www.prostudio.com/studiosound
September 2000 UK £5.00 US $10.00
I
POSTPRODUCTION
RECORDING
BROADCAS
www.prostudio.com/studiosound
REVIEWS
Amek Media 51
Waves L2 Ultraharmonizer
Audio -Technica AT895
Pure XIX processors
Ridge Farm Boiler
TL
-Audi
Wh
._.
`d
Audio Fat One
Tascam MX -2424
it come from
and where is
it taking you?
Stellavox PW1
Trident S80
From Silk Sound in London and Soundtrack in Barcelona
JBL TSR25P
Nothing compares
Nv G
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t.I
CONTENTS
ANALYSIS
4
POSTPRODUCTION
98
Editorial
101
Soundings
108
World Events
111
Letters
Your comments offered for consideration,
discussion and ridicule
122
The Wish List
Dr John
Masterclass
80
REVIEWS
22
Amek Media 51
Big's younger sibling is an affordable
analogue multichannel console
26
Tascam MX -2424
Putting Tascam's flagship high- definition
digital recorder through its paces
POSTPRODUCTION
16
Metadata
Background and troubleshooting on the
format behind Tascam's MDM machines
Producer, remixer and engineer Tim
Palmer creates his dream mix room
FEATURES
Antares Audio Technologies
Where do audio sidebands come
from and what uses do they find?
Updating the professional's personal
events calendar
120
BROADCAST
Explaining Metadata and its place in the
next generation of delivery formats
Breaking news on professional
audio, post and broadcast
118
RECORDING
Soft focus on the California -based
plug -in software specialists
Introducing a new -look Studio Sound
and its latest all -star contributors
8
I
Soundtracks
Barcelona's post facility hosts an historic
reunion for Tom Hidley and Philip Newell
30
Waves L2
Israeli software stars turn to hardware
with the digital Ultramaximiser
20
51
Silk Sound
London post workhorse mothballs its
Opus DAWs and prepares to re-equip
34
Gary Rydstrom
35
The definitive loudspeaker review
The American film sound master
talks about sound and passion
Stellavox
PW1
The definitive amplifier review
39
84
JBL TSR25P
The Hollow Man
Trident S80
Recreating a channel strip from the
Trident Series 80 console in deadly detail
The SDDS sound crew make up for Kevin
Bacon's low -key screen presence
RECORDING
59
66
68
80
DVD -Audio
Charting the politics and setting the scene
on DVD's succession to the compact disc
DVD -Audio
Discussing forecasters' charts and the
likely take -up of the DVD -Audio format
DVD -Audio
Mix master Rory Kaplan discusses DVD -A,
surround and the DTS back catalogue
TL Audio Fat One
A hybrid valve /solid -state'stereo
compressor for the preset generation
42
Ridge Farm Boller
Creative compression from eccentric
Englishmen offers cooking sounds
44
BROADCAST
46
COLUMNISTS
106
Technology
Barry Fox discusses DVD -A, SACD,
watermarking and listening sessions
106
Business
Dan Daley argues that distributors will
face problems from new technologies
TECHNOLOGY
91
Pure XIX processors
A budget line in outboard processing
with a classic Dutch line in styling
2000 Olympics
The Sydney Olympics puts in a
winning broadcast performance
Audio- Technica ÁT895
A revolutionary new shotgun microphone
design employing onboard DSP control
Johnny Hallyday
French pop darling Johnny Hallyday's
concert, broadcast and recording project
78
40
Leitch Diamond
a stereo broadcast infrastructure
to meet multichannel broadcast needs
Enabling
107
Delivery
Kevin Hilton predicts trouble with history,
terminology, philosophy and chemistry
www.prostudio.com/studiosound
www.americanradiohistory.com
ü
uiuiiiiu
11111
1.
EDITORIAI._
Our
world, and welcome to it
WHAT BEGAN AS A REGULAR MAGAZINE
redesign required us to examine the business we are in and to distil the coverage that
we give you. Market research conducted among readers and manufacturers confirmed that technology and
market forces are causing convergence in certain areas
and divergence in others. As we are committed to the
key areas of postproduction, broadcast and recording, these areas have been the focus not only of an
improved editorial package but a refined circulation.
