as I can go. He will leave for a few hours, and after I've burned my ears
out with the sound, he'll come back with fresh ears, listen, and make further suggestions. He
trusts me enough to let me work on a sound on my own, and then come back with fresh ideas. It's
a good working relationship, like between a quarterback and a wide receiver."
With just an hour between sessions, Baron had to make some rough mixes of the basic tracks
for Pictures, break down their instrument setup, and lay out the studio for an evening session
with Rod Falconer. "Doing two drum setups in one day takes quite an effort," he comments
breathlessly, as he heads back to work.
R -e
P 52
December 1983
Sessions at Pasha Music House
with Rod Falconer
together with cross -pollenating marketing of the records, we found to be a very
exciting merger of the music and visual
We were a bit ahead of ourselves in
that a number of people thought we were
crazy doing this too. They said, "Marrying audio and visual? No way. Have hit
singles!" There were people that really
thought we had jumped off the deep end.
I mean, I was telling them I wanted to
put this on Broadway, in the true sense
of combining the mediums. And they
just kept screaming: "Hit single! Hit
single!" And this is the kind of project
that had more depth than just necessitating a hit single.
R -e /p:
Let's take this visual preoccupation into the world of music
video, which is something you're
involved with now. Quiet Riot's latest
video is creating a lot of response.
SP: Well, in the Quiet Riot videos we
managed to be one of the first people to
even link a couple of videos together. In
our first video, on the title track, "Metal
Health," we have our hero, with the
mask, which also is on the album cover.
I'm a strong believer in visual identification with the package, and with the
album, so we had the cover come to life
at the beginning of that video. As Kevin
[DuBrow] breaks out of the padded room
into the mental institution, we had a
reason for his performance he needed
to break out so that he could get on -stage
with the rest of the band. And when he
saw a flashing light in the corridor of
the hospital, he jumped down a large
hole that landed him on-stage, and he
threw the mask into the audience.
In our second video, the kid who
caught the mask from the first video is
lying on the bed, with the mask hanging
over his bed in very much of a religious
fashion. We actually put a flashback in
our second video to tie it together with
the first.
The director of that video, Mark Rezyka, and Steve Einczig from CBS,
Warren Entner, the band's manager,
and myself really brainstormed how we
could tie all these elements together, so
that there would be a continuity to the
whole Quiet Riot visual as well as sonic
stamp. We plan to use the same illustrator that did the cover on our second
album to incorporate elements of the
mask from the first one because this
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December 1983
R -e /p 53
the producer and director in picking the
moments at which contemporary music
would fit in. Then, have the songs written and recorded to be custom -tailored to
the movie, but also have a broad enough
appeal to stand up as conventional
We are now in the process of working
on the music for a film for a major studio
that we are going to be doing top to bottom, and next year we'll have two other
pictures that we have been contracted to
do from the ground up. That will still
allow me to work first and foremost as a
record producer, but then to visually
translate the music into correlating
with somebody else's visual images.
Initially, there was one tune Randy and
that Carmine and
Mark wrote the music to. Randy seemed
to have such a fine sense of where the
gives the consumer a continuing link
music was going that when Mark and
into staying with an artist. The records
Carmine came up with melodies that I
won't be a one off; the videos won't be a
felt were right for the album, we turned
one off.
the melodies over to Randy. He wove
beautiful pictures and stories around
R -e /p: While producing an album prothose melodies that were totally congruject do you have a visual in mind as
ent and consistent with the record I
you're laying down the music tracks?
wanted to make.
SP: Very much so. Most of the records
Randy co-wrote the first Danny Spa that I've made tend to have a lot of
nos single off our Passion in the Dark
drama to them. And I also look to get
EP: as a matter of fact, Randy co-wrote
involved with projects that have a very
three of the key tracks on that album,
visual sense. I'm making a record now
both musically and lyrically. I just find
which is a true pioneer of the collaboraRandy to be tremendously prolific, and
tive mediums. Roderick Falconer is cur - R-e /p: It might be interesting to take one a real team player. He is now going to be
rently directing and writing a screen- of the Pasha artists as an example of producing a project for Pasha, for which
play. He wrote the screenplay to Star
he will be collaborating on the writing
Chamber, which was released last year,
with the band, Pictures, on some of the
and now is going to be writing and
material. I'll be overseeing it as an execdirecting a film called Empire Man. So
utive producer.
that for a visually orientated guy like
I see Randy's role here at Pasha in a
Rod, all his songs are "mini-movies."
very expansive sense, as an artist, colEvery time we finish working on a piece
laborative writer, producer, and a true
for the record, we talk about how that's
part of our musical family. Thus I am
going to translate into video. I would
not hesitant at all in involving him,
very much like to do a video of Rod's
because if I'm afforded the opportunity
entire LP, because a lot of the songs
to work on a project, then people have
have a storyline that we've weaved
come here because of a certain style and
approach. It's very important to me that
whoever else gets involved
where I
R -e /p: We're really talking about the
can't do everything on a project
many different, supposedly separate,
turn it over to someone who has as much
forms of art
music, records, live permusical sense.
formance, music - videos, and, of course,
Having grown up as a songwriter and
film. The connection is very obvious
performer, I think that sometimes the
with artists you're now working with. this cross -pollination process. Randy best producers and writers are those
How will Pasha become involved with Bishop seems to have slipped into var- people that really have an understandthe film industry?
ious projects. How does a person like ing of the entire medium; I think that
SP: One way is certainly the prolifera- that operate at Pasha?
certainly Randy is a shining example of
tion of our involvement in videos that SP: Well, Randy is one of the most bril- that. Carmine Appice is another one of
portray the music that comes out of liant all- around talents I've ever our artists who, as a writer, performer,
here. The next step is that in 1984 we are encountered. He is a poet in his own and potential producer of acts that will
going to be doing at least three complete right, but also has a tremendous musi- be involved with Pasha, can function as
movie soundtracks.
cal sense. My initial involvement with one of those total musical entities.
Randy was producing him as an artist.
R -e/p: You had an involvement pre- But he is such a prolific writer, and such R-e /p: Let's touch briefly on the recent
viously with a couple of tracks for Stay- a consummate musical talent, that on Vanilla Fudge reunion album. What
ing Alive.
every project I get involved with there is considerations did you have in mind
SP: Yes, we have two tracks on the space for a self -contained element like while translating the sound of a band
Staying Alive soundtrack, outside of the Randy; for example, the new Vanilla from the Sixties, to a record that would
Bee Gees and the Frank Stallone tracks. Fudge record, which I just finished pro- work in 1984?
That came about through a series of ducing, and which features Jeff Beck on SP: I wanted to keep consistent the elerelationships, and my desire to get guitar. Mark Stein and Carmine Appice ments that made them big, which was a
involved in the film business. We have are two of the finest songwriters that certain orchestral and dramatic eleanother track in All the Right Moves, I've come across, but they were not as ments. Mark Stein is a very dramatic
the new Tom Cruise film, on which proficient lyricists as the images of their singer and keyboard player. Timmy
Danny Spanos is singing. That was a music dictated. So we needed to find a Bogert is a dramatic bass player, and
song tailored for the film, and recorded lyricist to take some of Mark and Car- Carmine is certainly the most dramatic
specifically for emotional impact in the mine's melodies and musical thoughts, rock drummer I've heard! So I knew the
and to be true to those very specific feel- record had to have drama; it had to have
Something I very much look forward ings that the music evoked.
a lot of emotional impact, and a lot of
to doing is being given an entire script
So, I immediately contacted Randy
or film, and being asked to work with and had him get together with them.
Thus, in going through all the mate-
I collaborated on
- -I
don't like looking at the clock when I work, and I
don't like ... certain things not functioning on the
level that I would choose to deal with.
R -e /p 54
December 1983
was recorded in one genre by Dionne
Warwick, and brought into a heavy,
contemporary genre by the Fudge
I'm most proud of that album in its
original material, because it's very picturesque. The album's called Mystery;
each song paints its own picture, and
tells its own story. I consider it to be one
of my favorite records that I can still
listen to after having done the work,
because it is really fulfilling musically.
R -e/p: What was it like working with
Jeff Beck, who guested on the album?
SP: A dream. Being able to work with
somebody like Jeff, who very graciously
agreed to play as a guest guitarist on
two of the tracks, was just magic. He is
one of the most lyrical and melodic
players I've ever had the opportunity to
see, much less work with in the studio.
R -e /p: Let's close with an explanation of
rial that they were writing, I selected the
melodies that were the most dramatic,
and yet at the same time ones that I felt
were the most contemporary. We did two
covers of outside songs that we totally
re- arranged to remain consistent with
some of the old Fudge material. We
recorded "Walk On By," but it starts out
with a 60- second orchestral intro that
you think would lead into a modern
"techno- symphony." But then it bursts
into a real good rock feel of a song that
Pasha's motto: "Music for people with
SP: I just like closing my eyes while
listening to music, and seeing the
images dance in front of me. With Quiet
Riot, you close your eyes and envision
30,000 screaming kids getting vibed up.
With Vanilla Fudge, you can picture
maybe elements of a beautiful Ken Russell or Fellini movie. With Billy Thorpe,
you know you're definitely in the zone
with Lucas.
I really am a big fan of records that
the New Cost -Effective
0 ' L.
are very visual, and so I will continually
strive to make records that really give a
listener a lot more to go on than just
"listening" to a record. I like to make
memorable records that also feel good,
and are very positive; I don't like producing negative lyrics. I like making
records that make you feel good, and
want to take a little journey with the
artist. That way there's much more
repeatability to them. I will strive to
continue to make records at that qualitative level.
size 56 "x 38 "x 9 ", scaled for the Cost- Effective Studio
Reverb Time: Variable .5 to 5 sec.
Signal to Noise: 65 db
Frequency Response: 80 -20 KHz
Input: - 10 or + 4 dbm 10K ohms, unbalanced.
10K ohms
Stereo Outputs: + 4dbm ( + 24dbm max.)
50 ohm unbalanced
Weight: 56 "x 38 "x 9 ", 109 lb.
Equalization: Both Hi and Lo Variable
New Shock -Mounted Plate Tension System
is Pre -tuned at the Factory
Eliminating Tuning Problems.
6666 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincolnwood, IL 60645 (312) 676 9400
An affiliate of Programming Technologies, Inc.
December 1983
For additional information circle #37
R -e /p 55
by David Scheirman
time (no, this is not a
fairy tale), there was a man who
wanted to design and build the
best PA equipment available; there was
a sound crew who wanted to use that
gear; and there was a band who wanted
to make it to the top. Dave Martin, of
Martin Audio Ltd., London, England,
has earned a firmly- established reputation as one of the first developers of an
integrated, fully horn -loaded concert
sound system, which helped to displace
the old column -type loudspeaker systems commonly used in the early days of
rock concert touring. The Delicate Production Company, Inc., of Canoga Park,
CA, is made up of several past (and
present) crew members of the group
Supertramp, and services some of the
hottest touring accounts out this season, including Men At Work, and the
Little River Band. And the group that
spawned the production company,
Supertramp ... whose achievements in
the recording business are legendary.
To observe this unique combination of
gear, technicians, and musicians, this
writer journeyed to St. Louis, Missouri,
to catch one of the last shows on the
band's 1983 North American tour.
Once upon a
System History
In 1969, Dave Martin ventured to
London from Australia, hoping to see
and hear a good concert sound system or
two. He was sorely disappointed concert sound systems at that time in England consisted of stacked small speaker
columns with a usable frequency range
of perhaps 100 Hz to 5 kHz, mountains
of these columns being driven by small
R -e /p 56
December 1983
100W slave amplifiers. Martin, realizing that horn -loading was the way to go
after observing an Iron Butterfly con-
cert at London's famous Albert Hall in
1970, started working on the first loudspeaker enclosures that would carry his
name. Martin Audio Limited was
formed in 1971 to supply the industry
with the company's first product, the
215MK1 bass horn. The bin met with
immediate success, and resulted in
groups such as Pink Floyd commissioning Martin to build large touring systems for their exclusive use. The concurrent development of the Midas range of
mixing consoles helped bring about, in
Europe and the British Isles at least, the
"Midas /Martin," system, which became - the standard by which other
sound- reinforcement systems were
"We first heard this system at a Pink
Floyd date," explains Supertramp's
house mix engineer Russell Pope, who
has mixed live sound for the band since
1970. "We had all of us heard about this
new system which Dave Martin had
developed, and went to see and hear it ...
the band, the crew, the whole bunch of
us. We went home and talked about it ...
the band decided that, somehow, some
way, they had to get one like it. No two
ways about it; we had to have that
"At the time, Supertramp was really
totally unknown. We were all taking a
big chance, having decided to get
serious and just go for it. A commitment
was there from the beginning; the musicians, the crew ... we all wanted to do
everything first- class. So we bought the
"We have always used [the system]
for years, everywhere we played. It has
slowly evolved, as new products became
available ... we have just upgraded all
of our power amplifier section for this
tour, and the system is now four -way
instead of three -way. But it is still essentially a Midas/Martin system.
"Using the same system night after
night, having a correct system design to
start with, and having the group be
totally committed to their live sound ... I
guess if people think we sound good live,
it's because of a combination of all of
those things taken together."
Ian Lloyd -Bisley has mixed the
band's on -stage
monitors for more
than a decade, and
offers similar comments: "I wouldn't
use any other speakers. We have Martin
LE200 wedge moni-
tors, which were first
introduced in 1973, I
Ian Lloyd -Bisley believe. They have
always worked so well for me, right from
the beginning, that I have never added
sidefills to the system. And I have never
even used outboard equalization until
this year ... the boxes sound that good."
Bisley started with Supertramp as a
stage equipment handler, and began
mixing monitors for the group in 1973
when Martin Audio first brought out the
LE200 wedges.
"Just looking over there, and seeing
me still at the desk, after all of these
years," he remarks, "makes the group
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have much more confidence in their
stage sound. I suppose it is unusual for
Russell and Ito have been with the same
band for so long. In this business, sound
engineers seem to come and go every
other tour. But this has been my life; it's
what I do."
"It's very simple," stresses Dougie
Thomson, bass guitarist for Super tramp. "We got the best PA we could
find. Our engineers have been with us
from the beginning, since none of us had
a clue what we were doing. We have all
learned this business together. These
guys have honed the sound to a fine
edge, kept the system abreast of new
developments and, if it has all worked,
then that is only because that's what we
all wanted to happen, years ago."
Musicians' Involvement
Thomson professes more than just a
passing interest in the concert sound
system the group acquired, as do other
members of Supertramp.
"Before this band started up, I had a
degree in mechanical engineering from
college, so I was quite interested in
hardware and that sort of thing. I have
always been right on top of the guys,
sometimes they have hated me for it,"
Thomson laughs. "But, our sound system ... our live sound ... that has always
mattered a great deal to us.
"When we first started up, we had this
idea of what we wanted to sound like.
We started to tour and get a name,
recognition, and so forth. We were fortunate to have a record company that
recognized our desire to sound good, and
purchasing our own system was one of
our biggest priorities. And, as we
became a touring entity, we sort of
turned it over to our crew guys. They
took the system, which we looked at
from an aesthetic point of view, and
refined it [they] took in all of the practical considerations, putting it up every
night and so forth, and now they are off
and running with it.
"Last tour, we let them keep the PA
and lights over here in the States, to see
if they could drum up business with it,
and keep working, since we weren't on
the road. And now, their company is
almost as well known as we are!"
Chris "Smoother" Smyth, a veteran
Supertramp crew member who is now a
shareholder in The Delicate Production
Company, offers his viewpoint: "this
band always demanded excellence in all
areas. In the early days, they spent a lot
of money to get things just right; the
sound and lighting, and so on. And a lot
of money in research and development
with Dave Martin.
"You could say that Supertramp
helped to pioneer the whole idea of what
a concert sound system is today, particularly [with regard to] separate monitor
)-----\ `---.,.
Figure 1 Delicate Productions' four-way flown system for Suptertramp Tour, utilizing
Martin bass and mid -range bins, plus Emilar /Renkus-Heinz high -mid and Emilar HF horn
cabinets. However, the rig is highly adaptable, and can be re-arranged as necessary.
mixes, hanging the main system, that
sort of thing. Basically, these guys had
their whole hardware thing together.
And we, as a crew, did a whole 10 -month
tour with everything. We collectively
built this system up from nothing, came
up with the money to make it work, and
everybody cared about the system as if
it were a baby."
House Speaker System
The Supertramp PA, as supplied by
The Delicate Production Company,
began as a standard Martin modular
three -way, horn -loaded system. Bass
bins are the Model 215 cabinet, each of
which contain two JBL K140 cones. The
bass cabinet is commonly called a
"split -bin" by the sound crew, since it
features two, independently -loaded
horn chambers separated or "split" by
heavy 3/4 -inch plywood reinforcing walls
(Figure 1).
The Model 215 multicell exponential
bass horn has a rated frequency
response of 35 Hz to 1 kHz. Drivers are
loaded in a semi -forward facing configuration, and each cabinet is designed to
handle 500 watts, depending on the
drivers with which it is loaded. Deflector
panels and a curved mouth help to
assist in the dispersion of the more
directional upper bass frequencies.
The low-mids in the system are
handled by the Model MH212 midrange
horn. In this cabinet, two ATC 12-inch
cone drivers are compression -loaded
into a 90- degree fiberglass horn, which
has a 40- degree vertical dispersion pattern. The cabinet is said to accurately
reproduce audio frequencies from 180
Hz up to 2.5 kHz, due to its flare rate.
Each box features DC speaker protection via an in -line capacitor, and a selec-
Figure 2: Speaker system on ground, prior to being raised above stage area.
December 1983
R -e /p 59
The amplifiers are driven by a four way Brooke-Siren Systems electronic
crossover at 250 Hz, 1.25 kHz, and 5
kHz; basically the same points recommended by Martin Audio for the speaker
"I thought about stopping the mids at
1 kHz," Berg states. "But, I decided not
to. You have to watch what you put into
the bottom end of the horns. With this
system though, our problems with losing horn diaphragms occur not so much
from excess voltage, but more from
impact damage ... stage hands setting Figure 6: Additional house mix inputs were
the boxes down too hard and jarring Trimix submixer for drums and percussion.
them; that sort of thing. But that
happens very, very rarely."
used to belong to Roger Hodgson in the
Berg comments that the 15 -inch cone band," he offers. "It was his food case.
speakers fail only when the JBL K-140s He used to cook his own food on the
finally "fall to pieces physically ... ter- road, and it was filled with pots and
minal lead clips may fall off, the magnet pans, salt and pepper
that sort of
loosens, but only after thousands of stuff. I acquired it a few years ago, and
truck miles does that happen. Our it's now my base of operations for repair
loudspeaker failure problems are inva- and maintenance." The road case is
riably due to travel, vibration, and han- stocked with an oscilloscope, test oscildling not to blowing them up with too lator, and spare modules, circuit cards
hot a signal."
and other parts for the system's ampliBerg keeps a close watch on the elec- fiers and signal processing devices.
tronic and acoustical transducer components from his mobile repair bench,
House Mix Equipment
which goes to every show with him. "It
Russell Pope's mixing station was an
handled by an auxiliary 18- channel Trident
interesting study in form and function.
Centered around a 36- channel Midas
console and an 18- channel Trident
submixer, the gear was arranged so that
those devices requiring the most attention were close at hand, while those
which could be preset before the show
were out of the way (Figures 5 and 6).
The main system drive rack was situated only inches away from the main
console, and contained the Brooke -Siren
crossover, two dbx 160X compressor limiters, and two Klark-Teknik DN27
graphic equalizers. Additionally, an
Inovonics Model 500 Acoustic Analyzer
(fed with an AKG condenser microphone) was handy (Figure 7).
"Consistency is probably my greatest
watchword," Pope remarks. "I try to
have the gear set up in the same way
every night. I EQ the system every single time with the same taped music; that
way, I'm used to hearing the same thing
in different rooms."
A pair of Revox A77 two- tracks were
at hand to provide playback music
(Pope's personal selection for setting the
Figure 7: The system rack houses Brooke
Siren Systems crossovers, dbx Model
160X compressor -limiters, hark- Teknik
DN27 graphics, and an Inovonics Model
500 Analyzer.
Lake is giving you a line.
MCI /Sony is now at Lake. New
England's largest audio /video
dealer has Just added the complete line of MCI/Sony tape
recorders and consoles to their
list of carefully selected
products for the professional. Lake's service,
engineering and design
R -e /p 62
capabilities are there to serve
you whether you need a microphone or a full turn -key system.
Call the pro audio people at
Lake Systems Corporation,
55 Chapel Street, Newton,
Massachusetts 02160
(617) 244-6881. Leasing
plans are available.
December 1983
We're not out to sell TAD professional
loudspeaker components to everyone.
Only those who can afford to eliminate the
word "compromise " from their vocabulary.
Obviously, you won't hear that word bandied
about amongst the engineers at TAD.
Because our entire existence is dedicated to
the perfection of audio.To accomplish this you can't
be willing to skimp, to cut corners, to make sacrifices,
to settle for less than the best.
That's why every device we make is assembled
entirely by hand.With the precision you'd expect of a
watchmaker. Our diaphragm assembly, for instance,
is mounted with a gap precision of ±1 millionth
inch to ensure high reliability.
We use tremendously expensive evaluation
and testing techniques with the aid of computers
and esoteric acoustical equipment like a Doppler
Laser, a Laser Holograph, an Impulse Generator, and
an Anechoic Chamber, to mention just a few
Finally, we feel to make first -rate products you
can't settle for second -rate materials. So we use the
finest money can buy. Such as Beryllium diaphragms
and Alnico magnets.
Consecuently, the sound we produce is totally
uncolored, uncluttered, and unmatched.
Which is why our professional loudspeaker
components are preferred by musicians, audio -system
designers and recording engineers who are
perfectionists when it comes to sound.
And who feel that the price of not bei ng a
perfectionist is high.
Audio Devices
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Figure 8: A secondary rack, located behind the mix position,
contains a wide selection of signal processors and effects units.
system up included tracks from Pink
Floyd's The Wall, and Toto's latest
release). The two -tracks also provided
playback of a film soundtrack, used at
several points during the show to
accompany projected film clips. Duplicate copies of the soundtrack were
loaded onto the two identical tape decks,
so that a spare was on -line instantly if
Approximately eight or 10 feet behind
Pope, a pair of secondary racks were
positioned, which contained all signalprocessing devices for channel inserts
and special effects (Figure 8). One rack
contained four Aphex CX -1 noise gates
(for toms, kick and snare), and four dbx
Model 160X limiters (keyboards and
bass guitar). Additionally, four Inovonics Model 201 limiters were available for
vocals. Two more dbx 160s handled the
guitar inputs. A full patchbay was provided on the front panel for access to
each device.
The second effects rack housed an
Aphex II Studio Aural Exciter, an AMS
DMX -15 -805 stereo digital delay, a
Delta-Lab DL -4 Time Line, and a Lexicon 224X digital reverb.
"I use the Aphex as an effect, with
selected inputs such as vocals and saxophones," Pope explains. "I use it very
sparingly, and not every night; only if
the hall seems to need the added help on
the top end. The primary thing that we
are all into is to remain as totally musical as possible, and to have the show
sound be as much like the recordings as
we can make it. So, the signal processing is here to be used as needed for certain tunes
certain sound textures, if
you will not to be just thrown on everything indiscriminately depending on
my mood that show."
"I have a lot more gear out here than I
did, say, five or six years ago. But I have
always tried to keep it as simple as possible. It seems to me that the more devices you stick into your signal path, the
more cluttered everything becomes.
New gear is very faddish, sometimes...
I don't add anything unless I really feel
it is necessary.
"And, basically, my system here is an
antique, compared to many of the new
high -tech rigs out right now. Things like
Figure 9: On -stage monitoring was covered with 24 Martin
LE200 wedges.
subwoofers, for instance. Back four or
five years ago when that was the new
thing to have, we had just finished
seven or eight straight years of touring,
recording, touring, and we just didn't
really want to jump into a whole new
thing like that with our system. Actually, now I am glad we didn't the Martin bass bins are very adequate for low end. Take this place for instance; the
bass in the room is just horribly boomy.
It can just make the whole mix turn into
jelly, washing out the vocals, the piano,
everything. More low- frequency energy
is the last thing I need."
Pope feels that the system has actually benefited from the current plan
whereby the sound crew has taken over
the PA and formed The Delicate Production Company. "Since they have been
serving other clients besides us, the
guys have really had to upgrade the system, and make it more contemporary.
so, it has been good for all of us. The
several years off for our group from touring has given the fellows a chance to
really beef up the sound system, and it is
working better than ever now. As far as
hardware goes, I have everything I used
to have, and then some more."
Sound Checks
"Every single show," Pope emphas... continued overleaf
The Beyer MCE 5 combines the clear,
transparent sound of a condenser
mic with total freedom of movement.
Historically, the amplification of brass and acoustic
stringe3 instruments has been problematic because
pickups oily tell half the story and external mics may
not be flexible enough in terms of onstage movement.
The Beyer MCE 5's frequency response of 20 to 20,000
Hz enables it to capture all of the subtle timbrai nuances
that distirguii your instrument, without adding coloration.
Small and uncbtrusive, the MCE 5 can be easily mounted
to acoustic guitars, violins and brass instruments.
The Dynamic Decision
Beyer Dynamic, inc., 5 -05 Burns Avenue, Hicksville, New York 11801 (516) 935 -8000
December 1983
R -e /p 67
Tangent &
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R -e /p 68
December 1983
izes, "there is always a sound check,
usually [with] the whole band. Some of
them are always here ahead of time to
play the room, so we can get it set cor-
rectly. I spend most of my time with the
low-end, probably
the bass is very
important to us. It has to be full, relatively powerful and tight, and the vocals
have to be clean and on top. Everything
else is pretty much standard.
"Actually, if you were drawing a diagram of our sound, the drums and bass
would be the bottom of the pyramid, and
the vocals would be the apex. But the
drum and vocal sound by itself has
about the equivalent acoustical energy
as all the rest of the instruments. If you
were to measure it out here in dBs, I
think that you'd get, say, 110 dB overall
level. And then, if you pulled out the
mid-range instruments, and left only
drums and vocals, you'd still get essentially the same registration on your
"If you can establish a solid, clean
bottom end, and have the vocals clear
and on top, you have to mix with a feeling of power and size. That is where
many other mixers make the mistake, I
think, [of] trying to focus too much on
guitars, pianos, that sort of thing. An
For the Canadian leg of the Supertramp North American tour, Delicate Productions
provided much of the house speaker system, while Audio Concepts A.C. Inc., a Quebec
based sound reinforcement company, was subcontracted to supply a Martin speaker
system for many of the shows. Audio Concepts stocks the standard Martin speaker
systems, along with Dave Martin's newest product: the RS1200.
"For the indoor arena dates which required supplementary gear, we provided the
RS1200s for rearfill," explains Audio Concepts' sales representative Daniel Angers. "Russell Pope [Supertramp's house engineer] commented that he was very pleased with this
new cabinet. We hung eight in the air and placed four on the floor at the back of the five
largest arenas on the tour. For the outdoor dates, we brought in Martin cabinets identical
to those used by Delicate."
The RS 1200 was several years in the making by Martin Audio, Ltd. of London, and was
only first introduced into North America in July of 1983. "It is our understanding that these
boxes are for sale only in large quantities to sound reinforcement companies, and will not
be available to the public," Angers states. "Ours were shipped over from England unloaded
and unpainted. We installed the components, finished them with a fiberglass exterior, and
then installed special steel load -bearing handles for hanging.
"The box has a rather complex loading system; it is horn -loaded in the bass section,
somewhat like a pyramid. We use Gauss drivers which are specially-made for us, a 300 watt
ATC 12 -inch cone, one JBL 2445 driver, and two Fostex aluminum- diaphragm tweeters."
Audio Concepts currently has 32 of the new cabinets as part of its regular sound rental
stock. "So far as we know, this is the only RS1200 system in North America to date,"
Angers comments. "We feel it is an excellent box. It retains the solid, horn -loaded bass and
mid -bass that Martin systems are known for, yet packages all the components for a 4 -way
system into one self- contained cabinet."
electric-guitar -oriented band is very
dependent on the guitar riffs. But Super tramp's music is just the opposite. And
it just happens to translate well to the
acoustics of an arena such as this one. I
don't think that the group has ever consciously structured their music to fit
room acoustics, but they have always
gone for what they wanted to hear
and lyrics and melody are most
"As far as reproducing the tunes out
here on the road, I used to only have a
single spring reverb to bring into the
mix. The band's music is structured in a
very simple manner, and I try to
approach the live recreation of it in the
same manner. My Midas console was
expressly designed to be almost childishly simple. How anyone can put
parametric EQ on every channel and
expect to keep track of it all during a
show ... forget it! The simpler, the better. Technology won't give you better
ears, or solve problems in the music
During the show, Pope's attention
was focused almost single-mindedly on
the Midas main board; drums and percussion submixes from the Trident
submixer appeared on inputs routed to
the Midas console. The Lexicon 224X's
remote control panel also was close at
hand; all other effects were pre -set and
brought in as needed. As the show progressed, Pope played the Midas as if it
were an instrument itself, his eyes
rarely leaving the stage. Norman Hall,
an engineer with Supertramp, was present to keep a watch on the system drive
levels, and the input overload lights on
the various effects units.
Monitor System
The Supertramp monitoring system
on -stage consisted entirely of Martin
LE200 wedges (Figure 9). Twenty of the
cabinets were positioned on the large
64 -foot wide stage area, with an additional pair being set up at the monitor
board for listening to each mix. Output
mixes were set up in `zones' (organ position, piano position, center vocal mike,
etc.). Thirteen mixes were fed to the
stage, and another two were used as
inputs to Lexicon 224 and Delta -Lab
DIA digital delay units used exclusively
in the monitors.
"I really don't need sidefills at all,"
explains Ian Lloyd Bisley. "So much
low -end carries on -stage from the house
system, that sidefills would only confuse the band. Most people use them, I
think, to try to give the performers more
presence on stage, particularly in the
bass department. The wedges have
always been quite satisfactory."
Bisley's console was a new 40input/16- output Soundcraft Series Four
(Figure 10). Additionally, a Yamaha M1532 was utilized as a submixer to bring
up the drums and percussion; its various
outputs were then fed into the Soundcraft as several discrete submixes. From
the Soundcraft, the output signals went
through 13 Klark-Teknik DN27 graphic
FigL re 10:
Soundcraft Series Four monitor console, equipped with 40 inputs routing to
16 submix outputs.
equalizers, before hitting 32 sides of AB
Model 1210 stereo power amplifiers.
Additionally, three sides of dbx limiting
were available, which Bisley used on
kick drum and Wurlitzer electric piano.
Brooke -Siren crossovers provided biamplification outputs.
"Because this band does not jump
around a lot," Bisley offers, "the live
sound has always been a large part of
what was important to us. I have
always felt that my constant attention
to the mixes
to what the guys were
was a lot more
actually hearing
important than adding a lot of hardware to my system. Plus, we never really
had a lot of extra money to throw
around into new gear. So, I learned early
on how to make the guys happy with the
"It has only been recently that we
have been able to add things like the
equalizers, and the Soundcraft console.
I realized after looking at this upcoming
tour that I would need the new board.
My last board had 34 inputs, but only
The Beyer M 69 is designed for
those who want studio quality
in the field (and in the studio).
In this day and age, you shouldn't have to carry special
microphones when you're leaving the studio to go out in
the field. The Beyer M 69's wide hypercardioid pattern
and high output give you the noise rejection you need with
greater flexibility of mic placement in hand -held newsgathering situations. Highly versatile and rugged, the M 69
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December 1983
R -e /p 69
Soundcraft Series Four Main Mixer:
eight mixes. I liked the Soundcraft
board, after I saw one of the first ones in
use on the Styx tour." [See R -e/p June
1983 issue
This tour, Supertramp had added two
additional sidemen to the band, and the
stage setup was particularly widespread. "We have more instruments,
more inputs, and more output mixes,"
Bisley continues. "I did have to expand
the system this time out. But basically I
have always felt that less was better; the
fewer things in the signal path the better I like it. There's just no point in going
over the top with your hardware. As far
as the graphic equalizers go, I don't like
to rely on them too much. After a while,
the show just settles down to a norm,
and I get to know what frequencies are
going to try to feedback during the
show. An attentive monitor engineer
can do a lot with a very simple system."
Stage Miking
Bisley was taking 46 inputs from the
stage into his two consoles. A majority
of the inputs were picked up with microphones, while some of the electric keyboards were taken direct. On the drum
kit, a Sennheiser MD421 was placed on
6. Hi -hat
Grand Piano pickup
13. Wurlitzer; stage left
14. Wurlitzer; stage right
Saxophone (Scott)
Clarinet (John)
Saxophone (John)
Wireless Sax Mike
Oberheim OBX synthesizer
Elka string synthesizer
Oberheim OB4 synthesizer
Electric guitar (Fred)
Electric guitar (Scott)
Yamaha M1532 Sub-console:
2. Tom 4
3. Tom 3
4. Tom 2
5. Tom 1
6. Timbales left
7. Timbales right
8. Overhead left
9. Overhead right
24. Electric guitar (Roger)
25. Acoustic guitar (Roger)
the kick, AKG C460Bs on snare and hihat, MD421s on toms and guitar amplifiers. Vocal mikes were Shure SM -85s,
including one SM -85 capsule attached to
an HME wireless transmitter, used in
the center downstage position by several different band members. One of two
saxophones also was passed through an
HME wireless unit. The grand piano, a
critical part of Supertramp's sound,
received a Helpinstill pickup equipped
with a custom -built mixer.
Other inputs to the monitor board
included talkback from the house,
effects tape feeds from the front -ofhouse mixer, and DDL and Lexicon 224
return lines. A spare vocal microphone
also was provided (see Table 1).
Keyboards used during the show,
each on its own console input, included
grand piano, a Hammond B -3 organ,
Roland Jupiter 8, Oberheim and Elka
npe, A
Gin .dUCtwn
1 rxeY
Drum submix from Yamaha sub -console
8. ARP Omni synthesizer
9. Clavinet
10. Hammond B -3 organ (Leslie miked; Y-ed)
11. Oberheim synthesizer
Vocal (Roger)
Roland Jupiter 8 synthesizer
Elka synthesizer (Roger)
Organ vocal
Piano vocal
Wurlitzer vocal
Sax vocal
Strings vocal
Spare vocal
Scott vocal
Fred vocal
Soundtrack tape input from House Mixer
DDL return
Lexicon 224 return; left
Lexicon 224 return; right
Talkback from House Mixer
2. Spare
3. Bass guitar DI
4. Kick drum
5. Snare drum
Gain reduction
Nothing else is Quiet as good!
To reduce dynamic range while enhancing signal to -noise ratios and apparent loudness, compression is
the answer. But, compressors are not without fault.
They "pump up" or accentuate noise levels during quiet
passages or pauses in program material.
Gating the output of a compressor begins to cure
the problem. However, this method typically replaces
elevated noise levels with a new problem, gate "turn
on" noise.
The Model 610 Dual Compressor /Expander offers
two independent channels consisting of a compressor and an expander, both of which control a common channel VCA, the patented
Valley People TA -101. A special release coupling circuit provides symmetrical release
characteristics for both the compressor and expander,
making interactive processing possible.
Expanded Compression with the Model 610 allows
the audio signal to be compressed for reduction in dynamic range, while automatically eliminating noise
level recovery through interactive expansion. The
unique coupling employed in the VCA release circuit
makes transitions between compression and expansion
Once you've tried the 610, you'll know that nothing else is quiet as good.
P.O. Box 40306/2817 Erica Place
Nashville, Tenn. 37204 615- 383 -4737
R -e /p 70 D December 1983
Export Gotham Export Corporation, NY, NY /Telex 129269
For additional Information circle #48
Fill outdoor Martin system in use during Supertramp's European Tour, Barcelona,
synthesizers, and two Wurlitzer electric
Sound Of The Show
Now, right here, I have a confession to
make. I almost did not want to review
this system, as Supertramp has long
been a favorite of mine on record, and I
did not want to be disappointed by poor
live sound. For the record: I was not
The Checkerdome in St. Louis is a
large, oval sports facility with a wooden
roof. Draperies have been hung up
above the stage to try and counter the
reverberant tendencies of the hall, and
many sound systems have tried unsuccessfully to do battle with the cavernous
venue's boomy, bass -heavy sound.
Before this show, I was a bit skeptical of
the seemingly small system. I needn't
have worried. Walking throughout the
entire venue, I noticed that the sound
actually improved as I went higher into
the seating areas. At the extreme rear of
the hall, in an area known as the Upper
Box, I could actually understand most
words which were sung, even on unfamiliar tunes.
The sound of the system was quite
warm; it lacked the almost artificial
super -high brilliance of some contemporary sound systems. There was a tremendously powerful bass /drums underpinning structure to the mix, true to
Russell Pope's pre -show philosophizing.
Yet, the bass frequencies did not overtake the rest of the mix. At no time did I
detect what I would call "boominess"
-yet, there was still a very strong,
"present" feeling to the kick drum and
bass guitar, and synthesizer lines.
Dave Martin's ideas on low- frequency
reproduction did, indeed, pan out. The
faithful sound engineers for a onceunknown English band got their wish: a
great PA to work with. The road crew
got their wish: their very own sound and
lighting company. And the band? "We
never really had any doubt that, eventually, things would get to this point,"
stated bassist Dougie Thomson as he
surveyed the sold -out arena. "We knew
it was possible. We just went about it in
the best way that we knew how."
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For additional information circle #49
December 1983
R -e /p 71
Sound Design for the "Star Wars"
Trilogy by Ben Burtt
Part Two: Final Dubbing Process
by Larry Blake
part one of this article, published in
the October issue, described how
Lucasfilm sound designer Ben
Burtt and his crew gathered the necessary production tracks in the studio and
on location, and then created the various sound effects. In this, the conclusion, we will see how the composite
sound elements came together at
Sprocket Systems' dubbing stage, and
the particular emphasis placed on dialog and effects pre -mixes for the final
35mm Dolby Stereo optical and 70mm
six -track dubbing process.
Final Stereo Film Mix
The dubbing of a stereo motion picture presents a mind -boggling number
of monitoring and recording variables
to re- recording mixers. Among the questions that have to be answered: Discrete
six -track (five full -range speakers) versus Dolby "boom" six -track; surround
and boom tracks (yes or no? how loud
and how important? What information?); Dynamic range (how loud is the
monitor level? relationship between dialog and 100% level on the track); Discrete four-track monitoring versus monitoring through the Dolby Stereo
matrix; Mono compatibility of Dolby
two -track master; and so on.
Having only been involved with stereo films, Ben Burtt had given these
R -e/p 72
December 1983
matters much thought, and the mix of
Return of the Jedi was his first opportunity to apply them as a re-recording
mixer. However, until the latter stages
of the mixing process Burtt remained in
his mix studio doing effects pre- mixes,
while his long-time assistant, Gary
Summers, worked in the dubbing stage,
handling the dialog and the other
effects pre- mixes.
Joining Summers, for whom Jedi also
was his first dub, was Roger Savage, an
Australian whose best -known work in
the U.S. is The Road Warrior (nee: Mad
Max II). Burtt and Summers met Savage while he was visiting the Sprocket
Systems complex in Marin County,
north of San Francisco, and a week later
offered him the chance to work with
them. Savage was on hand during
effects and dialog pre -dubs, and for four
reels of the finals, when he handled the
music. After that, Randy Thom looked
after the music for the rest of the film
The first job for Summers and Savage
was the dialog pre -mix. In a Star Wars
film this means, in addition to the usual
tasks of matching looped lines with
production tracks, and cleaning up
background noise whenever possible,
applying the signature processing of C3P0 and Darth Vader. Summers found
out that if there was too much going on
in a particular scene, occasionally he
would have to go back to the original
(non pre-mixed) track for C -3P0 or
Darth Vader, and remove some of the
processing to make the voice more intelligible. Similarly, in a few instances he
had to go back to the original elements,
and re-mix C -3P0 with more processing
if there was nothing much else happening on the screen.
"No reverberation processing was
done in the dialog pre- mix," Summers
notes. "It was all left to the final mix, so
we could judge how much reverb to put
on each sound."
Summers' main tool in reverb processing was a Lexicon 224 -X, whose split
programs he found to be extremely useful. "When you split the 224 -X it really
becomes two discrete reverb units," he
says. "This way I was able to send
Jabba the Hutt, Salacious Crumb, and
so on, to one side, and that return was
bussed to the `creatures' track. The other
side was used for English dialog. In
addition, I was able to change the
parameters of the Lexicon for Jabba
versus Luke while they were speaking."
