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ENGINEER//PRODUCER
1RODUCING AUDIO FOR
TAPE
RECORDS
FILM
VIDEO
LIVE PERFORMANCE
February 1986
Number 1
Volume 17
-
BROADCAST
SINGLES REMIX
Louil Silas,
Jr.
- page 22
THE "TISSUE PAPER"
FALLACY page 54
DIGITAL MULTITRACK
FOR FILM page 86
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SUPERSTAR
Quad eight
by
Advanced technology and unparalleled flexibility
come together in the SUPERSTAR music recording console.
Development of this console centered around the dual
requirement of truly high definition sound and low noise,
so critical for digital recording.
No other single console offers the combination of
superior sound and flexibility in size and layout at such
an affordable price. Field expandable, the SUPERSTAR provides ergonomical positioning of the console modules,
allowing you to satisfy your own configuration needs.
High resolution meters, central bus assignment, Intelligent Digital Faders, and the most comprehensive automation system all add up to SUPERSTAR -your next
console.
MODULAR CONSOLE
The SUPERSTAR is a totally modular console using air
frame design concepts for strength and rigidity. Individual frame sections are in groups of 8 modules, with plug
in wiring for true field expandability. The modular
overbridge accepts the new limiter /compressor /gate for
use either in -line with the input module or as a
peripheral.
60- segment LED bargraph meters use advanced circuitry for precise and stable indication, offering VU, Peak,
VCA level, and Spectrum Analyzer displays switch
selectable.
Plug -in interchangeable equalizers and
preamplifiers in each I/O module give instant user
selectability and allow the addition of new technology at
any time. Each module is of dual -purpose in-line design
with line trim, equalizer, filter, 8 echo /cue sends, and
fader switchable into the monitor /mixdown or main
channel. Monitor /mixdown can be assigned to two independent stereo output busses for added versatility.
CENTRAL ASSIGNMENT
This electronic output assignment cross -point
switching system assures fast and reliable connections
from the console to your tape machines with full routing
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64 output busses are
assigned from each
input module by a
central touch control plasma display
a',
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panel controlling up
to a 96 by 64 elecIII,
13
tronic switching matrix. Completely
software driven, the
panel allows instant
selection and display of the bus
assignment with 10
presets in local memory. Optional unlimited storage to
disk is provided. Easy to use, the system prompts for bus
assignments and provides help through informative
menu displays.
The building block matrix system consists of 16 by
16 switching cards bussed to 16-output summing cards.
Logic controlled monolithic switching elements use zero
volt current switching for extremely low distortion and
feed through.
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THE NEXT GENERATION
The introduction of the SUPERSTAR signals a new era
in professional sound control. With more and more studio
facilities acquiring digital multitrack recording capabilities up to 64- track, larger sophisticated console systems
with transparent sound performance are necessary. Digital signal processing (DSP) is neither economically feasible nor technologically advantageous today. A new generation analog console with advanced digital control is
required to bridge the gap between the DSP consoles of
the 1990s and the currently marketed analog consoles
of the 1970s. The SUPERSTAR is such a console system.
See it before you decide.
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COMPUMIX IV
"A giant advance
in automation
accuracy and
performance."
The Fourth Generation Console Automation System is here.
Compumix IV advances dynamic automation technology far
beyond the capabilities of other systems, to a level of sophistication
and accuracy demanded by tomorrow's digital recording
techniques.
The FORTH realtime software running in a 32 -bit 68000
computer provides 4 simultaneous mixes on-line as well as write
command recall accuracy of 1 /10 frame. SMPTE time code driven,
Compumix IV stores every frame (not only changes) making it possible to perform editing functions on-line. This requires an 80 Mbyte
hard disk storage system designed for fast access in both read and
write modes.
Compumix IV is designed to control up to 256 IDF fader functions in realtime through easy to operate touch -sensitive plasma
control panels. An optional Graphics Display System is available.
Nothing can touch
except you.
it-
INTELLIGENT DIGITAL FADER
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The IDF is a microprocessor -based module that utilizes the
most advanced technology available. The super smooth fader is a
10 -bit digital encoder that supplies 0.25 dB resolution and 119 dB of
dynamic range. The grouping functions are the most extensive
ever supplied in a music recording console. 16 groups are assignable with 4 levels of operation: slave, group master, submaster, and
grand master.
Up to 256 IDF5 run independently through a revolutionary
"back door control bus" without the need for external computer
automation. Realtime display of dB level, groupings, status, fader
position and mutes are available at all times. 9 membrane switches
allow for selection of up to 160 software defined functions.
From VGA to servo level control, the IDF is the next generation
in fader technology for analog and digital console systems.
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For additional Information circle #101
For more information, please call or write
MITSUBISHI PRO AUDIO GROUP
DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT CORPORATION
Headquarters: 225 Parkside Drive, San Fernando, CA 91340 Phone (818) 898 -2341 Telex 311786
New York: Suite 1530, 555 W. 57th Street, New York, NY 10019 Phone (212) 713 -1600 Telex 703547
Nashville: 2200 Hillsboro Road, Nashville, TN 37212 Phone (615) 298 -6613
Canada: 363 Adelaide Street E., Toronto, ONT. M5A 1N3 Phone (416) 865-1899
United Kingdom: 1 Fairway Drive, Greenford, MIDDX UB6 8PW Phone (01) 578-0957 Telex 923003
February 1986 R-e/p 3
www.americanradiohistory.com
INTERTEC PURCHASES RECORDING ENGINEER/PRODUCER
On January 17, Intertec Publishing Corporation, through its parent company, MacMillan Publishing Corporation, finalized its
acquisition of Recording Engineer/Producer. The announcement was made by Jack Hancock, Intertec President, and Cameron
Bishop, Group Vice President. Formerly owned and published bi- monthly by Gallay Communications, Inc., R-e /p will be
published by Intertec beginning with this, the February issue.
The magazine's editorial offices, headed by Mel Lambert, Editor, will remain in their present Hollywood location. However, all
other publishing functions will be performed from Intertec's home office in Overland Park, Kansas, including business management, advertising coordination, marketing, sales promotion and production of the magazine.
Intertec's other immediate plans for R -e/p include a monthly publishing schedule to begin in June; field sales offices in New
York, Kansas City and Los Angeles; a complete graphic redesign; and refined sales and advertiser support materials. Circulation
plans include application for BPA (Business Publication Audit of Circulation) audit within the next 12 months.
Recording Engineer/Producer makes the ninth electronic communications trade magazine published by Intertec Publishing
Corporation. Other Intertec magazines include Broadcast Engineering, Video Systems, Radio y Television, Sound & Video
Contractor, Electronic Servicing & Technology, Microservice Management, Land Mobile Product News, and Cellular Business.
r
As we enter the second half of the Eighties, a strong sense of enthusiasm
and optimism permeates the Pro-Audio Industry. In fact, many would
consider that our industry has never been in better shape, and is now
facing a very healthy future. The recent upswing in business has been
shared by recording studios, broadcast production, audio -for-video, film re- recording, and concert-sound facilities alike.
This positive trend can be traced to several key factors:
The increasing application of digital recording in just about every type of audio session, a move that has been fueled, in
large part, by the unprecedented success of the consumer Compact Disc.
In addition, the growing importance of high -quality audio -for -video, both for network and independent Stereo TV
productions, as well as consumer release on VHS and Beta HiFi videocassette.
A trend towards electronic -music production, and the routine use of computer -based MIDI systems in the control room.
While many such scoring and compositional projects can be started in a smaller, less well- equipped facility, there is no
getting away from the fact that few individuals can afford to provide themselves with the virtual arsenal of sound
processors available at commercial studios.
And, since this is the first issue of a new year, I'd like to offer the following predictions of the ways in which our
industry might be shaped over the next 12 months:
Digital technology will continue to penetrate all sectors of the recording and production industries, in particular the
development of random -access editing and mixing systems. Products such as the AMS AudioFile, Compusonics DSP
Series, DroidWorks SoundDroid and prototype Lexicon Project RD -1, will be augmented in the near future by systems
from several individuals and companies I know to be actively working in this area. As the cost of random -access
memory, high -speed 32 -bit microprocessors and hard -disk drives continues to fall, and front -end software becomes
tailored to meet the specific needs of working professionals, I predict that we will see a rapid acceleration in the use of
digital editing systems in just about every facet of our industry.
The two currently available digital stationary -head recording formats DASH and Prodigital will continue to
chase market share, and the Sony PCM -3102 (scheduled to be made available to the U.S. market during late January/
early February), Twin-DASH 15 ips PCM -3202 (to be shipped in May), and Studer Twin -DASH D -820X (to begin
shipment during June) will fuel the move towards digital mastering. In addition, Otani plans to unveil a prototype of its
32 -track PD- format DTR-900 at next month's AES Convention in Montreux, while Mitsubishi is scheduled to begin
deliveries of the PD- format X -86 two-track in June, and also plans to unveil the PD-format X-400 16-track on half-inch
transport at the Montreux AES. Delivery of Sony PCM -3324 and Mitsubishi X -850 machines continue to demonstrate
the film- sound, audio -for-video and recording- studio industries' active interest in digital technology.
Dynamic MIDI control of signal processors will become a strong selling point in the immediate future, and several
console manufacturers will look at ways of providing automated control of outboard delay lines, equalizers, reverb
systems, compressor -limiters, etc., via MIDI interface, possibly running at multiples of the standard 31.25 Kbaud rate.
By offering sufficient on -line and hard -disk storage capacity to accommodate upwards of an hour's worth of 32track/16 -bit digital audio, several makers of digital synthesizers will continue to develop useful variants of the "tapeless
studio." Once such a capability is made available, watch for digital mixing, EQ and dynamics control to be offered by
such up- market synthesizers possibly beating the traditional console manufacturers to the marketplace with a
combination all-digital virtual console and integral multitrack.
On a personal front, I welcome the recent acquisition of R -e /p by Intertec Publishing Corporation which, as
mentioned in the above statement, will be initiating a monthly schedule beginning with the June issue. I look forward
with great anticipation to the creative possibilities afforded by an increased publication frequency.
We plan to retain the current West Coast editorial offices for the immediate future and, in addition, will be helping to
coordinate press and media contacts for sister magazines in the Intertec group. Intertec is a 100 -year -old company with a
consistently successful track record, and currently publishes 14 highly respected business magazines. There is every
intention of maintaining Recording Engineer/ Producer's leading position as the Number One Operational Magazine
for the Pro-Audio Industry.
From the Editor:
-
-
-
Mel Lambert, Editor
R -e/p 6 D February 1986
www.americanradiohistory.com
THE POINTER SISTERS NEVER
WORRY ABOUT THEIR WIRELESS
Even though the Pointer Sisters take plenty of chances on stage, they never gamble with their
equipment. They use Samson professional wireless systems because of their proven reliability.
Samson's long range, no dropout performance gives them the freedom of movement they
need in concert. The Pointers have built a career by making smart moves. Like choosing
Samson Wireless.
Joe Mumford, Musical Director, plays with
Samson's Broadcast Series Guitar System.
SAMSON
WE TOOK THE WORRY OUT OF WIRELESS'
Samson Products Corporation, 124 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, New York 11550 (516) 489 -2203 TLX 284696 SAM UR In Canada:
Omnimedia Corporation Ltd., 9653 Cote de Liesse, Dorval, Quebec H9P A3 514- 636 -9971 © 1985 Samson Products Corporation
1
February 1986 D R -e /p 7
For additional Information circle #103
QUITE SIMPLY, THE C.M.I. SERIES 111...
SERIES III VOICE SYSTEM
90db Voice /Channel Cards (up to 16 voices available,
standard system). Expandable to 80 voices via
external voice racks.
Separate 16 bit D/A converters, dynamic VCF, VCA for
each Voice/Channel Card.
16 bit, 50kHz, stereo audio sampling (100kHz in
mono).
Up to 14 megabytes Waveform R.A.M. per 16
channels in the standard system which provides over
two minutes sampling time at 50kHz.
Contains 12 microprocessors including 10 -6809 and
2- 68000's. Runs OS9TM Mufti-tasking operating
system and high -level languages.
Waveform Editor software allows extensive waveform
editing, Fourier analysis, synthesis and resynthesis
functions.
SMPTE read, write and sync with "chasing" capability.
MIDI user programmable -3 inpuV4 output.
High efficiency switchmode power supply.
MASS STORAGE SYSTEM
8" DSDD floppy disk drive (1Mb) and controller.
60Mb or 110Mb (formatted) 51/4" Winchester Hard
Disk Drive with controller. Standard S.C.S.I. allows for
connection of additional hard drives and other mass
storage media.
Optional 60Mb streaming tape drive and/or additional
Hard Disk Drive.
GRAPHICS TERMINAL SYSTEM
82-key alphanumeric keyboard includes 15 special
function keys (assignable) and high resolution graphics tablet with stylus.
High resolution 12" Video Display Unit (VDU).
MUSIC KEYBOARD CONTROLLER
6 Octave
F
to
F
Velocity action.
MIDI implementation.
Pitch and modulation wheels along with programmable switches and controls
SEQUENCERS
Music Composition Language (MCL) text based
composer.
Rhythm Sequencer (RS). 16 track recorder with
graphic note events.
Composer. Arranger, Performer, Sequencer (CAPS).
Up to 80 polyphonic tracks assignable to internal
voices or externally through MIDI can be programmed
in real time, quantized, non -real time. Extensive
macro and micro editing features. Tracks can be
viewed as conventional music notation.
All sequences sync and trigger to SMPTE time code.
SERIAL INTERFACES
Dual printer ports.
Telnet Communications software.
Fairlight Instruments reserves the right to change specifications
without notice.
...THE INDUSTRY STANDARD.
2945 Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles. California 90064
For additional information circle 0104
www.americanradiohistory.com
(213) 470 -6280 TLX 9103426481 FAX (213) 4749716
9ì
-./
c
Dews
Letters
does not reduce the amount of subjectivity required to assess, via the ears, the
qualities of microphones; indeed, the
use of CDs (or any other consumergrade storage medium of the present
day) can only compound such factors.
As reported in the Sennheiser MKH40P48 review to be found elsewhere in this
issue, our judgements have been strengthened when we have compared microphones "live," without having to rely
upon even professional-quality record-
SANKEN CU -41
MICROPHONE REVIEW
from: Professor Lowell Cross
University of Iowa
School of Music
Since I concur with Maseo Konomi
[Letters, December issue] that the
Sanken CU-41 is a very fine microphone,
free from most common forms of audible
coloration, he and I are in substantial
agreement. However, I find some inconsistency between his statement that one
can become "entrapped" by relying on a
"subjective judgement as to the sound
quality microphones are delivering" to
one's ears, and his later remark that
"the quality of microphones used for CD
recordings has become critical, since
such quality can be heard." I agree that
such quality can be heard, but in
listening to CDs, qualitative, subjective
judgements are still required. Those of
us who actually rely on our ears to make
decisions about audio quality will
always be making subjective judgements.
I also balk at the idea that "the recent,
sudden acceptance of CDs in the
market" has ushered in a "rather new
way of evaluating microphones." The
inclusion of CDs in the signal chain
-
ing and playback equipment analog
or digital.
Mr. Konomi should have quoted the
rest of my comparison of the CU-41 and
the Neumann TLM170, since the omitted remarks hardly do the Sanken a disservice: "But, expressed in a different
way, the TLM170 could be characterized
as having more low- frequency output
than the CU -41, with a slightly recessed
or withdrawn upper- midrange response,
and perhaps offering a bit less extended
extreme high-frequency response."
With these relatively minor points
aside, I wish to thank Mr. Konomi for
his thoughtful comments, and to reaffirm my positive reactions to the CU-41
microphone.
INVEST IN A SOUND FUTURE
UR CAREER IN THE
MUSIC REC RDING INDUSTRY
TREBAS InSTITliTE OF RECORDIf1G ARTS
WILL PUT
YOION
THE RIGHT TRAC
..
Views
In addtion, certain errors crept into
the December 1985 article "Performance
Assessments of Studio Microphones,"
which compared the classic tube microphones to contemporary models. I am
grateful to Russell O. Hamm, president
of Gotham Audio Corporation, for
pointing out that the 6072 dual triode
tube used in the AKG C12 and the AKG
Tube is not a premium version of the
12AX7 /ECC83, but rather a selected
12A Y7. The 6072 is a medium-mu device
especially chosen for low "microphonics" (sensitivity to vibration.) The international four-digit number for an industrial-grade 12AX7 7025.
An unfortunate typesetting error
inadvertantly caused the omission of
several lines of text on page 81 of the
December 1985 article. The following is
the correct text for the first paragraph
under the crosshead "Microphone
Evaluations ":
This method of evaluating microphones involves subjective choices. As
before, I acknowledge the influence of
personal, non -empirical factors in the
process, on my part and on the part of
our other participants. However, I
believe that any problems of subjectivity have been more than offset by the
practical, real -world conditions of our
recording sessions. We were priviledged
to listen "through" these fascinating
microphones under realistic circumstances like those encountered daily in
the audio industry. The announcement
that the German Institute for Broadcasting Technology (IRT, mentioned
above) and the German Tonmeister
Association (Verband Deutshcer Tonmeister, VDT) are involved in very similar microphone listening tests has contributed to my confidence in our evaluation technique.
SANKEN CU -41:
ANOTHER OPINION
from: Michael McLean
Sound Technician
Burbank, CA
in a 2 year
professional training program in the
RECORDING
ARTS AND SCIENCES
6602 Sunset B0v
Hollywood. CA.
90028
(2131 467 -6800
34 West Btn Ave
Vancouver, B.C.
V57 1M7
(604) 872-2666
410 Duncas
Toronto, Ont.
M5A 2A8
(416) 966-3066
290 Nepean St.
Ottawa. Ont.
KIR 5G3
(613) 232 -7104
1435 Bleury St.
Montreal, Que.
H3A 2H7
(514) 845 -4141
TREBAS If1STITUTrE OF RECORDIf1G ARTS
R -e /p 10
February 1986
In a letter published in your December
1985 issue, Masao Konomi of Pan
Communications, Inc. (export agent for
Sanken Microphones) suggests that the
subjective comparison of the Sanken
CU-41 to the Neumann TML170 is misleading and/or invalid, on the basis
that Sanken engineers restrict themselves to an absolute minimum coloration design philosophy.
What Mr. Konomi suggests is completely invalid for the simple reason
that all microphones with a headgrill
structure have, inherently, a very substantial amount of upper frequency coloration caused by reflections off the grill
structure.
continued on page 14
Everybody wants it. The Eventide SP2016's Got It.
Why is Eventide's SP2016 Effects Processor/Zverb a
part of so many hit records? Because, when }ou're
going for a hit, you give it everything you've.geot. And
the SP2016 simply has more to give. That's star quality.
The SP2016 offers more creative choices. Frr-n the
start. it has provided many more different kinds of
effects than other high end units. Everythir 'nom Loop
Edit sampling to our incredibly versatile Molt tap program. Plus a wide variety of very different re'.erbs (not
just a few basic programs with lots of mino- variations).
And the SP's lead over the competition keeps. widering,
with new available programs such as Channel Vocoder
and Automatic Panner, and new enhancements such as
MIDI implementation. Because the SP20I6 s basic
design is so powerful, we can continue to enhance it
almost infinitely.
too.
Star quality means stellar audio performarl
And that's another big reason why so many saldios,
engineers, producers and artists specify the Eventide
SP2016. Some digital effects units have one or two
"hot "sounds everybody likes, plus a number of"-tot-so -hot"
programs nobody likes. But with the SP2016, }cu get great
performance on every reverb and effect prograrn_OurStereo
Room and Hi Density Plate programs, for example, are
smoother and denser than anytFing the competition
offes. But when you need "nasty', gritty reverb sounds,
the SP2016 has them too.
tie SP2016 is as suitable for the sound of Twisted
Sister as it is for the sound of Mr. Mister. For George
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And all the hits tc come..
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Including perhaps, your next session. For more information, to request an SP2016 demo cassette or to
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Far additional information circle 1106
The trademarks and titles on -he album coves _I=d in this advertisement are the pr_yertv of the various companies listed on each
altuncover.
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How does a24-channelYamal
You heard right. A 24-channel mixing
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It's the MC2404 mixing console. Just
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Each MC input channel has a 20 dB
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three -band EQ with sweepable midrange, two pre -EQ and pre -fader fold back sends, two post -EQ and post -fader
echo sends, pan control, group 1 -4
assignment switches, cue and channel
on/off switches, and a 100 -millimeter
fader. All color -coded and logically
grouped for easy operation.
The four group outputs are assigned
to the master stereo outputs via pan controls. In addition, they have individual
rotary controls to adjust the level to the
four group XLR connectors on the back
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Primary inputs and outputs are elec-
console for $3,795 sound?
If all this sounds good to you, visit
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dealer. Or write: Yamaha International
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Talkback facilities include a headPark, CA 90622. In Canada, Yamaha
phone jack, cue/phones level control, talk - Canada Music Ltd., 135 Milner Ave.,
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retailprice. Canadian suggested retail prices are $4,995 CDM for the MC2404,
input XLR connector with an input level $3,695 suggested
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the MC1204.
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Yet with all these features and flexibility, the MC Series mixing consoles
are compact and lightweight. As well as
YAMAHA®
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affordable.
*U.S. A.
and
CDM for
February 1986
For additional Information circle #107
R -e /p 13
low coloration design would be a B&K
LETTERS
-The
continued from page ..
Sanken CU-41 (and the TML170)
10
have a predominant head grill, and it is
therefore ludicrous to suggest that it is a
minimum coloration design.
The name of the game with these microphones is "pleasing coloration,"
rather than "minimum coloration."
In fact, true low -coloration designs
have been available for years, but have
only attracted a limited segment of the
market. One example of such a design is
the Neumann KM-83 and KM-84 types.
Here, a great effort is made in finding a
good balance between minimum head
grill effect, and adequate protection of
the capsule from environmental
damage.
The most extreme example of ultra-
quarter-inch measurement microphone
with the protecting grid removed. This
device has virtually zero coloration in
the audible range, but is very easy to
damage due to the exposed diaphragm.
Anyone who has done repair work on
studio microphones is well aware of the
profound change in coloration that
takes place when the headgrill is
removed.
For those who wish to prove this for
themselves, I would suggest the following experiment: select a matched pair of,
say, Neumann U87s, and a KM-84. Use
the 87s in cardioid mode to match the
KM -84, and set them up side by side.
With both head grills in place, the 87s
will sound alike, and quite different on
the high -end from the 84s. If the head
grill of one of the 87s is carefully
BEYOND THE
BASICS
e
14
e
1
l
e
removed (do not disassemble a U87 that
is still under warranty, because of the
wax seal), it will be easy to hear that the
modified U87 sounds very different
from the unmodified U87, and indeed,
sounds much more like the KM -84! You
can rest assured that the same sort of
results would be observed if the 87s were
replaced with CU -41s. All head grills
have coloration.
I feel that a very important element in
the success of a microphone maker, that
offers a "high-end" professional product, is an image of impeccable scientific and engineering integrity. Over the
last 30 years, I have observed that the
leading such maker, Neumann, has
always maintained the highest standards in keeping illogical and unscientific doubletalk out of their advertisement and product literature.
I feel that Mr. Konomi's letter puts
Sanken, a company that probably has a
very fine product, in a very bad light in
this regard.
Subjective testing, such as that by
Professor Cross, is the only way to try to
measure "which coloration is most
pleasing" other than, of course, the
marketplace, where headgrill designs
tromp the low- coloration designs year
after year. In view of this, Mr. Konomi's
suggestion that Professor Cross is
"entrapped" in his good work is laughable and tragic.
A8ML
iiltlllái31i11
111111f1GIaf11
SÆ¢` sgsæs
VIRTUAL CONSOLE
TOPOGRAPHY
from: Dan Tinen
Wheeling, IL
Your article on virtual consoles (October 1985 issue) was excellent. It has
spurred me to offer some comments of
my own:
An analogy with the keyboard world:
Synthesizers started out with manual
patch cords, (ARP 2600), advanced to
switched routing (Minimoog), then to
computer memory of dozens of knob set-
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R -ei p 14
February 1986
(416) 361 -1667
tings (Sequential Circuits Prophet 5),
and then reduced all the knobs to a single virtual control (Yamaha DX -7,
Roland JX -3P, etc.). Even though the
keyboard players missed their knobs at
first, those who knew how to program
got used to the focused thought process
of choosing parameters before twiddling with them. People who knew how
to get what they wanted out of a synthesizer accepted the new designs; those
who had gotten their favorite patches
by accident (when manipulating controls they weren't thinking about) disliked them. Virtual consoles will probably cause a similar disruption among
engineers.
The good news: Old instincts get
replaced by new ones through experience. Keyboard players now routinely
alter programs and replace functions on
DX -7s with a single fader, a "yes-no"
switch, and a small alphanumeric display. "Where are all the knobs ?" is no
longer the main complaint. Similarly,
virtual consoles will probably meet with
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LETTERS
resistance until their advantages
become apparent ... and the users get
past the initial learning curve.
On using the control surface to display settings: Removing the immediate
feedback of settings on current consoles
may not be a totally bad thing. As
opposed to moving controls according to
some prejudice ( "I don't like the 3 dB
boost on the 15 kHz of the high-hat "),
dealing directly with the audible consequences of moving a control is what our
business is really about. How many
artists, producers and engineers "listen
with their eyes" i.e., base their opinion of a mix on looking at the board
instead of listening to the monitors?
Having a virtual console where controls
can be "hidden" could actually be an
-
advantage.
On standardization of formats: Standardizations of data formats between
consoles would be nice but, given the
wide variety of consoles out there, it
could be sort of like programming a DX7 through the controls of a Prophet 5.
More exciting and useful, perhaps, is
standardization of control room acoustics by eliminating the console and
making it more like a typical listening
environment. (Personally, I don't listen
to music in my living room by facing my
speakers with my elbows on a large
table!) Sometime in the future, I look
forward to doing final mixes in an IEC-
standard listening room, sitting on a
couch, using a mouse, light pen, or small
lap keyboard to manipulate images of
controls projected on the wall between
the speakers. The EditDroid (why wasn't
it included in your article ?) looks like the
first of this kind of console.
I'm looking forward to virtual consoles, though a "snapshot" of most control settings will be enough for me (as
opposed to frame-accurate dynamic
updates). My work with acoustic musicians doesn't require sweeping EQ or
pan in the middle of a mix, but clients
often want it "just like last week's mix,
but with more high end in the bass."
..
TWO -BOX LOUDSPEAKER
SYSTEMS: A CORRECTION
from: Dave J. Beecham,
president
Audio Techniques, Inc.
Calabasas, CA
Regarding David Scheirman's article
entitled "Design Evolution of Two -Box
Packaged Loudspeaker Systems," published in the December 1985 issue,
please note that there is an error in the
quoted crossover frequencies of our
system:
On page 59, under "Systems Electronics," the crossover frequencies should
read 150 Hz, 1 kHz and 7 kHz, and not as
shown.
On page 61, under "Table 1: Compari-
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R -e/p 16
February 1986
sion of Transducers," the crossover frequency under Low should read 27 to 150
Hz and, under Mid, 150 Hz to 1 kHz.
My compliments to R -e/p and to
David Scheirman for an extremely well
MINIM
written article.
SONY APR -5002 REVIEW
from: Stanley P. Lipshitz and
John Vanderkooy
Audio Research Group
University of Waterloo
Ontario, Canada
Not just the Sony engineers, but we
too were rather perplexed by Peter
Butt's frequency- and phase-response
measurements on the Sony APR-5002
analog tape recorder (R-e /p, August
1985 issue and Letter in the October
1985 issue). We believe that the measurement procedure being used requires
more thought, for it seems to us that it
may not be accurately measuring quite
the parameters which the authorintends. More specifically, we would like
to comment as follows:
One trouble with squarewave excitation is that it produces a rather sparse
input spectrum. In fact, with the square wave frequencies and DFT sampling
rates used by Mr. Butt (which appear to
be frequency locked to produce precisely
one squarewave cycle in the analysis
window), every second frequency bin in
the DFT analysis would have zero excitation were it not for the window presumably being applied to the data. For
example, a Hann window spreads this
power in a uniform manner between
bins.
Another problem is that, although the
squarewave spectrum falls at 6 dB per
octave, the sharp (non- band -limited?)
edges can produce high-frequency overload or the effect of overbiasing as
pointed out by Mr. Butt. The spectral
trend of a squarewave may approximate that of music, but its temporal
characteristics do not. We wonder
whether this might have been a problem, especially at the 7.5 ips tape speed,
where a rather drastic high- frequency
rolloff was measured. We agree with Mr.
Butt that a broader-band signal than a
slowly-swept sinewave is desirable for
more meaningful tape -recorder transfer
function measurements.
We tend to favor the low-level broadband noise as the excitation. This
avoids the objections listed above. A
flatter input spectrum can be produced
if a pseudo-random (binary or Gaussian) noise (PRN) source clocked at a
rate preferably locked to the FFT sampling clock is used as the excitation
signal.
If a single -channel rather than a dualchannel FFT analyzer is used, it must
also be possible to trigger the PRN
source to commence at the same point in
its sequence at each measurement.
Many FFT analyzers offer such a noise
output for this purpose. The overbiasing
and overload problems can be avoided
by bandlimiting the noise before feed-
ing it to the tape recorder, and keeping
its level well below tape saturation.
Mr. Butt appears to be using a singlechannel FFT- analyzer for the measurements, and computing the complex
quotient of the output and input spectra
of the system under test. This is quite
reasonable on normal systems, but
needs to be used with care on systems
which display time jitter, such as even
the very best analog tape recorders. For,
if any signal averaging is attempted
(and it is not clear whether this is being
done), the transfer function magnitude
thus computed tends to "average down"
at high frequencies due to the jitterproduced phase fluctuation between
individual measurement records. This
is particularly evident at the lower tape
speeds (e.g., 7.5 ips) where very considerable errors will be obtained above a
few kiloHertz due to the motional
irregularity.
On a dual -channel FFT analyzer, the
drastic reduction in the measured coherence function at high frequencies will
warn one of this potential error but, with
a single -channel measurement, one may
not be aware of the difficulty.
Indeed, correctly measuring both the
magnitude and phase of the transfer
function of an analog tape recorder is
extremely difficult.' The 7.5 ips measurement of Figure 7 [August 1985 issue,
page 136] especially seems to show
severe high- frequency rolloff. Is this due
to jitter combined with averaging? Similar doubts apply as to the correctness of
Figures 8, 9, and 12 thru 14 not just
the magnitude but also the averaged
phase response is affected by the jitter.
A correct frequency-response magnitude can be obtained if one computes
rather the transmissibility: that is, the
(real) ratio of the output and input averaged power spectra. Most dual -channnel
analyzers offer this function.
Obtaining a meaningful phase measurement is harder. One way round the
jitter problem is to use a very brief excitation signal, such as a low-level
impulse, and then do signal averaging.
In this way one can obtain good coherence to beyond 20 kHz, but it is still difficult to achieve; tape weave, for example,
degrades the results significantly.
The phase curves shown in Figures 7
thru 9, and 12 thru 14 are not correct.
The progressive phase lead at high frequencies represents an acausal measurement of the non -minimum -phase
analog tape-recorder system. As Figure
11 shows, the whole measured high -frequency group delay is negative. This is a
sure sign of an incorrect (acausal)
input /output time delay correction during the measurement. In fact, the constancy of the high -frequency group
delay shows that the phase correction
performed by the all-pass equalizers is
accurate.
By the way, an all -pass equalizer produces pure phase lag and cannot cause
the phase lead shown in Figures 7 thru
9, and 12 thru 14. It is correct to state
that the analog record/reproduce losses
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R-e/p 17
Quiet...Gatex Working
Whether you play guitar, keyboards,
drums, vocals or any other instrument, Gatex has a quiet mode for
you-no hum, no pop, no noise.
Gatex is your noise reduction tool.
Gatex is a combination noise gate/
expander incorporating four discrete
multi -mode channels. It's three
modes give the user ultimate flexibility. At the flick of a switch, Gatex in-
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Choose the mode that best fits the
application, like using the gate on
drums. Attack and sustain are program dependent and controlled; turnon pops are virtually eliminated while
maintaining short attack times for all
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In the expansion modes, Gatex
can be used for reducing noise on
keyboards or other instruments as
well as mixed program material.
So, if you want quiet in the house
choose Gatex -it will work for you.
Get a quiet demonstration at your local U.S. Audio dealer.
-
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studio
USAudio Inc. /P.O. Box 40878/NASHVILLE, TN 37204/(615) 297 -1098
LETTERS
are phaseless1. The all -pass equalizer is
needed to correct for the phase lead
which accompanies the high- frequency
boosts of the record and play electronics. These boosts in turn are needed to
correct for the considerable high -frequency losses inherent in the process.
The squarewave traces in Figure 10
show this phase compensation to be
accurate. An indicator of proper high frequency phase compensation is the
equality of the pre- and post- transition
overshoots on the waveform.
To summarize: the input signal used
appears not to be optimally chosen; the
averaging if used is a cause of high frequency measurement error; and the
phase responses are wrongly time -delay
corrected. We would prefer to see alternative methods used for tape- recorder
measurement. In particualr, broadband
noise would be a better signal than
squarewave, and if the phase response
is required, the (low- level) impulse response averaged and transformed by a
single -channel FFT analyzer can be
-
-
EXPOSING AUDIO MYTHOLOGY
Laying to Rest Some of the Pro -Audio
Industry's More Obvious "Old Wives' Tales"
by John H. Roberts
This month's column will spotlight
some of the current considerations
for studios that are contemplating what
many would consider to be the inevitable transition from analog to digital
consoles.
Digital Consoles
for Digital Recordings?
Some people have suggested that
"analog" consoles are somehow not up
to the task of making "digital" recordings. While there are any number of less
than crystalline sounding analog consoles out there corrupting digital, and
for that matter, analog recordings, they
are not typical. There will probably be a
few nasty -sounding digital consoles out
there as soon as we get enough people
making them. For the sake of this discussion, let's look at the typical professional console (in good working condR-e/p 18
February 1986
ition).
As I have discussed a few times in
prior writings,',2 the difficult tasks to
perform in a recording console are the
amplification of microphone-level signals, and to some lesser extent, the
summation of several of these amplified
and processed signals into a two- (or
four -) channel final product.
The digital console offers a theoretically perfect summation but, as I've discussed in reference #1, analog consoles
can approach these theoretical limits,
and easily exceed the dynamic range of
present digital systems. For smaller
(less than 10- input) mixers, even simple
summing circuits typically will not be a
limitation.
What this leaves us with is the microphone pre -amplifier as the remaining
performance limitation. With the possible exception of "the boys (and girls, of
used. We hope that these comments
prove useful.
References:
1. J. Vanderkooy and S. P. Lipshitz,
N
Polarity and Phase Standards for
Analog Tape Recorders; presented at
the 69th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, Los Angeles, May 1985
(preprint #1795).
Editorial Note: Due to pressure of
work, Peter Butt was unable to prepare a
suitable reply to the above letter. We
plan to publish his reply in the April
issue of R -e/p ML.
-
course) at Bell" I don't expect anyone is
seriously working on a digital microphone, and probably they are struggling just to get "voice- grade" performance.
To directly accept the low -level output
from typically professional microphones, an A/D convertor would need
something on the order of 25 to 30 bits.
Although 16 bit PCM digital is not a
technological brick wall, the current
state -of-the-art is only two or three bits
more, making direct microphone level
input out of the question (for now).
Thus, the performance of both digital
and analog recording consoles will be
limited by an analog microphone preamplifier stage. As is often the case, the
absolute performance realized will be a
function of how well this circuit block is
executed, rather than some intrinsic
technology.
Curiously, digital recording consoles
are much more likely to benefit heavily
over -produced multitrack recording,
than the minimalist, three or four microphone, purist recordings. Keeping the
signal within the digital domain during
the numerous bounces, and even performing some of the effects processing
on the bit-stream itself, will result in a
Audio Mythology continues on page 143
-
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PRODUCTION VIEWPOINT
SPECIALIZING IN DA CE- SINGLE REMIXES
Interviewed by Ralph Jones
/p (Ralph Jones): Let's begin with
director for MCA's Black Division, Louil Silas, Ra -efew
regarding your backJr. has risen quickly to become one of the most promi- ground.details
How did you reach your presnent single-remix producers in our industry, while ent position with MCA?
simultaneously acting as a prime force in affecting the label's Louil Silas: I started in television:
recent renaissance. Like many of his peers in the field of remix- my degree is from Cal State Domina major in teleproducing dance singles, Silas started as a disk jockey at a Los guez Hills, with
as a
in
school,
tion.
While
Angeles -area dance club. In subsequent promotional positions page at KTTV [a majorI worked
Los Angeles
first for A&M Records and then for MCA he gained invalu- TV station], and then got a gig as a
able first -hand experience in the marketing of contemporary courier. At the same time, I worked as
music. In 1984, given the chance to remix the single version of a DJ at house parties, so the music
the back of my mind.
Alicia Myer's "You Get The Best From Me," he entered Larra- thing was in however,
I went on to be
From
courier,
Taavi
Mote,
and a staff writer on a PBS
bee Sound Studio with session engineer
television
walked out with a Top Five Record.
show called The Righteous Apples. I
In the two years since their first single was released, the wrote for that show for a year, and
Silas /Mote team has mixed a series of hit singles, including then it was cancelled. I was looking
to do when a club
New Edition's "Cool It Now "; "Oh Sheila," and "Digital Dis- for somethingnew
opened up -a
disco in the Culver
Patti
Gold
album;
For
The
World's
-titled
self
play" from Ready
City [Southern California] area, called
LaBelle's "New Attitude" and Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F." Contempo's. I started DJ'ing there,
from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack; plus the current Kly- and ended up staying for three years.
In that time, I established a reputamaxx ballad, "I Miss You."
When R -e/p met with Louil Silas, the extremely busy young tion as one of the "baddest" guys in
city: It was one of the first clubs
executive was hard at work on a single version of "Crush On the
that record promoters would hit to get
You" by The Jets. The following in -depth discussion ranges a gauge on what was hot.
over a variety of topics, from the remixing process to current
R -e /p (Ralph Jones): While working
A &R developments at MCA Records.
As
A &R
-
-
R -e /p 22
February 1986
WE'VE GO\E TO GREAT LENGTHS
TO MAKE SERIES 600 THE
ULTIMATE 16 TRACK CONSOLE.
The new Series 600 has been designed as the
universal 16 track console. From Y2" personal recording
facilities to the professional 2" studio standard.
Acw<
In analogue recording, the tape is the weakest link.
Therefore, it's vital that whatever you put onto the tape is
of the highest quality whichever tape format you use.
-
At Soundcraft we've used all our latest technology in circuit design
to ensure that the performance of Series 600 outshines any other 16
track console.
We've included internal line matching links and switches which
enable the user to re -set the console from the professional
+4dBu standard to -10dBV for Y2" and 1" multitrack.
f/
In addition to 16 equalised monitor channels which
are separate from the input modules, Series 600 includes
p. yfJIJO
s
16 LED bargraph meters, switchable peak/VU, plus two
conventional VU meters on the mix buses.
Four auxiliary sends on each channel can be routed to six auxiliary
buses. And the master module contains extensive monitoring facilities,
including access to three two track sources for playback
inputs and outputs (except input channel
direct out) are balanced, utilising Neutrik XLR connectors.
An external 19" rack mounting power supply allows for
clean and stable DC voltages to the console.
Series 600 also incorporates many more features than you'd
expect from a console so reasonably priced.
So, whichever tape format you use, you should go to great lengths
to ensure your console is a Soundcraft Series 600.
All line
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R-e /p 24 O
February 1986
For additional information circle #117
"You know, a lot of guys aren't using engineers that are sticklers
for detail but, to me, the engineer is the most important part of any
project. If you have somebody who's willing to go to the `nth' degree
to make your song sound better, you're going to win!"
-
LOUR
Mr Jr.
as a club DJ, were you doing Scratch?
Louil Silas: Back then, no. I was just
concentrating on mixing from one
song to another
that was the big
thing then. If you could do five hours
and take the audience on a continuous
high, you were good. Around 1983,
when I stopped DJ'ing regularly,
Scratch was really starting to happen,
and I got in on the fringe of it. But I
didn't .like it ruining my records, so I
wasn't that high on it! [Laughs at the
-
memory.]
Anyway, I was interested in getting
into the industry. I met a lot of record
promoters at the club and, finally, one
of them told me that there was an
opening in promotion at Atlantic
Records. I applied, got the job, and
worked there for a year as a local
promotion representative. Then, I
moved to MCA in '83 as West Coast
regional promotion manager.
At this stage, I was helped enormously by a man named Clarence
Avant
the president of Tabu
Records, and sort of a guru to black
record executives. Clarence is one guy
who's looking out for young black
executives' interests, because he was
in the industry before it was what it is
now, and he wants to be sure that
everybody gets their just rewards. He
personally negotiated my contract
with MCA, which is the reason it took
nine months rather than nine min-
on, and I go out enough and talk to
enough people to get a gauge on
what's hot.
R -e /p (Ralph Jones): And you now do
all of the single remixes for MCA?
Louil Silas: I do most of them,
because when I've hired other people
to remix, I second -guess them. Then, I
have to live with any disappointment
I may feel about the result, and I have
to talk to managers and artists who
want to know my opinion of the mix.
Usually, they want to know why I
didn't do it! I've kind of spoiled people
on the label, in that they know that
I've had a degree of success, and they
want to be a part of that.
R -e /p: Let's get back to the fundamentals: What, to your mind, is the
R -e /p: How many versions of a particular song do you usually release on
a 12-inch version?
LS: The most is five. As I explained,
in addition to the extended mix and
radio edit, I make different fractions
of those mixes
like a cappella, or
what have you. Again, it's all designed
for exposure, but when the public is
able to purchase the 12- inches, I've
found that they also like them. The
single edit also goes out on a
seven -inch.
-
-
utes!
Shortly thereafter, Jheryl Busby
came to MCA. Now, during my time
as a DJ, when Jheryl was at A &M, I
used to bug him to let me do remixes.
When he came to MCA, knowing that
we had no A &R input from the West
Coast, I let him know that I was
available to do remixes, and that I
thought I could do them well. He
finally gave me the opportunity, in
April of '84, to come into the studio. I
met [session engineer] Taavi Moté
through Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis,
and he and I did my first remix, which
was a song by Alicia Myers called
"You Get The Best From Me." That
first remix went Top Five on the Black
charts.
My title now at MCA is Director of
A &R, Black Music Division, but my
job entails a lot more than just choosing singles. I like to get involved with
the music and, hopefully, make it better! I think that, from my club experience, I have a feel for what's going
versions, to make it attractive for
them to buy.
Then, I do "play" things, like dub
mixes or cappella" versions, which
are designed for DJs to play with
bonus beats to segue from one part of
my mix to another. When you go into
a club with one of these play mixes,
the DJ will play the record, for something like 20 minutes. The exposure is
great if you give them a lot to play
with! When I was a DJ, if I saw five or
six mixes on a disk, and the record
was hot, the song got a lot of play. So,
on the 12 -inch release, with all those
versions, I'm thinking mainly of club
exposure. It's a proven fact that we
can break records through clubs, so
the more exposure I get, the better our
sales are!
R -e /p: What
intended use fora single's remix? Is it
produced primarily for radio airplay,
or dance clubs, for example?
LS: I do several mixes, actually, in
different categories. One is an extended remix, which is designed solely
for clubs: if you heard it on the radio it
might be monotonous, because there
are some things that are obviously
stretched out. When I do those mixes,
I'm thinking strictly of the "pulse" of
the club, and what the DJ would want
to use.
My second mix is a radio edit of the
extended club mix. In that version,
-a
I'm giving radio what they want
shorter intro, shorter break, and so on
but all the elements of the club mix
are there, so that the people who
heard it at the club will think that this
version is just as attractive.
The third version is the single edit,
which is a tool that radio uses in AM
or PM drive -times, when they don't
have a lot of time to play longer versions. Kids buy a lot of singles, so I try
to use the elements of both of the other
-
about the radio edit? Is
that released separately?
LS: That's included on the 12 -inch.
The way I make my 12- inches, the
radio edit opens up the B -side. When
the people at the radio station get the
record, they say, "Well, man, the Aside is nine minutes! I can't play this!"
Then they flip it over, and they say,
"Louil's done it again! There's my
version!" They should recognize that
now: it's been happening at MCA for
a year; that's my format.
Some stations play the long versions of everything I've done. My
longest mix was nearly 10 minutes; it
was a song by Network, called "Out
Of Danger," and it's out currently. I
was surprised the stations even carted
that one up! I like long mixes, though:
I'm trying to reach Prince's record. I
think the "America" mix is over 21
minutes long I'd like to do a mix like
that!
-
R -e /p: Would it be safe to say
that, in
general, you simply extend the original single for the 12 -inch versions?
LS: It depends. More often than not, I
do. Usually, when I hear what the
February 1986 R -e/p 25
artist and producer think
love music. Usually, before we go to a
final mix, I get a lot of opinions. Of
course, it depends on the time and the
budget I have to work with: a lot of
R -e /p: How do you go about extending
a song by as much as 50 %?
LS: I find the pieces that I want to
accentuate, and mix them to two track individually, then I have Taavi
[Moté] splice them together. Your
R -e /p: Are those additional studio
LOUIL 111.111,
Jr.
is the finished version, I'll hear certain elements underneath that I think should
be accentuated. To get to the point
where those elements are brought out
usually makes it longer: the A -sides
on my releases are normally about
seven minutes. The song we're working on tonight [ "Crush On You" by
the Jets] is only five and a half minutes on the album, but it'll probably be
about eight minutes long when I'm
finished with my extended version.
engineer, if he's good, can make it
sound like that's the way it's supposed to be.
You bring things up, and mute
other things to make it sound different: like, if I want to do a bass breakdown, I might have to take out some
percussion to accentuate it. I like that
part of it. In R&B music, especially,
the breakdown is the part that makes
the people just go crazy! As a DJ, I
loved breakdowns.
R -e /p: Do you also use digital sampling to capture elements and move
these remixes are charged against the
artist. Since I'm spending their
money, I try to be real frugal. But we
have it down to a kind of formula now,
so I should be able to do a remix in
about 20 hours. In that amount of
time, I should have everything I need
for all the versions that I want.
One exception to that was "Digital
Display," by Ready For The World: I
did that remix over a period of about
two weeks. The group was in town,
and we brought them in to do overdubs. Then I brought in [keyboard
player] David [Irwin] to do some
things, and that thing ended up costing about $18,000. Real high!
-andLouil
Silas, Jr.
Taavi Motéthe equipment more.
Hopefully, it's sounding a bit more
advanced, but I'm not really into trying to impress people in the industry
with what I'm doing. The people don't
care about sampling or what have
you: all they want to know is that it
sounds good. So, I'm just trying to
make it sound good, and make it
attractive for people to buy.
them around in the song?
LS: Oh, man, all the time! In fact, my R -e /p: Do you often find yourself
nickname at one point was Louil replacing sounds on the original
making a new kick sound,
"AMS" Silas! When I first came here tracks
rather than just movto Larrabee[Studios, Hollywood] ,and for example
Taavi showed me the things that dif- ing elements or adding parts?
ferent pieces of outboard equipment LS: Yes, we've done that. It seems like
could do, I was amazed. I love the I did more of that kind of thing on the
AMS [DMX 15 -80S digital delay/ earlier remixes, but I've brought peosampler] and the [E -mu Systems] ple in to replace guitar parts, and we
have a sample tape with keyboard
Emulator.
Usually, I use sampling for vocal sounds, drum sounds, and what have
phrases that I may want in a different you. For example, I sampled from the
part of the song. Or, for example, the "Oh Sheila" track. That song went
number one in the nation, so I figure
song we're working on tonight
"Crush On You," by the Jets has a that if I want a good kick drum sound,
tom fill at the end that I want [to what better one to use than the "Oh
place] in the first verse. So, we'll be Sheila" kick? That sound has been
used on a couple of remixes now!
using the AMS to move it.
As I learn more about what each
piece of equipment does, it's expand- R -e /p: You've talked mostly about the
ing my capabilities. I used to just "feel" of the track. Do you also involve
come in and mix from the recorded yourself with technical aspects of the
tracks; now, I'm bringing in extra remix?
musicians. I have a guy that I work LS: Right now, I concentrate on feel,
with by the name of David Irwin, who because I'm going from the club experhas just about every piece of keyboard ience: that's what I draw from for my
equipment ever made. I can call him mixes. The audience doesn't care
in, and he'll bring his Emulator, about technology they care how it
[Yamaha] DX -7, Moog or whatever, feels. So, when I'm doing these things,
and give me what I want. So, as I'm I become the DJ and the audience. If it
growing into this thing
wanting excites me, it should excite them, too.
I also have a lot of input from people
more sounds; wanting to experiment
more with the mixes I'm just using at MCA, and from friends that just
R-e/p 26 0 February 1986
- -
- -
-
-
-
costs for the remix charged against
artist royalties?
LS: Usually. It depends on the artist's
contract, and how good he is at negotiating. Nine times out of 10, the
record company, rather than the
artist, calls for the remix at least in
my experience with MCA. But the cost
of the remixes I'm doing now is
between $6,000 and $8,000. If it's
based solely on royalties, the artist
will make that back, because the remixes have been selling at a pretty good
-
clip!
If you concentrate mainly on
the "feel" of the cut, I assume that you
rely on your session engineer, Taavi
Moté to handle the more technical
aspects of the mix.
LS: That's right. Taavi gets the primary sound together, then my thing is
the balance of those sounds. Of
course, once Taavi has it the way he
wants it to sound, it's not always the
way I want it. So, we make adjustments when I come in. But I have so
much other stuff to do during the day
that I leave the track with Taavi for
about three hours to let him get the
basic sound together, and then we
move from there.
Taavi is good. You know, a lot of
guys aren't using engineers that are
but, to me, the
sticklers for detail
engineer is the most important part of
any project. If you have somebody
who's willing to go to the "nth" degree
to make your song sound better,
you're going to win! I'm lucky enough
to have that kind of a guy working
with me, and our mixes will always
sound good, whether the record's a
dog or not.
R -e /p:
-
R -e /p: You said earlier that the record
company generally calls for the remix.
When do they decide to release a
... continued overleaf -
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J
R -e /p 27
"A remix should never sound worse than the LP cut:
it should always sound better I don't care who
does it, or who the engineer is. It should always
hit the listener a bit differently, like a revival."
-
LOUIL
S'ILgs,
Jr.
remix? What are the indicators?
LS: First, we have a promotion -staff
conference call. Then the promotion
director, Ernie Singleton, will come
back to me with feedback from the
field staff as to what the next single
will be. I'll then talk with my boss,
and between all those opinions should
come a decision on the next single. It's
not solely my decision. Once we make
the decision, however, it's mine to live
up to.
A remix should never sound worse
than the LP cut: it should always
-
sound better I don't care who does
it, or who the engineer is. It should
always hit the listener a bit differently, like a revival. Even if the record
is in recurrent at most radio stations,
if you have a hot, innovative remix,
you'll see the record added to the play list again.
R -e /p: What then makes for a hot
remix?
LS: Whew! [Pauses and collects his
thoughts] Concentration on what the
people want to hear. You're able to
R -e /p: But why go to the extra trouble draw out something that, on the LP
and cost of remixing the track? cut, maybe you had to condense
Why not just release the album cut as because you only have 21 minutes per
side. There might be part of the record
a single?
LS: Well, nine times out of 10 if it's that, when you hear it on the LP,
an up-tempo single, and the LP is makes you say, "Golly, I wish I could
popular it's probably been played make that longer!" On the 12 -inch,
off the LP as an album cut. So, we you can do that, and it makes the song
know that the life of that song might more interesting. I know that some
not be so great once we release it as a people may find long versions monosingle: once a song's been played as tonous, but to me and, I think, to a
an album cut, it's been burned, so we majority of the listeners attention
try to infuse some "fresh air" into the to those details makes for a better
record.
situation with a remix.