The magazine you are holding this month is larger
and boasts a higher quality paper stock. In addition, the
redesign makes information more accessible while
maintaining our industry- leading editorial standards
and integrity. We've also appointed an exceptional
group of consultant editors to advise the post production, broadcast and recording issues.
Reader feedback has applauded our independent
handling of product reviews and bench tests, and supported our application features. But you will now see
an increased emphasis on techniques and practical
issues. Our commitment to education and the analysis and appraisal of future technologies has been
vindicated. We're also doubling the amount of news
and analysis to serve as a more comprehensive one-
drawn together in 1993 and drew up the audio infrastructure for the broadcaster's new building. A second
TV channel, Kanaal 2, was started in 1994 and more
recently a network of local radio stations for which
Chris is also unit manager. He still engineers and is
excited by the prospect of working with Studio Sound.
Postproduction: Paulo Biondi, MD at International Recording in Rome has experience in film
following the technologically revolutionary years to
the present day. International Recording was established by Paulo's father in 1957. Today it operates in
film production, TV and multimedia serving an international client base.
MD of The Tape Gallery, Lloyd Billing served at
Columbia Pictures and Advision where he tape op'd for
Geoff Wayne, Yes and ELP before mixing commercials at Leeward Sound Studios. When a client
suggested they set up a studio together in 1981, The
Tape Gallery was born. Now a major player on
London's Soho post scene, it was the first commercial
studio to synchronise sound to picture and pioneered
the use of DAWs (Synclaviers), ISDN, digital pictures
and the SohoNet ATM network.
The Tape Gallery Group of companies includes a
radio production company, jingle and composition
September 2000 Vol 42, No 9. ISSN 0144 5944
United Business Media,
8 Montague Close, London Bridge,
London SE1 9UR, UK.
Fax: +44 (0)20 7407 7102
Email:
studiosound @unitedbusinessmedia.com
Net: www.prostudio.com/studiosound
EDITORIAL
Executive Editor: Zenon Schoepe
Email: zschoepe @unitedbusinessmedia.com
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8513
Editor: Tim Goodyer
Email: [email protected]
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8578
Production Editor: Peter Stanbury
Email: pstanbury @unitedbusinessmedia.com
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8523
Secretary: Eileen Sullivan
Email: esullivan @unitedbusinessmedia.com
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8524
Consultants: Francis Rumsey; John Watkinson
Columnists: Dan Daley; Barry Fox; Kevin Hilton
Bench -testers: Keith Holland; Paul Miller
Regular Contributors: Jim Betteridge;
Richard Buskin; Simon Croft;
Ben Duncan; Dave Foister; Tim Frost;
Neil Hillman; Rob James; Caroline Moss; Philip
Newell; Terry Nelson; Martin Polon;
George Shilling; Simon Trask
stop read for the busy sound professional. There is
even a renewed levity in odd corners of the magazine.
Read on, we're certain you'll enjoy it.
With great pleasure we welcome six new high -profile consultant editors. Grouped to reflect the
magazine's core coverage, our new blood will maintain
a regular dialogue with Studio Sounds editors to offer
feedback and pick up on trends from the front line
and help steer our coverage. These busy individuals
will even be invited to share their thoughts, opinions
and experiences at the sharp end of the business.
All operate at the top of their chosen discipline and
will create a body of experience and authority never
before been assembled for a pro -audio magazine.
Broadcast: Florian Camerer joined ORF (the
Austrian Broadcasting Corporation in Vienna), in 1990
as a sound engineer and became a staffer soon after.
Working mainly in the field of production sound and
postproduction, he made high -quality audio for documentaries his field of special interest and became
involved in multichannel audio in 1993. He mixed the
first ORF programme in Dolby Surround (Arctic
Northeast) and is now responsible for all aspects of
multichannel audio for the broadcaster. Today, he
trains in multichannel at ORF and is a member of the
AES, VDT, OeTMV (Austrian Tonmeisters) and IBS.
Chris Wolters is head of sound engineering at
VTM (Vlaamse Televisie Maatschappij in Brussels), a
minority language station which against seemingly
insurmountable competition was able to break even
after just four months operation. Chris joined at VTM's
inception in 1988 graduating from chief engineer to
head of sound operations when the operation was
company, an on -line sfx database, a multimedia company, an on -line searchable voice over database and
Minno Film Editors which specialises in nonlinear film
editing for the advertising industry.