Even though the English shoot took
place exclusively on soundstages,
Summers notes that "some of that I
would have preferred to have had looped
but, as it turned out, it wasn't. A lot of
times they selected the production
sound over looping, because the perfor-
mance was better.
"The most important factor in getting
good production sound has to do with
cooperation on the set. Will the director
or the cinematographer give you adequate time to prepare
to keep the
people quiet?" (After the mix was finished, dialog coordinator Laurel Ladevich went through the picture and tallied up all of the looped lines, versus
production tracks, and found that 83%
of the picture had been dubbed.)
"This was the worst picture I've ever
worked on in terms of changes," notes
Burtt. "We were going back and starting
reels over for a third or fourth time."
After what was considered a final 12track mix had been finished, there were
changes in 11 of 13 reels in the film, and
then the crew had only 10 days to finish
the final mix before George Lucas had to
leave for Sri Lanka, and the start of
shooting for Indiana Jones and the
Temple of Doom.
Separating Dialog and
Multiple Effects Tracks
Although punch -in (a.k.a.: reversible
update; insert; rock and roll) recording
first appeared on the film scene in the
early Sixties, its use in stereo mixes was
not widespread until the mid -to -late
Seventies. Along the same lines, among
the major studios only MGM historically has recorded separate stereo dialog, music, and effects (DME) elements
as the master mix for a stereo film, thus
facilitating the necessary separation of
dialog from music and effects to create
foreign stereo printing masters. The
.JT arswarsr
addition of punch -in recording made the
initial mix less of a chore, since the
music and effects mixers didn't have to
re-do their parts if, for instance, the dialog mixer made a mistake during the
final mix.
All other studios that dubbed stereo
films had to make separate mixes to
extract DME mono and foreign stereo
elements. Even today, only a few studios for example, MGM, Lion's Gate,
Todd-AO, Warner Hollywood, and The
Burbank Studios record separate stereo elements during final mixes. This is
a somewhat ironic note since, with the
coming of magnetic sound, the film
industry immediately saw the benefit of
separating dialog, music, and effects
elements during less complicated mono
On the three Star Wars films, Ben
Burtt has worked with three different,
increasingly flexible stereo mixing
procedures. Star Wars was mixed to a
composite four -track master, which
caused Burtt many headaches. "When
you have to do a separate mix for foreign
M and E stereo, you don't do as good of a
job [as you did on the initial stereo mix]
because you're pretty burned out at that
point. You don't care anymore. You try
to remember what you did before, and
you struggle with exactly the same
problems," he says.
"Around the time of Star Wars, they
were afraid to punch in on stereo: `You
just couldn't do it.' There would be a
major discussion for a half hour in the
hall: `Can we punch in ?' `I don't know.'
They would rather do a whole reel over
than punch in. People weren't comfortable with stereo."
For The Empire Strikes Back, four track composite and four -track effectsonly elements were recorded. This only
helped take the headache out of making
foreign stereo printing masters, since
only the music, consisting of two, three track elements, needed to be re- mixed.
Nevertheless, since everything was tied
together, all units needed to be put up,
- Ben Burtt -
and everyone had to match levels to
make the slightest change in the four track composite.
On Return of the Jedi, Ben Burtt and
Gary Summers took the idea of recording separate dialog, music, and effects
strips one step further, and split the
effects into "creatures," and "everything- but -creatures." Two six -track
recorders were pulled for the master
mix, recording left- center -right mixes of
English and creature "dialog" on one,
and of effects and music on the other. No
surround information was recorded on
the master mix.
The "creature" mix contained R2 -D2,
Darth Vader's breathing, Jabba the
Hut, Salacious Crumb (Jabba's obnoxious, giggling sidekick), Bibb Fortuna,
Nien Nubb, Boussh (the bounty hunter
whom Princess Leia is disguised as), the
eye robot that greets visitors at Jabba's
palace and, of course, the Ewoks. What
effects were left
laser swords, spaceships, backgrounds, and garden-variety
were recorded on the effects
- Gary Summers "split." The movements of R2 -D2 and
C -3P0 were mixed to the Foley pre -dub,
and later bussed to the effects split during the final mix.
The reason for separating into two
areas all non-music and English dialog
elements is clear, in that either one of
them creatures or standard effects, as
used in Jedi is as complex as all of the
effects on a standard stereo film.
"When you're tying everything together, you don't have the flexibility you
need to make changes," Burtt notes.
"Especially in our type of movie that's
being recut until the very last moment.
You're constantly remixing
not necessarily because there was anything
wrong with the sound, but often because
they put two or more spaceships in the
shot that were never there before, or
they've taken two spaceships out, and
you've got to keep everything the same,
but get rid of those two ships. You don't
want to remix everything else totally for
that shot. You just go in and change the
effects track. The creative flexibility is
so much greater."
- -
- Roger Savage This splitting of stereo information,
which many consider to be the rough
equivalent of automation, coupled with
the presence of Sprocket System's Neve
NECAM II automation system, possibly makes Jedi the first film to use both
techniques. Burtt notes that the dubbing engineers had a "pleasant relationship with the NECAM, using it for
the things that we knew it would do best
for us, and avoiding it when it was
simpler to go manual." Also, the
NECAM automation software was written for two -minute record mixes, and not
for a complex 10- minute film dub.
Gary Summers elaborates: "I didn't
like having to eventually merge many
small [mix] updates that I had made in
the course of doing a mix, and wish that
all updates would be recorded on to one
master mix."
Nevertheless, Burtt notes that "the
thing about NECAM that works so
great for film mixing, because effectively it's a mechanical system [via
servo -controlled faders, instead of
VCAs], is that a mixer wants to watch
the screen and listen. You're not looking
at the fader. Many of the automation
systems require that you match two little lights, and pretty soon you're mixing
the data, not the movie. All your attention is on, `Did I punch into the data
okay ?' It's like having two different
mixes at the same time. You want to
have an automation system that does
what your hand wants to do next."
Although the Neve 8108 console at
Sprocket Systems has 32 main inputs
(plus the 24 monitor faders if they are
used), Burtt and Summers never felt a
need for any more channels because, in
effect, they had worked backwards from
this number, and designed the track
layout to fit the board configuration. In
addition, all of Burtt's previous films
Star Wars, More American Graffiti, The
Empire Strikes Back, and Raiders of the
Lost Ark had been mixed at Room D
at Warner Hollywood which, at that
time, had a 33 -input Quad -Eight board.
The console layout during the final
mix was almost identical for every reel:
six tracks of dialog
three English,
and three creatures; two, three -track
December 1983
R -e /p 75
1 -2
L -C -R
L -C -R
-2 -3
L-C -R
L -C -R
music reels; and six, three -track effects
pre-dub reels, including Foley plus A -BC-D-E effects, ranging from backgrounds to more important foreground
effects. Some of these effects units were
pre-dubs that Ben Burtt had made in his
studio, by remixing from the 24-track.
What he didn't have time to do was
handled by Summers and Savage in the
dubbing theater.
Surround and Boom Channels
As indicated, surround information
was not recorded during the initial 12track mix. Once that mix was locked,
and approved by George Lucas, a
separate surround track was recorded
on another piece of fullcoat 35mm mag,
while monitoring the behind -the-screen
mix. All of this surround material (track
#13 of the master mix) was cut specifically for the surrounds; no material was
taken from a pre -dub up front.
This procedure, which Burtt first used
on Empire, in reality dates to a lesson he
learned by hearing More American
Graffiti in the real world outside of the
dubbing stage. "During the mix of More
American Graffiti," he recalls, "we put
tons of stuff in the surrounds all the time
during the mix, and later found out that
most of it was never played correctly in
theaters. In some instances we had
music in the surrounds at a significant
level, and if you took the surrounds
away it was gone up front. We learned a
hard lesson on that.
"My attitude [on Jedi] was: the surR-e/p 76
December 1983
rounds really don't exist nothing was
ever destined for the surrounds that was
considered an essential piece of information. We went back and did the surrounds with the front already done, as if
that were the final movie. We didn't
depend on the surrounds for any principal dramatic effect because the surrounds are the least likely to be played
correctly. The surrounds are an
enhancement to what is already there,
and we trust that if the film is played
under something resembling standard
conditions it will work fine.
"If I had a spaceship pass -by from
back to front, I would have a complete
pass -by in the front. In the surrounds
would be a pre -pass -by
sound that
would come right before the ship entered
the frame
so that if it didn't get
played, all you saw was the ship fly by.
If it did get played, you would hear it
coming for an instance, and then it
would go to the front. In some cases it
gave you a nice effect of coming over the
audience's heads. [But] it was not
derived from the sound up front." Sometimes Burtt would make a mono mix of
the music that also would be layed off
for the surround mix.
While this surround information, and
only this surround information, would
be heard on the 70mm prints, the Dolby
Stereo optical matrix will bring to the
back of the theater any information,
that is recorded out-of-phase between
the two tracks on the 35mm print. Ben
Burtt refers to the information that the
Dolby Cat No. 150 matrix extracts as
the "magic surrounds."
"There are certain wonderful things
about that in some cases," he says,
"because basically the information that
gets into these magic surrounds is non directional, out-of -phase material. It
tends to enhance some things in a very
pleasant way. For example, in certain
crowd scenes we had the Ewoks running
around, panned left and right around
the front. In the matrix they were bent
around into the surrounds, and it was a
much more spatial effect than I got in
the 70s [70mm prints]. It sounded more
realistic, and was an accident.
"We might consider putting a send on
our board from the matrix, so we could
record what the magic surrounds were
doing at any moment, and use it in the
70mm six -track version."
Just how much information the
matrix pulls into the surrounds became
evident when the TAP "800" line [see
THX sidebar
Ed.] started getting
calls from projectionists in theaters that
initially played Jedi in 35mm, because a
70mm print wasn't yet ready.
"In a few cases we got calls, `What
happened to the surrounds? They're not
here anymore.' In 35 [Dolby Stereo]
optical there is so much material there
anyway, especially the music and its
out-of-phase nature, that a certain `blob'
of it is always in the surrounds [with
35mm stereo optical] that is not there in
discrete 70mm." (Apocalypse Now,
whose six -track mix pushed surrounds
to all of our customers and
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Thank you sincerely,
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AUDIOFORCE, Inc. 147 W. 24th Street, New York, NY 10011
For additional information circle #52
December 1983
O R -e
to their technical and artistic limits,
ironically was released in 35mm Dolby
Stereo without intentional surround
information. Walter Murch, sound
designer for Apocalypse Now, shares
Ben Burtt's fear of worst-case playback,
and felt that the potential loss in such
situations was greater than the gain
would be in an average theater. Great
care was taken in the 70mm installations to make sure that the surrounds
were being played properly.)
The boom channels also are regarded
by Burtt as an enhancement, and not as
a primary creative tool. Star Wars, the
very first Dolby "baby boom" film, had
the boom channels switched on
throughout the whole film, with all
dialog, music, and
effects below 200 Hz from the left and
center, and center and right, fed to
channels #2 and #4, respectively. This
low- passed material was on throughout
the whole film, and occasionally the
material was "spiked" 6 dB for explosions, etc.
Since then, standard industry practice has evolved to where the boom
channels are used selectively, usually
only in big effects sequences. Placement
of music in the boom channels varies;
some mixers never use them, some use
them all the time.
"Through Star Wars, Empire, and
Raiders," Burtt says, "my basic attitude
about the boom has come to where I'm
using it less and less. You're always in
trouble using the boom, to a certain
extent, because you don't know how the
average theater is going to handle it.
"Often we would show up unannounced at a theater, and ask if we could
run our film without first checking the
system. We took one of our first [sixtrack] mixes to the Coronet [in San
Francisco], played it, and the boom was
so loud, because they had subwoofers,
that the chains on the outside exit doors
were slapping. Things were shaking,
and it was disturbingly loud. We took
the same mix to the Northpoint, and it
was like, 'I'm not sure I hear it.' You
have to play it safe; use it sparingly, and
come up with a compromise.
"This is especially true in a film like
ours. There are many spots in the film
that could justify the use of loud low frequency material, but we reserve the
use of it for those moments when we
want to catch the audience by surprise."
- -
Problems of Dynamic Range
When a temp mix was played at an
early screening, music that was at a low
level relative to the dialog disappeared
beneath the audience noise, which in
the motion picture industry is referred to
as "popcorn noise." Lucasfilm chief
engineer Tom Holman made some
acoustic measurements, and determined that Sprocket Systems' dubbing
R -e /p 78
December 1983
©Lucasfilm Ltd. 1983
room has 20 dB more dynamic range on
the bottom end (soft) and 6 dB on the top
(loud) than an average, good theater;
these measurements assumed that
patrons are not present, but that air
conditioning is on.
It should be noted that these problems
would have been exacerbated had the
monitor level not been carefully kept at
the Dolby Stereo standard of 85
dBc /slow, measured at the console with
50% on the meters, a level determined by
a study Dolby Laboratories made of the
average fader level of first-run theaters.
To effectively reduce the dynamic
range of the Sprocket Systems' dubbing
stage, three separate, uncorrelated
noise sources shaped to make NC-30
noise were built, and placed separately
in the left and right surrounds, and in
the front. NC -30, not coincidentally, is
the maximum value allowed for a THX
theater installation [see accompanying
After the 13 -track master mix was
locked, the next step for Summers and
Burtt was to make the Lt-Rt (Left Total /Right-Total) two -track printing
master for the over 900 35mm prints
needed for the initial domestic release of
Jedi on May 25, the sixth anniversary of
the release of Star Wars. This was before
the six -track printing masters for 70mm
release would be made.
The observant reader might find this
timing rather odd, because 70mm prints
take longer to make, per se, than 35mm
prints. The reason the Lt-Rt printing
master had to be made first is simple:
the optical soundtrack is printed at the
same time as the picture, whereas 70mm
prints have to be striped, and then
"cured" for at least a day, before the
six -track printing master can be transferred. Thus, theoretically, the 150
70mm prints could have been printed
and striped before the six -track mix was
finished and ready for transfer; this was
not the case in reality, however.
Having to mix the Lt -Rt first was an
abrupt change for the mixers, since the
13 -track mix had been monitored, for
the most part, in the discrete mode. Listening to the mix through the matrix
- Tom Holman -
made the mixers aware that the
dynamic range would have to be toned
down for Dolby Stereo optical release.
Monitoring through the 4 -2 -4 matrix
with the Dolby DS-4 encoding unit effectively simulates what the two -track mix
will sound like as an optical print,
including the effect of optical "clash."
An optical track, like a digital recording, has specific, finite limits that cannot be exceeded. As Tom Holman notes
"There's a problem monitoring through
the matrix that has to do with headroom. The matrix had adequate headroom for doing an optical track, but the
[70mm] magnetic film has considerably
more headroom than that. So you don't
want to make those adjustments and
compromises until later on [when you
make an Lt-Rt stereo optical printing
"We kept looking at it as, `Well, we're
going out with 150 70s,' " adds Ben
Burtt, "so we tended to gravitate
towards going for maximum effect in
the 70mm prints, hoping that it would
then fit into the 35s.
"The truth of the matter is that we
started doing it that way [through the
matrix] but our producers always
wanted it louder. `Is the pot up all the
way on the music? Is it as loud as you
can make it ?' We would say that this
was as loud as we could record. `But is it
as loud as you can make it ?' No.
"So we got off on some things in our
initial mix of the film, where the
dynamic range was probably too great.
In our inexperience as mixers we had
some things too loud, and some things
too quiet. I think that, with experience,
you could mix discrete, knowing how it
will work with the matrix."
Another consideration in two -track
mastering, in addition to toning down
the dynamic range, was how a 35mm
stereo print would play in a standard
Academy mono projector. When the
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D R -e /p 81
"A critical link in the recording chain
is the choice of microphones. If that
first stage is wrong or distorted, no
amount of equalization or processing
will give you back the sound that you
originally intended to record.
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number of reasons.
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"Secondly, the workmanship and
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"Finally, think the Printed Ribbon
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musicians said how great it was to be
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"In fact, it was the Fostex T-Series
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R -e /p 82
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"mono" button is pressed on the DS -4
unit, the Lt -Rt information is combined
into the center speaker, and the monitoring curve goes from wide-range to
Academy response. This was a depressing but necessary moment of truth for
the mixers of Jedi, since the "intergalactic" release in 35mm would be in Dolby
Stereo prints only. And, of course, not
every theater is yet equipped to play
Dolby Stereo prints.
If the Lt -Rt was a compromised version of the discrete mix, having to take
into account mono playback further
reduces the dynamic range of the stereo
mix. Which is not to mention that a
Dolby Stereo print played mono is not
considered to be the equal of an
Academy mono print of the same material. The reason stereo -only release is so
popular is that it is so much trouble for
the distributors to maintain dual inventory of Dolby Stereo and Academy mono
35mm release prints; single inventory
guards against the chance of mono and
stereo prints getting mixed up.
After the Lt-Rt had been mixed for a
reel, it was monitored all the way
through in mono, listening in particular
for the areas that didn't fold down to
mono acceptably. Ben Burtt: "While we
couldn't take care of everything, we took
care of things that we objected to; that
sounded the worst in mono. For example, in the Sy Snoodles number we had
to roll out a lot of low -end because [in
mono] all you heard was the beat."
Later, a three -track Academy mono mix
was made, primarily for use in advertisements and trailers, and also for
16mm release overseas in armed forces
bases. In addition, the DME mono mix
was, as is standard policy, required
A little -used feature of the Dolby DS -4
monitoring unit is the bass -sum switch,
which combines low- frequency information below 100 Hz into the center
channel. This facility only is needed
when making the two -track stereo optical printing master, just as similar
techniques are used in disk mastering to
prevent excessive vertical modulation.
Tom Holman explains its use in films:
"If you have extreme bass on one channel, it combines the low -end of the two
channels so as to improve the headroom
of the low bass. [As a result] you could
put more low bass on than if you had it
totally to one side.
"We had a lot of things in the low -end
that we had to roll out more of in the
optical, and it ate up a lot of space. These
are probably all things that other mixers have learned. A Bill Varney who has
mixed three dozen stereo optical films is
probably laughing at all of this!"
The next step was to make the six track printing masters to be used at
Twentieth Century-Fox, Warner Hollywood, and Todd -AO in sounding the 150
English -language 70mm prints for
release in North America. The 13 -track
mix, for the most part, could be played
straight across. What adjustments were
made were duly noted by the NECAM II
automation, helping to make three identical first -generation printing masters.
Two were made in one pass, and on pass
#2 the second recorder captured a
minus -dialog six -track mix to be used in
making the foreign 70mm printing
El Regreso Del Jedi
The foreign market that is, everywhere outside of the U.S. and Canada
-usually accounts for approximately
40% of the worldwide rentals of a major
studio release. (Rentals are the monies
returned to the distributor from the
theaters, and usually account for about
half the money actually received at the
box office. This percentage varies
widely from picture to picture: The Bond
films make 70% of their money from foreign rentals, and only 30% from North
America; with the Superman series, the
figures are reversed.)
The first two Star Wars films were
closer to the average, as 60% came from
domestic, and 40% from foreign receipts.
Probably more than any films ever
made, these films require meticulous
looping and re- recording of the foreign
tracks to ensure that the sense and
impact of the English -language version
truly "translates."
TO -60dB
December 1983 D R -e /p 83
One of the biggest problems with conventional Earth -bound films is the
replacement of sound effects that are
lost when the English dialog track is
ommitted. This is especially true of
"gritty" films, such as The French Connection, whose emphasis is on the feel of
the original production dialog, and for
which production ambience is important. As a result, a relatively large percentage of the aural impact is lost when
the English dialog track is removed.
This problem never occurs on the Star
Wars films, because, as noted, not only
is most of the production dialog
replaced, but even the simplest background sounds have to be created, and
bear no relation to what is on the pro-
duction track. Prominent among the
challenges is the distinctive character
of the voices of C -3PO, Darth Vader, and
Yoda. (Imagine how differently C -3P0
would "feel" if he sounded like a usedcar dealer from Brooklyn. In fact, as
noted in the book "Skywalking: The Life
and Films of George Lucas," by Dale
Pollock, this was Lucas' original idea.)
"On the first film we spent a lot of time
- Laurel Ladevich -
Vented -Box, Direct -Radiator Enclosure Featuring a
Custom Crossover Designed by Lucasfilms' Tom Holman
the first name of the titular character in both George Lucas'
award-winning USC short, THX:I I38 :4EB, and his first feature film, THX 1138. This
summer THX acquired a new meaning for Lucas, since it now serves as the name of
both the trademark that will function as a "Lucasfilm Seal of Approval" for motion picture
theaters meeting the company's picture and sound criteria, and of the active electronic
crossover that forms the heart of the sound system, designed by Lucasfilm chief engineer,
Tom Holman.
Initially, the idea began simply to install a state -of- the -art monitoring system for Lucas
film's new re- recording stage. Drawing upon the work of Siegfried Linkwitz, the trio of
Stanley Lipshitz, John Var.derkooy, and graduate student Peter Schuck, of the University
of Waterloo, Canada, designed a passive crossover network to achieve the desired
objectives. Gordon Jacobs and Tom Holman then fabricated an equivalent electronic
crossover network.
The electronic crossover was designed to complement a set of JBL drivers. The woofer
system is a vented box, direct -radiator design, as opposed to the industry standard,
horn -loaded reflex design that dates back to 1948, and John Hilliard's pioneering work on
the Altec Lansing Voice of the Theater A -4 speaker, and, before that, to his work at MGM
in the Thirties on the Shearer Two -Way Horn.
Chief advantage of a horn -loaded reflex cabinet was its efficiency, which represented no
small consideration in those days of 3,000 -seat theaters, and very few watts per dollar. The
design trade -off has been primarily concerned with uneven power distribution and, consequently, a large amount of equalization necessary to meet the wide -range monitoring curve
used in the mixing and exhibition of today's Dolby Stereo soundtracks.
By mounting the speaker in a wall, Holman was able to extend the unequalized frequency response down to 40 Hz. "The THX system is good to the 40 Hz third- octave band,
To film buffs. THX is
THX sound system at Sprocket Systems' re- recording stage.
researching the foreign character voices," Burtt recalls. "We would audition
tapes sent over from the various countries. This time we only had sent over
the new characters, like the Emperor
and Miff Jerjerrod. The same people
have done the revoicing [of the major
characters] in each of the three films,
and they pretty much know what the
film is about."
Burtt accompanied the first Star Wars
to France, Italy and Spain, supervising
the foreign language dubbing and rerecording. Since no stereo music and
effects composite was ever made, he had
to do a certain amount of remixing every
time around, in addition to trying to
persuade the mixers to reproduce the
dialog, music, and effects balance of the
original domestic mix.
Care was taken to avoid these problems on Empire, by having the foreign
six -track and Lt -Rt printing masters
made by the same people (Bill Varney,
Steve Maslow, and Gregg Landaker) in
the same room
Stage D at Warner
Hollywood as the initial domestic stereo mix. A unique aspect of the foreign
dubbing of Empire was its being dubbed
into Japanese. This is almost never
done, due to the large number of
English- speaking people in Japan.
Return of the Jedi will be dubbed into
six languages: French, standard
"Latino" Spanish (for Mexico, South
America and the U.S.), Castillian Spanish (for Spain only), German, and Italian. Masters for all of these versions,
except the Italian, was handled by Gary
Summers at Sprocket Systems. Italian
law dictates that no films dubbed into
Italian can be imported. In this
instance, a six -track composite M and E
was sent there, with specific instructions for the processing of voices.
- -
To simplify the complex patching
requirements throughout Sprocket Systems' post -production facility, chief
engineer Tom Holman specified a
custom- designed, pre -wired patchbay
system manufactured by ADC, and
selected for its high degree of flexibility
and reliability
R-e/p 84 D December 1983
The dubbing /looping for each language took approximately two weeks,
and usually entailed no more than 15
actors. Once the script was translated
into the required language from the
virtuEnglish "cutting continuity"
ally stenographic record of a film, indicating picture and sound cuts to the
another person translated it
back into English, to effectively doublecheck. To assist in the voice dubbing,
the English DME mono was sent for reference. (An interesting aside: While
checking subtitles for Woodstock, the
filmmakers were aghast to find out that
the old lady who had made the original
English cutting continuity had translated Sly Stone's "I want to take you
higher," to "I want to buy a Honda! ")
At the time of writing, only the French
and Latino Spanish versions had been
prepared. Laurel Ladevich, who edited
the dubbed tracks, reports that the only
problem encountered had resulted from
the difficulty in having the foreign
actors playing C -3P0 speak Huttese (in
Jabba's palace) and Ewokese (most
notably in the wonderful scene in which
C -3PO recounts the Star Wars saga in
25- words -or- less).
We felt we couldn't have C -3P0 in
Tony Daniels' voice speaking Ewokese," Laurel comments, "and then
have someone else's voice speaking
French. We had to rely on the foreign
actors speaking true Ewokese, and it
never really happened. Ben did provide
a phonetic breakdown of Ewokese, but
the foreign actors didn't want to sit
down and learn it on a tight schedule."
It was finally found helpful to send the
actors a copy of Tony Daniels' readings,
so they could have some frame of
All other countries will see Jedi subtitled in their native language, although
even the dubbed prints will contain a
certain amount of subtitling, just as the
- continued ..
down a dB and a half," he says. "That's almost an octave better than most theater
loudspeakers, which go down there but they always have a shelf. The horn works down to
80 [Hz] more or less, and then it takes a step down to where the reflex is working; you
cannot afford the equalization to bring it back up because you run into [driver] excursion
problems. And then, ultimately, it rolls off at 40 Hz."
Extended Low- and High- Frequency Response
Because of this extended low- frequency response, a switch was installed on the Neve
8108 console at Sprochet Systems, scene of post -production dubbing on Jedi, to simulate
the "average bass" obtained in a theater, as indicated by a Dolby Labs' study of 150 first -run
theaters. As Tom Holman notes, "Mixers must intelligently use the switch to know what
problems will show up in a theater with a very flat low -end. There are two conflicting things
that you want to know about: what it's going to sound like in the real world; and what you
are actually putting on the track.
"There is a similar gain on the high -end, since the [JBL 2445 compression] driver used
with the THX crossover follows the [ISO `X'] curve, without extreme equalization, to 16
kHz. The typical high- frequency driver used standard multicell horns, follows the curve up
to 8 kHz, and then it dies very rapidly.
"What is most noticeable between the THX system and a conventional system, when
seated where the [latter] is at its best, is the extended treble response of the THX system in
the octave above 8 kHz. The other thing is the lower distortion in the bass.
"For people seated in less desirable seats, the difference becomes more apparent. You
can be sitting in a place where a notch caused by the lobes :n the pattern of a multicell [HF
horn] would create quite a large difference at 10 kHz."
The system is bi- amplified, and power amps used in a THX theater installation must meet
the criteria that Holman set forth in his "New Factors in Power Amplifier Design" article in
the July /August 1981 issue of the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. (Before joining
Lucasfilm, Holman had founded Apt- Holman, a company which makes the popular power
amplifier/pre -amp combination.)
"We have 200 watts for the woofers, and 100 watts for the tweeters," Holman relates.
"This dates back to what I learned when doing the powered Advent loudspeaker. People
would say, `Well, the woofer can take more power, so we put out this much power, and the
'weeter can take this much less, so we give it this much.' You have this strange thing when
Move up to the standard of
communications with the
Beyer DT 109s.
English prints do, during passages
involving both Jabba the Hut and
One item that cannot merely be subtitled in the standard manner, but actually has to be re -shot, is the neo-Buck
Rogers/Flash Gordon chapter prologue
crawl at the beginning of the film. Six
different language versions, to match
the dubbed versions, were prepared and
incorporated into releease printing negatives. Also reshot is the scene -setting,
"A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far
away ..." card.
In some countries a higher admission
price can be charged if a 70mm print is
exhibited. Because of this, many mono
U.S. films can be heard and seen in
70mm only in such countries.
Of course, no such cheating is necessary with the Star Wars saga, and an
honest -to-goodness six -track mix of
every dubbed version of Return of the
Jedi will be seen in at least a few 70mm
prints, with Japan (subtitled) receiving
over 15 prints.
"settle" for
Demanding engineers no longer have
marginal or sub -standard communications headsets just
because there's nothing else available. Representing a
higher standard of communications excellence, the Beyer
DT 109s feature a dynamic noise -cancelling boom mic
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unmatched intelligibility and comfortable double -muff
headphones to insure isolation and prevent fatigue. Beyer
DT 108 single-muff headphones are also available.
The Dynamic Decision
Beyer Dynamic, Inc., 5-05 Burns Avenue, Hicksville, New York 11801 (516) 935 -8000
December 1983
R -e /p 85
you look at it on a spectrum analyzer, and see that during a cymbal
crash the 10 kHz [third- octave band] is as loud as the 400 Hz. On a
statistical, long -term basis that is not true; the high -end is rolled off.
But in peaks like the cymbal crash, you need as much acoustic
power available from the tweeter as you have on the low end.
"The reason why we have only 100 watts on the high end is that
the tweeter is much more efficient. So we have, more or less, equal
power handling across the band on the short term, at least to 10
kHz. You don't need it to 20 kHz."
Movie Theater Room Characteristics
After the installation of the crossover in the Lucasfilm dubbing
stage during the Spring of 1982, the idea arose of marketing not
only the crossover and the sound system, but also a complete
theater inspection package that would be marketed under the
tradename of the THX System. Four theaters have installed the
THX system for presentation of Return of the Jedi: the Northpark
and UA Prestonwood Creek 5 in Dallas, Texas; the Fashion Square
in Orlando, Florida; and General Cinema's Avco in Los Angeles.
Prominent among the criteria that these and future THX theaters have to meet include specifications for reverberation time versus volume, noise level, screen illumination, and picture sharpness.
"We look at a theater and make certain that the situation is not
egregious [conspicuously bad]. We're not going to enforce the 80
line pairs per millimeter [picture] resolution that we get here in test
situations, but we are trying to make sure that it's decent."
Since high -noise levels preclude the ability of patrons to hear
low -level material on a track, Holman specifies that the equivalent
NC [Noise Criteria] value of the theater be less than NC -30, and
emphasizes that "this is the required, not the recommended value."
(In one of the installations, Holman recalls, the NC level was
reduced 15 dB merely by cleaning the air conditioning ducts!)
Any serious acoustics problems will be handled by an outside
acoustical consultant that will reduce or increase, as the case may
be, the reverberation time, and reduce the noise, to meet the
required standards.
In the meantime, Lucasfilm staff will draw up plans to tailor the
system to the individual room. "THX is more a concept of what a
system should be," Holman emphasizes. "A specification of what it
should do in the room, rather than a list of these drivers and those
components. For example, if the theater has a balcony, then two
high- frequency horns per channel might be used, with a switch
installed to turn off the balcony horns when they are not needed."
One mandatory part of the THX system, in 70mm movie houses,
Close -up detail of THX sound system, a two -way configuration with a vented -box, direct- radiator LF design, and a
compression driver/biradial horn for the top -end.
the Kintek KT -9 subwoofer. Since speaker channels two and four
are not normally installed in a 70mm THX installation, the sub woofer will be necessary to reproduce the low- frequency information on tracks two and four of Dolby 70mm prints; the subwoofer is
optional in 35mm THX- equipped theaters.
Noting the most obvious way to reproduce low -bass information
in a theater -"brute force, with a lot of available woofer cone area
able moving a lot of air" -Holman chose the Kintek subwoofer for
the elegance of its design. "It predicts the excursion of the driver,
which is one limit, and the temperature of the voice coil of the
driver, which is the other, and drives a limiter," he says. "Thus the
subwoofer plays at very loud levels without audible distortion."
Although it only uses two 15 -inch drivers, Holman feels that one
Kintek subwoofer is sufficient for theaters seating up to 1,000
There are basically two choices that the theater owners have to
make: one, in 70mm houses, to install amplifiers and speakers for
channels two and four, which contain full -range information in only
the handful of films released yearly in the "discrete" six -track
format. [For further details, see "The Evolution and Utilization of
70mm Six -track Sound," by Larry Blake; R -e/p, April issue Ed.1
These speakers aren't needed in a THX installation for playback of
standard 70mm Dolby "boom" prints, not only because of the
presence of the Kinteck subwoofer, but also because of the
increased bass- handling capabilities of the JBL speakers. Part of
the Dolby 70mm format's design was to use speakers two and four
to help compensate for the low- frequency deficiencies of standard
horn -loaded theater speakers.
Similarly, theaters seating over 1,000 patrons might choose to
have two bass cabinets per channel, for a total of four woofers.
Holman notes that the standard two-woofers -per -channel will handle anything short of reproducing a live rock concert, which is
hardly required to play back the great majority of stereo releases.
Nevertheless, such an option is available, but "that extra 10 dB of
headroom will cost you," he warns.
The recommended surround speaker for THX installations is the
Boston Acoustics A-200, also currently in use on the dubbing
stages at Sprocket Systems, Warner Hollywood, and Glen Glenn.
"Boston Acoustics is interested in making a system with a tailored
high -frequency response for motion picture theaters," Holman
says, "which would have increased power handling, and follow the
ISO `X' curve in an average theater."
The cost of a THX system for a 35mm theater is expected to be in
the area of $15,300, a figure that includes three loudspeakers (but
not surrounds), THX crossovers (the only items made by Lucas film), construction of the speaker wall, amplifiers, and all consultation by Lucasfilm staff. Last, and most definitely not least, would be
the license: the right to display the Lucasfilm THX logo in the
theater lobby, and on the marquee. Every six months, from the
date of the installation on, the theater will be inspected and must
continue to meet the criteria, or risk losing its license.
Marketing of the THX system began in earnest this Fall.
Theater Alignment Program
When Star Wars appeared on the scene in 1977 with only about
R -e /p 86 r, December 1983
- continued ..
40 70mm prints, and played in 35mm Dolby stereo optical in 100
theaters, although all 35mm prints were in this latter format, there
were only 300 Dolby Cinema Processors in the United States. (Just
as when The Jazz Singer opened in 1927, there were only about 100
theaters equipped to handle sound.) Six years later the owners of
the over 3,000 Dolby- equipped theaters were ready to sell their
proverbial grandmothers for a print of Return of the Jedi, which
would be released in over 150 70mm prints, the largest number ever
made available in that gauge. Since the THX imprimateur only
would be granted to four theaters, Holman wanted to make a
concerted effort at helping the other 146 70mm houses present Jedi
Sprocket Systems originated, and Twentieth Century -Fox
approved, Theater Alignment Program (TAP), in which 29 technicians would be sent out in the field with 70mm rolls of Dolby
alignment tone and pink noise, and inspect every house targeted
for a 70mm print. In addition, an "800" Hot Line was established for
any projectionist running Jedi to call if there were any questions or
problems. This number was in effect until July 31, when, presumably, if things were not right by then, they never would be.
Before any of this could be done, however, the prints (and the
film!) had to be made, and the standards that the technicians would
enforce needed to be established. First order of business was to
determine a reference level for all of the 70mm printing, which was
to take place at three separate facilities. Before Jedi, the Dolby tone
flux level was "uncontrolled," says Holman. "It was more or less 90
nWb/m, plus or minus 6 dB. That was because no one had ever
really built the equipment to know what the flux level actually was;
they would put on some striped film, turn it up until it distorted a
certain amount, like 1 %, and called that zero. This was reasonable
considering the striping. However, they didn't know that the striping was pretty terrible, compared to what could be done."
What was done for Jedi was to have the 70mm prints striped at
Film Processing Corporation, in Los Angeles. FPC has been making 35mm stripe materials since 1952, and early this year bought an
old print- striping machine from MGM Laboratories.
Since 1974, almost all of the striping of 35mm and 70mm prints
made in Los Angeles has been done by a single facility in Hollywood. Before that, most major studios had their own striping
facilities, with the majority of them dating back to the days in the
mid -Fifties when 35mm four -track mag prints were commonplace.
FPC and this other company gave Holman 35mm four -track samples. Tests indicated that the FPC striping gave 5 dB more output.
Despite the initial good tests, the striping of 150 prints by a facility
that had never striped one (though they had used an almost identical process in making 35mm single- stripe) is not, to put it mildly, a
decision to be made without extensive testing. For example, a loop
was played over 1,000 times on a dubber to check for oxide shedding. In the end, working in conjunction with engineers at Fox,
Holman established a reference flux level of 185 nWb/m for Jedi
70mm prints.
Sound, as they say, is only half of the film, and similar detective
work had to be done to secure copies of the SMPTE RP -91 70mm
visual test film. Although the test chart had been approved in 1981,
prints had not been struck from the original negative -not only
because of the high cost of 70mm registration printing, but also (of
course!) because of lack of interest in the part of the motion picture
industry. It finally took the producer of Return of the Jedi, Howard
Kazanjian, to set the bureaucratic wheels in motion to get the test
film printed.
Sound System Alignment
Sprocket Systems eventually supplied each TAP technician with
a 70mm SMPTE picture test film; 70mm Dolby Level test film;
70mm 10 -kHz test film (to check head contact); and 70mm pink
noise test film to set azimuth and to align the pre- amplifier response
to within ±2 dB from 50 Hz to 12 kHz. In addition, 70mm degaussed
film and a degaussing kit were supplied to facilitate checking the
film path for magnetized components.
Each technician was expected to provide the standard tools of
the trade: screen brightness meter; third -octave real -time audio
spectrum analyzer; dual -trace oscilloscope; AC/DC voltmeter;
and 35mm sound test films. The 35mm optical sound chain also was
to be aligned in case, at any time during the run, the supplied 70mm
print became damaged, and a 35mm print substituted.
Armed with this equipment, the TAP technicians proceeded to
inspect the theaters that had requested 70mm prints, with only
about 10 theaters finally being unable to meet Lucasfilm's picture
and sound criteria.
Apparently, there is a theater in Alaska ( "It's probably called the
`Polar I,' " says Burtt, envisioning a drawing of steam on the marquee saying: 'It's warm inside!') currently showing Return of the
Jedi in 70mm, even though it only has one projector, and no platter
system. Supposedly, the audience waits patiently between reels for
the changeover. Holman notes that "The only power we had this
time around was to not give the theater a 70mm print. Hopefully the
next time around we will have contractual power to say that you
have to have the correct number of footlamberts on the screen, and
things like that. But it is much trickier when there are technical
matters in contracts."
After a magnetic print is striped, the film "ideally but not necessarily," says Holman, sits around for a few days while the oxide
settles ( "cures "). Then each print is sounded in real-time from a
six -track printing master. As is standard operating procedure in
Hollywood, every 70mm print of Jedi was listened to in a theater.
On both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, one in
five prints was rejected for some picture or sound fault. Common
sound errors include sync, dropouts and, with picture, various and
sundry blotches.
Usually someone closely associated with the film is present during print checking. On Raiders of the Lost Ark, for example,
supervising sound editor Richard Anderson checked 50 prints;
producer Howard Kazanjian personally inspected 65, 70mm prints
of Jedi.
If something is found to be wrong with a 70mm print, a decision
has to be made as to whether it should be placed on a low priority,
and sent to a theater in the boondocks; whether the reel has to be
re- sounded; or, if the problem is very serious, rejected en toto. At
the cost of $14,000 per 70mm print for Jedi, the scrapping of a reel is
not a decision to be taken lightly. If the only problem on a reel is a
flash on one frame, should that reel be sent to Spearfish, North
Dakota, or should it be rejected?
In the race to get such a large number of 70mm prints out, a few
theaters received prints with no sound. It is debatable whether this
is better, or worse, than sounding reel #6 with the printing master of
reel #5 or, as happened during the sounding of the initial Star Wars
70mm prints, using the soundtrack of Fantasia. (This problem was
caught when the print was being checked, it should be noted.)
Tom Holman is quick to point out that inspecting theaters is only
just part of the battle: Return of the Jedi was made to real -world
specs. For example, even though SMPTE recommends that theaters have a light level of 16 footlamberts on the center of the screen,
there probably isn't a theater outside of a laboratory screening
room that is this bright. With this in mind, Jedi was timed and
color-balanced for 12 footlamberts.
In regard to the sound, a test mix was played in five theaters to
determine the average level of the boom channels, which varied
widely depending on whether a theater had subwoofers or not, and
what kind of speakers and amps were used for channels #2 and #4.