Sometimes, we'll do an edit of the
LP version, and release that as a sin- R -e /p: Do you also do similar things to
gle to radio, and then release the the radio -edit version? Would you
remix later. Of course, on a second draw out elements in the same way?
single, I never want to come out with LS: I draw out as many as I can
the remix right out of the box. I between five minutes and 5:30. Again,
always want the remix to be the next I was in promotion before I got into
level to boost the tune, and prolong A &R, and I know what radio wants.
its life. We have that situation with Sometimes, I talk with radio people
"Digital Display," by Ready For The and get their opinions. When I was
World: that cut was played heavily off remixing Patti LaBelle's "New Attiof the LP. We released the album ver- tude," we started off a cappella:
sion as a single, and it was the most- [sings] "I'm feeling good from my
added single. It came on the charts at head to my shoes." I asked a [radio
56 and has gone to 40; it'll go to the staion] programmer how she would
high -20s before we release the remix. program that record, as opposed
Then, that breath of fresh air might starting it off with rhythm, and then
the vocal. It's just better for that a
take us all the way to Top Five.
cappella intro to be played at certain
R -e /p: Do you think that there's some- points in their programming day. I
thing unique about the remix that wanted to know whether I was going
would help to move the song higher on to be hurt by starting off the record
the charts? Not simply that it's differ- like this, or if it was going to help me.
ent, but something specific about the With that record, it was a definite
help, because it came out of nowhere,
feel and the sound?
LS: Well, the feel is always different, and got a lot of attention. The other
even in the pressing itself. You're song would be fading out and, all of a
pressing a 12 -inch, so the grooves are sudden, Patti would come on.
bigger. The lows are lower, and the
highs are higher. Plus, you're always R -e /p: The Patti LaBelle remix must
trying to improve that sound. Even if have sounded kind of startling, being
you think you got the maximum backward from the way most tunes
sound on the album cut, there's begin?
LS: Right. Of course, I didn't want to
always something more you can do.
R -e /p 28 0 February 1986
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
blow it, because it was an important
record! When I go into the studio to do
a remix, I say a prayer every time,
asking not to blow it! You can blow a
record as easily as you can make it
better, just by pressing the wrong
button.
You know, a lot of times people
think they're being creative, but they
may just be destroying the feel. Luckily, there's never been a case where
I've just completely blown it because
of some concept that I had, but I have
had big records that I thought I could
have done a better job with. I won't
name the song, but I had a Top Five
record that I hated from the moment it
was released: I wanted to redo it. But
it just caught on and, to this day, I
can't believe that the record did what
it did. I heard some things in there
that I know were caused by fatigue,
because it was a time that I was traveling back and forth to New York,
and I went right from the studio to the
airport. But that happens very rarely.
R -e /p: What, for you, is most impor-
tant element in the remix?
LS: I have basic criteria for things
that I want to do. First of all, I want to
start the remix off with the most exciting intro that I can possibly do,
within the confines of the particular
song. I want people to put the needle
down and, when the thing comes on,
say, "Whoa! I like that!"
After the intro gets their attention, I
build up the body of the song, and
then I want something in the middle
that makes them go crazy. Usually,
that's accentuating the groove; sometimes, it's repeating a particular
phrase that the artist sings. There's
such a variety of things that you can
do.
I would say that for most songs,
people don't even know 80% of the lyrics. But they'll know the groove and, if
you accentuate that groove, nine
times out of 10 it'll be a successful
record. So, I would have to say that
the groove is one of the most important aspects. That, plus the intro and
the breakdown. Those are the three
most important parts. continued overleaf
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February 1986
D R-e /p 29
vun
CONTRASTING CONVENTIONAL MIXDOWN
TECHNIQUES WITH DANCE REMIXES
A Conversation With Louil Silas' Regular Session
Engineer Taavi Moté
-
-
-
sounding instrument.
"We also do a lot of sampling. For example, sometimes Louil will want to hear something
moved from the top of the song to the last verse, or we'll have to take a chorus part and
move it into the whole vamp over and over again. In the old days, we would sample onto
two -track and try to roll it back in, but now we have the luxury of using sampling
equipment, especially the AMS 15 -80. We dial something into it, edit it down, and then
either trigger it manually or use something rhythmically from the multitrack tape. It's
definitely made the mixes much easier, allowing us to be more creative.
"I also enjoy using the BBE Model 202R, a sound processor made by Barcus Berry
Session engineer Taavi Moté at the SSL console in Larrabee Sound's Studio
R -e /p 30
February 1986
Jr.
R -e /p: What
Engineer Taavi Moti, who currently serves as Louil Silas' right-hand man and collaborator in the studio, began his career as a guitarist in a succession of high school
bands. Upon graduation, the transition to studio musician introduced Moti to the environment which, for him, proved to have an irresistable appeal: "All I had to do was get in the
studio once," he recalls, "and I fell in love with it. The atmosphere was so conducive to
creativity!"
The Recording School Of America, and a stint as an assistant Larrabee Sound Studios,
Hollywood, provided Moté with the education in studio techniques that has enabled him to
become a much sought -after independent engineer. He is a dedicated "Solid State Logic man" and, in addition to Larrabee, also works regularly in such Los Angeles facilities as
Encore Studios, Record Plant and Solar Studios. His recent credits include self -titled
albums by Ready For The World and New Edition; Patti Labelle's contribution to the
Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack album, "New Attitude" (nominated for two Grammy
awards); and the Klymaxx album, Meeting In The Ladies' Room, which features the
current Top -Five single, "I Miss You."
We began our discussion by asking Taavi Moti to contrast the characteristics of a
dance -single remix with those of an album mix. "One of the biggest advantages of the
12 -inch single," he replies, "is that you can mix more low -end content. On an LP, an
equivalent amount of low-end is going to take up too much groove space, so that, on an
album which is 20 or 22 minutes long, the grooves will start getting too close together. You
can also spend more time with a rhythmic break than you would on a single, play around
with the melody longer, and expand a musical thought. That allows you to make the record
more exciting, by bringing out things that may have been lost in the LP version.
is an
"I find that with a remix, being `cold' to the song not really knowing it that well
advantage: you bring out things that somebody else might have pushed back, either out of
habit or preference. You can get into the `feel' all on its own, whereas you couldn't do that
on an LP cut. Also, you can have much more movement more explosive things in the
mix. That's partly a matter of panning, but it also involves making things come back and
forth from front to rear; things like that can really make the music explosive."
an
We surmised that outboard equipment plays a significant role in the process
impression that Taavi confirmed. "Outboard equipment is one of the most important
things for any remix: it allows you to enhance what's there, change things around, and even
make a track sound totally different from what it sounded like originally. In digital delay
lines, I prefer the AMS [DMX 15 -80S], because I can feed a signal in, and have the same
quality of sound come out. Their RMX -16 reverb is wonderful: the reverse programs and
the non -linear program, in particular, have been quite popular in the past couple of years.
And the ambience programs are great for taking a synthesizer track or drum computer,
which might have a one -dimensional sound, and turning it into a three-dimensional-
-
S71.111,
A
about the ending to a
remixed single?
Yeah, the basic fade
LS: Hmm
does get a little dated after a while!
You know, I've done just about every
ending that can be done. For example,
the Stephanie Mills record, "Stand
Back," will probably be out by the
time this article is published. I remixed that from a version that was
done by the producer, Nick Martinelli.
He faded it out but, in the mix that I
did, I came back into the chorus and
then ended abruptly on a synthesizer
sting. I think my version is more
exciting, because it's like, bang! Bang!
The song is over, and the DJ says the
artist's name. There, I was thinking
about radio, although the club version
is the same.
So, I pay attention to all of that, but
I do a lot of basic fades. You can destroy some material by trying to be
"artsy" with it. It's not that difficult,
especially after you've had a little
experience: you get to know what the
people want. And it's not always what
you want. I take what other people
say into account: I'm not the ears of
the nation!
...
R -e /p: Do you
take into account the
possibility of a single crossing over
into another chartable area?
LS: I used to, until "Oh Sheila" did
what it did. That song went Number 1
on the Billboard Black charts, the
Dance charts, and the Pop charts: just
about every chart there is, "Oh
Sheila" went Number One on it. So, to
borrow a phrase from my boss, Jheryl
Busby, "Crossover is just the sound of
the cash register ringing." Which is to
say that it has no particular sound.
You see, "Oh Sheila" was simply a
good record that was given the opportunity to be exposed. And once it got
played, people just loved it: it just
snowballed. It's paved the way for
that band. Now, we're going all out to
get them a Platinum record. The
album went Gold a couple of weeks
ago [early January], and it's at
800,000 units now.
So, I don't even like to use the word
"pop." I tell artists on the roster,
"Don't think about crossover. Make
the strongest record you can make,
and let the company, and the public
decide whether or not it goes pop." If
you go into the studio with a preconceived notion that you want to make a
pop record, you're going to alienate
your core audience. The first thing we
want to do is make sure that the base
is covered, and the Black stations
play this record. If they don't, Pop
radio will never hear it.
MCA is very good about taking
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R -e /p 32
February 1986
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A
Conversation with Taavi Mote
-
continued .. .
[Electronics]. It deals with phase and the time that the sound gets to the speaker. One of
their claims is that, if you use the unit in the recording or mixing chain, you find yourself
and I've found that to be true. On certain instruments, at certain
using less equalization
levels, just dialing in a little of it really does enhance the track. I've used it on vocals, to add
extra presence without adding level. You could say that it's a little like the Aphex [Aural
Exciter] in the way that it's used. However, the Model 202R is not adding all that extra
high -frequency energy: it works at a cleaner level. Most of the time, I place it in the mix on
the same side as the source instrument is panned, and it adds `clarity' to the track."
-
Enhancing the Width of a Stereo Sound Field
"Along with the outboard processing," Moti continues, "I'll also put up a couple of mikes
and feed parts of the mix into the studio on an echo send. Then, I apply the sound of the
room back into the mix, just to add a little acoustic material. By varying the position of the
or even adding
microphones and, possibly, compressing and limiting the room mikes
delay before the sound gets into the room
I can add dimension to the sound and give it
more depth.
"A lot of things in the mix are done to give a wider stereo dimension. I try to create a lot of
movement in the mix, so that things sound larger and wider: effects might start on the same
side and stay there for a second or less, then be on the other side. Usually, I'll use an
autopanner or make a mult of the track into two faders
one panned left, the other right
so that I can manipulate the faders with the [console- fader] automation, or use cut
switches.
"My most recent discovery is the Cyclosonic FS -1 autopanner from SAN Musical
Service Corporation. While demoing the unit, I found a setting where the sound kind of
`jumps' out behind you, then comes back into the mix. I sat there listening to a guitar jump
out of the speakers and then jump back in: it was really phenomenal! I haven't incorporated
that effect in a mix yet, because I don't know how it will translate to a record, but I plan to
use it in the near future and see for myself.
"The point of all of this is to enhance the musical energy: to make it more dynamic, and
make people want to get up and moue. We take their favorite song and play off certain parts
of it, giving it more meat, more bottom end, more dynamic range. You have so much liberty
on a 12 -inch: you can be more experimental. We also have the luxury to bring in other
musicians and other devices -even record additional vocals
to carry out an idea that
wasn't fully explored on the album version."
Are the differences between a dance -single remix and an LP mix extended to equalization, we queried? Moti indicated that this was indeed the case: "When I'm mixing, I think
about the acoustical setting of the club environment. You don't want certain frequencies to
be too strong or strident, or it could be uncomfortable, so I have to watch out for that. I
wouldn't want it to be overly bright, for example, because at most dance clubs the music is
played at a very high level. I don't want to get too strong in the 2- to 4- kHz region.
"But it's most important to be able to complement the song that's number one. I listen
to the lyric and try to understand the statement that's being made: for example, there might
be a certain word or phrase that you can play off of in the remix, to bring out the meaning of
the song. You can also create a mood with the outboard equipment, and the way that you
write the mix into the [console] automation computer."
In the accompanying interview, Louil Silas had mentioned that, when extending a song,
he worked in sections, and then had Moti cut tape to put them together. We asked the
engineer to describe the process. "With the SSL console," he offers, "I'll generally get the
mix up into a complete -pass situation with all the cuts written into the automation record,
so that I have control over the sound; I'll also do some basic level rides if there are
inconsistencies or low -level things on the master. Then, Louil and I will listen back to it, and
pick up one section to work with, building up cuts and level moves. Sometimes, we'll work
with the main body first, and get that developed so that it's really strong, then find the intro
somewhere in the song.
"Of course, we begin by getting a mix that is close to what was on the original album cut:
Louil likes to get to about where they were before, then make it stronger. It can be an
awkward process, but I'll listen to the record or the two -track master, and try to figure out
how it was done. Sometimes, I'll even call the engineer or producer to find out what they
might have used! A lot of times, however, since we haven't had that luxury, I've had to sit
back and listen carefully, and then try to match the track with something that I can pull out
from my own usage of the equipment.
"The process relies on my analytical ear, coupled with good use of the outboard
equipment. Who knows what was used to process a track? It could be quite complex!
There've been a couple of times when Louil and I have done both the single version and the
LP version, so we had the luxury of looking at the notes from before. But, most of the time,
we have no other information than just going by ear."
Can we assume that the dance -single remixing process is an application where the
engineer would appreciate transportability of data from one console automation system to
-
-
-
-
-
-
LOUR
sllgS, Jr.
"black" records to the other side. Take
Klymaxx' "I Miss You:" before this
album, Klymaxx sold about 12 units
-I'm being facetious, but their sales
record was not very good and now
they're close to shipping Gold. The
New Edition story: because of the current album, All For Love, which was
certified Gold this week and has only
been out for two weeks, the first album
will probably go double-platinum.
Patti LaBelle's "New Attitude" and
the Miami Vice Theme [by Jan
Hammer] are other examples. We're
getting to be like a couple of other
record companies, as far as both divisions just working good records. Of
course, there's always going to be that
division, because some records just
don't work on other formats. But if we
see a chance to make a record big, we
-
go for it!
R -e /p: Do you ever become frustrated
with the possibly artificial division
that's made between "Black" and
"Pop" music? Does it ever stand in
your way?
LS: Well, there was one record that I
knew would be big if it had the opportunity to be worked pop: "The Men All
Pause," by Klymaxx. I think a lot of
us in the company look back at that
single, and feel that we made a mistake. I tried to get it reworked on the
Pop side, but it was too late. The preconceived notion of a group, when
they have no sales history, is "Why
bother ?"
Still, not every record is right for
every radio station; the stations themselves aren't going for every audience
segment. You might hear Tears For
Fears on Black radio, but you're not
going to hear Dire Straits or AC /DC. I
February 1986
R -e /p 33
WWI rnns,Jr.
mean,
know this
Are The
World" attitude - that it's all just
music - but it's not really like that.
might hear "Oh Sheila" on Pop
"We
I
You
radio, but some R&B artists are so
"funky" that Pop radio won't touch
them. A lot of Rap records don't get
Pop exposure, for instance. So, the
division is still there. Some records
should be played on every format, but
there are also many that shouldn't be.
A lot of this business is just opinions, and some people justify their
decisions on that basis, rather than
going out and trying it. Like, I wanted
"Digital Display" to be released before
"Oh Sheila." Now, I don't know if it
would have been a Number One Pop
record, as "Oh Sheila" was: we'll
never know. But had it been my decision, "Digital Display" would have
been released first. I probably would
have blown it, but that was my opinion. And a lot of it is personal opinion,
but you try to go with the "pulse" of
the market.
R -e /p: Why did you want "Digital
Display" to be released before "Oh
A
Sheila "?
LS: You know how sometimes you
just hear a record? Even from the
demo, I heard that song as being a
great record. To me, "Oh Sheila" just
started and went to the end, and
nothing ever happened in the middle.
But I thought "Digital Display" was a
Conversation with Taavi Moté
-
continued ..
.
another? Would it be useful to have the fader -automation record from the LP mix to use as
a starting point
assuming, of course, that he was remixing on a different brand of
automated console from the type used during the original mixdown? "I think that would be
wonderful," he concedes. "It would save a lot of time going through the song: sometimes,
I've spent two or three hours just listening to the tape, making notes and writing [automated] cut switches. It's very tiresome, but has got to be done. It definitely would be an
advantage to have all the automation data from the LP mix, stored in a form that was
compatible with the SSL."
Does Motd have a particular preferences in monitor loudspeakers? "For close -field
monitoring, I use the [Calibration Standard Instruments] MTMs
which I find to be very
accurate and I also use the standard Yamaha NS-10s with the tissue *. It's funny how the
Yamahas became a standard, isn't it? The first time I heard them was at Westlake Audio
[Los Angeles] in '79 or '80. I couldn't relate to them at the time: they seemed real bright.
Now, of course, I like them. I hear the NS -1000s are pretty nice, too, although I haven't had
the opportunity to work with them yet.
"Anyway, both during the mixing process, and also when checking the final mix, I listen
on the big monitors; the close -fields, be they the Yamahas or the MTMs; and on Auratones,
in stereo and in mono. I'll even use the small [cuing] speaker in the Studer A -80 or the one in
the [Ampex] ATR -100; I also take a real `el- cheapo' mono cassette deck with me as another
reference. If I think I've covered everything on all those speakers, and nothing is drastically
bothering me, then I know I'm safe anywhere!
"It's important to monitor at low levels sometimes, as well. Louil works at high volumes,
and I have to have a reference point if my ear gets a little fatigued, to make sure that
everything is still within the framework at a lower level. High levels can trick you after
awhile: the ear is a very complex, sensitive part of the body, and it's definitely going to
change its curve after exposure to sound at an excessive level. After maybe a short ear
break, I reference on small and medium speakers even if we're talking about a mix that's
going to be played at high volumes on a dance floor. If everything's there, then in a club in
the Middle East or Jamaica, which may have a very different sound system, we still have a
mix that'll work."
ODD
-
-
-
-
*Editorial note: The interested reader is referred to a fascinating article by Bob Hodas, to
be found elsewhere in this issue, that sheds light on the "industry wisdom" that placing
tissue paper over the NS -10M's tweeters will reduce the perceived HF content of a mix. As
the article reports, after extensive tests Hodas attributes the affect not to simple HF
absorption, but rather to a complex comb-filtering process ML.
-
R -e /p 34
February 1986
much more interesting track. When
radio got the album, it was the first
cut they went to after "Oh Sheila," so
it proved to me that the song would
have done real well. I also liked the
subject matter, and it made a great
video. We just finished the video last
week up in the Bay Area, and it's got
to be one of the videos of the year: a
real "high- tech" video.
R -e /p: You liked "Digital Display"
partly because it went through some
changes. To me, we're touching on the
question of song values: the structure,
how the choruses and bridge fall. How
do you relate to those things in the
remix?
LS: With a song like "Oh Sheila," I
try to incorporate things to break up
the monotony. For that song, we used
a tom fill to open the song and, then,
right at the break, we did another tom
fill that sent it somewhere else. Mixed
that way, the song went on "levels,"
rather than just going from start to
finish: it had a beginning, middle and
end because of what we did in the
remix.
R -e /p: But if a song already has a
beginning, middle and end, how do
you relate to that structure when you
go into the studio for the remix?
LS: Are you asking whether I restruc-
ture the song? Because I have done
that: I've put the middle at the beginning, or the second half in the first
half. When I have the 24 -track tapes,
I'm the producer, and whoever produced the song originally has nothing
more to say. Now, that could be called
arrogance, but most of the producers
feel good about it and don't look over
my shoulder. When you're having a
roll and you're successful, you get
away with more! [Laughter] But if a
sing has good structure, I just try to
accentuate what's there, and make it
sound stronger.
that. As long as you have a successful
R -e /p: Do you refer back to the album
cut, and attempt to remain consistent
R -e /p: What do you look for in a new
record, who cares?
artist?
LS: Something that grabs me. Since
I've taken on the A &R position with
MCA, I've only signed one new artist
to the roster, although I've listened to
about 15 million tapes! Now, I'm signing a couple of groups that have been
with that sound?
LS: Oh, definitely! When we first
come into the studio, we get the song
sounding exactly like it did on the
album, and then go from there. You
can always make it sound better, but
first you have to make it sound the
same. And I can't think of one time
where somebody would rather play
the LP version than the remix. Of
course, I'd probably say that even if
they did! [Laughter]
on other labels, but only one new
artist: he's a male vocalist named
Giorgio out of Minnesota, but not of
the "Prince school." I signed him to
an LP deal, and his album will proba-
-
R -e /p: When working on a remix for
say, a song
an established artist
from a second or third album do you
- listen at their previous albums, and
try to be consistent with their earlier
work?
LS: I did that when I first started
doing remixes, but now I just go for it.
Take Stephanie Mills' "Stand Back,"
for instance. I felt that this was the
1985 version of her, in which case the
prior material doesn't really relate.
And I certainly don't want any more
unsuccessful albums like the last two
she had on Polygram. I want this
album to be her biggest: it has to go
Platinum, because she's had Gold
records. So, I went with what was
recorded and just dealt with that. We
have a very strong track, and she
gave us an excellent vocal. I think
that this single is going to surprise a
lot of people, and make her prior
record company green with envy!
somebody else has done something
that makes people go crazy, I follow
the way. I'm not saying that I steal, or
anything like that, but I want a successful record and I'll do anything
without blatantly stealing somebody
else's idea to get it!
I've heard a lot of my elements on
other people's productions, too, after
all. It's a form of flattery. I know that
guys who are remixing listen to
things that I've done before they go
into the studio, and it's good to do
-
-
bly come out in March or April.
When I first heard Giorgio, I was
sitting in my office one night at about
11 o'clock, listening to tapes. He had
submitted a video with two songs on
it; I put it on, and I watched that video
over and over until five in the morning. I couldn't believe it! He's just
great. Vocally, he is a little like Peabo
Bryson: he's a great balladeer.
What I heard in his voice was just a
raw, "sensual" appeal. I thought he
was a guy whose voice ladies would
love, and the guys wouldn't be threatened by it. He's not a singer in the
"Teddy Pendergrass" mold, where
he's going to be demanding that your
woman "move over here," you know!
He's going to be a singer who sets
I would assume that you pay
particular attention to where the
artist and audience are now?
LS: That's right. You know, if I have a
R -e /p:
chance to re- record a lead vocal, I'll do
it, even if the artist thinks that the
original vocal was great when they
did it four months ago. I like to get
their attitude on the night of the
remix: their thoughts have got to be
different than they were four months
ago. They might have lived with the
track, and now want to give a different interpretation. You know, I usually do a remix about five weeks
before the record comes out, so if I can
get some feeling of immediacy right
then, it can make the remix even
fresher.
R -e /p: And the artist's ears may have
changed a little bit, too from what
the radio,
for
they've heard on
instance.
LS: Exactly. You know, a lot of this is
a product of what you've just heard. I
hear a lot of material on the radio; Igo
to clubs all the time; and I'm always
listening to see what neonle react to. If
lu
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February 1986
R-e /p 35
LOUR.
sllgs, Jr.
your lady up, so when you take her
home from the concert, she's ready.
The group I'm signing is called
Body
three sisters from Detroit.
They worked with Stevie Wonder for
what seemed like years but, for some
reason, never got an opportunity to
record. A road manager of New Edition brought them to my attention,
and they came to my office and played
me a demo tape. I just knew that these
girls deserved their shot.
Basically, I'm looking for something new and exciting. Right now, if
there is any young man out there that
is 16 years old, but has the voice of a
30- year -old man, make sure you get
your tape to me! I'm looking for an
MCA version of Johnny Gil, who is on
Atlantic. Johnny must be 18 or 19
now, but he sounds like he's 40; he has
great "command" of his voice. I hate
to talk about artists on other labels,
but Johnny's lucky. He came from the
church, so he has what he's learned in
church combined with what he's now
learning in show business. I think
he's going to be a star for years to
-
come.
I feel the same about our guy in New
Edition, Ralph [Tresvant], and I also
feel the same about Giorgio: once he
gets out there, people are going to find
an attractiveness in his voice that
they haven't heard in years. When I
signed him, I took Jheryl Busby to
Minnesota for the Black Music
Awards in September, and Giorgio
opened the show. He just blew Jheryl
and the audience away. Tell your
readers to hold onto this article, and
we'll see in a year where Giorgio is,
and where I am! [Laughter]
R -e /p: In spite of the fact that you
were looking at a video, it seemed to be
the sound of Giorgio's voice that
grabbed your attention?
LS: Yes, it was, but the video gave me
the opportunity to see him. I love it
now that we're in the Video Age,
where you can see what the artist
looks like. That's the next thing that
you want to know if you like the voice,
and sometimes they don't look like
anything!
So much of this thing is how well
the artist is prepared. This is not
Motown anymore, where you have a
school grooming people to be "stars."
They have to be pretty much ready
when they send their material to the
record company. A lot of the tapes
that I get in, I'm glad that there are no
videos, because I can tell that they're
not ready.
R -e /p:
Isn't an artist's material also
very important?
R -e /p 36
February 1986
LS: Of course. You know, I've learned
that you can do this thing two ways.
You can rush through a project and
think you're looking for good songs,
but just accept anything or you can
keep on pounding until you find those
songs. You've got to be able to say
"no" a lot, even to things that you
might love but that you know other
people won't.
I think the Stephanie Mills album
[Stephanie Mills] is a good indication
of where I am as far as looking for
material, and putting it with an artist,
is concerned. Of the eight songs that
are on the LP, I was responsible for
submitting fiv.
I was looking for something special
for Stephanie, and we found some
songs from guys who write more than
superficial lyrics. I mean, there are
many ways to write about romance,
tragedy, whatever; but there's always
a superficial way, and then there's a
transcendental way. Rod Temperton
is coming from that space
he can
take a subject and, by his lyric content, really make that song special.
-
-
-
Freddy Jackson, they are exceptional.
I don't want to get in trouble with
anybody else but, with an artist like
that, you're going to examine and
examine, to make sure that this is the
right song. These songs for Stephanie
just clicked. But a song that one artist
turns down may be right for another
one on your roster. Stephanie turned
down some songs that I thought were
right for her and, since getting to
know her better, I now know what to
look for. She is my success story:
that's why I'm hoping her album will
be big. I did a heck of a song search on
that album!
R -e /p: One
last question. Since you
have the advantage of hindsight,
you're in an enviable position during
the remix stage, because you don't
have to make that first shot at taking
a song to the stage where it's got a
chance of becoming a hit. Would you
like to produce an artist from the
ground up?
LS: Oh, yeah. I have a production
deal with MCA, and I'm getting into
production now through co- producing
just getting my feet wet. An artist
that we just signed
young lady
out of Philadelphia named Janis
McClain is going to be my first coproduction, with a gentleman by the
name of Ron Kersey. And I'll be producing Giorgio myself, from the
ground up.
So, production is something that I
definitely want to get into, but first I
want to be the best A &R director that
I can be; I want to sign some artists
that have double -Platinum albums,
and make my mark as the guy that
everybody wants to bring their great
artists to.
The remixing thing is just a phase.
First of all, the schedule is just a
monster: it's broken up a couple of
relationships, because I just don't
have time. But you're out for selffulfillment, to be as successful as you
can. You can't let anything or anyone
stand in your way. I would rather be a
success, and then deal with the other
thing.
I'm going to produce, and I hope to
be a good producer. I think that with
the team Taavi and I have now, we
have the stuff to make some great
records. I've been approached by people from other labels, but while my
deal with MCA is flexible, it doesn't
call for me to produce people on other
labels! [Laughter] You know, "Hey,
Louil, I saw you're Number One on
Luther! You should be working for
CBS!" But, right now, I want to take it
slow. I'm enjoying A&R, man. I'm
using all that I'm learning now, and I
have some ideas that I think ultimately will help people sell some
-
-
There's a songwriter coming up by the
name of Raymond Jones, and he has
a song on this album called "Rising
Desire.'.' It was produced by George
Duke and, lyrically, you can't beat it.
Stephanie just kills it!
So, even if the groove is great, if the
song's not saying anything lyrically,
it has to go. A lot of people think that
this "Everything has to be a great
song" attitude is going to kill me, but I
truly believe that, depending on the
artist, a lot of the songs should be special. Patti LaBelle needs a special
lyric
she can't just sing anything!
Luther Vandross also needs a special
lyric. Certain artists need more than
an ordinary song.
-
Isn't that because they're more
than an "ordinary" artist?
LS: That's a good question, and how
R -e /p:
can I weasel my way out of it? [Laughter] You get in trouble over what's an
"ordinary artist "! In the case of a
Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross, Stephanie Mills, Whitney Houston or
records.
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LIVE PERFORMANCE SOUND
Touring concert sound companies have helped to bring about
the development of some significantly new manufactured products, and system operating techniques for use in live performance.
Wireless microphone systems, multiple- output portable mixing consoles,
kilowatt power amplifiers, and full-
bandwidth stage monitor enclosures
all these innovations, and others,
were brought into existence with the
help of touring sound companies to
satisfy specific needs during the past
20 years. The existence of these and
other products is a testament to the
pioneering efforts of a wide range of
concert sound companies.
Mixing consoles, power amplifiers
and loudspeaker enclosures are among
the first major components in a concert sound system to be designed and
built, or purchased. In the earlier days
of touring concert sound, the major
equipment manufacturers did not
offer products that were suitable to
the needs of the rapid growing tour
industry. As a result, sound companies often had to develop their own
proprietary devices to solve the challenges presented by highly amplified
popular music.
-
Today, audio equipment manufac-
turing techniques have progressed to
the point that most touring sound
companies are able to satisfy their
equipment needs by choosing from
products available on the open market.
There are exceptions, of course, but a
survey of sound equipment in use
with touring shows in auditoriums,
arenas and stadiums shows that an
ever -increasing number of performances are relying on consoles, amplifiers and loudspeaker enclosures that
are not the proprietary design of a
particular concert sound company,
but rather products available from
well-known commercial equipment
suppliers. It should be stressed here
that design input and product development assistance from major touring sound companies has, without a
shadow of a doubt, helped to bring
these products to the marketplace,
and that the touring sound industry
has brought about an overall improvement in pro -sound products.
Ultra Sound: Company Origins
A highly visible example of a touring concert firm that has chosen to
work with equipment manufacturers
to develop new products for live performance use is Ultra Sound, Inc.,
based in Larkspur, CA. Working
within the past decade, partners Don
Pearson and Howard Danchik have
attempted to take a studio-quality
approach to concert sound. The company's Gamble /Crest/Meyer sound
R -e /p 38
February 1986
HIGH TECHNOLOGY
ON THE ROAD
The Grateful Dead in
Performance at the
Brendan J. Byrne Arena,
Meadowlands, Utilizing
an Ultra Sound System
by David Scheirman
Everyone Says They're Better
We Prove It!
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.
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1111111101.
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3. 140 1fE RED,4JC'T1O.V
.-. TAR AWL eTRfC EQ
j. 14EYE14 05
Z.
Time Delay
_..
Reverberation
Crossovers
Tape Noise Reduction
Compressor / Limiters
Expanders
Spectrum Analyzers
Parametric EQ
Before you purchase another piece of signal processing gear for Studio or
Performance use, you would be Wise to listen to our Demo Album. Instead of
merely "Saying" we're Better, we Prove it in side by side comparisons with the
competition. You really can pay Less and get a Better procuct through our factory
direct sales!
We're oLt to set new standards for Quality and Performance as well as dollar
value. We want you to choose us for our Quality more than our Prices. Our 15 day
Satisfaction Guarantee and Two Year Warranty on our Crossovers, Time Delays,
Reverberation, Compressor /Limiters, Expanders, Parametric EQ, and Tape Noise
Reduction, allow you to purchase with Confidence.
The Deno Album is both fun and Educational. Examples a-e drawn from the
master tapes of Top 40 Hits and show some of the most sophisticated effects ever
devised. Ycu will hear our phenomenal MICROPLATE Reverb with over 18 KHz
bandwidth in side by side comparisons with the $7,000 EMT Plate on percussion
and vocals. No other spring reverb would dare attempt such a comparison! The
cost is incredible too, under s600 mono and $1,200 in stereo!
Write or call for a free 24 page Brochure and Demo Album.
Dept.RP -1, P.O. Box 338, Stone Mountain, GA 30086
LT
TOLL FREE: 1. 800.241.3005 - Ext. 9
In Georgia : (404) 493 -1258
`
Sound,
LT Sound
We Make A
Better Product
Februar.
L J
>R
Prepare yourself. Graphic equalizers as you have known them are obsolete.
Because Rane just rewrote the rules.
a,,,
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a. a
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EOUALIZER
user -switchable active direct -coupled or transformer-coupled complimentary
balanced output configuration as a standard feature.
Introducing the GE 30, Rane's astonishing new Commercial Grade True 1/3-
Using 2nd generation Constant-Q filters (developed by Rane), it provides all
Octave graphic equalizer. The GE 30 is a new functional concept
the proven advantages of constant bandwidth performance with
which allows one single model to provide all the capabilities that
even less overall ripple.
previously required two separate models.
There's more, too, like built -in RFI filters and both 3 -pin and bar-
It's the first graphic equalizer ever to let you switch from a
+12/ -15dB boost-cut mode to
simply pushing
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rier strip input /output terminations.
Check out the GE 30. After the revolution, it'll be your way of life.
button on the back. The first with 60mm sliders,
Rane Corporation, 6510 216th Southwest
for maximized resolution in a 3.5" format. And the first with a
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043. 206/774 -7309.
R -e /p 40 O
a
February 1986
For additional information circle #125
RANE,
ON THE ROAD WITH
CREST
MODEL
THE GRATEFUL DEAD
GAMBLE
HC
-40
CONSOLE
C E--IIA
MEYER
TC -3
TWEETER
API
MEYER
reinforcement systems serve a select
client group, including such artists as
Crystal Gayle, George Thorogood and
the Delaware Destroyers, and the
Grateful Dead.
"Before such products as the Gamble consoles, Crest amplifiers and
Meyer loudspeaker
enclosures were
available, we used
to do our own research and develop-
SSOA
LINE
ORIER/
EQUALIZER
MEYER
M -3
CHANNEL eI
TIME
PROCESSOR
PROCESSOR
-10
4)--
-
atories.
"A concert sound system is no
longer just a jumbled pile of parts,"
notes Pearson. "Each component in
the signal path must be matched and
work well together. Many of the audio
products advertised today do not even
meet their own published performance
specifications, so it is difficult to try to
build a system around that sort of
gear; you'll have some pieces that just
don't fit. We looked for companies
that knew what we needed because of
their first-hand experiences in this
field. They have supported us, and we
have supported them. What we have
come up with are some sound systems
that I think will perform better and
more reliably, on a consistent nightly
basis, than anything else available to
rental customers."
System Components
The typical Ultra Sound system has
a relatively simple signal flowpath,
due in part to the use of Meyer signal
processors that do away with the need
g
o
o
J\`O
CHANNEL
-J
CREST
MODEL
4000
r
O
¡
STEREO AMP
CHANNEL
aI
EIGHT
I
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CREST
MODEL
4000
STEREO AMP
CHANNEL .1
CHANNEL
o..=
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a2
ment," explains
Ultra Sound president Don Pearson
(pictured left). "In
the touring sound
business, we started
by having to learn
to build a project or fix an amplifier
overnight in a hotel room with a minimum of test gear. Now, we can build
or service almost anything in audio.
"I am probably more of a scientist
than a businessman; I love to invent
things that will solve sound system
problems. Lately, I have had to spend
more time with business than inventing, and that takes the fun out of it.
Being able to find manufacturers that
we can work with
who are able to
construct devices that stand up to our
rigorous demands
has been very
beneficial to Ultra Sound."
The company's current sound systems are built around components
from three manufacturing firms
whose inception and growth have
roughly paralleled that of Ultra
Sound: Jim Gamble Associates, Crest
Audio, and Meyer Sound Labor-
1
4000
STEREO AMP
J
MSL -3
ENCLOSURES
-
o
o
.2
CREST
MODEL
4000
STEREO AMP
MEYER
CHANNEL aI
B -2A
..°/0°
SUB -BASS
PROCESSOR
--
Figure 1: Main Signal Flowpath of Ultra
for separate electronic crossovers,
passband limiters, and loudspeaker
protective devices (Figure 1). Since
the Gamble HC -40 -24 console offers
16 output busses in any configuration, adjustments of left and right
subwoofer levels can be made at the
console, in addition to the stereo
mains. Rear- and side-fill levels are
set at the amplifier racks.
"It has taken some concert sound
technicians a bit of getting used to,
having no control
of the various crossover levels at the
mixing console
area," explains
Ultra Sound technician David Robb
(pictured right), who
is responsible for
operating and main-
taining the company's East Coast
warehouse and shop in Woodstock,
New York. "Those of us who have
worked closely with this system have
come to see that John Meyer's concepts offer some definite advantages.
The overall consistency of the sound
of the system from night to night is
very, very good. Regardless of who
the system engineer is, what type of
musical show we are doing, or what
sort of location we are in, the Meyer
equipment lets us achieve a better
standard of quality."
Gamble HC- Series Consoles
Jim Gamble's custom, portable mixing consoles have become a favorite of
H.
CHANNEL u2
00
/0
FOUR
MSL
650 -R2
SUB WOOFERS
J
Sound Concert System.
many concert soundmixers. Features
such as transformerless circuitry,
onboard parametric output EQ, and
programmable muting have made the
designer's products popular with
many independent live-sound engineers. [See: "On the Road Again
the Willie Nelson and Family Tour,"
Editor.]
R -e /p April, 1983 issue
Ultra Sound worked closely with
Jim Gamble Associates during development of these live-performance consoles, and currently offers three sets
(house and monitor) for rental use.
The consoles are equipped with front access patchpoints and onboard spectrum analyzers (Figure 2).
"I started building these consoles
because I saw that a market existed,"
states Jim Gamble. "Existing electronics firms that try to cater to the
touring sound business have to build
in a lot of compromises in their products to keep the costs down. They
can't sell enough units to justify the
research and development cost for
products that have both the needed
features and the necessary audio quality for discriminating firms like Ultra
Sound. I build boards for sound companies and bands that are into good
sound, not just making money."
Gamble, whose own career as a live
soundmixer began around the time of
the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, handcrafts the consoles at his shop in
Tahoe City, CA.
.
.
.
-
Crest Amplification
Power amplifier design for live performance audio use has improved
February 1986 D R -e /p 41
Figure 2: (Shown left) Jim Gamble Associates' HC -40 -24 mixing console as supplied to the Grateful Dead by Ultra Sound.
Figure 3: (Shown right) Ultra Sound packages its Crest amplifiers in two different types of racks. Four Model 4000 units
are housed in compact racks, while larger systems use five Model 3500 and two Model 5000 amplifiers per rack.
ON THE ROAD WITH
THE GRATEFUL DEAD
greatly within the past decade. The
days of delayed concerts due to overheated, overburdened low -power amplifiers are practically gone, thanks to a
new generation of amplifiers now
available to sound companies. A variety of firms now market powerful, reliable amplifier packages that provide
high- wattage "building blocks" for
touring concert sound systems; such
units were only a dream a decade ago.
While some companies have recently introduced products based on
"new" technologies
such as the
magnetic field and the digital conversion amplifiers
Crest Audio has
specialized in the design and development of optimized Class AB power
amplifiers with well -regulated conventional power supplies. Hardly
five-years old, the company's product
line, which contains such devices as
the Model 2501A, 3000/3001 and
4000/4001, has been judged to be one
of the most reliable for use under the
extreme conditions faced in touring
concert sound.
The company claims an FTC two ohm stereo power rating of 800 Watts
per channel for the Model 4000. Due to
the greater amount of iron found in
the power transformer, such amplifiers are larger and heavier than some
of the new, unconventional products
on the market. However, many concert sound system designers, including Ultra Sound's Don Pearson, feel
that this is still the best all- around
type of amplifier for use in massive
concert sound systems, particularly
where very low frequencies are concerned. "All the different amplifiers
work, and they all can get loud, the
different is which ones will sound
`sweet' at concert levels," comments
-
R -e/p 42
13
-
February 1986
Pearson. "In both our electrical bench
tests and subjective listening tests,
the Crest units seemed to be best
suited to our needs."
Ultra Sound has chosen an input
sensitivity "standard" for the amplifiers in their systems so that every
power unit in each system is exactly
calibrated. "Every brand of amp has
a slightly different sensitivity rating,
and the variance from unit to unit on
some manufacturers' products can be
significant," Pearson notes. "We have
chosen to have one volt of input produce 100 Watts of output into eight
ohms that's a gain of 27 dB. That
way, all parts of a large system are
responding to the input signal in the
same way and, when huge systems
are put together from smaller systems, the result is very consistent."
-
Crest Audio president, John Lee,
stresses that touring sound companies have really helped both the audio
equipment industry, and the concertsound business. "This trend of people
demanding better live sound has done
a lot to give audiences a better experience, because the sound companies
continually have had to keep improving their systems," Lee notes. "Building a commercial power amplifier is
something like putting together a Formula I racing car: there are many different design approaches to take, but
the whole package must do what it
does to the best of its ability, without
failure. The large sound system operators are just like the racing car drivers ... they know, better than anyone
else, whether things are working prop.. continued overleaf
erly or not."
-
Figure 4: 112 Meyer MSL -3 enclosures were suspended for the Grateful Dead's
two -night performance at the Meadowlands Arena in November, 1985
reportedly the largest indoor Meyer speaker array ever assembled.
-
iEE
IT &
Stereo without
the guesswork!
ELIEVE
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The B & B SYSTEMS PHASESCOPETM gives you complete, real time monitoring of your stereo
audio signal in one, simple to read,
package. The unique X/Y CRT
display shows you the in- phase/
out -of -phase relationship of the
actual audio signal, while the calibrated meters indicate the true
peak and average signal levels.
The PHASE SCOPE" is available
in four configurations to suit your
specific operating requirements.
Creative tools
for stereo audio.
'
AM -1B
All the PHASESCOPE
features. plus the exclusive
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showing phase and genlock.
AM -2/2B
The most cost effective
PHASESCOPE is now
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AM -3
Three selectable channels
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and switchable SUM /SAP
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The ideal tool for MTS and
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B & B SYSTEMS, INC.
28111 AVENUE STANFORD, VALENCIA, CA 91355 (805) 257 -4853
For additional information circle #126
February 1986
R -e /p 43
as Ultra Sound has been doing for the
Grateful Dead, the true potential of
THE GRATEFUL DEAD these cabinets is realized. Both the
UPA's and the larger MSL -3 encloLee feels that companies utilizing sures provide a measurable full-frecontemporary amplifier technologies quency response of ± 3 dB across their
may have sacrificed audio quality for rated polar patterns. Just for comparincreased efficiency and lighter ison, some heavily- advertised loudweight. "Some of the new amplifier speaker systems measure ± 20 dB
products are more efficient than con- across their polar patterns."
ventional designs, but at what price to
In November 1985, Ultra Sound
sound quality ?" he queries. "The big- assembled what has been described
gest criticism of some of the light- as the largest indoor Meyer loudweight amps is the sound in the low speaker array ever for the Grateful
end."
Dead's two -night appearance at
What an amplifier (or any other Brendan J. Byrne Arena in the Meaaudio product, for that matter) dowlands, New Jersey. A total of 112
"sounds" like is very subjective. Often- MSL -3 enclosures and 30 650-R2 sub times, side -by -side listening tests of woofers were combined into what was
different amplifiers have been ham- perhaps the most massive amount of
pered by the minor inconvenience of acoustical energy ever used for an
setting up such a test with its different indoor live performance (Figure 4).
connectors, and so forth. To facilitate
"One hundred and twelve cabinets
the quick and easy comparison of dif- ... that's quite a statement," Meyer
ferent power amplifiers, Crest recently offers. "We don't do well if people are
developed a six -channel "A -B" box for looking for a large visual display.
use by sound companies and dealers. Then, it's too expensive, and the extra
Ultra Sound has packaged its Crest gear is not really needed to get the
amplifiers in two different types of necessary sound. The system assemracks (Figure 3). Compact racks are bled for the Meadowlands show would
available, each housing four Model have looked huge, if a traditional
4000 units (rated at 800W per channel sound system had been used to get the
into two ohms, FTC). Older, larger same acoustic output."
racks house five Crest Model 3500 and
The MSL -3 enclosure houses two
two Model 5000s.
proprietary 12 -inch, low- frequency
cone drivers in a horn- loaded vented
Meyer Loudspeaker System
enclosure. A single high frequency
Since its inception in 1979, John driver is mounted on a 70- degree horn,
Meyer and Meyer Sound Laboratories and four -unit very- high- frequency
have worked closely with Ultra Sound array is arced in the cabinet beneath
on the development of the current the horn (Figure 5). The trapezoidallyMSL product line. Starting with the shaped cabinets can be combined easUltraMonitorTM, Meyer began to ily into compact stacked or flying
attempt to create loudspeaker enclo- arrays (Figure 6).
sures that were truly phase coherent.
Each 650 -R2 subwoofer houses a
One of the company's early, successful products was the UPA -1A, a com- Figure 6: The trapezoid-shaped MSL -3
pact, full- bandwidth, arrayable enclo- enclosures are easily combined into
sure that featured John Meyer's M -1 compact arrays.
Control Electronics Unit. This latter
device contains an electronic crossover with frequency- and phase response alignment circuitry. Meyer's
exclusive SpeakerSenseTM circuitry
protects the loudspeaker components
from damage due to overheating
under high -power operating conditions.
"What we are trying to do is more
than just putting out products for
sale," Meyer explains. "This product
line is the result of many years of
research into the needs of live performance groups for both touring and
installed systems. We have come up
with system `building blocks' that can
be combined into a truly high -powered
system. Our loudspeakers do a lot
more shows around the planet in a
four -, eight- or 12- cabinet system configuration. However, when they are
combined into very large arrays, such
R -e /p 44 D February 1986
ON THE ROAD WITH
Figure
5:
Front of Meyer MSL -3s.
pair of 18 -inch low-frequency loudspeakers in a heavily- braced, ported
box. The latest development in a line
of subwoofers that started with the
650EM subwoofer cabinet, the -R2
was developed originally in conjunction with the production team for the
film Apocalypse Now, to accurately
reproduce the sounds of helicopter
gunships and Howitzer mortars (Figure 7). Besides Meyer Sound Laboratories' aforementioned sound reinforcement products, Ultra Sound also
supplies stage monitor systems that
feature the UM -1 A speaker enclosures
(Figure 8).
Sound for the Grateful Dead
For 20 years, the Grateful Dead has
been known as one of the most technically demanding and sound -quality
conscious musical groups to ever take
a show on the road. In the past this
San Francisco Bay-area band has
attracted a great deal of interest in the
media, due in part to the never-ending
quest for better live sound by Dan
Healy, the group's live sound engineer.
"After we experimented with the
`Wall Of Sound' in 1973 and 1974, we
realized that it just
wasn't practical for
the band to own
such a system and
carry it around,"
recalls Healy (pictured left). "We
went through a period of several years,
searching for a concert sound company
that was forward thinking enough in their design philosophies and operations to give us
what we needed. For about five years
now, we have worked exclusively with
Ultra Sound; it is the best working
No matter what you're
zation for comprehensive signal
Sony's more expens_ve portable mixers
r
recording in the field, from
control and modularconstruction is readily apparent:
Shakespeare -in- the -Park
;
for reliability and easy mainteThe MX-P21 is portable, durable,
to "Dancing in the Dark;'
, =
nave. Along with the phenome- and has an incredible array of features
f
you'll find a Sony portable
nal sonic performance with
for its size- including
mixer that brings the creawhich the name "Sony" has
phono EQ, fader-start and
Live control and flawless
cascade interface.
Studio quality is no longer been synonymous for decades.
sonic performance of the confined to the studio.
THE 4- CHANNEL MIXER
All ofwhich makes the
studio to wherever you happen to be.
FOR EVERY CORNER OF THE GLOBE.
° °
t
choice between Sony and
12 FOR THE ROAD.
The incredibly small and light MX-P42
any other portable mixer a
The big difference between the Sony lessens not only your burden, but the
simple one.
MX-P61 and other studio -quality 12complexities of field recording as well.
Just decide whether you
channel mixers is that the Sony can be
That's because each input incorporates
want all ypur location retucked neatly into a small case and
a fast -acting compressor /expander with
cordings be as good as stu-P42
carried to any location -thanks MM..Lnon..I .In. u.1 gain make -up control. We; hs in NIX
at a scant dio recordings.
to its switching power supply, +tap;;
Or rot to be.
M.0. 11111.11:plp111; ;;p So input levels can be 8 lbs.,10 oz.
transformerless design and, of +lo ¡p;;:pry !;r ;; ;';!. mum
;;p preset separately, then
Fora
demonstration
or more infor."iu innul maintained automat- mation,call Sony in the North
course, the fact that its made +6 =ms...í..o
/AMIMA: _..I.
at(201)
by the company that's best at ° =MBIC
.uI ically during recording.
368 -5185; in the SoLti (615) 883 -8140;
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HIGH QUALITY
Central (312) 773-600C; West (213) 639 Its myriad professional fea- -t0 p::1:l.2:'1 111::':;'; 1.1111111 FOR LOW BUDGETS. 5370. Or write Sony Professional Audio
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tures include transformerless, 14 p¡Gii'
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The family resem
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Ik
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Park Ridge, New
and outputs, complete equahEQ.cha. cteristics of the Mx-P6:. channel MX-P21 and
Jersey 07656.
Professional Audio
,
M
73
spa
0
>
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1011011/11O1
-ii
Olt Y
D 1985 Sony Corp. of-America. Sony is a registered trademark cf Sony Corp. Sony Communications Products Company, Sony Drive, Park Ridge, New Jersey 07656.
For adcitional information
circle #127
ON THE ROAD WITH
THE GRATEFUL DEAD
relationship I have ever had with a
PA company."
The sound system assembled for
the Grateful Dead's shows at the
Meadowlands Arena comprised Ultra
Sound's regular touring rig for the
band (64 MSL -3s and 20 650 -R2s)
along with supplementary gear supplied from Ultra Sound's East Coast
warehouse facility. Additionally,
Meyer cabinetry was subcontracted
through two area companies: Audio
Support and Capital Sound.
"Most of the major sound companies want to have a certain identity,"
explained Ultra Sound president, Don
Pearson. "Sometimes they think that
identity has to come from their own
particular speaker boxes or whatever.
They have perhaps been hesitant to
accept loudspeaker systems from a
manufacturer, such as Meyer, to
which their competition could also
have access. We have seen that we
definitely have our own identity, even
though we use a speaker system that
is available all over the world. How
does a company set up their gain
structure? How do they fly the system? What sort of events are they
doing? Every sound company has an
In
identity, no matter what speaker system they use. For us, the Gamble/
Crest/Meyer combination is the hardware side of things; design, operations and servicing the accounts are
a big part of the picture as well."
Stage Monitors
The Grateful Dead's monitor mixer,
Harry Popick, operates a Gamble SC40 stage console.
"It's a very simple system," explains
Ultra Sound technician Mike Brady
(pictured right).
"Each performer
takes one mix out-
put. The Gamble con-
sole has parametric
EQ on each output,
so outboard equalization is hardly
ever required. We
have some Meyer
CP -10 [parametric]
equalizers in line
for when things get really drastic, like
when there are extreme temperature
changes on stage before showtime
that affect the sound (Figure 9)."
An additional mix is provided for
backstage guests. A variety of interesting technical fixes have also been
incorporated into the stage monitor
system, including a dbx Series 900
rack filled with noise gates for the
Al tests, this tiny condenser microphone
equals any world -class professional microphone.
Any size, any
price.
Actual Size
Compare the Isomax II to any other
microphone. Even though it measures only 5/1s" x 5/8" and costs just
$189.95,* it equals any world -class
microphone in signal purity.
And Isomax goes where other microphones cannot: Under guitar strings near
the bridge, inside drums, inside pianos,
clipped to horns and woodwinds, taped to
amplifiers (up to 150 dB sound level!).