Recording: producer Arthur Baker needs little introduction, but it's worth noting his part in moving
dance music from the hedonistic fringe to the mainstream. Having worked his teenage years in a friend's
record shop, served a DJ's apprenticeship in Boston
and worked the New York disco scene in the mid seventies Arthur entertained a film and journalistic
education before returning to Boston for an engineering course at Intermediate studios. Moving to NYC
in 1981, he scored multi -platinum success with New
Edition's 'Candy Girl', produced Planet Rock for Afrika
Bambaataa and the Rockers Revenge rework of
'Walking on Sunshine'. All have ensured his place in history as well as his authority as a music correspondent.
Trevor Fletcher's career at Miami's seminal
Criteria studio complex began before school. With his
mother taking bookings, Trevor was free to play in the
studio and soak up both the success and the practicality of the studio that produced records of the stature of
Aretha Franklin's 'Young Gifted and Black' and James
Brown's 'I Feel Good'. Through over 17 years at
Criteria, he has seen the studio evolve into the heady success of the seventies and eighties, through the straits
of the nineties and into a brave new world under the
ownership of New York's Hit Factory. Having undergone a radical refit, Trevor is welcoming a new
generation of artists to a reinvigorated studio.
News Editor: Phil Ward
ADVERTISEMENT SALES
Group Sales Manager: Barry Houlihan
Email: bhoulihan @unitedbusinessmedia.com
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8517
Deputy Ad Manager. Phil Bourne
Email: pbourne @unitedbusinessmedia.com
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8542
Sales executive: Siobhan O'Shea
Email: soshea @unitedbusinessmedia.com
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8517
Classified Sales: Peter Lawn
Email: plawn @unitedbusinessmedia.com
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8518
Advertisement Production: Denise Walshe
Email: dwalshe @unitedbusinessmedia.com
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8539
Circulation Manager: Lucy Howard
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8591
PA to the Publisher: Lianne Davey
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8598
Associate Publisher: Joe Hosken
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8602
Publisher: Steve Haysom
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7940 8521
Executive Director: Doug Shuard
Zenon Schoepe & Tim Goodyer
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
4
www.americanradiohistory.com
surrounded-by-sound.com
bove.com
Solid State Logic
Oxford
+44 (0)1865 842300
New York
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SOUNDINGS
CONTRACTS
Telarc rejects
excellent match for us. The concept of
'real -time' globally distributed postpro-
Netherlands: Veronica Netherlands
watermark
duction will allow the creative pros to truly
push the limits of their craft.'
Avid's investment in the company (a
first broadcaster in Holland to
have surround monitoring in its
transmission suites following the
installation of Bryston- powered PMC
speakers in its new transmission
suites. The largest installation is in the
digital transmission studios where
shielded 1131 S monitors are used for
LR with a matching dedicated dialogue
channel. The 5.1 system is completed
is the
with TB1S surround units suspended
at the rear of the room. The second
installation is of free -standing IBIS in
Veronica's transfer room.
Audio Connections, Netherlands.
Tel: +31 226 318 800.
PMC, UK. Tel: +44 1707 393002.
Germany: Hamburg's Nemo Studios
has installed a 64-fader, 160- channel
Soundtracs DPC -II digital console as
part of an extensive renovation. The
recording facility is owned and run by
producer-composer Frank Petersen,
noted for his work with Ofra Haza,
Marky Mark and Enigma, and recently
hosted Sarah Brightman's album La
Luna on the DPC -II.
Soundtracs, UK. Tel: +44 1372 845600.
Egypt: Egyptian Radio
& Television
Union has purchased two Studer
mixing consoles for its Cairo TV
Studios, A 104- input, 24 -fader Studer
D950 digital desk will handle TV
production in Studio 10, while an
analogue Studer 980 will be used for
on -air broadcast in Studio 7. Studio 10
will be the first fully digital TV
production studio at ERTU, being used
for postproduction, film dubbing and
cartoon production. The studio will use
Studer A5 active monitors and an
A812 tape recorder as well as equipment from AKG, BSS, Eventide,
Gotham Audio, Sony and Tascam.
Studio 7 is an analogue on -air TV
studio based around a 24 -input Studer
980 also using A5 monitors and an
A812 tape deck. ERTU now has eight
studios equipped with D950s.