(What was learned from these tests regarding the dynamic range of
the mix has been outlined previously.) In the TAP instruction
manual, sprocket systems detail the levels to which the various
combinations of speakers should be aligned to properly replay the
boom information.
Holman is generally pleased with the results of the TAP program,
although he still has the sneaking suspicion that some theater,
somewhere, is playing Jedi with the center and surround channels
reversed, all to a blissfully contented audience.
December 1983
R -e /p 87
Its only limit is your imagination
Only Lexicon's 224X does it all. And now the 224X comes with
LARC -the key that gives you easy access to the total capabilities of the most
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LARC (Lexicon Alphanumeric Remote Console) tells at a glance
the specific
where you're at
which family of programs you're into
plus the variations within the program. They're all spelled
program selected
out on LED displays. And, with LARC, you can now store your setups on audio
Superior controls. Decay time in two frequency bands
apparent listener position
high -frequency rolloff
diffusion. And early reflections provide exceptional control over the
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Dynamic decay. Special signal processing capabilities can change revert time
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Unique Split Reverb/ERects
Achieve two levels of effects simultaneously -either two reverberations or reverberation combined with effects.
Each input can be processed independently, with different effects,
and for each input there are stereo outputs. Split reverb puts the processing
capabilities of two systems into one. Only Lexicon has it.
Comprehensive delay effects. The most extensive set of time -delay functions
available. Put in a vocal track and get out six independent voices. Create phasing, flanging, and, repeats in a single pass. Put in a rhythm track and get out
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1860 -ms delay, each with high-cut and low-cut fitters tunable from 170 Hz to
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for instant recall-and can be archived on cassette tape.
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Your investment in a 224X with LARC is an investment that will pay big dividends today -and tomorrow.
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Look into the Lexicon 224X digital
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224X systems. Contact Lexicon.
Lexicon, Inc., 60 Turner Street, Waltham, MA 02154/(617) 891-6790 /TELEX 923468
Export Gotham Export Corporation, New York, NY 10014
For additional information circle #58
The Otani 1/2" EigFit Channel- MARK 111/8
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At Otani, we focus everything we do on innovation, quality and staying close
to your music. These priorities are values that are interwoven into every tape
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The commitment to step -up to the level ofprofessional perfor' ' mance in an Otani recorder is a decision that only the successful
and knowledgeable musician /engineer can make. Our MARKIII and
505013Q-II are for those fortunate few who are achieving their musical
and artistic goals.
Both recorders are designed with microprocessor circuitry for smooth, responsive transport control
and precise electronic counting with L.E.D. display. True, three head design, selectable +4 or -IOdBm
input and output levels, 15/7.5 ips with continuously variable speed control and full remote
overdubbing capability deliver flexibility in multitrack recording that's typically reserved only for
the big, world -class studio machines. The same goes for the mastering quality performance and
spec's. To wring -out every last dB of quality, you won't find a competitive machine
that let's you get your hands on a full complement of adjustments as easily.
Add to all this the ability to interface both recorders to SMPTE time code
synchronization for multi -media video /film projects and compatability
with dbx * and Dolby** noise reduction.
The comprehensive feature list goes on. And so does the craftsmanship
that is the hallmark of our reputation. From our hands to yours, the MARKIII and
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Otani Corporation, 2 Davis Drive, Belmont, CA 94002
Tel: (415) 592-8311 Telex: 910- 376 -4890
FOrtidditional informatio
PEA, r
North East:
ROAR PRODUCTIONS (Columbia, Maryland) has installed a new Neotek Series II console featuring four -band state variable
equalization, and light column metering on all channels. The installation was completed by Roar's technical staff in mid -October, and
included complete rewiring of the control room and relocation of outboard equipment to afford a more comfortable and efficient recording
environment. A DeltaLab digital delay unit, Klark -Teknik third -octave equalizer, and fourth 2 -track recorder were also recently added.
6655H Dobbin Road, Columbia, MD 21045. (301) 596 -0600.
UNIQUE RECORDING (New York City) has updated its in -house instrument selection with the recent addition of a Yamaha DX -7
digital synthesizer, PPG Wave 2.2 digital synthesizer and sequencer, and a second E -mu Systems Emulator equipped with J.L. Cooper
Emulator -to -MIDI modification. Equipment acquisitions include a Sony DRE 2000 digital reverb, and a set of eight Neve 1077 mike pre-amp
and equalization modules. 701 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10036. (212) 921 -1711.
WESTRAX RECORDING STUDIOS (New York City) recently upgraded its 8 -track facility to 16 -track with the installation of a Sound
Workshop Series 30 console and Tascam 85 -16B 16 -track tape machine with dbx noise reduction. Other recent additions include a Lexicon
PCM -42 delay line, Neumann U -87 microphone, an Oberheim OBXa synthesizer and a Linn Drum Machine. Two- and 8 -track recording
services continue to be available. Manhattan Plaza, Basement Level, 484 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036. (212) 947 -0533.
INNER EAR RECORDING (Queens, New York) has just installed a Studio Technologies Ecoplate II reverberation plate in its
Otari /Tangent -based 16 -track recording facility. Calibration Instruments MDM -4 and Tannoy
SRM12B "close- field" monitors have been added to UREI 811A and Auratones. Also recently
acquired is a vintage Steinway 6'6" grand piano to complement a large list of in -house instruments.
118-17 97th Avenue, Queens, NY 11419. (212) 849 -5725.
GREENE STREET RECORDING (New York City) has updated its outboard equipment to
include a Lexicon 224X digital reverberation unit, a pair of UREI LA3A limiters, a pair of Lexicon
PCM -42 delay lines, an Eventide H949 Harmonizer, and an Aphex Aural Exciter. The digital
instrument collection now includes an Emulator, a DX drum machine, and an E-mu Systems
Drumulator. Renovation of the lounge area has been completed to, according to owner Steve
Loeb, create a more expansive space characteristic of the studio's Soho neighborhood. 112 Greene
Street, New York, NY 10012. (212) 226 -4278.
NIMBUS NINE RECORDING (New York City), formerly a private studio, has opened its doors INNER EAR New Monitor System
to outside clients. Owned by Geoff Daking, the studio features a Trident Series 80 console, MCI JH -24 multitrack, JBL 4430 monitors,
EMT tube stereo reverb, AKG two -channel reverb, Lexicon PCM -42s, Pultec equalizers, API and ADR compressor /limiters, Ursa Major
Space Station, Valley People Kepex Ils and Gain Brain Ils, plus SMPTE interlock. Room equipment includes a Yamaha grand piano, Fender
Rhodes and Ludwig Drums. There is also a Linn Drum Machine and a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 available on a rental basis. 1995
Broadway, New York, NY 10023. (212) 496 -7771.
TIKI RECORDING STUDIOS (Long Island, New York) has completed installation of a new Trident TSM console in its newly opened
studio complex. The console features 40 inputs, a 32 -track monitor section, and has many modifications, according to owner, Fred
Guarino. 186 Glen Cove Avenue, Glen Cove, NY 11542. (516) 671 -4555.
CLINTON RECORDING (New York City) has installed two new custom -built Neve Model 8078
Bruce Murley and Edward Rakowicz. Both consoles have 40 inputs and 24 output busses, and
consoles, according to co- owners
one is equipped with NECAM II
automation. According to Murley, "These boards will often be used for jingle recording and mixing. An engineer working in jingles has to be
both good and fast, and the layout of these Neves is extremely conducive to efficient jingle recording." Both custom consoles are equipped
with a separate monitor section, larger equalizer knobs, and several other features. Multitracks are two Studer A800s, plus four A80 and
four A810 mastering machines in both control rooms. The downstairs studio has a floor area of 1,000 square feet, and the larger room
upstairs fills 2,000 square feet with a 22 -foot ceiling. Acoustic design was by Rakowicz and architect Maurice Wasserman. Monitors are
UREi 813s powered by McIntosh amplifiers. Outboard gear includes several EMT 140 reverbs. 653 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10019.
MUSCADINE STUDIOS (Macon, Georgia) recently added an Ampex MM -1200 16 -track recorder to its Tascam, Studer, and Revox
tape machines. The updated 16 -track facility centers around a Flickinger console, and JBL4312 studio monitors. Outboard equipment
includes Lexicon Prime Time, Lexicon PCM -41 delay line, MXR digital delay, dbx and Orban compressor/limiters, and an AKG BX -20
reverberation unit. Studio owner /manager is Paul Hornsby. 3078 Vineville Avenue, Macon, GA 31204. (912) 745-2401.
MORRISOND RECORDING (Tampa, Florida) has opened Studio B. The new room is equipped with a Soundcraft Series 400B
console and an Otani MX5050 8 -track tape machine, and was designed for pre -production and voice ovens. The 24 -track Otani /Sound
Workshop equipped room is also still in use. 5120 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33603.
CRITERIA RECORDING STUDIOS (Miami, Florida) has recently added an Ampex ATR -100
2 -track machine with /- and 1/2 -inch heads available, an Otani MTR -90 24 -track machine with
autolocator, and has acquired its second Mitsubishi X -80 PCM 2 -track digital recorder. The two
digital systems are available in any of the four studios within the audio /video and disk- cutting
complex. 1755 NE 149 Street, Miami, FL 33181. (305) 947 -5611.
NEW RIVER STUDIOS (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) has recently upgraded the main monitor
system by installing a pair of UREi 813B monitors. The control room is equipped with a Neve 8108
48 -track console with NECAM II automation, a pair of Studer A800 24 -track recorders, and an Audio
Kinetics Q -Lock synchronizer for audio post -production. 408 South Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. (305) 524 -4000.
STARTEC (Washington, D.C.) has opened a new 24 -track facility featuring a custom built API
Second Mitsubishi X-80 32x24 console purchased from Sunset Sound in Hollywood, CA. installation and control room
design was done by Wolff Associates and Borge Systems Ltd. Tape machines are Stephens 24- and 4 -track -inch, Otani MTR -12 12 -inch
stereo, and Ampex 440. Outboard equipment include delay units by DeltaLab, Lexicon, Ibanez, MXR, and Yamaha; compressor/limiters
from dbx, LT Sound, B &B Audio, UREI, and API; and Lexicon 224 reverb. Synclavier II, Prophet 5, and MemoryMoog synthesizers along
with Yamaha grand and Fender electric pianos comprise the in -house keyboard instrument list. Owners are Nick Koumoutseas and Jim
Wallace. Staff is David Hanbury chief engineer; Kevin Hayes, arranger/producer; and Paul Wolff, engineer/systems engineer. 1737
DeSales Street SW, Washington D.C.
South Central:
BRAZRO RECORDINGS (Chattanooga, Tennessee) is a 16 -track facility that has recently added equipment for real time cassette
duplication. The studio has also prepared its own "ear training course in equalization," which it offers for sale in cassette format. 1215 N.
Concord Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421.
December 1983
R -e /p 91
South Central (continued):
THE CASTLE RECORDING STUDIO (Franklin, Tennessee) has installed a 3M 32 -track digital mastering system to complement the
facility's Harrison 48- channel 3232C console, and two Studer A8OVU analog tape machines. Old Hillsboro Road, Route 7, Franklin, TN
37064. (615) 791 -0810.
JIMMY SWAGGART MINISTRIES (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) has opened a new broadcast complex equipped with five Neve
consoles. According to Dave Cooper, directior of television operations and engineering at the new facility, a Model 8128, 32 input /24 bus
console equipped with NECAM II automation has been installed in audio control room A, while control room B houses a 24 -bus Model 5116
fitted with 36 inputs. These remix rooms are also equipped for overdubbing and live recording. Each of two identical video edit suites is
equipped with Model 5412 12/4 consoles. The VCAs fitted to these two consoles are tied into the computer editing system, enabling
audio /video synchronization. The third 54 Series 16/4 console is installed in another control room for studio video productions. Acoustic
design of control rooms and studios was performed by Jerry Milam of Milam Audio. Audio control rooms are equipped with UREI 813
speakers powered by UREI amps. Multitrac;'cs comprise two Studer A800 24- tracks, and four A810 stereo machines. 8919 World Ministry
Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 708I0. (504) 769 -8300.
Mid West:
BREEZEWAY STUDIOS (Waukesha. Wisconsin) has updated its equipment list with the additions of an MCI JH -110A 1/2-track
mastering deck with Dolby A noise reduction, two UREI 1176LN peak limiters, an Eventide H910 Harmonizer, a set of Omnicraft GT -4 noise
gates, five pairs of AKG K240 headphones, and a pair of White 4100 third- octave equalizers for room equalization. UREI 813B studio
monitors are being installed in the main control room. The studio is also adding a new lounge area highlighted by a viewing window into the
recording studio. Paul Wehrley, former bass player for Arroyo and Rio, has signed on as studio manager and engineer. 363 West Main
Street, Waukesha, WI 53186. (414) 547 -5757.
SOUNDSMITH RECORDERS (Indianapolis, Indiana) has added Jeff Bowen to its staff as production co- ordinator and marketing
director. Al Thompson has joined the sales staff, and will serve as an audio consultant and sound engineer for upcoming live performances.
5210 East 65th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46220. (317) 842 -4905.
SONIC ART (Lake Villa, Illinois) is a new 16 -track facility featuring MCI, Soundcraft, Lexicon, Crown, and UREI equipment. It also has
three isolation chambers. 23783 W. Petite Lake Road, Lake Villa, IL 60046. (312) 356 -8992.
APPLEWOOD STUDIOS (Golden, Colorado) has acquired a new Studer A800 MK III 24 -track tape machine to complement the
existing Neve 8036 console. Mark III Electronics and' -inch capability have been added to the Studer A80 mastering machines, and the
facility has added 10 API 550 equalizers, and six API 500 compressors. The copy room has been updated with the addition of four new
Studer A710 real time cassette decks, and two Revox PR99 copy machines. The Colorado Audio Institute teaches classes at the studio
when its not in use for record dates. 680 Indiana Street, Golden, CO 80401. (303) 279 -2500.
Matrix Mixing Consoles
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Active balanced line in (XLR)
Stereo '/a" balanced line in
Line /mic switch
Phase reverse switch
High pass filter
EQ in /out switch
Mute switch
Variable gain (45 dB)
Two monitor sends
Two effects sends
Direct out ('.< ")
Access in & out (' /a")
3 level 3 LED
Cue send
100 mm fader
Two individual effects
5 band EQ dual peak
reading meters (effects &
Access in /out on effects &
Cue send
100 mm fader
Effects may be switched into
the matrix
LED metering on effects &
Priority interrupt cue system
48 volt phantom power
Dual stereo headphone jacks
LED dual peak reading meter
on cue
Extensive headphone
Optional on board signal
processing, such as
comp-limiters, etc.
Frequency response 20 Totally modular - no point
20 KHZ + or -.5dB
to point wiring
EIN 20 - 20 KHZ - 129 dBV
Active gain stages for low
noise and extended dynamic
Distortion - less than .02%
Crosstalk - 74 dB (odd pairs)
5 band graphic or
Max. mic gain - 105 dB
parametric EQ
Max. line gain - 74 dB
Total patching through access
Max. output +26 dBV balanced
in /out on all modules
Solid oak frame /steel sub -frame Max. output +18 dBV unbalanced
R -e /p 92
December 1983
For additional information circle #60
216/784 -8022
Southern California
THE COMPLEX (Los Angeles) has installed GML Research's newly -develcped moving fader automation system in Studio C. The
system, developed by George Massenburg, breaks fader movement into more than 1,000 segments, and takes less than 80 milliseconds to
move the fader from one end of its trave to the other. The new system has a sampling rate of four times a frame using SMPTE timecode. The
fader automation has no VCAs and works out of random access memory rather than floppy discs for an access speed that is said to be 30
Imes faster than other systems. The automation package is designed to follow an engineer's movements during a mix, and take direction
from the multitrack instructions and SMPTE locations. 2323 Corinth Street, West Los Angeles, CA 90064. (213) 477 -1938.
FRED JONES RECORDING SERVICES (Hollywood) has upgraded its 24 -track facility to become a complete audio post -production
facility with the addition of a new BTX Scftouch" System. The Softouch system ccnsists of three intelligent, distributed modules: the
Softouch editor/controller, Shadow II" synchronizer and a modular timecode system known as Cypher". These modules are networked
together via RS -232, while transports and other studio equipment are connected yia straightforward interfaces. The facility now offers
complete multitrack sweetening for video projects. The new system is said to be the first BTX Softouch system on the west coast;
installation was handled by Ana Wilczynski of Everything Audio, and Jim Lucas cf BTX. 6515 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 205, Hollywood,
CA 90028. (213) 467 -4122.
O SYNAPSE RECORDING (Burbank) is the new audio recording facility of Nicholas Simone Productions. The studio features an Otari
8 -track recorder, and Synclavier II and Yamaha DX7 synthesizers. For scoring, 16 tigital tracks are provided by use of the Synclavier II in
conjunction with the Otari 8- track. The studio is available for jingle production, sound recording and synthesis. 444 S. Victory Boulevard,
Burbank, CA 91502. (213)
661 -7777.
PREFERRED SOUND (Woodland Hills) is a new 24 -track recording facility with living accommodations available. The control room
centers around an AMEK 2000 Series Il transformerless console with ful; parametric equalization, linked to an Otari MTR90 24 -track
recorder with autolocator. The monitor system is comprised of UREI Time Align, J3L 4401, and Auratone monitor speakers. Outboard
equipment includes Lexicon Prime Time, Eventide Harmonizer and Flanger, Lexicon200 Digital reverb, MXR and Roland Stereo Flangers,
Valley People Kepex Noise Gates, dbx 165 and UREI LA -4 limiters, and UREI 117E Limiters. Among the instruments available, the studio
boasts a fully restored 1860 Bosendorfer grand piano. Owner is Scott Borden, forma partner in Norman's Rare Guitars. 22700 Margarita
Drue, Woodland Hills, CA 91364. (213) 883 9733.
AUDIO CYBERNETICS (North Hollywood) has just added an E -mu Systems Drumulator to its music composing and production
fac lity. Composer/owner Christopher Currell states, "Our facility
based on the Synclavier Il Digital Synthesizer, as well as other
syrthesizers -- gives the composer or producer an almost limitless capability for sconng and producing music and sound effects." Currently
on order is a second, larger Synclavier II, a Lexicon 224X digital reverb, a Linn Drum Machine, a Sony PCM -F1 digital processor for
sound- effects recording, and a Digital Guitar interface for the Synclavier. 5102 Vineland, North Hollywood, CA 91505. (213) 760-8333.
SUNSET SOUND (Hollywood) has placed a new custom -built consolette into service. The consolette, a 12- channel version of the
studio's upcoming Studio 1 custom -built console, features digital logic controlled foldback, echo, program and stereo bus assigns, and silent
inserts and muting. Jensen transformers and Jensen 990 op -amps were used m all gam stages. New general manager, Craig Hubler, says
"We continue to build our own consoles as ee feel there are none available that fulfill both our clients demands for more flexible equipment
and Sunset's longstanding reputation for having the cleanest and quietest boards possible." Welcome back to traffic manager Gail
McCabe who has returned to the studio after an illness. 6357 Selma Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90028. (213) 467 -2500.
LARRABEE SOUND (Los Angeles) has expanded Studio A's Solid State Logic Series E console to provide 56 channels for use with
Ampex MM -1200 and Studer A80 24 -track tape machines. Studio A is also equipped with an Audio Kinetics Q -Lock 310 synchronizer, and
features a monitor system by George AugspLrger. 8811 Santa Monica Boulevard, Lcs Angeles, CA 90069. (213) 657 -6750.
A&M RECORDING (Hollywood) has purchased three Studer A -800 MK Ill 24 -track tape machines for Studios A, B and D. In
September, A&M hosted a Digital Synthesizer Forum organized and presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of NARAS. 1416 North La
Brea Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90028. (213) 469 -2411.
BELL SOUND (Hollywood) has taken delivery of two Studer A810 tape recorders. The machines are two -track stereo recorders with a
center timecode track, and were provided by Audio Engineering Associates. Bell Sound is a 24 -'rack facility specializing in television
New Custom
SSL Series
X -80A
. ..'
,t .
December 1983
R -e /p 93
commercials and jingles production. 916 North Citrus Avenue, Hollywood, CA.
FUTURE DISC SYSTEMS (Hollywood) has installed a new Mitsubishi X -80A digital two -track, and companion DDL -1 digital
disk -cutting preview unit. 3475 Cahuenga Boulevard West, Hollywood, CA 90068. (213) 876 -8733.
Northern California:
T&B AUDIO LABS (San Francisco) has added MDM TA2A Time -Aligned" Nearfield'" monitors, and Ellinger quad noise gates that can
be synced to one another, or to an external trigger source, in any combination. Individual control voltages are brought out to patch points,
so that other voltage- controlled devices can follow the envelope of the gates, making them ideal for synthesizer work. 301822nd Street, San
Francisco, CA 94110. (415) 821 -3065.
RUSSIAN HILL RECORDING (San Francisco) in partnership with Persistent Image, has opened a new film to tape transfer studio.
This new facility, Russian Hill Film To Tape, generates high quality transfers from 35mm or 16mm
film positives to videotape format. Developed with the assistance of Clark Higgins, designer of
video transfer systems for both Lucasfilm and Zoetrope studios, the new system is also capable of
generating frame accurate timecode in a multitude of formats: vertical interval, longitudinal, window
dub, film frame numbering, in addition to SMPTE, film -edge codes, reel #, scene and take information, etc. Since the studio's KEM K -800 is a six -plate flatbed editing machine, Russian Hill can offer
scratch mixes from two full -coat magnetic tracks, or from four 35mm magnetic tracks. Release
prints with optical sound and news style film (i.e. single- system magnetic stripe films) can also be
transferred. Russian Hill Film To Tape was used extensively during post -production work for The
Right Stuff. Says supervising editor Glen Farr, "The KEM system saved us a lot of time. We could
mix music, dialog, and effects simultaneously, while the transfer was being made. It is a very flexible
system." 1520 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109. (415) 474 -4520.
PATCHBAY STUDIOS (San Rafael) has installed full level and mute automation in its 24 -track Studio A. The 30- channel VCA system
also provides automated master fade and effects. A custom interface also enables automated mixes in the 8 -track Studio B. New in the
computer corner is the Decillionix DX -1 digital sound effects program for the facility's AlphaSyntauri poly synth/composer. 2111 Francisco
Boulevard, San Rafael, CA 94901. (415) 459 -2331.
LI FANTASY STUDIOS (Berkeley) has installed its third Neve 81 Series console in a totally remodelled and rebuilt Studio C. According to
executive vice -president Roy Segal. "Client acceptance of our two 8108s has been overwhelming. Neve has contributed to improving our
sound, and we wanted another one just like the other ones." In contrast to the 8108s in Studios A and B, which are equipped with NECAM
ùutomation, the new 32x24 console features VCA grouping. Acoustic and electrical design of Studio C were performed by Fantasy's own
engineering staff. 10th & Parker, Berkeley, CA 94710. (415) 549 -2500.
COMPASS POINT (Nassau) has re- equipped Studio B with a 40- channel Solid State Logic desk equipped with Total Recall automation,
new Studer A800 24- track, and UREI 813B monitors. Studio A is also being refurbished with the installation of a 36- channel MCI JH -536
console. P.O. Box N4599, Nassau, Bahamas. (809) 327 -8282.
NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA (Montreal, Quebec) has installed a custom Neve Model 51 film mixing console. "The entire
configuration of this desk was specified by our engineers," says Leonard A. Green, NFB chief of operations. "Even before we brought in
our electrical engineers, we spent two or three months talking with our staff mixers about what they needed in a mixing board." In particular,
NFB requests included an atypical electical layout: that the compressor be placed after the input amp and fader. "This desk has some
30 -odd compressors, one in each input module," says Peter Strobl, one of the studio's mix engineers. "During a film mix as opposed to a
music mix], an input may see dialog or sound effects from several different sources, each one different in level or equalization. Unlike in a
music studio, we do not have the time to optimize compression for each source. But, since the compressor follows the EQ and fader, we can
expect the threshold setting to remain fairly constant throughout a mix." The Model 51 is equipped with eight plasma peak -reading meters:
six for the main out, and two for combined purposes. "We find that the peak- reading meter is far superior when transferring to optical
sound," Strobl offers. "Because the PPM's characteristics are very similar to the galvanometer on the optical recorder, we can make 0 dB on
the PPM correspond with 100% optical modulation." The desk is also automation -ready, with VCAs on each input module, and two VCA
submasters. "The VCAs help, especially in stereo mixing," Strobl continues. "An assistant engineer can be premixing a subgroup of stereo
effects, which I can then manipulate with a single VCA master. In effect, the main engineer has an override on what the assistant is mixing."
Montreal, Quebec.
Great Britain:
THE CHURCH (Crouch End, London) The Eurythmics' personal -use studio has intalled a Soundcraft Series 2400 28/24 console, to
replace the band's original Soundcraft Series 2 16/8. The group are using the new 2400 with a separately mounted channel taken from the
old Series 2. saved for its "unique tone." The desk is linked to a Soundcraft SCM 24- track. Crouch End, London.
THE BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION (London) has installed its eleventh Solid State Logic Master Studio System,
which will provide live transmission and simultaneous multitrack recording from the BBC's Hippodrome Theatre is Golders Green,
London. The custom L- shaped mainframe houses 40 input /output modules in its main section. The wing section houses 16 more modules,
plus an additional 30 SSL microphone pre -amp modules. The arrangement provides a total of 120 line inputs, 86 mike inputs, 56 four -band
parametric equalizers, 56 compressors plus a main program compressor, 56 SSL expander/noise gates and eight VCA Group Masters. SSL
has also supplied a remote producer's console and patchbay with the system. The system is fitted with the SSL Primary Studio Computer
and Real Time System, which provide computer assistance both during live transmission and subsequent multitrack sweetening.
Broadcasting House, London W1A IAA.
Puerto Rico:
DOUBLE TALK (Puerto Nuevo) a wholly -owned subsidiary of Crescendo Audio Productions, is a new state -of- the -art dubbing stage
equipped with a Spectra Sonics 1024 console, MCI JH -24 24- track, JH110B -2, JH110B -4, and Studer A810 mastering decks, UREI 811 and
Auratone monitors, and a variety of Magna -Tech pick -up recorders and 16/35mm dubbers. Outboard equipment includes Dolby racks, an
Audio Kinetics Q. Lock 310 synchronizer, Eventide H949 Harmonizer, Delta Lab DL2 Acousticomputer, Vally People Gain Brain II, Kepex
II, and Dynamite 410 -2 limiter /gate, dbx 160 and 165 compressor /limiters, Ashley SC68 and Audio Arts parametric notch filters, and a
Pultec effects filter. Calle Constitucion, Num 707, Puerto Nuevo, PR 00920. (809) 792 -6466.
R -e /p 94
December 1983
This is Larry Boden
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R -e /p 98
December 1983
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xl. ltA\S k
Figure 1 (left): control room /studio window before reconstruction; and Figure 2 (right) the final triple -glass design to
ensure adequate sound isolation.
complete. Cosmetically, Rocshire's facility was on a level equal to the best anywhere; unfortunately, that was where it
ended. The original contractor, doubling as supposed acoustical expert,
made just about every possible mistake
in the areas affecting isolation performance. And such problems are the most
difficult to correct after the fact, both
from a cost as well as an emotional
standpoint. Would you want sawdust on
your Steinway?
Two panes of glass originally had
been used to form the conrol -room window. In some situations, this arrangement may be adequate, but not if there is
total coupling between them, as illustrated in Figure 1. During reconstruction, three separate sections of glass of
different thickness were used, consisting of nine different pieces supported by
four separate walls, each with multiple
layers of sheetrock and soundboard,
and lots of silicone sealant (Figure 2).
With the vibration and control room
to studio isolation problems resolved,
approval was given by Rocshire staff to
attack other weak acoustic areas. While
demolishing the wall between the control room and studio, a good picture of
how the facility had been constructed
previously became available for the first
time. (There were no plans available for
what was originally built.) This newly
revealed information clearly indicated
several areas where a substantial
Correcting the Deficiencies
At Rocshire, two major isolation related problems existed: firstly, insufficient sound isolation from the common control room and studio wall; and
secondly, noise and vibration transmission from an adjacent wood-working
shop that had been sited on a floor slab
and wall common to the studio. Correcting the vibration problem came down to
a simple choice: either tear down the
existing studio and start from scratch
with a floated slab; or buy out the
neighbor's lease, and live with the problem in the interim. Since additional
space was needed for a planned expansion anyway, there was no question as
to the solution here
get rid of the
neighbor ... and his noise. Once he was
gone, it would be a simple matter to
improve the wall construction from that
side. Obviously, having control over
adjacent space is the surest way of
avoiding the present or future use of
extreme sound isolation measures.
Insufficient isolation between Roc shire's control room and studio was
another matter, however. The existing
wall and window construction was
totally inadequate; in addition, a
change in control -room monitoring had
been requested which in any case
required reconstruction. Here the only
sensible solution was to tear down the
structure and start over.
Figure 3: Existing wall structure.
cR \kut
Figure 4: Wall structure for
improved isolation.
December 1983
R -e /p 99
CN\M\__ 'Z\.
Figure 5 (left): section of hall/control room wall after reconstruction; and Figure 6 (right) a sectional view showing
4-pound lead sheet wrapped around and between wood framing.
improvement in acoustic treatment
sheetrock) have the same mass, but
exhibit entirely different isolation perIn the existing construction, the basic formance. In addition to mass, bending
wall system, shown in Figure 3, com- stiffness and internal damping are
prised of sheetrock, followed by a layer other acoustic factors that come into
of chipboard, plus a final layer of play. And which is why an insulated
soundboard. Far better results could wall with multiple layers of sheetrock
have been obtained by reversing the can do in five or six inches what it takes
order of materials, as shown in Figure 4, a solid concrete wall 12 to 24 inches to
with the soundboard layer sandwiched achieve, in terms of sound absorption.
between the sheetrock and chipboard. Part two of the Mass Law is the Law of
Wherever the former situation was Diminishing Returns; after the first
encountered, an extra layer of sheetrock doubling of the mass, which increases
was added to increase the transmission the transmission loss by as much as 5
loss of that particular wall and to take dB, each additional mass doubling proadvantage of the soundboard layer duces, in practice, progressively less
improvement per unit weight, and at
already in place.
Which illustrates the fact that there is increasing cost.
The other problem with adding mass
more to obtaining good sound isolation
than simply relying on mass. Both to provide adequate sound isolation is
walls (without the extra layer of added that it always consumes space. The
could be made.
The narrow lobby and hallway prevented external sound treatment of studio
walls. Layers of neoprene and lead sheet reduced sound transmissions.
Figure 7: Section of studio
door design.
\g14 S%\t
complex double (and sometimes triple)
wall construction typically utilized in
studio construction is the only way of
achieving the degree of isolation
required within a reasonable amount of
real estate. In new construction, this
forms one of the primary design
parameters. In reconstruction, however,
there are times when even an extra inch
of spare space simply does not exist.
Figures 5 and 6 show how a substantial improvement was made, despite the
fact that there just was no additional
space to add more mass. The intention
here was to increase the transmission
loss of sound across the wall separating
the control room and studio entrance
hall. In this instance, the control room
side could not be changed without
serious cost penalties. Instead, all work
had to be carried out on the hall side,
which was stripped down to the 2x4
studs. After verifying that this wall was
non -loadbearing, the existing studs
were cut lengthwise in two, while still in
place. After removing an additional
half-inch of lumber, and replacing it
with neoprene, the new 2x2 studs were
put back into the wall. Now the only
sound transmission path occurred at
the top and bottom of the wall.
Ideally, additional layers of sheetrock
R-e p 100 C December 1983
pü 4tiplli^'`
Rocshire's Emphasis on Creativity and Sound Quality
Rocshire Recording's origins can be traced back to a small recording and rehearsal facility.
From an inauspicious beginning as an eight -track studio, the facility has expanded virtually
overnight to become a parent company incorporating several diverse elements of the entertainment field. Located in Anaheim, California (deliberately based just outside the crowded Hollywood /Los Angeles studio scene), separate divisions are ded:cated to the Rocshire and High
Velocity labels, artist management, production, and concert sound and lighting. In addition to a
state -of- the -art audio recording studio (described in greater detail in the accompanying article)
Rocshire features a large room suitable for video shoots, as well as for recording in a live setting,
plus a fully equipped remote truck.
Rocshire's staff are no strangers to the music and recording industry. Company president
Gary Davis' background is in promotion with such companies as Warner Brothers and Capitol; most recently he held a
vice president position at Motown. Vice president Lester
The recording area feature a 1910
Steinway grand.
determines how the room will sound,
was addressed. Although such a scheme
would reduce still further studio floor
space, it was decided to splay the walls
slightly to minimize potential flutter echo problems, as shown in the accompanying floor plan. Again, due to space
limitations, all sound trapping had to be
done in the ceiling.
In many studios, specific areas are set
aside to be either absorbent or reflective,
to provide different recording environments for enhancing the sound of specific instruments. In a small room, this
type of flexibility can only be provided
by surfaces designed to be acoustically
variable. In any size room, the easiest
surface to make variable is the floor.
Simply install a hardwood floor, and
provide carpets when a less reflective
condition is required. There are several
ways of varying wall surfaces, ranging
from simple manual operation, to
remotely controlled, motor-driven devices. Figure 8 illustrates an inexpensive,
long-used technique that was employed
at Rocshire to enable some of the wall
surfaces to be varied from hardwood
panelling to fabric-covered insulation
(Owens- Corning #703).
In the control room, other than
rebuilding the entire front wall, the only
significant modification was the addition of a set of custom wood and glass
doors, which provide the dual function
of isolating noise produced in the
machine room, and maintaining bilateral symmetry in the control room. The
final monitor system installed at Roc shire is somewhat unique. Actually, it is
comprised of several systems, employing TAD, Altec and Tannoy components. Custom enclosures were designed
and built, thereby providing each system with nearly optimum placement.
Throughout the reconstruction process at Rocshire, every stage was given
more than usual scrutiny. The end
result is a state -of- the -art facility that
performs as well, if not better, than most
studios. And the second studio being
planned to take the place of the departed
noise- making neighbor should be even
Claypool has gained substantial engineering experience
through various independent projects, owning his own studio, and as a first engineer for ABC Records.
According to Claypool, who oversaw Lakeside Associates' redesign and construction of the main studio, one of
his goals in the design and choice of equipment was to have "a studio that has more to offer than
just a shopping list of studio gear." He considers a room's acoustic qualities, various engineer's
experience and expertise, along with custom tailoring of equipment, to be more important than a
studio's choice of electronics.
At a time when few record labels own their own in -house faci;ities, Rocshire's studio remains at
the center of its operation, because, according to Claypool, "As a young and developing record
company, we find having our own studio allows us to directly supervise our projects, and to
control our costs."
A Creative Tool
Claypool views the studio more as a tool to serve Rocshire's artists than as an independent
business enterprise. "We produce our own product here," he explains. "That makes us a
completely different studio in many ways. Our point of view has always been from the creative
side, rather than looking at the music as just an end product. With the high cost of session time,
sometimes only the most successful bands can afford a lot of time in the studio. We want our
In A/B tests, this tiny condenser
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near the bridge, inside drums, inside
pianos, clipped to horns and woodwinds,
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of miking techniques -far too many to
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Pro net price for omnidirectional. Cardiold, Hypercardioid, and Bidirectional models: $189.95
417 Stanford Ave., Redwood City CA 94063
(415) 364 -9988
December 1983
D R -e /p 103
Interior of Rocshire's API /3M- equipped remote
recording truck.
artists to work in a creative environment, without worrying about time and money."
The selection of equipment and design of the
label's in -house studio reflects Claypool's
recording experience and philosophy. An
example is the monitoring system that allows a
producer and artists to select from three distinct
loudspeaker systems. The idea, he says, was to
enable producers to either compare or choose
several monitor "sounds," thereby eliminating
or minimizing the need to make use of outboard
speakers. "ft's always seemed funny to me that
studios go to the trouble of installing the latest,
most expensive, most perfectly aligned monitors, and end up bringing in auxiliary speakers to
please the producer or artists. This system helps
us please a wider clientele."
A separate synthesizer room enable
to be set up before session time.
The present monitoring system was designed
by Claypool with assistance from Ron Becker of
Alan Labs, Los Angeles, designers of the Cybersonics disk cutting system. The first system is a
UREI 813 Time -Aligned' ", utilizing a new horn;
the second, coaxial Tannoy SRM -12B units; and
the third comprises of a TAD TD -2001 HF driver
and a TL-1601 low -frequency driver. All three
systems utilize custom, time -compensated
crossovers. A TAD TL -1602 15 -inch subwoofer
can be used in conjunction with any of the three
systems. Stax electrostatic headphones and
auxiliary outputs are available for those who still
prefer to use other monitors. Any of the various
monitoring options can be easily selected at the
Calypool says that he wanted a quality of
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the world was available first to professionals! Bryston amplifiers bring
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have proven their unique accuracy; on the road, where they have
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For further, more detailed information, and a list of dealers in
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R -e/p 104
December 1983
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sounds and patches
sound at Rocshire that was not defined simply
by good technical specifications. In particular,
the monitoring system should be capable of
reproducing the nuances and detail of sound
required for audiophile standards. "My goal was
to have audiophile sound quality combined with
the power and dynamics needed for monitoring," he emphasizes. "The amplifiers, crossover,
and Litz wiring all come from an audiophile
The monitoring system is bi- amplified with
Conrad- Johnson MV45A tube amplifiers at the
top end, for "inner deatil and musicality," and
Soundcraftsmen solid -state amps for the low end drivers.
The balance of Rocshire's equipment also
reflects Claypool's recording philosophy. "I've
tried to get a blend of the best of the old and the
new," he offers. Making available vintage tube
microphones, tube limiters, and tube equalizers
neatly balances with Claypool's desire to be "the
first on the block with the best new equipment."
In several cases Rocshire has indeed been the
first to receive new equipment, and has often
acted in a consulting role to various manufacturers. For example, the very first Neve 8128
board was installed in Rocshire's studio in late
1982, after being used by the company for demonstration during the Fall AES Convention in
Anaheim. Claypool calls this board "utter simplicity," and has found its sound to be extraordinarily transparent.
Synthesizer Room
The most recent addition to Rocshire's main
studio is a separate room devoted exclusively to
synthesizers. Included are systems by Oberheim (OBX -A, OBX -8, DMX Drum Computer,
and DSX Sequencer); E -mu Systems (full eight voice Emulator with analog interface capability);
Simmons (SDS -6 Sequencer, SDS-5 systems
for pad drums, and the new TLS Trigger System
for use with a standard drum kit); Roland
(Jupiter -6, Juno -60, and Juno-6); Moog (Prodigy, Minimoog, and Memorymoog); Sequential
Circuits (Prophet -5); and Yamaha (DX -9, DX -7,
and GS -1 digital system). Each synthesizer is
computer controlled by an Apple II, utilizing
custom software written by staff member Bill
Boydstun. Boydstun was instrumental in developing the concept of a separate synthesizer
room, and Rocshire's emphasis on artists using
synthesizers as an integral part of the recording
... continued on page 107
- continued from page
104 .. .
Claypool and Boydstun have found that a
most useful application for the synth room, particularly for artists who are still working on their
material, is the ability to pre -program the electronic instruments before a session. "We can
not only pre -set the voicings of the instruments,
but the rhythm tracks and even arrangements
can be set before entering the studio," Boydstun
In this way artists can experiment and work
out their arrangements outside of the recording
studio, where time is less costly. "I saw how we
could get away from the extreme costs of studio
time by getting everything worked out exactly
on the synthesizers before we went into the
studio," Boydstun continues. "From a business
standpoint, the use of synthesizers eliminates
variables, including human ones. When appropriate for the job, they can save both time and
According to Boydstun, a new generation of
interface devices allows for complex matching
of synthesizer parts required by a piece of
music, either with other synthesizer parts, or
with previously recorded tracks. New clock and
interface devices, such as Garfield Electronics'
Dr. Click unit, can lock onto the rhythm pattern
recorded on tape, or a programmed electronic
instrument, and then synchronize the new synthesized parts to that pattern, even if it is
"Everything today is being built around the
drum tracks, be they acoustic, Simmons -type
synthesized, or drum machines," he says. "This
lends itself to easy and precise tracking of
being observed at close range by people in the
control room. "I think that many artists may feel
more comfortable and give a better performance in an environment more like the one
where they normally play," he offers.