Isomax opens up a whole new world of
miking techniques far too many to mention here. We've prepared information
sheets on this subject which we will be
happy to send to you free upon request.
We'll also send an Isomax brochure with
complete specifications.
Call or write today.
Pro net price for Omnidirectional, Cardioid,
Hypercardioid, and Bidirectional models.
COUNTRYMAN ASSOCIATES INC.
417 Stanford Ave., Redwood City, CA 94063
R -e /p 46
L7
February 1986
vocal mikes, and which are voltage triggered by elements tucked beneath
rubber footpads.
Power Distribution System
One of Ultra Sound's technological
standouts is in the area of power distribution systems. A portable electrical power system supplied with the
company's large systems is more
sophisticated than the equipment installed in most large performance venues, as can be seen from Figure 10, an
Apple Macintosh -generated diagram
courtesy of Don Pearson.
The main distro rack contains a
400 -amp main breaker for three-phase
service; feeders are connected here
from the main electrical service panel
(Figure 11). Sub -distribution panels
are provided for the main power amplifiers, plus the stage gear and monitor
system. All consoles, signal processing devices and other electronic gear
are provided with a motorized, reguFigure 8: Ultra Sound stage monitor systems feature MSL UM -1A speaker
enclosures.
-
*
Figure 7: 650 -R2 subwoofers were stacked five high in rows of three, for a total of
30 boxes in use at the Meadowlands
performance.
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February 1986
R -e /p 47
CREST
MODEL 400
AMPLIFIER
GAMBLE
SC -40 -16
CONSOLE
---
MEYER
CP -10
EQUALIZER
----
MEYER
M -1
PROCESSOR
-
CREST
MODEL 400
AMPLIFIER
MSL UM-1A ULTRAMONITOR
Figure 9: Stage Monitor System.
12
Figure 10: Power Distribution Block Diagram.
SUS DISTRIBUTIon PRIEL
STAGE RIOHT POWER RAPLIFIERS
20 AMP
20 AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
ON THE ROAD WITH
THE GRATEFUL DEAD
lated power supply that will provide
clean, balanced voltage nearly anywhere in the world.
"One of the most overlooked aspects
of sound reinforcement system design
is the power distro system," Pearson
stresses. "We feel it is imperative to be
able to balance the load that is placed
upon the system. A musical performance is very dynamic. When the
power load is distributed equally over
the service legs that are available, the
end result is a system that is much
more stable. When the current drop
varies across the different legs during
the performance, the stability of the
power amplifiers is affected. We find
that the best thing is to first look for
the most stable, reliable, good- sounding amplifiers you can find. Then,
supply them with a very clean, balanced power source. The improvement in total system performance is
audible."
Flying the Speaker Array
For the Grateful Dead shows at the
Meadowlands Arena, the 112 MSL -3
enclosures were suspended in a unique flying system array that had been
carefully calculated by the sound
crew after examining architectural
drawings of the building. This particular arena, with approximately 20,000
seats, is characteristically one of the
largest enclosed volumes of air of any
similar facility in the nation, due to its
high ceiling and approximately
square building shape (as opposed to
R -e /p 48 February 1986
20 AMP
MAIN ELECTRICAL
SERVICE PANEL
COLD WATER
PIPE
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
20 AMP
PHASE
X
Y
BREAKER/
Z
OUTLETS
00
00
00
00
00
00
AW6
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
20 AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
20 AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
00
O
0
00
O
0
0
O
O O
loo RIP
WEAKER
-
\
_-
\\\`'
\\
0
_
_
=
_
i-
/0
\\\
\\ \`
AVG
\\\
INPUTS
MIR
DISTRIBUTION PNMFL
'12
SUB DISTRI BUT ION PRNEL
STAGE LEFT POWER AMPLIFIERS
20 AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
20
AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
20 AMP
BREAKER/
CUTLETS
00
00
00
00
00
00
100 RAP
BREAKER
400 RIP rwIN
20 AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
20
AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
20 AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
AW6
00
O
0
00
00
00
O
000
0
BREAKER
OUTPUTS
'12
AW6
SUB DISTRIBUTION PANEL
BAD EDUIPtEr1T/STHOE MONITORS
20 AMP
20 AMP
100 AMP
BREAKER
'2 AWG
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
100 MP
BREAKER
100 RAP
BREWER
(!!)OOf.
0000
20 AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
20 AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
100
RV
BREAKER
0
00
00
00
00
00
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
20 AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
20
AMP
BREAKER/
OUTLETS
O O
O 0
00
00
00
00
pr>io/sqECiS
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Ir 1985 alone we purchased over
Figure 11: The main power distro rack
offers three -phase, 400 -amp service.
long oval facilities such as Madison
Square Garden).
"For the shows here at the Meadowlands, we have made consideration
for elevation and distance from the
audience of each bank of speakers,"
Ultra Sound technician Dave Robb
points out. "The cabinets are coupled
most tightly on the top rows, where
the speakers are the greatest distance
from the audience members. For the
main floor area, we have set up what
we call `Power Alley' for mixer Dan
Healy. That is an area approximately
20 to 30 feet behind the mixing console, where the intersection of the
axes of the left and right main arrays
takes place (Figure 12)."
An inner hang of 20 MSL -3s per side
was made with seven one -ton chain
motors; another seven motors handled
an outside hang of 16 cabinets per
side. A side -hang array used two
motors for 12 cabinets for left and
right, while an additional eight boxes
per side were suspended by a pair of
motors in each rear corner to cover
seats behind the stage (Figure 13).
The side-hang arrays were widely
spaced, to reduce that part of the system's impact on the close seating
areas, and to obtain a wider coverage
spread. The subwoofer stacks were
wired out of phase with the MSL -3
arrays to compensate for path length
differences.
"The distance of the wavelength at
the crossover frequency is so long that
there would be no audible phasing
problems if the subwoofers were
located approximately beneath the
flying arrays," explains technician
Dave Robb. "We run them out of
phase because the main arrays are
several feet out over the audience
j
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February 1986
R -e /F 49
ON THE ROAD WITH
THE GRATEFUL DEAD
STAGE AREA
ARRAYS
RIGHT' N
I
ARRAYS
/
1
\I
I/
/
i
/
/
12: The main floor seating area was covered with a specially -aimed
speaker array that created a zone known to the sound crew as "Power Alley."
Figure
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R -e /p 50
on Indlatral Arve
February 1986
--
House Mix Position
Ultra Sound supplied Dan Healy
with six Meyer CP -10 Complimentary
Phase parametric equalizers, giving a
total of 30 filters available per side. A
/
SHADED AREA: "POWER ALLEY." AN AREA
OF HIGHLY FOCUSED SOUND ENERGY WHERE
SEATS ARE PURCHASED BY AUDIOPHILES.
AMATEUR TAPE RECORDISTS ANO HIGH -LEVEL
MUSIC FANS
.
from the stage line where the sub woofers are placed."
(Note: The wavelength of a 100 -Hz
signal is approximately 11 feet, and a
physical displacement of the subwoofer system with respect to the
main arrays of 5.5 or 16.5 feet 0.5
will
and 1.5 times the wavelength
produce a serious dip in frequency
response at 100 Hz, for example.
Reversing the phase of the subwoofer
system with respect to the main system reduces this effect.)
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Bruel & Kjaer Model 2032 computerized analyzer is used for observing
frequency and phase response of the
system at the console. The musical
performance provides the test signal
for the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT)
device (Figure 14).
"The CP -10 project grew out of measurements that we took several years
ago during some Grateful Dead performances," explains John Meyer.
"As I recall, we were about 130 feet
from the large system outdoors at San
Jose, CA, with a Hewlett- Packard
analyzer. There was a huge peak at
about 130 Hz, maybe 10 dB or so. As
we worked with the EQ of the system,
we began to realize that the equalizers
in use had filters that were so interactive as to be actually adding to the
problem. Whenever more than 6 dB of
cut was introduced at a particular frequency, it began to affect the adjacent
filters' phase response. The CP -10 has
been developed to solve that problem
(Figure 15)."
Dan Healy and Don Pearson are
using the B &K Model 2032 analyzer
to implement John Meyer's SIMTM
technique (Source Independent Measurement), which is a method of analyzing sound -system phase and frequency response during the concert
itself. [See a feature article detailing
SIM applications during the Golden
Nugget Casino design; April 1985
issue of R -e /p Editor.]
"Before we developed SIM, everybody else was using some sort of
impulse testing, which of course is not
possible during a show," Meyer continues. "Now, we are getting closer
and closer to being able to actually do
the measurement with the music of
the performance, and see the display
in real time. We are only limited by the
speed of the computers in the analyzing devices. The B &K is a very good
tool; a good intermediate step on the
-
way to that goal." (For a further
explanation of the FFT Analyzer, see
accompanying sidebar.)
Ultra Sound supplies Dan Healy
with a wide array of signal processing
and special effects devices. Lexicon
PCM -42 and Model 200 digital delay
and reverb units, a Roland SDE -3000,
a DeltaLab Echotron, a dbx Model
500 subharmonic synthesizer, and a
Klark -Teknik DN780 stereo digital
reverb are all housed in the main electronics rack at the console.
A dbx Model 166 Overeasy limiter is
provided for use with occasional guest
acts. "This system will get loud very
quickly," Pearson notes. "Inexperienced engineers often found with
opening acts, who are not familiar
with Meyer systems, get themselves
in trouble sometimes by pushing the
sound pressure levels way too high
before they even realize it. The customary subharmonic distortion that
some people associate with volume in
traditional speaker systems is not
present in the Meyer gear."
To make things go more smoothly
at the house board, Pearson is continually indulging his inventive self
with custom electronics projects. A
recent addition to the system is an
electronic patchbay, based on an IMS
(Integrated Media Systems) switching device, to handle the various pre-
SIDE -HANG:
12 MSL -3
CABINETS
SUBWOOFER STACK:
15 650 -R2 ENCLOSURES
OUTER HANG:
16 MSL -3 CABINETS
/
/
/
INNER HANG:
20 MSL -3 CABINETS
\
\
Figure 13: Top View of the Stage -Right Flying Array.
AT8512 Passive Direct
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The heavily -shielded transformer is specially designed to
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February 1986
For additional information circle #132
R -e /p 51
DYNAMIC REALTIME CONTROL OF
SYSTEM EQ DURING LIVE PERFORMANCE
Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) devices are used in a variety of scientific measurement
applications, ranging from fluid dynamics to naval architecture. Manufacturers such as
Hewlett- Packard, Panasonic and Bruel & Kjaer recently have begun to increase their
research and development efforts for audio -related applications in the measurement and
correction of live -sound systems.
Dual -channel FFTs, such as the B &K Model 2032, are easily patched into sound
reinforcement systems for measuring both the electrical output, and the performance of
the system in an acoustical environment. To accomplish this feat, one channel of the FFT
receives information from the mixing console output, while the other channel is fed with
signal information from a calibrated microphone located in the performance area. A delay
line inserted in the console output feed is precisely adjusted to compensate for the distance
between the speaker system and measurement mike, which is located typically at the
house -mix position. The FFT analyzer then enables the sound -system technician to readily
spot anomolies in the speaker /room frequency response. As corrective changes are made
via the system's equalization device(s), data -averaging is used to indicate the effect that
such changes are having within the concert hall.
Because third octave graphic equalizers commonly seen in many sound systems do not
allow sufficiently precise adjustments to the system when dealing with very narrow bandwidth room resonances, parametric equalizers with non -interactive filters work best
with this FFT procedure.
Many low- frequency rumble and mid -range ringing problems with large sound systems
operating in acoustically-poor rooms are caused by exceptionally narrow -band frequency
peaks that do not register accurately on the third octave real -time analyzers often used
today. For this reason, when combined with tunable narrow -bandwidth notch filters, the
FFT analyzer represents a significantly more useful tool than conventional methods, such
as pink noise, EQs, or analyzers. (It is also worth noting that the actual live music of the
rehearsal or performance can be used as the excitation program material to measure the
sound system's interaction with the acoustic field.)
DELAY
LINE
DUAL- CHANNEL
COMPUTER
FFT
VCA
CONTROL
VOLTAGES
STAGEMIKES
4ii4
HOUSE
CONSOLE
HOUSE
L,,
VCA
4,
MEASUREMENT
MICROPHONE
AMP
"FFT devices are not able to look at the en ire audio frequency spectrum at one time, as
are other types of measurement devices such as the TEF [Time/Energy/Frequency] unit,"
states Dan Healy, the Grateful Dead's sound mixer. "However, for live performances, we
have found that 99% of all our EQ `problems' are going to occur at frequencies below about
1.6 kHz. This makes the FFT a very workable device."
The next step for Dan Healy and Ultra Sound president Don Pearson will be the actual
interfacing of the B &K Model 2032 and a personal computer with tuneable precision audio
filters. To date, this process has been effected with a single filter in the mid -bass frequency
band.
"To do what we want will take some unique and very expensive devices that no one is
building yet," Pearson confides. "The cost of the hardware to implement a totally computerized EQ process is prohibitive by most people's standards. We are looking at a variety of
options right now."
Editorial Note: As Don Pearson speculates in the above sidebar, computer control of a
VCA- or servo-equipped parametric equalizer might represent the next logical step in the
development of a self- adjusting concert -sound system. The process essentially would be as
follows: First, the degree of correction necessary to compensate for room/system
frequency- and phase- response anomolies would be determined from the output of a
dual- channel FFT analyzer, using program material during the performance; second, the
controlling PC would generate the analog voltages or digital data necessary for an outboard
EQ unit to effect the real-time changes in response to, for example, temperature and
humidity changes. The one main drawback to the development of such a system, however,
not to mention the large number of man -hours
is that the cost of component units
necessary to develop the relevant controlling software might be cost prohibitive for all
but the most well -endowed concert -sound company or equipment manufacturer
ML/RT.
ODD
-
R -e/p 52 O February 1986
-
ON THE ROAD WITH
THE GRATEFUL DEAD
sets for echo and delay show cues.
A unique noise -gate system has
been assembled for the low and high
microphone console inputs that handle a Leslie Rotating Loudspeaker on
the Hammond B-3 organ. Adjustable
gates at the house rack are triggered
by the voltage output from the B -3
itself, so that the microphones are
gated open only when the instrument
is actually being played. Additional
dbx limiter and noise gate modules
are contained in 900 Series racks for
channel-insertion use on bass, guitars, keyboards and vocal mikes.
Ultra Sound Philosophies
PARAMETRIC
EQUALIZER
Figure 14: Bruel & Kjaer Model 2032 FFT
computerized analyzer.
-
"You can start with a basic knowledge of electronics, but it takes getting out into the real world with what
you know, and having to work in a
variety of situations, to really know
and understand what it takes to make
the entire concert sound system work
out here," Pearson stresses. "What we
have, when the system is all set up in
a hall, is a concert sound laboratory
that many equipment manufacturers
can only dream about. We are years
ahead of some of the major corporations that actually build audio products for the pro-sound user, because
we are out here using this system
every day, fine- tuning it, improving
it. The setup is different every day,
too: the power source, the grounding,
the hum level from the building, the
it's all
fly height of the arrays
different from night to night."
Future directions for this system
may include interfacing an Apple
Macintosh computer to the Bruel &
Kjaer analyzer, to provide microprocessor control of the system's "tuning" abilities.
"We are looking right now at some
precision tuneable filters that are voltage controlled," Pearson confides.
"We will be able to enter the parameters within which we want to allow
the system to operate.
...
"As the audience area fills up, and
the temperature changes the sound of
the system, the computer will have
the software to be able to literally
make adjustments to the equalization, without our hands touching the
knobs. That is the direction this system is going."
Pearson explains that much of the
forward momentum in terms of technological development in live concert
sound must be credited to Grateful
Dead engineer Dan Healy. "This
band was the first group of musicians
-in the world to use 16 -track recording
equipment," he remarks. "Dan has a
firm commitment to improving the
sound of his show; we have a firm
commitment to improving the sound
of our systems. We have been working
with a group of manufacturers who
have that same commitment evident
in their product lines. Dan is like the
fellow who says, `What if... ?' and we
are the guys who take up the
challenge."
Subjective Comments
Having recently mixed a concert in
this same arena using a well -known
traditional sound system, only two
months prior to observing the Ultra
Sound rig at the Meadowlands venue,
I was personally quite intrigued with
the prospect of sitting at the console
Figure 15: Meyer Sound Laboratories'
CP-10 equalizer.
again. Dan Healy and Don Pearson
complied with my wish, and provided
this writer with a unique opportunity
to compare their event with my own
recent memories.
The most notable comment I had
upon hearing the performance was
that the sound of the room seemed to
"disappear." The back -wall, boomy
reverberance often heard in such
sports facilities was practically nonexistent. The absence of muddy reverberation enabled each audience
member to more fully focus on the
actual musical performance emanating from the stage, rather than feeling
detatched from it, as often happens
during rock events for those persons
seated in the rear half of the hall.
For the audience members with
whom I spoke, the "sound of the
show" represented an almost transcendental experience. Just how much
of this can be attributed to excellent
audio, as compared to the lifestyle of
those particular audience participants, is difficult to say.
It would appear, to this writer at
least, that a certain synthesis of hardware design and psycho-acoustical
effects has been achieved that does
make this system sound different .. .
and perhaps more clear ... than any I
have ever used or listened to before.
The application of John Meyer's SIM
technique, the meticulous assembly of
the Gamble /Crest/Meyer audio -signal path, and the sum total of many
years of live sound experience on the
part of the system designers and
operators, all left me with the impression that I was witnessing a new
standard of quality for concert sound.
The Grateful Dead performance at
Meadowlands Arena would appear to
EMI
be a benchmark event.
Author's Note: The mention of specific
manufactured audio products in this article is not to be taken as an endorsement.
The detailing of such devices and description of their use has been made with reader
interest and education in mind DS.
-
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(215)876.3400 TLX: 834-649 PHILLY PA CHER
February 1986
For adcitional information circle #133
R -e /p 53
STUDIO OPERATIONS
ing situation. The engineer was using
the studio's NS -10Ms, but complained
that they had the "wrong" type of
tissue paper covering the tweeters.
Well, not wanting to appear ignorant of the latest technology, nor risk
being shunned by my peers and R -e /p
readers, I decided to run comparative
tests on different brands and varieties
of tissue, paper towels and toilet
paper. I went to the grocery store and
bought about $30 worth of the above
items, borrowed a pair of NS -10Ms
from a studio, and proceeded with the
tests.
Comparative Test Procedure
To ensure that the best results
would be obtained, I decided to use the
test facilities at Meyer Sound Labs,
Berkeley, CA. Test equipment included a B&K Model 4133 half-inch
free-field microphone, B&K Model
2619 pre -amp, Hewlett-Packard Model
3561A analyzer, and an Ashley FET500 amplifier to power the NS -10M
speakers. (For those interested, a
complete procedural description of
the measurement technique can be
found in the October 1984 AES reprint
2150 (I -8), "Equalization Using Voice
and Music as the Source," by John
Meyer.)
The test included first measuring
the speaker in a two-pi position, and
then in a position that would simulate
their being located on top of a console.
Every 20 to 30 minutes during the
tests, the reference was recalled to
check for fluctuations due to temperature or humidity variations, and was
reset if more than a half-dB change
appeared. Although only one speaker
An Analysis of the Industry -Wide
was used in the tests, we checked the
pair to look for inconsistencies. The
Practice of Using a Tissue -Paper Layer
two speakers measured very simto Reduce High- Frequency Output
ilarly; in fact, the NS -10M demonstrates a very linear frequency
by Bob Norias
response with respect to signal level.
Figure 1 shows the two-pi frequency
In the past couple of years, the to cover the tweeters, thus reducing versus amplitude and phase response.
The amplitude (top trace) holds pretty
Yamaha NS -10M loudspeaker the high-frequency radiation.
As I can best determine, this phe- close to ±3 dB, and remains quite conhas become the alternative small
control -room monitor. One rely nomenon began on the East Coast sistent whether measured at a disenters a studio or views a control- with an engineer that was having a tance of 12 inches (upper curve) or 24
room photo in the trades, without see- string of hits, and who spoke of his inches (lower curve). The phase
ing a pair of NS -10Ms sitting on top of NS -10M monitoring technique in a response (bottom trace) is also conthe console for use as a close -field ref- number of different interviews. Other sistent with respect to level, but notice
erence. I have even been in several engineers then zeroed in on the tech- that between 500 Hz and 4 kHz, there
recording situations where this moni- nique, hoping that it would give them is an excess delay indicating a lack of
tor was the only small reference the secret for producing hits. And so coherency. This anomaly could be
speaker available, and I was told that the legend grew. This is not merely a caused by the NS10's crossover cirmy well-known brand of "mini - practice restricted to the U.S., as one cuit, which centers at 2 kHz.
Figure 2 shows the measurement
monitors" were no longer required by can observe the same occurrence in
taken at a distance of 24 inches using
most mixing engineers. This being foreign studios and publications.
The stimulus for writing about this the final comparison position, simuthe fact nowadays, there is no reason
here to trace the history of why the phenomenon finally came when the lating a top -of-console location. The
NS -10M became so popular so quickly. following interesting story was told to curve is almost identical to Figure 1
Instead, this article is concerned with me. It seems that a young engineer from 900 Hz and up, but below that
the even stranger phenomenon that walked into the manager's office of a point things have changed. While the
has followed the rise in popularity of New York studio, and said that he hole between 180 and 400 Hz has
the NS -10M the use of tissue paper was very unhappy with the monitor- smoothed out nicely, the 500 Hz to 1
R -e/p 54 February 1986
-
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Today work with pop and country
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secondary mixing systems, few have a
high degree of sonic quality coupled
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"With the introduction of Tannoy's
NFM -8 reference monitor, small enclosure sound took a quantum leap
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1- 519 -745 -1158
February 1986
For additional information circle #135
D R -e /p 57
-9
RANGE:
A: MATH
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Figure
Figure
5.
-17.5 -
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START:
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SO
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7IME 10
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Figure 7.
-17.
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5
START,
TIME, 10
PHASE
50 Hz
BV:
50
STOP:
Hz
20 000 Hz
START:
50 Hz
3 Sections + 6 Functions = Total Control
The LC -X Expander /Compressor/Limiter from
Furman Sound has three independent sections that
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There's also a complete complement of features including: side -chain in and out jacks, a Deess button, switchable metering, and attack and
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Furman Sound, Inc.
R -e /p 58
30 Rich St.
February 1986
Greenbrae,
CA
And we didn't skimp when it came to quality,
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Telex 172029SPXSRFL
BV:
50 Hz
STOP:
20 000 Hz
response when a layer of tissue is
placed over the tweeter. The HF roll off effect begins at around 3 kHz, and
drops as much as 3 dB before returning to the reference level at about 11
kHz. Then another dip of about 2.5 dB
occurs with a center frequency of
about 16 kHz. As we shall see, this
curve was fairly typical throughout
the test, with amplitude variations
being the primary difference. Notice
that the phase response exhibits only
minor fluctuations, with center frequencies being a bit lower. Tissues
that exhibited such response anomalies were two -ply/one -layer versions of
Kleenex Pocket Pack Facial Tissue
(yellow), Gingham Facial Tissue
(white), Nice 'n' Soft Unscented Tissue
(white), and Coronet Facial Tissue
New Unscented (white).
Figure 5 demonstrates a smoother
curve, exhibited by two samples of a
single layer of two -ply represented by
Kleenex Pocket Pack Facial Tissue
(pink and blue). It is interesting to
note that the white version of this
same tissue -whose response is
shown in Figure 6 exhibited dips 1
to 2 dBs deeper than those detailed
-
above.
Now we'll look at the effect of folding the tissue to form two layers of
two-ply covering the tweeter. As one
would expect, there is a significant
drop in level although, as you will
A.
MAIN
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G
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START:
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SO
Hz
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observe, the affected frequencies
remain roughly the same. Figure 7
demonstrates this sample group with
a 1 dB drop at 11 kHz, and then a more
severe high -end rolloff than the one layer samples. There is also a deeper,
wider dip from 3 to 10 kHz. Samples in
this group were Kleenex Pocket Pack
Facial Tissue (blue, yellow, and pink),
and Coronet Facial Tissue New
Unscented (white).
Figure 8 demonstrates a more
extreme effect. While the 11 kHz
region is hardly affected, the two dips
have become more severe. Gingham
Facial Tissue (white) and Nice 'n' Soft
Facial Tissue Unscented (white) fit
into this sample. The real surprise in
Ef:
50 Hz
B. MATH
DEC,
START:
Figure
-17.5
S
START
-9
68v
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TIME: 1
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SO
10.
Hz
STOP:
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-180
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20 000
HL
START:
50 Hz
BV:
this sample was that two of the one layer brands exhibited this same
curve: Kleenex Facial Tissue (white),
and Kleenex Softique Lightly Scented
(yellow).
Figure 9 shows the most extreme
effect in the two -layer tests. As can be
seen, the rolloff is extremely nonlinear, and the dips are quite deep
with these samples. Represented here
are Kleenex Softique Lightly Scented
(yellow), and Kleenex Facial Tissue
(white). The effect is not surprising in
reference to these two tissue's performances as single layers in Figure 8.
Somewhat mellower
but still
extreme
were Kleenex Boutique
Facial Tissue (blue) and Kleenex
-
Nice curves.
-
SO Hz
STOP:
20 000 Hz
Pocket Pack (white).
From these test results I found it
difficult to draw generalized conclusions based on brand, model or color,
and so proceeded to measure the toilet
paper samples to see what that might
uncover. The T.P. samples grouped
themselves into four categories, and
we will look at them in order of the
degree of effect they had on the
reference.
Figure 10 represents the first group,
and one will notice immediately that
the effect is less than that produced by
any of the tissue groups. I would have
to attribute the difference to the fact
that these were all one -ply paper,
while tissue is always two -ply.
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For additional information circle #137
ar
1986
D
.bruy
-9
RANGE:
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6. 5
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Figure
/DIV
11.
-17.5
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Hz
SO
PHASE
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5
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B: MATH
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Figure 12.
-17.
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160
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Hz
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Figure 13.
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SO Hz
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2C)
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-17.
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Figure 16.
-17.5
50 Hz
B: MATH
DEG
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B: MATH
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PHASE
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5
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dB
Figure 15.
/DIV
'50 Hz
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150
IBC)
DES
SO
Hz
SW:
SO
Hz
Included in this group were Charmin
New Stronger Than Ever (yellow and
blue), and Family Scott (white).
Figure 11 demonstrates that even
two -ply T.P. does not approach the 3
to 10 kHz drop caused by tissue, yet is
just as effective at the dip above 11
kHz. T.P. in this group was Northern
Quilted (yellow), MD Unscented
Scot(white), and
big shocker
tissue one -ply (white). As some of you
may already know, this latter brand
is a hefty one -ply, and the result most
likely due to its beefier construction.
Figures 12 and 13 show the effect of
using the T.P. in a two -layer configuration, and these samples more closely
resemble curves that one would expect
R -e /p 60 D February 1986
-a
-
STOP.
20 000 Hz
START:
50 Hz
from of tissue paper; they exhibit the
wide 3 -dB holes from 3 to 10 kHz, and
the deep dip after 11 kHz. Figure 12 is
represented by one -ply papers: Scot tissue (white), Family Scott (patterned), and Charmin New Stronger
Than Ever (blue and yellow). Figure
13 is represented by two-ply papers,
illustrating only Northern (yellow),
and MD Unscented (white).
I almost didn't measure the effect of
paper towels, because no one has ever
mentioned using them. But, for the
sake of science, I decided to explore
new, uncharted territory. Every tested
paper towel exhibited a different
curve, showing no consistency for
drawing conclusions. One very inter-
BV
SO Hz
STOP:
20 000 Hz
esting thing was found, however:
Brawney two -ply in a two -layer con figuration exhibited the smoothest
rolloff of any test sample, as can be
seen from Figure 14.
So what conclusions can we draw at
this point? We can rule out color as a
factor in the measurements, but cannot definitely state that two layers
will cause much deeper frequency response dips than the same tissue or
paper in a single layer (Figure 8). We
can see that, at times, two layers of
T.P. can simulate tissue curves, but
cannot draw positive conclusions
about the effect of ply number (Figure
11).
At this point I was generally
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Figure
de
/DIV
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50 Hz
B: MATH
START
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20 000 H_
STOP:
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-17.5
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DEG
Figure 18.
50 Hz
B.
MATH
50
Mx
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STOP:
TIME :lO
20 000 Hz
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OE G
45
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/DIV
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BV:
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unhappy at not being able to draw
more precise patterns from this experiment, and so I took another approach.
Thinking that I may get a more accurate measurement of high- frequency
absorption, I placed the tissue over
the microphone. Imagine my surprise
when the chart came out looking
exactly like Figure 3, and exhibited
absolutely no deviation from the reference. This discovery led to the idea
of hanging a sheet of two -ply Kleenex
in front of the tweeter at distances of
0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2 inches; the results of
these tests are depicted in Figures 15
thru 18, respectively. Interesting,
don't you think?
H
T
20 000 Hz
STOP:
-180
START
such aberrant behavior in their main
control -room monitors, why should
we go this route in a close -field
speaker? The result is a very crude
and, I would say, undesirable method
for dealing with the problem of a
speaker sounding a bit too bright.
And, as one can see from the charts
included in this article, the use of
tissue layers is certainly a very
uncontrollable and nonlinear method
of doing the job. If a little less high end is desired, how about a simple
electronic filter that could be measured and controlled in a more reliable manner than the "Tissue Fix ?"
So now we have something concrete: Kleenex did not absorb any
high frequencies when placed over
the microphone capsule, while Figures 15 thru 18 indicate that the HF
attenuation affect of tissue is position
dependent. As a result, it would
appear that the tissue creates the one
thing that studio designers around
the world try to avoid, fearing it most
in their control rooms: Comb Filtering. The paper filters are not absorbing the high frequencies, but simply
reflecting them back into the tweeter,
thereby causing cancellation through
comb filtering.
Since nobody would put up with
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PITCH TRANSPOSER PACKAGE
February 1986
For additional information circle #138
R -e /p 61
CLASSICAL AUDIO
RECORDING AND PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES FOR THE
BOS TON,
`cYMPHONY
ORCHESTRA
by Paul D. Lehrman
the Boston
Symphony Orchestra? "Don't
ask me," says Richard Kaye,
who has handled that duty for the
BSO more than anyone else. He
names a couple of well -known local
audio critics. "Ask them," he laughs.
"They're always telling me how to do
How do you record
it!"
Kaye is the producer for the Boston
Symphony Transcription Trust, the
Organization responsible for dozens
of live broadcasts and recordings for
radio that the BSO does every year.
As such, Kaye has his work cut out for
him when trying to please this large
and diverse audience. In Boston, the
Science of audio and the Art of classical music are uniquely melded together; there is probably more classical radio programming per capita
than anywhere else in the world,
thanks to an established, successful
commercial radio station (WCRB,
where Kaye is president), and a plethora of public radio stations, many
of whom most notably WGBH -FM
and WBUR
broadcast a substantial amount of classical programming. The surrounding area is populated by numerous pro -audio and
high -end, hi -fi manufacturers, plus
performance groups ranging from a
world-class symphony to dozens of
chamber and new -music ensembles.
And the city boasts one of the best -
--
R-e/p 62
February 1986
sounding performance spaces in the
world: Symphony Hall. In the middle
of all this are troupes of audio writers
and music critics.
And those writers and critics love to
make their own recordings. It's not
unusual, says WGBH engineer Bill
Busiek, for there to be five or six different recording setups taping an
orchestral concert in Symphony Hall
although it doesn't happen with
BSO concerts. "We've had someone
from Stereo Review using three spaced
Shure SM-80s," he says. "Someone
else using ORTF, and someone else
with a Blumlein pair all recording
the Boston Philharmonic [an ensemble that performs a few times each
year]. All they have to do is get permission from the orchestra, and pay
the hall fee."
With all of that competition, producers of the BSO's records and broadcasts have to be on their toes, and not
be afraid to experiment. Fortunately,
they have plenty of opportunity to do
so. Twice weekly, the BSO gives live
and live-on -tape radio broadcasts from
Symphony Hall, and three a week
from its summer home at Tanglewood
in western Massachusetts, as well as
doing records for several domestic
and foreign labels. The Boston Pops,
which is essentially the BSO without
its first -chair players, does live and
taped radio and TV broadcasts dur-
-
-
ing its summer and Christmas seasons, and plenty of records, thanks in
large part to the popularity of its two
most recent conductors: composer
John Williams and the late Arthur
Fiedler.
And both orchestras share an illustrious heritage: last year the Boston
Symphony celebrated its Centennial,
a landmark that was passed by the
Boston Pops during its 1981/82
season.
Although there is some overlap,
each of these ways of relaying the
orchestra's sound to the public involves different personnel, different
equipment and program chains, plus
different production philosophies and
styles.
Live Radio Production
Live broadcasts from Symphony
Hall are a joint effort between WCRB
and WGBH, whose services are contracted by the Boston Symphony
Transcription Trust. Bill Busiek operates a 24 -input Neve console that was
installed. in the small radio booth
overlooking the stage about seven
years ago. Richard Kaye sits next to
Busiek, following the music score and
the voice -over script, which is read in
ringing tones by announcer William
Pierce located in an adjacent booth.
During the week preceding each
broadcast, WCRB engineer Marian
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Compare the JBL /UREI 5547
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February 1986 0 R-e/p 63
For additional information circle t139
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R -e /p 64
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One of The Signai Companies
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BEAT GOES ON
1986
For additional information circle #140
RECORDING THE BSO
"Tuna" Howell attends several concerts and rehearsals, taking levels
and noting in Kaye's score if they will
have to be adjusted. "The faders stay
virtually untouched," confides Busiek.
"When we do move them, it's only a
few dB. Sometimes the timpani or the
horns get a little too well reinforced by
the hall, and we have to compensate.
We'll do the changes very gradually,
way beforehand, like at a rest. That
way a whole piece or movement
doesn't have to be down in level, but at
the same time the audience doesn't
hear a crescendo or decrescendo."
Five microphones are semi- permanently installed in the ceiling of the
hall, and wired directly to the radio
booth. Although the lines have been
in place for years, the mikes themselves are new: three Bruel & Kjaer
Model 4007 small -capsule omnis are
mounted in a line over the stage
apron, while two more B &K Model
4006 large -capsule omnis are placed
further out into the audience, where
they can pick up some of the bass
developed by the hall. Some of the
mikes are owned by the broadcasters,
while others are on -loan from the
manufacturer.
The current season is the second in
which the three -mike format has been
used. Previously, there were two main
mikes, usually Neumann KM83
omnis. "There are incremental advantages to using three mikes," Busiek
explains. "You have absolute assurance of mono compatibility, and
imaging is easier there are always
angle and distance factors to take into
consideration, and using three mikes
limits them without compromising
the sound. There's something solid
about it, and you get a better perspective on the orchestra. You take the
risk out, and the only disadvantage is
that you have to worry about an extra
mike. We're using the front mikes
only now. We put the orchestra in
intensity balance, but it means we
lose a little of what the hall sounds
-
-
"If it was the
same level, the middle would be too
heavy" but he is reluctant to state
precise details on the levels. "We're
not in a position to say `This is it'
about our miking," he says, "and we
aren't discouraged from experimenting. But we are limited by what is
practical. There are `political' issues,
like who has access to the mikes"
they hang through trap doors in the
ceiling from lighting beams and other
supports -"and how often you can
get up and change them."
"The hall opened in 1900," notes
Kaye, "and the plaster ceiling is literally held up by horsehair, which
means we have to be very careful
about going up there and drilling
holes."
Monitoring in the booth is handled
by ADS Model 900 speakers, driven
with a BGW Model 500 power amp.
Two old- reliable AR tuners are located
in the booth, permanently tuned to
WCRB and WGBH, but they aren't
used too much. "I'd like to monitor off
the air," says Busiek, "but it would
give me ulcers. We just use them for
cueing."
From the radio booth, telephone
company lines go to WGBH's studio
in Allston, 21/2 airline miles away, and
WCRB's studio in Waltham, about
nine miles distant. WCRB's lines are
processed with Dolby A-type noise
reduction. "WGBH used to Dolby [its
lines] too," says Busiek; "encoding
here and not decoding until the signal
got to the transmitter. But there was
too much room for error, especially
when we would inject intermission
than the outside ones
-
-
features at the studio, and we disco
vered our lines were good enough that
we didn't need it.
"If the lines are in trouble, we can
switch the [units] in, but generally it's
more trouble than it's worth. They
can exaggerate low -end anomalies,
and they have to be calibrated more
accurately than the world thinks; listeners are very quick to pick up
mistracking."
The WGBH signal is relayed to the
station's transmitter atop Great Blue
Hill on Boston's southern city limit
(about 10 miles from the studio) via
two separate Moseley microwave
STLs, one for each audio channel. But
when conditions are right, WGBH
uses a totally different transmission
system: digital encoding with a dbx
Model 700 convertor.
"dbx's method [Companded Predictive Delta Modulation] makes a lot
more sense to me than PCM," says
Busiek, although, as he admits, "I
can't really hear the difference."
What has made the Model 700 the station's choice is the fact that dbx is a
local company, and its designers and
staff have been particularly helpful in
setting up and maintaining the system. "And it's true balanced -in and
-out," adds Busiek, "so it doesn't
unbalance the rest of the system."
WBGH does not decode the digitized, signal (in composite -video form)
until it reaches the transmitter, bouncing it from a dish on top of Symphony
Hall, to the top of the nearby Prudential Tower, to the Allston Studios, and
finally out to the transmitter. "We do
it all `blind'," says Busiek. "We don't
WGBH engineer Bill Busiek (left) and WCRN producer Richard L. Kaye during
the recording of a BSO concert in the radio booth at Symphony Hall. Seen in the
background is announcer Wiiliam Pierce.
like.
"X -Y miking is wonderful, and it'll
always sound stereo, but it's not so
easy to get the correct balance. Sometimes it's too stereo, and there's a hole
in the middle, and sometimes it's too
mono. Also, since you're using the
sides and lobes of the [cardioid-pattern] mikes that way, they have to be
perfect [in terms of even on -and off-
axis frequency response], and it's an
imperfect world."
Busiek explains that the center
mike is mixed a little lower in level
reoruary iaao u n-eipaa
4
RECORDING THE BSO
putting them to tape. Although, during the regular season, only the
Friday -afternoon and Saturday -evening concerts are broadcast live (and
the latter carried only by the two Boston stations), the orchestra usually
performs the same program two or
three more times earlier in the week.
Almost all of these concerts are
recorded. Three tape formats are used
simultaneously: 15 -ips half-track
Dolby A and non -Dolby on a pair of
venerable Ampex AG -440 decks; and
a digital backup copy made with a
Sony PCM -701 processor and SL -2000
Betamax VCR.
Decisions on how to edit the tapes
are worked out by Kaye and the concert's conductor, whether it's BSO
music director Seiji Ozawa, or a guest.
"We don't do very much," says Kaye;
"typically about two edits on a program."
During the tapings, Kaye will mark
potential problems in his score and
script. "For really bad mistakes, especially if the crowd noise stays the
same under the voice -over, there's no
problem cutting something," says
Howell. "We don't cut inside movements, but we'll sometimes use one
movement of a piece from one concert,
and the other movements from another. If there's a minor flub that would
take 30 minutes to fix, we won't
bother."
The edits are performed on the original masters, to keep generation noise
at a minimum. If a gross editing error
occurs, a new master can easily be
generated from the digital -701 copy.
Tapes are duplicated at WCRB on
Asco Series 2400 16:1 duplicators, and
go out to some 80 stations on a weekly
schedule, generally about two months
after the actual concert. Of these 80
stations, less than a half-dozen receive
Dolby A- encoded versions. "It means
that all of the edit instructions have to
be performed twice," says Howell.
The two Ampex tape decks generally do not make the trek out to Tan glewood for the summer instead the
concerts will be recorded on an Otari
MX -5050 that spends the winter in the
radio booth at Symphony Hall as a
backup machine. Kaye takes the Sony
PCM -701 digital system along too,
and he will often bring in a two -track
Technics RS -1500 analog deck. Another machine, often one of the Ampex
AG440s, will be brought in for editing.
The Tanglewood tapes become part of
the program rotation, and are played
over the subscribing stations later in
the season.
decode it at the station; we just monitor it as a video signal, and listen off
the air. All of the switching is done by
remote-control over the microwave
STLs."
Busiek doesn't get to use the system
as often as he would like, however, the
reason being that in a city with as
crowded a spectrum as Boston, it's not
always possible to get a clean video
path. "We share the Prudential with a
lot of other TV services, including
WGBH -TV," he explains. " All it
takes is for someone to be doing unauthorized testing on one of the path
frequencies, and it blows us out. The
unit sees too much error, and just
mutes. We do `border' broadcasts of
two minutes of crowd noise before the
concert starts. If we hear any dropouts, we switch right back to the
'phone lines."
"We're not discouraged at all," the
engineer continues. "We're working
Television Audio Production
on overcoming the legal restrictions,
Once upon a time, Evening at Symand trying to get a different route that
phony, a series of live and taped BSO
will bypass the Prudential and get us
performances, was a staple of PBS
a direct shot to Allston or Great Blue
television stations around the counHill. It just takes money."
try. The program was known for its
WCRB is the only commercial broadtechnical and stylistic innovation,
caster that carries the live broadcasts
both in the audio and video realms
the others are all public stations.
was reportedly the first regularly Five stations in Maine and one in
scheduled TV /FM simulcast series,
Connecticut pick up the signal from
each local radio station being fed with
microwave landlines, and one station
signal from a four -track audio tape
on the border with New York state
striped with sync tone or SMPTE
simply rebroadcasts WGBH's air sigtimecode and brought the sight and
nal
a practice that Bill Busiek,
sound of symphonic music into the
understandably, disapproves of.
Summer concerts at Tanglewood Engineer Bill Busiek with a video transmitter unit at Symphony Hall used for
are handled much the same way. relaying digital audio encoded with a dbx Model
700 CDPM processor back to
Because the ceiling of the perfor- the WGBH studio.
mance "shed" is a triangular grid,
there is much more flexibility in
hanging mikes. The B &K models
come along, while the mix is handled
by a brand -new Studer Model 264 12in /four -out console. The signal for the
live broadcasts is passed to a microwave link located on the grounds,
which is owned by WGBH. There are
two short microwave relays, and then
the signal is processed digitally with
the dbx Model 700 and put on a video
channel originating on top of Mt.
Tom, for the long final hop into Boston. "It has to go over the Quabbin
Reservoir," explains Busiek, "where
there is often fog and thunderstorms,
both of which can severely attenuate
a microwave signal."
-
-
Pre-recorded Concert
Performances
At the same time the concerts are
going out over the air, Tuna Howell is
R -e/p 66 0 February 1986
-
-it
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R -e /p 67
RECORDING THE BSO
homes of millions for the first time. As
the decade turned, funding cutbacks
reduced the series to the status of
occasional "specials," and eventually
it was discontinued completely.
Today, the only regular television
programs from Symphony Hall are
the Boston Pops concerts, about a
half-dozen of which are taped each
year during the Pops' summer season.
In addition, there is usually one live
broadcast each season, such as last
summer's Fourth of July gala from
the Charles River Esplanada.
Evening at Symphony, under the
direction of the late Jordan Whitelaw,
pioneered a number of audio and
video techniques, including quadrophonic sound, multitrack recording,
and careful "orchestration" of camera
angles and video switching to enhance greatly the viewing experience.
"The concerts were originally taped
on 16 -track Ampexes," explains Steve
Colby, who is the supervisor of
WGBH's mobile audio unit [see: Audio
Production for Broadcast, Spring 1983
issue for further details], and current
audio engineer for the Pops TV
broadcasts. "There would be an overall stereo pickup," he explains, "plus
spot mikes, which would vary depending on the piece. There would be
tracks for vertical drive and for
timecode.
"The tape would be mixed down to
two -track on the same piece of [16track] tape. Since we mixed off the
playback head, the audio would be
placed about five frames off [sync
with the individual tracks and master
timecode]. It was a matter of convenience, in that we just had to worry
about one piece of tape. I understand
that before there was timecode, they
would use only the sync pulse to lock
the audio and video. At air time, an
engineer would sit by the tape decks
with a pair of headphones, listening
to countdowns audio tape in one ear
and the video in the other. He would
have 60 seconds to match them up."
Today, Pops concerts are recorded
on 24 -track Otani MTR -90s in the
WGBH mobile. SMPTE timecode has
made the engineers' lives more tolerable, but otherwise the techniques
have changed very little. The concerts
have been mixed in both mono and
stereo for the past four years, although
until recently they were broadcast
almost exclusively in mono
the
shows were distributed to the stations
on videotape, and FM /TV simulcasts
were extremely rare.
Since last year, however, the pro R-e/p 68 0 February 1986
-
-
grams have been distributed entirely
on the PBS satellite system, and every
city receives stereo audio, whether
they use it or not. Some markets, such
as German television, have used the
stereo mixes for some time, and, says
Colby, "We wanted the archives in
stereo."
The mixing process is somewhat
more active than that used for Symphony concerts. "Pops shows need
more control, more presence," says
Pops TV -audio producer John
McClure. "When you show an instrument on a close -up, it shouldn't stick
out grotesquely. But you have to hear
it, and that means multitrack."
"We want to achieve a partnership
between audio and video," Colby
says. "It should be a good stereo mix
that will stand on its own, so that
even if you're not watching, the audio
should make sense, without something jumping out at you. We never
exaggerate something to match the
picture if it's not going to make sense
in the mix. It's a kind of `soft cueing'
we help the viewer make an association with the picture, but the faders
never move more than 3 or 4 dB."
A typical track sheet will contain a
main audio pair and two tracks each
for strings, woodwinds, brass, and the
audience. Harp, percussion, and trap
set each get one track, while a guest
performer or group will get up to four
tracks. Vertical video -sync drive and
SMPTE timecode, fed from the video
truck, go down on tracks #23 and #24,
respectively.
Some of these stereo pairs actually
are mixed from four or five microphones. Most of the mikes are hung
-
from the hall ceiling, with floor mikes
being used on harp, piano, drum set,
brass, and the guests. "We tend to use
the mikes that 'GBH has available, "
says McClure, "which are [Neumann]
KM83 omnis, KM84 cardioids, and
AKG 451s and stereo models."
"I'm dying to use those new B&Ks,"
adds Colby.
Permanently -installed cables run
from the stage ceiling (the "rope loft ")
to an outlet box mounted on an outside wall of the hall at street level,
where the WGBH mobile parks. Some
of the cables have individual splitters
on them so that they can feed both the
radio booth and the mobile unit. Signals from the floor mikes are routed
through a snake that runs underneath the stage to a splitter box, and
then to the house PA mixer located in
the first balcony, the monitor mixer
directly in front of the stage, the radio
booth, and the truck.
The multitrack tape is mixed in the
mobile unit after the concert, sometimes within a day or two, sometimes
not for a couple of weeks. Tracks #21
and #22 are reserved for the two -track
mix, again to simplify tape -handling.
During the actual concert, these tracks
are used for a live mix. "We can
always refer back to it," says Colby,
"and sometimes, if it's really hot, we'll
end up using it instead of wiping it
and doing another mix." Often the
guest artists, from Noel Paul Stookey
of Peter, Paul and Mary, to members
of the Manhattan Transfer, will be
involved in the actual mixing process.
Although there are some shared
mikes, radio and TV production are
almost always handled completely
Music director Seiji Ozawa
conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra
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RECORDING THE BSO
separately. "When we did the Manhattan Transfer, they were so involved
in the TV mix that they insisted that
it be used for radio too," says Colby,
"but that's rare."
Generally speaking, the guidelines
for assembling a Pops TV show are
less strict than those for the Symphony's radio broadcasts. "Usually
we do one concert per show," offers
Colby, "but sometimes not."
There may also be a certain amount
of editing within the body of a piece to
overcome technical or performance
problems, something that is almost
never done with Symphony broadcasts. "Like any editing problem,"
Colby says, "We hope the segments fit
together. We're lucky in that the hall
maintains its acoustic characteristics
every night all through the Pops season, unless it happens to get really
cold or humid. One night we noticed
that the sound we were getting was
particularly terrific, and we figured
out it was because it was pouring rain
outside.
"Because we're close -miking the
soloists, it eliminates the second -bysecond hall effects. We'll sometimes
add a little reverb to make it work.
We're not proud; we don't think it's
breaching the artist's integrity if we
use a technical aid to make it sound
more natural. If we have to edit like
when a waitress pops a champagne
we can
cork during a vocal solos
-
-
strip the hall tracks and replace them
with a Lexicon 224 [digital reverb]
popping the two in and out. I hear that
program number #3 on the Lexicon
was the designer's idea of what Symphony Hall sounds like and, eight
times out of 10, it's a perfect match."
McClure and video producer Bill
Cosell confer on how the shows will be
edited, and McClure and Colby then
mix the concerts while the final video
edit is assembled. "We'll give the
video people a complete mix, and then
they punch the numbers into the
computer and do the wedding," says
Colby. [For more on WGBH's time code editing facilities, see Audio Production for Broadcast, Spring 1982
issue.]
Classical Recording Sessions
The BSO does not make as many
records as it used to, which is in keeping with the general state of the
classical- record industry in the U.S.
In the 12 years that Ozawa has been
at the helm, the orchestra has recorded
for Philips, RCA, Angel, and Hyperion, while Deutsche Grammophon
For Telarc Records first BSO session in January 1980, piano soloist
Rudolf Serkin is seen here playing Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto,
with Seiji Ozawa conducting.
held an exclusive contract for a few been engineered by Telarc's president
years in the Seventies. Today, the and chief engineer, Jack Renner.
label most actively recording the
group is Telarc. There have also been
dates for CBS and New World records
and these, interestingly enough, have
r
Telarc began its association with
the BSO in 1980 when it began a complete cycle of Beethoven Piano Concertos with the orchestra and soloist
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Rudolph Serkin, which the label finished last year. Since the beginning,
Telarc has used the Soundstream digital recording system, and minimal
miking.
"I'm very much a believer in the
idea that less is better," states Renner.
"The minute you start putting up
more mikes, you take control away
you intrude
from the conductor
between the orchestra and what the
conductor is trying to achieve."
Renner generally uses three Scheops
SKM55U mikes switched to omni
pickup (although lately he's been experimenting with WGBH's B &Ks),
placed up on stands about five rows
into the audience. "Musical instruments need a certain amount of
`space' to develop their characteristic
sound," he explains. "If you mike too
close, you won't let the harmonic
characteristics of the instrument or
the ensemble develop, which will let
people recognize it." Renner knows
whereof he speaks: both he and Telarc
producer Robert Woods are former
performing musicians, conductors,
and teachers.
"We use omnis for their flat frequency response, especially at the
low-end, and their better distortion
figures," Renner says. "They let us
capture a good balance between the
direct sound and the hall acoustics. A
symphony orchestra is a wide beast.
To get a good representation of it, you
have to spread mikes; if you're only
using two you leave a hole in the
middle."
For the latest Beethoven recordings, which have been of the earlier
concertos, Renner has been able to get
away with using only two mikes,
because the score calls for a reduced
orchestra. "We also put the bass drum
in the middle to control the vertical
information when we're cutting an
LP, and to keep the cutter head from
jumping out of the groove. Of course,
that's becoming less important as we
leave the age of the LP."
That last statement may sound a little
premature but, as far as Telarc is concerned, vinyl albums are pretty much
on their way out Renner says that
his Compact Disc sales outnumber
LPs by nine -to -one, and the entire
Telarc Catalog was made available
on CD last fall. Renner also says that
when it comes to deciding program
lengths, his thinking is geared more
towards CDs. "We're putting a minimum of 50 to 55 minutes on each
disc." But the label isn't quite ready to
leave LPs behind completely: Telarc
is taking advantage of Teldec's direct
metal mastering (DMM) process to
-
-
cial area of A -to -D conversion, to be
superior to all of the others. He's not
"I
worried about maintenance
know where the bodies are who can
keep the [hardware] running, and
where to get spare parts."