ERTU, Egypt. Tel: +202 574 6883.
Studer, Switzerland. Tel: +41
1
870 751
Uzbekistan: State broadcaster
has taken delivery of three SSL
1.
RTV
US: Leading audiophile label Telarc will
not include the Verance anti -piracy watermark on its debut DVD -Audio titles due
out this fall, Webnoize has reported.
Michael Bishop, a Telarc recording engineer, said the label is concerned the
watermark may be audible. Moreover, he
told Webnoize, there is no guarantee
Verance's copyright protection scheme
won't be defeated by pirates. The DVD Video encryption scheme CSS was hacked
last year.
While Telarc is not the first record label
to express reservations about the watermark, it is one of the first DVD -A advocates
to reject the watermark. Telarc's unilateral
boycott could trip up an already shaky product launch, one that has brought forth a
few high -end players and practically no
software. Then again, the watermark has
been licensed by all five major labels, and
4C Entity LLC -DVD -Audio codevelopers
Intel, IBM, Matsushita and Toshiba
-has chosen the watermark as part of the
format's copy -protection system.
Telarc has not written off the watermark
entirely, Bishop noted, 'if it can be shown
to be transparent to the end -user and not
have any long -term listening effects'.
A 5.1- channel mix of Weather Report's
Celebrating the Music of Weather Report
is to be the first DVD -Audio title from
Telarc following its success as a stereo
release earlier this year. The record was
mixed by Doug Oberkircher and Jason
Miles. 'It takes the record to the ultimate
place,' Miles said of the 5.1 mix. 'It takes
the listener to a new level with the amazing performances. It's a real experience
for the senses.'
available, while uncompressed audio can
also be sent.
But it's not only traditional audio work
that can be handled in new ways by the
ments-as was ably demonstrated recent-
Rocket Network collaborative approach.
Rocket Network CEO Pam Miller comments that interactive audio for web sites
is an emerging application, and that Rocket
Network is working with Beatnik on developments in this area. The company also
has more ambitious plans which develop
from the ramifications of working in a networked environment. Miller talks of plans
for an online 'talent brokerage' that will
allow audio professionals to advertise their
services and hook up or be hooked up with
one another into project teams which can
form and dissolve as and when required.
And for musicians who want to go on and
sell their tracks online, the company is,
rather than offering its own service, establishing relationships with existing online
sales outlets -wisely so not least because
no -one knows what or if any one business
model will work for online music.
Rocket will be announcing a series of
third -party partnerships at AES Los
Angeles this month, marking a significant
shift up market for its file exchange systern. DSP Media, the Australian DAW
ly by cofounder Willy Henshall on a flying
visit to London. With the assistance and
contributions of assorted fellow musicians
at various geographical locations, Henshall
showed how easy it was to put together a
30s ad spot to picture (Quicktime movie)
using Logic Audio 4.5. QDesign audio compression can help keep file sizes down,
and a variety of compression amounts are
Hollywood and Europe, is to add Rocket
Power to its flagship Postation II;
Waveframe is codeveloping its DAWs;
while Euphonix is planning to modifying its
digital multitrack recorders and mixing
desks. The latest Euphonix mixer uses
TCP-IP for internal communications, making it intemet- ready.
19.7% equity stake) will see Rocket
Network's collaborative technology integrated into Pro Tools, and with the high
profile and large user-base of Pro Tools in
all manner of professional audio production environments, Rocket Network and
its online collaborative approach will reach
deeply into the pro -audio industry. In addition, Euphonix is Rocket -enabling its
high -end multitrack recorders and digital
audio consoles, a first sign perhaps of the
way that production equipment will devel-
op to support networked working
environments and methods.
Adding audio to the Rocket system has
always been the key to wider application of
the software, along with the integration of
collaborative software functionality into
established music production tools.
Rocket -powered versions of Cubase VST
and Emagic Logic Audio are now available
which smoothly integrate the Rocket
Network collaborative interface and functionality into familiar production environ-
manufacturer recently expanded
in
Rocket fuel
World: When Rocket Network first got
off the ground
in 1995 (as Res Rocket
Surfer), the Internet had neither the prominence nor the impact on work and leisure
that it has today. Originally the Rocket systern was MIDI only, but the concept of
networked musical collaboration via online
virtual recording studios was already in
place, as was the use of a text -chatting
interface for online communication
between musicians.