The shooting of video pieces for Rocshire
artists has taken place in the room, along with
production of a television series distributed
overseas, entitled America in Concert.
Rocshire's other new acquisition is a mobile
recording vehicle with complete video synchronization facilities. Claypool says that he
purchased the truck to expand the capability of
the original studio, as well to provide Rocshire
with the ability to handle remote recording
In addition to serving as a control room for the
large audio /video studio, the truck doubles as a
second remix room. "This is the best mixing
truck I've ever heard," Claypool offers. "It has
the most accurate monitoring system I've heard
in a mobile, especially at the low -end." He points
out that, because of the monitoring accuracy, a
recent Rocshire album by Maxine Watta that
had been mixed in the mobile required no equalization during disk mastering.
After an active first full year of operation,
Claypool is quite optimistic about Rocshire's
future. With the addition of the synthesizer
room, the new audio /video studio, and the
mobile vehicle, plus the development of Rocshire's artist roster, Claypool, Boydstun, and
Rocshire's studio facilities should remain busy
for years to come.
Presenting the
Otari 5050 Mark I11/8
...with Service
rhythm patterns."
Boydstun finds that the ability to sync various
parts together is extremely valuable while working with people that may already have prepared
a rough demo, and wish to develop it further
without having to begin from scratch. The new
generation of synthesizers and drum machine
allows for a human quality in the programming
of electronic instruments. "The memory of the
new equipment eliminates the machine -sound of
previous synthesizers and sequencers," he
says. Exact rhythm patterns played by the
musician becomes the reference for the other
electronic instruments, rather than a mechanical sounding, pre-programmed pattern.
Another use for Rocshire's synthesizer room
is in commercial advertising production. Boyd stun and Claypool have found that synthesizers
can be ideal for use in the strict time formats of
30- and 60- second commercials, because of the
precision with which they can be programmed,
and the practicaly limitless variety of sounds
they offer. Through advance programming,
production costs can be minimized, which in
turn reduces the amount of studio time necessary, and simplifies the task of editing.
Video/Live-Performance Stage
The newest full studio room at Rocshire is a
warehouse -sized space measuring 60 by 50 by
22 feet, with complete facilities for live performance, including stage and lighting. Currently,
the room is being used for both video production, and as a way of avoiding the tightly controlled environment of the typical studio. Claypool says that this room "eliminates the fishbowl
effect" common to studios, where musicians are
Service ..
The key to your success
Ni,, when purchasing a
professional multi- track.
With this in mind, PRS provides a
quality assurance program in which every machine
is individually tested and calibrated. This ensures
trouble free operation and maximizes performance.
it's what PRS is all about.
r R3
Professional Recording and Sound
1616 Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02135
617 254 -2110
outside MA. 800 343-3001
A Group Four Company
December 1983
R -e /p 107
You've been waiting...wraiting for
a music system that dots what
you want ata price you c.n afford.
You've been waiting while we've
been developing, researching and
perfecting the Soundchaser MX-5,
the next generation of music
peripherals from Passport
Designs. The MX -5 was engineered according to your specifi-
Passport Designs proudly
announces Polvwriter", the new
standard in polyphonic music
printing for personal computers.
Now you can get high quality
music printing without spending a
Polywriter lets anyone get an
accurate printout of whatever they
play on the Soundchaser® keyboard in any desired score format
single treble line, single bass line,
piano score, choral score, treble
line with piano, bass line with
piano and full orchestral score.
Polywriter prints in standard
music notation and accurately
handles note division, seconds,
accidentals, ties, 8vas, flags and
beams, split steming, triplet
brackets, rests, any time signature,
(up to 15 including complex and
asymetrical) any key signature
and transposition.
Polywriter has a full scale editor
that has all the standard editing
features of a word processor as
well as lyrics and chord symbols.
Polywriter is the result of years of
R & D and the answer to all your
music printing needs. Add
Polywriter to Turbo-Traks' ", our
16 oscillator, 16 track recording
software and the Soundchaser
MX -5 becomes the ultimate music
system for your Apple computer.
Computer Music has finally come
cations, designed to atisfy your
needs and priced to fit your
budget. Your wait isiover, but
we're still liçteninct!
keyboard interfaces l o a 16
oscillatcr, single board synthesizer. Stereo output's, keyboard
interface and drum Oync port are
all on -board making he hardware
superbly functional. The MX -5
synthesizer sounds better than
competitive systemq. We
improved the frequency response,
added better channel separation
and advanced the o 'zerall technology. Not only that, ¡but you only
need one slot in youh Apple for the
entire MX-5 systen
For more informatioln contact:
Passpert Designs In
625 Miramontes St.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 USA
(415) 726 -0280
of age.
pple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.
by Paul D. Lehrman
ears ago, it was easy. You
wanted a synthesizer, you went
to your local music shop and
bought one. Whatever you
needed it for on a session
lead lines,
strings, sound effects
there was a
model out there that was right. Most of
the time, of course, the thing sat over in
the corner behind the Wurlitzer electric
waiting for those occasional
clients who wanted to use it, and didn't
have their own.
But things changed as manufacturers
began to offer increasingly sophisticated and complex machines. Although
many of them were supposed to be "user
friendly," in most cases quite a bit of
practice was required to get to know
them, and take best advantage of their
many features. For studios, it wasn't
easy to keep up
it was becoming
increasingly impractical to keep on
hand every piece of equipment that a
client might need, and even more
impractical to let staff spend valuable
time learning how to make them do their
Now things are changing again. With
the introduction of computer-based synthesizers, the functions and capabilities
of many or all of those earlier units
plus, in many cases, the functions of a
lot of other studio equipment
been integrated into self- contained
stand -alone units. "Sequencers" have
evolved into "note files," with polyphonic keyboard memories equipped for
both real -time and off-line recording
and editing. Analog -to- digital conver-
survey of some of the more practical
computer synthesizers now (or soon to
be) on the market, covering a fairly wide
price range, and which we hope will be
of help to the producer and studio owner.
Two caveats are in order: R-e /p is not a
musician's magazine, and so detailed
discussions and subjective judgments of
the musical abilities of the systems are
best found elsewhere in this space we
are putting the emphasis on how the
units relate to the needs of the recording
industry. Also, as in many areas within
the electronics industry, there is a lot of
"R &D by rumor" floating around synthesizer circles, and manufacturers
have gotten into the habit of being very
tight -lipped about future developments.
The author has made a strong effort not
to speculate, which unfortunately
means that some of the information
herein will be rendered obsolete between
deadline and issue date. But, of course,
that's one of the things that makes this
field so exciting.
The Synclavier, made by New England Digital of White River Junction,
Vermont, is probably the best -known
computer synthesizer in the U.S. It was
first introduced in 1977, and has gone
through several major updates. The
basic unit (now known as the Synclavier II) is available with from eight to 32
ters are no longer used just for sound digitally -produced voices, at a price
sampling or "emulation," but can now ranging from $16,650 to $31,650. Up to
be backed up with huge amounts of dig- 128 voices are available on special
ital storage, allowing them to function order. The system uses proprietary digalmost as true digital recorders, com- ital oscillators (two per voice), conplete with multitrack recording, mixing, trolled by a custom computer, whose
and effects.
operating system is written in the XPL
Of course, by no stretch of the imagi- programming language.
nation can any of these machines be
The nature of each voice (called, very
called cheap. Even though they often misleadingly, "partial timbers ") is
cost less than their equivalent in single - determined by balancing 24 harmonics,
task synths and effects units, by and describing a six -parameter envelope for
large they remain beyond the reach of each, an overall envelope, and vibrato
the majority of professional musicians. characteristics (waveform, speed,
But many studios and production depth, and envelope), and choosing
houses, who are bften better able to from among several other functions
afford them, have been investigating including four portamento schemes,
computer synthesizers
not only as chorusing, and FM harmonic generanifty toys (which they certainly are), but tion.
as ways to streamline the work process,
Up to 32 voices can be triggered with
increase flexibility, and draw clients.
each keystroke. The five -octave keyUnfortunately, what with new pro- board also features up to eight splits,
duct, it seems, coming on the market (or and automatic repeat and arpeggiation.
at least being announced) almost daily, Optional foot pedals and switches can
it's still not easy to keep up with what's be plugged in to address many of the
available. Even for a specialist, staying effects. The octave ratio of the keyboard
on top of all of the new developments can be modified, and non -equal scale
can be a full-time gig. Hardware manu- settings are available. Another option
facturers are born and die, and those provides stereo outputs.
that flourish are continuously modifyThe keyboard unit (called the "Calving and upgrading their product. Many ier") includes a panel of 128 buttons,
spectacular machines you may have each of which addresses a control funcseen or heard about have actually been tion. Parameters are adjusted by a sincustom -made for one performer or stu- gle large knob and a four -digit LED readio, and are unsuitable for mass produc- dout. Besides the formidable real -time
tion, or they exist only in prototype form capabilities of the Synclavier, there is
or on the drawing board, never to also on board a 16 -track "recorder,"
become commercially available.
with capacity for up to 32 voices on each
What follows in this article is a brief track, and full editing facilities, includ-
December 1983
D R -e /p 109
ing solo, pause, track bouncing,
independently -variable pitch and speed,
16 independent loops, transposition,
and sync to an external drum machine
or tape recorder. An "external clock in"
port reads pulses to trigger the unit's
sequencer; any type of discrete pulse,
including the beat of a live drummer,
can be used. "External sync in" is
driven by a 50 -Hz sync pulse that can be
laid on tape or film. An option to read
SMPTE timecode is currently under
All functions of the machine can be
stored on 51/4 -inch or 8 -inch floppy disks,
or for more room and faster access, on a
Winchester hard -disk system can be
backed up with a Kennedy digital tape drive system.
Synclavier's Terminal Support
Option (about $7,000, including a DEC
VT100 graphics terminal with typewriter keyboard, an extra floppy -disk drive,
and software licenses), introduced in
1980, extends the power of the system
considerably. It includes a music language called Script that allows for precise off-line synthesis and editing from
the terminal keyboard. The CRT displays each track on a separate musical
staff, complete with key and time signatures and tempo markings. (Compositions entered on the piano keyboard can
be converted into Script files, as well.)
While in this mode, musical timings
can be entered,
start, stop, speed
allowing precise synchronization to
audio and videotape recorders or mag
dubbers. An adjustable "Frames Per
Second" feature allows the user to specify timing events in frame numbers.
The option also provides real -time
display of all synthesizer functions on
the terminal, either in graphic or alphanumeric format. A third program allows
the adventurous composer to write his
or her own composition programs, using
a language called MAX, which is an
extended version of XPL.
Scores created with the terminal can
be printed out on a Prism dot-matrix
printer in standard musical notation,
complete with dynamic and tempo
markings and alphanumeric cues, in a
variety of score functions.
Then there is the Sample-to-Disk
option, introduced in 1982. Using 16 -bit
analog -to- digital and D/A convertors at
a sampling rate of up to 50 kHz, real
sounds can be entered, modified and
edited (using digital filters), and then
played back either right from the disk or
with the keyboard. The keyboard can
trigger as many as 12 separate sounds,
effectively making the system a real time sound -effects library. In its simplest form, using a single five-Mbyte Winchester disk, the system can store 50
seconds of sound; with eight 40 -Mbyte
aunts on line, tine capacity goes up to
R -e/p 110 0 December 1983
PIED Synclavier II, with optional
guitar interface shown below.
A four -voice polyphonic version of the
sampling program is planned for realease early in 1984, followed by an "Nvoice" version, which won't use Winchester disks for storage, but will
require something bigger and faster
although what that device will be has
not yet been determined. Prices will be
substantial. The company is also working on a method of dumping the output
signal directly to a digital recorder, with
no intervening analog process.
The latest option is the Guitar Interface, which takes advantage of a device
built into the Roland GR Series of guitars for reading pickup output. Synclavier's option converts the pitches to digital periods (not voltages), and lets the
guitar take over the functions of the
keyboard: it triggers and tracks all of
the notes, and can even read dynamics
and pitch -bend. Synthesized and
straight guitar sounds can be mixed in
the Synclavier's output. A very convincing demonstration of the system was
given at the recent New York AES Convention last October by Pat Metheny.
Obviously, the Synclavier is an
extremely versatile unit, with applications that cover the entire recording
industry, but with all the bells and whistles it becomes somewhat expensive; a
full -blown system can easily top
$100,000. In its simplest form, however,
the instrument is within the reach of
many studios. Fully loaded, the Synclavier is a truly formidable production
tool, although for now only the largest
and best-capitalized multimedia houses
can really afford it.
The Australian -made Fairlight CMI
(Computer Musical Instrument) has
been around in one form or another
since 1975, when it was introduced as
the Qasar. In many ways, the Synclav-
ier and the Fairlight are moving
whereas the
towards each other
former started as a synthesizer and
recently added sampling, the latter
gained notoriety as an emulation
machine and has since improved its
manipulation and synthesis capabilities. The basic CMI unit ($22,000 for four
voices, $27,750 for eight) consists of a
six -octave touch-sensitive piano keyboard, a digital processor with two 8inch floppy -disk drives and a built -in 20watt power amplifier, an alphanumeric
keyboard with a 15 -inch video monitor,
and a light pen.
The Fairlight sampling software is
designed to take maximum advantage
of available memory. The input sampling rate is continuously variable from
2.1 kHz to 30.2 kHz (output sampling
goes as high as 150 kHz), and the sampling time varies inversely from 0.5 to 8
nana o Th.> ^nm*'uter ^h^nCP° an input
When Your
Automatic Drummer
And Your Sequencer
Technology is terrific, but
by 1/2 its value to get syncopation without reprogramming!
MINI DOC has everything right where you want it. All inputs
and outputs are "front panel" and MINI DOC mounts in the
standard 19" EIA rack.
timing troubles can tear
you and your techno -band
apart. At Garfield Electronics,
we have just the right Doctor for
your timing trauma.
MINI DOC uses standard cables and plugs, 5 pin DIN and
standard phone jacks. You won't need custom cables.
For $595, MINI DOC SIMULTANEOUSLY co-ordinates timing
for Roland, Oberheim, Sequential Circuits, Linn, Korg, Moog,
E -mu, Synclavier, Fairlight, Simmons, Wave PPG, MXR, and
anybody else who speaks their timing code languages.
MINI DOC is simple. Select a master unit, and get it's clock
output to the MINI DOC front panel input. Plug in, and all 7
MINI DOC timing outputs will be active at the same time!
Each output has enough "sock" to drive 4 units.
Can't remember which output language your master "speaks "?
No problem. MINI DOC has a complete list of who goes where
and who gets what right on the top! After MINI DOC cures
your timing troubles, he still has some strong medicine left!
MINI DOC outputs a RUN -STOP signal. You won't have to
reset by hand. MINI DOC has TWO arpeggiator clock circuits,
with independent controls for clock rate and trigger waveform
polarity. Reverse the polarity to "offset" the selected clock rate
$595 MINI DOC in action, call or
write Garfield Electronics for the location of your nearest dealer.
For a demonstration of the
P.O. 1941,
Burbank, California 91507
Mini [lac
Garfield Electronics
(213) 840 -8939.
1984. Garfield Electronics
® aq 4
Our Only Business Is Getting Your Act Together.
For additional information circle #157
December 1983
R -e /p 111
sampling rate that is an integral multiple of the sound's fundamental frequency, so that the wave can be
"looped" (sustained) indefinitely without glitches. Since each voice uses its
own hardware card, multiple sampling
rates are used in the polyphonic mode.
Resolution is only eight bits, but various
schemes, including bit-packing and
word -ganging, are used to provide a
signal -to-noise ratio of 85 dB.
Once a sound is loaded into the Fair light's memory (the instrument is furnished with a library of some 450
about 20 instruments fit on
each disk), it can be manipulated in a
variety of ways. Each sound can be
assigned various control parameters,
such as volume, envelope, pitch, vibrato,
sustain (which loops the sample), and
portamento, which can then be accessed
automatically or with foot pedals, faders, or the touch -sensitivity function on
the piano keyboard.
The waveforms themselves can be
turned around on themselves or merged
and balanced with other sounds to
create new waveforms, and can even be
redrawn with the light pen. The light
pen also allows mapping of 32 harmonics, each with its own envelope.
Once the waves are completed, they
can be played in real-time on the main
keyboard or on a slave keyboard. An
internal polyphonic 50,000 -note sequencer can be loaded from the piano keyboard, or by using the typewriter keyboard and the included Music Composition Language software. Lines entered
in real time can be edited and corrected
A new development (now part of the
main package) is the Real -Time Com-
poser. This program can arrange up to
eight voices in 256 patterns, and access
eight of them at a time to be performed,
edited, or looped, all while the machine
is playing.
For more complex arrangements, the
Fairlight can be triggered by an external sync pulse, so that it can then dump
note files in sync onto a multitrack tape
deck. A click track with separate output
is provided. Each voice card has its own
balanced audio output so that voices
can be processed (EQ, delay, reverb, etc.)
Options available include a SMPTE
interface card, various printer and plotter packages for recording screen graphics or transcribing note files, and an
Analog Interface Controller for reading
data from external analog devices, such
as a guitar or analog synthesizer. A
MIDI interface is also being developed.
The Fairlight's chief advantage
seems to be that it is relatively fast,
which is partially due to the new compo-
R -e /p 112 D December 1983
sition software, but also since the basic
sonic materials are real sounds, the
time-consuming procedures of analyzing and reconstructing waves can be
avoided. The disadvantages of sampling a single sound and replaying it at
various pitches (at the extremes, such
sounds never sound real) are at least
partially overcome by the system's
waveform -merging capabilities. Although the Fairlight is only capable of
producing eight voices at a time, it is
flexible and fast enough to be able to
produce full- sounding orchestrations
quickly in a studio environment.
Developed in Toronto by a team led by
musician and computer designer David
McLey, and considered by many a likely
candidate for inclusion in the "super synth trinity" after its introduction at
the 1981 New York AES Convention,
the McLeyvier unfortuntely soon
dropped from sight. There were several
possible reasons for this initial failure,
but the one that seems most likely is
that, while the company had developed
a superb music -notation program using
a high -speed graphics plotter, the
sounds that the $50,000 digitally controlled analog machine made were
reportedly not very good.
Although the unit is still available in
highly limited quantities (one disgruntled member of the original team
claims that it comes without any support, but this appears to be rather an
overstatement), in the meantime a new
team, headed by New York electronic music composer and instrument
designer Laurie Spiegel, is taking off
from the original McLeyvier to build a
totally new machine, designed for the
ultimate in compositional and orchestrational flexibility. It is tentatively
named the IMP, standing for Interactive Music Processor.
The IMP uses a keyboard, equipped
with a new optical velocity-sensing feature designed for better accuracy and
reliability than mechanically -based
continued on page 117..
The EFFECTRON- II is an enhanced
EFFECTRON. We have added many features
FROMper our customers suggestions.
These features depend on Model and Include Increased
flanging range, external Infinite repeat,
Increased Input range, stereo output and even
lower prices!
The EFFECTRON II series Is still the only low
cost, full bandwidth ;16KHZ), high performance line of digital delay processors. Visit your
local dealer and check it out !!!
Listen and
ADM -1024
Second Delay
IAA Fµ105
ADM -64
Flanger /Doubler
ADM -256
Second Delay
'Manufacturers Suggested Retell
Music & Electronics ... Naturally!
New York
Los Angeles
Fairlight was not only the world's first Computer Musical Instrument
(CMI)* it is now the world's leade! It is a musical production system
with the most advanced software, researched and refined to offer the
innovative musician /producer virtually limitless sonic and
compositional possibilities, simply and practically. It is designed to
inspire, and to capture inspiration. An idea can become a reality and
finally a piece of music - arranged, voiced and recorded.
Now, Fairlight is supported in North America with training
centres in New York and Los Angeles. Visit a fully equipped training
and production studio to explore the possibilities of this amazing
musical production system which is consistently breaking new ground
for tomorrow's music makers.
Fairlight research and development facility, probably the largest
in its field, has eight years experience in the computer music industry
and constantly provides hardware and software enhancements to
keep your equipment ahead.
Take the Fairlight Series II option for example, with 85 Db
Dynamic Range, 20 to 20 KHz bandwidth and a tenfold improved
transient response -a R.A.M. based waveform sampling system with
extraordinary live control capabilities. Or the Real -time composer almost certainly the most powerful computer aided composition
facility available.
If all this sounds impressive when you use the Fairlight, you'll
see why in the serious professional market, it is by far the world's
largest selling Computer Musical Instrument'.
For more information and our owners list call Jim Roberts in Los
Angeles (213) 470 -6280 or Alec Noyes in New York (212) 219.2656.
Dealer enquiries welcome.
For additional information circle #72
Fairlight Instruments Inc. 2945 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064.
v,, temsintheoverUSS
10. 000pricerange. Theeterm 'CMI'wascoinedtodenoteasound
uno lu
dalsynthesisandcomputeraidedconiposition production capability uanuetegratedsystem
Think of EV
as your
mike expert.
The RE20.
There's a reason
it has become
a studio standard.
The lack of a consistent "studio sound"
is a problem many broadcast engineers
wrestle to overcome every day. The
simplest and often least expensive way of
establishing and maintaining this
consistent sound is the use of a
professional -quality studio microphone.
The RE20, for example, is uniquely
suited to eliminating the sonic variables
caused by different mike techniques.
"Single-D" microphones have
proximity effect. The RE20 doesn't, and
its unique dual -tube Variable-D design
not only assures uniform frequency
response independent of working
distance but also regardless of the
talent's position within the cardioid
pickup pattern.
The RE20 also eliminates the vocal
inconsistencies often heard in post
production when studio voice -overs are
added to tapes recorded in the field with
omnidirectional mikes.
a gUltan company
R -e /p 116
December 1983
For additional information circle #73
If a consistent "studio sound" is your
objective you should consider the
Electro -Voice RE20.
Many Electro -Voice Professional
Microphone Dealers can arrange a
hands -on trial at no cost to you. For
more information please contact your EV
dealer or write to: Greg Silsby, Market
Development Manager/Professional
Markets, Electro -Voice, Inc., 600 Cecil
Street, Buchanan, Michigan 49107.
with digitally -controlled analog filtering, and it offers many of the features of
the pure digital machines at a reasonable price.
The PPG comes in two parts: the
Wave 2.2 ($7,950), which is a standalone five-octave, 16 -voice keyboard
synthesizer, and the Waveterm ($8,950),
an add -on computer.
The keyboard unit has nearly 2,000
waveforms on board, organized into 30
tables of 64 each. Generally, each synthesizer voice uses two oscillators but, if
desired, all 64 waves in a table can be
accessed, in any order, with each keystroke. Parameters can be set with a
numeric keypad, and are shown on an
80- character LCD display.
Three sets of front -panel envelope
controls double as filter controls, and
can even serve as a mixing console for
the built -in 1,000 -note, eight -track
sequencer. The mix can be automated as
well, with no external equipment. The
sequencing program allows lines to be
one at a time, or polyphonically
and edited. In addition, the
voice parameters can be adjusted after
recording, and the adjustments stored
in memory.
The Waveterm is a dual -8 -inch floppy disk drive unit with video screen, based
around a 6809 processor. The programming is divided into several "pages."
One page creates waveforms by additive synthesis of the first 32 harmonics,
either over a sine wave or over a
systems. It contains 16 individually programmable digital oscillators, with
room for expansion. Audio sampling is
m handled by the oscillator boards, using
Q, a 16 -bit First -In- First -Out scheme with a
48 -kHz sampling rate. Waves are stored
° in extra -large 2 -Kbyte tables. Also on
board are eight -bit A -to -D convertors for
u custom
interfacing of analog control lers, such as joysticks or pedals.
For now, the heart of the system is the
original McLey-modified DEC 16 -bit
PDP -11/23 minicomputer, but Spiegel
eventually hopes to put on line a Motorola 68000, as well as several other processors that will make the system more
modular and efficient. Storage is
handled by a 10- Megabyte Winchester
disk. "Everything you have ever done
with the machine is on -line in real time,'
Spiegel says. A SMPTE timecode reader
and generator are built in.
The original scoring program, whose
high quality caused quite a stir at AES,
will remain available, but other options
are being developed, including user programmable graphics that will allow
truly exotic notation and editing
According to Spiegel, the most important feature of the IMP is that it is being
designed around a brand -new programming language, somewhat similar
in structure to FORTH or BASIC, that
will allow the user to customize to a
great degree the synthesis and notation
programs. For example, FM synthesis,
waveshaping, sampling, and digital filtering might be available for different
voices all at the same time. The original
McLeyvier had 180 computer commands; the IMP starts from there and
allows the user to create an infinite
number of new commands that can be
used for abstract and algorithmic composition, as well as to redefine performance and recording functions.
"It's like a word processor," Spiegel
offers. "It can manipulate musically
meaningful units, not just individual
events. It can work like a multitrack
tape recorder, but it doesn't have to; a
composer can play a series of chords,
and then go back and re- orchestrate
each note individually." In addition,
any programming structures for synthesis, editing,, or notation that a user
designs can be stored on a floppy disk
and loaded into another machine at
another location.
It's going to be a while before you can
see a working IMP: "Something demonstrable will be available by February,"
says Spiegel, and a commercial unit
should be out within a month or two
after that date. Because the price of
hardware has fallen so much since the
original McLeyvier was introduced, the
new unit should come in at a much more
resonable cost than its predecessor;
Spiegel predicts it will run between
$25,000 and $30,000.
The latest entry in the do -it-all synthesizer sweepstakes is a German
machine, PPG, that has been available
in America only since last March. It is a
hybrid, combining digital synthesis
wishes to announce
the union of
Audio & Video
when: 1984
where: Redwood City,
Avid is a fully integrated
24 track recording studio/video
postproduction complex.
(415)593 -3919
December 1983
R -e /p 117
at a time, and will interface with MIDI,
is being developed.
At the low end of the price spectrum is
the A1phaSyntauri, made by Syntauri
Corporation of Los Altos, CA. Unlike
the Chroma, Synclavier, and PPG, the
Alpha is totally dependent on its com-
Pratt -Reed keyboard, which also plugs
puter: it uses an Apple II for storage,
manipulation, and synthesis. The heart
of the hardware is a pair of circuit cards
known as the Mountain Computer
Music System, which plug into expansion slots on the Apple. The cards contain 16 digitally- controlled oscillators,
feeding stereo high -level unbalanced
The Alpha comes with either a four octave or a velocity -sensitive five- octave
Apple. The accompanying
breaks down into two main
each on its own disk: Alpha
Alpha Plus is the instrument generation system. Each instrument
occupies two independently -controlled
oscillators. Waveforms can be generated with any of several programs,
among them Quickwave, which balan-
into the
Plus, and
Finally, you can choose a wireless mic to fit the application. The Telex WHM -300, the electret wireless
transmitter mic for uncompromising speech
clarity. Or a Telex WHM -400 dynamic wireless transmitting mic for vocal entertainment with rich, full bodied audio quality.
Both elegantly tapered and
trailing antenna wires. Or select 1
the miniature electret WLM -100
lavalier mic (or any standard
dynamic mic) with our belt pack transmitter.
Combined with the superb
Telex dual diversity* FM
receiver, you'll have a
wireless system that is
as good as any hard
wired mic, and at a
reasonable price.
Write us today for
full details.
Quality products for the Audio Professional
*U.S. Patent No. 4293955. Other patents applied for.
R -e /p 120
December 1983
9600 Aldrich Ave. So.. Minneapolis. MN 55420 U.S.A.
- Office 711. Centre Affaires Paris-Nord, 93153 Le Blanc- Mesnil, France
Europe: Le Bonaparte
For additional information circle X77
Don't let the price fool you. The very
powerful Model 64 Sequencer is a significant new product. Its incredibly low
price is just one example of the benefits
available to musicians from Sequential
Circuits' new generation of easy -to -use
accessory products for synthesizers and
computers. The Model 64 Sequencer is
designed to work with the Commodore
64 personal computer and with
keyboard product that complies with the MIDI specifica-
tion. It also allows you to easily
connect your MIDI equipped
keyboard with any drum bat:
The Model 64 Sequencer expands
your music making capabilities with the
following features:
4000 note storage, including velocity,
pitch bend and modulation amounts
storage of nine independent polyphonic,
real -time sequences of variable length
with up to five overdub tracks available per sequence song composition:
sequences may be linked together
to build up to nine different songs
of variable length auto -correct,
transpose, and playback features save and load to tape
selectable clock pulse,
up to eight settings
available for optimum
drum box interfacing.
P"'wscouEnFA L
ci3clJiEl inc
For more information on the Model 64 Sequencer, send $2.00 to Sequential Circuits, Inc.,
Model 64, 3051 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95134.
December 1983
R -e /p 121
ces 16 harmonics above a base wave;
Draw Wave, which allows you to graphically design waveforms with a pair
of game paddles, or using a 256x256
point or vector map; and Wave, which
lets you mix four basic waves, adding
and balancing an unlimited number of
harmonics as you do so; as well as programs for Hammond B3 -organ simulation and highly -precise pulse generation. Envelopes can be defined for the
finished waves, with six parameters on
one oscillator and four on the c Cher, and
the oscillators can be balanced and
assigned channels.
The completed waves and envelopes
are then arranged into "preset masters"
of 10 instruments, which are stored on
floppy disk (each disk has a capacity of
about a dozen preset masters), and then
called up for use in Metatrack mode. (A
full disk of preset masters is furnished
with the package.) Metatrak allows real time entry of polyphonic voices from the
piano keyboard, which can then be
overdubbed for up to 16 tracks. Several
editing functions are available during
the overdubbing process. Different
instruments can be assigned to each
track so that re- orchestrations are
Keyboard splits can accommodate up
to eight instruments, and multiple
instruments can be played with a single
keystroke. Several special effects are
available, including AM and FM
vibrato, real -time transposition, loop.
ing, etc.
There are facilities for synchronizing
the playback to a drum machine and to
a multitrack tape deck. This last is
accomplished by the system's writing a
digital "start pulse" on the first track,
which it can then recognize and lock up
to on subsequent passes. Optional software packages provide education programs and a music -notation printing
program, which is rather slow and
hardly professional quality (especially
when compared with the McLeyvier),
but nonetheless quite readable.
For about $2,000 (plus the cost of the
Apple II computer), the Alpha does quite
a bit, but its relatively low price does
mitigate a few drawbacks. The system
does not, as yet, support real -sound
sampling in any form, nor can it produce really convincing white noise; as a
result, many percussive sounds are dif-
Channel Octave Band
Graphic Equalizer
The model 4100A features Active, Inductor-Capacitor
(L -C) Tuned Filters. The resonant frequency of each
filter is derived PASSIVELY by a Tuned L -C Pair. This
drastically reduces the number of active devices necessary to build a Ten Band Graphic Equalizer. Only
seven operational amplifiers are in each channel's signal path: THREE in the differential amplifier input;
TWO for filter summation; ONE for input level control;
ONE for the output buffer. The result
"Worst Case" NOISE of any graphic equalizer in the
-90dBv, or better.
R -e /p 122
December 1983
Hand Tuned Filters
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Highest degree of Calibration in the Industry
100% Quality Control Throughout the Manufacturing Process
Instant Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Response to Field Problems.
For additional information circle #79
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512/892 -0752
ficult, if not impossible, to synthesize
(hence the drum -machine interface).
The most significant disadvantage is
the sound quality, which is limited by
two factors: the eight -bit format of the
Apple, which can only provide a certain
level of dynamic resolution and freedom
from noise; and the Mountain cards.
With a sampling rate of 32 kHz, the
card's frequency response should be
good to 16 kHz, but it is all too easy to
drive the on -board oscillators into
serious aliasing, which limits the
amount of high frequencies you can
generate safely. There are indications
that Syntauri will soon be announcing a
solution to this problem.
In practical terms, however, these
limitations will only become apparent
when you try to perform complex arrangements on an unaccompanied Alpha,
and even then you can get away with a
lot. One of the major advantages of the
system (besides cost) is that, being
software -based, it is easily upgradable
as the company developes new programs, or improves existing ones.
new design will eliminate many of the but rather hopes to become a sort of
sonic problems of the Mountain cards.
OEM source of programs for other
It's obvious that, although they were manufacturers' instruments and comdeveloped separately, the Soundchaser puters. Among its first releases will be
and the AlphaSyntauri have turned out The MIDI Network, which will allow
quite similar. While the Syntauri holds recording, overdubbing, and editing on
the edge in flexibility (specifically with several model of synthesizers and drum
regards to waveform -generation, enve- machines with an Apple II computer.
lope control, and the velocity- sensitive
keyboard), the Soudnchaser is a little
faster (both the wavemaking and the
recording programs are on the single
Turbo -Traks disk), and a bit easier for
Audio engineers are generally a skepthe beginner to use.
tical bunch, but at least one demonstraPassport Designs is currently turning tion at New York AES caused nearly
much of its attention to software for everyone to shake their heads in
other instruments, particularly MIDI - amazement: the Kurzweil 250. Still in
equipped products. It doesn't plan to prototype form, the machine's release
implement MIDI on the Soudnchaser,
... continued overleaf
Another system along lines very similar to the AlphaSyntauri is the Sound chaser, from Passport Designs of Half
Mood Bay, CA it also uses an Apple
computer and the Mountain oscillator
cards. One major difference is that the
system is sold on a more modular basis:
the basic package ($1,190) includes a
four -octave keyboard, the Mountain
cards, 50 preset sounds, waveform generation programs, and a four -track
recording system with a capacity of
about 4,400 notes. Sixteen -track recording (called "Turbo- Traks") costs
another $250, and also provides somewhat expanded capacity and a bank of
special effects, including a "digital filter." This is not like a dynamic analog
filter, which changes the sound as a
note progresses, but rather it is a computer subroutine that helps to minimize
aliasing and other digital noise by
allowing you to specify a low -pass cutoff
frequency for each wave during the
wavebuilding process.
Other packages include a system retuner, drum -machine sync, and a fourtrack transcription /printing system.
One Soundchaser program not yet
offered by Syntauri is an off-line composer/editor, useful for musicians with
limited keyboard chops.
Like Syntauri, Passport Designs is
constantly modifying its product, as
evidenced by a recently- announced
upgrade and reconfiguration, scheduled, as we go to press, for December. It
will consist of a new five- octave keyboard, bundled with much of the performance and recording software, and a
custom-designed oscillator system that
will combine the functions of the two
Mountain cards, as well as the keyboard
and drum -machine interface, on a single circuit board. It is hoped that the
are neatly tucked into
this single rack-space all -steel chassis. Each of the six amps can deliver up
to 1 watt perheadset(.5 watts per channel), cepending on the impedance
of the headphones. Ask for a free copy of Rane Note 100 from your
local dealer: it lists the actual SFL that the HC will deliver into some 115
different makes and models of headphones.
unattainable with any other multiple channel headphone amplifier.
Each of the six amps can be driven either from the Master Stereo inputs
or from its own Direct Mono input wh ch automatically bypasses the
master stereo feed. Use any combination of inputs to satisfy a wide
variety of custom applications involving both distributed and independent
programs. The built -in Signal Present LEDs will help you to quickly
determine which channel is handling whicl- program.
Lwso Ai
make the RC 6
easily accessible while rack mounted, for additional control -room patching, or the use of up to 12 headsets from a single HC 6.
The HC 6 delivers an incredible amour- of performance and flexibility for
its size, and its cost only $349 suggested list. Try one out a- your local
Rane dealer.
RANEMounttllakeóTe Tace,
(WA )98043
December 1983
D R -e /p 123
date is uncertain as of this writing,
although it will be soon. The price is up
in the air as well, although it has been
announced at various times to be anywhere between $7,000 and $10,000.
The Kurzweil is basically an emulation machine but, to this writer at least,
it does that task far better than anything available previously. The sound
that the company is most proud of is its
"grand piano" which, as anyone familiar with synthesis knows, is a fiendishly
complicated sound to reproduce.
Although the PA system used during
the AES demonstration left a bit to be
desired, the quality of the Kurzweil's
piano sound was unmistakable.
At the heart of the system are about 60
128Kbyte ROM chips, each of which,
depending on the complexity of the
sound, contains between one and a
dozen "instruments." Because the chips
always remain in the machine (this is
the only unit discussed here that operates on a single chassis), any of the voices can be called up immediately. Voices
can be changed or added by swapping
ROM chips, or by inserting videogamelike cartridges. The velocity-sensitive
piano -sized keyboard can be split into 88
separate instruments. Up to 12 notes
can be sounded simultaneously.
The keyboard is specially designed
and weighted to feel like a real acoustic
piano. Eight real -time slider controls
can be set to adjust any parameters of
the sound model. The machine will come
from the factory with the grand-piano
chips installed, and the purchaser can
specify whichever other instruments he
would like included. The software also
includes provisions for user sampling of
sounds up to five seconds in length, with
adjustable word length and sampling
rate. An option will be available to
extend that sample length to 20 seconds.
The on -board computer includes a
7,500 -note, 12 -track sequencer, with
provisions for editing, track bumping,
transposing, re- orchestration, and
independent speed and pitch change.
The system does not use a CRT
instead, information is shown on a two line-by-24- character LCD display. Provisions are still being developed for
attaching an external computer to provide extra memory for sequences and
sound files, as well as off-line composition and editing. Trigger -sync inputs
and outputs are provided for slaving to
and from other synthesizers, and a 12channel MIDI interface also is included.
Although the ultimate music machine
will fit into a six -foot high 19 -inch rack,
it will not be available at your local
dealers. It will do everything: synthesis,
recording, editing, processing, sweetening, video and film lock and, more than
likely, can be taught to make lunch. It's
the Lucasfilm's Audio Signal Processor,
the result of several years of R &D by the
folks who brought you Star Wars but
this ain't science fiction.
When it is released commercially, the
ASP (a particularly appropriate acronym) will contain a 32 -track digital
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recorder and synthesizer, but outside of
four 300 -Megabyte hard -disk drives, it
will have no moving parts. As if that
weren't revolutionary enough, the system will be useable with any kind of
"front end ": an audio or film mixing
console, a keyboard or touch -pad synthesizer, or even a graphics tablet set up
for totally abstract composition.
The technical details you will have to
look for elsewhere [in particular, refer to
Larry Blake's two -part article on the
sound for Return of the Jedi; October
and this issue
Ed]. Suffice it to say
that the ASP will easily replace any and
all gear now used in any kind of audio
work (except maybe Nagras and the odd
condenser mike), as well as half of the
engineers and musicians who now
make their living from sound recording.
It will be available around Christmas
time of 1984.
R -e /p 124
0 December 1983
The Musical Instrument Digital Interface Explained
by Jeffrey Rona
he producer walks into the control room
and sits down. The people from the cartage service have gone, leaving an array
of synthesizers, drum machines, a small
computer, and several empty styrofoam cups
with cigarette butts in them. The engineer
finishes calibrating the last multitrack channel as the producer reaches into his Anvil
briefcase, and pulls out a 51/4 inch floppy disk.
"Let's cut it," he says in assured tones.
No sooner than the red light on the disk
drive goes off, than the room is alive with
music. Each instrument playing its part in
perfect synchronization with each other. The
horns from the Roland, strings from a
Prophet, and clavinet from a Yamaha. Three
and a half minutes later, it stops. "Perfect.
Vocals tomorrow, and we mix. See you."
Possible? Well, yes and no. Yes, most of
that story is conceivable with MIDI. But no,
not for a little while.
or Musical Instrument Digital
Interface for short
is a new, industry
standard for interfacing electronic instruments. It was created over the past two years
by members of several of the larger synthesizer manufacturers, and arose from a large
public demand that synthesizers of various
makers be more compatible with each other.
That is, if I buy Brand X synthesizer (for a
not -small sum), and later fall in love with and
buy Brand Y, how will I be able to use them
together at the same time? Several people
have spent small fortunes to pursuade synthesizers from different manufacturers to
function together from one keyboard.
Sequencers, the backbone of more than one
hit record, was another concern. If we will
make these keyboards able to "talk" with one
another, how about making them also controllable from the outside word. The answer
to these problems was the creation of MIDI.
Since some form of communications is
necessary to carry out a task like this, it was
realized that such an interface could be patterned after existing computer communications techniques to allow for eventual universal synthesizer /computer links. Those
familiar with computer ASCII code will see
- the author -
Jeffrey Rona
is a composer, arranger synthesist from Los Angeles. He has been heavily involved in computer music as composer,
programmer, writer, and teacher.
big similarities throughout. Performances
done on a MIDI keyboard are converted into
special digital code, the MIDI code. This
code is then sent out the back of the synthesizer through a five -pin DIN plug marked (logically enough) OUT. Any synthesizer picking
up the code through its IN plug can translate
the information back into an identical performance using its own sound equipment.