He no longer edits with the system,
however, primarily because the only
Soundstream editing facilities are in
the U.S. are located in New York and
Salt Lake City, a long haul from
Telarc's base in Cleveland. Instead,
signals from the Soundstream are
transcodes in real -time to Sony PCM1610 format through a Studer Sampling Frequency Convertor (which
Renner says doesn't affect the sound)
and recorded on U-Matic videotape.
Back in Cleveland, the tapes are
edited on a Sony DAE -1100 system.
"It allows us to edit here," says
Renner. "And besides, the 1610 is the
only acceptable format for CD mastering."
For the Serkin sessions, the orchestra's "Green Room" at the side of the
stage serves as a control room, while
on the other dates Renner uses a
recording booth built (and later abandoned) by Deutsche Grammophon in
the basement underneath the aud... continued overleaf --
increase vinyl playing lengths as
well. "DMM has been our salvation,"
Renner says. "So far, we've been able
to duplicate everything on vinyl, and
some of our sides have 38 minutes of
-
music!"
For this kind of session, the recording environment is all- important. "It
puts a burden on the engineer to find a
good hall," the engineer states. "An
excessively reverberant hall, like a
stone church, won't work right the
sound gets muddy two feet from the
stage. Symphony Hall is right on the
edge of being too reverberant."
For its early recordings, Telarc
would lay huge carpets and sheets of
burlap over the front of the balconies
to dampen the sound of the empty
hall, but Renner says that's no longer
necessary. "There's enough detail
and presence coming from the stage
so that we don't have to do that, and
we can work slightly closer. We also
take out the risers that the orchestra
usually sits on, which tend to be bass
reinforcers."
Although Soundstream is no longer
in the digital-hardware business,
Renner still uses the company's PCM
recording system. He considers its
sonic qualities, especially in the cru-
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RECORDING THE BSO
ience. "There are permanent mike
lines from the stage to the basement."
says Renner. "They have Tuchel connectors on them, so we get John Newton [a local engineer whom we will
talk about later in this article] to bring
in the adaptors he has." From the
beginning, Telarc has used a Neotek
Series Two console and ADS monitors, although on some sessions
especially those done in Europe
B&W Model 801 speakers will be used.
Backup recordings used to be handled by Studer analog recorders, but
today they are done digitally, using a
Nakamichi PCM processor and halfinch videotape. "We've never had to
use the backups," says Renner, "But I
wouldn't hesitate if we had to. Per-
--
sonally, I think they sound better
than the 1610, anyway."
General editing decisions are primarily in the hands of producer Robert
Woods. "During playback, Bob and
the conductor will talk about the
takes," explains Renner, "but they
don't sit down and go over them note
by note. But, if the conductor is con-
cerned about anything, we'll know
about it before we leave. We try for
long takes, and get at least two complete takes of each movement. Then
we do inserts as needed. In the final
product, it comes across better musically to keep it as long as possible
between edits.
"The broad decisions are done right
at the sessions, and then Elaine Mar tone, our head of production, who also
has a musical background, goes
through Bob's suggestions. If she has
any problems, she'll look to the other
takes. She'll give Bob a rough edit to
listen to and then it goes out to the
conductor for him to hear."
The procedures don't change much
when Renner is recording for labels
other than his own, although he is
working with different producers.
"The editing is done in New York, and
sometimes the Studer SFC isn't available, so we'll do everything with the
Soundstream system."
Recording the Boston Pops, with its
far more diverse repertoire, can be a
totally different experience from the
way the BSO is handled, or it might be
strikingly similar. Pops releases under
John Williams have ranged from
Rossini overtures to the theme from
Explosive
Results
E.T., and each type of music requires
a different approach.
The Pops are under exclusive contract to Philips Records, and TV -Audio
producer John McClure also serves as
record producer. McClure has plenty
of experience as a classical producer,
having once been department director
for CBS Masterworks, where his
duties included producing several
BSO recordings. Like the BSO, Pops
recordings are done digitally using
the Soundstream system but, in this
case, the equipment is available
locally from Soundmirror, a company
owned to the aforementioned John
Newton, and the system is usually
used right on down the recording
chain.
"The recording philosophy varies
with the subject matter," McClure
says. "If it's a straight symphonic
session, we'll do it like Renner. But we
can't always afford to take a rigid,
`purist' attitude, although it would be
nice if we could to sit back and let
the conductor and the orchestra do all
the work. If we've got a record with a
swinging brass section, for example,
it's another whole ball game.
"The idea is to use the minimum
necessary to achieve your objective,
-
The ultimate sound tool of the 80's is at your fingertips today. It's
the Valley Dyna -Mite
an extremely versatile multi- function
signal processor.
Dyna -Mite delivers 18 operating modes offering a variety of choices
for limiting, gating, ducking, and keying functions. And, when you consider that Dyna -Mite may be operated as either a two -channel or stereo coupled device, it's easy to see why your problem- solving capabilities become
practically limitless.
As you would expect, our Dyna -Mite comes in a small package. It's a
rugged steel and aluminum, 13/4" x 19" rack -mount enclosure.
To discover why the Dyna -Mite is the hottest multi -function processor available, call your local Valley dealer.
...
VALLEY PEOPLE, INC. P.O. Box 40306.2817 Erica Place Nashville, TN 37204 (615) 383 -4737 TELEX 3785899 NASH AUDIO
VALLEY PEOPLE INTERNATIONAL C/O Gotham AG, Regensdolt Switzerland Telex 59222 gothm ch, Tele 0041 -1- 840 -0144
R -e /p 74
February 1986
For additional information circle #147
From the January 1980 Telarc session with
the BSO: Seiji Ozawa and Robert Woods
(seated); Jack Renner. Telarc president and
chief engineer, and Dr. Thomas Stockham,
former president of Soundstream, Inc.,
whose digital PCM recording system was
used on the session.
but not to be afraid to use more [equipment] if you need it. A muted trumpet
solo or a hi-hat and snare track
doesn't come through well with an
overall pickup, and [the sound of] trap
drums rolls around the hall like
they're in a cavern."
The solution is accent mikes, using
up to a dozen Schoeps Colette (CMC
Series) omnis for the purpose, and
running them through Newton's
Studer Model 169 console. Rather
than depending on multitrack and
post mixing, however, Pops records
are taped direct to two -track or, on
some occasions, to four -track. Examples of the latter, where a little postsession flexibility is desirable, are a
record with vocal soloist Jessye Norman, a collection of patriotic numbers
with chorus and soloists, and a disk
due for release next Fall featuring the
orchestra in conjunction with a big
band.
Backup tapes are made on a Sony
PCM -Fl. When the session is done,
says McClure, "John Williams and I
sit down with an Fl cassette and do
an edit list. We send the list and the
Soundstream tapes out to Salt Lake,
where Tom McCluskey does the edits,
and then sends the tape back to Bos-
ton. John Newton and I then do the
sequencing and, if it's a four -track
tape, the mix. We make analog cassettes for Williams and any guest soloists for their approval, and then send
the whole thing off to Philips in Holland for mastering.
"There's a Soundstream system
over there, so they can use the tapes
for disk mastering, but obviously if
they're going to do a CD, they have to
convert to the 1610 format through
one of the Studer [SFC] boxes. Sometimes, if they can't get the Studer unit,
we'll do the conversion here using
Renner's. On the last record we did,
we mixed the four -track directly down
to the 1610, but that's the only time
we've ever done that.
With Soundstream's future in doubt,
McClure is unsure of his own plans.
"There's still the system in New York,
and there's talk that some investors
from Canada may put some money
into it, reviving and maybe even upgrading it. I hope so it's a wonderful
editing system, once you get everything loaded in."
And even the audio critics will
agree that with the right equipment in
the right hands, the best BSO and
-
Pops recordings sound awfully
good.
RECORDING ENGINEERS /PRODUCERS
Improved!
SUPER-SOUND-CUBETM
NOW with removable fabric grilles and minimum diffraction baffles.
New 5CS and 5CS -B with SHIELDED MAGNETS minimize CRT interference.
Your choice of finish: walnut woodgrain or black in abrasion resistant vinyl.
5C, 5C -B w /standard magnet: $99.00 pair. 5CS, 5CS -B w /shielded magnet: $120.00 pair.
See your Dealer or contact AURATONE for complete information now!
AURATONE CORPORATION, P.O. Box 698, Coronado, California 92118, U.S.A. 619 -297 -2820
February 1986
For additional information circle #148
R -e /p 75
EMERGENT TECHNOLOGY
Thanks to the unprecedented
worldwide acceptance of the
digital audio Compact Disc, a
startling new technology is emerging
that uses CDs for data and program
storage. The CD -ROM (Compact Disc
Read -Only Memory) will truly
advance the technology of computerization in terms that can only be described as a "quantum leap" forward.
Using the same semiconductor laser
technology as its entertainment cousin, one CD -ROM disk can easily contain 600 megabytes of data on one
side. To put that number in perspective, if you were to download all the
information on one full CD -ROM at
300 baud for 24 hours a day, it would
take 184 days!
When the computer industry observed the way in which Compact Discs
took off so suddenly
and, in turn,
brought the cost of laser optical technology to incredibly low levels; $150
currently for a inexpensive CD player
they marveled at the possibilities
for taking advantage of the new technique of storing digital data. The typical cost/performance ratio of optical
versus magnetic media, even at this
early stage of the game, is causing
rapid changes in nearly every phase
of electronics. If you are a part of the
new digital audio scene on the professional level, or as a consumer, give
yourself a pat on the back for helping
bring this technology into everyone's
hands.
The fine line between CD and CDROM is getting finer. Some Japanese
companies have already announced
combination CD -ROM and CD audio
decks, to allow Compact Discs to be
played on the same player that is
connected to a computer for CD -ROM
applications. In addition, Pioneer has
announced a combination Laser
Video /Compact Disc player, the
Model CLD-900, which is capable of
playing Laserdiscs digital audio, as
well as Compact Discs.
How will this new technology affect
the average recording engineer /producer, you might ask? Are we going to
have to learn "all there is to know
about computers" to take advantage
of the optical revolution?
The answer is: Yes and No. It sure
won't hurt to know your way around
operating systems and computer languages, and to succumb to the fact
that only software -based systems are
capable of keeping up with rapid
changes and upgrades. The software
required to operate a virtual recording
-
CD -ROM IN
THE STUDIO
Compact Disc Read -Only
Memory Applications for
Data and Software Storage
-
console, for example, would likely be
quite complicated, involving large scale simultaneous co-processing. However, indications are that large -scale
storage media will bring to light
greatly increased use of AI (Artificial
Intelligence) and expert systems to
R -e/p 76 February 1986
by Bob Burr
make very complicated computer
chores easily manageable by even the
most illiterate go -fer on your staff.
audio recorded on CD -ROMs. Since
CD -ROM can hold digital audio, digital data, and compressed, bit -mapped
video graphics in any combination,
Who's on First?
the controlling computer can "talk "to
Several forward thinking compan- you, show you pictures, maps or aniies in the professional audio arena are mation, run a program or access any
already embracing CD -ROM tech- data on the disk. A current example of
nology. Optical Media Services of the use of this multimedia concept is
Aptos, CA, has developed an extreme- the newest generation of arcade comly effective application of CD -ROM puter games, such as Dungeons and
for the E -mu Systems Emulator II dig- Dragons.
ital sampling keyboard, as described
Earth View's president, Brian
in an accompanying sidebar to this Brewer, has provided the first demonarticle. One Compact Disc can store stration of how all of these elements
as much data as 1,000 of the Emula- might be combined on CD -ROM,
tor's 5'/a -inch floppy disks. The OMS including holographic sound techUniverse of Sound CD -ROM disc, niques, in a presentation that explains
player and interface marks the first Compact Disc technology, titled Intersuch product to be made available to active AudioMation. Brewer uses IBM
the professional recording industry. PC with a standard color graphics
It is only a matter of time before more board interfaced to a Sony CDP -610
digital recording applications of opti- CD player.
cal storage media emerge.
Earth View is working in the area
Another firm involved in early CD- that promises to be the most effecROM technology is Earth View, Inc., tively improved by CD -ROM technolof Ashford, WA, which specializes in ogy: that of education. Interactive
interactive applications for digital CD -ROMs will revolutionize the education of highly skilled, as well as
The Author
moderately skilled personnel, by allowRob Burr is president of QL Digital Records QL
ing each user to access knowledge to
Mobile Recording. A recording engineer/producer specializing in digital recording, and the his or her own level of competence,
manufacturing and marketing of Compact and at a comfortable personal pace.
Discs, Burr is the system operator and a trustee Want to learn more about advanced
of the Gold Coast Osborne Group, a computer
electrical engineering? (Neither do I.)
club in the Miami, FL area. He has extensive How about digital fiber -optic transknowledge of magnetic and optical media, and mission systems? (Now you're talkartificial intelligence, and frequently consults in
ing.) Sit down and become proficient,
advanced computer systems design. at your own speed, using an interac-
-
-
JVC Digital Audio.
The artist's editing system.
Digital audio editing takes on new speed, simplicity, and flexibility with JVCS 900 Mastering System. Anyone with a trained
ear can learn to operate it in minutes and be assured of professional results of outstanding fidelity, accuracy, and clarity.
And while sonic excellence is surely the 900's most persua-
sive feature. flexibility runs a close second; for not only will the
900 operate with 34" VCRs, but with VHS cassettes, too, with
total safety and confidence, making it ideal for mastering digital audio discs and the increasingly popular hi -fi video discs.
The DAS -900 consists of four principal components.
Audio Editor Control Unit.
VP-900 Digital Audio Processor.
Two- channel pulse count mode
prccessor. Several 16 -bit microprocessors make it compatible
wit- other professional production
equipment such as cutting lathes.
synchronizers, and encoders.
Dynamic range of more than 90
dB. Frequency response from 10
to 20.000 Hz ( 0.5 dB), and low
recording bit rate of 3.087 Mbits s
at 44.1 kHz. Transformer -less analog O circuits further improve
sound qua'.ity, and the analog -todig tal, digital -to- analog converter
reduces distortion to less than
0.02 per cent while an emphasis
circuit improves signal-to -noise
ratio. Logic circuit uses CMOS LSI
chips for high reliability, compactness, light weight (48.6lbs)
and low power consumption.
Electronic governor for routing,
coordinating, and executing all
edit functions, both automatic and
manual. All commands. from digital dubbing of original to master
for continuous programs. to
repetitive point-to -point manual
cueing are regulated here.
t
TC -900V Time Code Unit.
ä
B
AE-900V Digital Audio Editor. Simplicity itself to operate. this little
number puts editing right in the hands of the artist, if need be.
Precise to within microsecond accuracy, edit search can be carried
out by manual cueing, automatic scan, or direct address. It will
confirm cut-in. cut -out points independently by recalling signals
for adjusting relative levels
stored in memory.ID' A'; -.... -
.
Actually two time code units in
one, this unit reads and generates
SMPTE standard time code and
synchronizes the JVC exclusive
BP (bi- parity) time code. Thus, the
DAS -900 will operate effectively
with both time codes: a necessity
when the System is to be synchronized with video equipment.
between original and master tape. Shift function for changing edit
points backward or forward in 2 -ms steps for super -fine adjustment. And variable -gradient cross -fading function for smooth
continuity at the edit point, variable in 0.10.20, and 40 microsecond
steps. Auto tape locate function enables the user to locate the
desired address on the original tape. automatically.
JVC
F F
F F
F F
FF,
F
F F
.,
F F
..
F F
/
For a demonstration of the
DAS -900 Digital Audio
System, a Spec Sheet, or
JVC's complete catalogue,
call, toll -free
1- 800 -JVC -5825
JVC COMPANY OF AMERICA,
Professional Video
Communications Division,
41 Slater Drive.
Elmwood Park, N.J. 07407
1985 JVC Company of America
For additional information circle 4149
www.americanradiohistory.com
c
JVC COMPANY OF AMERICA
Professional Video Communications
Division
Professionals around
the world have chosen
AKG microphones for
their unique combination of performance,
application oriented
design and technical
excellence.
Suitable for the most
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XY/MS single-point
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pick-up, AKG' s large
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For every
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www.americanradiohistory.com
,
,
NEW TECHNOLOGY:
CD -ROM in the Studio
situation is changing.
CD -ROMs will find their way into
many of the current computer- assisted
products found in our studios. One
CD -ROM might contain everything
from software that records changes in
mix levels and equalizations, to those
that help us keep track of clients, billing and studio time, and more.
We are seeing the embryonic stages
cf a new era of cost-effective data
to a particular section of data. More
often, manufacturers are including
subcode outputs in late model CD
storage and retrieval. Compact Discs
containing a combination of digital
audio, graphics and data are beginning to emerge.
Firesign Theatre has recently released the first Compact Disc containing subcode graphics. The eight sub codes, labeled P through W in the
signal, can carry additional information. The P subcode, for example, tells
the CD player to mute the outputs
when music is not present, and can be
read by all CD players. Other sub codes are useful for indexing musical
passages, or allowing instant access
players. In the case of the new Fire sign disk, compressed graphics have
been encoded into the Q subcode. So. if
you have a player with a subcode output, and a subcode graphics demodulator, you can watch the pictures on
your TV or monitor while you listen to
the Compact Disc.
Where It's Going
Because of the ease of storing very
large programs with "all the bells and
AN OVERVIEW OF VARIOUS OPTICAL AND
MAGNETO -OPTICAL STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES
Arthur C. Clarke was once quoted as saying that "Any suffi-
ciently advanced technology is indistiguishable from magic."
Since we live in the future now, what innovations in optical storage
media and related fields lie ahead of us? Here are some acronyms to
chew on:
Optical Media
4).
CD -ROM: Compact Disc Read-Only Memory is the heart of a
new computer optical data storage system (Figure 1). CD -ROM is a
single- sided, 120mm (4% -inch) polycarbonate disk that utilizes a
CLV (Constant Linear Velocity) data -storage method in one continuous spiral track. The data -stream rate remains constant, while
the disc changes speed between 530 rpm near the center, to 200
rpm at the edge track. Throughout, averages of 150 kilobytes per
second and seek times ranging from 0.25 to 2 seconds are common.
Each of the more than 270,000 data blocks of 2,352 bytes contains the following components: 12 bytes of sync; 3 bytes of
address; 1 mode byte (which distinguishes the bit stream between
data, sound, and graphics blocks, etc); 2,048 data bytes, and 288
bytes for error detection and correction (Figure 2). Track pitch is
1.6 microns with a 66mm footprint. Density equals 6 x 108 per
square inch. The wavelength of the laser is 780 nanometers.
Figure
a
CD ROM
DISC
CD ROM
Main Elements of
CD -ROM System.
1:
REMOTE CONTROL
MICROPHONE
KEYBOARD
INPUT
SYSTEM(SI
DRIVE
T
COMPUTER
SYSTEM
OROM: Optical Read -Only Memory (or DataROM) is
another standard that will find its way into industrial applications
calling for data throughput speeds of greater than 1.5 megabytes
per second. OROM uses a CAV (Constant Angular Velocity)
storage scheme formatted into concentric circles, similar to standard floppy disks, allowing seek times of less than 50 milliseconds.
Only one manufacturer is currently producing a player in this
configuration.
LV -ROM: Laser Video Read -Only Memory utilizes the same
popular 12 -inch, two -sided LaserVideo disk system available to
consumers. Applications include personal interactive learning programs, such as flight training; legal and medical expert systems; and
surrogate location scouting. Once again, it is the early success in
the consumer market that makes this technology afforable to the
computer industry. Many LV-ROM interactive systems are now
integrating CD -ROMs to provide up to 31 hours of low- fidelity,
compressed audio to their instructional system.
CV -ROM: Yet another optical memory configuration, Compact
Video Read -Only Memory, is basically a smaller version of LVROM that competes with the CD -ROM. Its major differences are
CAV format using concentric circular tracks.
WORM: Write Once Read Mostly is a disk that allows one
perfect format for making
write, after which it is not erasable
small numbers of copies of CD -ROMs, without going through the
entire injection molding process.
DRAW: Direct Read After Write media allows us to record on
optical disk (or card), and immediatly read the data. It is similar in
many respects to WORM, but with different systems of formatting
data. Some logistical problems occur when errors are introduced in
the copy process.
-a
JOYSTICK
TOUCH SCREEN
BINARY
DATA
A binary "1" is represented by a land /pit or pit/land transition.
The number of binary "zeros" is determined by the path length
between these transitions (Figure 3). Nearly 100% of laser light is
reflected from the land area, while the pit diffracts most of the light,
reflecting approximately 30% of the light back to the sensor (Figure
OUTPUT
CONVERTOR
SPEAKER
MONITOR
PRINTER
DISPLAY
CONTROL
FUNCTIONS
DIGITAL DATA
CONTROL
HOST
COMPUTER
-
EMOD: Erasable Magneto-Optical Disk
sometimes
referred to as Thermomagnetic or Optically- Assisted Magnetic
Figure 2: CD -ROM
Data Block Format.
00
FF x
10
I
00
MINUTES
SECONDS
SYNC
(12 Bytes)
SECTOR
MODE
ID
(4
Bytes)
BINARY DATA
-
LAYERED
ECC
DATA
L. ECC
(2048 Bytes)
(288 Bytes)
TOTAL: 2352 Bytes
February 1986
R -e/p 81
NEW TECHNOLOGY:
CD -ROM in the Studio
whistles," CD -ROMs will allow the
incorporation of artificial intelligence
and inference engine systems to truly
allow computers to be interactive with
the user. In the near future, for example, a "smart" synthesizer could teach
you music theory, test your ability to
play various musical exercises, and
suggest how long you need to practive. (As long as it doesn't tell me
"door ajar. ") In conjunction with
sophisticated sound shaping, looping
and sequencing software, sound samples can be infinitely processed, reprocessed, and stored on hard or floppy
disk. Real -time, resolution graphics of
músic samples can help the brain
correlate aural and visual components.
A fully automated virtual recording
console could display any aspect of a
signal waveform, spectrum analysis,
harmonic components, equalization
and more. The issuing of regularly
updated CD -ROMs containing massive programs to operate their consoles, will allow manufacturers to constantly offer more and more features
to customers via an inexpensive
medium.
A future multimedia multitrack
machine may employ one EMOD
(Erasable Magneto -Optical Disc) drive
per audio or video track to give truly
random access digital recording and
playback of audio and video. Add a
couple dozen digital microphones and
a full blown digital virtual console
and watch out! (First studio to get one,
wins.)
These are merely a few obvious
examples of how optical technology,
and CD -ROMs in particular, will revolutionize not only the recording industry, but many facets of our lives. I am
interested in your feedback concerning these issues, and how you feel this
might effect your aspect of the business. You can contact me through this
magazine.
STOP PRESS: TIME
MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
DEVELOPING LaserDOSTM
FOR CD -ROM
At press time, we received news of a proprietary laserdisc operating system developed
by TMS that enables information providers
and users to access binary data recorded on a
CD -ROM disc. LaserDOS utilizes a standardization data format to organize the encoded
information, which can represent a wide variety of data, ranging from ASCII text files for
data -base searches, to digital sound samples.
Also specified are file and TOC (table of contents) structures, enabling information to be
accessed, for example, by file name rather
than sector. Connected via a suitable inter face card to a desktop computer running
LaserDOS, the system is said to be fully compatible and co- existent with MS -DOS and
PC -DOS operating systems, thereby simplifying the development of custom software to
access CD -ROM data.
More details are available from Ashok
Mathur, TMS, Inc., PO Box 1358, Stillwater,
OK 74067. (405) 377 -0880.
AN OVERVIEW OF STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES
SPIRAL
SPACING
.
Watch for this format to eventually grab a larger share of the
market, once production ramp -ups have occured. (However,
EMOD will probably not achieve the low -cost factor of CD -ROMs
multimillion per month production capacity.)
that has unlimited read, write and rewrite
abilities. This system uses both a laser device and a magnetic
read/write head. The sensitive layer of the disk is composed of an
alloy film of rare -earth and transition metals, such as TbFeCo
(terbium, iron, cobalt) or GdTbFe (gadolinium, terbium, iron). In its
dormant state, the disk is unaffectd by the magnetic field or the
read/write head. When the laser is focused on a point within the
head's field, however, the laser beam heats the alloy to a point
beyond its Curie point, where it is easily magnetized by even a small
field. In the playback or read mode, the angle of polarization is
rotated slightly providing modulation. One EMOD disk currently
can store 300 to 500 megabytes, which is what Dr. David Davies has
been working to perfect over at 3M's Optical Recording Project.
is a 130mm (51/4-inch) disk
1.6pm
- continued ..
Data Format Error Correction
EFM: Eight -to- Fourteen Modulation is an encoding scheme
that converts eight -bit data to 14 -bit data so that no consecutive
"ones" can occur next to each other. The scheme allows a high bit
density to be achieved without problems of resolution, to make the
data self -clocking, and to minimize error propagation.
RBER: Raw Bit Error Rate is a measurement of the number of
errors in the media, expressed in exponential terms. Typically,
Figure 3:
Compact Disc Data Recording Technique.
yFigure 4:
Data Retrieval from Surface of Compact Disc.
1.0pm
RELFECTIVE
ALUMINUM
pm
COATING
%',,,,,,,¡,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
/
FLAT SECTION
\
PIT HEIGHT
PIT
1.2mm
0.6 pm 'PIRAL
WIDTH
\
\ \\\ ,\\\\\
\\\\
i\\L
L`iiM
PROTECTIVE LAYER
CLEAR PLASTIC HAVING
REFRACTIVE INDEX OF 1.5
//
LASER BEAM
\\
a\
PIT
LAND
BACK SIDE OF DISC
ABOUT t mm
DIAMETER
SUBSTRATE
REFLECTIVE LAYER
DATA IMPRESSED INTO THE
SUBSTRATE AS A SERIES OF PITS
OF VARIABLE LENGTH ARE READ BY
THE TRACKING LASER THROUGH THE
TRANSPARENT SUBSTRATE LAYER.
ROTECTIVE LAYER
TRANSITION
FLAT AREA
/MR/1M
ii
iv,i
1/il/ i /ff/
PIT
\00,
,1,\\\\
PATH LENGTH
00 1001 000001 0000 100000 10001000_
A BINARY "ONE" IS REPRESENTED BY
A LAND /PIT TRANSITION, WHILE THE
NUMBER OF "ZEROS" IS DEFINED BY
THE LENGTH BETWEEN TRANSITIONS.
R -e /n 82
February 1986
NEARLY 100% OF THE LASER LIGHT
IS REFLECTED BACK TO PICKUP
LIGHT IS DIFFRACTED SO THAT ONLY
APPROXIMATELY 30% RETURNS TO
PICKUP
"I cant imagine
ever recording
without BBE again:'
Steve Levine, Producer of Culture Club, The Beach Boys.
develop, due to voice coil characteriscorrection to take place automatically
tics, reflected impedance from the
Convenient front-panel controls let you
boost low frequencies and regulate the
environment, crossover impedance
anomalies and the mechanical
properties of dynamic speak
BLOCK DIAGRAM
Detector
Correcaon
ers. The relationships among
and Amp Cha
Kht
(lelector
.12 1B.
the fundamental frequencies,
their leading harmonics and
200
between the leading harmonics
Khi
Dai
410
themselves become
TYPICAL HARMONIC STRUCTURE
TYPICAL HARMONIC STRUCTURE
distorted in both
STARTING TRANSIENT
STARTING TRANSIENT
IINAMPi
AMPLIFIED.
200
amplitude and time.
ahle
The result? MuddiBoost
ness, poor imaging
1
I
and pinched, colorena
alman,eh-- I
Fundamental
amount of high -frequency amplitude
ized sound that lacks the
presence and punch of the
correction to suit your needs. There's
no encoding or decoding involved, so
real thing.
BBE can be used anywhere in the reThe BBE 202R puts the
mtlhsec0ntls
cording chain -from individual tracks
clarity and sparkle back
into amplified and recorded
on a multitrack tape to a mastering lab
that's why Steve Levine records with
monitoring system.
sound. We like to think of it as the
the BBE 202R. When Steve produced
"unprocessor.' Rather than artifically
Successful producers like Steve
The Beach Boys' new all- digital album,
altering the original source, BBE
Levine count on BBE to bring that hit
the 202R was on the team, too.
restores the natural harmonic balpotential into focus. Why not discover
'BBE is to digital what equalizers
ances that were present in the live
the hidden potential in your own
were to analog. I'm particularly imrecordings?
performance. How? First it divides
pressed with BBE's effect on synTo find out what the BBE 202R
the audio spectrum into three bandthesizers."
can do for your sound, contact your
widths. Then it applies phase corBBE has its own sharp ear for sound.
professional sound dealer.
rection across the full spectrum and
It senses and instantly corrects probOr write to us at Barcus -Berry
dynamic high frequency amplitude
lems in that all -important interface
Electronics, 5500 Bolsa Avenue,
compensation as required. BBE's
between amplifier and speaker. That's
Huntington Beach, CA 92649,
continual sampling of the mid/high
where phase and "overhang" distortion
frequency relationship allows this
or call 1-714 -897 -6766.
Steve Levine's got an ear for hits. He
can pick a winning song out of a hundred rough demos, take it into the
studio and polish it till it's Triple Platinum. That's why he's topped the charts
time after time with trendsetters like
the Culture Club. That's why he was
named 1984 British Phonographic
Institute Producer of the Year. And
SYSTEM PROCESS
I\O
in
125
DC io
Kha
.
F
Phase
5 to
IFrE[
D
/
125
B C
A
Phase
Correction
User Van
:i:::i::::®
Tone In
DBEAll
the sound you've never heardM
BarcusBerry Electronics, Inc.
February 1986
ror aamtlonal Information circle #153
R -e /p 83
AN OVERVIEW OF STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES
-8
CD -ROMs have RBERs of 10 without error correction.
EDC and ECC: Error Detection and Error Correction
Codes facilitate compensation for minute imperfections in the
production materials, those introduced in the production process,
and minor scratches, fingerprints and dust on the disk surface,
using CIRC (Cross Interleaved Reed -Soloman Code) to achieve its
RBER of as little as 10-15.
Small Computer System Interface
SCSI (pronounced "scuzzy") or Small Computer System Interface is a new intelligent interface designed for local -area computer
networking of up to eight different peripheral devices (normally
configured as one "host" connected to seven "slaves "), including
the ability to interconnect more than one host for a type of "daisychaining" effect with peripherals such as a CD -ROM player, a
MIDI -equipped digital keyboard, a laser or LCS printer, hard
disk(s), a high-resolution video monitor, a voice box or D/A audio
synthesizer, video digitizers and scanners, optical character readers, extra RAM (random- access memory), and so on.
Defined by some computer users as a "multi- ported bus," SCSI
consists of a 50-pin port, of which normally 39 pins are used for data
transfer and system handshake protocols. The main benefits of
SCSI include the ability to transfer data in either a serial -to- serial or
serial -to- parallel format. In addition, the speed of transmitting data,
sent block by block in a synchronous mode (i.e., devices having
constant timing intervals between successive bits, characters or
events) to any device offering a SCSI port, can run up to 3 Mbytes
per second. However, typical applications require an asynchronous transmission mode (for devices that possess different internal
clock rates, for example), for transfer speeds which peak at 1.5
Mbytes per second. (Such rapid transfer rates via SCSI are in
contrast to CD -ROM players, which currently are capable of downloading data at speeds between 150 and 175 Kbytes per second.
-
- continued ..
.
One possible solution might involve the provision of a RAM buffer
capability within the CD -ROM player, into which is stored the
required data. The host computer or system can then access the
data at maximum SCSI transfer rates as it scans and interrogates in
a cyclic manner, the peripherals attached to it, and so prevent
data-transfer bottlenecks on the bus.)
Several CD -ROM drive manufactures currently are offering
units fitted with a SCSI port. With intelligent software to drive the
interface, installation of a SCSI controller board in the host computer will allow interfacing with any peripheral offering SCSI.
Interfaces and Peripherals
Laser Printers use a rotating polygon mirròr
in addition to the
drum and paper handling mechanisms required by all non -impact
copier/printers. Because of the very clever adaptation of the
Canon LPB -CX, plain -paper copier mechanism, or "engine," laser
printers have taken an early lead in the page -printer race. Resolution is typically 300 by 300 dots per inch, and such devices are very
instantly printing musical charts, lyrics, etc.
LCS: Liquid Crystal Shutter printers are a new generation of
non -impact printers utilizing a liquid -crystal shutter with 240 pixels
per inch, similar to, but far less aliasing than, your wrist watch.
Printing is accomplished using fiber optics and a florescent lamp to
rapidly expose the print drum to changing characters on the liquid
crystal shutter. These are very quiet, fast (four pages per minute),
compact, high- contrast printers suitable for printing to regular
paper from optical media.
LED: Similiar to LCS unit, Light Emitting Diodes and fiber
optics are used to expose a photo- sensitive drum rolling across
plain paper. The LED is much more complex than LCS, in that
each pixel or point must be generated by a separate millimeter sized light.
ADVERTISEMENT
-
-
LAKE EXPANDS
CAPABILITIES
What's new at LAKE? Besides the influx
of new people ... A host of new computer
systems. Computers that assist in the design, engineering, drafting, and service of
audio/video systems. One of the most exciting new computer systems is the audio departments Tecron TEF System 10. A portable audio spectrum analyzer that can be
used in the field and the data brought back
to the office for further analysis.
LAKE is involved in the design and building
of television stations, recording studios,
post production editing systems, and sound
reinforcement systems worldwide. A computer system that could quickly analyze the
acoustic parameters of any space was very
important to the engineering department.
They are currently using the TEF 10 to help
expedite the engineering requirements of
an expanding customer base.
An example of its value was recently discussed at a meeting I attended. It seems
that microphones placed at a specific area
on stage were experiencing excessive feedback. The client had tried a number of corrective measures to no avail. LAKE's engineers, using the TEF 10 were able to pinpoint the problem, something that at first
LAKE'S audio systems engineers Dennis Smyers (foreground)
and Steve Blake analyze data on the TEF System 10
glance seemed insignificant, a steam pipe
located near the speaker cluster was causing
a strong reflection into the problem area.
Covering the pipe with absorbent material,
eliminated the problem.
For additional information circle #154
Without a doubt, this type of commitment on the part of LAKE in R & D, positions
them as the systems company of choice in
the audio field. Contact them at (617)
244 -6881.
MANNY'S
PR 0 FESSIONAL AUDIO
DIVISION
NEW YORK CITY'S LARGEST MUSIC DEALER HAS
EXPANDED TO INCLUDE A FULLY OPERATIONAL PRO
AUDIO DIVISION. COMPLETE WITH DEMONSTRATION
FACILITIES AND OUR SPECIALIZED SALES STAFF, WE
CAN ASSIST YOU IN SELECTING ANYTHING FROM
MICROPHONES TO A COMPLETE MULTI -TRACK
RECORDING STUDIO. WE SHIP WORLDWIDE. WE'RE
JUST A PHONE CALL AWAY.
MANNY'S MUSIC
156
WEST
48th
STREET
NYC, NY 10036
212 819 -0576
FILM SOUND
DIGITAL sound
FOR moïion PICTURES
PART TWO: POST PRODUCTION
AND THEATRICAL PLAYBACK
Part One of this article, published in the October 1985 issue, covered the areas of
production recording and random -access editing /mixing. This final part will discuss
the use of digital sound recording in post -production and for theatrical exhibition.
by Larry Blake
that "hybrid" will continue for many years as the operative word describing the use of digital sound recording technology in
motion pictures. The prevalent attitude seems to be that movies sound
pretty good with today's technology,
so why change? Hollywood, the Land
of Stationary Inertia, has many working habits and even more money
invested in post -production techniques based on 35mm analog mag.
Also, the multitude of options presented by the new world of digital
R -e /p 86 D February 1986
It appears
-
digital multitrack
sound recording
or mag film; optical disks or hard -disk
will further delay the
storage, etc.
time when digital motion picture
sound can be dealt with as easily as
analog mag is today. No studio wants
to convert its plant to the Acme XYZ
digital format, only to find itself with
obsolete equipment on the "Digital
Road Not Taken."
This situation is in contrast to the
music -recording world, where all -dig-
-
©
1986 by
Larry Blake
ital albums are commonplace, and the
Compact Disc format completes the
final link to the consumer. The path to
the moviegoer, however, is a much
more rocky one.
The first tough decision for intrepid
filmmakers trying to create an "all digital" soundtrack is how to get
edited sound elements to the dubbing
stage. The most obvious solution is to
lay digital two-track sound effects in
sync onto a multitrack digital recorder, with the multitrack tape going
to the re- recording stage. The draw-
MASTER RECORDER A8O VU MKIV
This is our newest multitrack. It is also the
most affordable multitrack in Studer history.
For the fourth time since its inception, we've changed the A8OVU. We've
improved the sonic performance, tape
handling, and durability. And we've
substantially lowered the price.
Same outside, changes inside. In
keeping with the Studer tradition, we
made no superfluous cosmetic
changes. We're not going to tell you
this is an "all new" recorder. It isn't.
It is a proven, legendary recorder in-
corporating several significant
improvements.
Uh -oh, Something Is Missing. Yes.
The transformers are gone. They've
been replaced in the input and output
stages with new high performance active balancing circuitry. Other MKIV
improvements include a new master
bias oscillator, extended record headroom, and a new record and bias driver
compatible with all present and future high -bias requirements. Record
electronics are now fully compatible
with Dolby HX Pro* requirements.
Smoother Shuttling, Hardier
Heads. The MKIV's new tape tension
control system provides smoother tape
hat idling, while a new extended wear
alloy for record and play heads greatly
increases head life.
Never Lower. The list price of the
A8OVU MKIV 24 -track is lower than
any of its predecessors. And that's in
straight dollar figures, without adjusting for inflation. What's more, the
A8OVU MKN now has a list price lower
than most of its competition.
No Hocus -Pocus. How could we
make the A8OVU MKIV better and lower
the price at the same time? Simple.
We make it in Switzerland, and you
pay for it in dollars. The favorable exchange rate does the trick. That means
you get advanced electronics, Swiss
precision, and low price. If you act
now. This can't go on forever.
Your Time Has Come. If you've
always wanted a new Studer multitrack but thought you couldn't afford
one, your time has finally come. Call
today and find out why the A8OVU
MKIV is one of the most advanced
recorders available at any price. And
then ask about our new lower prices.
Be prepared for a pleasant surprise.
For more
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write: Studer Revox America, 1425 Elm
Hill Pike, Nashville, TN 37210; (615)
254 -5651.
`Dolby HX Pro is a trademark of Dolby Laboratories.
STUDER!°Av7CK
°
Vi_`
é,..
February 1986
For additional information circle #156
D R-e /p 87
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Sales:
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R -e /n 88
February 1986
A
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7265 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90046
(213) 851 -9800 Telex: 698645
Update on Motion Picture Sound Systems:
The Battle of the Acronyms
ince its first sales in 1982, the JBL Model 4675A direct- radiator theater loudspeaker
has virtually eclipsed the horn -loaded Altec Lansing A -4 Voice of the Theatre as the de
facto industry standard loudspeaker for motion picture reproduction by virtue of the
imprimatur of its ubiquitous presence on re-recording stages and screening rooms, not to
mention its use in over 1,500 commercial theaters in the U.S.
During the past three years, the Model 4675A has been installed in over 12 re-recording
stages, including Sprocket Systems ( Lucasfilm), Warner Hollywood (Stages A and D), The
Burbank Studios (Dubbing 1 -5), Glen Glenn (Stage S and Dubbing 1, with three more to
follow), Todd -AO Stage B and MGM Cary Grant Theater (Main Theater). In April 1984,
the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences installed a bi -amped Model 4675A
system in its Samuel Goldwyn Theater, the first time the Academy has not used the Voice
of the Theatre since the latter's introduction almost 40 years ago.
Ken Lopez, VP of sales for JBL/UREI theater products, says that the primary benefit of
the Model 4675A, compared to standard theater speakers, is "the extremely smooth power
response over the frequency range from about 100 Hz to 8 kHz. This means that minimal
equalization is required to meet the desired wide -range [X] curve used in theaters today."
Half of the theaters named above employ active crossovers and bi- amping, using either
the Lucasfilm THX or JBL Model 5234A network.
The THX crossover forms the heart of the sound system that Lucasfilm has been
licensing to theaters since the May 1983 release of Return of the Jedi; as of January 1986,
the system has been installed in almost 60 theaters in the U.S. The THX system not only
includes installation of the sound system, but also a comprehensive program of acoustics
and projection standards which is inspected by the Lucasfilm staff every six months. [See
the December 1983 issue of R -e/p for a lengthy look at the design of the THX System
-Editor. ] Contrary to a widely held misconception, the THX Sound System has nothing to
do with the recording of a film soundtrack, nor does it in any way replace Dolby Stereo.
The JBL Model 4675A, which is currently the only theater system approved for use in
THX systems, was designed in 1981 by Mark Engebretson and John Eargle. It is comprised
of two 2225J 15 -inch woofers mounted in a 4508 vented box enclosure, with a 2445J
compression driver in a 2360 Bi- Radial" horn. Smaller theaters with little space behind the
screen will use the Model 4670, which is identical to the Model 4675A except for the smaller
2380 horn on a 2445J HF driver. Mounting the behind -the -screen speakers flush in a wall
-as can be seen from the accompanying photograph of the Academy Theater has
become standard practice, and serves to smooth out the system's low-frequency response
by providing boundary reinforcement. (It should be noted that this "two -pi" mounting is
also very effective with standard Altec and other horn -loaded loudspeakers.)
Theater speakers made by two other major manufacturers are currently under consideration for use as part of the THX System. The only approved surround speaker is the
Boston Acoustics A70T, although units from Electro- Voice, Altec and JBL are presently
being tested.
Clyde McKinney, director of the THX program at Lucasfilm, is pleased with the latest
generation of 250 -watts -per- channel amplifiers, and counts the Ashly FET-500, BGW 8000,
Hafler DH -500, UREI 6300 and JBL/UREI 6260 among the approved devices. He says that
the requirements of the THX System "are not so stringent, but we are concerned about not
only the power and frequency response, but also how they clip."
A stereo amp is used for each behind -the -screen speaker, with equal power to the woofer
-
The Samuel Goldwyn Theater sound system at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts &
Sciences untilizes five, two -way JBL Model 4675 A -2 cabinets behind the screen, and
'eight Model 4446 subwoofers. The units are biamped with BGW 250 and 700s.
DIGITAL FILM SOUND
back with such a system is simply one
of cost, since anywhere from $125,000
to $200,000 in digital equipment
(depending upon system design) is
tied up on each editing station.
Also, the multitrack medium requires time -consuming offsets to slip
a track while dubbing or conforming
to picture changes; with standard
35mm mag, an individual playback
dubber is quickly advanced or retarded to the required number of
frames or sprocket holes. Picture
changes in the latter stages of postproduction are accommodated by
conforming, on an editing bench, the
sound elements to match the latest
version. Effects recorded on multitrack tape would need to be transferred machine -to- machine: a very
expensive proposition. (Of course,
digital mixing from random -access
hard disks solves the offset and pic-
ture change problems, among many
others. The benefits of random -access
editing and mixing were discussed in
Part One of this article, published in
the October 1985 issue of R -e /p.)
Where music recording requires the
use of just one or, at the most, three
multitrack recorders, subsequently
mixed to a two -track stereo master,
digital stereo motion picture rerecording would require at least two,
and possibly as many as five, digital
multitracks during the final stereo
mix, where separate four- or six-track
dialog, music and sound effects
"stems" are recorded. With digital
multitracks costing from $113,000
(Sony PCM -3324 24- track) to $154,000
(Mitsubishi X-850 32- track), almost a
half million dollars is needed to equip
such a dubbing stage.
Furthermore, there is currently no
field-tested digital theater reproduction system. The final stumbling
block here, as has been the case with
every improvement in film sound, is
that the sound should be on the same
piece of film as the image. Projecting
separate picture and track "double
system" in film jargon is a chancy
proposition no matter how "bulletproof" the system.
The following is a look at the current attempts to overcome the obstacles, technological and otherwise,
that stand in the way of all- digital
soundtracks becoming an everyday
reality.
--
Digital Magnetic Film
The last big change in film sound
occurred 35 years ago with the advent
of professional magnetic recording.
The transition was relatively painless
and inexpensive for film studios,
since the same transports that had
February 1986 0 R -e /p 89
DIGITAL FILM SOUND
been used for 20 years to mix optical
soundtracks remained in use with just
the addition of new electronics and
magnetic heads. Likewise, editing
equipment and mixing consoles
required little or no modification.
The retrofitting idea is being carried over with the next leap in motion
picture sound, to digital recording,
with attempts to record digital sound
on sprocketed 35mm mag. It would be
something of a testament to the inertia of standardization in the motion
picture industry if an ancient dubber
that originally played optical tracks
in the early- Fifties was converted to
play digital mag in the mid-Eighties!
Almost all of the problems noted at
the beginning of this article cutting
-
MOTION PICTURE SOUND
-
continued ..
.
with equal power to the woofer and the compression driver because, as THX designer Tom
Holman states in the system's instruction manual, "amplifier clipping cannot be considered
on an average basis, but on a peak basis. There should be enough power available even
during a cymbal crash to play undistortedly."
Standard equipment in THX and other top 70mm installations are Teccon Sendust
"hybrid" magnetic heads. Since first making heads for 35mm mag recorders, Teccon heads
have become standard equipment on 35mm mag recorders and playback dubbers, with
many studios claiming that a headstack can last over 10 times that of standard heads. John
Bonner, chief engineer at Warner Hollywood Studios, says that when he first installed a
70mm printing channel, he went through one
70mm erase/record /playback headstack in a
few months; the Teccon replacement lasted
more than five times longer. In addition, he
considers that the "contour effect with head
bumps is minimized and the gap scatter is
almost immeasurable. On other heads it is
very measurable."
This reputation for quality has led to Teccon heads being used in commercial theaters
and, in fact, are required for all 70mm THX
theaters. Because of the tight head wrap of
70mm film through the "penthouse" containing the mag headstack, six weeks is all it
takes, when running matinees, to wear out a
standard laminated 70mm headstack.
HPS-4000XL Theater System
One of the opposing camps in the "Battle
of the Motion Picture Theater Systems" is
the HPS-4000 system, which was designed by
John Allen of Boston, and is composed of
Klipsch TMCM four-way cabinet
Klipsch Theater Speakers. Klipsch and
as used in the HPS-4000XL systems.
Associates of Hope, Arkansas is familiar to
most R -e/p readers for its corner-placed Klipschorn home speakers. Allen's top -of- the -line
HPS- 4000XL four -way system, like all Klipsch theater speakers, is fully horn -loaded. He
notes that with full horn loading "the back air chamber is sealed tight and the drivers cannot
bottom [i.e., reach the end of their excursion]. The amount that the driver has to move
back and forth is reduced by about 90 %. With this you get a corresponding reduction in
distortion: you increase your efficiency by two, and you cut the distortion roughly in half.
The standard complaints about the Altec A -4 and other ported box speakers do not apply."
Allen recommends bi- amping (quad -amping?) HPS -4000 systems only in the very largest
theaters because of the similarity of efficiency between woofer, mid -range and tweeters. As
a result, one of his biggest selling points of Klipsch speakers is their efficiency (109 dB at one
watt /one meter) and the use of one amp per speaker channel in lieu of bi- amping.
Allen has installed three -way HPS -400 systems in 120 theaters and, to date, the four -way
HPS -4000 XL system has been installed in only two theaters, Plitt's Century Plaza II in Los
Angeles and the Avalon in Washington D.C. The HPS -4000 system is not currently in use in
any re-recording stages.
Electro-Voice has recently assembled systems for cinema applications that are similar to
JBL Model 4675A. The TS9040D system has the TL606DW low-frequency unit with two
15 -inch woofers; DH1 HF driver into HP9040 horn, and the XEQ504 passive crossover.
The XEQ2 electronic crossover is available for use in bi -amped systems, and provides time
delay for the LF output for phase coherence with the HF driver.
The EV TS940 systems utilize the smaller HP940 horn and XEQ804 passive crossovers.
R-e/D 90
February 1986
digital tracks without spending a fortune, getting them to the dubbing
stage, and slipping sync when there
-can be solved by using 35mm digital mag for editing.
Magna -Tech Electronics, Inc. of
New York, the largest manufacturer
of magnetic film recorders, is currently involved in research on 35mm
digital mag. Bob Ebernz, Magna Tech vice president, says that they
are in the early stages of development, with no delivery date set. He
also said that they will adhere to the
DASH recording standard in their
system.
In March 1985, Digital Entertainment Corporation, a wholly owned
subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric of
Japan, purchased the assets of Quad
Eight/Westrex, thus bringing together Quad Eight, one of two major
film dubbing console manufacturers,
and Westrex, which has manufactured film recorders for over 55 years,
with the experience that Mitsubishi
Electric has with digital recording.
Cary Fischer, director of marketing
at the Mitsubishi Pro Audio Group,
says that the company is currently
investigating the use of the Prodigital
(PD) format on the sprocketed 35mm
medium. (PD is a new stationaryhead digital tape standard agreed
upon by Mitsubishi, Otani and AEG
formerly AEG
Aktiengesellschaft
Telefunken
for two- and 32 -track
recordings. Other PD tape formats,
such as 16 tracks on 1/2-inch tape and
eight tracks on 1/4-inch, are expected to
-
-
follow.)
Considered below are some of the
issues regarding the use of digital
35mm mag:
There is no disagreement that whatever form digital 35mm takes
DASH, PD, or ? the mag has to be
read by standard analog Moviolas,
sync blocks and dubbers. This means
that an analog guide track must be
recorded in the same place as the 200mil track on 35mm stripe, the same
position as track #1 on 35mm
three -track.
With 35mm digital mag, the bottleneck between digital sound effects production tracks and the film dubbing stage would be opened with
minimal cost to the producer. Only
the digital 35mm mag channels that
transfer sound effects, production
track reprints, Foley and ADR would
have to know that digital sound is
being used in the film; the editors
would not be aware of it per se,
because they would cut to the analog
guide track using standard equipment. The re- recording stage would,
of course, have to retrofit the dubbers
with new digital replay electronics
and head stacks.
It has almost been assumed by
-
-
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DIGITAL FILM SOUND
many that if digital 35mm mag does
come, it will be retrofitted onto existing machines at minimal cost. Many
close observers have questioned the
ability of sprocketed transports to
maintain the stability necessary for
digital reproduction, and the use of a
sprocketless dubber has been discussed. On this matter both Magna -
Tech and Mitsubishi have "no
comment."
While digital 35mm mag will allow
the same equipment to be used during
editing, sound editors will have to
give up one of the big advantages
when working with mag: the ability to
scrape the oxide of tracks to remove
noises and to create fade -ins and
-outs. Digital razor -blade editing is
one thing; razor -blade de- essing might
be pretty tough.
If one assumes that digital multi tracks would be used to record the
three- to six -track pre -mixes and final
mixes during re- recording, digital
35mm mag can be seen simply as a
way to get cut digital mag tracks to
the dubbing stage, and only two or
three tracks might be needed.
Mitsubishi's Cary Fischer says that
the company's first prototype 35mm
digital mag machines will be available in numerous track configurations,
not unlike the current situation with
analog mag.
Regarding the oxide formulation to
be used with the digital mag recorders,
Fischer says that while they have had
"encouraging results with existing
[35mm mag] stocks, we are investigating a lot of different avenues."
Magna -Tech's VP Bob Ebernz says
that they have had successful results
with videotape formulations, which
of course, are used on multitrack digital recorders. The capability of videotape to withstand the rugged world of
sprocketed film, however, remains to
be seen.