The longer term goal was to add audio
to the collaboration equation, and so
Rocket Network has grown into a 40plus
team with a $15m venture capital funding
injection from, among others, Digidesign
parent Avid. Speaking at the time, Avid's
President and COO David Krall, who now
sits on the Rocket Network Board of
Directors, commented: 'We believe the
Internet has the potential to fundamentally shift the way media professionals work.
We intend to be a driving force of that
change, and Rocket's pioneering work is an
Brazil: Leo Garrido has been awarded the Brazilian Audio Award 2000 in
the Professional of the Year in Live Recording category for his work on the
Paralamas Unplugged sessions recorded during the AES Brazil 2000.
Garrido, owner of XEF Sound Productions, also managed the mixing of the
CD and DVD formats with partner Vinicius Sa. In addition to the Audio
Award 2000, the recording has been nominated for the first Latin Grammy
Awards in the rock album category and will be released in multichannel
DVD format. On the night, Garrido used a variety of Sennheiser and
Neumann microphones including the MD509, MD441, MD431, and MD421 Il
dynamics; e845 and e604; ME 64 /1(6 and KM184 condensers; and the
Neumann KU100 binaural head.
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
8
www.americanradiohistory.com
SOUNDINGS
AES will also unveil details of a Rocket
Network Talent Brokerage service, which
will exploit the network to circulate freelance engineers and producers, and news
of a Rocket-powered Pro Tools. Digidesign
recently took a 20% stake in the company.
'These new development partnerships,
along with others previously announced,
make Rocket Network the undisputed industry standard for online audio collaboration
for everyone from high -end professionals
through to project studios,' comments
Rocket president and CEO Pam Miller.
London's Strongroom Studios has
already become a Charter Partner with
Rocket Network, and Air Lyndhurst is to
follow suit this month.
Net: www.rocketnetwork.com.
Dial M for music
World: Mobile music, or more specifically
music on mobile devices, may not be anything new-think Walkman. But the subject
is generating a lot of interest because the
mobile devices in question are networked,
and the availability of streaming music is
seen by some as a killer app for the broadband mobile phone technologies that will
emerge over the next couple of years.
Mobile phones are already starting to
metamorphose into 'information devices',
networked or otherwise, and while the pre-
sent generation of WAP phones just starting to emerge may not be particularly
inspiring, larger screens and faster mobile
connections will improve matters considerably. Also, music will be delivered digitally
over an IP-based connection to the upcoming 115kbps GPRS and subsequent
2Mbps UMTS mobiles, so we're not talking about music over the narrow bandwidth
of an analogue phone connection.
Meanwhile, the miniaturisation of
today's processors and memory cards,
power and storage can increasingly be
integrated into small mobile devices. Low power chips like Transmeta's Crusoe hold
out great potential for mobile devices, while
flash memory storage like the new postage
stamp-sized SD memory card make mobile
storage a reality (if not particularly cheap
yet). Samsung's recent release of an MP3
phone may seem mere gimmickry, but it's
more likely the forerunner of more ambitious musical mobile devices. Sanyo plans
to market a combined mobile phone and
music player that can also download music
in Japan later this year. Using a low -cost
mobile phone technology called Personal
Handyphone System, phone users will
apparently be able to download a 5- minute
song in five minutes, at a cost of V50 in
phone charges plus a charge of about V200
per song. The longer-term plan is to enable
key -protected downloaded songs to be
Russia's new house
a world -class music recording and
production facility in St Petersburg has been put together by a team
of leading industry figures, including Anthea Norman -Taylor of
management company Opal- Chant, Innate Management's Pete
Dolan and leading Russian business interests. The Menshikov
Music Complex will comprise audio and visual recording studios
in the former riding stables of the Menshikov Palace, an historic
building in the very heart of the city. Pete Dolan, managing director of the startup phase, exclusively outlined the main aims of
the project to Studio Sound:
A PROPOSAL TO CREATE
Q: What are the attractions of St Petersburg?
St Petersburg has three of the world's top orchestras and is
a hub of creative energy, so this complex will be capable of handling the most demanding orchestral recordings and music
projects. Not only that, it will be situated in a prestigious and
spectacular location within Russia's cultural capital.