Further, there is on most MIDI instruments a
THRU plug which allows MIDI to be sent on
to a third, fourth or near infinite number of
instruments (if the room and budget allow).
It is important to realize that MIDI by itself
has no concept of the sounds being produced, or even if it is a synthesizer creating
noises at all. It deals strictly with the operation of the device; what is being done to it.
The code is translated back into the same
sequence of actions. It is up to the user to
think in terms of sounds, patches, etc.
MIDI has several different configurations,
or modes, in which it works. To begin, MIDI
has 16 channels over which it can send data.
As with cable TV and the like, the channels
are sent over the same line, and are "tuned
into" at the receiving end. In MIDI's initial
mode (Omni On /Poly), any information sent
over any channel is received and played by
any synthesizer. In this mode, the output of a
synthesize could be run into the input of a
second one for a master/slave set-up to give a
layering effect. All MIDI synthesizers currently available use this mode exclusively. In
the Omni Off/Poly mode, there is the option
of having different synthesizers daisy chained
together on one line, and each play a separate
channel of music polyphonically. This will be
in a second generation of MIDI instruments
that have the ability to "tune" to the proper
channel. In addition to these two modes there
are two Mono modes for sending individual
note events through the channels. These also
will require special hardware considerations
from the instruments.
With MIDI any synthesizer can be connected to any other synthesizer regardless of
brand, model, number of voices, or any
specs. This already solves many problems.
But to paraphrase the song, "is that all there
is ?" The short scenario at the beginning indicates a resounding "no." MIDI can be linked
very simply to most any small computer
through a MIDI interface. These will be available quite soon from a number of keyboard
manufacturers. Such interfaces will allow
information coming from the MIDI line to be
taken, processed and stored for later retrieval. This has multiple possibilities. Parts can
be generated beforehand and synchronized
with other tracks. Since each key of a keyboard is nothing more than a number to the
computer, it is possible to set up sequences
and other cues in the computer, and have live
musicians be able to trigger them at will without their hands even leaving the keyboard.
This could be useful in both live and recording environments. MIDI interfaces will allow
for simple tape sync, along with multiple
instrument synchronization. It would be a
simple matter if a keyboardist plays a hot
solo, but the sound is wrong, to retake the
exact same solo with any other patch setting.
It will be possible to record fewer tracks, and
leave several instruments to be played live
into the final mixed master, no matter how
many takes are needed. It will be possible, to
a limited degree, to use MIDI to assist in
automating outboard gear during recording
and mixdown (all in sync with the music).
The possibilities with the computer are
limited only by imagination and new hardware. MIDI does not need to be restricted to
keyboards alone, though it was designed for
them. Lexicon, for example, is said to be
coming out with MIDI -compatible devices in
the future. J.L. Cooper Electronics in Marina
del Rey, California, has released an interface
for converting MIDI data into Control Voltages (and CV to MIDI), for control over
other non -MIDI synthesizers and out -board
equipment, or vice versa. As the technology
increases, so will the applications. As the
continued overleaf
The goals and objectives of the newly
setup group are to provide accurate information regarding hardware and software
developments for the MIDI, and to aid and
assist end -users, retailers and manufacturers in MIDI applications. The MIDI User's
Group (MUG) will publish a regularly scheduled newsletter, as well as distribute information on the MIDI specification. A copy of
the latest MIDI specification, Version 1.0, is
available to non -members for $10.00.
Further details can be obtained from: The
MIDI User's Group, P.O. Box 593, Los
Altos, CA 94022. Phone: (408) 253 -4684, or
(213) 768 -7448.
December 1983
O R -e
demand for MIDI increases, so will the technology. We will be seeing numerous unique
MIDI applications beyond keyboard interfacing in the near future.
It is perhaps unfortunate that MIDI is being
so hotly hyped right now, mostly by overly
eager sales people. It is a virgin technology
which, while full of promise, will not be the
near panacea it is being made out to be. As it
matures, and fulfills its own precepts, MIDI
Instrument Digital Interface
(MIDI) specification evolved as a cooperati. a effort by several synthesizer manufacturers
to enable the integration of synthesizers, other
electronic keyboards, sequencers, drum
machines, and home computers into one programmable system. It should be stressed that
MIDI is not just an interconnection scheme; it
also provides a fully -documented operating protocol, and defined instruction set. Via MIDI, synthesizers can be configured "in series," with
instruments played simultaneously or remotely;
entire compositions, consisting of monophonic
and polyphonic sequences and rhythm, can be
played at one touch; a computer terminal can be
used for composing, sequence creation, and
editing; and video synthesis can be integrated
with music synthesis.
To simplify cabling between instruments, the
MIDI interface is serial, and operates at 31.25
kBaud asynchronous. This rate is considered a
high speed for serial operation in comparison
to the typical RS -232 maximum of 19.2 kBaud
-and was chosen to prevent objectionable
delays between equipment; the 31.25 kHz clock
also can be obtained easily from hardware for
example by dividing a 1 MHz master operating
frequency by 32. One serial data byte consists of
a start bit, eight data bits (DO to D7), and a stop
for a total of 10 bits transferred in 320
Physically, MIDI appears as two or three jacks
on the instrument; the connectors are DIN five pin (180- degree) female panel mount receptaThe Musical
cles. However, the specification does provide
that a manufacturer can use XLR connectors, if
the company makes available all necessary conversion cables.
Most MIDI instruments will have two jacks
marked MIDI OUT and MIDI IN. The transmitter data typically originates in the instrument's
UART (see accompanying figure). The interface
circuit is a five milliamp current loop, designed
especially to prevent the formation of audio
ground loops that often develop in complex systems; the output normally is meant to drive only
one input. If transmit data is low (0), current
flows from Vcc ( +5V) through RA, over pin #4 of
both connectors, through the opto- isolator,
returns over pin #5, then through RE. The optoisolator output is normally pulled high by RD.
However, when current flows through the internal LED, the isolator output switch turns on,
grounding VO, thus sending a low to the receiver
UART. When data is high, the LED does not
the receiver UART therefore sees a high.
D1 protects the opto- isolator from reverse-
will be a useful tool for both the musician and
musical engineer. We can only use it, try new
things with it, and stay in touch with the MIDI
manufacturers and programmers to let them
know our findings, ideas, and complaints.
polarity currents that may result from transmitter anomalies.
Interconnect cables should not exceed 50
feet, and should be shielded twisted pair, with
the shield connected to pin #2 of the 5 -pin DIN
plugs at both ends. (While the MIDI OUT jack is
grounded to the instrument chassis, MIDI IN is
not; this allows the cables to provide shielding
without creating ground loops.)
The optional third jack, MIDI THRU, provides a direct copy of data coming in MIDI IN,
and is included when a manufacturer intends the
instrument to operate in a "chain" or "loop"
network, as opposed to a "star" network.
Modes and Channels
The first thing to realize about MIDI is that the
total control features available still depend on
the design of each specific piece of equipment;
MIDI does not transcend equipment limitations
or differences. Rather, it merely enables them to
"communicate" at their "least common" level.
For example, specific programmed sounds cannot be transferred directly between different
models of synthesizers because of inherent
design differences, but keyboard information
and program selections can be communicated.
One of MIDI's design goals was that it be simple
enough to allow connection of any polyphonic
synthesizer to any other, or to a sequencer, and
at the very least the notes would be correctly
played or stored.
Each type of musical equipment has different
minimum requirements. For synthesizers, min-
Editor's Note: The above technical information on MIDI has been abstracted, with permission, from "The Complete SCI MIDI," by Stanley Jungleib, and published by Sequential
Circuits, Inc. ®SCI 1983. We are indebted to
Jeffrey Rona for his valuable rout and guidance
in the preparation of this material.
December 1983
R -e /p 126
PC -900
Omni On /Mono: In this mode, commands are
received over all channels, but they will only
control a single monophonic voice. This allows a
polyphonic device to emulate a monophonic
one, such as a "lead" synthesizer.
Omni Off/Mono: Voice messages are received
monophonically over several channels, each
one controlling a single voice of the receiver.
The number of actual voices is determined by
the third byte of the mono mode command. This
mode disrupts, and takes over, the internal
channel-assignment hardware of the receiver.
270 OHM
220 OHM
220 OHM
220 OHM
220 OHM
Note: Gates "A" are open -collector
TTL or LS.
Resistor are 5'ßb tolerance.
HP 6N138 opto- isolator
may be used with appropriate
component changes.
imal usefulness seems to include remote keyboard control and program switching. While
polyphonic sequencers send and receive keyboard data, they may or may not be interested in
program changes. Monophonic sequencers can
only deal with individual lines, so keyboard data
must somehow be different for them. Digital
drum units usually don't care about specific
keyboard notes, but may need to synchronize to
their timing, or to the sequencer, and perhaps
react to program changes as well.
While most of these requirements and useful
control options can be foreseen, the number of
possible interconnections cannot. Therefore,
although the MIDI specification says that each
transmitter will drive one and only one receiver,
provision has been made so that any specific
instrument or synthesizer voice on the MIDI bus
can be addressed, regardless of the interconnection scheme. This is accomplished by assigning up to 16 channels under increasingly complex modes.
Each unit connected to the MIDI bus has
separate transmit and receive ports. There are
four modes of operation for transmitters and
receivers: Omni On /Poly; Omni On/Mono;
Omni Off/Poly; and Omni Off /Mono. The
standard default mode is Omni On/Poly. The
other modes are used in special situations where
separate control over synthesizers or even voices within an instrument is required.
Omni On /Poly: Upon power -up, all instruments
will be in the default mode of Omni On/Poly.
Regardless of system configuration, in this mode
the instruments will send all data over channel
#1. They can receive Note On /Off events, and
all data bytes sent over any channel. The internal hardware for voice assignment acts as it
normally does to send voice data to the correct
sections of the synthesizer. As a result, Omni
On /Poly mode allows any number of instruments to be connected and play in series. A
receiver's mode can only be changed by a Mode
Select command sent over the current channel(s). If it is not capable of the new Mode, the
command is simply ignored. Even though a
receiver in the Omni On/Poly mode receives all
channels, it will only respond to a Mode Select
command in only one channel: the one to which
it is assigned.
Omni Off/Poly: While Omni On/Poly allows an
instrument to receive data from all channels, in
the Omni Off /Poly mode, it will only receive data
sent over a single channel. The data can still be
polyphonic in nature, but data addressed to
other channels is ignored. Internal channel
assignment is still handled by the instrument's
own hardware in the usual manner. This mode
would allow various instruments connected to
the same line to play completely separate lines.
However, to achieve this the host system would
need to be able to produce the independent
parts, and send them via the separate channels.
Data Format
There are four categories of MIDI data:
Channel, System Common, System Real Time,
and System Exclusive. Each data category
encompasses a number of "status bytes" that
define specific commands under that category,
and which precede data bytes that specify the
exact operation. Status bytes are distinguished
from data bytes according to whether the most significant (MS) bit is set (1= status) or reset
(0=data). The status bytes under each category
are defined below. (It should be noted that any
data sets which are sent successively under the
same status can be sent without a status byte
until a different status byte is needed.)
Channel information performs most of the
routine work. Commands are addressed to specific channels by a four -bit number that is
encoded into the status byte. The associated
data bytes can identify keys going down (on) and
up (off); their on or off velocities; and pressure
or "after- touch" (on keyboards so equipped).
System Common and Real Time information is
intended for all channels in a system: System
Common information identifies song selections,
measure numbers and Tune Request for all
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R -e /p 127 D December 1983
units; Real Time information is used for synchronizing everything (perhaps to a master
sequencer), and for performing Reset functions
to the system. Therefore, Channel and System
Common information can be interrupted by
System Real Time information. System Exclusive information allows the exchange of data
that can be formatted as the manufacturer
wishes; only devices which recognize the manufacturer's format will attend the exchange.
Reset simply initializes all equipment to poweron condition.
The four categories are ordered below
according to their utility (note that, for example,
9nH signifies a general hexadecimal, base -16
number, while 1001nnnn is the binary representation of an 8 -bit byte):
Channel: The most significant four bits of each
Channel status byte define the command, while
the least significant four bits identify the effective
9nH: Note On Event, comprising three, 8 -bit
bytes: 1001nnnn + Okkkkkkk + Ovvvvvvv, where
nnnn is the channel code, 0 -15, corresponding
to channel numbers 1 thru 16; kkkkkkk the key
number (0 -127 for all keyboards, middle C=60,
and all C key numbers are multiples of 12); and
uvuvvuu the Key -on velocity, 0 -127 (1=softest,
127= loudest).
45,00000000.:*W4)0000000- 00000
-- w
+ .+.
P Q404 444-
J.L. Cooper Electronics manufactures two MIDI-to- Control Voltage devices, illustrated above
The Midlnterface lin converts up to eight gates and CVs into MIDI information; for example, to
attach the CV and Gate outs of an Oberheim DSX to drive a MIDI -based synthesizer. The
Midlnterface lout converts MIDI information into up to eight CVs and gates. Options such as cyclical
(Oberheim) or recall (Prophet) assignments, Low-note /High -note output, Pitch bend output,
Modulation output, Mono /Omni Modes, and highlow active gates are available. The Midlnterface II
is a bidirectional unit that converts MIDI /CV in both directions, including velocity information. Also
available is an E -mu Systems Emulator to MIDI modification; the Emulator must be equipped with
RS-232 interface and MIDI software. Full details from: J.L. Cooper Electronics, 2800 South
Washington Blvd., Marina Del Rey, CA 90292. (213) 827 -4884.
8nH: Note Off Event, comprising three, 8 -bit
bytes: 1000nnnn + Okkkkkkk +Ovvvvvvv, where
uvuvùuu is the Key -off (release) velocity, 0 -127.
AnH: Polyphonic Key Pressure, comprising
three, 8 -bit bytes: 1010nnnn + Okkkkkkk +
Ovvvvvvv, where vvvvvvv is the Pressure /Aftertouch value, 0 -127.
BnH: Control Change, comprising three,
eight -bit bytes: 1011nnnn + Occccccc +
Ovvvvvvv, where ccccccc is the Control
address, 0 -127 currently, the controllers are not
specifically defined; continuous controllers,
including the Pitch Bender, are divided into
Most and Least Significant Bytes. If only 7 bits of
resolution are needed for a specific controller,
only the MSB is sent. If more resolution is
needed, then both are sent, first the MSB, then
the LSB.); and vvvvvvv the Control value, 0 -127
(pitch benders should range from 0 -127, with 64
being center -no pitch bend; other controllers
will range from 0= minimum to 127= maximum).
The manufacturer may assign the logical controllers to physical ones as needed. A controller
allocation table must be provided in the user's
CnH: Program Change, comprising two,
eight-bit bytes: 1100nnnn + Oppppppp, where
ppppppp is the Program number, 0 -127.
DnH: Channel Pressure, comprising two,
eight-bit bytes: 1101nnnn + Ovvvvvvv, where
vvvvvvv is the Channel pressure/after -touch
amount, 0 -127. (For mono mode the channel,
rather than key, is identified.)
EnH: Pitch Wheel Change, comprising three
eight -bit bytes: 1110nnnn + Ovvvvvvv +
Ovvvvvvv, where vvvvvvv is the value of the
pitch bender in Least Significant and most Significant bytes. The sensitivity of the wheel will be
determined by the receiver. The center position
of the wheel (no change) is 2000H, which would
be sent as EnH-00H -401-1.
System Exclusive: A format has been defined for
System Exclusive information, consisting of a
two -byte preamble, the data itself, and a onebyte end code. The purpose of this format is to
provide for the transmission of data that may be
December 1983
R-e/p 128
useful to any two instruments from one manufacturer, but uninterpretable to other MIDI bussed devices. An "End Of Exclusive" (EOX)
or any Status byte, except Real -Time, will terminate a System Exclusive message, and should
always be sent immediately at its conclusion.
Format: FOH + Olunu + data + F7H, where FOH
is the status byte, and must be followed by
manufacturer's identification number; Oman the
manufacturer's ID #, 0 -127 (current ID numbers
are Sequential Circuits 01H, Big Briar 02H,
Octave/Plateau 03H, Moog Music 04H, Passport Designs 05H, Lexicon 06H, Oberheim 10H,
Bon Tempi 20H, S.I.E.L. 21H, Kawai 40H,
Roland 41H, Korg 42H, and Yamaha 43H); data
any number of bytes (MSB must be set to zero,
otherwise it will signal a new status byte; data
can range 0 -127); and F7Han End -of -Block code
that terminates System Exclusive status. In no
case should other data or status codes be interleaved with System Exclusive data, regardless of
whether or not the ID code is recognized.
System Real Time: These codes control the
entire system in real time, and are used for synchronizing sequencers and rhythm units. To
maintain timing precision, SRT codes can be
sent between any System Common or Channel
data sets that consist of two or more bytes. SRT
statuses are intended for all channels, and recognized by all units using the interface. If the
functions specified are not implemented, they
are simply ignored: F8H Timing -Clock, and is
sent while the transmitter is in Play mode, the
system being synchronized with this clock sent
at a rate of 24 clocks per quarter note; F9H is
Undefined; FAH Start -From- 1st -Measure is
sent immediately when the Play button on the
master (e.g. sequencer or rhythm unit) is hit;
FBH Continue is sent when the Continue button (on the master) is hit
a sequence will
restart from the point where the sequence
stopped on the last Timing -Clock; and FCH
Stop, a byte that is immediately sent when the
stop switch is hit on the master sequencer. The
sequence is stopped: FEH Active Sensing is
used optionally for both receivers and transmitters. It is a "dummy" status byte that is sent
every 300 milliseconds (max) when there is no
other MIDI activity. If the receiver is expecting
the FEH command, it can shut off voices until it
receives an FEH or other data.
System Common information is intended for all
channels in a system: F 1 H Undefined; F2H Song
Position Pointer is made up of three bytes, F2H
+ 01111111 +Ohhhhhhh, where and h represent low
and high bytes of a number. The Pointer is an
internal register that holds the number of MIDI
beats (1 beat =6 MIDI clock counts) since the
start of the song. It will start at 0, and then
increment once every six MIDI clock cycles until
stop is hit. It can be set to any arbitrary number
by setting the Song Position Pointer. F3H Song
Select, comprising two, 8 -bit bytes, F3H +
Osssssss, the data byte coding the 7 -bit song
number; F4H Undefined; F5H Undefined; and
F6H Tune Request, which initiates synthesizer
tune routines.
System Reset initializes the entire system to the
condition of just having power switched on: FFH
System Reset. This code should be used sparingly, preferably under manual command only.
(In particular, it should not be sent automatically
on power up, since it could cause two units
connected together to endlessly reset each
It should be noted that the information provided above was issued on August 5, 1983, and
represents the current MIDI specification.
Further enhancements may be included at a
future date Ed.
_...- ._..._
--- --- --
- --
:Note On Event on the first channel ((I)
;Fitch of middle 'c' (60)
:Velocity of 64 (mf) - (Note On)
;Fitch of 'e' above moddle 'c' (64)
:Velocity also 64 (mf)
;-- -(time laq to next event)
;Pitch of 'a' (69) (will carry to next note)
:Velocity of 20 (p)
('time laq to next event)
;Pitch of 'q' (67)
.Velocity of
(short time lag to next event)
;Fitch of 'a' (691
;Velocity of
(Note Off)
-(time lag to next event)
;Pitch of 'g' (67
;Velocity of f) (Note Off)
-- (time laq to next event)
;Fitch of
above middle 'c' (72)
;Velocity of 48 (a little louder)
--- (short
time laq)
;Fitch of
;'Velocity of b (Note Off)
(tome laq to next. event)
;Pitch of middle
,Velocity it (Note Off)
;Fi.tc.h of 'e'
above moddle 'c" (64)
;Velocity 0 (End of first chord)
-(time lag to next event)
Program Change in first channel (0
;Call Patch #2
-- -(time laq to next event)
;Pitch of high 'd' (74)
:Velocity of 86 (f)
-- -(time laq to next event)
:Fitch of high 'd' (74)
:Velocity 0 (Note Off)
--)time lag to next event)
;Pitch of high 'e' (76)
:Velocity of 80 (f)
--(time lag to next event)
:Fitch of' high 'e' (76)
,Velocity of 0 (Note Off)
- - --
- - --
- - - --
-- --
The new MPU -401 MIDI Processing Unit will be made available with all communications protocol necessary to
develop computer /music software. It is hoped that the dissemination of such information will aid in the independent
development of new software programs and new computer/music applications.
Currently available for the MIDI Processing Unit are two software programs, one for the Apple II and one for the IBM
PC. Each of these programs enable up to eight different musical instruments to be controlled for performance (each
one playing a completely different multivoice musical part) by one computer. Not only does the MPU -401 Interface
allow such multiple instrument connections (up to 16 separate channels) but, because it is intelligent, it also enables the
computer to perform completely different functions while the music is playing, such as program save, load, or other
functions such as on- screen graphics.
One of the most significant aspects of the Roland DG MIDI Interface is the relatively low price ($175), and modularity
of the system. By utilizing existing microcomputers, and simultaneously using an interface found on many reasonably
priced musical instruments, the new instruments and software applications can be added at will by the user.
For more information, contact: Roland DG Corporation, 7200 Dominion Circle, Los Angeles, CA 90040. (213)
685 -5141.
ME o
R -e /p 129
December 1983
s more and more sophis
home television
equipment appears
. "
market, the quality of television
has come under increased sçrutin by
professionals and consumers alike. In
the wake of innovations such as component TV systems and stereo television
sound, video technicians across the
board from networks to independent
stations to post- production facilities
are taking a close look at their operations. While some are seeking new
equipment to improve their audio capabilities, others are looking into new
ways of using existing hardware, developing techniques to meet the latest
demands of audio for video.
Television's increased audio potential
can be traced back several years to two
by Adrian Zarin
technological advances, now considered
to be industry standards. One was the
advent of one -inch videotape. Along
with improved frequency response and
signal -to -noise ratios, one-inch tape
with its two available audio channels,
plus code tracks brought the capacity
of recording stereo sound for television
and video productions. Added to this,
the ascendancy of satellite and microwave technology over the old Telco 5
kHz landline transmission system has
ensured that the higher quality audio
achieved with one-inch videotape could
be transmitted to home audiences.
Audio and the Networks
In terms of both new equipment and
the development of new techniques, all
three networks have been active in the
audio field recently. Equipment rosters
at the various network production centers indicate a tendency to adopt technology developed originally for the
particumusic recording industry
larly in the area of signal processing. As
for mixing consoles to be found in major
broadcast production studios, preferences are split between boards designed
specifically for television sound and
those that have made a name for themselves in the record industry, but which
have been modified, of course, for the
special requirements of TV audio
At ABC's Los Angeles facility, preparation for coverage of the 1984 Olympics has involved the acquisition of several new items of audio equipment. This
recent upgrade included three Ward
Beck consoles for three of the four production studios at the network's East
Hollywood complex. Flexibility was one
of ABC's main criteria in selecting the
consoles. Production audio for video
differs from the typical music recording
session by in placing more demands on
the console in terms of bussing and
directing signal flow. The complexities
of providing various different monitor
(or foldback) mixes, feeding a house PA
system for studio audiences, and incorporating taped sources such as prerecorded music and commercials into television productions, necessitate a
console that can be readily patched and
repatched as required. For ABC, Ward
Beck television audio consoles answered this need.
"We bought our first Ward Becks in
about 1976," says ABC engineering
director Don McCrosky. "Before that,
our three large production consoles were
ones made by McCurdy. They are still in
use and very popular, but they are not
an in -line type of console; it was more of
a building block type of approach with
separate attenuators and separate
equalizers not in -line with the console
[input channel strip]."
The three new Ward Beck consoles
selected by ABC are equipped with 36
Model 460M input modules, which are a
minor variation on the company's 460L
modules. "The only difference is the
December 1983
R -e/p 130
The new 300 Series Audio Production Console has been specifically designed to complement the latest audio and video technology. It's the only
console in its class, offering mono or stereo inputs each available with or
without equalization, output submastering, audio-follow -video capability,
a comprehensive user -programmable logic system, and a wide range of
accessories for custom tailoring to your specific requirements. Available
now. Call us collect for further information.
auditronics. inc.
3750 Old Getwell Rd.
Memphis.TN 38118 USA
Tel: (901) 362 -1350
Telex: 533356
For additional information circle 483
li r
On Line Editing
Film Style Remote Truck
60 x 75 Foot Studio
Multi Track Recording Capability
Digital Video Effects
Audio Sweetening
Experienced Professional Staff
NEW-3/4" to
On Line Editing
Call us for a tour or more information.
(415) 591 -0156
Eureka Teleproduution Center
1250 San Carlos Avenue, Suite 302
San Carlos, CA 94070
It speaks for itself.
take off point for public address, isolated feed, and the take off point for
solos and so forth, which, depending on
the use of the studio, people prefer in
different ways," McCrosky explains.
Each input module has two types of
outputs; there are left and right outputs
which are assignable to four masters.
This assignment is a customization of
the original Ward Beck design, according to Roy W. Rising, audio systems
engineer/production mixer for ABC.
"Those outputs called left and right," he
explains, "which come out of the panpot
when the panpot is in circuit, would
the way Ward Beck wires
things up go to odd and even multitrack outputs. We have instead assigned
them to the master channel services, of
which there are four."
Each input module also has an assignable direct output, which provides a
recordable signal from each input
channel, and /or to any of 16 submix
channels. The submix channels are
used to group multiple inputs into a single channel, which then can be assigned
to one of the four masters.
The masters, in turn, feed a combination of left, right and mono outputs from
the console. In this way, the left and
right outputs can be fed any combination of the four masters. The mono output, however, can be fed any combination of the four masters and /or the left
and right outputs. "If we wanted a true
L +R = Mono output, we could have that,"
Rising explains. "Or we can have a sort
of replica mono, which has the same
inputs going into it as the left and right
channels, but is not actually a combination of the left and right channels."
In addition, the console has eight auxiliary sends. Normally, four of these are
used as feeds to the studio floor for monitoring/ house PA purposes, and four
are used as effects sends. Each of the
auxiliary sends, however, can be used
for any purpose desired.
Summing up the console design, Rising says, "[the Ward Beck] has a lot of
capacity in a small space. The main
thrust of it is not to have dedicated masters and submasters, which are often
wasted because they can only perform
one function."
To accommodate more than 36 inputs,
Ward Beck 26x16 auxiliary mixers are
used. To make the add -on mixers as
compact and mobile as possible,
McCrosky had them built tipped
upward so that they stand vertically.
The only design modification this
necessitated was substituting rotary
pots for sliding faders. "It's easier to
turn a knob blind and know how far
you've gone than it is to operate a fader
blind," Rising offers. "Also gravity
tends to pull sliders down when you
push them up."
Video production's greatest areas of
indebtedness to the music recording
industry are probably tape machines
and signal processing devices. ABC is
no exception here. "There's really very
little deliniation between audio
recorders and broadcast recorders,"
says McCrosky. "We've used Ampex
recorders for a long time, and we also
use the same power amplifiers as the
music recording industry."
In terms of special effects devices,
prominent pieces at ABC's production
studio control rooms include UREI Little Dipper filter sets, Lexicon 224 digital
reverbs, EMT plates and AKG springtype reverberation units. Production
staffs have mixed preferences, according to McCrosky, when it comes to
reverb units. "Some people are diehards
and insist on the EMTs," he says, "But
there's always a problem because
there's never any place to put them
Most people, though, are very happy
with the 224s."
Unlike ABC, CBS chose to go with
Neve recording studio consoles when it
upgraded the audio production facilities
at its Television City complex in Los
Angeles some five years ago. While the
network, as a matter of company policy,
declined to provide specific details of its
audio equipment, CBS engineering spokesman Dwight Morris, based in New
York, did indicate that the network currently is in the midst of an audio
upgrade in its nationwide facilities.
"We're upgrading our facilities to
reflect an increasing demand for audio
quality on the part of some of the production people," Morris states. "In our
studios, we use Neve consoles, which
we're rebuilding here in New York. We
have a seven -facility studio in New
York, and a four-facility studio in Los
Angeles. We've also got five television
stations around the country with various things installed there."
As for NBC, the network relies heavily on custom -made audio equipment in
the major production studios at its Burbank, California, complex. The area
houses four large audience participation production studios, and a medium-
sized studio for taping situation comedies. Each of these studios employ iden-
tical custom -built audio consoles,
according to NBC audio engineer Ron
"All the audio boards here were
designed and built by NBC about 15
years ago," Estes explains. "While that
was a long time ago, they put a lot of
thinking into the boards. I don't believe
I've ever seen a television audio board
this flexible. There is also a huge
custom -made jack panel accompanying
each board that has over a thousand
holes. You can swap modules, mult signals, jump modules, move modules, or
do whatever you need to do with this
jack panel. The flexibility is great for
TV production, where you have to send
six or seven different kinds of feeds to
the floor or to the PA system, to the fold back system, people monitoring headphones; things like that. It's quite a
mess of things to get around."
Each of the NBC -built consoles at the
Burbank complex has 53 simultaneous
inputs. These inputs are assignable,
through a system of submixers, to 20
vertical faders. Ten of the vertical faders are fed directly from the inputs.
Each of the remaining 10 faders has
four submix inputs associated with it.
Volume level on each submix input is
controllable by a rotary pot. The four
rotary submix pots for each of the 10
vertical faders are located directly
above that fader.
The console has one equalizer per vertical fader, which of course means there
are no separate EQ facilities for any of
the individual submix channels. Equalization, Estes confesses, is one of the
console's weak areas. "At the time the
board was built," he says, "it was `state
of the art.' That's all there was for equalization in 1964." The EQ facilities that
do exist, however, allow the user to
select crossover points. Each equalizer
boosts 12 dB and cuts 16 dB at 40 and
100 Hz on the low end, and at 3, 5,10 and
15 kHz on the high end; there is no
equalization between 100 Hz and 3 kHz.
The 20 vertical faders on the console
are assignable to six rotary submasters,
which, in turn, are assignable to two
masters: the Cast and Music masters.
The two masters are assignable to the
board master, `which,' according to
Estes, "is the final output for everything
on the board except for two auxiliary
faders, having one input each, and the
Nemo fader."
The Nemo fader, which takes its name
from an old telephone company term,
and stands for "Not Emanating from
Main Office"
is for controlling the
volume levels of "all sends that originate outside of the studio," Estes
explains, "which in this case means
film, videotape and remote lines. There
are six inputs to the Nemo fader, which
can be controlled manually or remotely
by the video switcher.
"It comes down like a giant tree,"
Estes says in summing up the console's
R-e /p 133
December 1983
signal flow. "It's essentially
53x20x6x2x1 board.
Estes further explains that two of the
studios at the Burbank complex are
slated to be updated in the near future.
Originally scheduled for the first half of
1984, the upgrade has been postponed,
he says, "because NBC wants to redo
the audio and video at the same time,
and they're waiting for a new generation of cameras to come out from a certain manufacturer. We've been looking
at consoles with added features like
camera switching. There's no one that
makes an audio console that will meet
our needs perfectly. There are just too
many things that we need.
"We would like a minimum of 96
inputs on the next generation of boards.
Because of space limitations, there are
going to have to be some compromises
in terms of submixing. When you do this
submixing, you have to take into
account how you're going to feed the
foldback and PA systems. These systems will have to get some inputs in
premixed groups, which may or may not
be suitable for their purposes. It's a
complex situation."
As home base for NBC's The Tonight
Show, with its healthy quota of live
music from both the house band and
guest performers, Studio One where
Estes does much of his work boasts its
share of music recording -type equipment. "There's a Lexicon 224, which I
use for reverberation on the cast mikes,"
he says, "and an AKG BX20 that I use
for reverberation on the band." Additional outboard equipment includes an
EXR Exciter, UREI LA -3 limiters and
Ed], which we're
console [51 Series
looking at now to replace a couple of
older consoles."
Basically, what KTTV required from
its TV production audio console was
improved flexibility. "We needed more
foldback sends," Boggio explains.
"Altogether we have 10 sends on the
board. Of course, we also needed submixing capabilities. So we incorporated
a 16 -track submix console into the 32channel console. We can put all 32
channels into one sub if we wanted to,
but we also have the capability to assign
channels to all 16 subs. We can then run
that into a 16 -track recorder, or we can
take a 32 -track output and run our
machine off the submixer."
At KCOP, another Los Angeles independent TV station, audio engineer
Tony Alamia has recently finished
modifying three ADM consoles for the
station: a 32- channel board for its large
production studio (used mainly for tap-
Valley People Gain Brain II
compressor- limiters. "For micro-
phones," Estes continues, "there are
RCA 77 DXs on the brass, Neumann
KM88s on the reeds, and Schoeps, AKG
and Electro-Voice mikes on the drums.
Johnny Carson's mike is an AKG C451,
and I'm using Sennheiser mikes for
Audio and Independent Stations
At the level of local independent stations in the Los Angeles area, audio
equipment selections tend to reflect
those of the networks. While some stations
KTLA for instance
opted for specifically designed TV audio
equipment, such as Ward Beck consoles,
others have chosen to modify recording
studio hardware for their purposes.
As audio engineer for KTTV, Kerry
Boggio works regularly on two shows
that involve music: Star Search and
Thicke of the Night. "We're using a
custom -built Neve console," says Bog gio, "and had to modify it for TV work.
We sat down with representatives of
Neve and told them what we needed; six
months later, we had our console. Neve
has since come out with a television
December 1983 D R-eí p 134
format. The FCC, in the wake of the controversy that surrounded its handling of
the AM Stereo issue, has yet to approve
any of the proposed formats for Stereo
TV. Meanwhile, the televison production industry is exploring how Stereo
TV will affect its techniques and equipment. Just as opinions differ on how far
the FCC is from making a definitive
move on Stereo TV, so the level of commitment to investigating stereo recording and production techniques differs
from network to network.
At ABC, the prevailing attitude is
that Stereo TV is still a long way from
becoming a reality. "Stereo television
may be forced on us by the TV set manufacturers, but I don't think there are that
many broadcasters who are that interested in it," says Don McCrosky. "My
question always is: `How much programming would really be enhanced by
Stereo TV ?' "
According to McCrosky, stereo televison is not likely to have any effect on
production techniques anyway. "Stereo
treatment is going to come in postproduction," he says. "Our production
methods are not going to change in the
when it comes to postproduction, they'll simply pan the audio
left and right."
In terms of current production practices, ABC's Roy W. Rising agrees with
McCrosky's position. He forsees, however, a renewed interest in live programming as the television industry
looks to bring more innovation and
excitement to the medium. If stereo
broadcasting were to become the norm,
live programming would eliminate the
possibility of stereo treatment in
"Post- production won't help us do stereo in a live situation," Rising states.
"Producers now often have no concept
of `live.' They wonder why our production consoles are so sophisticated when
the most extensive audio treatment
takes place in post-production. But the
day may come when all this sophistication will have to happen live on the air."
Whatever the future may bring,
ABC's current production and transmission facilities are fully stereocapable, according to McCrosky and
Rising. "We could do stereo tomorrow if
we wanted to. If there's a standard that
somebody would care to adopt,"
McCrosky concludes, "they could send
stereo audio to the transmitters and to
the affiliates with no problems."
At CBS, experiments with stereo television began several years ago. "There
are no routine stereo productions yet,"
says Dwight Morris, "but we have done
a number of experimental productions
to familiarize ourselves with the
requirements of stereo for television."
Declining once again to furnish
details, Morris states: "Our experiments
have included recording at sporting
events, and one experiment in stereo
music programming
a live stereo
recording of the Kennedy Center Trib-
ing game shows); a 24- channel board for
its news studio; and a 16-channel console for the facility's audio recording
"We modified stock boards," Alamia
explains, "and put all the masters and
patch bays and switchers for the tape
decks in the center of the board. Then we
put all of our mike inputs on the lefthand side, and all of our line inputs,
which can also be miked inputs through
patching, on the right -hand side of the
"We have a lot of bussing options. I
built a custom patch bay and everything comes through that before going
into the board. Every input and output
can be split, along with the masters,
submasters, and all effects."
Stereo Audio for Television
Perhaps the hottest issue in television
audio right now is Stereo TV. The growing availability of component television
equipment has combined with the vogue
for MTV -inspired music video programming to create greater consumer
interest in the idea of stereo sound for
TV. The major stumbling block to Stereo TV at this point, however, is the
adoption of a standard transmission
music program. Essentially, the system
involves using the board's Cast and
Music masters as left and right output
"In the conventional operation of the
board," Estes explains, you would have
hand mikes,
all of your Cast mikes
boom mikes, etc. coming down to the
Cast master, and all of your music
inputs coming down to the Music
- -
To operate the board in stereo, however, Estes uses three of the board's six
submasters to group all of the Cast
inputs into a left, center and right configuration; i.e., one submaster for left,
another for center, and a third for right.
The remaining three submasters are
used to group all of the music inputs into
a similar left, center and right configuration. All of the left channel information both dialog and music is then
sent to the left output channel (Cast
master in conventional operation), and
all right information is sent to the right
output channel (Music master in conventional operation). All center information is sent to both output channels.
Since the NBC consoles are monaural, no panpots, Estes' system essentially creates 'hard panning' stereo. He
has devised, however, several methods
for reducing the "hard left/hard right"
sound characteristics inherent in the
system. For one, he "flips" the reverb
channels, sending the reverb for left-
Custom -built 53 -input house mixing console in NBC's Studio A provides a wide variety of
subgrouping and output options.
ute in Washington D.C. some time ago.
We've also done some work at our Technology Center to see what kinds of techniques could be developed to perhaps
simulate stereo for programs that were
produced monaurally, or where stereo
production is either not practical or
presently too costly."
Like McCrosky, Morris sees the main
burden of stereo sound for television as
lying in post -production. "We have
found that there is a great deal of flexi-
bility in post-production for creating
stereo," he states. "Panning audio
channels left and right, recording multitrack audio in sweetening facilities
these are things that are, in some
respects, not well known to televison
producers and broadcasters in general.
We have found that we still have a lot to
learn, but we are waiting until we have a
reason to start making stereo for practical application broadcasts."
The only network that appears to be
routinely engaged in stereo production
for current progrmaming in NBC. The
network has been taping The Tonight
Show in stereo at its Burbank complex
since last October. The production process, devised by Ron Estes, makes use of
both audio channels of one-inch videotape. Before last October, the second
audio channel had gone unused. The
network is currently broadcasting a
mono version of the show, retaining the
stereo soundtrack for demonstration
and archival purposes.
Each weekday evening, four original
one -inch video tapes, with stereo audio,
are made of the show. Two of these (a
main and a backup copy), are played
back at 8:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
for reception on the East Coast, where it
is 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. As
the show finished taping at 6:30 p.m.
PST each evening -just two hours
before the first airing -there is not time
for post -production audio sweetening.
This means that what goes down on
tape, and ultimately out to home
audiences, is essentially a live stereo
Estes' technique for deriving stereo
from NBC's mono consoles stems from
experiments he made in the early Seventies as sound mixer for Midnight Special, the network's then -reigning pop
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December 1983
channel instruments to the right channel, and vice versa.
"Apart from this," Estes says, "you
can derive something like panpots by
sending a signal to two channels, and
playing with the relative volume levels
of each channel." Also, on occasions
where The Tonight Show hosts a large
musical group, Estes uses an auxiliary
mixer to accommodate the resulting
extra inputs to the board. Because the
auxiliary mixer generally a Yamaha
is a stereo board, he can
Sx2 or 12x2
make use of the panpots it has.
From the main audio board, the left
and right signals are sent into a custom,
NBC -built matrix unit, which converts
them into two new signals: a sum (L +R)
channel and a difference (L-R) channel.
The mono sum channel is recorded on
track of the videotape. This is the signal
that is currently transmitted over the
newtork to the affiliates and, in turn, to
the viewers' homes.
The difference (L -R) signal is recorded on track #2 of the videotape. This
signal, according to Estes, is "anything
that is strictly left or strictly right. The
center has disappeared because it has
been cancelled." The difference signal
presently remains in -house for future
use. With the advent of Stereo TV, NBC
will be able to transmit both the sum
and difference channels via their Far rinon audio /video multiplexer, which
would convert both audio channels to
video subcarrier frequencies for transmission along with the picture. A similar unit at the receiving end would
simply demultiplex the video and two
audio signals.