Multitrack Digital Recorders
The small number of films that
have used digital multitracks during
the re- recording process is suprising
for two reasons. Not only is there an
increase in sound quality gained by
avoiding three mag -film generations
pre- mixes, final mix, and printing
masters there is a practical reason
for the industry to use such machines:
All of the final sound elements from
the pre -mix stage onward would be
contained within a few reels, considering the 60- minute running time of
the two major multitrack digital formats. Also, in a few hours, with tape
costs of less than $600, the stems and
printing masters could have a digital
copy in either PD or DASH format, all
R -e/p 92 O February 1986
-
-
The Glen Glenn Digitrac Control Tower for controlling the synchronization of
digital multitracks with a conventional film replay chain.
on a few inches of shelf space. For
reasons of cost and trouble, usually
only the printing masters are ever
"copy protected."
In the final tally, a producer would
save over $20,000 in tape costs by
using digital multitracks during rerecording not to mention that the
digital masters would take up less
than a foot of shelf space, compared to
25 feet with mag film.
If digital multitracks are used at the
dubbing stage strictly to record the
pre- mixes, final stems and printing
masters, then sound would be cut on
either analog or digital 35mm mag.
-
Thus the flexibility to shift individual
tracks during the pre -mix would still
be retained.
Major re- recording stages have
anywhere from 15 to over 40 35mm
playback dubbers in their machine
rooms, along with two to four 35mm
recorders. During pre-mixes and final
mixes of "busy" reels, it is not
uncommon to have as many as 70
playback channels being mixed onto
as few as three, or as many as 18
tracks, as is the case of a six-track
final mix with separate dialog, music
and effects stems.
Because of this variable demand for
separate tracks, probably no less than
three digital multitracks will be
needed to playback the pre -mixes during final re- recording. A likely scenario: One would contain the music,
another the dialog and some sound
effects, and the third sound effects
only. All three machines would have
four to eight blank tracks left open for
recording offset LCRS pre -mixes from
other multitracks; a two -track DASH
or PD recorder would not have enough
tracks.
All of which brings up the concept
that a lower-cost, playback -only ver-
sion of PD and DASH multitracks
might make the transition to digital
more affordable for dubbing stages.
However, neither Sony nor Mitsubishi forsees manufacturing a playback only multitrack unless the demand is
present.
As long as multiple sound elements
are recorded on a serial medium like
multitrack tape, there will remain the
problems of re- cutting the sound to
match picture changes. (Operationally, this applies equally to analog or
digital, although with digital, of
course, no generation loss occurs.)
Having eliminated three or more
analog generations, the quality of the
final Beta and VHS Hi-Fi video-
cassettes and digital /FM Laser-
Vision discs should be much improved. Interlock duplication from a
digital master, either on PCM -1630encoded one -inch videotape, or from
half-inch VCR with dbx Model 700 or
JVC VP -101 encoding, for examples,
allows the quality to be preserved
without having to use the sound on
the one -inch analog videotape.
Glen Glenn's "Digitrac ":
An All-Digital
Post -Production System
Glen Glenn Sound's involvement in
digital recording for motion pictures
began with its work on the short Digital Dream in late 1983. Since that
time, research in the application of
digital sound in all aspects of motion
picture sound recording has been
ongoing, with special attention being
paid to use of the Sony PCM -3324 digital multitrack in post -production.
The research team is headed by Glen
Glenn chief engineer Dana Wood,
with software design by Walter Baker
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A technological
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Audio Edit Controller which puts rival products in the
shade. Having a capacity to control a large number of
events, firing complex user -programmable sequences in
perfect alignment from a single Q-key, The Eclipse is
capable of supporting 32 machines.
Many of The Eclipse's unique functions were beyond the
wildest imagination of Audio engineers until Audio
Kinetics applied their advanced research technology to
create an electronic edit controller which will, when
interfaced with Q -LOCK Synchronisers, add a little magic
to modern post production facilities.
ror aamuonai intormanon circle nioa
February 1986
D R -e /p 93
DIGITAL FILM SOUND
and hardware modifications by Todd
Boswell.
The company is now actively marketing, for use by its clients, what it
considers a complete system for editing, mixing and exhibiting all-digital
feature motion pictures. This Digitrac
includes sound editing with Glen
Glenn's PAP (Post Audio Processing)
system which, in its standard form,
allows for sound effects to be layed
onto a 24 -track analog recorder from
broadcast carts or '/4 -inch tape. The
digital version will utilize either 3/4inch PCM -1630 or half-inch EIAJformat tapes as source material to be
recorded onto an interlocked -3324.
Pre-mixing and final dubbing will
employ from three to five -3324 multi tracks, with one serving as the master
recorder, and the others working as
very expensive playback dubbers.
The "black box" (actually it's blue)
that forms the heart of the Digitrac
system during re- recording controls
synchronization, track routing and
communication from the re- recording
console's motion control, record on /off
and selsyn /direct switches, so that
"the mixer thinks he has a Magna Tech on his hands," says Glen Glenn's
Dana Wood. "During the mix, as far
as the client and mixers are concerned, it is a standard analog movie."
Lockup time between the digital
multitracks and the film chain (in this
case represented only by the highspeed projector; no 35mm element
containing SMPTE timecode is required for film chain /SMPTE sync) is
claimed to be less than two seconds.
The Digitrac "tower" will remain in
the projection booth next to the digital
multitracks, and in its current form
will allow the Sony 3324 to be interfaced with the ADM dubbing consoles
and Magna- Tech -equipped film chains
at Glen Glenn. However, Wood
emphasizes that the box can be easily
adapted, by plugging in interface
"personality" cards, to work with any
multitrack digital or analog recorder
and any film chain and dubbing console combination.
PAP editing rooms at the Glen
Glenn facility in Hollywood can also
be used in what the company refers to
as the "configuration" process i.e.,
conforming -3324 24 -track cut effects
elements, pre-mixes or final mixes to
match picture changes. Executing the
offsets "off- line" in a PAP room will
cost the producer $150 an hour instead
of over $700 "on- line" in a dubbing
stage.
As envisioned by Glen Glenn, a
producer wishing to have an all-
-
digital movie would need three multitrack digital recorders through the
post -production sound process prior
to re- recording: two for PAP sound
editing and one for ADR /Foley
recording. Two of the machines could
be used in a PAP room during offhours to conform already -cut reels to
picture changes by transferring, with
offsets, in the digital domain between
two -3324s.
During the final dub, Glen Glenn
VP Rick Larson anticipates having
two multitrack digital machines in a
PAP room devoted to configuration.
"It's nice to say that you could do the
conforming during the graveyard
shift, and use the same machines that
are on the dubbing stage, but directors don't want to wait. They want
things now."
The anticipated surcharge for utilizing the digital system during dubbing, which would require at least
three, and possibly up to five -3324s, is
expected to be in the range of double
today's cost of a stereo dub. With four
weeks on the dub stage, the all- digital
status might cost the producer an
extra $100,000, not taking into account
the cost of the machines' use during
sound editing. (There goes the $20,000
savings in mag stock!)
Larson notes that Glen Glenn is
prepared to do their first all- digital
feature at no extra charge to the
client. The company hopes that such
a film will show other producers that
the Digitrac system is indeed a viable
proposition.
Digital Music Recording
As might be expected, multitrack
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digital recorders have seen their most
extensive use during film post-production in the recording of music
scores. Since 1979, probably dozens of
films have had their music recorded
digitally, although only a few of them
-the re- scored Fantasia, Digital
Dream, Metropolis, and Home of the
Brave [the latter being Laurie Anderson's concert film, which this author
will discuss in a subsequent issue
Editor.] have stayed digital to the
final print master. Instead, digital
film scores have utilized, for the most
part, 35mm mag mixdowns for all
editing and mixing. (Similar techniques with digital multitracks have
been used in post-production of many
Music Video specials, including Stevie Wonder Comes Home and Frank
Zappa In Concert.)
Among the scoring stages that regularly use digital multitracks in film
and TV scoring are: CTS in London,
which combines a Sony PCM -3324
with the first Neve DSP digital console; and The Burbank Studios, CA,
which has had a Mitsubishi X -800 32track since Spring 1983, and was the
-
-
THE TASCAM MS-16: FOR THOSE WHO'VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE.
We designed our new 1" 16 -track especially
for the skeptics. Those who have heard all
the other 16 tracks ...and all the other
claims. Hearing is believing, and the MS -16
delivers enough audio quality to convince
the most critical ears. But that's just part
of the story. The fact is, the closer you look
into the MS -16, the better it gets.
The MS -16's superlative performance
begins with our new micro -radii heads.
They virtually eliminate "head bumps" and
ensure flat frequency response. Put this
together with direct -coupled amplifiers
throughout, plus ultra -quiet FETs, and you
get exceptional transient and low frequency response with extremely low
distortion.
Unlike most tape machines, the record/
sync and playback heads on the MS -16 are
identical in performance, so you can make
critical EQ and processing decisions on
overdubs or punch -ins without having to
TASCAM
go back and listen a second time. You get
what you want sooner and with fewer
THE TASCAN MS -16 SIXTEEN TRACK
headaches.
Record /Function switches for each track
allow effortless, one-button punch -ins.
Input Enable allows instant talkback during rewinds. With the MS -16, you're free
to concentrate on the project at hand...
rather than on your tape machine.
The MS -16 takes the grief out of locking
up with other audio and video machines
as well The 38 -pin standard SMPTE /EBU
interface affords speedy, single -cable connection with most popular synchronizers
and editing systems. And the MS -16's new
Omega Drive transport stands up to continual shuttling while handling tape with
kid-glove kindness.
Take a closer look at the MS -16. See your
TASCAM dealer for a demo, or write us for
more information at 7733 Telegraph Road,
Montebello, CA 90640.
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THE SCIENCE OF BRINGING ART TO LIFE.
© Copyright 1985 TEAC Corporation Of America
February 1986
For addi`ional normalien circle #161
R-e/p 95
DIGITAL FILM SOUND
scene of many early digital scores
with the 3M DMS.
(So far, TBS has used the X -800 32track only once during final dubbing,
for Body Double in October 1984. [See
the October 1985 issue of R -e /p for a
description of this process Editor.]
Since that time, the Post-Production
Sound engineering staff at TBS has
built an interface box, which allows
entire control of the X -800 from the
facility's Quad -Eight re- recording
consoles. Thus, the dialog, music and
effects mixers will have individual
control over their stereo stems. TBS
will soon take delivery on two additional 32-track Mitsubishi machines.)
During most orchestral film- scoring
sessions, where everything is recorded
in one pass and no overdubbing is
planned, the three -track monitor mix
is recorded on 35mm mag, and is
intended for use during the final mix.
A backup multitrack
analog or digital is required in case re- mixing of
the score is necessary, or to mix the
album master. Two Los Angeles based scoring mixers, Bob Fernandez
of The Burbank Studios, and independent mixer Bruce Botnick, both
use the digital format to record the
monitor mix.
Fernandez, who has tracked to dig-
-
-
-
Two interlocked Sony PCM -3324s at Samuel Goldwyn Theater for digital play
back of Giorgio Moroder's re-issue of Metropolis.
ital the scores for Pale Rider, Pee
Wee's Big Adventure, Ghostbusters,
among others, records his three -track
monitor mix on the X -800, leaving 29
tracks for the separation of individual
instruments. The custom Quad-Eight
console at TBS Scoring 1, like most
purpose -built film-scoring boards, has
a separate film monitoring /recording
section. The tape returns from the
Mitsubishi X -800 come up at this
point, allowing Fernandez to punch
in on the three -track mix knowing
that the levels will match. He says
that this technique often saves money,
because "instead of doing a separate
take, the composer or conductor can
often get the correct balance by
changing the level of an instrument
and punching in on one track of the
monitor mix. Normally it would be
back to the top, and do it all over
Matchless skill in equalisation
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again." Fernandez is also able to save
money by transferring only the
"print" takes to 35mm mag for editing.
Fernandez finds the 32 -track format an ideal storage medium: "Not
only do you have your multitrack
layout, plus your finished [LCR] film
mix, but you can also dedicate two
tracks for your stereo [album] mix. It
makes everything nice and neat."
Jim Walker, scoring maintenance
engineer at TBS, says that "the digital multitrack is one of the most reliable tape machines that we've ever
used. Analog parameters such as
print- through, biasing, and EQ and
level calibrations are no longer something we have to deal with on a daily
basis. In two years, there has been
virtually no mechanical or electrical
problems with the X- 800."
Botnick has recorded digitally the
scores for such films as E.T. The
Extra- Terrestial, Poltergeist and The
Color Purple. Since 1980, he has
recorded the monitor mix of his scores
on a pair of synchronized Sony PCM1610 digital processors and companion 3A-inch U -Matic VCRs. One -1610
handles left and right tracks, with
center and surround being recorded
on the second -1610.
When Botnick has access to a digital multitrack, he will record his fourtrack (LCRS) film mix on it, and will
only use one 1610 to record the twotrack mix for album release. He has
recorded with both the Mitsubishi X800 and Sony PCM -3324 transports,
and owns one of the latter machines.
If two two -track -1610 tapes are
later used for the two -track album
master, access to center speaker
information provides Botnick with
the ability to do minor rebalancing
without having to go back to the multitrack master. "Left and right are at
`zero,' and center is down 3 dB [on the
two-track record mix]," he explains.
"Any mix that you hear on a three channel [LCR] format should conform exactly to a two -channel balance. I have found that 10 out of 10
times, it does."
Botnick is careful to have each
monitor speaker set to the correct
Dolby playback level and wide -range
curve, in addition to listening through
the Dolby 4 -2 -4 matrix, so that he is
aware of the effect of the Dolby Stereo
encoding process.
Botnick always simultaneously
records the LCRS mix to 35mm four track mag, and to date this film is
what has been heard by the public
i.e., none of his films have utilized digital machines during re- recording. He
emphasizes that 35mm mag is not too
shabby of a recording medium itself:
"I think it's the best analog medium
I've ever heard. Because the tracks
are so wide and the oxide is so thick [3
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R -e /p 97
DIGITAL FILM SOUND
or 5 mils], it's so quiet that it gives
digital a strong run for its money."
Digital Film
Re- Recording Consoles
One area of digital recording that,
so far, has not attracted a great deal of
interest is digital consoles. Part of
this phenomenon is undoubtedly
because they are so new Neve DSP
board at CTS in London went on line
only early last year. Another reason is
that many millions of dollars have
been spent in the past few years
-
Who's On First?
The Misrepresentation of Digital Sound in Films
A personal commentary by Larry Blake
past few years, with the gradual introduction of digital recording technology in
motion pictures, there has been something of a modern "digital rush" taking place in
California.
This is the basic scenario: Someone uses a digital recorder at some point during the
post -production phase of a film, possibly resulting in a soundtrack that is somewhat
quieter. So far, so good. Then, when the film is released, there is a flurry of publicity
regarding the use of those digital machines. Adjectives like "first," "best" and "only" are
bandied about freely.
Ultimately, these statements result in confusion on the part of the public, which does not
know enough to separate truth from hype. Those in the industry react with a combination
of derisive laughter and anger, the latter especially from those who think that they were the
first to . .
Possibly the only two things that really matter in regard to a film's acceptance are how
much money it makes, and how good it is.
In the opinion of this writer, digital sound recording, and film technology in general, have
no effect whatsoever on box office grosses. For example, it seems that every spring
Hollywood trade papers run articles about the impact 70mm presentation has on the
audience, and how the big "Seven- Zero" on a marquee lures the public out of their living
rooms. These studies talk of how people prefer 70mm projection, which might be true.
However, none of them ask the public if they would see a film primarily because it was
exhibited in 70mm? The answer would have to be "no ": they just have some vague idea that
70mm is "better." But I'd like to know how does that justify the expense of 70mm prints to
the distributors?
Regardless of whether a film is a hit or a flop, or is good or bad according to critics,
greatness cannot be quantified. Test equipment, Academy Awards,calendars ( "the first ... "),
or good reviews, in and of themselves, don't make a film or its soundtrack worthy of
attention. Either a film is good or it isn't, to the people who buy the tickets, and either it
makes money or it doesn't. Digital sound recording, or any technological improvement for
that matter, in this writer's opinion, has nothing to do with either.
There is a term in anthropology known as "parallel invention," meaning the simultaneous
discovery by two people of an idea whose time has come. A direct analogy, to this whole
discussion of digital sound recording, is the appearance in the late- Twenties of the microphone boom. In the early days of sound films large condenser (really!) mikes were buried in
flower pots and hung with ropes over the sets. It was only a matter of time before directors
and actors realized that it was unnatural and downright stupid to have to play to the
microphone, and so the moving microphone was born. While there are many accounts of
who really invented the microphone boom, this situation clearly falls under the category of
"parallel invention."
It's almost embarrasing watching adults rush to be a footnote in the history of film sound
as "the first right- handed Taurus to mix an all -digital sitcom." I mean, it's one thing to design
and build a piece of equipment and use it in a novel manner; its quite another to take a
digital recorder off the shelf and play "go fish" for compliments.
Sometimes the hype is so extravagant, that it's funny: In 1983, two seminal mid -Sixties
rock films, The T.A.M.I. Show and The Big TNT Show were re- issued as one film titled
That Was Rock. When the film came to Los Angeles, the ads proudly proclaimed "In New
Digital Stereo." Say what?
If my understanding is correct, these films were originally shot on two-inch videotape,
and were most probably recorded in mono. I base this assumption partly on the fact that
Phil Spector produced The T.A.M.1. Show. In any event, what I heard at the Vogue Theater
on Hollywood Boulevard (one of the few theaters in the Los Angeles area so- equipped to
show the film in "digital stereo," according to the ad) was distorted beyond all reason. No
mono film since the development of optical "ground noise" reduction in the early- Thirties
has sounded this bad.
Undoubtedly some poor soul, having just bought a CD player, paid five bucks expecting
to hear that kind of sound quality in a movie theater. Okay, I'll admit that this example is a
bit extreme. But you get the point.
It seems that the limiting factor in sound quality is that intangible called "taste ": with
music, where the mikes are placed and the feel of the arrangement and performance. In film
Over the
.
QR
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1
QRR
installing film boards, with QuadEight and Harrison cornering the
bulk of the U.S. market.
Given the more than "digital- ready"
specifications of these boards, perhaps the change to digital consoles
will have to wait until they form an
integral part of a disk -based system.
(While some might argue that it is
undesirable to go through so many
A- to- D /D -to-A conversions between
digital recorders and analog consoles,
it is probably safe to say that the
reproduction systems in most theaters render such minor quality losses a
non -issue.
Cary Fischer of the Mitsubishi Pro
Audio Group says that "it is our goal
to march forward into full digital consoles, in addition to digital control of
analog consoles."
Digital Audio in Theaters
The perennial problem facing film sound engineers since the beginning
of time (1926 that is, with the introduction of sound films)
is that,
while the soundtrack preferably
should be on the same piece of film as
the picture, each new innovation in
film sound technology seems to preclude such "single- system" projection, if only temporarily.
The Jazz Singer and many early
sound films were released on interlocked 33 -1/3 rpm Vitaphone disks,
since the art of electronic recording on
disk
though only a few years old
-was still superior to optical sound
recording of the day. Very soon, however, editorial (how do you edit a
disk ?) and logistical problems of the
Vitaphone system led the Hollywood
sound community to adopt optical
recording in both the studio and on
composite release prints.
Before the coming of magnetic
sound of Hollywood during the late
Forties, double- system projection with
optical soundtracks would be used
rarely, most notably for the legendary
original roadshow engagements of
Fantasia in 1940. The four -track optical reproducer was interlocked with
the projectors in only 14 theaters.
The next technical advance occurred over 10 years later, with the
premiere of This Is Cinerama in the
Fall of 1952. Double- system sound,
using a seven -track mag film reproducer, was not a bothersome design
problem with Cinerama process, since
it already had to interlock three
projectors.
Three-track 35mm mag interlock
was soon adopted by Hollywood for
stereo presentation of standard and
3 -D films. This system was used for
less than a year, however, when the
CinemaScope format
with four
magnetic stripes on a 35mm print
was introduced for The Robe in Sep-
-
-
-
-
-
tember 1953.
Since that time, double- system projection has rarely been used in standard theatrical motion pictures,
although it sees daily use for special
formats such as IMAX/OMNIMAX
and Showscan, both of which employ
interlocked 35mm six -track reproducers.
There seems to be an informal, but
near -unanimous consensus among
Hollywood film -sound people that the
digital exhibition format of the future
should have eight tracks. The most
often mentioned format would have
five full- frequency channels behind
the screen (as in dozens of 70mm "discrete" six -track films released B.D.
Before Dolby), separate left and right
surrounds, and a subwoofer track.
Such a format would be all things to
everybody, whereas today, you can
have discrete six -track or split surrounds but not both. The addition of
two more tracks will give mixers
experienced in six -track Dolby Stereo,
a flexible tool.
-
Digital Fluorescentsound
There is a widely held belief in Hollsound
ywood that single system
carried on the picture print is the
only way to go. Double- system interlock projection poses the ever -present
problem of sync error, either caused
--
MISREPRESENTATION
-
continued
...
sound, it's the choice of the sound effects, where they are placed, and how the combination
of dialog, music and effects works with the image. It doesn't do any good if a dialog track is
"all digital" if it sounds like an Italian Western; albeit a clean, all- digital Italian Western.
One can see the 1933 version of King Kong, and still marvel at the incredible sound
effects by Murray Spivack, working with just three playback dubbers! And what about Ben
Burtt's sound effects for the origin) Star Wars film, using a four -track Tascam deck.
The freshness and high quality of the above work has not yet been dimmed by time, and
probably will never be. Possibly to overstate the point, all of the above are remembered not
in fact, they didn't. Instead, they will be
because they used "state -of- the -art" equipment
remembered because they advanced the state of the art and craft of film sound itself.
This writer is not ignorant of the necessity for new, expensive toys to "earn" their keep.
The people who sign checks in this town don't care about anti -aliasing filters: they want to
know what effect the expensive digital multitrack is going to have on their bottom line.
It has to be clear that this commentary does not intend to slight or downgrade the efforts
that have been undertaken by the few studios that have used (and promoted the use of)
digital recording for films. Whatever one might say about where their mouths are, they are
putting hard -earned cash there. And, when the big leap is taken to random-access digital
sound for films, expect to see these same studios lap their competitors before they get out
of the starting blocks. Translation: In this instance, recording by the numbers will mean
for the sound department, that is, not at the box office.
revenue
This author is neither a Luddite nor a Digiphobe. Perhaps my beef is that I believe the
primary impact digital recording will have on films will be felt primarily by the filmmakers. I
am thinking here most specifically of random- access picture and sound editing and, as has
been said many times, these tools will do for filmmakers what personal computers have
done for writers.
But as long as we think it's stupid for a writers to cite the use of a dedicated word
processor and a laser printer as proof positive of literary quality, let's not try to pass the
presence of digital recorders as endowing a track with taste.
The perceived difference in sound quality will be unnoticed by 95% of the audience.
Which is quite fine with me. Films made today using digital recordings sound almost
identical to high-quality standard analog mag films. Even if the difference is noticeable, why
would we want to wave a red flag at the public by telling them to listen to the low wow and
ODD
flutter, when all they want to do is laugh and cry?
-
-
The ABC's of
de-essi ng.
You know they're out there -those nasty "S"
sounds that stymie the pursuit for quality in your
vocal productions. That's why we've perfected our
536A Dynamic Sibilance Controller which subtly and
effectively controls harsh "S" sounds while you
mind your P's and Q's.
The 536A is a single purpose, two -channel
de -esser which allows your vocal tracks to have the
presence and sparkle you demand without the
abrasive, distracting sibilance which can be an
unexpected by- product. The 536A also allows for
constant de-essing regardless of changes in input
levels.
Listen and discover why some of the world's
greatest producers and engineers rely on the Orban
536A De -Esser to give them a bright, up -front vocal
sound, without excessive sibilance.
OVAOrban Associates Inc. 645 Bryant St.
San Francisco, CA 94107 (415) 957-1067
Telex: 17-1480
February 1986
For additional information circle #164
R -e /p 99
DIGITAL FILM SOUND
by a malfunctioning synchronization
device, or simply with the sound for
reel 5AB being played with reel 6AB!
The anticipated leap to digital
reproduction in motion picture theaters has brought the single/double
system controversy to the fore again.
The obvious places for the soundtrack
magnetic stripes on 35mm or 70mm
prints, and an optical track on 35mm
print do not appear to have sufficient bandwidth to handle multichannel digital audio soundtracks
with professional standards of 16 -bit
resolution and a 48 -kHz sampling
frequency.
The best-known single- system idea
is that proposed by Peter Custer in his
Digital Fluorescentsound process.
Eight, 16- bit /48-kHz channels of digital audio are "recorded as colorless
and transparent, brightly fluorescent
high-density data image, multiplexed
over the picture across the entire photographic image space."
While the process currently exists
only in the form of patents, Custer
hopes to obtain financing within the
industry to create a prototype system.
He anticipates that the Fluorescentsound cinema processors will be leased
to theaters, both to sidestep the high
cost outlay by the theater owners, and
also to assure proper maintenance.
Because the Digital Fluorescentsound "soundtrack" is invisible,
standard Dolby Stereo optical soundtracks will provide compatibility with
-
-
unconverted theaters. Another important benefit of the system is that it
would provide top quality sound
without the cost and trouble of preparing 70mm prints (approximately
$12,000 each) which, in turn, costs the
major studios millions of dollars each
year.
Double- System
Digital Projection
If someone attempts to sell a doublesystem digital interlock format to the
industry, the first question people ask
is something like "Can it be operated
reliably and without worry in the
Spearfish, South Dakota Cinema
XIV ?"
Discussed below are two custom
interlock systems that have been used
to showcase the ways in which all digital soundtracks can benefit from
digital presentation; neither system is
being proposed for adoption by the
industry.
Early this year, Walt Disney Productions once again scored a first
with Fantasia, this time with the first
public presentation of that landmark
stereo film's digital re-issue in digital
interlock. Special equipment was
R-e /n 100
February 1986
A custom Disney projector controller unit used to provide digital interlock with
an Audio +Design/Calrec- modified Sony PCM -710 processor for double- system
presentations of the classic movie Fantasia.
installed at the Plitt's Century Plaza
Theater II in Los Angeles, beginning
February 8, 1985. The digital Lt-Rt
master was transferred in a continuous segment onto a Sony PCM -F1encoded one-inch videotape which, in
turn, was copied onto a Fl- encoded
half-inch VHS cassette to provide the
necessary two-hour running time.
The same digital program has since
been presented at the Avalon Theater
in Washington D.C., and the Ziegfeld
Theater in New York City.
The system utilized a proprietary
projector drive system with stepping
motors developed for use in the
EPCOT Center film shows to interlock projectors with analog multi tracks; all film shows at Disney theme
parks utilize double- system projection. The PCM -encoded tape was
played through with an Audio+Design modified Sony 701ES processor, with
SMPTE timecode on linear tracks of
the videocassette loaded in the JVCBR -8600 industrial VCR.
The projector drive system always
knows "where" the 35mm print of
Fantasia was, since it is aligned at the
12 -foot Academy Picture Start frame.
The 24 -frame drop-frame timecode on
the videocassette was recorded separately from the recording of the PCM encoded digital audio, with the timecode starting approximately two
mintues before the first frame of picture, and the numbers bearing no particular relationship to the picture.
At the Century Plaza, it was determined that the projector motor had to
be started 64 seconds after the cassette. Any variance caused by starting the projector sooner or later is
compensated by the projector-drive
mechanism, which regards the 64second start mark as the nominal
sound start mark, and knows the correct picture frame that has to be in the
gate at a given moment. Thus, two
hours into the film, the projector controller knows what SMPTE timecode
number matches frame #172,800.
Of course, since there are no time code numbers on the film, if a film
break exists on the print, the system
would not be able to re -sync. This
arrangement was admittedly a "oneoff' system designed to show the
industry that the hardware for digital
reproduction in theaters is available
today.
In August 1984, Giorgio Moroder's
all- digital re -issue of Fritz Lang's
Metropolis had a one -time -only digital showing at the Samuel Goldwyn
Theater of the Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences utilizing
two PCM -3324 digital multitracks
interlocked to the projectors with the
standard practice of SMPTE time code on a dubber. Two multitracks
were needed because of projector
changeovers.
Showscan
One of the first uses of digital
sound -on -disc (shades of Vitaphone!)
projected in interlock began in
Toronto this past November for the
Showscan film Tour of the Universe,
produced for Interactive Entertainment, Inc. [Showscan, which uses
70mm film photographed and projected at 60 fps, was described by this
author in the April 1984 issue of R -e /p
Editor.]
A Constant Angular Velocity (CAV)
LaserVision disk containing two digital and two FM- encoded tracks is
interlocked to the custom Showscan
electronic projector. According to
Showscan sound engineer John Ruck,
"the subwoofer track is encoded onto
one of the digital channels, and is
separated by an active crossover in
playback." The design requirements
for the 18 by 20 foot space shuttle simulator, which was the "theater" for
Tour of the Universe, called for four
full- frequency channels (left and right
channels for front and rear), with no
center channel.
For additional channels in standard large (90 by 82 feet) Showscan
theaters, the company is investigating two all- digital six- channel formats: three Compact Discs running in
interlock, and optical digital tracks
recorded on a composite 70mm print.
(Prior to Tour of the Universe, Showscan sound came from interlocked
Dolby- encoded 24 fps 35mm mag.)
The Compact Disc format will be
first seen for two films at the Vancouver Expo '86 beginning in May.
Three industrial, customized CD
players will be cascaded for six-track
reproduction. The "bullet-proofing"
has entailed going into the unused
user bits of the PQ Subcode, not only
-
for synchronization, but also to ensure
that disc #1, and not Yes' 90125, is
inserted into player #1. An incorrect
disc will be rejected like a crumpled
bill from a coin changer.
The optical format, which is being
investigated in conjunction with
Eastman Kodak, will take advantage
of the very high speed (56.1 ips) of the
60 fps Showscan format to allow sufficient bandwidth to place digital
tracks where there are magnetic
stripes on standard 24 fps 70mm
prints. Whether the system will be
applicable to standard 24 fps 35mm
and 70mm projection remains to be
seen.
Current plans for the Showscan
Film Corporation are to build 30 digitally equipped theaters around the
world by the end of 1986.
The major players in the digital
film sound field: Sony, Mitsubishi,
The Droid Works and CompuSonics,
have made no announcement yet
regarding any forthcoming systems,
although all have expressed interest
in bringing digital sound to theaters.
The biggest force in theater cinema
processors, Dolby Laboratories, has
also made no announcement of its
plans, if any, to throw its hat in the
ring; one obvious possibility is the use
of the ADM (Adaptive Delta Modulation) technology that it has developed
for satellite broadcasts.
E
FIRST TIME.
ANYTIME.
TEF System 12 means pinpoint accuracy
in acoustic analysis. Even m the presence of
other noise. TEF System 12 determines areas of reflection or
origin within parts of an inch. With this increased accuracy and the ability
to document your work, you'll be able to reduce costly call -backs by as
much as 75%.
TEF System 12 also utilizes Time Delay Spectrometry (TDS), a test
technique that ignores ambient interference. That means you'll spend less
time waiting for a quiet measurement situation and more time scheduling
new jobs.
TEF System 12 is actually a portable measurement system with a
complete range of displays that allow analysis of phase, frequency and time
characteristics independently or in combination with each other. The TEF
System 12 also has measurement storage capabilities. You get all the tools
you need to present your clients with an accurate, proof -positive analysis.
And, you can get the TEF System 12 starting at less than $10,000.
To find out more about the first time, anytime acoustic analyzer, call
or write.
ra>noN
1718 W.
Mishawaka Road, Elkhart, Indiana 46517
(219) 294 -8300
February 1986
R -e /p 101
Northeast:
GIANT SOUND (New York City) has opened for business as a 24 -track studio. Featuring a 32 -input Trident 80B console, plus
an Otani MTR -90 multitrack, MTR -12 half -inch, and MTR-12 quarter -inch machines, the new facility is slated as a "full service,
audio studio," according to chief engineer Joe Salvato. Outboard gear includes a Quantec Room Simulator, an AMS DMX
15 -80S DDL/pitch shifter, four Valley People DynaMite compressor limiters, a dbx Model 900 rack with noise gates, an Orban
stereo parametric equalizer, and an Aphex II Aural Exciter. The microphone collection is comprised of AKG C 12s, Neumann
M47s, and supplemental models from Sennheiser, Shure and Electro- Voice. Studio monitoring is provided by Meyer 833s,
Yamaha NS -10Ms, and E -V Sentry 100s. 1776 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. (212) 247 -1160.
WESTRAX (New York City) has expanded its electronic -music capabilities with the purchase of an IBM PC and sequencer
software from Octave Plateau. The facility's synthesizer array consists of Yamaha DX -7 and TX-216 rack, a Korg Poly-800,
and a Casio CZ101. In addition, the Sound Workshop Series 30 board has been expanded to 36 inputs, and an Otani MTR -12
half -inch two -track mastering machine added to the equipment list. Outboard equipment acquisitions include a Lexicon PCM -42
digital delay, a Studio Technologies Ecoplate III reverb unit, and a Korg SD-2000 sampler /digital delay. Manhattan Plaza,
Basement Level, 484 West 43rd Street, New York NY 10036. (212) 947 -0533.
UNIQUE RECORDING (New York City) has re- opened Studio A after extensive renovation. The control room now boasts a
48 -input Solid State Logic 4000E console with Total Recall, linked to twin Otani MTR -90 Mkll 24- tracks, and Studer A80
half -inch two -track machines. Sony BVU -800 three -quarter inch and Beta /VHS Hi -Fi video decks are also available. The room's
acoustics were designed by co -owner Bobby Nathan, chief of maintenance Bruce Freeman, and Al Fierstein of Acoustilog.
"With the [Total] Recall feature of the SSL, keeping track of large MIDI set -ups is a breeze," says Nathan. In addition, MIDI City, a
MIDI -based studio within the facility, has obtained a vintage 32- channel Neve 8068 Mark II console containing eight VCA
subgroups, and the monitoring system upgraded to include UREI 813s. 701 Seventh Street, New York, NY 10036. (212) 921.1711.
HILLSIDE SOUND STUDIO (Engelwood, New Jersey) is a new 24 -track facility aimed at album production, audio -for -video
post production, and electronic -music recording. The control room features a 24 -by -24 Troisi mixing console, a Studer A80 Mk
IV 24- track, A80 half -track and A810 half -track with center -track SMPTE time
code. Outboard gear for the new complex includes a Lexicon 224XL digital reverb
and Prime Time II effects processor, Eventide Harmonizer and Flanger, Valley
People Kepex noise gates and Gain Brains, and "full MIDI- interfacing capabilities." In -house instruments comprise a Linn Drum, a Simmons electronic drum
system, Yamaha DX -7, ARP 2600, Oberheim synthesizer, and an E -mu Systems Emulator II. A full complement of microphones from Neumann, ElectroVoice, AKG, and Shure round off the equipment list. Staff engineers for the facility
are Dae Bennett, Dave Kowalski, and Paul Mufson. 102 Hillside Avenue, Engelwood, NJ 07631. (201) 568 -3268.
STUDIOLINE CABLE STEREO (Reston, Vermont) has purchased 48 Studer
A810 two -track tape machines for use in the company's main production/origination division. The machines will be used for production of program- master tapes, as
well as for direct playback into the system. 11490 Commerce Park Driue, Reston,
HILLSIDE
new 24-track facility
VA 22091. (703) 648 -3200.
UCA RECORDING (Utica, New York) has added two Telefunken U -47 tube microphones and a Neumann U -87 to its
microphone collection. Other new equipment includes an Oberheim DXa drum machine with MIDI capabilities, and an "extensive
sound library." 1310 Lenox Avenue, Utica, NY 13502. (315) 733 -7237.
POWER PLAY STUDIOS (Long Island, New York) has purchased Yamaha REV -1 and REV -7 digital reverbs, a Roland
DDR 30 digital drum rack, two Pultec equalizers, a Publison Infernal Machine digtal reverb /sampler, an E-mu Systems
Emulator II digital synthesizer. 38 -12 30th Street, LIC, 11101. (212) 729-1780.
C/M STUDIOS (New York City) is a new 48-track commercial music and album
production facility, that specializes in electronic tracking. The new complex, comprising Studios A and B, went on -line in December 1985. Studio A boasts a 37-input
Amek Angela console with Audio Kinetics Master Mix VCA automation linked
to Otani MTR -90 Mk! and MTR -90 Mk II 24- tracks, and an MTR 12 half -inch
two-track. Accompanying outboard gear comprises a Yamaha REV -1 digital
reverb and DDL 1500 effects processor, Drawmer noise gates, an Eventide
SP-2016 digital effects unit, an URSA MAJOR MSP -126, Lexicon 224XL and
Model 200 digital reverbs. Chief engineer Brian Lee says facility's custom
designed MIDI- multiplex system, which is hard -wired under the control -room floor
to corresponding keyboards. In -house instruments consist of a NED Synclavier II
.
digital synthesizer, two Yamaha TX -16 racks and KX88 keyboard controller; a
Roland Super Jupiter and CBX synthesizer; Sequential Circuits Prophet and C/M featuring Amek Angela console
T -8 and a Linn 9000 MIDI sequencer. The above keyboards are interconnected via Apple Ile and Commodore 64 personal
computers, running appropriate MIDI -based sequencing software. Studio B features a 24 -input Teac Model 15 console, and an
Otani MTR -90 24 -track machine. This smaller studio is used mostly for pre -production projects, for album or commercial scores.
30 East 23rd Street, New York, NY. (212) 777-7755.
-
-
-
-
Midwest:
GNOME SOUND (Detroit, Michigan) has added to its exisiting MIDI capability with the acquisition of a Lexicon PCM -70
processor. In addition, the studio recently completed mastering to a Mitsubishi X -80 digital two-track for
MIDI- capable digital
guitarist Bobby Barth. 9918 Lauder, Detroit, MI 48227 (313) 835.0169.
R -e /p 102
February 1986
Focus On Excellence
Introducing the MR -1 Discrete Head Professional Cassette Deck
From Nakamichi -the company that created the cassette revolution!
The MR -1
professional deck with front and rear
balanced inputs, unbalanced inputs, balanced and unbalanced outputs,
linear-scale peak- reading meters, independent
Tape and EQ selection, Dolby-B and -C NR, provision for external NR,
remote control, EIA rack mount and more!
The MR -1 -with an Asymmetrical Dual- Capstan Direct -DriveTransport with
less than 0.027% flutter, an exclusive pressure -pad lifter that eliminates
scrape flutter and modulation noise, and a Motor -Driven -Cam operating
system that ensures gentle tape handling, automatic slack takeup,
and long -term reliability.
The MR -1 -with the legendary Nakamichi Discrete 3 -Head recording system
for
20,000 Hz ±3 dB response, absolute azimuth accuracy,
-a
20-
-
and incredible headroom.
The MR -1 Discrete Head Professional Cassette Deck
From Nakamichi -the company whose profession is recording!
riliNakamichi
19701 South Vermont Ave., Torrance, CA 90502 (213) 538 -8150
'Dolby NR manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation.
The word "DOLBY" is a trademark of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation.
Nakamichi U.S.A. Corporation
February 1986
For additional information circle #166
R -e /p 103
IMO
1111m1
I
Law
IÍ
Ili pl.
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E
SOLID SOUND (Ann Arbor, Michigan) is a 24 -track facility that recently added audio -for-video synchronizing equipment,
including an Alpha/Sony 5850 VTR, and Adams -Smith 2600 timecode synchronizer. Additional hardware includes Sequential
Circuits 23 -bit sampling keyboard /synthesizer, NEC video monitors, an Otani MTR -12 four -track mastering machine, and an
Aphex Compellor limiter. P.O. Box 7611 Ann Arbor, M148107 (3I3) 662-0667.
SWEET SOUNDS (Cleveland, Ohio) has opened its new 16 -track production
facility designed by Pi Keyboards and Audio. The control room centers around a
24 -input Soundcraft Model 500 console linked to an Otani MX -5050 MkII eight track machine with remote control and autolocator, an MX -5050 MkIII four -track,
and an MX5050 Mk11I two -track. Outboard gear includes a Lexicon PCM -60 and
PCM -42, an Eventide H910 Harmonizer, a Symetrics 522 combined compressor, expander, limiter, gate, ducker, and an Aphex Type B Aural Exciter. Monitoring is provided by JBL Model 4312s, 4401s, and Aurotones all of which
are driven by Crown DC300A Series II amplifiers. In-house instruments for the
new facility include an E -mu Systems Emulator II, an Ensoniq Mirage, an
Oberheim OB -8, DSX and DMX, a Yamaha DX -7, Roland TR -707 and TR -727
drum computers, a 360 Systems MIDI Bass, and a Yamaha U1J piano. Audio for -video synchronization is provided by a Synchronous Technologies SMPL
SWEET SOUND
new 16 -track studio
System, and an Apple Ile personal computer. According the facility's president,
Allen J. Friedman, Sweet Sounds' production projects will be aimed at film and television scoring, audio -visual multi -image
soundtracks, jingle production, scoring complete Music Videos, and demo projects for local artists. 4098 Washington Blvd.,
Cleveland, OH 44118. (216) 292-0787.
-
-
Southeast:
ALPHA AUDIO RECORDING (Richmond, Virginia) claims to be the first studio in the Southeast region to add a Compact
Disc version of the new Dewolfe Music Library to its existing music library. This acquisition is coupled with the studio's recent
purchase of the Sound Ideas Sound Effects Library, which is also on Compact Disc. 2049 West Broad Street, Richmand, VA
-
23220. (804) 358 -3852.
CRAWFORD POST PRODUCTIONS (Atlanta, Georgia) has purchased three Graham -Patten Systems Model 612
EditSuite mixers for video post production. The units are said to contain direct serial interface capabilities for a variety of video
editors, and a programmable EQ. When operating with an editor, the integrated system can control audio source selection, audio
preview, and transition rates and starts. 535 Plasimour Drive, Atlanta, GA 30324. (404) 876 -7149.
"Best sound system in the league is fun to listen to."
BALLPARK FIGURES
GRADING THE STADIUMS FROM SEATS TO SUDS
AMERICAN
L E A G U
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KEY:
Rungs are based on a scale d t lkeestl to 10
road, drink and souvenirs, accessihky includes
all ease
transportation, Parlong
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and state w repay
ANAHEIM STADIUM
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CALIFORNIA ANGELS
ROYALS STADIUM
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
COUNTY STADIUM
MILWAUKEE BREWERS
FENWAY PARK
BOSTON RED SOX
MEMORIAL STADIUM
BALTIMORE ORIOLES
TIGER STADIUM
DETROIT TIGERS
COMISKEY PARK
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
OAKLAND COLISEUM
OAKLAND AS
ARLINGTON STADIUM
TEXAS RANGERS
THE METR000ME
MINNESOTA TWINS
YANKEE STADIUM
NEW YORK YANKEES
9
9
6
5
9
8
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rs
berm;
the only grass
the
*Mk fence?
Monster is me single most dominant feature in
Fem ay is worth preserving forme,
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No fans are more
oy
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a
supportive
contract "
than* Memorial
M encan
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m wth
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.
-
The intimacy of
.:. spectators are reward-
Stadem, where
'Eger Stadium bola, feels even smelts tae a ballpark should.
to
tie league's best ha
dogs
staling on eat grins.
funs
Sell the must
you get inside. Exploding scoreboard
.
Nancy Faust's organ muse and plenty of liquids Concessions
k
.
The seats provide
ey+iews of the neghbomg mountain
far away. Best sound
In the ::
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Bon
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night Rs Mt.
the Twilight Zone, due to de taratucent ceeng and spongy turf. 6411 hear me best unkewn
oganen Ronne **man. and the PA barking, No smoking in me MCrodomel"
Baseball
m
The Yankees' aura remains
PA- making
-the facade,
a trip here worth the nsla
the monuments and me incomparable
1nwted.
2832 San Pablo Ave Berkeley CA 94702
For additional Information circle #167
ambenti
assn UeazR
underrated pleasure in every way. County Stadium son boa5s me leagues
sauerkraut and that sewer **hum sauce Save room to several.
The
ck0NUe55.
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M
(415) 486 -1166
February 1986
at
A contemporary baseball palace. expertly designed with only one game in mind
Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc.
R -e /p 104
upkeep
enppmf
The fans turn out in rebord numbers, although they don't allays seem to know why.
balls can spoil a totally efficient park with as own umgue appearance.
work seeing. But why
-
includes
oI stadium and as
0e0Uibes mere) reeling d
SPORT Magazine
rated the
Meyer Sound
MSL-10 Stadium
Loudspeaker tops!
Find out why.
mance
prvate
Po
of access. deign
Bit
Sheppard on Me
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_ AUIPMT
PEOPLE
~
9
t
MEGA SOUND (Bailey, North Carolina) has added an automated 32 -input Harrsion and Autoset automation system to the
facility, along with a Lexicon 224XL digital reverb with LARC, a Linn Drum, an AMS DMX 15 -80S digital delay, the Yamaha
REV -7 digital reverb. Monitors are Yamaha NS-10Ms. P.O. Box 189, Bailey, NC. (919) 235 -3362.
STRAWBERRY JAMM (West Columbia, South Carolina) has taken delivery of a new Sony /MCI JH -110 C two -track
machine. This acquisition is said to complement the studio's fully -loaded Sony/MCI JH -636 automated console and JH -24
multitrack. 3964 Apian Way, West Columbia, SC 29169 (803) 359 -4540.
Mountain:
Colorado Sound (Westminster, Colorado) has purchased an Otani MTR-90 24-track, a Lexicon PCM -70 MIDI- capable digital
processor, and has modified the facility's exisiting E -mu Systems Emulator II, to enable the keyboard to generate SMPTE
timecode for audio for -video sychronization. 3100 West 71st Avenue, Westminster, CO 80030. (303) 430 -8811.
-
Southern California:
UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS (Universal City) has taken delivery of what is claimed to be the largest Harrison PP -1 stereo
post -production console equipped with hard -disk automation. Installed in the studio's Dubbing Two theatre, the board is slated for
use during stereo post -production for network dramatic productions. The console features dynamic, timecode referenced
automation of 13 functions on each of the system's 81 input and 24 submasters. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91368.
(818) 985-4321.
LE MOBILE (Encino) has appointed Abe Hoch as vice -president of Le Mobile Inc., according to company president Guy
Charbonneau, who says that this new position illustrates "the unique bi- coastal capabilities of Le Mobile." PO Box 1842, Suite 790
Encino, CA 91426. (818) 992 -8481.
EVERGREEN RECORDING (Burbank) has acquired a 54- input, six -channel film scoring version of the Harrison MR -2
automated production console. The purchase is said to be part of the CBS /MTM Scoring Stage renovation. The console will
feature "split" three -channel panning, isolated 48- channel multitrack output routing, and two -channel isolated stereo output for
stereo mixdown from 48- channel multitrack or six -track film. 4403 West Magnolia, Burbank, CA 91505 (818) 841 -6800.
VOICE OVER L.A. (Hollywood), a recently opened eight -track facility geared for radio, television, and film -sound productions,
has purchased a Sound Ideas Compact Disc sound effects library with over 3,000 effects, and Audio Kinetics Eclipse 410
synchronizer /editor with list management display for audio - for -video, using SMPTE timecode interfaces. 1717 North Highland
Avenue, Hollywood, CA (213) 463 -8652.
IMAGE RECORDING (Hollywood) has added a new 24 -track studio to its existing 48-track facility. Studio B is a limited
partnership between Image Recording principals Harry Maslin and John Van Ness, and Redwing Studio owner Tom Seufert.
ENGINEERS /TECHNICIANS
All purpose AURATONE
A
5MC MULTI -CHANNEL
Equal to three AURATONE' 5C SUPER - SOUND -CUBES' in 51/4" rack space.
Three inputs for T.V., radio production, teleconferences, security, stereo -mono mixes.
Full -range drivers with SHIELDED MAGNETS minimize CRT image deflection.
± 31/2 db 150 Hz to 12.5 kHz., 30 watts, 8 ohms impedance, 14.4 ounce magnet.
Two year limited warranty. $159.00 each. Rack ear kits $10.00 each.
See your Dealer or contact AURATONE for complete information now!
AURATONE CORPORATION, P.O. Box 698, Coronado, California 92118, U.S.A. 619 -297 -2820
February 1986
For additional Information circle #168
R -e /p 105
-
-
Constructed from a former mastering studio, Studio B
aimed at audio- for -video, film scoring and album projects
has been
named a "MIDI /SMPTE interlock room," and emphasizes electronic instrument tracking for Stereo TV and film scoring. The
24-by -13 -foot control room is centered around MIDI- capable equipment, which includes: a Linn 9000 drum machine/MIDI
recorder with digitally-sampling capabilities and 3.5 microfloppy disk drive; the Yamaha YCAM system, consisting of a TX816
rack, a DX -7, and a KX88
MIDI- capable Rhodes Chroma; an E -mu Systems Emulator II; a Rhodes Juno 106; 24 MIDI -In
jacks patched to the console; plus MIDI -jack and mike panels located on each wall. All of the above equipment is interconnected by
a 1024K Apple Macintosh computer running Southworth Music Systems' Total Music sequence software. For mixing and
recording, a Trident Series B 56 -input console linked to a transformerless Sony/MCI JH -24 and Ampex ATR -102 half -inch
two-track is complemented by an array of outboard gear, comprising a Yamaha REV -7 digital reverb, EMT plate reverb, Lexcion
200 processor, dbx Model 165 noise reduction; and monitoring provided by UREI 813s and Yamaha NS- 10Ms. Synchronization
is provided by Timeline timecode modules and a Roland Sync Box 80. A collection of microphones from Neumann and Shure
complete the recording equipment list. Video equipment consists of a JVC 6650 three -quarter inch VCR and Proton 25 -inch
monitor. Adjacent to the control room is a 400 square foot "L "- shaped isolation booth used for vocals, ADR, Foley, and for drum
and piano isolation. 1020 North Sycamore, Los Angeles, CA. 90038 (213) 850 -1030.
-a
Foreign:
SSVC SERVICES (England) has ordered 16 Neve 5322 "on -air" stereo broadcast consoles for distribution to its military
broadcast stations in Hong Kong, The Falklands, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Germany, and other countries where British service men
reside. The desks feature stereo input modlues which accept input from cart machines, tape recorders, and other line level sources.
London, England.
WESSEX STUDIOS (London, England) has acquired a Mitsubishi X -850 digital 32 -track equipped with razor -blade editing
capabilities. This purchase will complement the facilty's exisiting SSL-equipped Studio One. London, England. England.
TAPE ONE (London, England), reportedly the world's first all- digital CD mastering facility, has acquired a second Neve DSP
console. The board was installed in a new Tom Hidley- designed room, which also features a Neumann VMS -80 disk -cutting
lathe, Sony PCM -1610 and PCM -701 digital processor, a Mitsubishi X -80 two -track digital mastering machine, and a Studer
A820 analog deck. 29/30 Windmill Street, London, England WP 1HP.
PHILIPPE SARDE'S STUDIO (Paris, France) has purchased a 60 -input Neve console for use on film productions. The
console features NECAM 96 fader automation, FSE equalizers, 48-track routing, 48 "bargraph" -type meters, and a comprehesive
solo system. Paris, France.
Why do Jensen Transformers have
Clearer Midrange and Top End?
The high frequency rolloff of a Jensen
Transformer is optimized, by computer
analysis, to fit the Bessel Low Pass Filter
response. This means minimum overshoot
and ringing and flat group delay for best time
alignment of all spectral components of the
musical waveform.
In
f-
OTHER
JE-11P-1
other words, the harmonics arrive
at the same time as the fundamental
STEP WAVEFORM
frequency.
The result is a clear midrange and top
end without the harsh, edgy sound which
has been one of the most objectionable
sonic complaints about transformers.
There's no "midrange smear."
1E-11P
Only Jensen has this benefit of hi -tech
computer optimization.
-
-1
'
OTHER
GROUP DELAY
Visitors by appointment only Closed Fridays.
¢z.
10735 BURBANK BOULEVARD NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA 91601
(213) 876 -0059
jensen transformers
I
R -e /p 106
N C O R P O R A T E D
February 1986
For additional information circle #169
(-11
pp
tt
IE
T
UIPMEN
STUDIO PROFILE: Blue Jay Re -opens as
a 46 -track
Facility
BLUE JAY RECORDING (Carlisle, Massachusetts) has re- opened after major renovations, and now
describes itself as the first 48 -track Solid State Logic facility in the New England area. The redesigned
control room houses a 48 -input SSL4000E with Primary Computer, Total Recall, and reportedly one of
the largest patchbays SSL has ever produced. In the adjacent machine room, new transport acquisitions include a Studer A -800 Mk III, A80 two -track with half -inch heads, A820 with center -track
timecode, and a dbx Model 700 CDPM digital processor. Lynx TimeLine modules are used to synchronize all tape transports. Outboards include a Lexicon units 224XL, PCM -60, and two PCM -42s;
Drawmer noise gates, plus AMS RMX -16 reverb and DMX- 15 -80S digital delay and sampling unit.
Noise reduction is provided by Dolby Type A M -16 and
Type A 361 units, and a dbx Model 180. In -house musical instrument encompass a Kurzweil 250 with 50
Kbytes of RAM, and an "extensive library of sounds"
stored on the Macintosh computer. The studio and
control room were redesigned by Russell Berger of the
Joiner -Rose Group, who employed the "largest RPG
diffusor system to date. The result
is a decay time that
very even over a broad range of frequencies," says
owner Bob Lawson. In addition, the studio utilizes the
"world's only glass RPG diffusor, which doubles as a
picture window." Lawson speculates that the SSL
acquisition will move his studio into a position to better Blue Jay recent renovations including SSL 4000E
accommodate the studio's existing major-label album projects. The studio is also "moving into the
audio- for -video and audio -for -film direction," he adds. "With the computer capabilities on the SSL, it is
easy to compile and mix many sources [music, dialog, and sound effects] in a manageable and efficient
way." 669 Bedford Road, Carlisle, MA 01741. (617) 369 -2200.
is
-
VIDEO /BROADCAST ENGINEERS
Here's the
RT5S RACK TWO -WAY 5
You've been waiting for!
Digital quality sound from 70 Hz to 20 kHz. Handles 40 watts of power.
Ultra- Compact enclosure takes only 51/4" of rack space. Duct and drivers on center axis.
Polypropylene woofer with SHIELDED MAGNET structure minimizes CRT image deflection.
Two year limited warranty. $165.00 each. Optional Rack Ear Kit $10.00.
See your Dealer or contact AURATONE for complete information now!
AURATONE CORPORATION, P.O. Box 698, Coronado, California 92118, U.S.A. 619 -297 -2820
February 1986
For additional information circle #170
R -e /p 107
AAA RECORDING STUDIO
130 W. 42nd St., Rm. 552
New York, NY 10036
(212) 221 -6626
L
-Hi1
Northeast:
DM, PL, PR, PK
Broadway
New York, NY 10036
1576
APEXTON RECORDS
44 -27 Purves Street
Long Island City, NY 11011
(212)221 -6625
DM, TD, PL, PR, PK
APON RECORD CO., INC.
P.O. Box 3082
MASTERING
PRESSING
TAPE DUPLICATION
PACKAGING
PK
ANGEL SOUND
1576 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 765-7460
TD
Steinway Station
Buyer's Guide
of Cutting and
Mechanical Services
AKY RECORDING SUPPLIES, INC.
(212) 757-1401
R -e /p
The
R -e /p's
Unique Directory Listing of
Disk Cutting and Tape Duplication
Services
the kind of services all
recording and production facilities
require as the "Final Stage" in the
preparation of marketable audio
products.
-
D &G
MASTERING
P.O. Box 370
Englishtown, NJ 07726
(201) 446 -2411
DM, PL, PR
DIGITAL BY DICKINSON
Box 547, 9 Westinghouse Plaza
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
(201) 429 -8996
CD
DISKMAKERS
925 N. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
TD, PR
(800) 468-9353
DYNAMIC RECORDING
2846 Dewey St.
Rochester, NY 14616
(716) 621-6270
TD,
PR
EXECUTIVE RECORDING, LTD.
300 W. 55th St.
New York, NY 10019
(212) 247 -7434
DM
Long Island City, NY 11103
(718) 721 -5599
DM, TD, PL, PR, PK
Key to Services:
ASR RECORDING SERVICES
21 Harristown Rd.
Glen Rock. NJ 07452
TO. PK
(201) 652-5600
TO = Tape
PL =
PR =
PK =
12 Long
Mastering
Duplication
Plating
Pressing
Packaging
CD Preparation
DM = Disk
CD =
Island Ave., Holtsvilie, N.Y. 11742
Quality Audio Cassette Duplication
Custom Four Color Printing and
Packaging on Premises
Mastering Editing
Noise Reduction Sound Enhancement
48 HOUR SERVICE AVAILABLE
Call Toll Free 1- 800 -874 -2202
In New York Call (516) 289 -3033
included in the next edition
"The Final Stage" send details to:
To be
of
ABSOLUTELY the BEST
QUALITY and SERVICE at
ABSOLUTELY the BEST PRICES
FREE BOXES
RECORDING
ENGINEER /PRODUCER
P.O. Box
2449. Hollywood, CA 90078
[213) 467 -1111.
AUDIO VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS
435 Crooked Lane
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(215) 272-8500
TD
BEE -VEE SOUND, INC.
211 East 43rd
#603
New York, NY 10017
St
(212) 949 -9170
LT
Europadisk. Lid
BURLINGTON AUDIO TAPES, INC.
106 Mott St.
Oceanside, NY 11572
(516) 678 -4414
TD
Varck Street
130 W. 42nd St. #1106
New York, NY 10036
(212) 819-0920
DM, TD
COOK LABORATORIES, INC.
375 Ely Ave.
Norwalk, CT 06854
complete facility:
DMM Mastering in Copper
DMM Plating for any press plant
DMM Audiophile Pressing on
Teldec Vinyl
PEW
DM, TD, PL, PR, PK
PHILADELPHIA
NEW YORK
FRANKFORD/WAYNE
irMASTERING LABS
Computerized Disc Mastering
(215)561 -1794 (212)582 -5473
FORGE RECORDING STUDIOS, INC.
P.O. Box 861
Valley Forge, PA 19481
(215) 644-3266. 935-1422
CREST RECORDS, INC.
220 Broadway
Huntington Station, NY 11747
(800) 645 -5318 DM, TD, PL, PR, PK
CRYSTAL CITY TAPE DUPLICATORS, INC.
48 Stewart Ave.
Huntington, NY 11743
TD
(516) 421-0222
E
CUE RECORDINGS, INC.
1156 Ave. of Americas
New York, NY 10036
(212) 921 -9221
TD
CO
4F1
THE CUTTING EDGE
P.O. Box 217
Ferndale, NY 12734
(914) 292 -5965 DM, TD, PL, PR, PK
CO
R-e /p 108 D
February 1986
New York. NY 10013
DIRECT METAL MASTERING
U.S. only
DICK CHARLES RECORDING
(203) 853-3641
75
TD
BESTWAY PRODUCTS, INC.
1105 Globe Ave.
Mountainside, NJ 07092
(201) 232 -8383
PR, PK
o
with any order
Real Time Cassette Duplication
Printing and Packaging
26 Baxter Street
Buffalo, NY 14207 (716)876 -1454
TD
NEID PRODUCTIONS
(412) 561 -3399
Mastered on the OTARI MTR- 10 -LX -HX with
DOLBY HX PRO and dulpicated on the OTARI
DP -1010 System
engineered and tuned
specifically for highest quality music cassette
duplication on BASF True Chrome.
-
Graphic Services and Packaging
Send for Free Samples
not compromise and are very affordable!
701 Washington Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15228
We do
CHRISTINE McVIE ON FOSTEX
Christine is a singer, songwriter and, of course, a member
of Fleetwood Mac.
"Fostex is wonderful for
experimenting with ideas
quickly, and under my own
roof."
"As a singer /songwriter,
I hadn't previously known
a lot about recording
techniques and studio
technology. So my
newfound relationship with
my Fostex B -16 will teach
me a most important
dimension of a musician's
engineering.
career
"If I record something I'm
really satisfied with, I then
have the option of
transferring tracks to a
24 -track machine, and
continuing.
-
"Not that I'm becoming
a
studio engineer. Fostex is
relatively simple to use; for
me, having this equipment
at home enables me to
produce really superior
demos. The sound quality
comparable to many
24 -track studios.
is
FOSW.X
PERSONAL MULTITRACK
FOSTEX CORPORATION OF AMERICA
15431 Blackburn Ave., Norwalk, CA 90650
(213) 921 -1112
February 1986
I
nr additinahI Infnrmatinn circle #172
R -e /p 109
THH IHN1/',LAGE
T0
UALI
OO
10
10815 Bodine Rd.
Clarence, NY 14031
(716) 659-2600 DM, TD, PR, PL, PK
Mastering with Neumann VMS1U lathe &SX74cutter
7
.
5
RPM
Album Package
Reco,d5 er,d P, nted
12
TD, PK, CD
MARK CUSTOM RECORDING SERVICE
All metal parts and processing
Record Package
LABS
Upton Drive
(617) 658-3700
color printed labels
One
TRUTONE RECORDS
DISK mAsTLAING
PL, PR
Wilmington, MA 01887
vinyl records in paper sleeves
1,000 pure
(609) 655-2166
IAN COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, INC.
KAG
°J
HUB -SERVALL RECORD MFG.
Cranbury Rd.
Cranbury, NJ 08512
MASTER CUTTING ROOM
321 W. 44th St.
New York, NY 10036
(212) 581 -6505
DM
$399. $1372.
(201) 385-0940
VIRTUE RECORDING STUDIOS
1618 N. Broad St.
(FOB Dallas)
Philadelphia, PA 9121
(To remove this special price, this ad must accompany order
)
Album Package Includes full color
stock packets or custom
black and white jackets.
Package Includes full processing.
Re- orders available at reduced cost
12" 33 -1/3
ra
163 Terrace Street Haworth, New Jersey 07641
VARIETY RECORDING STUDIO
130 W. 42nd St., Rm. 551
New York, NY 10036
(212) 221 -6625
DM, PL, PR, PK
MASTERDISK CORPORATION
16 West 61st St.
New York, NY 10023
(212) 541 -5022
DM
Co.,
State of the art Neumann or
Westrex tape to disk transfers
Innovative engineering
Digital' transfers for Compact Disc
or analog records
Custom Teldec pressing packages
We make full 4-color Custom Albums, tool
PRC RECORDING COMPANY
422 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10017
(212) 308 -2300 TD, PL, PR. PK
(215) 763-2825
PETER PAN INDUSTRIES
145 Kormorn St.
Newark, NJ 07105
ALPHA RECORDS
1400 N.W. 65th Ave., Plantation
(201) 344 -4214
305-587 -6011
DM, TD, PL, PR
East /Southeast:
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DM, PR, PL
PL, PR, PK
r.
For full ordering Information call
1- 800 -527 -3472
v
record
902
&
cock
tape manufacturing co.
QUIK CASSETTE CORP.
250 W. 57th St., Rm. 1400
New York, NY 10019
(212) 977 -4411
TD
AMERICAN MULTIMEDIA
Route 8, Box 215 -A
Burlington, NC 27215
(919) 229-5559
TD
-
RESOLUTION, INC.
1 Mill St.
The Chace Mill
PAT APPLESON STUDIOS INC.
1000 N.W. 159th Drive,
Miami, FL 33169
(305) 625 -4435
TD
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 862-8881
TD, PK
Induslnal Boulevard. Dalles, Texas 75207
(214) 741 -2027
SOUND TECHNIQUE, INC.
130 W. 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036
(212) 869-1323
DM
COMMERCIAL AUDIO
SOUNDTEK INC.
CUSTOM RECORDING AND SOUND, INC.
1225 Pendleton St.
P.O. Box 7647
Greenville, SC 29610
TD
(302) 269-5018
1780
77 S. Witchduck Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(804) 497-6506
TD
Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 489 -0806
DM, TD, PL, PR, PK, CD
Test Tapes
SOUNDWAVE RECORDING STUDIOS, INC.
West 45th St. #903
New York, NY 10036
(212) 730 -7366
DM
2
SPECTRUM MAGNETICS, INC.
1770 Lincoln Highway, East
P.O. Box 218
ci.i`rteivwfve'
Lancaster, PA 17603
1717) 296 -9275
Toll -Free 800 -441 -8854
BASF CHROME a specialty
Your audio cassette
company!
Cassettes
Open Reel up to
For a catalogue of standard test tapes or
further information contact:
RCA TEST TAPES
DEPT R
6550 E. 30th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46219
with latest prices.
ME
TOLL FREE
1
--TONE
R, Clearwater, FL 33516
P.O. Box 7020.R.
GEORGIA RECORD PRESSING
262 Rio Circle
Decatur, GA 30030
PR, PK
KINURA RECORDS
STERLING SOUND INC.
MAGNETIX CORPORATION
770 West Bay St.
Winter Garden, FL 32787
(305) 656-4494
TD, PK
(212) 757 -8519
DM
377 Westward DR.
Miami Springs, FL 33166
(305) 887 -5329
DM, TD, PL, PR, PK
SUNSHINE SOUND, INC.
1650 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 582 -6227
DM, PL
MIAMI TAPE, INC.
TRACY -VAL CORPORATION
MUSIC PEOPLE STUDIOS
932 Woodlawn Rd.
Linden Ave.
Somerdale, NJ 08083
201
(609) 627-3000
R -e /p 110 0 February 1986
free "Cassette Talk" newsletter complete
(404) 373-2673
Broadway
New York, NY 10019
á
SOUNDSHEETS: Flexible vinyl discs
sound great, won't break!
AUDIO CASSETTES: Send for your
STAMPER MAKERS, INC.
130 West 42nd
New York, NY 10036
(212) 221 -6625 DMn TD, PL, PR, PK
1790
E
ys
For Studio Demos or Retail Sales
1"
Custom Formats
ó
TD, PK
Tw
Sound
PL
8180 N.W. 103 St.
Hialeah Gardens, FL 33016
(305) 558 -9211
Charlotte,
TD, DM, PR, PL, PK
NC 28209
(704) 527-7359
TD, PK
FROM HAIRPIN TURNS
TO STRAIGHTAWAYS,
THE
BEEN SO SMOOTH.
For years, sloppy tape transportation and handling
have made the audio engineer's day much harder than
it had to be.
This tormenting state has come to an end with the
introduction of Sony's APR-5000 2-track analog recorder, available in a center-track time code version.
The APR- 5000's precise handling and numerous
advanced features make the audio engineer's day run
much smoother. For example, the APR- 5000's 16 -bit
microprocessor manages audio alignment with a precision that's humanly impossible. And the additional
8-bit microprocessor opens the way for extremely
sophisticated serial communications. In tandem, they
reach a truly unique level of intelligence.
Not only does the APR-5000 do its job well; it does
it consistently. The die -cast deck plate and Sony's longstanding commitment to quality control maintain that
the APR-5000 will hardly need time off.
All of which results in a consistent sonic performance that'll stand even the most critical audio professionals on their ears.
For a demonstration of the recorder that transports analog audio
to a new fidelity high, contact your
nearest Sony office:
Eastern Region (201) 368 -5185;
Southern Region (615) 883 -8140;
Central Region (312) 773 -6000;
Western Region (213) 639-5370;
Headquarters (201) 930 -6145.
'1.:
SONY
Professional Audio
©
198h Sony
Corp. of America. Sony is a registered trademark of Som Corp.
For additional information circle #175
February 1986
R -e /p 111
-HhC
NOISE GATES
GTX(d) or GTX(K)
SWITCHABLE
'DUCKING'
CIRCUIT
&
SWITCHABLE
HI & LO PASS
FILTERS
&
USES PROVEN
OPTICAL SYSTEM
RANGE
CONTROLS
BALANCED
INPUTS FOR
UNIVERSAL
APPLICATIONS
&
d
RELIABLE
PRODUCT & LOW
PRICES
DEALER INQUIRIES INVITED
OMNI CRAFT INC.
111.
RT 4 Box 40
CO
Lockport, IL
OMNI CRAFT
60441
(815) 838 -1285
IHIP,`cL
PROGRESSIVE MUSIC STUDIOS
2116 Southview Ave.
Tampa, FL 33606
TD, PK
(813) 251-8093
214 Doverwood Rd.
Fern Park, FL 32730
(305) 331-6380
TD, PK
clipping or distortion
.05% THD
Whirlwind TRSP -1 transformer for signal
aa
isolation and splitting with uniform response
(single secondary).
Whirlwind TRSP -2 transformer for signal
isolation and splitting with uniform response
(dual secondary).
Whirlwind TRHL -M transformer for Hi to
Lo signal conversions and signal isolation.
The best specs in the business ... for half
the price. From The Interface Specialists
E
whirlwind
THE INTERFACE SPECIALISTS
Whirlwind Music, Inc., P.O. Box 1075
Rochester, New York 14603 (716) 663 -8820
R -e /p 112
February 1986
DM, TO, PL, PR
A &R RECORD & TAPE MANUFACTURING
902 N. Industrial Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75207
(214) 741 -2027 DM, TD, PL, PR, PK
Terre Haute,
1800 N.
ARDENT MASTERING, INC.
2000 Madison Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104
DM
(901) 725 -0855
CASSETTE CONNECTION
41 Music Square East
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 248-3131
TD
Fruitridge
IN
47804
(812) 466-6821
CD
ELEPHANT RECORDING STUDIOS
21206 Gratiot Ave.
East Detroit, MI 48021
(313) 773-9386
TD
HANF RECORDING STUDIOS, INC.
1825 Sylvania Ave.
OH 43613
(419) 474-5793
TD
Toledo,
INDUSTRIAL AUDIO, INC.
6228 Oakton
CREATIVE SOUND PRODUCTIONS
9000 Southwest Freeway, Suite 320
Houston, TX 77074
(713) 777-9975
TD
DISC MASTERING, INC.
30 Music Square West
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 254 -8825
DM
DUPLI- TAPES, INC.
4545 Bissonnet, Suite 104
Morton Grove, IL 60053
(312) 965-8400
TD
JRC ALBUM PRODUCTIONS
1594 Kinney Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45231
DM, PR, PK
(513) 522 -9336
KIDERIAN RECORDS PROD.
4926 W. Gunnison
Chicago, IL 60630
(312) 399 -5535 DM, TD, PL, PR, PK
Bellaire, TX 77401
TD
HIX RECORDING CO., INC.
1611 Herring Ave.
Waco, TX 76708
(817) 756-5303
MAGNETIC STUDIOS, INC.
4784 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43214
TD
(614) 262-8607
MEDIA INTERNATIONAL, INC.
E. Ontario
Chicago, IL 60611
247
MASTERCRAFT RECORDING CORP.
437 N. Cleveland
Memphis, TN 38104
DM
(901) 274-2100
50 Music Square West, Suite 205
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 242-1427 CD, DM, TD, PR, PL, PK
.5mv to 6 volt RMS capacity without
BODDIE RECORD MFG. & RECORDING
12202 Union Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44105
DIGITAL AUDIO DISC
MUSIC SQUARE MFG. CO.
Hz to 20 kHz
13801 E. 35th St.
Independence, MO 64055
TD, PK
(816) 254-0400
(216) 752-3440
28 Music Square East
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 327 -4533
DM, CD
±.5dB
AUDIO GRAPHICS
South Central:
MASTERFONICS
Frequency response: 20
AUDIO ACCESSORIES CO.
38W515 Deerpath Rd.
Batavia, IL 60510
TD, PK
(312) 879 -5998
SMITH & SMITH SOUND STUDIOS
(713) 432 -0435
THE BEST SPECS
COST LESS.
WAGE
NATIONAL CASSETTE SERVICES
613 N. Commerce Ave. /P.O. Box 99
Front Royal, VA 22630
(703) 635 -4181
TD, PK
NASHVILLE RECORD PRODUCTIONS
469 Chestnut St.
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 259-4200
TD, DM, PK, PL, PR
TRUSTY TUNESHOP RECORDING STUDIO
Rt. 1, Box 100
Nebo, KY 42441
TD
(502) 249-3194
Midwest:
A &F MUSIC SERVICES
2834 Otego
Pontiac, MI 48054
TD
(313) 682-9025
(312) 467 -5430
TD. PK
MIDWEST CUSTOM RECORD PRESSING CO.
P.O. Box 92
Arnold, MO 63010
(314) 464 -3013 TD, PL, PR, PK
MOSES SOUND ENTERPRISES
270 S. Highway Dr.
Valley Park, MO 63088
TD
(314) 225-5778
MUSICOL, INC.
780 Oakland Park Ave.
Columbus, OH 43224
(614) 267 -3133 DM, TD, PR, PK
NORWEST COMMUNICATIONS
123 South Hough St.
Barrington, IL 60010
TD
(312) 381-3271
PRECISION RECORD LABS, LTD.
932 West 38 Place
Chicago, IL 60609
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7000 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
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5200 W. 83rd St.
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February 1986
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Chatsworth. CA 91313 -4285
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19701 Silvermont Av.
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February 1986
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2980 N. Ontario St
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LIGHTNING CORP.
7854 Ronson Rd.
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TD. PK
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QUAD TECK STUDIOS AND F.D.S. LABS
4007 West 6th St.
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RECORD TECHNOLOGY. INC.
486 Dawson Drive
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R -e /p 114
TD. PK
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February 1986
R-e/p 115
SESSION REPORT
t
7
m
THE SCANDINAVIAN
CONNECTION:
Recording Miles Davis'
Aura at Easy Sound
by David Rideau
Easy Sound Recording, CopenhaDavis goes into
the studio, it's always news. gen, Denmark, is a very special place
But when he travels to to me, probably because I helped build
Europe to record with a large ensem- it! That fact aside, the facility is basible, it instantly becomes an event. In cally a converted film theatre with
this case a report on the session also over 5,000 square feet of recording
makes for interesting reading (I hope!), area, including three isolation rooms
if only to see how a relatively unknown and a large stage with a ceiling height
Danish studio handled a project of of 30 feet. [An article describing the
design and construction of Easy Sound
this magnitude.
Miles Davis should not need a for- appeared in the October 1982 issue of
mal introduction; his music has not R -e /p Editor.]
Easy Sound is a popular room in
only influenced jazz, as well as other
musical forms, it has almost charted northern Europe for recording acousits course. But this is not an article on tical instruments ranging from string
"The Man," which would take more quartets to "live" drums for rock and
space than I'm allowed our concern roll sessions. At its opening, the room
was equipped with a small API conhere is with the recording session.
R -e/p 116 February 1986
When Miles
-
-
sole that has since been moved to the
recently constructed "B" studio located
in the basement, which has 1,400
square feet of recording area. The API
in Studio A was replaced with a 40input frame Solid State Logic SL4000E
console, currently stocked with 34
input channels, and the most recent
computer package offered for automated mixing. The studio is also
equipped with a Studer A -800 24- track,
plus Studer A -80 and Sony MCI JH110 two-tracks. Also available is a
Sony PCM -1610 processor for digital
mastering. As far as outboard gear
goes, Easy Sound has more than its
share of quality "toys" needed in the
modern recording world. Last, but not
least, is the studio's collection of 60 or
so microphones that would make most
stateside studio owners green with
envy: for example, the facility boasts
six Neumann "tube- type" U -47s.
The facility is owned and operated
by two brothers, Niels-Erik and Henrik Lund who, at the tender ages of 25
and 27, have already been studio
owners for the last 10 years.
Birth of a Session
It all began when Miles Davis
received last year's Sonnings Music
Award, a Danish prize presented to
persons of outstanding musical merit;
in the past the SMA has been awarded
to Igor Stravinsky, and many other
international musical legends. As a
'L. about the best desk
for me at any price."
put my studio together to suit my particular needs for songwriting, sequencing, and film scoring. I
took a look at all the mixing desks around, but most of the facilities I needed were only available on
ridiculously expensive desks. So when heard about the Soundtracs CM4400, I never imagined it
would turn out to be about the best desk for me at any price. So bought one and I'm delighted.
I
I
I
-
Now I'm up- dating it with the CMS2 package which will automate the digital routing and muting
-
against SMPTE timecode
positive proof of the company's commitment to continual software
development at a reasonable price. I'm impressed
definitely affordable quality."
Thomas Dolby
THE CM4400 BY
IounDTA
The CM4400 features:
Internal computer allowing 30 different mixes to be pre -programmed.
Pre- programmed triggerable routing patches.
RS 232 Interface for personal computer to display routing.
Up- dateable software.
The CM4400 is always up -to -date.
affordable quality
Dealer list and brochure from: Soundtracs Inc. 745 One Hundred and Ninth Street, Arlington, Texas, 76011. Tel: (817) 460 5519
MCI Intertek Inc. 745 One Hundred and Ninth Street, Arlington, Texas, 76011. Tel: (81 7) 640 6447
In Canada: Omnimedia Corporation Ltd. 9653 Côte de Liesse, Dorval, Quebec H9P 1A3. (514) 636 9971
February 1986 ft -e /p 117
For additional information circle 4183
o
ELECTRIC
KEYBOARDS
PIANO
GUITAR AMP
BASS
UMBERLLA
OVER DRUMS
I
MILES
00
O
PALLE
SIMMONS
"
WO
PERCUSSION
O
N,S
-
SCREENS
.ooÓO
FIVE
tSAXOPHON
'
\/
DHARP
ROOM LAYOUT FOR AURA SESSIONS
MILES DAVIS IN DENMARK
part of the festivities, Palle Mikkelborg, a Danish musician-composer,
was commissioned to write a piece,
titled Aura, that would be performed
on awards night, with Miles Davis as
soloist. Davis was so impressed by his
colleague's instrumental work that he
decided to return to Copenhagen to
record Aura in preparation for a later
album release. It was intended that
the same ensemble record the piece,
with the addition of several local and
international players.
When the initial mental count of
musicians and required console inputs
was done by the brothers Lund, there
was a rude awakening: there would
not be nearly enough inputs! Two
alternatives were considered: give up
the booking of a lifetime; or get more
inputs. Without hesitation they chose
the latter. The plan was relatively
Microphone List
Drums: rack toms AKG C414s; floor toms
C414s; cymbals B &Ks; bass drum ElectroVoice RE -20; snare Shure SM56; high -hat
AKG C451 with CK -1 capsule.
Acoustic piano: Neumann U87 low; C414
high.
Assorted percussion: four AKG C451s.
Congas/bongos: C451.
Trumpets: RE -20s.
Trombones: Neumann U -47 (tube- type).
Saxophones/flute: three Telefunken M -49s
and two C414s.
Harp: Direct and B &K.
Guitar amps: C414.
Acoustic bass: Neumann SM2 (tube -type)
combined with his own stereo pickup.
Electric bass: direct out from effects rack;
RE -20 on cabinet.
Miles: U -47 (tube -type) with windscreen.
R -e /p 118
February 1986
-
N
simple on paper bring up the trusty
old API from Studio B downstairs!
They knew it would involve a great
deal of work to devise an appropriate
interconnect scheme to enable the
setup to function in a sane, professional manner. Not to mention that
the interconnect cabling had to be
done fast to avoid downtime in the
two rooms involved.
,;/
It was also becoming more and
more clear that 24 tape tracks would
not be enough, so a second 24 -track
from the basement "rose" to the occasion (sorry). Setup time for 46 -track
was minimal, since the studio owned
a timecode synchronizer, and had done
many multiple- machine sessions in
the past. Studio staff took the time to
pre-stripe the blank tape reels with
Close -up detail of drum and percussion miking at Easy Sound.
Everything you've heard about
the Beyer M 69 is true.
Except the price.
You've undoubtedly seen the
curiously distinctive "flat -top" shape of
the Beyer M 69 being used by leading
artists in a variety of contemporary
musical styles and situations. And
since the M 69 is a German precision
microphone, you might assume that it
is priced well beyond your means.
We happily acknowledge the
"professional" consensus about the
M 69's superior sound and performance, but we must also point out that it
is definitely not expensive -$165 * to
be precise. Competitive mics at this
price point are hard -pressed to match
the integrity of design and construction offered by the M 69, not to
mention its extraordinary dollar-fordollar value -a critical factor in these
cost -conscious times.
The M 69 has an exceedingly high
output and its full, balanced sound is
characterized by a strong, smooth
midrange. A clean hypercardioid
pattern insures excellent suppression
of feedback and the ability to handle
excessive sound pressure levels in
heavily amplified applications. And
because the M 69 was designed to perform without susceptibility to off-axis
"coloration" or changes in frequency,
it produces a smooth, consistent sound
that can be used for miking vocals,
acoustic and electric guitars and drums
with uniformly excellent results.
The elegant and articulate sonic
profile, ruggedness and supreme
versatility of the Beyer M 69 is
achieved without any compromises in
quality through design. Beyer firmly
believes that the highest standards of
performance are not necessarily a
function of the highest price and we
will gladly match the M 69 against any
competitively-priced microphone to
prove our point.
beyerdynamicA
The Dynamic Decision
'Manufacturers suggested list price U.S.
Beyer Dynamic, Inc. 5 -05 Burns Avenue, Hicksville, New York 11801 (516) 935 -8000.
For additional Information circle #184
February 1986
R -e /p 119
MILES DAVIS IN DENMARK
SMPTE code, thereby making sure
that there were no sync problems
later.
During the same time period (two
days) Miles arrived in Copenhagen,
and proceeded to meet with Palle and
go over the score to make any last minute changes.
Studio Setup
As can be seen from the accompany-
ing room and mike layout diagram,
the idea was to have 27 musicians
plus Miles set up in a semi-isolated but
sound enhancing environment, which
would be sufficiently versatile for live
or overdub recording. They also had
the players placed so that they were
close enough to perform without headphones, if they so desired.
The drums were set up in the middle
of the studio, loosely surrounded by
four -foot gobos to enable eye contact
with the conductor and other musicians. An overhead semi -absorbent
parasol could be raised or lowered to
acoustic taste. On the drummer's immediate right was a full Simmons
electronic drum set which, acoustically, was not a problem but surely
didn't help the microphone input
situation.
To the left of the drums were the
acoustic and electric basses, and concert grand piano. Behind the drummer
were two percussionists who, together,
seemed to have just about every percussive instrument ever made.
Palle, being conductor, stood directly
in front of the drummer in a highly
visible position. To his left were the
horns: five trombones, five trumpets,
and five saxophones placed in a semicircle. A tight line of gobos divided
this section from the rest of the group.
To the conductor's right were two
electronic keyboardists, and the
guitarists.
Behind the conductor was Miles,
who had two tall gobos placed directly
behind him for minimal acoustical
isolation from the rest of the players.
The idea of this setup was to provide
maximum visibility, with the gobos
helping to arrest a large part of the
leakage coming in on the "live" side of
the microphone, which was set to a
cardioid pattern. (The same principle
was used with the horn section, by
placing gobos loosely behind the
players.)
Recording Sessions
There were to be only five days of
recording, with Miles leaving on the
sixth day; they had to stay within the
production schedule. (Keep in mind
that, at this point in the proceedings,
the participants were still in the dark
as far as who would play what, when
R-e/p 120 D February 1986
Miles Davis (left) and session conductor/producer /composer Palle Mikkelborg.
and, as a result, everyone wanted to
be prepared for anything.)
The engineering crew consisted of
the Lund brothers as co-head engineers; the two consoles kept their
hands full throughout the session.
Second engineering and maintenance
tasks were handled by Niels -Erik Otto
and Henrik Jensen.
The two first days of the session
proved to be a gradual warm -up process, for which everyone was present
on the floor except the horns. As Miles
and the rhythm section ran through
the charts, he went around to each
player commenting on what he did or
didn't like, and made small arrangement changes as the piece progressed.
These small suggestions, or maybe
the method itself, created a positive
ambience in which the musicians
could generate their best performance.
The best moments of these days were
recorded onto 10, two -inch reels of
tape, and this was just the beginning!
Saturday turned out to be the ultimate test. The basic ensemble and
horns showed up in the morning, and
the boys worked fast, recording 10
more reels of two -inch before the early
afternoon. I can't fathom how this
session, which seemed like total chaos
on the surface, rolled like clockwork in
real -time. To add to the confusion, a
six -man film crew from Danish TV
was filming the event for a special
broadcast. Now the photographers
and journalists they were literally
everywhere! (Keep in mind that to the
six million people of Denmark, this
was the biggest recording session
since Leonard Bernstein recorded Carl
Nielsen in the composer's homeland.)
The five -day session turned a normally spacious and comfortable studio environment into a crowded beehive of activity. At one time the control
-
Session Musicians
trumpet.
Miles Davis
Palle Mikkelborg
producer, composer,
conductor, trumpet player.
John McLaughlin guitar.
Simmons electronic drums.
Vince Wilburn
- Lennart Gruvstedt - acoustic drums.
Henning Orsted Pedersen - acoustic
bass.
- Ethan
Mazur - percussion.
Blame Roupe Thomas Clausen - keyboards.
Kenneth Knudsen - keyboards.
Hansen - acoustic
Danish
Neils
electric bass.
Weisgard congas, bongos, timbales.
Marilyn
guitar.
Bo Stief
01e Kock
Radio Big Band.
piano.
room head count reached 25 people
situation compounded by the fact
that there was a second console and
24 -track in the same area, making for
some tight squeezes.
At 2 p.m. the studio was cleared for
a special guest artist to record some
overdubs: John McLaughlin popped
into the studio, smiling as though this
was his first session as studio guitarist. Since McLaughlin was guitarless,
Mikkel Nordso, a local player with a
happening quiver of guitars, came up
with a Gibson to his liking.
Sunday began with the complete
ensemble again, and graduated to
oboe, English horn and harp overdubs.
Up until now Miles had only played
with the group during the first two
days of the session, and then mostly
to generate a specific mood. Monday
was destined to be his day! He began
to jam over the top of the now 1'/2
hours of recorded material. This was
jazz in its purest form, for the most
part being performed as "first takes,"
with Miles seldom stopping to play a
particular section again. Later that
same day there was a duo performance recorded live, with Davis and
the world's premiere acoustic bass
-a
player, Niels Henning Orsted
Pedersen.
By Tuesday Miles was on his way
back to the States and, on the whole,
everything went extremely well. Basically, all instruments were routed to
the SSL console, except the horns,
which first went to the API acting as a
submixer. There also was a small sub mixer out in the studio for the electronic keyboards. (This setup worked
well in general, except on one or two
electronic occasions when a screaming synthesizer effect came out of
nowhere!)
The monitoring system worked very
well. Since there were never more
than 34 tracks being recorded simultaneously, they could be monitored on
the SSL in the usual way. The musicians received the same monitor mix
via the foldback cue system, and there
were no complaints
the ultimate
compliment on any session!
-
A few repairs were done on Tuesday, but most of the day was spent
doing rough mixes and cataloging
information.
With the composer out in the studio,
and no one else in the control room
being familiar with the piece, there
was a problem keeping track of all the
different movements, titles, tracks,
etc. The SSL Studio Computer proved
to be a great help in storing all this
information after the session. Palle
took home rough mixes of everything,
and booked time a week later for more
repairs and overdubs. At this time he
also did some overdub playing of his
own style of trumpet.
Mixing was pretty straight ahead,
with both Niels-Erik and Henrik Lund
continuing the team engineering concept. Palle also got in on the act, with
the SSL computer acting as the fourth
member of the "team." The final stereo mix went to a 30 ips analog
machine, with a Sony PCM -1610 running in parallel.
Now, things are back to normal at
Easy Sound (whatever that means),
and the 11/2 hours of music have been
edited to a double album. But for
Palle, Niels-Erik, Henrik, the musicians, and everyone else in the home
of Hans Christian Andersen, the days
Miles came to town to "blow" will not
soon be forgotten.
MINN
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OCEAN AUDIO INTERNATIONAL, INC.
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TELEX (316706)
IMC (OCEANAUDIO -US)
February 1986 O R -e/n
For additional information circle #185
/
121
IN -USE OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENT
ENSONIQ MIRAGE DSK
DIGITAL SAMPLING
Reviewed by Terry Fryer
Colnot-Fryer Music, Chicago
Since the introduction of the
Fairlight Computer Music Instrument in 1979, sampling
keyboards have remained pretty much
in the rich man's realm. While E-mu
Systems slashed the price drastically
of such systems with the introduction
of the Emulator I, basically these
instruments still have remained out
of reach of the majority of musicians
and studio operators. In 1982, the
team responsible for the design development and manufacturing of the
Commodore 64 personal computer decided to transfer their philosophy to
the music industry; thus was born the
company of Ensoniq. One of the first
products to come from Ensoniq was
the Mirage Digital Sampling Keyboard.
The Mirage is an eight -voice
sampler that is complemented by a
complete analog synthesizer section.
It features a 61 -note keyboard with
left -hand pitch and modulation
wheels. A control grouping on the
front panel consists of a volume
slider; a control section of four buttons with accompanying alphanumeric display; a telephone -like keypad for selecting functions; four
multi -purpose buttons for sequencer
and MASOS (Mirage Advanced
Sampling Operating System) control;
and two groups of two buttons for
floppy diskette access and sampling.
The rear panel contains audio -in
(switchable between mike -and line level), audio -out, twin MIDI jacks,
external sync input, footswitch jack,
expansion port, and the power on /off
switch.
A sampling keyboard takes an
external signal, whether from a microR -e /p 122
February 1986
phone- or line -level input, and converts it into a form that the internal
microprocessor can understand. The
digitized sound can then be manipulated internally and converted into a
signal for connection to an external
playback system. With the basic Mirage, the steps between plugging in a
sound source and playing it back as a
sample are short and easy. Ensoniq
has also taken the liberty of offering
several accessories with the Mirage
for the serious sampler, which include
an Advanced Sampler's Guide, an extended sampling filter, and a complete Visual Editing System (VES).
Ease of Operation
On an operational level, the Mirage
can be up and running in about 15
seconds using microfloppy diskettes
from the unit's sound library. A total
of sounds with four programs each,
plus eight 33 -note sequences, can be
stored on each 31/2-inch microfloppy.
Samples stored on a diskette are accessed by pressing the Load buttons, and
the desired number 1, 2 or 3 on
the control panel. The keyboard is
divided into an upper and lower section, with controls that allow sounds
to be loaded from diskette into either
the upper half, the lower section, or
the entire keyboard. Given the small
size and convenience of the 31/2 -inch
diskettes, sounds and their programs
can be easily transported from machine to machine.
Most users will find that the real
fun of the unit comes from modifying
the aforementioned sounds. As noted
above, the Mirage features a complete
analog synthesizer section, which
can also provide some interesting
-
-
moments in itself. Functions for the
analog section are accessed by a two digit code entered into the "Select"
keypad. An LED display shows the
present function being worked on, or
its value. The values are changed by
using the Up and Down arrow keys in
the control section; the manufacturer
has thoughtfully included a small
plastic card upon which are printed
the commonly used parameters listed
by name and number.
When a sound is loaded from diskette, the wave samples are placed in
two digital oscillators. If the same
sound is loaded into both oscillators
(parameter #28 -off), then the second
oscillator can be de-tuned (parameter
#33) to create extremely fat flanging
and chorusing effects. Conversely, if
different waves samples are loaded in
via parameter #28 -on, the modulation
wheel, velocity sensitivity (parameter
#35) and an internal mixer can then
be utilized to mix or fade between the
two sounds. The guitar library diskette
makes good use of this feature, with
the modulation wheel controlling the
amount of feedback; played loud or
through an amp, the resultant sound
is amazingly authentic.
The voltage-controlled filter is a
four -pole, lowpass variety used to add
interest to sampled sounds. By adjusting the cutoff frequency (parameter
#36), resonance ( #37), keyboard tracking ( #38), envelope (attack: #40; peak:
#47; decay: #42; sustain: #43; release:
#44), applying a little keyboard scale
decay ( #47) and velocity sensitivity to
the filter peak ( #46), the lower part of
an acoustic piano can be turned into a
truly monstrous synthesized bass.
Similar functions are found in the
unit's digitally-controlled amplifier
(DCA). Take the same acoustic piano;
a little care with the envelope (attack:
#50; peak: #51; decay: #52; sustain:
#53; release: #54), some keyboard velocity sent to the attack portion ( #55),
and release time ( #59), an "ethereal,"
string-like texture can be achieved.
For an "Eddie- Van -Halen- meetsVan- Cliburn" effect, I also found it
irresistible to apply a little LFO (frequency: #31; depth #32) and pitch
bend (range: #22) to create a spring loaded, tremolo Steinway sound.
Monophonic mode ( #29), master
tune ( #21), complete modulation of the
filter and amplitude envelopes by
velocity and keyboard scaling, foots witch control for the sequencer and
sustain ( #89), keyboard velocity sensitivity ( #23) and keyboard balance
( #24) round out the Mirage's performance features.
Perhaps the only thing that takes a
little explanation is the top -key parameter ( #72). It is possible to have one
to eight wave samples present in each
CLIEli to the
The original Doctor Click has been
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A "Doctor Click facility" enabling
sync to click tracks, live tracks,
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total compatability.
High resolution programmable
At
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edited, and offset under SMPTE
control for complete adjustment
of rhythmic "feel."
Six multi -programmable SMPTE
controlled event gates, each with
5 -volt and contact closure outputs
for synchronized sound effects
and control triggering!
Live tracking mode creates sync
from pulse information in real time
for live performance!
Advanced production features
include: RS -232 computer interface,
code regenerate and conversion,
jam sync, SMPTE from neopilot,
remote control inputs, non-volatile
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Now third generation sync technology is yours. Total compatability ..
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DOCTOR CLICK 2 synchronizes to
click tracks, live tracks, the 5 syncto-tape codes, both DIN Sync formats, and MIDI clocks for unsurpassed adaptability. From any of
these sources, DOCTOR CLICK 2
generates, simultaneously, 6 timebase clocks, the 5 sync-to-tape
codes, the DIN Syncs, MIDI clocks,
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Best of all, DOCTOR CLICK 2
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o 1985, Garfield Electronics, Inc.
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Simultaneous production of all
sync formats: 6 fixed clocks, 1 variable arpeggiator/step sequencer
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For a demonstration of the amazing capabilities of DOCTOR CLICK
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(818) 840 -8939
Our Only Business Is GettingYourAct Together.
For additional information circle #246
OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENTS
ENSONIQ DSK -8 REVIEW
half of the keyboard at any one given
-
-
time. There is a priority scheme for
how these wave samples are assigned:
the lower half takes priority over the
upper, and in each half they are
ranked from low to high. Parameter
#72 defines the top key for each of the
voices, and can be used to construct
eleborate splits of up to 16 (eight per
half) wave samples. The rest of the
parameters control the MIDI assign-
SUMMARY OF ENSONIQ MIRAGE
DIGITAL SAMPLING KEYBOARD SPECIFICATIONS
Keyboard:
61 keys
(Cl to C6) digitally encoded with velocity sensing, eight voice multisplit
keyboard for polytimbral performance and sequencing.
Dimensions: 43.25 by 12 by 3.25 inches (WxDxH).
Disk Drive and Disks:
low- profile disk drive with high- density, 3.5 -inch microfloppy
format, 400 -Kbyte storage capacity provides each disk with three full- keyboard sounds
composed of up to 16 wave samples per sound (up to 48 wave samples per disk), four
programs for each upper and lower memory segment, per sound (up to 24 programs per
disk), eight sequences of up to 333 events each (three sequences of up to 1,357 event with
Sequencer Expander Cartridge), maximum load time of four seconds per keyboard half.
Sound Library Diskettes: #1 Piano, bass, fuzz guitar, synth bass, percussion, wood
flutes; #2
Cellos, violins, upright bass, saxophones, trumpets,
Synthesizers; #3
trombones; #4
Rock drums, electronic drums, orchestral drums. (includes snares,
basses, toms, cymbals, tympanies, timbales, handclaps, gongs, etc.); #5 Piano, (plus one
octave), marimba, electric piano; #6
guitars. (Note: #1 and #2 are shipped with the
Mirage.)
Sampling: 16-bit (96 dB) dynamic range; output response to 14.7 kHz; variable sample rate
from 33.3 to 8 kHz (sample rate expandable to 50 kHz with optional Input Sampling Filter);
variable sample times from two to eight seconds per memory segment; single- sampling
(wave sample per memory segment); multisampling (up to eight different wave samples per
memory segment); wave samples can be assigned to programmable keyboard zones;
adjustable looping with resolution of one byte; adjustable pitch, volume and timbre of
individual wave samples; variable four -pole input anti -aliasing filter (optional seven -pole
variable Input Sampling Filter); selectable mike- or line -level input.
Programs: up to four programs per upper or lower memory segment; programs can be
called up instantly (no loading time) and control envelopes, filters, modulation and effects;
programs can be duplicated, linked, or transferred between keyboard halves.
Oscillators: 16 digital oscillators provided by custom Q- Chip'"; no tuning on power -up or
periodic retuning required; programmable master tune variable over a five semitone range
in 0.05- semitone steps.
Filters: eight independent voltage- controlled lowpass filters; cutoff frequency range 50 Hz
to 15 kHz; programmable resonance (Q); 24 dB per octave (four-pole) rolloff slope;
programmble keyboard tracking; automatic filter tuning.
Envelopes: 16 programmable envelopes per voice (filter modulation envelope for synthesizer effects and amplitude modulation envelope for altering dynamics); each envelope has
five programmable parameters (attack, peak, decay, sustain and release) each of which has
independently programmable velocity modulation; keyboard scaling of decay rate.
LFOs: eight independent, retriggerable LFOs; modulation depth can be stored in a
program or varied by the modulation wheel; LFO frequency variable from 0.5 to 40 Hz;
modulation depth from 0.05 to 12 semitones.
Effects: two oscillators per voice for chorusing or flanging; layering wave samples provides
two sounds per voice; balance between sounds is controlled by either key velocity or
modulation wheel.
MIDI: current published IMA V1.0; selectable Omni or Poly mode (1 to 16 channels); pitch
bend and modulation wheels transmitted and received; MIDI Clock in/out allows syncing
with external MIDI drums and sequencers; selectable MIDI out or Thru modes.
Polyphonic/Polytimbral Sequencer: 333 events/notes (expandable to 1,357 with
optional Sequencer Expander Cartridge); records keys, key velocity, pitch bend, modulation and sustain pedal; records external MIDI data; overdubbing within eight -voice capacity; playback tempo variable from half to four times speed.
External Sync: Allows syncing to non -MIDI drum machines or sequencers; automatically
quantizes Mirage sequencer to any external clock; external clocks are also sent out to
MIDI, allowing other MIDI devices to sync to a non -MIDI source.
Wheels: pitch bend and modulation/mixing.
Suggested List Price: Model DSK -8 $1,695, with two sound disks; FD -1 blank formatted
microfloppies $12.95; ASG -1 Advanced Sampler's Guide with MASOS disks $49.95;
SQX -1 Sequencer Expander (1,024 events) $69.95; ASP -1 Apple Ile Visual Editing System
$299.95; ISF -1 Input Sampling Filter (enables sample rates up to 50 kHz) $149.95; Digital
Multi-Sampler $1,395; system now includes a disk- formatting diskette free of charge.
Manufacturer: Ensoniq, 263 Great Valley Parkway,
Malvern, PA 19355. (215) 647 -3930.
- -
--
-
-
DOD
R -e /p 124
February 1986
LOCATION s
WAVEFORM DISPLAY PAGE
ARROWS_ LEFT.'RIGHT -SCROL NN UP-'DOWN:PAU
<ESCAPE> TO EXI
e
<V: VIEW COMMANDS
Sample Waveform Display
ments, and sampling and diskette
commands.
Controls on the Mirage's sequencer
are fairly straight forward: a four button section on the control panel,
combined with five parameter functions from the select keypad, handle
all the chores. Eight, 333 -note sequences can be stored and loaded from
disk, along with the sound files and
program parameters. An expansion
cartridge is available to increase
sequencing capacity by 1,024 events.
For convenience, the sequencer also
accepts external clocks via MIDI or
the sync jack ( #86), has the ability to
loop a sequence ( #88), vary the playback speed ( #87), and start and stop
from a footswitch ( #89).
External Sampling Capability
Ensoniq's Advanced Sampler's
consists of a bound manual and two
disks that contain the Mirage
Advanced Sampling Operating System (MASOS). The manual provides a
more thorough description of the Mirage than that in the Mirage Musician's Manual, and also contains a
good introduction to the art of sampling, plus some helpful tips on sampling with the Mirage.
When MASOS disks are booted, the
sequencer's Record and Play buttons
take on the functions of selecting
upper and lower wave samples, thus
facilitating rapid switching between
various samples. The Load sequence
button becomes the MASOS special function key and, in combination
with parameter functions 86 and 96,
provides the following functions: copy
data; fade in; fade out; scale with a
linear ramp; add; invert; reverse; and
replicate the types of features found
previously only on megabuck digital
synthesizer systems. Unfortunately,
keeping track of all of this information through a small two- character
alphanumeric LED display can be
quite trying. Fortunately, however,
this portion of the system is complemented with the addition of the Mirage Visual Editing System. To utilize
MVES, you need an Apple IIe or II+
-
SENNHEISER
ANNOUNCES
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Without doubt, it is the finest studio
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We believe you may consider it
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Contact us for a personal demonstration. And hear for yourself
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I
For additional information circle #186
SENNHEINER`
Sennheiser Electronic Corporation (N.Y.)
48 West 38th Street
New York, NY 10018
(212)944 -9440
Manufacturing Plant:
D -3002 Wedemark, West Germany
©1985 Sennheiser Electronic Corporation (NY)
Patents applied for
ENSONIQ MIRAGE DIGITAL MULTI-SAMPLER
The rack-mountable Digital Multi -Sampler can be connected to any MIDI- equipped
synthesizer, keyboard or other controller. In addition to offering the sound of
digitized acoustic instruments, it also responds to pitch bend, modulation, aftertouch and
breath control effects sent over MIDI channels. The unit has a 61 semi -tone range (five
octaves), and can be programmed with over 30 playback parameters including filter and
amplitude envelopes, modulation and dynamics. It also features an on -board sequencer
with overdub capabilities.
Sounds and programs stored on 3i/2 -inch diskettes are loaded into the Mirage from a
built -in drive. The Ensoniq Sound Library currently consists of over 100 sounds and
programs, featuring keyboard, string, brass, reed and fretted instruments, plus many
special effects.
For sampling external sounds, the unit's 128-Kbyte can accommodate up to 16 distinct
samples at one time; each sample can be played back polyphonically through the Mirage's
eight voices.
According to Rob Weber, Ensoniq marketing director, the new device differs from many
"add -on" sampling units in many ways
the most important of which is its ability to
multi- sample. "Synthesizers use simple waveforms which transpose up and down the pitch
scale with relative ease. Most acoustic instruments, however, are made up of very complex
waveforms which can only be raised or lowered in pitch by a few semi -tones before losing
their character. Multi- sampling allows instruments to be sampled in small pitch increments,
preserving the character of the sound over a number of octaves," he offers.
-
offer
"state -of- the -art" equipment and services,
how do you choose a professional sound and
lighting company?
In an industry where everyone claims to
By the people.
Like L.D. Systems people. Salespeople who are knowledgeable
-whose second nature is helping you determine your exact audio
or lighting needs. Experienced, creative designers and installers
who can provide appropriate custom fabrication regardless of
your interior or achitectural design. Factory-trained repair
technicians, servicing everything we sell and returning it to you quickly. Research and development
people. keeping everyone else informed of
the latest technology and making sure
that the equipment and services we
offer are truly... well, you know.
d
CO
ea
R -e /p 126
February
1986
OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENTS
ENSONIQ DSK -8 REVIEW
with 80-column card, but it's still a
great bargain no matter how you look
at it.