The need for a matrix-encoded transmission format, such as the sum and
- -
Editel's Audio Sweetening Room houses an ADM console, Ampex ATR -100 two- and ..
... four -tracks, plus extensive outboard processing equipment.
difference code used by NBC, stems
from the fact that you cannot simply
transmit discrete left and right stereo
signals. The transition to stereo television, even it it were to begin tomorrow,
would not take place instantaneously. A
matrixed transmission system, such as
the sum and difference format, provides
for the inevitable period of transition
from mono to stereo by furnishing a
composite L +R signal, containing all
audio information recorded, to those
facilities not yet equipped to receive stereo audio. Also, in the event of a transmission failure, the chances of being
able to get a complete audio signal
through to home viewers is increased if
at least one of the audio channels contains all the necessary audio program
The sum and difference encoding
method used by NBC is by no means the
only possible format. An alternative
technique is what Estes calls the "sum
and discrete" technique. This Germandeveloped code places a L+R (sum) signal on track #1 of the videotape, and a
right -only (discrete) signal on track #2.
Decoding involves subtracting the
right -only signal from the sum signal,
leaving a left-only signal on channel #1
and a right -only signal on channel #2.
From a transmission standpoint,
NBC's multiplexing equipment can
handle any encoding format. Currently
set up to convert one monaural audio
signal to a 5.8 MHz video subcarrier frequency, the addition of a new panel to
the Farrinon unit (in a space currently
occupied by a blank panel) will enable
the network to multiplex a second subcarrier frequency
6.2 or 6.4 MHz,
according to Estes for transmission.
Audio and the
Post- Production Facilities
For a complete picture of the audiofor-video scene, it is necessary to consider video post-production facilities.
With a clientele that includes cable and
December 1983
R-e/p 136
commercial producers, as well as broadcasters, the post-production houses and
their activities lend a useful perspective
to the audio techniques and equipment
being adopted by the networks and
independents. At Editel /L.A., Compact Video, and EFX Systems -three
of Los Angeles' leading post -production
audio sweetening for video
has become a vital and growing service,
thanks to television producers'
increased awareness of the importance
of high -quality audio.
"When I first started selling postproduction facilities four or five years
ago, things were different," reports
Eddie Ackerman, vice president/client
services at Editel. "I would tell the producers, `Let's use the sweetening room,'
and they would say, `That's an extra
five or six thousand dollar expense; why
bother?' Now those same folks are coming back to me and saying, `How quickly
can I get into audio?' So we're in the
process of upgrading our audio to match
the need there."
Presently, the Editel sweetening room
features a customized ADM Technology
console, and an Ampex MM -1200 16track recorder. Mastering is handled by
Ampex ATR -102 and ATR-104 stereo
and four -track machines. The facility's
effects rack includes full Dolby and dbx
noise reduction units, a Lexicon Delta T
digital delay line, Klark Technik gra-
phic EQ and UREI Little Dipper, along
with an AKG reverb system. New
equipment acquisitions planned over
the next six months include, according
to Ackerman, "more Ampex ATRs and
an increased sound effects capability;
the effects have become a major situation." Longer range expansion plans
include an upgrade to 24 -track capability in the sweetening room, and the
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You just set The Compellor once
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The kind that broadcast engineers have always
wanted but which wasn't available before.
Compellor provides complete dynamics control,
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addition of ADR (Automatic Dialog
Replacement), and Foley facilities.
At Compact Video, the situation has
been very much the same. "From our
point of view," says sales manager Bob
Slutske, "we are doing a lot of MTV
work and other things where there is
more and, more critical audio throughout. There is just no accepting anything
less than the best technology can offer
right now." Having recently finished
expanding its film sound capabilities,
the company is now looking to increase
its audio -for-video facilities as well,
according to Slutske.
The current equipment complement
in Compact's video sweetening room
centers around an API Model 2488 console and Ampex MM -1200 multitrack
tape machines. "In the sound sweetening room for television, we're about
halfway between a music recording studio and a film re- recording stage,"
comments Kelly Kotera, Compact's
chief sound engineer for film and videotape. "There are things in here that
would be very foreign to a music person
like the Dolby CAT -43 system and
things that music people would be very
comfortable with, like the Lexicon
Prime Time and Eventide Harmonizer.
Having dialog and effects as well as
music to deal with, we naturally have
equipment and techniques that don't
enter into strictly musical work. The
whole concept of working with frames
freedom from constant
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R -e /p 137
December 1983
and feet of film is one such area."
For Kotera, the growing popularity of
music programming has been the leading force in the improvement of sound
quality for television, which development has led the facility into stereo post production. "Of course, all of our MTV
material goes out in stereo," Kotera
states. "Most of those videos are shot on
film, and then transferred to video and
edited. Our concern, as far as the sound
goes, is just retaining the audio quality
right down to the end run as much as
possible. We make sure the music
sounds as much as possible like the original music on the record not distorted
and knocked down [by] several generations of videotape transfer."
Not being tied exclusively to the
broadcast business, facilities like Compact, Editel, and EFX already have
begun the foray into stereo technology,
with the growing home video and cable
markets providing the added impetus.
"Since videodisks and videocassettes
are now being recorded with stereo
soundtracks, probably 20% of the shows
that go out of here are in stereo," Kotera
estimates. "We have been doing stereo
for almost a year and a half now
because of these applications and
things like HBO, which also has stereo
capability. Our facilities have two satellite uplinks, which are also stereo capable, and our rooms have always been set
up for stereo."
"Music has definitely been a catalyst
for intensified post-production in
audio," agrees Editel's Eddie Ackerman. In his experience, producers of
musical television programming are
starting to cover all bets by preparing
mono and stereo prints of their shows.
Such was the case when Editel provided
post-production services on the four
EFX System's video sweetening room features an AMEK 2500 automated console, BTX
Soft Touch synchronizer, MCI JH -24 multitrack, and MCI JH -110B video layback.
recent US Festival rock programs that
premiered on Showtime cable TV.
"Right now," says Ackerman, "all of
the programs that are leaving Editel
have a mono audio track for one service
that's broadcasting them, as well as a
separate set of videotape masters that
have the audio separated into channels
#1 and #2. So producers are aware that
the limitations of their first distribution
company are not the whole story. There
may be a demand for stereo in subsequent distributions, either in the form of
videodisks and cassettes, FM simulcast,
or actual Stereo TV broadcast."
But the concern with high -quality
audio in general, and stereo in particular, is not confined to music programming. Ackerman reports that commercials slated for extensive play on
stereo -capable MTV leave Editel with
stereo audio tracks, and that even producers of comedy shows are interested
in stereo and high -quality audio as a
means of imparting a sense of increased
realism and audience ambience to their
"There isn't a sitcom delivered to the
API Model 2488 console, Ampex MM -1200 multitracks, and well- stocked
effects racks in the video sweetening room at Compact Video.
networks that doesn't have an extensive
amount of audio sweetening," Ackerman states. "This extends to subtle
things like laugh tracks and sound
effects. The trend now is toward picking
up sound effects in post -production, as
opposed to recording them on the sound
stage. We are looking into digitally processed sound effects now, which is
something that has great potential
because of the random-access capability
of a hard-pack [computer storage] disk
to find a particular sound. Plus, we can
synthesize the sounds because they're
barking dog can be a Poodle
or a German Shepherd."
Editel has developed a method for
assembling multitrack soundtracks for
sitcoms and other shows that allows
maximum flexibility for subsequent reediting at a later date. Ackerman details
the process as follow: "Once the video
portion of the show is complete with
titles and everything, we take the edited
master and lay it onto a separate piece
of videotape, retaining SMPTE time code. Most likely, the copy will be on
34-inch tape, because of the ability of our
equipment to scan it. With the timecode
numbers "burned" onto the screen as a
visual reference, we record the soundtrack that's available on to our Ampex
multitrack. At the same time, we also
record the timecode and [59.94 Hz video]
sync pulse on channels 16 and 15
respectively; on the remaining channels
of the multitrack we drop in sound
effects and the the laugh track, each on
its own discrete channel. So, if the show
goes back to the network and they say
we `over -laughed' the track, we can
reconstruct the soundtrack without
going through a major expense
just go back, isolate that one channel,
and remix.
"Now that audio is becoming a major
thing," Ackerman concludes, "producers are buying that two -inch multitrack
audio tape from us. In the past, they
would just leave it. With the multitrack
tape, they can redo the audio portion of
their program at any time, for stereo,
quadraphonic, or whatever comes
December 1983
R -e /p 138
EFX Systems in Burbank is a facility
that handles both record projects and
TV /film post -production. As such, EFX
has been in a unique position to observe
the growing sophistication of television
audio against a backdrop of film and
record work. "TV people," says engineer
Glenn Berkovitz, "are adopting more of
an attitude that's been prevalent in film
for a long time, which is that you want
to make your audio tracks very clean.
You want to keep them separated as best
you can to get the optimum results in
mixing them. The equalization and
overall tone quality of each individual
track has become important."
In their video sweetening room, EFX
has opted for a music recording console:
an automated AMEK 2500. Apart from
desiring the flexibility to handle both
record and post -production work on the
console, EFX felt that the AMEK con-
sole was better suited for post production than many audio boards
designed specifically for that purpose.
"In terms of signal clarity and directness of signal path," Berkovitz states,
"consoles designed specifically for TV
are not nearly as clean as any recording
console. We also find the equalization
on our AMEK is really handy for video.
It's got a four -band, fully parametric EQ
on each input module, which answers
our needs pretty well. We do have the
standard outboard notch filters and
some additional parametric equalizers,
but we can normally do what people
need right at the console."
Apart from equipment
which in
EFX's sweetening room includes many
pieces specifically designed for video
post- production, such as the MCI JH1lOB one -inch video layback machine,
and the BTX Soft Touch synchronizer
Berkovitz finds that many standard
techniques from his album work cross
over nicely into video post -production.
"Harmonizers or delay units like the
Lexicon Super Prime Time can do
things that really astound TV people,"
he states. "You can use a delay to do
dialog catch -ups for example. Rather
than having to lay the misplaced dialog
off onto a separate piece of tape, and
then re- insert it on the track at the correct spot, you can just use the delay to
put the dialog in place. It makes the job
quicker and easier.
"To clean up dialog tracks," Berkovitz
continues, "we do some things with gating that wouldn't ordinarily be done in a
video post-production context the sort
of things you would really use to process
drum sounds, say. The situation is similar with equalization. Given our record
background, on some occasions we are
more aware of what EQ can do to
enhance a sound, or remove unpleasant
Berkovitz is quick to point out, however, that a music recording background may be useful in post -production
work, but it's no substitute for a thorough grounding in the highly special-
ized equipment and techniques video
entails. "We've had a couple of video
soundtracks come in that were mixed by
music people," Berkovitz reports, "and
while they weren't wrong, they were not
quite right either. Video work demands
a very different kind of awareness. At
EFX we have separate staff people for
records and for TV and film work. We've
found that it takes quite a bit of adaptation to switch from one to the other.
"As TV people have become more
sophisticated," he concludes, "they realize what post-production can do. They
are more critical. You really have to
concentrate on the sound in video work
now. There are no quick fixes for TV as
there have been in the past. TV people
are more demanding now."
* **
In both production and post production, it would seem audio for
video has taken great strides in recent
years. At the present time, flexibility is
an operative concept in television sound
as the field faces an encouraging but
still- uncertain future. The future of
audio for video techniques is clearly tied
up with the fate of Stereo TV
question which depends on such outside variables as the consumer TV hardware
market, and the FCC's decision on
standards. Meanwhile, in looking to
improve television sound quality, video
professionals are searching for ways to
be prepared for every eventuality.
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Many engineers and producers
would consider that the biggest
limitation faced by those of us
involved with recording and broadcasting conventional high -quality audio is
no longer distortion, noise, or poor frequency response. It is rather the "cardboard cut-out" sound images caused by
the limitation of having just two loudspeakers available for stereo reproduction. Good as stereo may be, it cannot
capture the three-dimensional world of
sounds. Imagine birds singing overhead, applause from an audience situated all around, or the sound of footsteps
beneath you as you walk; imagine the
all- surrounding reverberation of a large
concert hall.
This is what the Ambisonic surround sound system of recording and reproduction can achieve. Ambisonics works
by using the psycho- acoustics of human
directional hearing to capture all directions of sound around the listener; its
principles of operation are based on over
a decade of research and development.
Unlike "Quadraphonics," which was
basically two stereo systems
placed in front of the listener, and one
Ambisonics can create conbehind
vincing and accurate localized phantom
images even between side loudspeakers.
Furthermore, the listener can move
around the listening area, and face in
any direction without losing the sound
Ambisonics is indeed a total systems
approach to capturing surround sound
information, and is aimed at meeting
the widest range of professional and
from the
consumer requirements
needs of a listener with a pocket AM
radio, to the audiophile listener with a
custom multispeaker home system. Not
only is it compatible with existing mono
and stereo media, Ambisonics also
offers practically unlimited capability
of meeting both near and distant future
needs. Beyond stereo, the continuing
interest in four -speaker sound can be
satisfied by Ambisonics via existing
records, tapes, and radio.
The UHJ (standing for "Universal
HJ") system of encoding directional
sounds into two or more transmission
channels, developed in conjunction
with the British Broadcasting Corporation, conveys the Ambisonic soundfield
achieve outstanding mono and stereo
compatibility. No mono listener should
lose any important sonic information,
no matter where the producer decides to
place it in space. In addition, a stereo
listener tuned into a UHJ broadcast not
only hears a full -width stereo presentation, but also enjoys an enhanced sense
of depth and focus not possible with
conventional stereo transmission systems. And, of course, the listener
equipped with psycho -acoustically
optimized Ambisonic surround sound
decoders hears the precise pattern of
surround sound intended by the
UHJ Two- and
Multi- Channel Systems
In its simplest form, UHJ uses the
same two recording or transmission
channels as conventional stereo, utilizing both amplitude and phase to convey
a full 360- degree, horizontal sound
stage. Further enhancement of the quality of sound images around the listener
can be achieved by adding a third
recording or transmission channel to
the basic two -channel encoding. The
effect of full- sphere portrayal of directionality, including sounds above and
below the horizontal soundfield, can be
conveyed by the addition of another
supplementary channel for height
As will readily be appreciated, this
heirarchical system provides the option
of using two, three or four channels with
UHJ, depending on how many channels
are available for storage or transmission. For example, in FM broadcasting,
a recent decision by the FCC has made
available three- and four -channel multiplex FM. Naturally, broadcasters not
yet ready to update their equipment can
still broadcast UHJ in its two -channel
December 1983
R -e /p 140
( L^
l ¡,
Celebrating our 10 year anniversary with prices that deserve a celebration.
We appreciate the support and loyalty that professional musicians and producers have given
Soundcraft for the last 10 years. And to show you
just how much, we're making the world's hottest
selling mid range console available for a lot less.
We re calling it the biggest price break in our
history. Consider the 28/24 model 2400 with bargraph /spectrum analyzer reduced from $55,500
to $39,950. Or the 28/24 model with VU meter
bridge reduced from $48,800 to $35,950. Or the
24/16 model with 24 track monitoring reduced
from $38,700 to $29,950.
And in typical Sou ndcraft tradition, the price is
all we've cut. Every other aspect of the Series 2400
maintains the highest material and musical
standards possible.
So why not join our 10 year celebration. When
you do, you',I get the finest mid range console for
just a song.
Prices are FOB Santa Monica, California. Consult your local dealer for details or contact:
Soundcraft Electronics
1517 20th Stree-, Santa Monica, CA 90404
{213) 453 -4591 -elex: 664 -923
Soundcraft Electronics Canada, Inc.
1444 Hymus Blvd., Dorval, Quebec, H9P 1J6
{514) 685 -1610 Telex: 05- 822582
Soundcraft Electronics Limited
5 -8 Great Sutton Street, London, EC1VOBX,
England Telephone: 01- 251 -3631 Telex: 21198
form. While present-day LPs, cassettes,
and Compact Discs convey two channels, the CD standard allows for future
marketing of disks with up to four audio
channels. Already, a number of two channel UHJ Compact Discs are on the
All Ambisonic systems, whether utilizing two, three, or four transmission/ storage channels, can reproduce surround sound through four or more
loudspeakers. Most listeners will probably prefer to use just four speakers for
the time being; however, even better
results are obtained if six or more
speakers are used, since the Ambisonic
system does not convey sounds for just
four loudspeaker channels, but a total,
all- direction soundfield. For this reason,
sound can be tapped off from any direction to re- create the soundfield via practically any number of loudspeakers.
International patent rights covering
Ambisonic technology are held by the
NRDC (National Research and Development Corporation) in Britain, and
incorporate inventions from the USA,
Japan, and Britain. All aspects of this
technology are available to manufacturers under license.
Studio and Recording Technology
The total soundfield of Ambisonics is
"captured" in the studio in what is
referred to as B- Format. This consists of
four signals: W, X, Y, and Z. W is an
omnidirectional pickup of the soundfield consisting of sounds from every
direction with equal gain, while X, Y,
and Z are bi- directional (figure -of- eight)
pickups of the soundfield pointing
respectively forward to back, left to
right, and up and down. For horizontal
surround soundfields, the Z signal is set
to zero, only the W, X, and Y signals
being required. All four signals represent a total, three -dimensional and direc360- DEGREE
capturing a total 360-degree soundfield.
tional soundfield. It should be emphasized, however, that these four BForward signals have nothing to do
with the loudspeaker feeds in a four speaker monitoring array.
B- Format signals are produced by
most Ambisonic studio production
equipment, and for dissemination to
consumers is converted to UHJ formats
two -, three -, or four -channel by means of
a UHJ encoder. The studio handling of
Ambisonics and its conversion to a usable consumer format for broadcast or
commercial release is illustrated in the
accompanying diagram, which shows
several of the options involved.
So far, Ambisonics technology has led
to the development of a Soundfield Microphone manufactured by Calrec Audio,
and which has been praised by many
users for its high degree of realism and
accuracy; a Transcoder that offers both
Encode (B Format to two -channel UHJ)
and Transcode (four -channel or "Quad"
to UHJ two -channel); and a Multi -Track
Pan /Rotate unit the latter two devices being manufactured by Audio +
Design. The Pan /Rotate unit enables a
whole new range of creative sound
manipulation techniques, such as full range positional control to be achieved
for both single (mono -miked) sound
sources, or composite soundfields.
Other Ambisonic units currently
available include the Calrec UHJ
Encoder, which encodes four -channel B
Format to two- or three -channel UHJ for
broadcast or disk cutting; the Audio +
Design Converter, which enables a mixing console's panpots to be used for
soundfield localization
thus freeing
up the Pan /Rotate unit for dynamic
panning effects; the Minim AD12 Decoder, which decoded B Format or UHJ
two -channel material; the Audio +
Design Control Room Decoder, which
2'2/3- CHANNEL
December 1983
_1 _
Calrec Mark 4 Soundfield Microphone with cover
removed (right), and control unit, capable of
D R -e /p 142
ala ma
au man»rUN
all MI.;
"It's a glamorous business, isn't it?"
glamorous, all right.
If you like all night sessions. Recording and re- recording dozens of times. Trying to please yourself and everybody
else in the studio.
At dbx, we think it's a very difficult job that demands
patience, talent, and the very best equipment you can get
your hands on.
Which is why we've spent the past 12 years constantly
advancing the art of signal processing. We're always solving
a problem. To make your job easier. To make the music
sound better.
Our latest example is the dbx 610 AutographicTM
Computerized Room Equalizer that automatically equalizes
a listening location to a flat or user -determined frequency
response. In less than 15 seconds.
There are many more examples.
Like the 900 Series modular signal processing system
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de -esser that operates independent of the input level so you
can control an "s" whether it's shouted or whispered. A 3 -band
parametric equalizer with both reciprocal boost/cut and
"infinite notch" on each band. A new flanger with the highest
frequency sweep ratio and lowest noise you've ever heard. To
name just a few.
Then, of course, there's dbx tape noise reduction. It
rivals the sound of digital recording, both in tape noise elimination and dynamic range.
So after you've put in all those hours in the studio, the
tape you end up with will sound as close to perfect as you
can make it.
And that, after all, is why you're in this business.
Visit the authorized dbx professional dealer near you.
Or write dbx, Incorporated, Pro fessional Products
Division, 71 Chapel Street, Box
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Tel. (617) 964 -3210.
Telex: 92- 2522.
Autographic is a trademark of dbx, Inc.
R -e /p 143
December 1983
will decode two- and three-channel UHJ
signals, and allows comparison with
original four -channel B- Format signals;
plus several UHJ decoders designed for
consumer use.
Although the Calrec Soundfield Microphone has been available for some
time now, October of this year saw the
introduction of a Mark 4 version, whose
availability also coincides with release
of the above -mentioned Ambisonic
encoders, decoders, and effects units.
As many readers may already be
aware, the Soundfield Microphone system comprises a microphone body and
electronics, plus associated control unit.
The body houses four mike capsules
arranged in a tetrahedral array, with
electronic compensation to remove the
effects of capsule spacing. The Soundfield mike is designed to capture accu-
rately the sound that exists at a point in
space; in other words, it comprises a
three -dimensional coincident "pair." Of
primary importance is the system's
ability to capture a complete spherical
soundfield that can be manipulated by
panning and steering the signals in
both the horizontal and vertical planes.
This manipulation can be accomplished
as perhaps the
in either real time
ultimate boom mike or later in post production from the B- Format signals
ble on the control unit, as well as conventional stereo outputs.
It is important to realize in the case of
the Soundfield Microphone, that quite
apart from surround -sound applications, for conventional mono/stereo
reproduction the microphone's polar
diagram may be synthesized either in
real time, or subsequent post-production
from B Format.
Ambisonic production has perhaps
been held back because, until now, only
the Soundfield Microphone has been
recorded on tape.
Azimuth and Elevation controls gov- available for recording live music,
ern rotation and tilting of the micro- drama, speech, etc. Since most of the
phone's orientation in space, while a recording and broadcast production
Dominance or Zoom control allows the industry relies on mass- market multidirection of dominant sound to be track derived music, Ambisonics has
moved to the front or back. (For exam- not had enough to offer. However, the
recent introduction of processing
ple, to give an orchestra or band dominance over audience noise, and enable equipment, including the Multi-track
not only manipulation of the effective Pan /Rotate, Converter, and Transcoder
polar pattern from omni through all units mentioned above, should change
the intermediate cardioids to figure -of- this situation, since they enable mono eight but also the amplitude of the miked sources to be manipulated within
respective dominant signals.) Both B- an Ambisonic soundfield.
The Pan/Rotate unit features eight
Format inputs and outputs are availacontinuously rotatable sine/cosine
panpots, plus a switchable control that
will rotate the entire soundfield through
360 degrees. The panpots can be
switched pre or post (before/after) the
rotate control. Apart from the eight
inputs from the mixing console, there
are two external B- Format inputs one
patched before and another after the
rotate control which may be used to
cascade these or similar units. Each
panpot includes a "radius vector" control that allows sounds to be panned
through the listener's position from one
side of the soundfield to the other
quite apart from the ability to move
sounds around the circumference of the
The B- Format output from the Pan/
Rotate Unit can be sent to a four-track
recorder, or direct to a suitable encoder
to produce a UHJ two -channel master
tape for broadcast or disk cutting, or to a
three -channel encoder for enhanced
surround-sound broadcast.
The Converter unit allows a conventional console's panpots to be utilized
for soundfield localization. The unit
contains two independent B- Format
UHJ Transcoder/Encoder
groups, each with separate outputs.
Five inputs feed each coverter group,
and are designed to be connected to four
console output groups, plus an echo
send bus. The echo send supplies a mono
reference signal, while the group inputs
provide level information that is "converted" with the mono signal into a BFormat signal. Thus, a console panpot
can be used as an Ambisonic localization control, simply by turning up the
echo send level, and routing the mono
source to two of the four groups.
The Transcoder takes four inputs
(corresponding to a front and a rear stefor example, an existing
reo pair
"quad" mix) and "transcodes" these
into a UHJ two-channel signal. Control
of the width of front and rear sound stages is possible, and may be varied
Ambisonic production
includes the ADR
Decoder ...
... and Multitrack Pan /Rotate
December 1983
R -e /p 144
between 0 and 180 degrees in the front
sector, and 0 to 150 degrees in the rear.
Panning between the front two groups
via the console panpots moves the signal across the entire width of the front
Enhanced Creativity
Using the equipment described above,
the creative effects possibilities in
Ambisonics, including non -realistic
events such as sound sources moving
around and through the listener's head,
are practically endless. There are few
pitfalls, however. It is important to
remember when mixing Ambisonic
material which may be monitored by
the consumer in stereo that although
the system is exceptionally mono /stereo compatible, signals panned around
the rear sector of the soundfield, for
example, will be "collapsed" to the front
in stereo. As a result, care should be
taken with placement to avoid cluttering the stereo image. This can easily be
achieved by simply monitoring in stereo
from time to time as a check of surround sound /stereo compatibility.
Because Ambisonics uses phase and
amplitude information to localize a
source, rather than just amplitude, the
image is far less dependent on the listener's position (in both stereo or surround sound monitoring layouts), which
means that the listener can move
around the room without losing image
stability. In both stereo and surround
sound monitoring arrays, the resultant
image is more stable and can thus be
localized better. Furthermore, the
apparent stereo width of an Ambisonic
recording played back in stereo is perceived to be wider than the speaker separation; in fact it is possible to produce
stereo effects that appear to move round
the room without the benefit of an
Ambisonic decoder. (Similar results can
be obtained using stereo headphones.)
Monitoring setups for horizontal
surround -sound (that is, without height
or Z- channel information) is quite simple, a suitable decoder plus four speakers and additional amps being all that is
required. (Six or more speakers are
necessary for full sphere or "periphonic" reproduction.)
It must be stressed that Ambisonics
has the potential of constituting at least
as an important step forward for audio
as digital technology. In its various
hierarchical, intercompatible forms,
Ambisonics material may be stored digitally or by conventional analog means,
and broadcast techniques using phase quadrature modulation of the third
channel have been successfully demonstrated in Britain by the Independent
Broadcasting Authority, and is now
permitted in the United States.
All the hardware to record and disseminate Ambisonic surround -sound
information is now in place, with more
on the way. It is now just a matter of
time before Ambisonics will be hard
regularly on record, on the air and, perhaps, with video.
The Series 24A mixer has been designed for broadcast station and
production house use where there is a requirement for versatile and
reliable stereo sound mixing. Its modular design coupled with an
expandable main frame permits the Series 24A to be used in a wide
variety of different configurations including live 'self -op' programme
presentation, engineer- driven programme production, master control
room programme mixing, outside broadcast mixing, and general
audio -visual production.
A wide range of input, monitoring, communications, and metering
modules are offered and these may be fitted in any number and in any
combination without modification to the expandable main frame of
the mixer. Moreover, the total -modularity concept of the Series 24A
permits modules to be changed at will allowing different mixer
configurations to be constructed quickly and 'in- house'. A multi studio facility with a requirement for simple and complex mixing may
now be equipped with a common design of console providing
engineering, operational and other advantages. And as the requirements of the facility changes, the Series 24A has the capacity to
change format and meet the new demands made of it.
The Series 24A is robustly constructed and incorporates
conservatively rated, long -life components. The controls are
ergonomically displayed on three planes horizontal faders, sloping
channel controls, almost vertical meter hood -all are within easy
reach, and major functions are illuminated. The mixer may be freestanding or be mounted in a wrap -round console and can be provided
with a script area. The Series 24A is attractively finished and features
silver on black double anodised permanent panel legends, a matt
green meter hood, surrounded by a solid mahogany trim
imagineering by
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R -e /p 145 D December 1983
New York City's Lucas /McFaul Working on Multitrack
Music Sessions for AT &T, GE and Kentucky Fried Chicken
by Robert Carr
do jingle dates for a while to
the rent." How many
times have we heard musicians say
1 '11 pay
that? For a long time, "serious" players,
producers, and engineers have tended to
look down on a livelihood derived from
creating commercials. Yet, ironically,
it's a fact that these days commercials,
jingles sessions, and industrial presentations comprise most of the work passing through a majority of recording studios. In many cases, the writer of the
recorded music may also be the producer
or the engineer on the date. And such
people who continue to make a living in
this way realize the high level of expertise required to gain and maintain a
modicum of success as a music supplier.
One company that has managed to
remain at the top of the commercials
profession is New York City-based
Lucas /McFaul, writers of such memorable pieces as AT &T's "Reach Out,
Reach Out and Touch Someone," Kentucky Fried Chicken's "We Do Chicken
Right," General Electric's "We Bring
Good Thines to Life." and scores of
December 1983 R -e /p 146
major commercials for products such as
Dannon Yogurt, Special K, Mountain
Dew, Right Guard, and Soft 'N' Dri.
Not only do David Lucas and Tom
McFaul love their jobs and the individuals they work with, there is a good
chance that more people get to hear
their 30- and 60- second masterpieces in
one day than most hit records achieve in
a month or more. As a result, Lucas and
McFaul have built a small recording
empire on Manhattan's West 46th
Street, which boasts offices for writing,
business, sales and maintenance staffs,
an eight -track demo studio, plus a full blown 24 -track recording facility for
personal (and occasionally for their
friendly competitors') use.
Genesis of a Commercial
From such a successful vantage point,
David Lucas and Tom McFaul are eminently qualified to discuss the mechanics and creative considerations of jingle
writing and recording, from agency
conception to airing on radio and
A jingle starts with a client, its product, and an advertising agency hired to
develop a campaign. The agency, in
close association with the manufacturing clients, spends months learning
about the product, conducting market
research, developing a campaign strategy that's acceptable to the myriad of
professionals who have to lend their
final approval and, when necessary,
supervising the scripting and shooting
of the commercial's visual portions.
Once all this pre -production has been
completed, the agency turns its attention toward the jingle house or, more
accurately, several jingle houses, to see
who can translate the ideas and concepts into a miniature musical extravaganza that always "has to be done
Regardless of how good a jingle writer
may be, or how established the reputation of the supply house, most commer
cials projects are awarded only as a
result of competition. An agency devel
oping a new campaign usually goes first
to the supplier that produced the Iasi
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successful arrangement for that client,
and asks them, along with two or three
other houses, to submit their best musical ideas. In the case of Lucas and
McFaul's General Electric campaign,
where the company is writing new
songs that require the GE tag to be
included on the back, the agency does
not solicite different writers for each
new version.
"Even if they don't like the first thing
that we write," says Tom McFaul, "they
won't run off in the middle of the GE
campaign and go some place else for the
new part that has to be composed. There
is a loyalty on both sides to a certain
According to McFaul, successful writers win about one of every 10 jobs for
which they compete. Although the
advertising agencies subsidize the costs
of a competition expenses for coming
up with roughs of the jingle and producing a demo he feels that the process
still takes its toll. "We generally expect
competition, but not unending competition. The ones that go on forever cost us
money. We're basically getting out-ofpocket expenses, but we're not making
any profit. The situation has gotten better in recent years; it used to be 15 people
writing and submitting demos for one
Lucas and McFaul generally turn
down a job if there's more than three
competitors. "Some people would think
that a creative fee is a lot of money,"
adds David Lucas, "because the
numbers look good on paper. But when
you're winning one project in every 10,
"Club singer," "drummer," "composer,"
"record producer," and "record hawker" all
describe steps in the musical evolution of
David Lucas. But none seemed to offer him
the fulfillment he was looking for. In 1963 he
joined his cousin's firm, Don Elliot Productions, to learn the jingle business. By 1966,
Lucas felt sufficiently confident to start his
own New York -based jingle company, David
Lucas Associates. Since then he has taken
time from his hectic writing schedule to produce albums for the Alessi Brothers, and
three Blue Oyster Cult albums, with Agents
of Fortune reaching Platinum status. As a
prolific songwriter, Lucas finds jingles to be
an appropriate career.
December 1983
R -e /p 148
that one is paying for all the effort and
overhead that it took to get the other
nine finished. A lot of money is wasted."
The client's many representatives
and the hierarchy of agency involved in
passing judgement on the music piece
generate an additional burden to a project. "The process can be frustrating
sometimes," Lucas notes. "The trick is
to work for the boss, or whoever is temporarily the boss, or else you're constantly getting the run-around on
Watching the Clock
To compound matters, the time
frames within which jingles need to be
written are short. A typical example
runs something like this: The agency
may present lyrics to the supplier on
Monday; expect to hear songs on Wednesday; and listen to the full-blown
recording of rhythm section, finished
vocals, and orchestration on Thursday.
Lucas points out that the pressure is
passed down to all the suppliers in the
case of a TV commercial, to the video or
not to just
film director, editors, etc.
the music people. Because an agency
creative group usually services more
than one account at a time, it must work
out strict schedules to distribute the
work load. "They may allot only a week
for a project, and then they're on to the
next one. The business moves very
rapidly," he concedes.
Would scheduling more time for music
writing and production improve the
quality of jingles? Lucas and McFaul
feel it would, to the extent that there
would be less repeating of a session.
"The advertising business has an old
saying," McFaul notes. " `There's never
enough time to do something right the
first time, but there is always enough
time to re-do it.' There's an awful lot of
`re- doing' it."
Yet as far as the actual composing is
concerned, pressure sometimes makes
for better music. Very often, the first
intuitive response proves to be the best,
McFaul offers. "I may work laboriously
on a 30- second spot for hours, which will
come out good, but it will usually be a
more complicated spot than the ones
that come quickly or intuitively. Generally speaking, what I come up with first
is the best, and most immediately
"You can't doubt yourself," Lucas
emphasizes. "Just because something
comes quickly, the tendency is to think
that it can't be that good. But you have
to accept the fact that what is easy for
you, may not necessarily be easy for
anyone else."
The most important asset associated
with extra time is the luxury of being
able to walk away from what has been
written, and then return for the second
listen a few hours later. "Most of the
time you can immediately hear what is
wrong with the original piece," McFaul
continues. "But when you're working
quickly under pressure, dumb little
things slip by that could be corrected
easily by someone else hearing it. We
have to rely on the feedback of each
other or another peer to get their clear,
objective reaction before the tune is
Anyone who's prepared a commercial
knows the feeling of hurrying through a
session only to realize the next morning
that the tracks don't work. Conversely,
there's always the joy of discovering
some truly inspired performances, writing, and engineering that essentially
went matter of factly all day long in the
rushed atmosphere of the recording
"Hurrying can get you to do something miserable or something great,"
says Lucas. "Whereas if you had more
time, you wouldn't get those peaks and
valleys. You might never write anything as brilliant as some of the pieces
you crank out under pressure but, in the
long run, you'll consistently write better
McFaul tempers that thought with
the statement that too much time would
work the opposite way: "There should be
no reason to make a big project out of
writing a jingle. They're little songs that
go by fast, feel right, and have a little
hook that gets the listener right away."
And they're working faster all the
time. Thirty- second spots are rapidly
replacing the 60- second commercial as
the dominant advertising length, which
makes a normal song form unsuitable,
and limits the possibilities available to
While attending the University of Illinois in
the early Sixties, Tom McFaul focused on
the study of ethnomusicology, Baroque, and
Romantic music. Upon graduation, he chose
to express himself through various club
bands, music copying, and song writing,
because he was not aiming for a career in
composition or arranging. Yet while playing
in Buffalo, New York, with an avant-garde
rock group called Think Dog, he met David
Lucas, and they both discovered many similarities in taste and writing styles between
them. This friendship brought McFaul to
New York City, where he joined David
Lucas Associates in 1969 as a writer and
arranger and, in 1973, as a partner to form
Lucas/McFaul, Inc.
0/H: C452EBs
structure an effective emotional build. frustrating.
Many agencies are tending toward the
"We prefer to work with agency people
big song
commercial composed of who are willing to change their view
words and music with no announcer point when that's best for the project,"
reading copy as the primary vehicle he continues. "An agency that considfor reaching their respective markets. A ers a supply house as people who should
60- second time frame provided plenty of just do as they're told is not going to get
opportunity to write a little song: a the best for themselves. The experienced
verse, maybe two, a chorus, a little suppliers can offer valuable input, too.
bridge, and an out -chorus.
On the other hand, the music is only a
"Unfortunately, people are still vehicle to get that product sold. The wriexpecting 60- second structure in 30 ter can't lock himself in an ivory tower
seconds," McFaul laments. "In 30 and `groove' on the music. The account
seconds you cannot start out easy, executive knows important aspects
develop the theme, throw in a surprise, about the campaign's objectives and,
deliver the chorus, deliver it a second therefore, the music people have to
time, and still compete with a regular listen to him. The only teams that work
three -minute radio song. Instead of tell- well at least where we've had the best
ing a story, the 30- second format only results
are the ones that have input
makes an impression; you get how the going in all directions."
music feels, and maybe some repetition
of the hook, [and] some kind of memoraAgency/Studio Cooperation
bility out of it."
Further restrictions often come in the
form of agency conceived and scripted
lyrics. A lyric that the agency thinks is
terrific can generate friction if Lucas
and McFaul feel that the words are not
conducive to the appropriate piece of
music to be written. Lucas explains:
"Just by scanning the lyrics, and the
market research, you know what the
jingle is supposed to sound and feel like,
and whether the lyrics and music match
well. To make some lyrics work, you
may have to readjust them. If the
agency doesn't allow that bend, because
they've committed themselves to the
original version, you can get stuck. It's
To help bridge the communication
gap between these two creative factions,
the agency must supply the jingle house
with all the information necessary to
write an effective tune. This information comes in the form of a product sample, and a fact sheet that tells what the
product is; what it does; and who is
going to buy it.
"A campaign must take into consideration the competition and the consumer," says Lucas. "I imagine the
appropriate consumer for that product
in the place where that product is sold,
and try to figure out what will make
them reach for that product instead of
another. In the case of Kentucky Fried
Chicken, for example, I would imagine
myself driving down the road and seeing their restaurant. I imagine myself
as the consumer, and focus on what
would make me pull into a Kentucky
Fried Chicken [restaurant]. The product
is there for you as rpuch as for anybody
McFaul, writer of the KFC piece,
never got to record it in the rock -and -roll
format he originally envisioned.
"That's been a little disappointing to
me," he concedes, "but fortunately the
song proved to be flexible enough to get
in and out of the different styles we've
had to do, although it hasn't been as
easy to work with as `Reach Out,' or the
Pepsi song, or GE."
To date, AT &T's "Reach Out" commercial has been redone 150 ways, and
each version has such a unique beginning that the viewer usually doesn't
recognize them until the tag comes up.
The ad campaign has been able to last
for five years, and is now well into its
sixth year. Thè secret is versatility,
Lucas and McFaul consider.
The optimum jingle is one that can
"bend" in many different ways. An
advertising agency and the client commission arrangements in various styles,
especially when it is unfolding a massive campaign for a major product
that's projected to run for a while. Marketing studies reveal what members of
the potential audience a client wants to
reach with the advertising.
Lucas and McFaul prefer writing for a
specific audience, because the guide R-e/p 149 0 December 1983
lines are more defined. A period piece
should always be perfectly Fifties, perfectly baroque, perfectly Jeanette
McDonald/Nelson Eddy, or whatever
the setting demands. But the flagship
song for a big advertiser has to be in the
mainstream of contemporary pop
music, simply because contemporary,
middle-of- the -road music appeals to the
most people. However, an AM -radio
type of song holds the danger of drawing the focus away from the commercial, which defeats the original intent. A
song has to enhance the audience's
hearing of what's being said, and the
seeing of what's being shown, without
getting in the way. In fact, if the music
appears invisible, that's alright, too.
"Music is emotional support that adds
feeling to the commercial," says
McFaul. "A commercial is similar to
movie scoring, in the sense that the
music helps move the plot from one
point to another without drawing attention to itself."
A jingle written in a very particular
style may contain a certain harmonic
progression or intervals that can't be
changed, because those parts provide
the hook. Yet those intervals that characterize the song's original style to such
a high degree may not be appropriate in
the new rendition of a tune. Looking at
Kentucky Fried Chicken again as an
example, the hook part of the song contains a major- seventh interval that
would never be heard in a country song.
"If I had known in the beginning that
we were going to do so many country
December 1983 R-e/p 150
versions," says McFaul, "I probably
wouldn't have written that interval into
the song. It proves to be a difficult thing
to work with now."
Working to Demo Tapes
A demo copy of a newly conceived jin-
gle is submitted to the agency on
cassette. Lucas and McFaul record tl:^.ir
own eight -track piano/vocal demos inhouse. Usually the composer of the song
lays down a minimal- accompaniment
part on a keyboard instrument or guitar,
and doubles the voice a couple of times.