-
-
MVES makes all of the normal
Mirage controls, plus the MASOS
data manipulation commands available on the Apple IIe or II +. Since data
MIDI Exclusive commands, some
attention must be paid to MIDI
cabling between the computer and the
Mirage. In total, seven pages accessible from the main menu break the
commands into usable groups:
Waveform Display could best be
defined as a graphic representation of
the wave samples in the Mirage memory (Figure 1). Each half (upper and
lower) have 64 Kbytes memory divided
in 256 "pages," a page being 256
points across and 128 high. (There are
actually 256 values, but they won't all
fit on the Apple IIe screen.) The commands are easy to use, and include
several modes of display for the waveform, as well as a number of means of
moving throughout the waveform
and to other parts of the MVES system. With the display, it is very easy
to judge whether or not you have
sampled at the correct amplitude, and
it is also quite obvious when you have
gone into clipping, or are experiencing a normal situation. The Draw
Waveform command utilizes a cross
hair controlled by an external graphics controller, or the cursor keys of
the Apple, to re-draw the waveform.
Wavesample Parameter Display
provides a representation of the parameters related to individual wave
sample control (parameters 60 thru
72), as well as the positions of the loop
pointers, relative tuning, relative
amplitude and filter frequency, and
the value of the top key. It's easy to see
at a glance the status of a particular
wave sample, adjust it, and move on
to the next sample.
*Program Parameter Display
shows the parameters ( #28 thru #59)
that are associated with the programs. All of the filter, amplifier,
envelope and envelope -modulation
parameters are visible at one time,
and allow a quick grasp of why a program sounds the way it does. Again,
any of the parameters can be altered
from either the Mirage, or the Apple
Keyboard.
By utilizing the Configuration Parameter Display, you can also view
the keyboard, MIDI and sampling
configuration parameters with a quick
glance.
Since there can be up to eight wave
samples stored at one time in each
half of the Mirage memory, Wave sample Memory Map Display sorts
Apple Visual Editing System
out which wave sample is where. Loop-
ing addresses are also displayed, as
well as the top keys of each wave
sample, making complex keyboard
splits a snap.
MASOS Data Manipulation Functions make available all of the func-
tions described in the MASOS section, with the addition of a modified
rotate command. Easily accessed from
the waveform Display page, this page
is additionally equipped with a cursor
that can be used to set the start and
end parameters of the data -manipulation function.
Data Transfer
LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:
Mark II Version of DSK -8 Mirage,
Plus new Operating System and
Sound Lab Editing Software
for Apple Macintosh PC
According to Robin Weber, Ensoniq's
director of marketing, the company has now
released several enhancements for the DSK 8 and Multi-Sampler:
The latest version of the DSK -8 includes a
new keyboard, circuit changes to enhance
noise performance, and one or two cosmetic
upgrades.
A new enhanced operating system that
accommodates additional MIDI commands,
including pressure and breath-controller
information from, for example, a Yamaha
DX -7, and the ability to load new voices from
disk via an external keyboard.
Sound Lab Editing Software for the Apple
Macintosh, developed -by Blank Software,
which enables sampled sounds to be edited
and manipulated using the "user- friendly"
features of a Mac PC, including icons and
pull -down menus, plus screen dumps to a
suitable dot -matrix printer.
significantly.
The newest addition to the line is
the rackmountable Mirage Digital
see accompanying
Multisampler
which
sidebar for further details
comprises a complete Mirage sans
keyboard. Just the thing for that
"hard-to- buy -for" friend.
-
- -
-
SIMPLY THE BEST!
Simon Systems is setting a new standard of excellence in
professional audio signal processing equipment. It
began with the DB -1A Active Direct Box. Boldly designed
and independently powered*, the DB -1A delivers
performance that blows every other DI away. The unique design of the DB -1A is based on totally active
(transformerless) circuit with no insertion loss. And
with features like line level output, rechargable
battery capability, and automatic power system check
circuitry, it's easy to understand why so many professionals refer to it as simply the best direct box money
can buy!
From Mirage is
the last of the seven pages contained
within the visual Editor. Basically, it
loads data from the Mirage, and keeps
the MVES from becoming "stupid"
and not reflecting the present condition of the Mirage memory, in the
event that the MIDI cables come unplugged, or the external computer enable switch is turned off.
Overall, because of the design of the
Mirage's custom -designed Q- ChipTM
(Bob Yannes, Albert Charpentier,
and Bruce Crockett developed the
Ensoniq Mirage around a VLSI chip
of their own design, which they
named the Q- Chip), sampling on the
instrument can turn into quite an
adventure -because what goes in is
not always what comes out. However,
noise, which means care must be exercised when considering methods of
recording; newer units contain a cornpansion circuit that lessens this problem, and a simple modification is
available for older versions. In my
experiences with the Mirage, I found
that the use of noise gates, judicious
equalization, and external signal processors such as the Aphex Aural Exciter improved the unit's output
for the price, it's hard to complain
and, besides, the Advanced Sampler's
Guide and Visual Editing System
Manual are full of tips that can help
place your favorite rude noise into the units.
There are also a few final points
worth mentioning about the Mirage:
this unit is a "Rock 'n Roll" sampling
keyboard: plug in any signal, push a
few buttons, and you're in business.
Also, the power of the analog synthesizer section on a sampling keyboard
should never be underestimated, since
sounds in this domain can be manipuwhen comlated with such speed
that it
pared to digital methods
becomes frightening.
As for drawbacks, the Mirage ocassionally produces some unwanted
CB -4 Headphone Cue Box. With four
outputs independently controlled by conductive
plastic stereo power controls, the CB -4 allows up to
four headphones to be driven from the same amplifier. A
three position switch selects left mono, right mono, or
stereo mix, and XLR input /output connectors are provided
for paralleling additional cue boxes. It's no wonder why
the CB -4 has become a standard in the industry.
And the tradition of excellence continues with the RDB -400
Integrated Direct Box. Based on the same design technique
which made the DB -1A the premier direct box of the
industry, the AC powered RDB -400 is four direct boxes in
one. It can be rack or floor mounted and has countless
uses. It features line level output mode with infinitely
variable trim, attenuation mode with stepped variable trim, input overload
LED, speaker level input pad, balanced and unbalanced buffered outputs
with front and rear XLR connectors, ground isolation switch, and atoroidal
power transformer.
Then came the
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ountItt
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Thanks for setting the trend:
PAUL ANKA SHOW GLENN CAMPBELL
REO SPEEDWAGON
JEFF PORCARO
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SYSTEMS
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IN -USE OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENT
small units are very attractively
styled and crafted. External dimensions are 25mm (one inch) in diameter
by 150mm (six inches) long. The price
announced by Sennheiser is $685,
placing it in a competitive range with
the AKG C414EB /P48 or the Schoeps
CMC54U.
Evaluation Sessions
To evaluate the new Sennheiser
models, we used them to record a concert given by the University Symphony Orchestra on September 25,
SENNHEISER
MKH4O-P48
STUDIO
CONDENSER
MICROPHONE
Reviewed by Lowell Cross, Professor of Music
and Director of Recording Studios, University of Iowa
For over 20 years, Sennheiser
has been identified with solid state condenser microphones,
based on the radio -frequency oscillator /detector (RF modulator/demodulator) principle. Since this engineering concept for electrostatic transducers antedates field effect transistor
(FET) designs by several years, Senn heiser can lay claim to being one of
the very first manufacturers of solid state microphones. Well known examples of the RF design have been the
MKH805, MKH815, and MKH816
"shotgun" microphones, which are in
widespread use for radio and TV news
events, sound reinforcement, and general applications for the motion picture industry.
RF condenser models are highly
respected for their very low self-noise
output. Briefly stated, the condenser
capsule is the variable element in a
crystal -controlled oscillator operating
at 10 MHz. High -Q circuits of this type
yield extremely low noise; after demodulation, the audio output from the
circuit may be amplified by conventional means (see pp. 183 -186 of Howard W. Tremaine's Audio Cyclopedia,
second edition, for a more complete
description).
In spite of their admirably quiet
operation, other factors have tended
R -e/p 128 February ¡mu
to tarnish the reputation of RF microphones, in comparison to either tube
or FET types. My experience with the
Sennheiser line extends back to 1972,
when MKH105s (omni) and -405s
(cardioid) were installed by the sound reinforcement contractor in our 2,600 -
seat Hancher Auditorium. (Since then,
they have been replaced by another
brand.) I do not think that I am alone
in observing the characteristically
bright, even harsh, qualities of these
models from the recent past, especially when they are used to record
most forms of music. Furthermore,
the earlier MKH units required A -B or
"modulation- lead" powering (DIN 45
595), which is incompatible with the
48 -volt "phantom" system in common
use today (DIN 45 596). I am pleased
to report that with the introduction of
the MKH4O-P48, Sennheiser has overcome virtually all ofthe limitations of
their previous RF microphones.
The MKH4O-P48 differs from its
predecessors by the use of 48V powering, a symmetrical capsule (fixed car dioid), and additional operating features: zero or -10 dB attenuation;
switchable 6 dB per octave rolloff
characteristic below 120 Hz). Furthermore, the output circuit is transformerless. Our review models were finished in matte black; in general, these
1985, in Hancher Auditorium. The
program consisted of: Haydn's Symphony No. 104 in D Major ( "London ");
Debussy's Iberia; and Beethoven's
Concerto No. 5 in E -Flat Major, op. 73
( "Emperor "), with James Dixon conducting, and Kenneth Amada, piano
soloist. The two MKH4O-P48 microphones were mounted as a near coincident pair with their capsules
about 17 to 18cm (approximately
seven inches) apart, each angled 45
degrees away from the center line of
the orchestra.
For purposes of comparison, a pair
of Neumann TLM170s were mounted
slightly under the Sennheisers (3 to
4cm, or one to two inches below) at
exactly the same angle and distance
apart as the Sennheisers. The
TLM170s, which have been our control microphones throughout all of
our evaluation sessions for R -e /p,
were set in the cardioid position. No
low-frequency rolloff or capsule attenuation was employed for either type.
The four microphones were suspended 3.6 meters (12 feet) above the
stage, and 3 meters (10 feet) downstage from the conductor's podium.
This arrangement placed them
slightly below the line defined by the
fully- raised lid of the Steinway nine foot grand piano, which was moved
onstage for the concerto after inter-
mission.
Studio equipment and techniques
were the same as those used for the
evaluations reported in previous
issues of R-e/ p: Neve 5315 24- channel
console, ANT Telcom noise reduction
systems, Studer A80 /VU MkIII 24track recorder operating at 15 ips with
Ampex 456 Grand Master tape, and
Klein +Hummel 092 reference monitor loudspeaker systems. Obviously,
only four channels were required for
this experiment
two each for the
two types of microphones. A cable run
of 150 meters (500 feet) interconnects
the auditorium with our control rooms.
Neither microphone pair exhibited
any noticeable high- frequency losses
when operated over this distance.
The extremely low self -noise characteristic of the MKH4O-P4gs became
evident as we monitored the "ambience" of the quiet, empty audito-
-
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CISIC
y-3
KEY
Li LI-OS
1Nvre.,7
NIKKO
L.OMPAI., DISC .G1JT(] PIAYiii
60 CDs at the touch of a button.
When Frank Serafine sampled our
NCD -600, he instantly realized he could
cut his research time by 75 %.
Without doubt the most sophisticated player/changer on the market,
the NCD-600 is a research /editing
system unto itself. Accesses 5 selections,
in any order, from 60 stored compact
discs. Or add 3 units, expanding storage
to 240 CDs. And, it'll interface any
computer, to extend programmability
infinitely.
Best of all, it has pitch and tempo
controls. Music selections can be digitally
edited to match keys and rhythms between
selections simultaneously ... unlike with
tapes or records, where modifying speed to
change the key will also change rhythm.
Makes programming in deejay situations
an absolute dream.
NIKKO
Ae Mie
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AB
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But, when you create sound effects like
Frank, your problem is time. Research
time: Thumb through the files, pull a disc,
load it up to listen, over and over again.
So Frank converted his massive sound
effects library to compact discs, storing it
all in our NCD -600.
Now, Frank just touches -in index
numbers, listening to one selection while
loading up others. We made his life a lot
simpler, allowing him to focus energies on
the one thing
he likes best:
Creating.
Imagine" what
Nikko technology
will do for your
audio system.
_- r1-r7
_e -eM
-- -
.11
.IM
e
-
The power of technology.
5830 South Triangle Drive, Commerce, CA 90040
Nikko Audio systems and components are available exclusively through Authorized Nikko Audio dealers.
Frank Serafine -Motion Picture
Sound Designer/Musician
Credits: Tron. Star Trek I and III,
Brainstorm, Ice Pirates
OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENTS
- Sennheiser MKH4O-P48 -
rium during the afternoon following
our setup for the dress rehearsal on
September 24. The hall's background
noise level, of approximately NC 15 to
NC 20, completely masked any self noise from either set of microphones.
But the MKH4O-P485 outperformed
the TLM170s in one significant
respect: they have at least 10 dB more
output for a given sound -pressure
level. The requirement of less preamplifier gain (35 dB versus 45 dB, in
this instance) offers the very real
SUMMARY OF SENNHEISER MKH4O-P48
STUDIO CONDENSER MICROPHONE SPECIFICATIONS
POLAR RESPONSE
Directional Pattern: Cardioid.
Acoustic Operating Principle: Symmetrical pressure gradient.
Frequency Response: 40 Hz to 20 KHz.
Sensitivity: 25 mV /Pa (8mV/Pa), ±1 dB.
Nominal Source Impedance: 150 ohms, balanced.
Minimum Load Impedance: 1 kohms (600 ohms to 130 dB).
Equivalent RMS SPL (DIN45 500): 12 dBa (16 dBa).
Equivalent Peak SPL (CCIR 468): 12 dBa (26 dBa).
Maximum SPL for less than 0.5% THD at 1 kHz': 134 dB (142 dB).
Rolloff Frequency: Low -cut out is -3 dB at 40 Hz, 12 dB per octave; Low-cut in is -3 dB at
120 Hz, 6 dB per octave.
Weight: 100 grams.
Dimensions: Diameter is 25mm; length
Price: $685, suggested list.
is 150mm (one inch by sic inches).
Note: 1. Measured with transducer capsule on microphone.
Bracketed values indicate pre- attenuation "in."
Manufacturer: Sennheiser Electronic Corporation
48 West 38th Street, New York, NY 10018. (212) 944 -9440
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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
Standards.
MRL Calibration Tapes are designed and
supported by experts in magnetic recording
and audio standardization ... we helped write
the standards. Each.tape comes with
detailed instructions and application notes.
3you
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, widebarid or
/3rd octave -band pink random noise tapes
and difference -method azimuth -setup tapes.
Most are available from stock.
et...
1
For
a catalog and a list of over 60
dealers id the USA'and Canada, contact
J. G.
(Jay) McKnight at
Magnetic Reference Laboratory, Inc.
229 Polaris Ave., Suite 4
Mountain View, CA 94043
(415) 965 -8187
Exclusive Export Agent: Gotham Export Corp,
New York, NY
R -e /p 130
o
February 1986
For additional information circle #190
t
125 Hz
250 Hz
2000 Hz
4000 Hz
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WOO 144
1000 Hz
t000QH:
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-- -
INTERNATIONAL
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810-294-2160
Less visible. Better sound.
Less set -up tame. Better placement.
Less tonal coloration. Better accuracy.
Less mounting and placement hassles.
Better mourning accessories.
Less money. Better reliability.
Write Crown for information on our
new GLM Series of miniature microphones, or see them at your Crown
microphone dealer now.
crown
1718 West
Mishawaka Road Elkhart, Indiana 46516
For additional Information circle #192
February 1986
R -e /p 131
benefit of less noise from the input
electronics no matter how quiet the
mixer or console might be. Since the
peak levels at the microphones during
the concert were in the SPL range of
100 dB, we were unable to compare the
relative performance of the two types
in extremely loud environments. For
this evaluation, neither the Sennheisers nor the Neumanns were being
operated anywhere near their respective overload regions.
The monitoring assignments in the
console permitted direct A-B comparisons between the two pairs during
the concert without disturbing the
recording. Our audio engineer, Peter
Nothnagle, and I, therefore were able
-
"Gauss.
The Best
Unknown
Speakers
in TheWorld:'
"Most people don't even know Gauss speakers exist; says Jim Martindale, Engineering
Manager of Aphex Systems Ltd. "I live with
sound at work and at home. At Aphex, we
specialize in products that make sound better.
So, I'm really critical of sound quality and
demand dependability. That's why I like and
use Gauss speakers :'
"With Gauss, you always know you're getting
loudspeaker' Martindale continued, "with XXX (the three letter company),
you never know whether the speaker was developed for hi -fi or pro use. The quality just
varies all over the place. For my money, Gauss
speakers are by far the best speakers I can
use'
a professional
to compare the audible qualities of the
two types without listening through
the tape medium. During a subsequent playback session, we were
joined by another engineer on our
staff, David Muller. The three of us
formed the "audition panel" for this
report; unfortunately, there was not
enough time to assemble a larger
group of listeners. I personally have
evaluated these microphones by listening to the entire concert twice, once
"live" and once during playback of
were perceptibly "brighter" in quality
than the TLM170s. In all other
respects, the Sennheisers are hard to
fault. The capsule design indeed
appears to be capable of very low distortion and a good cardioid pattern
across the audible range. Other than
the "bright" quality already mentioned, no unusual colorations were
evident, either in the direct sound
from the orchestra, or in the rendering
of the hall reverberation. It should be
noted that the Neumann literature for
the multichannel tape.
the TLM170 indicates a slightly
receding upper- midrange response betSubjective Appraisal
ween 2 and 7 kHz when the microThe three of us completely agreed phone is set for the cardioid pattern
that these particular MKH4O-P48s ( -2 dB at 4 kHz). With the response of
the MKH4O-P48 rising in this same
frequency band, the "colorations" of
the two types were clearly different
and audible
in our A -B listening
tests. As I have acknowledged many
times before, such evaluations require
These comments were unsolicited and
subjective, personal judgements on
made by Mr. Martindale who purchased the
the part of the listener.
Gauss speakers he uses in an elaborate sound
Many engineers prefer a "bright"
system which supports Cinemascope movies,
sound as a form of coloration to
VHS Hi -Fi video, compact discs, stereo TV and
enhance their recordings, so a rising
"normal" stereo.
high- frequency response from a microphone is not always viewed as a
There's a Gauss loudspeaker to fit evéry prolimitation. However, some mention
fessional need from 10" to an 18" that handles
must be made of the discrepency
400 watts and a range of high power compresbetween Sennheiser's advertised
sion drivers with response to 20 kHz. For
claim for "ruler -flat frequency reinformation on the entire Gauss line, see
sponse" and the outcome of our listenyour authorized Gauss dealer or write
ing evaluations which, in fact, were
Cetec Gauss, 9130 Glenoaks Boulevard,
confirmed by the calibration curves
Sun Valley, CA 91352, (213) 875 -1900,
supplied with the microphones on
Telex: 194 989 CETEC.
loan. (See accompanying line drawing of calibration curves for MKH40Choice of the Pty
P48 microphones, serial numbers
10079 and 10080.) The response curves
for these two units exceeded the published toleranced by rising 2 to 3 dB in
the 6 to 10 kHz range. Since we heard
a perceptibly "thin" quality in the
orchestra's string tone, and a somewhat "tinkly" effect in the piano
sound from the Sennheisers, in comparison to the Neumanns, we concluded that the two calibration curves
published here are reliable.
In conclusion, the new Sennheisers
produced a clean "condenser sound,"
far preferable to that of earlier MKH
models. I, for one, would be most
interested in using a pair of truly
"ruler -flat" MKH4O-P48s to record a
symphony orchestra or any other
musical ensemble
in stereo. With
the prospect their availability, we can
look forward to a new and highly
desirable series of RF microphones
bearing the Sennheiser trademark.
-
-
--
Author's note: I wish
to thank Anthony
manager for Sennheiser Electronic Corporation in New
York, for loaning us the microphones used
in this evaluation LC.
D. Cafiero, product
-
R -e /p 132
February 1986
Don't miss it: The first annual
SBE National Convention
and Broadcast Engineering
Conference
Plan now to attend the working
engineer's convention. View the
latest in broadcast equipment
from leading manufacturers.
Attend technical
sessions-organized by John
Battison -that answer the on -thejob needs of radio and TV
engineers.
The SBE National Convention
and Broadcast Engineering
Conference, the must attend
event this Fall.
__.
A.J. CERVANTES
CONVENTION
CENTER
ST. LOUIS
OCTOBER 14,15,16
ENSONIQ INTRODUCES ESQ-1
DIGITAL SEQUENCER/SYNTHESIZER
The ESQ -1 is an eight -voice polyphonic,
polytimbral synth with three oscillators per
voice. A choice of 32 multisampled and synthetic waveforms is available, including
sampled waveforms of piano, strings and
brass instruments, in addition to a wide variety of synthetic waveforms.
The new unit uses a new design approach,
RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer)
Architecture, which is said to provide the
programmer with a very small set of possible
instructions that execute very quickly, as
opposed to more complex machines that
offer more apparent power but operate
slowly. The Midiverb uses an extremely small
instruction set that runs at three million
24 channels can then be operated from the
remote controller. Suggested retail price is
$549, including the remote controller; eight channel expanders will carry an SRP of $295.
J.L. COOPER ELECTRONICS
For additional information circle #196
DIGIDESIGN SOUND DESIGNER
VERSION 1.1 FOR EMULATOR II
Version 1.1 of Sound Designer for the Ell
and Macintosh includes many new features
and performance improvements. The program's speed and ease of use are said to have
been dramatically improved: digital processing functions such as digital mixing, gain
changing and merging of waveforms are now
described as running up to 10 times faster
than version 1.0. New features include digital
An 80- character fluorescent display shows
programs by name. Fourty on -board programs with an additional 80 cartridge pro-
instructions per second, outperforming most
systems on the market today, the company
grams are available.
The ESQ -1 features a polyphonic, velocity sensitive 61 -note weighted -action keyboard
with programmable split points and sound
layering on either or both keyboard halves.
MIDI features include a special MIDI Overflow Mode that permits slaving other MIDI
units together to create a 16 -voice synthesizer. There are also Poly, Omni, Multi and
Mono modes, plus eight simultaneous polyphonic channels with separate programs.
The ESQ -1 contains a sequencer with
2,400 -note internal storage (expandable to
10,000 notes) and eight discrete tracks, each
with separate program and MIDI channels;
each track has eight voices dynamically
assigned.
Specifications include a frequency response of 20 Hz to 10 kHz, and dynamic range
of 80 dB, typical.
Manufacturer's suggested retail price of
the Midiverb is $399.
10
ENSONIQ CORPORATION
For additional Information circle #194
NEW MIDIVERB DIGITAL
REVERB UNIT FROM ALESIS
Supporting 63 different pre -programmed
setups, the stereo in /out Midiverb provides
short (0.2-second) and long (20- second)
decay times with a variety of sizes and tonal
textures. For special effects, the Midiverb
offers nine gated and four reverse reverb
programs. Full MIDI control is also featured.
R -e/p 134
February 1986
claims.
equalization, crossfade looping and enhanced
digital synthesis.
The Digital EQ program provides fully
parametric peaking EQ, hi/lowpass EQ and
hi /low shelving EQ. After the EQ settings are
entered, a frequency response graph of the
digital filter can be displayed on the Macintosh screen.
The Crossfade Looping feature is said to be
very useful for creating click-free loops in any
sound. It uses a complex pattern of crossfades to mix sound data around the loop start
with data around the loop end.
E
File
Edit
Display
Calibrate
Mode
Peek /Shelf Equalizer
ALESIS
Equalize:
For additional information circle #195
O Cello Cal
o 'kHz Sine Wane
oQ
TWO NEW MIDI PRODUCTS
FROM J.L. COOPER
Guitar
H2
Filler Type:
Sample Rate
Peek /Notch
27777
Center Freq. (Hell
MidiLink is a rack -mount "MIDI program
manager" that allows a master keyboard to
send different MIDI program numbers to
individual slave synths simultaneously. The
unit will store up to 99 master programs that
can then be recalled from any MIDI keyboard
or sequencer. A master program may contain up to 12 separate MIDI program change
commands, each of which may be sent out
one of six rear -panel connectors and on a
desired MIDI channel number. In addition, up
to 32 master programs can then be linked in a
chain, and stepped forward or backward by
means of a footswitch; up to 100 chains can
be stored in battery- backed memory. Suggested retail price is $449.
Midi Mute, the 'first product in the company's MidiMation Series, is an eight -channel
MIDI -controlled muting device for audio
mixers. Designed to be connected between
instruments (or effects) and mixer inputs, the
unit generates and receives MIDI Note -on
and -off commands, and converts them to
switch closures for its internal relays. In addition, any channel may be used as an isolated
switch closure to simulate a footswitch. The
device comes equipped with a hand -held
remote controller that connects to the main
rack -mount unit through an ordinary modular telephone cable, and is expandable up to
24 channels by attaching expander units; all
Tools
BandWldth (He)l
Roost /Cut (r/ -dt(:
M
SS
1M
73k
Many parameters have been added to the
Karplus- Strong Digital Synthesis program.
Harmonic type and content, pluck position,
resonance and other values can be accurately controlled. The synthesis program can
even be fed by a sampled sound, creating
some very interesting and unusual effects
similar to vocoding and reverb, the company
says.
In addition to these new programs, many
new waveform editing tools have been added.
Loops can be played using the Mac's internal
sound driver and speaker, and any portion of
a sound can be selected and played separately on the Mac or the Emulator II.
Version 1.1 has been shipped free of
charge to all registered Sound Design
owners.
DIGIDESIGN, INC
For additional Information circle -#197
360 SYSTEMS ANNOUNCES
MIDI ROUTING SYSTEM
Midi Patcher is a four -input, eight- output
MIDI routing system that allows the user to
program up to eight routing configuration
and store them in battery- backed memory.
Configurations can be recalled via the front panel buttons, or via MIDI program change
command.
Eight groups of four different colored
LED's on the front panel allow the user to see
the current MIDI routing at a glance. A test
button sends a short MIDI sequence over the
selected channel to verify MIDI continuity.
Packaged to occupy one space of a standard 19 -inch rack, suggested retail price of the
Midi Patcher is $295.
360 SYSTEMS
For additional information circle #198
AUDIO PRECISION ADDS
ENHANCED INTERMODULATION
TESTING TO SYSTEM ONE
MEASUREMENT UNIT
DIM and TIM (dynamic intermodulation
and transient intermodulation) testing by the
mixed squarewave -sinewave method has
been added to the established mixed sine wave methods of SMPTE, DIN, and CCIF
difference tone. According to Audio Precision, DIM and TIM tests have attracted
increasing attention in recent years as engineers explore system performance near
slew -rate limits. Some experts suggest
DIM /TIM phenomena as the reason why two
audio systems sound differently, even though
they have virtually the same measured performance according to older, more static test
methods.
System One's implementation of DIM /TIMtesting is said to allow measurement of distortion at levels typically 20 dB lower than spectrum analyzer measurement capability.
IMD tests can be selected and run even by
semi -skilled staff, as can other measurement
parameters of System One, including total
harmonic distortion, quantization distortion
or noise, phase, broadband or third- octave
selective level and noise, and frequency.
Since the unit is PC -based and graphics
oriented, sweeps versus frequency or amplitude are made in seconds, and graphically
plotted on the computer screen as they are
made. Results may be saved to disk or graphically printed by an inexpensive dot matrix
printer.
The new complete intermodulation distortion option is priced at $1,200. A complete
System One with dual -channel generator,
dual inputs, and the complete measurement
capability outlined above is priced at $7,250,
including software.
AUDIO PRECISION
For additional information circle #199
AUDIO INTERVISUAL DESIGN
INTRODUCES ALBRECHT MB -51
MAG RECORDER TO U.S. MARKET
The sprocketless MB -51 utilizes capstan
drive and microprocessor control. Currently
in use at over 700 film and television facilities
throughout Europe, the MB-51 is said to meet
all requirements of modern studio practice,
and can be used flexibly in post -production,
dubbing and mixdown studios with projectors, editing table, film scanners and VCRs.
A plug -in head assembly accommodates
16mm, 17.5 and 35mm mag film, and the system handles all standard formats from mono
through six-track, with multiple equalization
pre -sets included. Film speed can be continuously controlled up to a maximum of 750 fps
SANKEN INTRODUCES
FOUR MORE MICROPHONES
Maker of world -acclaimed CU -41
double-condenser microphone releases
new products to international market.
Sanken Microphone Co., maker of the CU -41 two-way condenser microphone, famed among sound engineers throughout the world for the transparency of its recording qualities (which make it perfect for compact disk
recording), is pleased to announce the release of four more of its high
quality microphones to the international market. The microphones are:
CMS -6 MS Stereo Microphone A small, lightweight, hand -held microphone
for high quality outdoor radio, TV and movie recording. Comes with portable
battery power supply and switchable matrix box. Freq. response 50Hz to
18kHz, dynamic range 108dB, self noise less than 19dB.
CMS-2 MS Stereo Microphone For quality music, radio, and TV studio
recording. Small and lightweight, it has been widely used in Japan for more
than eight years. Freq. response 20Hz to 18kHz, dynamic range 129dB, self
noise less than 16dB.
CU -31 Axis Uni -Directional Condenser Microphone and CU -32 Right Angle
Uni -Directional Microphone For music, radio, TV and movie studio recording. Renowned for their high performance and remarkable reliability. Freq.
response 20Hz to 18kHz, dynamic range 129dB, self noise less than 19dB.
For more information on these new microphones, as well as on the famous
CU -41, contact your nearest Sanken dealer, as listed below.
New York:
Martin Audio Video Corp
423 West 55th Street
New York, New York 10019
TEL (212) 541 -5900
TLX 971846
Nashville:
Studio Supply Company, Inc.
1717 Elm Hill Pike, Suite B -9
Nashville, Tennessee 37210
TEL (615) 366-1890
san en
Japan's most original microphone maker
Sole export agent: Pan Communications, Inc.
5 -72 -6 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111, Japan
Telex J27803 Hi Tech /Telephone 03- 871 -1370
Telefax 03-871- 0169 /Cable Address PANCOMMJPN
February 1986
R -e /p 135
New Products
for 16mm, and 300 fps for 17.5/35mm mag
film. Since the system is entirely servo
controlled, wow and flutter specs are said to
be exceptionally low. An electronic film counter reads out in feet, meters or in minutes,
seconds and frames.
-
AUDIO INTERVISUAL DESIGN
For additional information circle #201
ROLAND MC -500 MICRO
COMPUTER MIDI SEQUENCER
The MC -500 has a 40,000 -note storage and
features a 3.5 -inch disk drive. Performance
data can be loaded and overdubbed from
MIDI instruments in real- step -time, and then
stored on disk.
Raand
M-SOO
programmed using the tempo track. Multitrack recording is also possible by merging
two or more tracks together, and the MIDI
channel assignment of all original track data
is retained after tracks are merged. In addition, individual tracks can be edited after they
have been merged together.
Punch -in and -out is possible even in the
middle of a bar, and individual notes or entire
bars of music can be inserted and deleted.
Gate time, duration, note number, and velocity can also be altered, plus copying, inserting, deleting, erasing, transposing, and MIDI
channel shifting functions from any bar for
any number of bars. Songs can be stored in
eight individual song areas in the unit's
memory, and then chained together.
MIDI information (including System Exclusive) can be inserted at any point in the music
and edited from the unit's keypad. The MC500 can send and receive MIDI Song Pointer
Data, which will allow "chasing" to video or
multitack tape with SMPTE timecode when
used in conjunction with the SBX -80 Sync
Box. The unit also features two MIDI outputs
that can be assigned to any or all MIDI
required.
Features include 16 programmable MIDI
functions set from the Chroma front -panel
and saved in battery backup memory inside
the Chroma; MIDI System Exclusive for loading and saving patches; reception on up to
eight MIDI channels simultaneously (taking
advantage of the Chroma's multi timbrai feature); complete compatibility with the Fender /Apple Music System, making it possible
to convert the system into a MIDI sequencer.
The Chroma to MIDI Converter has a suggested list price of $349.95
SYNTECH
For additional information circle #204
RACK -MOUNT STANDS FROM
ULTIMATE SUPPORT SYSTEMS
The new units allow rack equipment to be
mounted to suit any performing style in the
studio, or on stage. Three basic support
options are available in two different sizes.
-
channels.
0 0 0 0 0
ROLAND CORP US
-
L1L
For additional information circle #203
SYNTECH UNVEILS
MIDI CONVERTER FOR
RHODES CHROMA KEYBOARD
Four tracks are provided for note entry,
plus a fifth rhythm track for MIDI drum programming that stores 999 bars and 95 rhythm
patterns. The tempo of an entire song can be
The new Chroma to MIDI Converter is a
complete MIDI implimentation residing in a
small black box that plugs into the back of the
Chroma. No external power supply is
Let Tec Pro Provide You With
Reliable, Comfortable, Easy To Use
Wired Communications Systems.
Master Stations
Power Supplies
Belt Packs
-
Headset Stations
Loudspeaker Stations
Paging Systems
and more...
Compatible With Most Systems
i
stands.
Like all USS products, the stands are constructed of black or silver aluminum alloy
tubing and rails, with glass- reinforced poly carbonate fittings for the maximum stability.
ULTIMATE SUPPORT SYSTEMS, INC.
For additional information circle #205
HOHNER ANNOUNCES RDM -1000
AND RD -500 DIGITAL
REVERB /ECHO PROCESSORS
-
THe RDM -1000 offers complete programmability of all parameters via MIDI, plus
storage into eight memories. Not only can the
77'
Technical Projects, Inc.
For quality you can rely on, and service you deserve.
P.O. Box 1069 Palatine, IL 60078, 1- 800 -562 -5872, 312 -381 -5350
R -e /p 136 D February 1986
A -frame configurations offer independent
support for users with extensive rackmount
needs. The T -leg systems is said to provide a
practical method for the cost- conscious
musician, while Rack Extensions enable performers to integrate keyboards and rack
equipment. Both five- and 10 -panel rails are
available separately to attach keyboard
memories be recalled through any MIDI system
synthesizers, drum machines, MIDI sequencers, etc.
but they can also be programmed. In addition, the RDM -1000 features
a built -in dynamic noise- reduction unit.
The RD -500 offers eight practical combinations of "quick and simple to operate" reverb
and delay presets. Reverb delay, echo delay
time, amount of repeat and modulation depth
-
-
DIGIDESIGN SOUND DESIGNER
SOFTWARE FOR SEQUENTIAL
PROPHET 2000
Sound Designer 2000 allows sampled
sounds to be transferred between an Apple
Macintosh and Prophet 2000 using a standard Macintosh MIDI interface. Sound data is
transferred at twice normal MIDI data rate
and speed are fully adjustable. The unit also
has a built -in dynamic noise -reduction unit.
HOHNER, INC.
For additional information circle #206
HILL AUDIO UNVEILS SOUNDMIX
AND RAKMIX MODULAR CONSOLES
Both the 24/4/2/1 Soundn-ix and 8/4/2/1
Rakmix consoles feature four auxiliary sends,
four band EQ, four auxiliary returns, 100mm
faders, 12 -way LED and VU metering, send
and return patch points throughout, balanced and unbalanced output, direct outputs, and a fully regulated rackmount power
graphically represented parameters can be
"drawn" using the Mac mouse, and keyboard
set -ups, MIDI assignments, controller assignments, etc. quickly programmed using onscreen menus.
t
File
supply.
Outputs are selectable +4 dB/ -10 dB, and
the auxiliary busses are selectable pre/post.
Suggested retail price of the Soundmix is
$3,750, and the Rakmix $2,359.
HILL AUDIO, INC.
For additional information circle #207
Ois play
Tonic
CaiMrate
Mode
s'F
Peak /Shelf Equalizer
(63 Kbaud) to minimize waiting, and up to
three waveforms are simultaneously dis-
played on the Mac's high -resolution screen.
The software is said to provide extensive
sound editing capabilities, including Mac
style "cut- and -paste" editing. The waveform
display can be magnified to show fine detail,
with editing accuracy to 25 microseconds.
Calibration scales provide exact readouts of
time and amplitude values at any location in
the waveform, and the waveform display can
be horizontally and vertically scrolled.
SD 2000 also includes Fast Fourier Transform -based frequency analysis and modification of sounds, digital equalization, digital
mixing and digital merging, as well as a variety
of other digital signal processing functions for
modifying sampled sounds and creating unique sounds. Both sustain and release loops
are provided, as well as a crossfade looping
program for looping sounds that lack a natural loop area. Direct digital analysis can be
performed on the Macintosh, and the resulting sounds transferred to the Prophet 2000
for playback.
Programming of all Prophet 2000 parameters is said to be greatly simplified by the
software's graphic programming aids. Filter
response curves, ADSR curves, and other
Edil
E2ixe:
Q Cello Lei
Q SONO Sine wave
()Guitar 02
Peak /Notch
Filter Type:
Sample Rate
Center Freq. teei:
L
Bandwidth 1Hoi:
Boost /Cut 1/-del:
Cancel
27777
5000
1000
6
i Show Me
1
1
(Continue)
Suggested retail price of Sound Designer
2000 is $495.
DIGIDESIGN, INC.
For additional information circle #208
AMPEX INTRODUCES U-MATIC
DIGITAL AUDIO CASSETTE
The new Ampex 467 U -Matic is specially
qualified to be free of uncorrected signal
errors for exceptional and reliable performance on PCM converters, the company
says.
"The Ampex 467 cassette is a product of
extensive research into digital machine
requirements," explains Bruce Pharr, marketing manager for Audio Tape Products.
"Reliable PCM recording requires a cassette
with electrical and mechanical characteristics specific to digital audio recording techniques. Ampex uses the correction capability
RECORDING BROADCAST SOUND REINFORCEMENT
KEYBOARDS MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
LaSalle stocks over 250 professional audio and musical instrument product
lines, offering you the widest choice of manufacturers at discount prices.
ADC
AKG
Allen
&
Heath
Amok
Aphex
Sennheiser
Nakamichl Digital Shure
Beyer
Biamp
Bose
E
Nakamichl
BGW
BBE
Fairllght
Neptune
Orban
Fostex
Otarl
-Mu Systems
Ensonlq
Eventide
Goldllne
Capitol
Cipher Digital HME
Countryman Hill Audio
Crest
Audio Design
Audio Developments Crown
Audio Technica
dbx
Ibanez
JBL
KlarkTeknik
Peavey
PPG
OSC
Ramko
Ramsa
Rane
Audio Kinetics
0-Lock
MasterMlx
Kurzweil
Lexicon
Aphex Broadcast
ATI
Audloarts
Auratone
DOD
EAW
SMPL
Sony Digital
Sony MCI
Soundcratt
Soundcrari
Magnetics
Technics,
Telex
TOA
UREI
Ursa Major
U.S. Audio
Valley People
Wheatstone
Yamaha
Roland
Studer Revox
Symetrix
Symetrlx
Broadcast
RTS
TAC
and
many
morel
Lexicon 224XL Scotch
Edcor
Scotchcart
Electro -Voice Nady
Tannoy
Tascam
YOUR DIGITAL SOURCE IN NEW ENGLAND
1116
Boylston Street, Boston MA 02115
(617) 536 -2030
Outside MA 1 (800) 533-3388
February 1986
For additional information circle #209
R -e /p 137
there be zero occurrences of error concealment (uncorrectable errors) in each cassette.
The Ampex 467 cassette features a cross linked copolymer oxide binder system that is
said to withstand repeated plays without signal loss or error build up, a feature that allows
for extensive editing without exceeding the
PCM convertor's digital error correction
range. The cassette shell is constructed from
high- impact, anti -static plastic to eliminate
static build -up, thereby reducing the attraction of airborne contaminants that can cause
PCM digital data errors.
AMPEX CORPORATION
New Products
of PCM converters as a final criteria for the
qualification of the 467 Digital Audio Cass-
ette."
All PCM digital audio processors utilize an
error -correction system to detect signal
errors caused by defects in the recording
medium, and electronically correct or conceal them. While small tape defects can be
fully corrected electronically and the audio
fidelity unaffected, larger defects can be electronically concealed but will adversely affect
the audio fidelity. Most serious defects cannot be electronically concealed and cause the
For additional information circle #210
SYNTHINET OFFERS SMDS
SOFTWARE FOR MUSIC
PRODUCERS
Designed to automate music production
signal to completely mute, resulting in an
unacceptable recording.
Ampex PCM qualification specifies that
Finally, synchronisers
as powerful as the
machines they control.
You know the problem. You've
got five machines and your
reputation on the line and your
synchroniser seems to fight you
every step of the way. The
studios and editing suites.
Smaller facilities will appreciate
the versatility of our model 100A
rack -mountable synchroniser
clock keeps running even
controller.
Before you book your next
session, do yourself a favor.
Call us at (213) 275 -1790 and
arrange a personal demonstration of the most powerful,
when your tape
isn't.
You need a computer based
system so capable, yet so
simple to use, that you can
-
concentrate on your real job
editing. One that works as hard,
fast and accurately as
you do.
Relax. Editron has a
synchroniser just right
for you. Our model
500 is a multi machine audio post-
production system with
detailed user interface intelligence and can run tape
machines over a half mile
away. It's perfect for large
1616
with the optional 200A remote
.
contracts and job estimates, the two software
packages
SMDS Contracts and SMDS
Estimates were developed as a result of a
study of musical production houses. "We
determined that the automation of contract
and job estimate preparation would result in a
significant improvement in efficiency and savings in administrative costs," according to
Jeff Baker, a studio keyboard technician, and
president of Synthinet. "Our software handles the music production paperwork, allowing producers to spend more time being
--
creative."
SMDS Contracts automatically prepares
AFM, AFTRA and SAG contracts. Using
master files of musicians, singers, contractors, studios, agencies, pay scales, and taxes,
the software generates the appropriate contracts and financial reports.
SMDA Estimates calculates musical production costs, including creative, arranging,
production, talent, studio, tape, instrument
rental, and post production. Various reports,
including a job bid letter to the agency, are
generated.
SMDS software runs on the IBM -PC and
XT, plus compatibles. Synthinet will customize each package to the needs of a particular
production house.
SYNTHINET MUSIC DATA SYSTEMS
For additional information circle #211
APL LAUNCHES NEW SERIES
OF CONTROL -ROOM
MONITOR SPEAKERS
The new series incorporate time- corrected
cone and dome driver technologies, and are
designed for tonal and stereo imaging accuracy as well as a low- distortion/high- output
capability. Models in three -, four- and five
way configurations are available with matching electronic crossover networks. An optional dual 30 -inch subwoofer system is available
for large control rooms.
-
`
..
most
expandable, most
economical synchronisers
ever built
Butler Avenue, West Los Angeles, CA 90025
As a necessary aspect of achieving accurate monitoring, APL performs on -site set -up
and Performance Certification of the monitor
systems. FFT and analog B &K instrumentation is used to align driver, crossover network, and amplification parameters.
FFT first -arrival accuracy for the three -and
four -way systems is a quoted ±2 dB, 20 Hz to
20 kHz. The five-way system incorporates a
ribbon driver to extend the frequency
response to 50 kHz. Power handling is 600
watts per channel, with a maximum SPL output of 140 dB at 1 meter.
Prices are from $7,000 to $11,000 per pair,
including electronic crossovers, on -site factory set -up, and Performance Certification.
ACOUSTICAL PHYSICS
LABORATORIES
For additional information circle #212
R -e /p 138 D February 1986
MIDI CONTROL SYSTEM
FROM IBANEZ
The new system comprises the MIU8 Interface and the IFC60 Intelligent Foot Controller. The MIU8 is a multiple- output MIDI
splitter unit, with one MIDI input and eight
MIDI outputs, operating on any of 16 MIDI
channels.
o)
BROADCAST PHONO PREAMPLIFIER
REQUIREMENTS
Musicality
Serviceability
Low Distortion
1
Bala -iced XLR Outputs
27dBm RMS 600 ohms
The IFC60 is a remote control with a large
three -digit LED readout, and a 15 -foot connecting cable. Recall of any of 128 MIDI programs is possible without play interruption,
plus control of up to eight MIDI -equipped
devices with one main controller.
Reliab lits
Low 'Noise
Spcce Rack Mountable
Accurate RIAA ( ±.05dB)
21dB RMS 600 ohms unbalanced
Non- -eactive Phono Stage
Fully Discrete Gain Blocks
Drive Loads as low as 300 ohms
balanod
Cartridge load acjustment
High Overload Threshold
Linear Frequency Response
SOLUTION
CHESBRO MUSIC COMPANY
For additional information circle #213
BR
AUDIO LOGIC MT -66
STEREO COMPRESSOR -LIMITER
The new unit provides dynamic range
compression from 1:1 to infinity:1, simultaneously accompanied by its own noise gate
to ensure quiet operation when no signal is
present. Front panel features include a "link"
switch to join both compressors for stereo
tracking; a five -LED bargraph to indicate gain
reduction; gate, threshold, ratio, attack and
release controls; plus input and output level
controls.
(BP -5 also
In the
RFD
(STON
available with
3
In
Canada:
L
Es `
United States:
D. IL VERMONT
t4, Berlin, Montpelier, Vermont 05602
BP --
switchable high level inputs)
C
il MARKETING LTD.
57 Westmare Dr-, Rexdale, Ontario, Canada M9V 3Y6
(416) 746 -0300
(802) 223 -6159
sound quality
custom consoles
On the rear panel are both balanced and
unbalanced inputs and outputs, along with
side chain inputs and outputs that can be
utilized in changing the compression characteristic, or as a de- esser.
Pro -user price of the MT -66 Stereo Complimiter is $299.95.
equali7ers
mc.to_ízed faders
disz-ibution amplifiers
microphone pre -amplifiers
replacement parts
AUDIO LOGIC
For additional Information circle #214
/I ri1 mEgEc
in
w -._(OA*
MA
KURZWEIL UPGRADES
K250 SYNTHESIZER
AND ADDS NEW OPTIONS
Improvements to the basic instrument
include sequencer modifications, new internal sounds, SMPTE capability for film and
video scoring, and enhanced tuning of the
instrument's 30 resident instrument sounds.
In addition, the number of keyboard setups
or instrument combinations has been
increased from 40 to 97, and a harpsicord
sound added to the basic presets.
Modifications to the on -board sequencer
memory have increased the basic sequencer
capacity from 7,900 to 12,000 notes. In addition, new MIDI synchronization features are
said to allow easier interconnection between
the K250 and external sequencers and drum
machines. The addition of a SMPTE time code synchronization feature enables the
unit to interface with film and video editing
a
"
IMLIM1.1111
INK
.
uci
On*
rcucts; inc.
P Sprini
ield, VA 22153
?wíst Lane,'
(703) 455-8188 tlx: 510-6001-898
we stand behind our quality with a money-back guarantee
western representative
7265 Santa NI 'ca Bouevard
Los ángeIes,
90046
(213) 851-9830 Telex: 638645
Westlake
Audio
eastern representative
studio consultants, Inc.
321 West 44th Street, New York. NY 10036
(212) 586.7376
February 1986
R -e /p 139
New Products
equipment, via a commercially available
SMPTE /MIDI converter.
Enhancements can be retrofitted to existing K250s for under $3,000, depending on the
model; units shipped from February 1 incor-
porated the operations software and sound
enhancements.
KURZWEIL MUSIC SYSTEMS, INC.
For additional information circle #219
ART RELEASE SOFTWARE
UPGRADE FOR DR1 DIGITAL REVERS
The new 1.10 revision software adds 10
new factory presets, bringing the total to 40:
Stereo Image, Early Reflections, Gated
Snare, Percussive Down Flange, Flanging,
and Chorus. Downward flange has been
made possible by allowing the Percussive
Flange room to have a zero attack time.
Other Flanging and Chorus presets use a
new room type Flanger /Chorus (FC.1) that
allows many different stereo flanging and
chorus effects to be produced, with independent control over each channel.
Extended functions include a Demo Mode
speed the allows the user to sequence though
presets via the K/I switch, and /or a remote
footswitch. The number of presets in a
sequence, as well as the number and presets,
is also programmable.
Planned MIDI features using a manufacturer's ID code to allow the DR1 to inquire
and change various parameters, dump and
load all of its presets and allow one DR 1 to
slave from another. In addition to the above,
the DR1 may be set such that it can output
MIDI program changes when Presets are
changed at the DR1.
APPLIED RESEARCH
& TECHNOLOGY
For additional information circle #220
TELEX INTRODUCES NEW
CD SERIES CASSETTE DUPLICATOR
The new series of high -speed (30 ips)
cassette -to- cassette duplicators are available
in both mono and stereo versions. Two cassette "slave" units are available that allow
expansion of the single-copy basic unit by up
to five slave units for a maximum of 11 copy
positions. Slave units include ribbon cable
with plugs for easy connection to the master
unit or to other slave units. A model with
three copy positions is also available.
selective manual mode. In the auto mode, the
user simply presses the copy button and all
tapes are rewound to their beginning and
copied automatically. When all tapes are finished, they are all rewound again.
TELEX COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
For additional information circle #221
ADAMS -SMITH ACCEPTING
ORDERS FOR 2600 A/V
DOUBLE SYSTEM EDITOR
The 2600 A/V can be used as a conventional single-system video editor in either a
playback /record configuration or an A/B Roll
configuration. It can also be used as a single system audio editor, offering extensive list
manangement as well as punch -in and -out
accuracy.
In addition, the 2600 A/V can be used as a
Double-System, off-line video on -line audio
editor. In this configuration, the picture and
sound are edited simultaneously, but on
separate tapes. Advantages to shooting and
editing Double- System are said to include
enhanced audio quality, improved flexibility
of editing, and lower audio -for -video post production costs.
ADAMS -SMITH
For additional Information circle #222
The basic unit includes a function control
panel, audio level indicators with slide control, an original cassette position and a copy
cassette position. An automatic /manual
mode switch allows the user to select one button automatic operation, or the more
IBANEZ EPP400 EFFECTS
PATCHING UNIT VIA MIDI
Described as the newest innovation in
MIDI -controllable electronic patchbay technology, the EPP400 provides five effects
loops (three in stereo) and 128 prog-
rammable preset locations controlling loop
on 'off and loop sequence.
Preset selection may be controlled by the
front panel, an optional IFC60 Intelligent
Foot Controller, or by input from any MIDIequipped controller. The EPP400 can be
assigned to any of the 16 MIDI channels for
automatic patch selection.
CHESBRO MUSIC COMPANY
For additional information circle #223
MODEL X324 STEREO
CROSSOVER FROM
AUDIO LOGIC
The X324 can be utilized in either a stereo
three -way or mono four -way capacity. Balanced inputs and outputs with phase inversion on all six outputs are provided, along
with an additional summed output of low frequencies from both channels for mono sub woofer connection.
Seeing
is believing
Small speakers look small and sound
small. But AN -1000 has changed all that.
AN -1000 is the result of exhaustive research. By
utilizing space -age technology, Anchor Audio is
changing the role of small powered speakers in the
professional audio industry.
Most et output, DC servo offset control, and
electro- acoustic signal processing are all
combined with the acoustically tuned enclosure,
producing unbelievable sound.
Anchor Audio, Inc.
R -e /p 140
913 W. 223rd St.
February 1986
Torrance, California 90502
213.533 -5984
1-
800 -ANCHOR -1
Butterworth filters with 18 dB per octave
slopes ensure driver protection by rapidly
rolling off the frequencies at the crossover
point, while the flat passband frequency
response is said to eliminate peaks and dips in
the output. An electronic switch on the front
panel adds a two -pole high -pass filter at 40
Hz.
No patching is required for mono operation since all connections are made internally.
Pro -user price of the X324 Stereo Cross-
over is $329.95
AUDIO LOGIC
For additional information circle #224
NEW RACK CONSOLE FROM SKE
The Rack 'N Roller is a mobile equipment
console designed for both studio and location
applications, and allows recording and pro-
zero to 200 milliseconds), decay time and
high- frequency roll (16 to 3 kHz). Programs
include a few small spaces, a fes large rooms,
a huge hall and gated and reverse reverb.
Suggested list price of the XT:c is $749.
ALESIS
For additional information circle #226
MIDI MAPPING UNIT
FROM AXXESS UNLIMITED
"The Mapper" is described as the first product to make complete use of MIDI with a
new technology called MIDI Mapping, the
ability to recognize, modify, and expand
MIDI codes automatically. The Mapper is a
stand -alone device that requires no more
than a standard MIDI keyboard for programming. It can feed MIDI data back to the
master keyboard, or intercept and alter
commands on their way to other synthesizers.
In doing so, the unit can create any number
of keyboard splits, which may overlap and be
assigned to any combination of channels.
Notes can be expanded ro play other notes.
Controls (mod wheel, breath, etc.) may be
routed to control multiple functions simultaneously, and are also channel assignable.
Performance set -up commands such as
program changes, MIDI routing and exclusive messages, can be sent automatically.
All mapping functions may be stored in
memory locations called MAPS (Midi Altered
Program Sets), and recalled directly or
stepped through with a foot pedal according
to a sequence. The Mapper has two MIDI Ins
and two Outs, and an RS-232 port for
optional computer. List price is $975.
ACCESS UNLIMITED, INC.
For additional information circle #227
Because that's where you'll find the
exclusive southern California dealer for
Amek's remarkable Angela and
2500 Series consoles.
If yo u'd like to hear for
YOUDON'T
yourself the truly unprecedented
sound quality that has the
recording business humming a
different tune, just drop by
AEA You'll be more than
impressed with Amek's unexcelled equalization, their tremendour flexibility, high
quality components
and their rugged
modular construction.
And, if Angela is a little more board
than you're looking for, don't worry. AEA
also handles the TAC Scorpion
and Matchless with its completely
transformerless, high -slew, low
':,:°<.:6; .. ;
noise electronic design and
'
û (3 brilliant, precise and punchy
'
.\/.\
equalization.
z' ,,
DON'T
HAVE TO GO
cessing gear to be housed into one compact
package. A canted, six -piece effects rack is
suspended over an angled recorder console.
Preset electronics, such as noise reduction
units, can be placed in the console's lower
sectic n.
The unit is available in both single- and
double -rack configurations. The double -rack
console, combined with optional Road Package, is said to be ideal for transporting two
recorders in live multitrack and /or two -track,
processed mixdown situations.
Custom -design include patch bay or power
wiring; single -point grounding network; multipin snake system; and filler panels. Also
available is the Road Package consisting of
latched covers and heavy -duty locking casters.
The Rack 'N Roller single rack is priced at
$425, and the double at $625.
S.K. ENTERPRISES
For additional Information circle #225
NEW XT:C DIGITAL
REVERB FROM ALESIS
Features include a 16 kHz frequency
response, full stereo rout and output, and
decay time variable from almost zero to 15
TOGREAT
LENGTHS TO
GET HIGH
PERFORMANCE
JUST TO
PASADENA
.
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We've
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to bring you the broadest line
of high performance audio
e
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products found under one roof.
you have to do is find
Pasadena. It's easy. Just follow
All
7 1,
the parade.
\`,
4 \
audio
engineering
ouocictter
secon ls, set by a single rotary control. The
XT:c supports eight separate reverberation
programs, each augmented by front -panel
option switches. Selectable options include
damping. LF cut, and infinite hold.
Rotary controls include Predelay (from
1029 North Allen Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91104
(213) 684 -4461, (818) 798 -9127
February 1986
R -e /p 141
ME=
TREBAS INSTITUTE OF
RECORDING ARTS OPENS
LOS ANGELES CAMPUS
The school currently has four campuses in Canada Toronto, Montreal,
Ottawa and Vancouver
and offers
more than 80 courses in record producing, sound engineering and music industry management in a two-year, diploma program. Instructors include Tom
Noonan, associate publisher and director of charts for Billboard (Communication); Joe Csida, former Billboard editor in -chief and author of Music Record
Career Handbook (Music Industry Overview); Gary Solt (Ear training and
Music Theory); Scot Scheer (Record
Producing); Myles Mangram (Management); and R -e /p writer Denis Degher
(Sound Engineering).
The Institute is located at 6602 Sunset
Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028. (213)
-
-
467 -6800.
JBL PROFESSIONAL TO HANDLE
U.S. DISTRIBUTION FOR
SOUNDCRAFT ELECTRONICS
The exclusive distribution of Sound craft Electronics products in the U.S.
and Mexico will now be handled by JBL
Professional, according to Ron Means,
president of JBL Professional, and
Philip Dudderidge, chairman and managing director of Soundcraft Electronics
Limited, England. The new division will
be referred to as Soundcraft U.S.A.
"In an effort to strengthen Sound craft's position in the U.S. and Mexican
markets," Mean explains, "JBL Profes-
sional was appointed distributor
because of their knowledge of market-
ing complimentary products to all areas
of the professional sound industry."
Soundcraft U.S.A. will be a separate
division within JBL Professional and,
under the direction of Means, will continue to operate from its current Santa
Monica, CA, offices. Continuing to head
the sales and marketing effort for
Soundcraft U.S.A. will be Wayne Freeman. Betty Bennett, president of Sound craft in Santa Monica, will be retiring to
raise a family, but will remain a consultant to Soundcraft U.S.A.
MASTER'S WORKSHOP TO
INSTALL PAIR OF
SONY PCM -3324
DIGITAL MULTITRACKS
Scheduled for installation in Master's
recently renovated facilities, the twin
system will make the studio complex the
only Canadian organization capable of
48 -track digital recording, along with
24 -to-24 track electronic editing and
dubbing.
Master's is described as one of Canada's leading studios in audio-for -video
production. Recent clients include Disney, Imax, Omnimax, HBO, PBS,
Showtime, CBC, CTV and Global, as
well as live concert recordings for
Supertramp, Police, David Bowie, and
more.
TWICKENHAM FILM STUDIOS
PLACES LARGE ORDER WITH
QUAD- EIGHT/ WESTREX
Phase #1 represents the delivery and
installation of Westrex film recorders
and projectors worth some $200,000. In
Phase #2, the contract for which was
awarded four months ago, Twickenham
Studios will receive additional recorders
and projectors to a value of $350,000,
and scheduled for delivery next June.
The third phase of the order is a specification for a custom -built Quad -Eight
console, complete with a Compumix IV
automation system with Intelligent Digital Faders. This desk will be one of the
central features in the new complex
being built at Twickenham, scheduled
for completion in August 1986.
The Twickenham console will feature
72 inputs, using Quad Eight's new input
module specifically designed for film
recording; 24 mix busses allow selection
of any recorder from any operator position. Also included are 10 echo /effect
send busses and independent three- and
two -channel pan busses.
GOLD LINE TO MANUFACTURE
LOFT PRODUCT LINE
Formerly produced by Phoenix Audio
Labs, the Loft line includes the Model
NEWS continues on page 149
-
QUIET...
PROGRAM EQUALIZATION
L -C ACTIVE
THE WHITE INSTRUMENTS ADVANTAGE
Channel Octave Band
Graphic Equalizer
4100A
2
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
the LOWEST
"Worst Case" NOISE of any graphic equalizer in the
industry
-90dBv, or better.
...
...
o
2221i=
;--i
R -e/p 142
Hand Tuned Filters
Brushed, Painted Aluminum Chassis
Captive, Threaded Fasteners -No Sheet Metal
Screws
Integrated Circuits in Sockets
Glass Epoxy Circuit Boards -Well Supported
High Grade Components
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.
_..
2112222
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-
CRAFTSMANSHIP
..
instruments, inc.
P.O. Box 698 Austin, Texas 78767
512/892 -0752
TELEX 776 409 WHITE INST AUS
i
o February 1986
For additional Information circle #229
Audio Mythology continued from page 18...
cleaner final product.
Headroom
Console headroom is another topic
that may need re- evaluation in the context of digital audio just how much
headroom is "enough" is a serious,
sometimes emotional issue. We reminisce about those good old vacuum
tube consoles that seemed to never run
out of gas, yet without recalling their
less than remarkable noise floors.
The soft overload /compression characteristic of analog recording tape
makes the availability of extra headroom desirable; relatively small amounts
of electrical clipping can sound harsh,
even in the presence of numerically
larger amounts of tape saturation
induced distortion.
Since digital recorders behave very
much like clipped electrical circuits during overload, excess headroom beyond
this clipping point provides us with very
little benefit. Hard clipping prior to the
digital processing should be avoided,
since such clipping generates excessive
high- frequency energy that can cause
ringing and overshoot in the anti aliasing filters.
Most high performance audio circuitry runs from ±15 to ±22 volt power supply rails. Modern low -noise integrated circuits, when operated from
even ±15V supplies, can deliver dynamic
range well in excess of any source or
storage medium I know of. Arguments
that larger than 30V peak-to -peak signal handling capabilities are needed in
line level processing gear I find to be
without merit.
I have come up with three exceptions
where more than 30Vp -p can be useful.
All three are output or interface related
so they don't support the argument for
additional level. The first and most
obvious example, where larger swings
are useful, is in the output of a power
amplifier, where such a swing is necessary to develop adequate power in a
speaker load.
A second example occurs in live PA
snakes, where crosstalk and other induced -noise sources are often well above
circuit noise floors. However, differential outputs (see the October 1985 Audio
Mythology column) can deliver the
equivalent of 60Vp -p from ±15V power
supplies. The third case is for terminated, transformer -coupled distribution
systems. A three -way constant impedance splitter transformer will be down
10 dB at each tap, in addition to the 6 dB
insertion loss for a standard termination.
So far I have argued, with the above
exceptions, that more than 30Vp -p is not
really useful. This should not be interpreted to mean that any circuit using
±15V power supplies will have adequate
headroom. There are several ways to
run short of headroom, most notably in
equalizer sections, fader/VCA make up
-
...
continued overleaf
-
ATTENTION MCI 500C /D OWNERS:
Your mic- inputs will sound much better with
the MPC- 500CIMPC -500D mic-preamp cards!
990 OP -AMP offers higher slew rate and output current, lower
noise and distortion, and better sound than stock 5534.
)E 16B MIC -INPUT TRANSFORMER provides one -third the
distortion, 15 dB higher input levels and better sound than
stock E 115 -KE.
SERVO/DC COUPLING eliminates coupling and gain -pot
capacitors resulting in much better sound without DC offset
J
problems.
ON -CARD REGULATION eliminates the need for the MCI
"swinging transistors." Reduces crosstalk and improves sound
quality. And more!
MPC -500C.
1.
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0
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CD
(long -tarot)
SERVO RESPONSE
000
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Cain pot set
NOTE:
THE HARDY CO.
ian
3
2
5
4
TIME. HOURS
at maximum gain,
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(312) 864 -8060
EVANSTON, IL 60204
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Audio Cassette & Video
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From 100 - 100,000 copies, the same consistent
quality goes into every tape we duplicate.
Computer controlled, state of the art facilities
all formats and budgets.
accommodating
And there's more
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with our in -house graphics
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When your reputation depends on it
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10
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Wilmington. MA 01887
(617) 658-3700
February 1986
R -e /p 143
AUDIO MYTHOLOGY
gain stages, and summing busses. Such
areas can be designed and worked
around, so long as you know where your
headroom limitations exist. Small
amounts of clipping will not automatically give you that "dead- battery" sound,
just a slightly harsh, subtly inferior
character.
Multiple peak indicators would be
ideal, while a single indicator that samples several points in the signal chain
would provide a good alternative. If you
don't have, or don't trust, the indicators
on your board, you can try injecting a
simple tone, and listen for distortion. It
is best to use a low- frequency (less than
500 Hz) signal, since the distortion products will then fall in the mid band
where your ears are most sensitive.
Adjust gains and listen at various patch
points until you can determine where
your limitations are. If you are one of the
two or three people out there still using
analog tape, you might find it interesting to hit the tape with a serious overload, and see how it sounds. (Overloading your digital recorder won't be nearly
as interesting sounding.)
E
References
Performance Limits in Contemporary
Console Design, by John Roberts, Rep, April 1980.
2. "Audio Mythology," April 1984.
INDUSTRY INTELLIGENCE
A
Sneak Preview of the New Otani DTR -900
PD- Format Digital Multitrack
by John Carey, Marketing Manager, Otani Corporation
previously announced at a joint
press conference during the recent
New York AES Convention, Otani Electric Company will exhibit its first digital multitrack at the International AES
Convention in Montreaux, Switzerland,
March 4 thru 7,1986. The new DTR -900
is manufactured in accordance with the
Professional Digital (PD) format standard also announced at the New York
AES. The PD format agreement assures
that tapes made on a PD machine will
record and playback on any other PD
machine. The Mitsubishi X-850, introduced at the last AES, is an example of
one such compatible PD digital recorder.
The following sections describe the
PD format's key technical points and, in
particular, outline the features and
capabilities of the Otani DTR-900.
As
Summary of PD Format
1.
The PD format for fixed -head digital
recording offers complete electrical and
tape compatibility between PD ma-
chines, to assure the ease of backup and
tape exchange between studios or stations. The format agreement includes 32
channels on one -inch tape, 16 channels
on half-inch tape, and two channels on
quarter -inch tape. The data -coding
scheme used in the PD format yields
digital recordings that are extremely
resistant to errors caused by tape dropout or contamination of either the head
or the tape surfaces. A combination of
Reed -Solomon Coding (RSC), Cyclical
Redundancy Check coding (CRC), and a
high level of physical dispersion of the
data across the tape media allows for
both razor-blade splice and electronic
editing without any loss of fidelity.
The 32- channel PD format consists of
a total of 45 tracks recorded on one -inch
tape. For each group of eight audio
channels, two additional tracks of RSC
parity information are generated for a
total of 40 tracks (eight audio + two parity X 4 groups = 40). Five additional
tracks are provided on the machine: two
auxiliary digital, two auxiliary analog,
and one timecode.
The data coding used in the PD format provides an additional benefit
beyond its high level of error detection/ correction. Since output clocking of the
data may be derived from any of the 32
audio data channels, there is no need for
a separate control track.
Machine Description
f4:.+
i
University
,S
of Sound,Aood
/ 10 wk / 6 month
RECORDING ENGINEERING
Offering
5
wk
WORKSHOPS
We use the finest aria the most modern state of the art equipment in the world, thus
producing engineers that are most effective and current in their approach.
Also Available: Certificate Programs in Sound Reinforcement, Music Business. Management, Music Video Production and Recording Studio Maintenance and VCR Repair
CALL COLLECT in California 213- 467-5256 or -800 -228-2095 or write to
University of Sound Arts. 6363 Sunset Bl., RCA Bldg., Hollywood, CA 90028
1
R -e/p 144 D February 1986
Otani believes that it is necessary to
provide the market with products that
are capable of not only achieving, but
maintaining, consistently high levels of
performance during rigorous professional use. Since performance and reliability directly contribute to the success
or failure of a particular user or facility,
Otani has placed a special engineering
emphasis on the DTR-900's long-term
reliability.
Because of the considerable expectations audio professionals now place on
digital recording, it has been our highest priority to design and manufacture
an exceptionally reliable machine that
will meet new challenges. With the addition of the PD digital recording products
to our line, we will offer more different
types of audio recording and duplicating products than any other manufacturer in the industry. Even within our
digital product line, our plans call for
product diversity.
The DTR-900 will be available in both
32-channel and 24 /32- channel versions
on one-inch tape. The 24/32 version will
be similar in concept to the analog
Model PC 80
The SCV PC 80 -the
audio tool for the 80's.
Two small battery -powered
recorder models we currently offer wherein the user may, at a later date, easily
expand the 16/24 or 8/16 machines to
their larger channel configurations.
The DTR- 900 -24/32 digital recorder will
incorporate this same expansion concept, and will also offer another significant benefit. The DTR- 900 -23/32 will be
supplied with 32 channel heads. In the
24- channel configuration, the recorder
will be delivered with the capability to
add the additional eight audio circuit
boards (plus their associated dual parity
electronics) at a later date. The advantages to this approach should be obvious
in that previously recorded 24/32 tapes
may be played and re- recorded on any
32- channel PD machine, and a 32 channel PD machine with all channels
equipped can add an additional eight
audio channels to the original 24 channel tape at a later date!
The DTR -900 Transport
The DTR -900 is based on the pinch roller -less transport developed and refined in the MTR -90 Series, the heart of
which is a direct-drive capstan motor
that governs tape motion in any operational mode, and provides smooth and
precise bi- directional tape control from
stop to 300 ips. When combined with the
heavy-duty half-horsepower reel motors,
the resultant tape handling characteristics are extremely stable and gentle.
Tape tension is evenly distributed across
the entire transport, from the supply
reel to the take -up reel.
The DTR -900's surface is built on a
two -inch thick, milled alloy casting for
stability and durability. The transport
will accept up to 14 -inch reels, which
permit as much as one hour of continuous recording.
Because the DTR-900 will be expected
to easily synchronize to videotape or
film systems, the excellent external
machine control capabilities of the
MTR -90 pinchroller-less transport can
be anticipated. The deck will accept a
wide range of external timebase references, including 50/60 Hz, 59.94 Hz, 9.6
kHz, 8 kHz, and composite video. Inter-
Price:
units test phase integrity
in any portion of an audio
ONLY $299.
chain.
The transmitter unit generates aspecial "wide- band" 1 Hz tone. This signal
is available at the XLR output as an electrical signal, controllable from
infinity to one volt. This allows testing of any system or unit, anywhere
from the mic to the speaker. The signal also drives a built -in speaker for
simple testing via the acoustical path.
The discriminator unit has both a built -in microphone and an input
connector; phase integrity is indicated as either "In Phase" or "Reverse"
on two LED's.
Simple, reliable and inexpensive, the S.C.V. has become the true time saver
for the audio engineer.
SCV Inc.
414 North Sparks Street
Burbank,
CA
91506
818-843 -7567
-
routine performance
*40,000 MILES PER HEAD of tape travel
for Saki premium quality audio heads. We are the world's leading
manufacturer o' professional long -life audio and instrumentation
heads.
Ask about our
2- track,
1/2
inch format.
0.328 -61001
February 1986
R -e /p 145
face with machine control systems will
be simplified because of Otari's standard 37 -pin parallel connector. An
optional plug -in timecode synchronizer
will be available for the DTR -900 Series
recorders; it will provide an RS -232C
serial port for control of all synchronizing functions and, additionally, will
support the SMPTE /EBU "ESBUS"
protocol via an optional RS -422 port.
The machine is capable of ±10% varispeed, a speed range that will be user adjustable and displayed in 0.1% steps
through the increment /decrement controls on the remote controller.
Audio Electronics
Analog inputs and outputs are active,
balanced and operate at a nominal level
of +4 dBm. The digital inputs and outputs are plug -compatible with all PD
machines (e.g., the Mitsubishi X- 800 /X850, or machines expected from AEG).
Audio performance of the digital
recording and reproduce channels is
consistent with current 16 -bit PCM
technology; 20 Hz to 20 kHz bandwidth,
+0.5, -1.0 dB; over 90 -dB dynamic range;
inaudible wow and flutter; etc. The
audio inputs will feature user-selectable
pre- emphasis of 50 plus 15 microseconds. The A/D converters may be
switched between 48 and 44.1 kHz sampling rates (the latter rate will not allow
the use of the varispeed feature described above).
All 32 channels will have 20- segment
LED meters for record and reproduce
level monitoring, and an optional metering panel can be attached to the remote
session controller. Audio record punchin and -out is totally silent, seamless
and gapless. An electronic crossfade
time constant of either five or 10 milliseconds may be user-selected. When making an insert edit on one channel, only
that channel and its two associated
RSC parity tracks are recorded. The PD
format's error -correction system permits mechanical razor -blade edits on
the digital tape, without any detectable
degradation in the playback signal.
Because of the inherent flexibility in the
format's encoding scheme, it is the only
format capable of re- recording over a
splice from a previously recorded tape.
The two analog audio channels are
intended for recording reference information for use during razor -blade editing. The two auxiliary channels allow
convenient tape storage of console
automation, CD subcode, or MIDI data.
A dedicated timecode channel is employed for tape-machine address location using the remote session controller
or, alternately, for use by an external
synchronizer, editor or machine controller.
Remote Session Controller
The DTR -900 Series machines will
include a remote session controller that
mounts on a variable profile stand, and
includes all channel function controls,
as well as the autolocator and various
special function controls. The remote
section has all channels record ready /safe selects, output monitor status
switching for tape or input, and includes
channel control grouping with set-up
memories for increased efficiency and
accuracy in session control. Additional
control features of the DTR -900 include:
audio muting, input monitor standby
switching, and variable speed control
with an LED display. The autolocator
section includes 99 memories for storage
of timecode location when the tape has
been pre -stripped with code.
The controller has all of the standard
functions currently found on an Otari
autolocator including: cue storage, cue
search, search zero, and repeat. With onboard automatic record -event memories, the DTR-900 is capable of automatic record punch -in and -out. An
insert edit and exit point may be
rehearsed from the remote, and precisely trimmed before committing to the
record mode. There is a user-definable
pre -roll stored in memory for use as a
preview /rehearse aid when selecting
the ideal insert points. The tape -timing
displays, which are included in the locator section, will display hours, minutes,
seconds, and frames, with eight digits
for additional ease of operation. Lastly,
the remote duplicates the DTR-900's
transport controls, and can be arranged
in any order the user prefers.
Delivery of production models of the
DTR-900 -32 and 24/32 are scheduled for
Summer, 1986. The machines will be
available through a select group of professional audio dealers that currently
distribute Otari MTR -90II machines.
Otani is planning to introduce the
companion two -channel PD digital recorder
tentatively named the DTR 200
by the end of 1986.
MEN
--
KLARK -TEKNIK DN -780 REVIEW:
PRICING UPDATES
Since the publication of Bob Hodas' in -use
operational assessment of the DN -780 digital
reverb and special effects processor, which
appeared in the December 1985 issue of Re/p, we have been informed of a price reduction for the unit, along with a new software
upgrade and additional interface capabilities.
Your
Never
Heard It
Hood
Only one person hears music at its
absolute best, the recording engineer.
He's responsible for mixing the music on
records and soundtracks. Wherever he
works, he's easy to spot because he's got
the best seat in the house. Call us for a free tour,
and we can put you in that seat.
For hands-on training in multi -track music recording
or video production, call us at (213) 666-3003 ext. 6
or phone for a free brochure.
Approved for Foreign Students
1831
Hyperion Ave., Dept. F, Hollywood, CA 90027 (213) 666 -3003 Ext. 6
R -e /p 146
February 1986
Institute of
Audio-Video
Engineering
Effective immediately, the DN -780 has a
recommended retail price of $3,900, including remote control, a drop of $1,400 from the
unit's previous price of $5,500. According to
Jack Kelly, president of Klark -Teknik Electronics, Inc., the price reduction results from
a drop in parts' costs, specifically VLSI technology now available for the digital processor.
The new software EPROM, designated
V1.6, will be available free from K -T dealers
by March, and includes additional "enriched"
chamber, plate and concert -hall programs.
Also scheduled to be made by April are
two interface cards for the DN -780 to
accommodate external MIDI and serial
communication via RS -232. While final prices for the two interface boards has yet to be
finalized, according to Kelly they will be
made available at "modest cost" to current
NN
owners.
Classified
-
RATES $82 Per Column Inch (2'/4"
x 1r')
CLEAN
PATCH BAYS
NO DOWN
-
TIME
One -inch minimum, payable in advance. Four inches
maximum. Space over four inches will be charged
for at regular display advertising rates.
EQUIPMENT tor SALE
EQUIPMENT FOR SALE
Used & New Mixers, Amps, Effects,
Mics., Etc. YAMAHA, JBL, BGW, SHURE,
ETC. Low Prices, eg: BGW 750B's, $700.
Lexicon 224, $4.950. Quantity discounts.
A -1 AUDIO, 6322 DeLongpre Ave., Hollywood, Calif. 90028. (213) 465 -1101.
1
FREE
SI,rO
32pg Catalog
Mono Pwr dIvP
o
A
Audio Plot
pl,.
m
OOPAMP
d
LABS INC
1033
N
&
50 Audio 'Video Applic.
PNONO. ^IC.
TAP
C
TAPE,
E, VIDEOO
EINE, OSC
TV
Audio
&
Syncon Series-A Console 28x24 w /Parametric EQ, Six Aux Sends, Sub grouping, P &G faders, Patch bay, producer's
desk and pedestal $14,000. 32 channels
dbx 216 w /Mainframes $5,995. Delta -Lab
DL -4 $475. Loft Delay Flanger $375.
Crown D -150 Ser. II $350.00 Revox A77
2 -Tr $500. Teac 2300SX 2 -Tr $375
Call (617) 685 -1832
Recd Prod Consoles
For additional information circle #236
NEW AND USED EQUIPMENT
MCI -428 Console Input modules $625
ea.
MCI -428 Mainframe w /meters & power
supplies. (Make offer)
MCI -428 Producer's Desk $425
Amek Matchless mainframe. (Make offer)
Echoplate 1 Reverb 4x8 EC Used 1995
EQUIPMENT
BTX Shadow 4700 and Softtouch Controller w /remote and stand. $5,000.00
MCI JH 528 NA -VU Console, 28 I/O
Modules, 8 echo rtns., 8 VCA groups,
extra pathc rows and modified for 56
inputs. $23,000.00 or BO.
Call Bobby (212) 921 -1711
EMPLOYMENT
(Studio Technology)
Tascam 85 -16 w /dbx $7000 EC
NEW! Sony /MCI JH -24, AMEK Consoles,
Tannoy, SMPTE sync. systems + more
Moving Sale in progress.
CSE AUDIO
1200A Scottsville Rd.
Rochester, NY 14624
(716)436 -9830
MCI 24 -TRACK JH114, 12 DOLBY 361,
3M M64 2- TRACK, 3M M79 2/4- track,
Scully2802- track, Eventide H910Harmonizer.
All equipment professionally maintained
and in service in major studio. Broker
participation welcome. Contact
Pat Scholes at (901) 725 -0855
ARDENT STUDIOS, 2000 Madison Ave.,
Memphis, TN. 38104
VERTIGO 1r4" TRS AND TT BURNISHERS:
nallxrlHing
PA SYSTEM FOR SALE:
Gauss, JBL, Soundcraft, 400B's, BGW,
Enclosures, Cases, Wiring, (EG)- BGW
250D $300., R1000 Dig. Verb. $400.,
Excellent pro shape. Send for list:
ELI AUDIO, 51 Hawthorne,
Elyria OH 44035, or call
(216) 366-5119
(213) 934 -3566
Sycamore Av LOS ANGELES CA, 90038
VERTIGO BURNISHERS AND INJECTORS
RESTORE ORIGINAL PERFORMANCE
TO YOUR PATCH BAYS
- - -
NEW CAREER
A NEW START
Security
High Pay
Glamour
MUSIC CAREER WORKSHOP
Video - Music Biz - Audio
"Total Immersion" Training
Call Now! 1- 800 -248 -2672
Due to the acquisition of Neve Electronic
Holdings by Siemens,
RUPERT NEVE, INC.
expanding its operations. Positions
available are Field Service Engineer and
Sales Engineer /Western Regional Manager. Send resume to
RUPERT NEVE, INC.
Berkshire Industrial Park
Bethel, CT 06801 or call (203) 744 -6230
is
a0,1ä0((0
VERTIGO 1/4" TRS AND TT INJECTORS:
arh allows injicbon of cleaning solvent in Orig. ;
(.001,100
Inormaisl to eliminate mlermdtency (ht
occurs when l,,"
'
'rd has been removed.
STILL ONLY $29.95 Ea.
(con( USA).
Please write foradd/Pond' inlorrnalron and order form
Used by Prolessionale, Worldwide Patent Pending
VERTIGO RECORDING SERVICES
12115 Magnolia Blvd. #116
North Hollywood, CA 91607
Telephone. 818 769 -5232
Telex: 5106006748 VERTIGO RECRD
DAN ALEXANDER AUDIO
Used equipment for sale
MICROPHONES
All Neumann and AKG tube type
microphones available.
Also RCA, Schoeps, Sony, etc.
RECORDING CONSOLES
8068 w/Necam
Trident Series 80
API 32 in, Automated
Helios 32/ 16/24, L shaped
Harrison 3232
Neve, custom, 30/16/16
MCI 528
Neve
TAC 16 in, 8 out, as new
TAPE RECORDERS
Studer A80 MKII 24 trk
Ampex MM1200 24T w /16T heads
3M M79 24 -track
MCI JH -1 14
Studer A8OR two -track
Otari MTR -90 Mk1I
OUTBOARD GEAR
Too much to list. Call for info.
SYNCLAVIER II FOR SALE
voice, 64K memory, one pedal, up to
date softwware, one disk drive.
Call Nick, (213) 661 -7777
8
FOR SALE:
EMULATOR II and FM SECTION OF
SYNCLAVIER. Mint Condition. Call
Quantum Sound Studios.
(201) 656 -7023
MAJOR L.A. AREA STUDIO /RENTAL
COMPANY SEEKS QUALIFIED
SERVICE TECHNICIAN
for full time position. Duties include
maintenance, engineering and installation of professional recording gear.
Send resume and salary requirements to
ALIVITY PRODUCTIONS
14755 Ventura Blvd. Ste. 715
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
WANTED
Fairchild, Teletronics, Pultec,
ITI, Sontec, API, Lang,
Marantz Model 9
DAN ALEXANDER AUDIO
PO Box 9830
94709
Berkeley, CA
Phone: 415-527-1411
February 1986 D R -e /p 147
WANTED: EXPERIENCED KEYBOARD
TECHNICIAN /PROGRAMMER
for major recording /touring artist. Must
have knowledge of latest keyboards. Full
time - salary based on qualifications.
Call (612) 944 -3110 - Susan or Cubby.
ELECTRONIC ENGINEER
Capitol Records is building a new Compact Disc plant in the Springfield, Illinois
area, and requires several engineers with
3 -5 years of electronics experience.
Good salary and benefits, and training in
a new field. Contact:
Director of Employment, CAPITOL
1750 No. Vine St., Hollywood, CA 90028
1
9 8 6
s
E.
.,
NEW YORK
NASHVILLE
"The Audio Rental People"
CONSOLES
DIGITAL RECORDERS
TIMECODE WIRELESS MIKES
SYNTHESIZERS EFFECTS
1619 Broadway, NY NY (212) 582 -7360
STUDIO for SALE
ü N;S
I
NG
I
N S T
I
TUTjEjS'.
Eastman School of Music
of the University of Rochester
Analog/Digital Professional
Facilities
Basic Recording Techniques
June 30 August 8
Advanced Recording Techniques
July 21 August 8
-
-
instruction by leading audio engineering professionals in: basic electronics
applied to audio digital technology;
acoustics; microphones; tape and
disc recording; studio, remote, and
classical recording; signal processing; maintenance; etc.
Labs, recording sessions, mixdowns.
Credit and non -credit.
Coordinator: Ros Ritchie, director of
Eastman Recording Services
For further information and applications write: Summer Session, Dept. L,
Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs
St., Rochester, N.Y. 14604
Eastman School of Music of the University of
Rochester provides equal opportunity.
New York Technical
Support, Ltd.
-
FOR SALE
IS
Eugene,
Recording Arts Center
Oregon.
One of the finest facilities in
the Northwest and only facility of its calibre between San Francisco and Portland. Has a downtown location, and
only 1/2-block from the world class, Hult
Center for the Performing Arts. For
further information, contact:
Emerson Hamilton, (503) 485 -4455,
or for technical information, call
Steve Diamond (503) 687 -8177
-
R E C O R D
ENGINEERING /INVESTMENT
OPPORTUNITY
New Studer /Neve facility located in Burlington, Vermont seeks rec /mix engineer
with substantial credits and experience
to invest time and talent toward a share
of studio business. Must have resources
to live on during start up period, and
possible cash or equipment to invest.
Excellent return potential, and a beautiful place to live and work.
Send resume to:
Mr. Lockwood
P.O. Box 521, Burlington, Vermont 05402
Please, no semipros.
EQUIPMENT for RENT
SERVICE
spsRs
KK ,[,.
a rwr[,rw.,
Y10,0 4C W Owi YDp1
"VNe are factory trained by
Studer, Otari, MCI, Ampex,
3M, Neve, Trident, and Scully.
Our work is guaranteed."
Very successful group of companies,
est. 1964. Incl., state -of the 24 trk studio
operation, high -speed cassette duplicating plant, direct -on -board album jkt
plant, color separation company and
more. 10,000 sq. ft; includes real estate.
Owners retiring. Located in Northwest.
c/o Box J, R -e /p, P.O. Box 2449
Hollywood, CA 90078
CALL
GREG HANKS
914776 -2112
1440 Midland Ave., Suite 10
Bronxville, NY 10708
Studio Forms
Get box labels, track sheets, invoices.
etc., printed with your studio's name &
address! FREE Catalog of specialized
MISCELLANEOUS
forms for the recording industry.
albums of 180 crisp
stereo sound effects
grouped by category.
Under 50 cents a cut.
5
5
Q.
QZ
Get your free demo of
Write EFX, 2325 Girard
Minneapolis, MN 55405
PRODUCTION
StudloForms, Inc.
pond
5
Glen Cove Ave, Suite 201/R1
Glen Cove, NY 11542.516- 671 -1047
186
PAP
f
e-
S.
Lffi LIBRARY
please mention
-
.
.
YOU SAW IT IN R -E /P
For additional information circle #240
ADVERTISING SALES OFFICES
LONDON, ENGLAND
Nicholas McGeachin
Suite 460, Southbank House
Black Prince Road,
London SE1 7SJ
Telex: 295555 LSPG
Telephones: 01 -582 -7522
NEW YORK.
NEW YORK
Stan Kashine
Eighth Floor
630 Third Ave.
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 1- 212- 687 -4128
1 -212- 687 -4652
-
01 -587 -1578
SANTA MONICA,
CALIFORNIA
Herbert A. Schiff
Phone: 1 -213- 393-9285
Jason Perlman,
Phone: 1 -213- 458-9987
Schiff & Associates
1317 Fifth St. Ste. 202
Santa Monica, CA 90401
R -e /p 148
February 1986
OVERLAND PARK.
KANSAS
Mary Tracy
P.O. Box 12901
Overland Park, KS 66212
Phone: 1-913-888-4664
Telex: 42-4256 Intertec OLPK
NORWOOD, AUSTRALIA
Hastwell, Williamson,
Rouse PTY. Ltd
P.O. Box 419
Norwood, Australia
Phone: 332-3322
Telex: AA87113
TOKYO, JAPAN
Haruki Hireyama
EMS, Inc.
Sagami Bldg., 4 -2 -21, Shinjuku
Shinjuku-ku. Tokyo 160,
(03) 350 -5666
Cable: EMSINCPERIOD
Telex: 2322520 EMSINCJ
News
-TScontinued
from page 142..
Audio Test Set, a number of cross.
-1
overs, a parametric equalizer, quad
gate /limiters, and a delayed auditory
feedback processor for training.
Some of the former representatives of
Phoenix Audio will also represent Gold
Line. In most cases, however, Gold
Line's present representatives will handle both product lines.
The company will also be setting up a
repair facility at its New Bedford, MA,
factory. Customers should contact Gold
Line at (203) 938 -2588 to obtain an RA
Number and shipping instructions.
Cash Control; Investment Analysis and
Cash Flow; Management's General
Business Forecast; and Developing
Areas of Business for Studios. In addition, there will be a reception each evening featuring demonstrations of Studio
Business Software by leading vendors
in the field.
Registration fees for SPARS members
will be $380 before March 1, and $425
after that date. For non -SPARS members, the fees will be $530 and $575,
respectively. Participation will be limited to 70 registrants.
For more information, individuals
and software vendors should contact
the SPARS National Office, P.O. Box
11333, Beverly Hills, CA 90213. (213)
466 -1244.
SPARS ORGANIZES
SECOND ANNUAL
BUSINESS CONFERENCE
To be held March 22 through 23 at the
Graduate School of Management, University of California at Los Angeles, the
forthcoming conference will be modeled
on last year's successful gathering at
3M World Headquarters. The agenda
will include seminars on the following
six topics: Obedience Training for
Bankers; Insurance Costs; E ffective
-
-
News Notes
Effective December 1, 1985, Phoenix Systems' products will be manufactured under
license and distributed by Rhoades National
Corporation, Columbia, TN. A combination
Rhoades /Phoenix catalog can be requested by
writing: Rhoades National Corporation, Dept.
R /P, P.O. Box 1316, Columbia, TN 38401. (615)
381 -9007.
Principles of Digital Audio,
llJlllllllllllllJllll
.;
1
llJlllJllllllllllllll
DX/TX VoicePatch Librarian"
printing scores/parts/leadsheets. Convert written
compositions to MegaTrack for overdubbing.
$100
MacMIDI Sync" or SMPTE'" interfaces for connecting to
MIDI, Audio and Video networks.
$250/$350
DX/TX Volcepatch Librarian' for quick access to
thousands of DX7 voices. Store 40 RAM cartridges /disk. $150
System package: Megatrack + MacMIDI SMPTE
4 Casio CZ -101 synths (for 16 MIDI voices)
$1750
MIDI "multitrack tape recorder/music
/music data processor which
records up to 72,000 note events and works with any size Mac.
MUSICWORKS 18 Haviland Boston MA 02115 (617) 266-2886
YOUR NATIONAL
CLEARINGHOUSE
FOR FINE USED
AUDIO & VIDEO
Our mailers reach
thousands of professionals every
month. We'll list your used
equipment free of charge- -or
help you find that rare item
you've been looking for.
THE
BERTECH ORGANIZATION
Distributors, brokers and custom
fabricators of quality audio and
video equipment.
14447 CALIFA STREET
$150
Store forty 32 -voice DX7 Virtual Cartridges" on one disk!
Organize, load and save patches instantly.
DX /TX Volcepatch Disk" #1
$100
A disk of useful DX patches prepared by Dave Mash of the
Berklee College of Music.
MegaTrack'"
$150
MacMIDI 32" Dual Interface
$150
MacMIDI Sync"
$250
MacMIDI SMPTE'"
$350
Connect your Mac to one or two MIDI sources and send on
up to 32 MIDI channels.
All the features of MM32 plus FSK tape and drum box sync.
All the features of MM32 plus SMPTE" Time Code
send /receive and drum machine sync.
MUSICWORKS 18 Haviland Boston MA 02115 (617) 266-2886
THINK BERTECH FIRST
!
REPLACEMENT
BOOM PARTS
BLACK
AUDIO DEVICES manufactures
replacements for boom parts that are hard
to find anywhere else. Our parts will also
out perform and outlast factory parts. Keep
your original equipment investment working for you and paying off with:
LOCKSCREWS
of booms.
- for
-
most types
replaces the
SWIVEL LEVERS
dumbells on AKG -type booms.
THREAD STRIPS
returns snug
fit to threaded parts on booms and
stands.
AVALIABLE OFF- THE -SHELF
BLACK AUDIO DEVICES
P.O. BOX 4573
GLENDALE, CA 91202
(818) 507 -8785
"Because it's the little things that count."
February 1986
For additional information circle 4241
O
x
E
(8181 909 -0262
The complete Macintosh
music production system for the MIDI studio featuring:
MegaTrack"- Record and play back MOI performances.
Unlimited independent tracks.
$150
MIDIWorks'
Convert Megatrack recordings to
Professional Composer" or Music Construction Set" for
"-
THE
BERTECH ORGANIZATION
OUTSIDE CA (800) 992 -2272
by Ken C. Pohlmann
,Jr
!
VAN NUYS, CA 91401
Reviewed by Bruce Botnick and David Collins, Digital Magnetics, Inc.
nical books readable. This should come
A. Ken Pohlmann says in the preface to his new book: "A book on as no surprise, however, since the
digital audio? Is this really necessary? author presumably has had a lot of
In today's problematic world of cruise experience in the area of digital techmissiles, chemical dump sites, acid rain, nology in his role as an engineering proand fast food croissants, is a book on fessor at the University of Miami. Sub digital audio really important enough to erbly written and illustrated, Principles
of Digital Audio allows the technical
be written ?" You betcha, Red Rider!
novice as well as the technical wizard
This book is our digital bible!
The fact that many people who use the opportunity to understand the mysdigital recording equipment on a daily teries of digital audio.
It is quite an effort that Ken Pohlbasis have a limited understanding of
the principals is proof of the extreme mann has put together. Simply put, the
need of books of this type. Fortunately, book covers eight fascinating chapters,
Ken Pohlmann possesses the technical starting with a discussion of the physics
knowledge, combined with a wonderful of sound transmission in air, and basic
flair for explanation and analogy (pun electricial concepts relating to sound
intended) that is required to make tech- reproduction in the analog domain.
!
--
Sounds Good Audio, Lansing, MI, has
Arai -ti mi cd
BfJ OK AEVIEt1V
®I,MACMIDITM
IF YOU'RE NOT
USING IT
SELL IT
R -e/p 149
Next, these familiar quantities are contrasted with their counterparts in dig ital information systems, such as sampling, quantization, signal -to -error ratio,
aliasing, and dither. Ken's method of
bringing you into the 21st Century is
with such joy and enthusiasm that you
can't help but get caught up in his
excitement. He explains in great detail
the entire Digital Audio chain from
input to output.
First, a description of Pulse Code
Modulation is in order, since this is the
technique used by the majority of manufacturers today. Next, several systems
of analog -to- digital conversion are
explored including successive approximation, dual -slope integration, parallel
with an eye towards their pros and
cons in various audio applications. The
concept of dither is introduced early in
the book and is explained very thoroughly; it is certainly emphasized that
the presence of dither can eradicate
many quantization effects of PCM systems at the expense of a tiny bit of noise.
Dither helps to make the digital system
more "analog" in its operation, and
many designs employ it in some form.
-
-
The all- important and much misunderstood lowpass filter is also studied in
detail, with an emphasis on design
criteria that maintain a flat passband
and minimum phase impulse responses.
These filters, whether digital or analog
in nature, certainly have attained a
hero/villian status in the sound of digital systems, and the coverage here is
excellent and long overdue!
Next, of course, is the Digital-toAnalog conversion stage; in this chapter some different options are explored,
with oversampling preceding D/A conversion being suggested as the most
viable technique. Naturally, the laddertype, integrating and dynamic elementmatching converters are described and
contrasted for audio use; other digitization methods, such as floating-point
and adaptive delta modulation are also
discussed.
The book provides a complete outline
of the various storage devices available
today for digital audio, including a discussion of longitudinal, perpendicular
and isotropic magnetic recording techniques found in most commonly used
stationary- and rotating-head recorders
THIS ISSUE OF R -E /P IS SPONSORED BY THE FOLLOWING LIST OF ADVERTISERS
A &R Record & Tape Manufacturing Co
.. 110
Agfa Gevaert
55
AKG Acoustics
80
Dan Alexander Audio
147
Allen & Heath Brenell
70
Alpha Audio
115
AMEK
5
Ampex Corporation
64
Amtet Systems
71,73
Anchor Audio
140
Aphex Systems, Ltd
67
139
API
Applied Research & Technology
61
Ashley Audio
14
Audio Affects
49
Audio Engineering Associates
141
Audio Kinetics
93
Audio -Technica US
51
Auratone Corporation
75,105,107
B &B Systems
43
Barcus Berry Electronics
83
Bertech Organization
149
Beyer Dynamic
119
Black Audio Devices
149
Bruel & Kjaer
69
Bryston
139
Cetec Gauss
132
Community Light & Sound
53
Countryman Associates
46
Crown International
72,131
Digital Dispatch
97
Digital Entertainment Corp
2 -3
DOD Electronics
47
Eastern Acoustic Works
31
Eastman School of Music
148
Editron
138
Embassy Cassettes
108
Eventide, Inc.
11
Everything Audio
24
Fairlight Instruments US
8 -9
Fostex
109
Furman Sound
58
Future Disc Systems
35
Garfield Electronics
123
Hardy Company
143
IAN Communications Group, Inc
143
Institute of Audio /Video Engineering
146
Intertec Publishing Corp
133
JBL, Inc.
63
Jensen Transformers
106
Jordax California, Inc
115
JVC Company of America
77
Klark -Teknik
96
La Salle Music
137
Lake Systems
84
LD Systems
126
R -e /p 150
February 1986
.
Lexicon, Inc
LT Sound
Magnetic Reference Labs
Manny's Music
Meyer Sound Labs
Mitsubishi Pro -Audio Group
Monster Cable
MusicWorks
Nakamichi
NEOTEK
Rupert Neve, Inc.
New England Digital
Nikko Audio
Ocean Audio
Omni Craft
Orban Associates
Otani Corporation
Peavey Electronics
Professional Audio Services
Rane Corporation
RCA Records Test Tapes
Renkus -Heinz
Rocktron Corporation
Saki Magnetics
Samson
Sanken Microphones
SCV Audio
Sennheiser Electronics
Shure Brothers, Inc
Simon Systems
Skyelabs
Solid State Logic
Sony
Soundcraft
Soundtracs, Inc
Sprague Magnetics, Inc
Standard Tape Labs
Storer Promotions
Studer Revox /America
Summit Audio
Tannoy
Tascam Division /TEAC Corp
Techron Industrial Products
Tecpro, Inc
Telex Communications
Trebas Institute of Recording Arts
University of Sound Arts
U.S. Audio
Valley People
Vertigo Recording Services
Westlake Audio
Whirlwind Audio
White Instruments
World Records
Yamaha
29
39
130
85
104
2-3
16
149
103
32
19
20 -21
129
121
112
59,99
37
15
2Y
40
110
91
50
145
7
135
145
125
154
127
78
79
45,111
23
117
113
114
78
87,153
94
57
95
101
136
17
10
144
18
74
147
88
112
142
113
12-13
hard -disk computer systems; and an
insight into the future storage possibilities offered by Optical Disc (DRAW, or
Digital Read After Write) systems. The
author also includes a look at direct
satellite broadcast and cable digital
audio /data transmission systems. Error
detection, correction, and concealment
strategies are explained.
An entire chapter is devoted to the
Compact Disc. Will the CD replace the
LP and cassette as the dominant consumer playback medium? Is it suitable
for the automobile, and the beach?
In the book's last chapter, titled "A
New Beginning," Ken addresses the
possible end of analog processing; the
promise of higher fidelity; and the
sampling -rate controversy.
We recommend that you run, not
walk, to your nearest technical book
store [or send $21.95, including postage,
to R -e /p Books at the address given
Editor], and buy this book. If
below
you are thinking of including digital
technology as part of your studio, you
should know all you can about what
makes digital tick. Besides, Ken could
use the extra money he will earn from
sales of the book to buy a CD blaster to
take to the beach!
-
Principles of Digital Audio is available from Rep Books for $21.95, including postage. When
ordering, please send a check or money order
payable in U.S. funds to the following address:
R -e/p Books, P.O. Box 2449,
Hollywood, CA 90078
-
-
News Notes
continued from page 149
.
.
.
ordered a 52- position, 40 -input version of Harrison Systems' new HM -4 stereo sound reinforcement console system. The HM -4 will
form the heart of SGA's main touring system
that will travel first with Kashif on a 15 -week tour
scheduled to begin in mid -January.
Audio Engineering Associates, Pasadena,
CA, has been appointed the exclusive dealer for
all AMEK series consoles in Southern California, according to Bob Owsinski, VP of sales and
marketing for AMEK Consoles, Inc. "We are
proud to be associated with a company that has
such a fine technical reputation as well as a high
degree of credibility in the Southern California
audio community," Owinski states. "AEA has
always been noted for selling only the best
sounding, highest quality products, and in this
regard we feel that they are the perfect company
to represent us in this area. Also announced was
AEA's appointment as a dealer for all Total
Audio Concepts (TAC) products.
Audiotechniques has delivered 50 Sony JH110C Series tape machines to the U.S. Army.
According to company president Bob Berliner
this latest order represents the last production
run of JH -110Cs to be manufactured by Sony's
Fort Lauderdale facility. The company has also
delivered two Compusonics DSP -2002 digital
editing systems to Transcom Media, New
York City, for all audio post -production on a
series of cartoons the facility is producing for
network TV. The DSP systems incorporated a
number of recently added features, including
Automatic Dialog Replacement, Sony PCM1610/F1 interface, video -sync reference, and
butt splicing.
M/
PR99 MKII
MASTERING PERFECTION
rehearsed long hours. Spent more hours laying down tracks. And a few more adding overdubs. Now it's time to mix down to your stereo
master. This is no place for compromise. Insist on a
two -track recorder from Studer Revox, a company
dedicated to music mastering perfection.
You
Tour the
premier recording studios of the
London to
Power Station in New York to Lion Share
in Los Angeles- and you'll find they have
one thing in common: mastering recorders from Studer of Switzerland.
front panel vari-
world
speed. Options
include steel roll around console,
monitor panel, and
Granted, their Studer decks cost in the
neighborhood of $10,000. But, for about
one-fifth that amount, you can own a
two -track mastering recorder with the
same bloodlines
machine which
draws on the same advanced audio
technology and the same world -renowned expertise in precision manufac-
The new microprocessor- controlled counter /
- from Abbey Road in
-a
turing. The PR99 MKII.
Like its "big brothers" in top studios, the
PR99 MKII is built for long -term performance. The transport chassis and head -
block are solid diecast aluminum, milled
and drilled with exacting precision. So
the parts fit together right. And stay together for a long time.
loaded with professional features: Balanced and floating
+4 inputs and outputs. 101" reel capacity. Tape dump. Self -sync. Input switching
for tape echo effects. Output mode
switching. Edit mode switch. And built -in
The PR99 MKII is also
remote control.
locator saves time (and
cools tempers!) in tricky
mixes. Touch a button and
go to zero. Exactly to zero.
Touch another button and go
to a locate point, which can be
entered from the keyboard or "on
the fly" from the counter. Because
PR99 MKII finds your cues, you can
concentrate on your mixing.
In overall sound quality, we believe
the PR99 MKII once again steps out in
front of the competition. So when you
finish mixing, you hear a playback which
captures all the excitement of your tracks.
But that's for your ears to
decide. Contact
your Revox Professional Products Dealer and
arrange an audition. Why settle for less than
mastering perfection?
L_
`r
.
REVOX
Studer Revox America, Inc., 1425 Elm Hill Pike, Nashville, TN 37210/(615) 254 -5651
For additional Information circle #244
The world's first,005
unidirectional surfacemounted condenser mic.
Clean and simple.
No carpet strips or plastic baffles
needed. Until now, all surf icemounted mics have been
omnidirectional. Trying to add
directionality has required
a lot of busy work. The new SM91 brings the big
advantages of unidirectionality to boundary effect
microphones by incorporating a condenser cartridge
with a half-cardioid pattern that isolates the speaker
from surrounding noises.
The new smoothie. The sleek SM91 delivers wide band, smooth response throughout the audio spectrum, while greatly reducing the problems of feedback, low -frequency noise and phase cancellation.
Ideal for instruments or vocals. The SM91 does a
great job of isolating a vocalist or instrument in
musical applications. It's also an excellent mic for
meeting and conference rooms.
And it's the ideal mic for live
theater.
A preamp ahead of its time.
The ultra -low noise preamplifier provides switch -selectable flat or low -cut response,
excellent signal -to -noise ratio and a high output
clipping level. A low-frequency cutoff filter minimizes low -end rumble especially on large surfaces.
If you're going omni. Our new SM90 is identical in
appearance to the SM91 and just as rugged.
For more information or a demonstration, call or write
Shure Brothers, Inc.
O
Ave.,
Evanston, IL 60202.
(312) 866 -2553.
BREAKING SOUND BARRIERS
-
iSHURE
For additional information circle #269
For additional Information circle #245
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