Some new, enthusiastic production
houses spend great amounts of money
on demo tapes, and often that extra
effort helps its chances. But Lucas
emphasizes that the writer has to consider who at the agency does the listening. "The consumate pros on Madison
Avenue can't be fooled by embellishments. They're looking at the song, and
most of the time they'll pick the same
ones that we know are the best."
To maintain a high level of consistency and quality in their finished product, Lucas and McFaul also built a 24track studio into their office complex,
known as The Warehouse. Jokingly,
Lucas says he wanted to build the studio
because he's too lazy to go out of the
house. However, he quickly shares some
of his more serious reasons: "I don't like
hunting all over town for an open studio, or getting bumped if I run over [the
allotted time]. I don't like having different engineers for every session, or paying someone else $30,000 a month for
equipment that they'll own, and
employees that they choose. We're paying for equipment that we own; supporting people that we like. And you can't
beat the efficiency and consistency.
"Clients and agency people know
exactly what to expect when they get
here; they know where the coffee is, and
they know the people who work with us.
It's the little conveniences that make
the difference."
But when it comes to musicians,
Lucas and McFaul don't have a staff of
regular players as many other production houses strive to establish. McFaul
explains: "The excitment of this business comes from the variety of players
that we hire. The combination is always
different, and always great. You'll find
the same people on our commercials, for
example, that play Steeley Dan dates."
The arrangers write out the music for
the session following a general lead
sheet/rhythm chart format, because
there are never any head or improvised
sessions. McFaul points out that "if you
don't give high -quality professional
musicians anything definite to play,
they tend to get confused. Many people
wonder, `How can I write a guitar part
for a great player like David Spinoza ?'
Yet that's what he wants. The more you
write, the better the music gets. If you
write something dumb, you can always
throw it away or change it."
"But actually," Lucas adds, "we're
hiring top musicians to make any song
sound great. If a silly song is appropriate for the commercial, then you hire
the best to make it sound great. Music
that's played well and feels good never
sounds dumb. The Beatles taught us
that with basic, boom -chick songs like
`When I'm Sixty- four.' A song played
with feeling and integrity becomes
Regardless of the aesthetic level of the
music, the basic idea should be clearly
defined, either as specific notes spelling
out precisely what to play, or as an attitude written in words. Jingle sessions
don't afford the luxury of spending
hours and hours trying out different
parts. Most of those decisions should be
made before the date begins. "Our sessions don't have a party atmosphere at
all, or come across as laid-back and
loose," says McFaul. "It's grown -up
men and women taking care of business
in an artistic vein. Nobody here has the
attitude that `This is only a jingle.' "
Production Sessions
At the start of the multitrack recording date, the writer of the tune plays the
music on the piano, or plays a demo for
the musicians, and supplies them with a
couple of basic remarks about what the
jingle is supposed to be. Then he counts
out the groove, and lets the players
interpret their parts just to see what
happens. "Sometimes the guys in the
rhythm section do something totally
unexpected," McFaul recalls, "and we'll
find something that works better than
we imagined. Then we can shape it, and
refine it."
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R -e /p 151
December 1983
Because the song is on paper in a
sketchy form, it's adaptable, adjustable,
and shapeable within that first hour.
Once the rhythm section leaves, however, the horn players and string players called in to overdub subsequent
parts stick closely to the original charts.
"You're dealing with an intangible
feeling in the song's foundation," says
Lucas. "The structure, melody, or
chords don't change only the input or
attitude given by each player's imagination. There's a certain pliability to the
rhythm section that doesn't exist with
the horns and strings."
There is a limit, of course. Surprises or
drastic left turns on bass, for instance,
don't work, because there are too many
people involved in the overall recording
process. In addition, the agency representative expects to get something
resembling the demo he commissioned.
"You're dealing with sophisticated
people who know what you're talking
about when you describe how you'll add
the strings and horns," says Lucas.
"The changes during a date shouldn't
be enormous, but rather small, pleasant
surprises. You really have to know the
end result before going into the studio."
Like musicians, jingle singers are
called in on a per -session basis, and
chosen for their particular versatility
and skills. According to Lucas and
McFaul, they rely on a core group of
about 30 New York City -based vocalists
that are all ace vocal arrangers, and
The Warehouse control room houses a Trident Series 80 console, Ampex MM-1200
multitrack and ATR-100 mastering machines, plus a full rack of outboard equipment.
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To demonstrate their prowess, Lucas
describes the demands of a typical
vocal- overdub session: "We hire eight
people to sing the melody three times;
that's 24 singers. Then they harmonize
three times; that's 48 voices. A couple of
extra vocal parts here and there brings
the total to approximately 64 vocal performances on a single jingle. Yet when
you listen back, it sounds like eight people singing once. That takes an amazing amount of speciality in terms of concentration, knowing when to cut -off,
diction, turn of words, and blend. Jingle
singers are probably as close to the best
musicians you'll encounter during the
day, and that includes the rhythm section, horns, and strings."
For the engineer as well as the musicians and producer, speed is the most
important consideration when committing a jingle to tape. Unlike a record
date, the control room contains not only
musicians and other studio personnel,
but usually representatives from the
client company and advertising agency
executives. Every effort therefore, must
be exerted to accomplish the most in the
shortest amount of time. The keyword
here is "preparation."
From the beginning, independent
engineer Michael DeLugg strove to
develop a close working relationship
with Lucas and McFaul, which means
entering a project while it is still in the
"pre- pre-planning" stages. "Tom will
play me a song and ask, `What do you
think of this for such -and-such a product,' "Lucas explains. "We talk about
the music, and I tell him what I like and
don't like. By the time the client walks in
the door, I know what's been written,
what the client prefers, the time frames
for all the recording sessions, the length
of the spot, what the instrumentation is,
and a rough idea about how many
tracks and effects I'll need. I also try to
discuss the chart with the arranger
before we get under way. And, because I
read music, I can follow the chart as
we're going.
"Knowing so much about what's
going on makes me feel more comfortable, and I usually don't have to ask too
many questions during the session. We
end up working faster; people walk out
happier; and when the jingle goes on the
air, it sounds better."
To make matters even easier, The
Warehouse 24 -track studio owns a full
complement of house instruments:
drums (a house kit, and a Linn Drum
Computer); keyboards (grand piano,
Fender Rhodes, Sequential Circuits
Prophet, Oberheim OBX, Yamaha GS -2,
etc.); instrument amps and several extra
"If a player comes in with just his
electric guitar and we decide that an
acoustic would be better, we're covered,"
says DeLugg. "Plus, I'm so familiar
with the sounds of our instruments that
I know all the ways to mike them for
their particular characteristics."
DeLugg finds that he mikes instruments in pretty much the same way
regardless of whether he's doing a jingle
session or a traditional record date. "I
try not to make a big deal out of what
I'm doing technically. I find it's better to
let more of the energy and `magic' come
from the players. I may use the extra
time on a record date to experiment a
little more. Or, if I'm dealing with a steStudio Equipment at The Warehouse
Jingle Production Facility
Lucas/McFaul's in-house 24 -track production studio, The Warehouse, is geared to
turn out professional -quality multitrack
tapes for the jingle business. According to
chief technical engineer Jeff Kracke, the
studio is outfitted with the following standard equipment:
Trident 32-24 Series 80 board with Valley
People Fadex console automation.
Ampex MM -1200 24-track, ATR -100 four track, and three ATR -100 two -track tape
EECO MQS audio/video SMPTE synchronization system.
UREI LA -3A, two LN1176s, and LN1178
Audio + Design Compex compressor
limiter- expander.
Eight Valley People Kepex noise-gates.
Two EMT 140 reverb chambers.
Lexicon 224 digital reverb system.
Eventide H949 and H910 Harmonizers.
Lexicon Super PrimeTime and PrimeTime
digital delay /effects units.
Hidley two -way, Auratone, Visonic 7000
and 9000 monitor systems.
Sony BVU200A U -Matic videocassette
reo product, I need to be a little more
concerned about the placement."
Many commercials get mixed down to
stereo for FM radio broadcast, or for
agency presentations to clients. If, for
example, an agency is putting on a
demonstration for Pepsi Cola in a large,
living -room environment, or small
theater with 10 rge speakers, DeLugg
takes five more minutes to develop the
stereo perspective; the result, he considers, sounds sufficiently more impressive.
Track assignments generally remain
about the same, too. In the case of TV
commercials, SMPTE timecode locks
the audio and video work tapes together,
and gets placed on track #24. A click
track, two tracks for Valley People
Fadex console automation data, and a
60 -Hz video sync track eat up four more
channels, which leaves only 19 open
tracks for music recording.
"There's been no problem with the 60Hz pulse [track #23] sitting between the
high- frequency signals like SMPTE
[track #24] and the data [tracks #22 and
#20]. A music channel usually gets
recorded between the two data tracks to
avoid data crosstalk. The click goes on
track #1, an edge track, so it's convenient to turn on and off in the monitors
and headphones.
The band members get a cue send that
resembles the control -room mix, the
major difference being a click track
that's sent to the players, but taken out
of the playback monitors. If ec
reverb is being added to the final mi
the control room, the musicians wi
receive a reduced amount in their cue
system, to keep their headphone signals
clear and easy to understand. For musicians such as the trumpet players, however, DeLugg uses additional echo to
create the illusion of a bigger room, so
they don't have to overblow to get their
sound across. "If the headphones make
the trumpets sound like they're tight miked," he explains, "the guys have
trouble playing, arid we don't get them
recorded in the hour we have
By the time the band runs down the
spot once or twice, DeLugg has his
sounds set, and is ready to start recording. He tries to record some kind of
rough mix on tape as quickly as he can,
so that the rhythm section, or whoever
is out in the studio, can come into the
control room, listen to the track, and
discuss the overall blend. That first
recording also provided a reference they
can check against the video tape to
ensure that all the timings are correct.
DeLugg will record most of the vocal
work in ensembles of five to eight singers, with one mike for the girls and
another for the guys. But 60- second
commercials require a lot of solo work
when there's a story to be told musically.
"We start with piano, vocal and simple orchestration, and build it all up like
a mini record," he explains. "That
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determines how DeLugg mixes the
laughs. "If I have to do a remix for some
reason in three days, I'd rather have as soundtrack. Jingles for radio camlittle outboard gear as possible to set up, paigns only might need to be in stereo
for FM stations. In that case, he goes for
so I can get that remix done quickly.
Generally speaking, DeLugg says a broader, fuller bandwidth spectrum,
that he prefers to add the required and doesn't "pinch" the tracks quite as
effects during the mix, when all the much.
The restricted bandwidth of an optimusicians and singers have gone home.
"When we take a little break to clear our cal soundtrack is another story, howears before we mix, I'll turn to my ever. For truly accurate representation,
assistant and let him know what gear DeLugg feels that it's important to mix
I'll need. After the break, he has all that on monitor speakers that reflect what
the eventual outcome will be. He starts
patched up and ready to go."
with a set of medium-sized bookshelf
Mixing for the Medium
speakers that are just loud enough to
Where the commercial is destined to give him the "kick" he needs to get a
play whether on a TV speaker, 35mm good mix. Then, to fine tune the mix, he
optical, 35mm mag, videotape, or radio slowly steps his way down through
small pairs until he arrives at the one
installed in the studio's television set.
"It really depends on the commercial,
the arrangement, and the song as to
what is important, and what needs to
come through. If I see there's a string
line being lost, I may switch to Auratone
[Sound Cubes], let's say, to find out why,
11111111tt1itt11. j.1
and then make corrections using either
EQ, a change in level, or whatever. It's
never simple, but you have to figure out
a solution quickly."
Lucas and McFaul sessions usually
host a crowd of five or six "big-wigs"
sitting in on the mix. According to
DeLugg, "they all think mixing is easy
SERIES 300 FOR 16-TRACK RECORDING: Series 300 mixers
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When the arranger says, `More
desired to be filled later.
strings right here,' I have to assess what
back switch, solo to monitor, and effects returns for each track. Type NA stereo control -room monitor
he means by that, and translate that to
module also has outputs for phones and for studio, and talkback/slate.
SERIES 300 WITH MATRIX FOR THEATRE Configured as a theatre mixer, the Series 300
some mechanical action. If I think
is as above with 8 submixes, each with a slider submaster feeding any number of type NXV matrix mixthere's enough strings, and more will
down modules (for example 12) feeding different places. The NXV modules have 8 insert pots each with
like masking the
get us into trouble
and a slider master with VCA (standard) for output control grouping in up to 8 VCA control
vocal, or a nice piano lick they've
groups. Type NA operator's monitor module makes a mixdown of the submixes and can also listen to
wanted louder for the last hour
any input, any submix, any output, or any Cue /effects using the SOLO, as well as providing talkback.
to let them know why. You have to be a
SERIES 300 AS A LIVE CONCERT HOUSE MIXER: Configured as a "house mixer" the
little bit of a psychologist when you
Series 300 is the same as the Theatre mixer (above) but without the output matrix. Eight submixes pan
have five or six producers sitting in on a
into the NA module for a stereo house output with slider master. Operator can listen via phones to the
track problems. I try to
touch with the arrangers
u K
s, so I always have plenty
en. Sometimes it means
live bouncing if we double k the vocals [recording the
of a previous track with a
live vocal], because that saves bouncing
time and tracks right away, and we can
get on with the harmonies."
DeLugg doesn't like to record effects
on the basic tracks, although occasionally he gets a track with a delay, phasing, or pitch- shifting device that is so
appropriate, or so much a part of the
sound, that he'll lay them down live.
"But I calmly inform everyone that this
is what they are now locked into," he
The biggest mixing consideration,
DeLugg offers, is maintaining control
over the various instrument sections,
such as trumpets, trombones, and
french horns. "If a client feels the french
horns state their product very well, I
better have them on their own track,
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Michael DeLugg started his engineering
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York City as an assistant engineer for people
like Phil Ramone and Donny Hahn. He
moved to Media Sound Studios, where
initially he worked primarily on jingles. But,
by hanging out at the studio all the time, he
picked up extra dates as a first engineer, and
became so familiar with the clients that they
began to ask for him by name. Record work
with artists such as Brownsville Station, the
Isley Brothers, Van McCoy, The Stylistics,
and Barry Manilow soon followed. As the
record business started to slow down,
DeLugg decided the time was right to freelance after nine years at Media Sound. He
returned to jingle work and, two years later,
settled down at Lucas/ McFaul's in -house
24-track studio, The Warehouse, where he
works steadily as an independent engineer,
with an occasional record date for Barry
December 1983
R -e /p 154
'I'm having a problem where the girl
kicks the football,' I know what he's
talking about, because I've seen it."
SMPTE timecode also comes in handy
when too many music parts necessitates
which may mean putting the trumpets
and trombones together. Or similarly, I
may have a client who is `violin happy.'
In a situation like that, I'll put the violins on one track, and the violas and
celli together on another track, so
there's enough flexibility for me to make
the client happy. Only if we're eventually going for a lush stereo [mix] can I
record the strings in a nice broad live
stereo, and not fool with violins here,
cellos there."
With speed being of paramount
importance, a few state -of -the-art tools,
including console automation to memorize fader-level and mute information,
make mixing more foolproof. DeLugg
spends a couple of minutes adjusting
the music mix without looking at the
video accompaniment. Via SMPTE
timecode interlock he can play back the
audio mix data and video in perfect
sync. Then DeLugg can watch the picture without worrying about duplicating a complicated mix in real time.
"When I first came to work at The
Warehouse, I was saying `Live mixing is
better.' But with four or five producers
from an agency all giving commands,
being able to fine tune tracks with just a
touch of a fader in an isolated update
mode saves a lot of headaches. Plus, I
know the whole mix will play back the
way I set it the first time by reading
back the automation data, so I can look
at the television monitor, too, and see
what's going on. When somebody says,
a doubling up of tracks. For instance: a
last-minute sax solo that occurs only at
the beginning may share a vocal track
;hat's only used during the last
seconds of the jingle. Using console
automation, DeLugg can assign that
track to two separate faders. Labeling
one the "sax" and the other the "vocal"
fader, he sets the appropriate EQ, echo,
and other effects on each channel, and
teaches the computers the level moves.
DeLugg tries to mix jingles very
simply, so that there aren't too many
surprises. "If a jingle suddenly starts
distorting, or pumping the limiters at a
radio or TV station, because the
changes in level are too drastic, the
commercial will sound bad on the air,"
he offers. "If I need a little bit of compression on the overall mix, or a little
riding on the overall level, I'll do that
before the product goes out the door."
A Specialist Art
With all the talk about hooks, knowing how to write for specific markets,
having such technically proficient people and equipment at their disposal for
writing, producing, engineering and
recording, why don't Lucas and McFaul
take on the lucrative world of Top 40
"That's another craft," answers
David Lucas. "I did that for a time. I
have a couple of Gold records on the
wall, but I didn't enjoy it. I think there is
more `giving up' on projects in the
record business, because you have to
consider the trends, consumers, that
you're writing for 14- year -old girls,
maybe college kids, when you write
records. Records are much more specific
than jingles.
"We actually have more control in
advertising than songwriters do in the
record business, even though we're selling products. This way we hire the top
studio musicians in the world to play
what we want them to play, and they're
gone in an hour. We start a job at 10
a.m., and it's finished that night. When
you do records, it's a complete life -style
Tom McFaul's opinions follow a similar pattern: "If you get on a bad record
project, you're stuck there for four
weeks, or whatever. If it is a bad jingle,
it'll be over in an hour. Jingles allow us
to dabble in all the different pop styles.
Away from the commercial business, I
get to work on something like a piano
sonata. I'm not thinking at all about
publishing it, because I do for myself.
"Jingles are more fun than anything
else we ever thought we'd be doing," he
continues enthusiastically. "We're also
making a good living. We're not losing
our writing chops, and the people are
nice. What more could we want?"
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R -e /p 155 O December 1983
According to Yamaha engineers, the
REV1 offers more extensive, precise and
easily understood control of sound than
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delay system or mechanical reverb devices, all of which are limited in the number
of controllable sound parameters.
With the REV1, the user has control over
such variables as: sound directly from the
source; "early reflections" bouncing off
surfaces; as well as "subsequent reverberation" in which the reflections are multiplied. Total electronic control can be maintained to compensate for, or simulate the
acoustic properties of any environment,
accounting for such variables as room size,
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The REV1 can create and control up to
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the relative timing between early reflec-
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and, as with the early reflections, the delay
before onset of reverberation can be precisely set, as can the reverberation density
and absolute level. The liveness of sound
can be altered by changing the level of
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Reverberation time can also be adjusted
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"basic" reverberation time can be changed
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The front panel of the 19 -inch rack mountable main unit included basic controls for recalling any of 30 preset and 60
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Once a desired effect is achieved, it can
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December 1983 D R -e/p 156
can be completely edited. LEDs on the
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Representing a new concept in operational control, the 300 Series is designed
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patterns in the world.
cation. The autolocate functions include
location of cue points, location with variable pre -roll, and automatic repeat, speeding punch -ins and electronic edits.
After auto punch-in and punch -out
points are determined, the settings can be
rehearsed and then accurately executed.
Takes from separate tracks are then
merged into one track through electronic
crossfading of designated tracks. Edit
functions normally performed on a single
machine can now be performed on synchronized multiple machines. A 10 -key
pad and memory provide settings for up to
100 cue points.
(201) 930 -6432
A standard 9 -volt alkaline battery provides a stable, clean source of regulated
48 -volt power for up to 16 hours or more
depending upon microphone requirements. A jack for external power from a
wall adaptor, or even an automobile bat tery, is provided.
P.O. BOX 5506
(415) 591 -8509
The Series 324 incorporates all of the
functions of the mixer in each module, so
that, for example, a 28- input/24 -track console requires simply the insertion of 28
input modules in the standard frame. Each
module incorporates a track output master
with an LED VU level indicator, as well as
input module features including track
assign, four equalizers, and four cue /effects sends.
Also included is the Model NA Monitor
module, which makes three stereo mixdowns from the monitor send section of the
individual modules; these can be used for
control room, studio, and 'phones in a
recording system, or house mix and operator's mix in a sound system. The NA
module also includes talkback and echo
MRL Calibration Tapes are designed and
supported by experts in magnetic recording
and audio standardization ... we helped write
the standards. Each-tape comeswith
detailed instructions and application notes.
The MRL catalog includes tapes for all studio
applications. In addition to the usual spot frequency tapes, we make single -tone tapes,
rapid -swept frequency tapes, wideband or
1 /3rd octave -band pink random noise tapes.
and difference- method azimuth-setup tapes.
Most are available from stock.
For a catalog and a list of oven 60
dealers in the USA and Canada, contact
J. G. (Jay) McKnight at:
Magnetic Reference Laboratory, Inc.
229 Polaris Ave., Suite 4
Mountain View, CA 94043
For additional Information circle #102
The MRL Calibration Graph is your proof of
the quality control that goes into every MRL
Reproducer Calibration Tape. We guarantee
each one to exceed the performance
requirements of IEC NAB, AES, and EIA
evet to
Z ape
0151 965-8187
Exclusive Export Agent: Gotham Export Corp, 0
New York, NY
December 1983
D R -e /p 158
Manufacturer's suggested prices:
ACM48 capsule $120; ACP48 pre -amplifier
$280; and PS9048 "The Ghost" PSU $249.
For additional information circle #101
The ACM48 family of studio microphones is available with five interchangeable capsules. Each mike is individually
calibrated and supplied with a "Birth Certificate" documenting the 20 kHz response.
The ACP48 companion pre -amplifier is
phantom -powered, and supplies a 200 -ohm
output impedance. Power may be supplied
by ACO's portable supply, "The Ghost," or
a conventional 48V phantom source.
A quoted 116 dB of dynamic range
results from the low (18 dBA) noise floor,
and the 134 dBSPL (0.5% THD) specifications.
The Ghost, a two-channel 48VDC portable power supply originally developed for
use with the ACM48 mikes, permits shotgun and other high -quality microphones
requiring phantom power to be used with
VCRs, audio tape recorders, and low-cost
consoles not providing 48 -volt power.
For recording, the system can be set up
for up to 24 tracks, and provides a simulstereo mix for
taneous stereo mixdown
control room with solo and another mix for
studio without solo. For sound systems,
the console provides up to 24 submixes,
each panned into the stereo house output,
with another stereo output with solo functions for the operator. Many points in the
mixer can be soloed into the monitor.
For additional information circle #104
The Series 324 construction without
meter bridge and with masters incorporated in modules results in the maxilum of
features in the minimum of space and
6710 ALDER
(713) 660 -0100
For additional information circle #103
The YDM2600 consists of two units: a
main rack -mountable chassis with local
control of many parameters, and a small
hand -held remote control unit with even
greater control capability. The remote features an alphanumeric LCD readout, while
the main unit has a back -lit LCD. These
displays indicate the selected delays,
whether a given output is bypassed, and
Four balanced XLR inputs are provided,
each with its own level control and four,
16 -LED level meters. A stereo headphone
monitor output facilitates setup and test-
ing, and the delayed audio outputs are
accessed by eight balanced XLR connectors.
The unit offers three modes of operation:
One -in Mode with eight discrete outputs at
up to 2.66 seconds of delay for each; Two -in
Mode, each with four discrete outputs at up
to L33 seconds delay; and Four-in Mode,
each with two discrete outputs at up to
0.655 seconds delay.
Entire setups may be stored in any of 12
in operation to an image enhancer used in
video production. A video engineer would
not boost blue (a visual frequency) to give
clarity to a picture, because it would throw
off the natural color relationships. According to EXR, using equalization to give clar-
octave- related delays and pre- emphasis to
apparently replace the notched out narrow
modes. Additionally, provisions have been
made for an additional 12 read -only
memories for custom installations where
ity and separation to audio material also
throws off the natural tonal relationship of
the signals. Instead, the Projector processes the whole audio frequency spectrum
simultaneously, notching out distortion
bands and centerpoint frequencies that
coincide with the ears' limiters.
EXR's exclusive process then uses
Suggested list price of the new EXR
Model SPII Projector is $549.
frequency bands, thereby maintaining the
tonal integrity of the audio signal while
achieving "dramatic clarity, separation,
and intelligibility."
user -programmable memories, four
memories for each of the three operating
system requirements are regularly
changed between several "fixed" configurations.
Since the YDM2600 basic delayed output
can be set to within 20.8 microseconds
resolution, it should be particularly useful
for synchronizing audio with video on a
satellite up /down link, for example. In the
case of disk mastering, the YDM2600 eliminates the need for preview heads.
(3132) 227 -6122
For additional information circle #107
and when you deal with Valley
The YDM2600 also can be controlled by
computer utilizing an RS -232 interface and
separate serial input /output connections,
allowing automatic effects switching.
P.O. BOX 6600
(714) 522 -9134
you're dealing with good people!
They're always there for my
audio needs!
For additional information circle #105
The TX -203 hand -held mike employs an
interchangeable head assembly, allowing
its use as either an omnidirectional or car-
dioid pastern condenser microphone.
Also new are the MDR-3 single -channel,
and MDS -2 four -channel space diversity
receivers. The latter can operate up to eight
diversity channels with antenna distribution, audio output, and universal power
modules, all in one unit. Each channel is
easily added to the frame, simply by plugging in.
(914) 761 -6520
For additional information circle #106
The Projector"' is a two -channel psycho acoustic processor incorporating the same
four psycho- acoustic process modes and
mix /solo capabilities previously only
available in the EX Series. The SPII utilizes pre -selective 180° phase notching,
psycho -acoustic frequency juxtapositioning, time delays and pre- emphasis to precondition the audio signal to match the
ear's hearing mechanisms.
The new unit was designed to be similar
VALLEY /lLi710
2821 Erica Place
PO Box 40743
Mr. Atkins receives no compensation for
Nashvile, 1N 37204 -31'1
to outdoor as well as indoor use, the
weather -resistant enclosure of the PI100 is
a molded polyethylene with a water resistant grille. T-nuts are embedded in the
sides of all cabinets to facilitate
The trio of two -way speaker systems
intended for permanent sound reinforcement applications where a wide, controlled
coverage angle and high efficiency are
desired comprise the FR15 -2, FR12 -2, and
Citing numerous applications where
just one system capable of uniform coverage over a wide frequency range is called
for, Jim Long, director of marketing /professional sound reinforcement products
adds, "Such performance is available from
wide -angle horn,
separate components
compression driver, low-frequency system,
but with three
and crossover network
big drawbacks: relatively high cost; complex installation; and a clumsy `utility'
Crossover frequency and speaker component geometries of the new loudspeakers
have been carefully selected so that directional characteristics of the woofer and
constant -directivity horn match at the
crossover frequency to create a special system type: the constant-directivity system.
And, unlike a conventional horn, an EV
constant -directivity horn is said to maintain its rated beamwidth to the highest
frequencies, thus assuring broad, uniform
coverage without hot spots and dead spots.
Two models in the series, the FR15 -2 and
FR12 -2, have oak -grain vinyl enclosures
with detachable beige grillecloths. Suited
Low frequencies of the FR15-2 are
handled by a 15 -inch EVM -15L Series II
woofer mounted in a 4.3- cubic -foot optimally vented enclosure. Frequencies above
the 1.5 kHz crossover point are handled by
a DH1202 compression driver on a 90- by
40- degree constant -directivity horn.
Controls on the R1000 enable reverb and
direct sound to be varied continuously in
any of four different reverb time settings.
A three -band parametric equalizer enables
continuously variable adjustment at low,
mid and high frequencies.
According to Yamaha, "the R1000 is an
ideal, economical replacement for
mechanical reverberation units and its
light weight [101/2 pounds] and small size
[19 inch rack -mountable] eliminates the
hassle of carting larger, more temperamental reverb units. In fact, because it is
digital, the R1000 completely eliminates
undesirable physical vibration effects of
spring -type reverb units."
The FR12 -2 low- frequency section features a 12 -inch woofer mounted in a vented
1.8- cubic -foot enclosure. Frequencies
above the 1.5 kHz crossover point are
handled by a 11/2-inch Super -Dome tweeter
coupled to a 9 -inch Direktor. Except for its
enclosure, the PI100 is identical to the
The R1000 will carry a suggested retail
price of $795.
microphon- , irte
for your free copy of
December 1983
R -e /p 160
FR12 -2.
The new Electro -Voice speakers have
the following pro user net prices: FR15 -2
$665; FR12 -2 $417; and PI100 $417.
(616) 695 -6831
For additional information circle #109
1718 W.
Mishawaka Road
IN 46517
P.O. BOX 6600
(714) 522 -9134
For additional information circle #110
The current Coles type 4038 is the culmination of 30 years of development and
usage by organizations such as the BBC.
The best ribbon microphones have been
renowned for their warmth, good response,
and smooth, mellow, extended top -end;
liabilities have been size, weight, and fragility. The 4038 is described as being the
modern solution to these problems.
Ribbon material is a carefully selected
pure aluminum foil, corrugated and precisely tensioned between high permeability pole pieces. Slightly magnetic woven
magnetic screen mounted each side of the
ribbon provide a precise degree of damping, and act as stops to prevent overstressing of the ribbon under accidental
wind blasts.
The ribbon combines the functions of a
very low mass, critically-damped acoustical diaphragm, and a low resistance halfturn dynamic coil. The ribbon and pole
piece shapes have been carefully optimised for a flat frequency response with a
higher output efficiency than earlier models. The moving mass of the ribbon is only
about 1 /500th that of most dynamic moving coil microphone systems and, having
great flexibility, the ribbon is easily tuned
to a very low basic frequency. Combined
with correct acoustical damping, these
features are said to give the microphone a
very flat and extended bass response.
All microphones tend to suffer a change
in polar response at high frequencies, due
to their physical size compared to the
sound wavelength. The 4038 ribbon and
pole piece system is completely symmetrical in the horizontal plane. This, combined
with the short vertical length of the ribbon,
and the acoustically compensating design
of the casing, help to maintain a constant
shape of the polar response of both planes.
response, low distortion and even coverage, avoiding the performance disadvantages of sharp flare transitions and flat
(213) 798 -9127
For additional information circle #112
The new CD Modular System consists of
the CDS -3000 control unit and CDP -3000
Compact Disc player(s). The new CDP 3000 is a variation on the CDP -5000, while
the CDS -3000 control unit has been
designed for programming of Compact
Discs in audio production applications, as
well as in radio and TV stations.
The CDS -3000 is capable of controlling
two CD drives either by program or by
manual operation. Accurate cueing is
made possible through the aid of a 10 -key
pad, and a rotational search dial. Up to
eight programs can be handled simultaneously and then played back consecutively,
with one -frame accuracy at start/stop
The new model is constructed of
injection- molded, reinforced polyurethane,
for light weight, superior strength and
freedom from resonances. The horn's
small vertical mouth dimension (slightly
larger than the compression driver used to
drive the horn) allows compact single and
multiple horn /driver systems to be
assembled. Should vertical pattern control
be needed below 2 kHz, two or more horns
may be stacked vertically to restore full
Bi-Radial performance.
The 2386 will accept JBL's two -inch
diameter 2441, 2445, or 2482 compression
drivers. With the addition of the 2327
adaptor, the horn also will accept the oneinch throat 2425 driver.
(213) 893 -8411
For additional Information circle #114
The units can be mounted in a standard
and all operation is accomplished automatically. The programming of
two CD players allows for smooth and
accurate segueing from different source
materials for uninterrupted production or
airplay requirements.
19 -inch rack,
(201) 930 -6432
For additional Information circle #113
Providing uniform on- and off-axis frequency response (from 500 Hz to 16 kHz in
the horizontal plane, and 2 kHz to 16 kHz
in the vertical plane), the 2386 horn has a
nominal 40- by 20- degree coverage angle.
The unit has been designed for flush
cabinet mounting, or compact cluster
The highly dependable performance of
the new flat-front 2386 is said to greatly
simplify cluster design, minimize the need
for horn overlapping, and virtually eliminate lobing and comb filter effects.
Computer -aided techniques were employed
to derive the horn contours in the horizontal and vertical planes, to yield smooth
No Encoding or decoding
Simple, Trouble -free Operation
30 dB of Noise Reduction
Useful on Any Audio Signals
The Dynafex is a single -ended system that does not require
encoding or decoding. With this device, noise can be virtually
eliminated on cart machines, VTR audio tracks, mixdown recording,
film sound tracks, or any other audio source. It is also capable of
removing noise from old, noisy tapes, and can be used to reduce
surface noise on phonograph records.
With the advent of higher quality audio in radio, television, and
motion pictures, Dynafex provides an immediate and dramatic
improvement in audio quality at a price any budget can afford. Call
or write for further technical information. Dynafex is available from
professional audio dealers throughout the world.
MICMIX Audio Products, Inc.
2995 Ladybird Lane
Dallas, TX 75220
(214) 352 -3811
R-e p 161
December 1983
ew Products
Described as the first commercially
available 16 -track recorder /reproducer
using half-inch tape, the B -16 offers built in Dolby C noise reduction as standard.
Because of its compact size (approximately 17 by 17 by 9 inches deep, and
weighing 66 pounds), the B -16 is said to be
ideal for cramped remote trucks, control
rooms, or spare rooms.
The B -16 is video interlock ready
multi -pin connector (rear panel) is pre wired for SMPTE interlock synchronizers
such as BTX, Adam -Smith, Q -Lock, CMX
and EECO. The machine is delivered with
pin -out information and mating connector
for fast, accurate interface.
The electronics package includes individual record /reproduce cards for each
channel (adjustments are easily accessible
behind the removable meter panel); LED
bar graph metering system with peak ballistics on attack and VU ballistics on
decay; full frequency response in sync
mode (standard model has two heads); and
multiple track punch -in /out with one button operation.
The basic B-16 with belt -drive capstan
has a recommended retail price of $5,900;
optional direct-drive PLL capstan costs an
additional $700.
(213) 921 -1112
For additional information circle #117
The transport features a 3 -motor design
with two direct -drive reel motors, and a
servo-controlled capstan motor. Running
speed is 15 IPS with ±15% variable operation in both record and reproduce modes. A
real -time tape counter operates with
search-to -cue function from any mode.
The new amplifier utilizes power
MOSFETs, and features power output ratings of 300 watts RMS per channel into 8
ohms, and 450 watts into 4 ohm loads. In
the mono bridging mode the rated power is
900 watts into 8 ohms. A dual- speed, thermostatically controlled fan keeps the 900
running cool under heavy concert use, and
quiet enough for a studio control room.
It has front-panel level controls, LED
Professional Series
meters and an exclusive new stereo limiter.
The meters can be front panel calibrated to
a continuous range of Output from 56 to 450
watts RMS into 4 ohms; this calibration
point is the zero reference point of the
meter, and is automatically the limiter
threshold point. The limiter slope may be
varied from soft to hard limiting action,
and is fully defeatable.
All controls are front panel operated,
including circuit breakers and input impedence selection. Active balanced inputs on
XLR and Vi -inch connectors are standard.
The outputs have full speaker protection,
including DC fault sensing. Distortion
typically ranges from 0.005% to 0.2%
depending on power and frequency.
The suggested list price of the MOSFET
900 is $1,250.
P.O. DRAWER 1803
SHELBY, NC 28150
(704) 487-7012
For additional Information circle #119
A new stereo audio and timecode phase
verification system has been introduced
by B & B Systems, a recently formed company set up by William Burnsed and John
The AM -1 combines an X -Y 'scope,
average- reading VU meters, peak-reading
LED meters, plus timecode oscilloscope
display, in a single chassis.
The X -Y 'scope displays stereo phase
and separation, while the field- locked
'scope shows timecode phase and genlock.
The unit also features separate peak and
average audio level meters, and 'scope display of left and right audio channels.
Model 1500 US
Mfrs. suggested retail: $1600.00
This 2- track, 2- channel version of our Isolated Loop,
quartz controlled open reel
tape recorder maintains low tape tension, while providing extremely stable transport (0.018% wow /flutter
WRMS at 15 ips). Frequency response: 30 - 30,000Hz -Al 3
dB. S/N ratio: 68 dB. Distortion at 0 VU; 0.8 %. Direct drive
capstan and reel motors with electronic tension sensing.
Full IC -logic transport controls. Removable head
IIIiiiiniiiiI IuninliI
At either location, or send check or money order for freight collect delivery.
5575 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
6609 Van Nuys Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91405
(213) 936 -5118
(213)908 -1500
December 1983
R -e /p 162
According to Burnsed, "The product is
ideal for post -production, television field
production, broadcast stations, or any
place where stereo audio or timecode is
The AM -1 sells for $2,800.
(805) 257 -4853
For additional information circle #120
SOUNDTRACS 16 -8 -16
Innovative features of the 16 -8 -16
include eight additional inputs in remix or
record, with equalization and fader reverse
to control them. In addition, it is now possible to have 16 -track monitoring with
simultaneous recording. In all the mixer
offers three permutations of input /output:
and 16 -8 -16.
The 16 tape returns are normalized to the
16 monitor sections, so no replugging is
necessary for remix. Visual level monitoring is available on an 18 -way meter bridge,
each containing a 10 element, bi -color LED
ladder that actually correlate directly to
the line of controls being used.
32-2, 24 -8 -2,
equipped with balanced line outputs for
connection to any sound equipment.
rack space, and feature EQ in /out
switchable high -pass three-pole rumb
ter for PA applications. The range of bo
and cut is selectable between ±6 dB for subtle EQ curves, and ±12 dB for more extreme
control. LED's indicate all switched functions and channel overload.
Specifications include frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz, ±0.5 dB; TMD: less
than 0.02 %; hum and noise: less than -95
dBm (IHF -A); and maximum signal level
(input, output): +20 dBm.
Power to the unit is provided by an
external free -standing unit with switchable mains input (100 to 240 volts) and master phantom on /off switch.
Recommended retail price of the 16 -8 -16
console is $6,595.
(516) 249 -3669
For additional information circle #121
The new P -4M and P-5MX mixers are
available in mono and stereo versions, in
table -top or rack -mount configurations.
The P -4M provides four channels and six
balanced inputs, with selectable Hi /Lo
shelving EQ for channels #1, #2 or all.
Other features are selectable peak/VU
Suggested retail price of the GE 1502 and
GE3101 is $325.
The new system uses both compression
and compander /expander techniques to
ensure distortion -free performance over
the broadest range of audio input levels,
and is available on five protected frequencies to ensure interference free operation.
The Performer system retails for $689.
P.O. BOX 12617
(505) 831 -1010
For additional information circle #118
The GE1502 dual 2/3- octave and GE
3101 third -octave graphics occupy a single
(215) 638 -8670
For additional information circle #123
The DMX has been expanded with new
software, and more than double the
memory capacity. The new software
allows for over 45 new features including
5,000+ event internal programming capacity; 200 sequence patterns; 100 songs; programmable tempo displayed in frames per
beat; song and sequence length displayable in minutes and seconds; and selective
cassette interface. ... continued overleaf
meter ballistics, headphone driver, 'phone,
master and monitor controls, and cue on
all inputs.
Flexible Control, Great Specs, Great Value!
g .¡.p .p...:
The P -5M is designed to function as both
an expander for the P -4M (to provide a
total of 11 inputs and nine channels), and
as a stand alone five- channel mixer with
send /receive on each channel.
Both units feature XLR -type connectors,
balanced inputs and outputs, gain select
on all inputs (mike thru +26 dBm). Conductive plastic controls and long -life switches
also are featured.
(916) 635 -3600
For additional information circle #122
The Performer wireless system features
a transmitter that plugs on to any professional microphone or to any highimpedance instrument pickup. Transmitter audio gain is easily adjusted to match
the individual voice, microphone, and
instrument. The transmitter also features
an internal antenna to eliminate the dangling wire or protruding whip common to
most wireless microphones. The receiver is
LC- 3
The LC -3 Limiter/ Compressor features
the industry's widest continuous control range for attack, release, and
compression ratio controls. "De -ess"
and side -chain modes for frequency
selective limiting. Low noise, low distortion, and long -life dependability
a Lifetime Limited Warranty, the industry's strongest. All this
adds up to the best value Limiter/ Compressor available today ... anywhere.
Check it out at your local Furman
Sound Dealer, or write us for further
backed by
Furman Sound, Inc.
Dept. R
30 Rich Street
Greenbrae, CA 94904
(415) 927 -1225
Telex 172029 SPX SRFL
R -e /p 163
December 1983
27. Under the pressure of a live performance, a soundman can instantly make
the minimum correction necessary to elim-
inate feedback.
voice cards are user
ny of the other sounds in
sound library, including
congas, timbales, cowbell/ clave, a complete set of electronic drums, as well as
special sound effects. Each of these voice
cards can be installed in a matter of
seconds, and retail for around $100 each.
Current DMX owners should contact their
nearest Oberheim Service Center for the
new DMX memory expansion update. The
charge for the update is $150, including
(213) 473 -6574
For additional Information circle #125
Front -panel inputs and controls comprise a low-impedance, balanced microphone input, a high- impedance unbalanced line input, a push- button range
switch, a reference level control, and a
power switch.
P.O. BOX 115
(203) 938 -2588
For additional information circle #126
The new LM -27 features 27 bands from
40 Hz to 16 kHz on standard one -third
octave ISO center frequencies, each row of
three LEDs indicating either ±3 dB or ±6
The bi -amped AF1 loudspeakers employ
a three -way system with single proprietary 18- and 12 -inch isolated drivers, and a
constant -directivity horn /tweeter. Drivers
are passively crossed over at 3.5 kHz, and
electronically crossed at a recommended
125 Hz.
For room equalization the 27 bands correspond to the slider frequencies of most
one -third octave equalizers; while for feedback control, when unequal sound pressure levels go into a feedback loop and
"howl," a spike corresponding to one of the
equalizer's sliders wil appear on the LM-
birch or domestic plywood is available,
and a version lacking hardware and
accessories is built exclusively for installation purposes.
The unit alone measures 223/4 inches
high, by 371/2 inches wide, by 24 inches
deep. Road versions, which include caster
covers, stand 32 inches high, and are
equipped with four handles on each side.
One set of handles is designed for stacking, while the other is for carrying.
Offered in six different models, the
enclosures can be ordered in a variety of
different styles to suit an individual's particular needs. All cabinets come in a vertical or horizontal format, finished in either
a rugged textured -black paint, or a dark brown walnut stain. A choice of imported
The remarkable low cost noise gate that is
so simple and economical to use
that people are finding new
applications for them every day.
The AF1s range in price from $980 to
$1,360, depending upon options.
P.O. BOX 488
(312) 382 -4550
For additional information circle #127
The new Differential Input Amplifiers
are intended for retrofit into existing
equipment, such as monitor amps, recording consoles, limiters, and many semi -pro
devices, and were designed to provide a
low-cost answer to the need for balanced
Use one
channel for each
mike in your P.A.
System and drastically increase loudness without
feedback. Gate your echo returns to adjust
decay time without running to the chamber.
Gate your cue feeds and rid the headphones of distracting hum and noise. Gate each
mike on the drum kit, the sound is spectacular!
For the full story and a list of dealers call or write
Omni Craft Inc. Rt. 4 Box 40, Lockport, Illinois 60441
(815) 838 -1285
The DIA -1 is a DC- coupled device for use
with split supplies from ±9 to ±42 volts. The
DIA -2 is an AC-coupled version for use
with a single positive supply from +18 to
+58 volts.
Features include a true differential balanced input to eliminate ground loops; 90
dB of trimmed common mode (70 dB at 20
kHz) rejection, typical; FET input op -amp
and ferrite beads to eliminate RF interference; and 13 volt per microsecond slew rate
for SID and TIM free operation.
(214) 840 -9496
For additional information circle #128
RT. 4 BOX 40
December 1983 D R -e /p 164
815- 838 -1285
SDE -3000 AND SDE -1000
Delay times on the SDE-3000 extend to
4.5 seconds, and can be set in 0.1 and 1
millisecond increments. With the SDE 3000's eight-channel memory capability,
the user has footswitch assess to eight different effects. LED readouts accurately
display all vital system functions.
The cost-effective SDE -1000 offers delay
times of up to 1.125 seconds, and four
channels of programmable preset memory.
It features the same precision facilities for
setting delay times, and also incorporates
LED readouts.
The new, fourth generation Model EXIV
psycho- acoustic enhancer is an evolution
in design from the EX Series. While maintaining all of the characteristics of the
quiet passages; adjustable process limiter
to prevent high -frequency splash on dense
program material; 0 dB or -20 dB switchable inputs/ outputs; and a peak -level
switch which gives narrow- or wide -band
EXIII, a totally new enhancement process,
the new "A" mode, has been engineered to
enhance and clarify the bass and lower
mid frequencies.
New features include: Sweepable frequency centerpoint control; process noise
gate with threshold and release speed controls to eliminate background noise during
Suggested retail price for the EXR Exciter Model EXIV is $1,690.
Both the SDE -3000 and -1000 are
equipped with four remote switch jacks for
ease of operation: Delay On /Off, Hold (for
repeating delay endlessly with adjustable
tempo), Playmate (to set delay times
remotely during performance), and Preset
(for switching between memory channels).
The SDE-1000 is also equipped with a
modulation foot control jack for footpedal
control of modulation rates.
(213) 685 -5141
For additional Information circle #130
The new Studio Rack Model A contains
12 vertical rack spaces, two diagonally
positioned spaces, and four spaces in the
lower body that allow the outboard gear to
point straight up at the user.
The rack is constructed of either oiled
birch veneer, or a plastic laminated material available in a wide selection of colors.
Custom -made versions can also be ordered
to fit virtually any application.
Measuring 38 inches tall by 20'/2 inches
wide, the Studio Rack is 29% inches deep at
its deepest point, and comes complete with
casters and a removable vented back that
provides easy access to inner connections.
At the bottom is an opening for wires, and
a storage area for extra jacks, cable, and
other items.
P.O. BOX 488
(312) 382 -4550
(313) 227-6122
For additional information circle #132
NADY SYSTEMS, the Wireless Innovators,
leaves the competition dangling with tf-.e introduction of the rew 49 -HT Handheld Microphone.
With all transmitting elements self-contained, the
49 -HT eliminates theunsightly wire antenna found
on other 49mHz `wireless' mics, while featuring
Nady's exclusive 3-channel capabilities and an
Audio-Technica PR60 mic element.The truly wi, eless
49 -HT offers the discr urinating musician, vocalist or
speaker proven Nady technology and extra features at
a price so low, you'll ook twice. Go with tìe choice
of the pros. GET NADY NOW.
The Wireless
Nady 49 Systems
also available
with lavatier
and for musical
1145 65th St.
Oakland, CA
415- 652 -2411
For additional information circle #131
R -e'p 165
December 1983
ew proc
The MX -P61 12- channel multipurpose
portable mixer is small enough to fit into a
standard 19-inch rack, and features all -
transformerless balanced input and output circuitry for optimal signal clarity.
Each of its 12 input channels is equipped
with Cannon -type connectors for either
microphone or line inputs. Four line and
three auxilliary outputs are provided,
together with comprehensive monitoring
and talkback sections.
12V AB phantom power, and selectable
line /auxiliary output reference level of +4,
+6, +8 dBm. The mixer weighs just over 40
pounds, and measures 17-inches wide, by
22'/8-inches deep, by 5'/s- inches high.
(201) 930 -6432
For additional information circle #134
The P225 is conservatively rated at 175
watts per channel into 4 ohms, with less
than 0.03% THD over the frequency range
from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The unit uses a puchpull complementary symmetry circuit that
employs MOSFET output devices and
premium components throughout. Because
MOSFETS are inherently self-protecting,
the P225 has no need for complex and sonically degrading current limiting circuitry,
the company claims.
The unit also features three -band equalizers on each input, choice of VU metering
or LED peak -program meters, high and
lowpass filters, two stereo output limiters
and choice of AC or 12 -volt DC power
The MX -P61 also offers selectable 48V or
The P225 employs rear -panel output
fuses for load protection, as well as thermal circuit breakers mounted to the heat
sinks. The thermal breakers will shut the
amplifier down in the unlikely event it
overheats. The unit can easily be con-
verted to a monophonic amplifier by its
internal mono /stereo switch; in the mono
mode, the P225 will deliver 350 watts to an
8 ohm load. Input gain controls on the
amplifier's rear panel make level matching possible with a simple screw driver
Tentative prices of the new P225 amplifier are $499.95 fuly assembled; and
$425.95 partially assembled.
(609) 662 -6355
For additional Information circle #135
AMPEX MM -1200
The computer-optimized modification
kit, developed by Peter Butt, is intended to
improve the audible performance of the
MM -1200 multitrack. Modifications included in the user-installed kit are said to
improve the reliability of the capstan servo
system; the single -point Search -to-Cue
system; enhance audio channel transient
and frequency response; and reduce audio
distortion, especially in the low- frequency
region. The time required for record mode
entry and exit also is reduced, along with
reduction in obtrusive "thumps" resulting
from bias ramping.
The kit includes all required parts of
approved types and quality levels, along
with specific installation instructions in a
step-by -step format. Illustrations of part
locations for the Audio Switching card,
Reproduce Amplifier, and Search -to -Cue
card are provided. Only normal electronics
hand tools are required for installation.
Pricing for the kits is $1,200 for the 24track kit, and $800 for the 16- track.
(213) 348-4977
For additional information circle #136
The new software package for the
Q.LOCK 3.10C synchronizer is specifically designed to streamline the process of
editing an original master audio track to
an edited videotape. Simple key sequences
automatically cue all the machines to the
required points, drop into record when
desired, and relocate for a review of the
edit, also calculating offsets automatically.
Q.SOFT-CONFORM is normally configured for three-machine operation, with
the facility for locking together the video
machine and multitrack for ease of use.
The original audio is transferred from the
third machine onto the multitrack, and
relay closures within Q.LOCK permit
alternate track laying to be performed
with an overlap between the segments for
full mix/edit facilities.
When used in a two -machine configuration, Q.SOFT- CONFORM will enable two
video machines to be used as a simple
assembly video-editor, complete with color
framing calculations modifying the
machine offsets.
Previously, Q.LOCK interfaces for the
Sony 5000 Series of U -Matic VCRs did not
permit its use as a slave to an audio or
December 1983
R -e /p 166
video master. The latest generation of
interfaces for these machines is now capable of being used as master or slave. Existing Q.LOCK systems are retrofittable with
the new interface.
(213) 980 -5717
For additional information circle #137
Developed to augment low- frequency
reproduction in a variety of professional
applications, including recording studios,
motion picture theaters and sound reinforcement systems, the Model 4645's 18inch LF component features a four -inch
diameter voice coil and SFG (Symmetrical
Field Geometry) magnetic structure for
accurate, extended, deep bass response
with minimal distortion. The driver is
housed in a direct radiator, bass reflex
enclosure constructed of dense stock, and
braced for maximum durability.
matic rewind and continuous playback;
capstan motor off to disable capstan motor
when clear leader or end of tape is detected;
mono for playback of full -track tapes; and
quarter track for playback of either 1/2- or
1/4-track tapes.
In some cases, combinations of the
above modifications are possible. For
further information on multiple modifications and other modifications, please contact G.T. Sanford III:
(615) 254 -5651
For additional information circle #140
The AMS28 condenser microphone is a
lavalier unit that performs the same
automatic functions as Shure's other AMS
microphones, the low- profile AMS22 and
probe- styleAMS26. When used in conjunction with an AMS mixer, the AMS28 will
turn on and off automatically in response
to the wearer's speech. In addition, the
exclusive design of AMS mixers and microphones prevents the AMS28 from being
activated by any undesirable sounds that
originate outside the microphone's 120 degree front acceptance angle.
Sound sources that originate beyond
this "window of acceptance" will not make
the microphone turn on, regardless of their
loudness. When a number of Shure AMS
microphones are in use at the same time,
each mike will operate independently in
analyzing its own soundfield, and determining whether or not a sound source is
Glenn Snoddy
"With a TIMES ONE you can expect
to hear a marked sonic improvement
in your speakers. Tighter bass, fatter
midrange, cleaner highs."
Denny Purcell
"It's simply the best ampliti
I've ever heard."
Tuned to 30 Hz, the enclosure has a net
internal volume of 8 cubic feet. System
response is said to be flat to 35 Hz, and
usable to 25 Hz. For increased efficiency
and extended response, multiple modules
may be utilized. Use of JBL's 5234A electronic frequency dividing network with
two JBL 51 -5138 (80 Hz, 18 dB per octave
slope) crossover cards is recommended to
ensure optimum performance.
(213) 893 -8411
TIMES ONE uses video amplifier technology
to deliver super -fast, super- accurate, super -
reliable high 'ower audio amplifiers which
will produce from 50 to 700 watts at 2 to 4
ohms with a slew rate of 1311V micro-sec. Call
(212) 935 -7222 for further information or
Design Workshop. 305 East 46th St., New
For additional information circle #139
The eight special modifications for the
Revox PR99 Reproduce Only tape deck are
intended to allow "custom tailoring" to
meet specific user requests in a variety of
broadcast, industrial, and commercial
background music applications.
The modifications available are: low
speed (17/8/3ií IPS) in '/z- or 1/4-track formats; Y -ready signal to indicate tape is
loaded but not moving; Auto Cue for automatic cueing to 25 Hz tone; Auto Reverse
for continuous playback of 1/4-track tapes
in both directions; Auto Repeat for auto-
York City, N.Y. 10017.
R -e /p 169
December 1983
ew rodKts
within the front acceptance angle.
When an AMS28 is gated on, it operates
as a unidirectional (cardioid) microphone,
keeping background noise at a minimum.
Its design also makes it resistant to handling or clothing noise, vibration, and
hum. Furthermore, the AMS28's wide (100
100 - 100,000
(408) 727 -0917
The new Director and Translator units
P.O. Box 861
Valley Forge, PA
215- 935 -1422
or 644 -3266
In The
with downward expansion. Since these
two types of noise reduction occur simultaneously, the designer claims a greater
amount of noise reduction can be realized
than in typical dynamic filtering schemes.
According to MICMIX, the Dynafex circuitry provides a wider range of audio
applications than a companding (encode/decode) system.
According to SSMT, production quantities of the new SSM220 will be available
the first quarter of 1984. SSMT will be selling the chips to qualified OEMs who will
be required to execute a sub -licensing
Hz to 10 kHz) frequency response has been
specially tailored for high -quality speech
applications, resulting in extreme clarity,
without muddiness or boominess.
User net price of the AMS28 is $205.
and On The Road
RTA 1232
Double -tuned filters for professional results 31
ISO bands cover full 20Hz to 20KHz SPL meter
1,2,3 dB per step 12x32 LED display Digital
pink and white noise Two balanced 15V phantom mic Inputs Two line inputs $1,250.00
(312) 866 -2553
Developed in conjunction with Solid
State Micro Technology For Music, Inc.,
the new integrated circuit utilizing proprietary Dynafex noise -reduction technology is said to provide 30 dB of noise reduction on virtually any audio signal, without
the encode/decode process. SSMT will
manufacture and market the Dynafex
SSM2200 chip under license.
Dynafex circuitry incorporates dynami-
cally variable bandwidth limiting, along
are microprocessor-based looping controllers for Automatic Dialog Replacement
(ADR). Unlike the conventional synchronizer, these products utilize the same concepts as their time -proven counterparts in
film production, by tying audio to video
with full on-line editing capability.
The Director handles up to six "voices"
separately, routing each performance to
its own track. Standard functions include
high speed "rock and roll" of tape and picture, storing loop input and output points,
and recording each cue point as an automatic reassembly point for editing. The
entire ADR can be pre -programmed using
frame -by -frame accurate SMPTE time code cueing with single keystroke control.
All data is stored on floppy disk for
backup. The operator can, though the captive memory, scroll back through for cue
review, or play through the tape. Both
audible beeps and visual wipes are produced.
Standard interfaces accommodate one
VTR and one audio transport as the minimum configuration, and expand to handle two more VTRs, or ATRs, or combination, based on the nature of work
(714) 630-8020
Watts (8 ohms), 450 Watts (4 ohms) per channel
900 Watts mono bridged (8 ohms)
dual limiter /compressors and metering system
Balanced Low Z / High Z inputs Input attenuators Full protection circuitry $1,250.00
135 Watts (8 ohms), 200 Watts (4
ohms) per channel 400 watts mono bridged (8
Full protection
Clipping indicators
circuitry $675.00
Available from authorized dealers.
December 1983
Finally. Affordable acoustic design. As much or as
little as you need, without mystery or doubletalk.
We work with you, filling in the gaps. Offering the
insider's solutions to noise and isolation problems.
Using proven acoustical designs to insure great
sounding rooms.
Put the 30 years experience of two of New York's
leading experts to work for you.
Call or write PBI, 425 East 63rd St., NY 10021, Tel (212) 758 -3691
P.O. Drawer 1803
Shelby, NC 28150
R -e /p 170
For additional information circle #144
One -inch minimum payable in advance Fourinchesmaximum Space
over four inches will be charged for
at regular display advertising rates
The Platinum Rainbow (How To Succeed in The Music Business Without Sel-
ling Your Soul) by Grammy Award winning record producer Bob Monaco and
syndicated music columnist James
Riordan. Complete sections on producing and engineering including the practical aspects of pursuing a career. Also
contains a complete DIRECTORY of the
music business including studios and
engineering schools.
$11.00 Postpaid
R -e /p Books
P.O. Box 2449 Hollywood, CA 90028
by F. Alton Everest
320 pages
201 illustrations
The book that covers it all ..
a comprehensive guide to all
tacets of multitrack recording...
acoustics ... construction .. .
studio design ... equipment ..
techniques ... and much,
much more!
Paperback: $9.95
R-e/p Books
P.O. Box 2449
Hollywood, CA 90028
by Diane Sward Rapaport
P.O. Box 2449
15011!600ft Repeat Coils
New Packaging
Wrap -around mu-metal case for full
30dB of shielding
Sturdy solder terminals
4 threaded inserts at each end for
by John Eargle
JME Associates
"The best book on the technical side of recording ..
flexible mounting
thoroughly recommended."
Studio Sound
355 Pages, Illustrated with 232
tables, curves, schematic diagrams, photographs, and cutaway views of equipment.
$21.95 each, Hardbound
R -e /p Books
Hollywood, CA 90028
Unsurpassed Audio Quality
Monet JEw1155P
Maximum Level
P.O. Box 2449
Hollywood, CA 90028
+I BdElm +23dBrri
Bandwidth (-340)
O 2014z, +4dBfp
Proven Reliability
by Will Connelly
All aspects of the business side of
making records .. the role of the
producer ... budget preparation
and economics ... reducing the
financial risks of independent
record production.
$9.50 Postpaid
R -e /p Books
P.O. Box 2449 Hollywood, CA
Every single transformer fully tested
before and after encapsulation.
Write or call for information.
(213) 876-0059
(Visitors by appointment only
- Closed Fridays)
The Department
of Defense picked
what sound effects
library as the one
to use in all their
radio stations
around the world?
Wanted: Tube Amp by McIntosh,
The Production
EFX Library.
Marantz. Leak. Thorens TD -124, Garrard 301, 401. Altec 6045, 288- 16G /H.
Old Tannoy Monitor Speaker. Old
Western Electric Tube, Amp, Mixer,
Console, Tweeter, Driver, Horn,
Tel: 213/576 -2642 David Yo
POB 832 Monterey -Pk, CA 91754
stereo albums
arranged by
Shouldn't you
give a listen?
(one door South of Sunset Blvd.)
approx. 7,000 sq ft $7,700 Month (Gross)
5 Acous.- designed studios
w /stall shower & employee locker
5 storage rooms
maintenance room
supply room
canteen/lunch area
truck load dock
w /sliding door
personnel entrance
w /handicap ramp
central air /heat systems
silent A.D.T. alarm systems.
Truck & employee parking & lg. customer
parking lot incl. Concrete block -Class A
building. High ceilings.
213/467 -8542
- --1
R -e /p
JE- 11SSP-6M and JE- 11SSP -8M
by F. Alton Everest
353 Pages
Numerous Illustrations
A thorough guide to all aspects of
acoustic design for recording studios...
sound propagation ... air conditioning
.. design examples ... provides the
essentials to understanding how rooms
affect the sound we hear.
Paperback: $15.00
Hardback: $21.00
Including Postage
R-e/p Books
P.O. Box 2449
Hollywood, CA
jensen transformers
$65.00 Per Column Inch
.. with 12 Tested Designs
by F. Alton Everest
Sott Cover 326 Pages
$9.95 Postpaid
R -e /p Books
P.O. Box 2449 Hollywood, CA 90028
2325 Girard Ave. S.
Minneapolis. MN 55405
p 171
Personal Studio For Sale:
track w /dbx Noise Reduction
Quantum 12-in /8 -out console
2 dbx compressor /limiters
AKG Bx 10 Reverb
Excellent Condition
(316) 264-5210
6OQUALajTy °o
color printed labels
All metal parts and processing
Mastering with Neumann VMSïUlathe &SX74 cutter
12 Album Package
Records and Printed Covers
45 RPM
Record Package
$399. $1372.
(FOB Dallas(
(To recieve this special price, this ad must accompany order)
12" 33 -1/3 Album Package includes full color
stock jackets or custom
black and white jackets.
Package includes full processing
Re- orders available at reduced cost
National Audio Educational Franchises
now available for private ownership!
Operate fully equipped school /studio
in your community. State approved
courses developed over 14 year period.
Turnkey business including Studio
construction and equipment, pretraining, marketing, advertising, grand
opening and on -going assistance. Low
initial investment.
Dawn Audio, 756 Main Street
Farmingdale, NY 11735
(516) 454-8999
For full ordering specifications call
DICK McGREW at (214) 741 -2027
NEOTEK Corporation is a rapidly
growing manufacturer of
902 industrial BoWevard. Dallas. Texas 75207
12141 741 -2027
state -of- the -art audio consoles with
worldwide distribution. We are offering
a challenging opportunity to a
self- motivated problem solver with 3 -5
-- _s
years of experience in electronics
manufacturing. Oral, written, and
interpersonal skills are essential as is a
commitment to quality and efficiency.
Computer Iteracy is a plus.
Send resume and salary history in
confidence to Craig Connally.
Box 11127 Chicago, Illinois 60611
Recording Supply Div. of Polyline Corp
1233 Rand Road, Des Plaines IL 60016
(312) 298
December 1983
R -e /p 172
Other Models ..Cell
ea, e.. oe
Lexicon 224, $5,000
EMT 250, $18,000
EMT 251 (near new) $15,500
2 JBL 4343 Monitors, $2,500 /pair
2 EMT 140ST Plates, $5,000 each
MCI JH- 24/24, Loc Ill, $23,000 each
3 MCI JH -110B, 2 trk & Remote,
$4,500 each
Studer A80 -I, 8 trk, $7,000
Dolby M16H, $7,500
Ampex MM1100 24 trk, 16 trk, 8trk
Inquire for other equipment.
call (213) 454 -6043
Harrison 3232C Console 32x32 low
hours w /Autoset & Acc. $50,000.
Q -Lock Interfaces 2 of each: MCI JH114 & Otari MTR90-II $1,000 ea.
MCI PARTS: Autolocator II $900.
JH38 Slavedriver $1,000. JH16 8Tk
Head Assy & Guides $1,500. JH10
Transports, Parts, & Locator I. 3M 2Tk
Head Assy for M23/64 $350. JBL spkr
Parts: 2215, 2420, 2440. Altec Voice of
the Theater parts. Quad -Eight 2082
Series parts. Conrac KHA25C 25"
Color Monitors. Much more. Free listing available.
14444 Skyline BI.
After 2:00 p.m.
Woodside, CA 94062 (415) 851 -0388
* *FOR SALE "*
Tannoy Dreadnaught Monitors with away electronic, time compensated
crossovers and parametric EQ.
$12,000 list
UREI 813A with Grilles
List $3,700
All speakers as new.
(512) 366-3691
* *FOR SALE * *
Blank Audio and Video Cassettes:
24.4.2 Neotek Series Console; 16x4
Ask for our
Superb British CHILTON 12x4 Mixer
w /compressors, 8 param. EQs: $2,500.
TEAC 80 -8 w /dbx: $2,000, MICMIX
MstrRm Stereo Reverb: $600, 2 SYMETRIX Gates, $200; $5,000 for all plus
mic stands, DI boxes, many extras.
00,asi Irrn
We make full 4 -color Custom Albums. too'
record manufacturing corp.
vinyl records in paper sleeves
Bronkivn N5 11204
1.000 pure
Direct from manufacturer: Below
Wholesale! Any length cassettes.
Four different qualities to chose from.
Ampex &Agfa Mastertape:from 1/4 -inch
to 2 -inch. Cassette Duplication also
VHS T -120 $6.00
Dept. REP
4212 14th AVENUE
TOLL FREE: 1- 800 -221 -6578
N. Y. Res: (212) 435- 7322 /Ext. 5
(212) 966-4865
Stevenson monitor console; x- overs,
EV + AKG mics + stands, Anvil cases,
more + more.
Call (914) 679-6093
NEVE 806811 Console 32x32, Studer
A800 24Trk w /remote, STUDER A80
2Tk Recorder w /remote, Ampex
ATR100 2Tk Recorder 4 sp w /remote.
also additional outboard gear.
Contact Michael Matos at:
(205) 871-4221 or 1-800-633-4397
Scully "The Lathe" Disc Cutting System
w /Ortofon "Blue" Head, Custom Amps,
Ikegami Camera & Monitor, Nikon Stylus Inspection Scope All For $39,500 US$
Call Richard Lee at Criteria (305) 947-
(with warranty)
2 Neve BCM 10/2, 1074 EQ, Mint,
$9,500 each.
Harrison 3624, ECG 101, Tx -Less,
Neve 8078 type, 42/16/32, many
extras, $95,000.
API 40/16/24, 28 inputs, automated,
1 AMEK 2000, 28/16/24, $22,000.
1 Neve 8108, 48 frame, 36 input,
NECAM I, $140,000
1 MCI JH -556, 36 input,
JH -50, $60,000.
M.C.I. Equipment
M.C.I. JH -24, 24 trk. with Auto Loc. Ill,
great heads, well maintained. Also,
M.C.I. JH -45 synchronizer, for individual or package price call Eric at Sound
612- 339 -9313
80 Inc.
FOR SALE: A bargain for those who
appreciate discrete consoles, a FLICK
INGER MOD -24C Recording Console. This console has been updated
and features the following: 1) Discrete
amps for that "fat, warm" bottom and
"clean" top end. 2) Jensen transformers at mic pre's only. 3) Famous
Flickinger 3 -band parametric EQ,
switchable between input & monitor.
4) 24 -mic level inputs, 36 -high level
inputs, 24- outputs. 5) 2- programmable muting busses featuring master A/B muting for remix purposes. 6)
3 -solo systems: input solo, monitor
solo -in -place w/ echo, and remix solo
in -place w /echo. The latter is totally
useable during the mixdown process.
7) Two element Penny & Giles faders,
one element for the discrete amp, the
other element for a VCA amplifier for
automation. 8) Extremely comprehensive 650 point patch bay. 9) 10
sends in remix, 8 pre /post- fader, 2 prefader. 10) Original cost over $85,000 in
1974. 11) In excellent cosmetic shape.
Priced at $29,900. If interested, call
Alan or Hank at Chicago Recording
Company, (312) 822 -9510.
MCI JH- 416 -20, 20x24 Console
MCI JH- 114-16, w /AL II
Package Price $30,000
Call Jam Creative Productions
(214) 526 -7080
Ask for Mark
3M- M79 24trk w /Selectake II, excellent
Spare parts and reel motor
Package Price
For further info. Call (215) 649 -3277
- -
# # FOR SALE # #
(1) 3M M79/16 Track w /Selectake II,
wired for 16, 15 & 30 PS, w /less than 50
hrs. use. $15,000.
(2) JBL 4343 WX Studio Monitors,
$750 each
(4) YAMAHA P2200
$600 each
(2) UREI 525 Crossovers, $400 each
(1) AMPEX ATR 700 w /less than 100
hrs. use, $1,100
All of the above in mint condition.
For Information call: (305) 538 -2281
"' FOR SALE *'*
Digital Synthesizer
Full 32 Voice System, 56 K Memory
Two 8" Disc Drives, with software
DEC VT -100 Terminal with Graphics
Road Packaged, Two Part Rack
Five Foam Lined ATS Road Cases
Local Demo Unit, used 400 hours
Now $36,000 (was $44,000 new)
Call John Causey (512) 447 -1103
or evenings call (512) 892 -0433
Inquire for other equipment.
Call (213) 454 -6043
20 in /8
out /24 monitors, TT patchbay, producer's desk, phantom power, inboard
tape deck mount. In use at Clio Award
winning facility.
$11,500 OBO
Call John Rotondi at Sound Services.
(213) 874 -9344
MCI JH -114 16 track recorder with
good condition:
Call (616) 343 -7972
# #
Stephens 40 Track Model 811, excellent
condition, and Stephens 24 Track
Recorder Model 821, excellent condition.
Cleanest and quietest transformerless
design. Comes fully equipped with micro
processor based auto locator, 10 commands and cycle function, reads locations
in feet or seconds, VSO with speed read
out in tenths of seconds. Full function
remote control included. Interested parties please reply to: Box P, c/o R -e /p, P.O.
Box 2449, Hollywood, CA 90078.
125 TAPES at TA or 15ips
PRICED FROM $1500.00
86 McGill Street,
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5B
(416) 977-0512
For additional information circle ri-149
Broadcast Systems
state -of-the -art opportunity for
the individual who possesses the
skills and technical ability necessary
to work at the leading edge of
Broadcast Technology.
The National Broadcasting Company now has an excellent
opportunity for experienced and qualified Broadcast Systems
Engineers at our West Coast Burbank facility.
We are seeking individuals with a superior audio
background. Successful candidates will become directly involved
in the design of new television production facilities, edit rooms
and post production sweetening rooms. To qualify for this
uniquely challenging position we prefer a BSEE degree, plus 3 -5
years experience in radio or television electronic maintenance
with a solid working knowledge of acoustics.
If you have the skills and ability to contribute to our
commitment to state -of- the -art broadcast technology, we'd like
to hear from you. Please send your resume to;
NBC Employment Dept. RE
3000 W. Alameda Avenue
Burbank, CA 91523
Equal Opportunity Employer M/F
R -e/p 173
December 1983
AB Systems Design, Inc
ADC Magnetic Controls Co
AKG Acoustics
A &R Record Manufacturing Co
Agfa Gevaert
Allen & Heath Brenell
Alpha Audio
Ampex Corporation
Analog Digital Associates
Aphex Systems, Ltd.
Audio + Design Recording
Audio Engineering Associates
Audio Processing Systems
Audio- Technica US
Audioarts Engineering
Audioforce, Inc
Avid Studios
Beyer Dynamic
Brick Audio
Bruel & Niter
CMS Digital Rentals
Calrec Audio
Carvin Manufacturing Co.
Countryman Associates
Crown International
dbx, Inc
DeltaLab Research
Digital Entertainment Corp
Electro- Voice, Inc
Eureka Teleproductions
Fairlight Instruments, USA
Fender Pro Sound
Filament Pro Audio
Forge Recording Studios
Full Compass Systems
Furman Sound
GML, Inc
Garfield Electronics
Hardy Company
Harrison Systems
Interlace Electronics
Jensen Transformers
Lake Systems
Lexicon, Inc
MBI /Allen & Heath Brenell
MCI /Sony
Magnetic Reference Labs
Marshall Electronic /Ouantec
Martin Audio/Video
Meyer Sound Labs
Midas Audio Systems
Milam Audio
Nady Systems
Oberheim Electronic Inc
Omni Craft, Inc
Orban Associates
Otani Corporation
Passport Designs
Peavey Electronics
Pierce -Phelps, Inc
Valley Audio
Valley People
Westlake Audio
White Instruments
continued from page 38 ..
medium, and slow versions). The necessary number of tracks to record one channel is one, two and four, for fast (30 IPS),
medium (15 IPS), and slow (7'/2 IPS) versions respectively at a sampling frequency
of 48 kHz.
Linear Packing Density is common to all
versions, and specified at 1.51 kbits /mm
(38.4 kbits per inch). Thanks to the newly
developed modulation code, HDM -1, the
minimum wavelength to be recorded (1.99
micrometers) is 50% longer than the conventional code, such as MFM. Double track density (for example, 48 audio tracks
on 1/2 -inch tape at 30 IPS) is possible by
using state -of- the-art thin -film heads,
keeping the compatibility with the normal
track density for the initial half number of
tracks. In addition, cross fading can be
provided in punching in /out; tape -splice
editing; and electonic editing.
News Notes
Tannoy, Limited, the UK-based manu-
facturer of monitor loudspeakers and
related products, has moved its head office
to: Beadman Street, West Norwood, London SE27 OPW, England. (01) 670 -1131.
The company's products will continue to
be manufactured at its factory in Coat bridge, Scotland ... E.A.R. Professional
Audio has relocated to a new 4,000- squarefoot complex at: 2641 E. McDowell, Phoenix, AZ 85008. (602) 267 -0600
Gevaert Magnetic Tape Division has
appointed Burlington Audio, Inc., 106
Mott Street, Oceanside, NY 11572, to
O R -e /p 174
Polyfusion Electronics, Inc
Polyline Corp.
Production EFX Library
Professional Audio Services
Professional Recording & Sound
Pulsar Labs, Inc.
Ouantec /Marshall Electronic
RAMSA /Panasonic
Rane Corporation
Rocshlre Recording
Saki Magnetics
Sequential Circuits, Inc
Shure Brothers, Inc
Simon Systems
Sound Workshop
Sprague Magnetics, Inc
Standard Tape Labs
Stewart Electronics
Studer Revox /America
Studio Supply
Studio Technologies
Summit Audio
TAD /Pioneer
Tangent Systems
Tascam Divislon /TEAC Corp
Telex Communications
Times One
TOA Electronics
U.S. Audio
December 1983
market and distribute the company's
audio tape products ... From January 1,
Professional Audio Services will be
operating from the following address: 3710
West Magnolia, Burbank, CA 91505. The
company's telephone number remains the
same: (213) 843 -6320 ... Ursa Major has
appointed the following five companies as
domestic sales representatives: GivanFlanagan Associates of West Boylston,
MA: Lienau Associates, Inc. of Columbia,
MA: Lassers, Sangwin, Lassers of Chicago, IL; R.L. Graham Associates of Leawood, KS; and Meyer, Ross & Fleming,
Inc. of Burlingame, CA ... Crown International has appointed Secom Systems of
Chamblee, GA, and Teal Marketing of
Atlanta, GA, to serve as sales representatives for the company's range of products
MXR Innovations has announced the
opening of two repair centers to cover warranty servicing: Advanced Music Electronics, 2122 -A S. Sepulveda, West Los
Angeles, CA; and Music Dealer Service,
4700 West Fullerton, Chicago, IL. The new
centers will honor all MXR warranties,
regardless of the place of purchase.
People on the Move
Ike Benoun has been appointed presi-
dent of Audio Industries Corporation's
Hollywood -based operation. Benoun,
recently president of Walt Davies Enterprises, rejoins AIC after an absence of two
years, having been associated previously
for 18 years. Appointed also to the board of
directors, he succeeds Hal Michael, who
becomes chairman of the board.
Thomas E. Mintner, formerly broadcast products manager, has been promoted
to the newly created position of director,
Studer Products. In his new capacity,
Mintner will carry responsibility for all
sales and technical activities of the Studer
Division for the U.S. market. Studer's New
York City staff also has been augmented
with the addition of Nick Balsamo as
northeastern regional manager, and
Nancy M. Byers as eastern regional sales
engineer. Sales engineer Vencil Wells
has been added to the staff of Studer's
Southern California regional office in Van
Juergen Wahl has been appointed
applications engineer for JBL and UREI
products. In his new position at JBL, Wahl
will provide technical support to the
JBL /UREI sales and marketing organization, including product training sessions
and consultations with JBL reps, dealer
personnel, sound contractors, and other
end-users. Also, Debra Watson has been
appointed marketing services manager for
JBL's Professional Division, and will be
responsible for the creation and implementation of brochures and other promotional materials, and planning trade
Gene Perry has been appointed general
manager of Audiotechniques, where he
will direct an expansion program which
will include enlarging the sales department, remodeling the New York headquarters, the establishment of a major MCl/
Sony parts department, and construction
of a digital audio editing and transfer
Chuck Augustowski has been
appointed VP in charge of U.S. operations
at Allen and Heath /Brenell USA of
Orange, Connecticut. In addition to the
new duties associated with his appointment as vice president, Augustowski will
remain sales manager for the United
Paul A. McGuire has been appointed
vice president of marketing for ElectoVoice. Before this promotion, McGuire
served as national sales manager.
Roger Miller has been appointed western regional sales manager of Ampex Corporation's Audio -Video Systems Division,
where he will direct the sales and service
activities of the division's complete line of
professional audio and videotape
recorders. He succeeds Tom Nielson who
recently was appointed national sales
manager of the division.
Gerow D. (Gerry) Brill has been
named national sales manager for ClearCom Intercom Systems, and will conduct a
series of dealer/consultant seminars
throughout the country, highlighting the
company's new systems and interfaces.
At Crown International, Dr. Clay Barclay will now serve as product development manager, and Gerry Barclay will
manage the sales promotion activities.
The Barclays joined Crown in 1981 to
manage the company's sales promotion
activities. Also, Charles C. Hostetler
has been named as Crown's regional service manager for the northeast, and will
supervise activities of service centers in
his region and consult with them on service matters that require factory assistance.
Introducing the A810 stereo recorder with
center track SMPTE code... from Studer, the
world leader in audio recording equipment.
Stereo+ SMPTE Code on '/á' Tape
This is the one recorder made to meet your demand for
better quality stereo audio for video productions. With a Studer
A810 you can produce state -of-the-art audio tracks, then use
any SMPTE-based synchronizing/editing system to lock the A810
to your VTR's.
You don't need a 4-track recorder You don't need ¡/z" tape.
And you don't have to program offsets into your synchronizer.
It's all possible because the A810's optional center-track SMPTE
code system uses a separate set of code heads, working in conjunction with
a microprocessor controlled digital delay. The separate heads assure code to-audio crosstalk rejection of better than 90 dB. And the digital delay
automatically compensates for the tape travel time between code and audio
heads at all four tape speeds.
Total Microprocessor Control
The on -board CPU controls all A810 transport functions, all audio
status switching, and all audio parameter settings. Design flexibility
lets you program the A810 to do what you want it to do. A zero
locate and one autolocate position are fixed, but three additional
"soft keys" may be programmed for a variety of functions, including up to three more locate positions and two different edit
modes. AN audio parameters (bias, level, EC?) are set digitally and stored in memory, with memory storage
for two different formulations at all four speeds. After initial set-up, you can switch to your alternate tape
simply by pushing a button.
External Computer Control
With the optional serial interface, you can control all transport and audio functions with your
personal computer (RS232) or with any device conforming to the forthcoming EBU /SMPTE standard
(RS422 modified).
Studer Performance and Reliability
Using all -new electronics with advanced phase compensation circuits, the A810 delivers audio performance that is
compared to most other recorders -just short of phenomenal. And, as with all Studer products, the A810 is made from solid
components and assembled with Swiss precision.
Get your production room ready for tomorrow's stereo audio. Call today for the location ofyour nearest Studer dealer.
Studer Revox America / 1425 Elm Hill Pike/Nashville, TN 37210/(615)254 -5651
For additional Information circle #151
one delivers
o other mit
hardcore rock 'n' roll like the SM57.
That's why it's the only mit I use:'
-Billy Squier
When Billy Squier rocks he needs a microphone
that can roll with his punches. That's why he uses
the Shure SM57. He's tried other microphones but
he always comes back. As a matter of fact, the
SM57 was the very first mic Billy used. It's taken
him from small club dates to the big stages
The SM57 is the perfect microphone for rock 'n'
roll. It's got the right punch in live vocal applications to rise above the music. With a presence rise
in mid - frequencies and a fixed low frequency roll off to minimize "boominess" in close miking. The
well -controlled polar pattern maximizes gain before feedback. Maximum gain is essential to high
volume stage monitor applications
during rock 'n' roll performances.
The SM57's presence peak
makes it right for miking instru-
ments, too. With clean, well -defined accuracy.
The SM57 is a tough act to follow. Its rugged,
reliable performance lets it stand up to the
steamiest rock 'n 'roll abuse. It can go on performing even when Billy Squier is ready to call it a night.
When it comes to hardcore rock 'n' roll the
SM57 is a star. Just ask a star like Billy
For more information on the complete line of SM Microphones,
call or write Shure Brothers
Inc., 222 Hartrey Ave.,
Evanston, IL 60204,
(312) 866 -2553.
For additional information circle #152
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