Q: Is it solely for orchestral recording?
Definitely not. The site will combine
a 3- studio recording
complex with pre- and postproduction facilities, CD and DVD
mastering, and will also develop training and other initiatives
for the Russian music business. The orchestral studio will be bigger than Abbey Road's Studio One, capable of accommodating
a 150 -piece orchestra and choir. Studio Two will be a tracking
studio for contemporary music artists from both Westem and
Eastern Europe; and Three will be a budget -level facility catering to domestic requirements.
Q: How do you hope to lure Western productions to the Baltic?
First of all, the whole complex will be of the same calibre and
capability as both Abbey Road and Air Lyndhurst in London. On
top of this, we have secured very advantageous rates to allow us
a favourable 'fixer agency margin' through our agreement with
all three of St Petersburg's orchestras, and these rates are sub-
stantially less than the top London and American orchestral rates.
Then you've got St Petersburg itself, which is a beautiful
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
passed around on memory cards, allowing additional users to purchase a song
key over the phone without having to
download the song.
Meanwhile, streaming media technol-
ogy company RealNetworks recently
announced an agreement with Nokia to
develop and distribute media delivery technology for future mobile devices. As part
of the agreement, the two companies will
implement RealNetworks' RealPlayer technology in Nokia's EPOC -based communicators and smart phones, in time allowing mobile device users to access
RealAudio and RealVideo content on the
Web. Speaking at the time of the agree-
ment, Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice
President of Nokia Mobile Phones commented. 'Streaming media is a good fit
with our vision of the Mobile Information
Society and introduces a new dimension to
the mobile phone user experience', while
RealNetworks Chairman and CEO Rob
Glaser added: 'RealNetworks strongly
believes that mobile devices will play a
paramount role in the future of computing
and information exchangc our work with
Nokia is focused on bringing the compelling
medium of streaming audio and video to
the millions of mobile device users worldwide'. The first RealPlayer- enabled Nokia
EPOC products are scheduled to be available in 2001.
environment on the verge of a real renaissance. And, of course,
there is an established precedent for recording film soundtracks
away from the UK -US hub. Facilities in Dublin, Prague and
Budapest already take advantage of significant film market bookings, and while the Menshikov Complex will be far superior to
these studios the rates will remain as competitive.
Q: In what way is St Petersburg 'on the verge of renaissance'?
The city was cut off from the West for over 70 years after the
Russian Revolution, but western music was keenly absorbed
either via The World Service and Voice of America radio stations
or via smuggled cassettes. Russian followers of the jazz and pop
scenes were often as educated in their field as their western
counterparts, leading to a burgeoning music industry once the
old system collapsed. Now, record stores selling CDs, cassettes
and videos are commonplace and the demand for westem and
home -grown music is flourishing. Indeed, Russia's MW service
is available free to every household.
Such is the lure of the St Petersburg music scene that the
long -established Frankfurt Music Fair has chosen the city for its
first ever Fair in any location other than Frankfurt. The show -next
June -will stimulate the market still further in St Petersburg and
the rest of Russia.
Q: Who else is involved?
Munro Associates is on board as the acoustics consultancy;
we've got Patti Nolder-who was at Air for many years -playing
a key part in our marketing and PR; training and education will
be organised by David Ward at Gateway; and our Russian partners are well placed within the local scene to help us navigate
all of the business development. Some of them even own the
best restaurants in town!
Q: Is piracy a big problem in Russia?
Piracy is not an issue that will affect Western clients using the
studio for Western productions. But even as far as the domestic
work is concerned, we expect to see a rise in the legitimate market under Vladimir Putin -his policies are very focused on fighting
corruption. Innate Management, Tel: +44 20 8693 4276.
CONTRACTS
SL4000 analogue mixing desks as part
of the first phase of a major refurbishment programme, with the further
consoles expected to follow for the
second phase. The radio facility is
based in the capital, Tashkent, where
the consoles will handle recording and
mixing national music programmes.
RTV, Uzbekistan. Tel: +998 71
1
331 953.
SSL, UK. Tel: +44 1865 842300.
US: Hollywood's The Steakhouse
Studio has installed 56 channels of
Martinsound Flying Faders on its
classic EMI Neve console. Fitted by
Phoenix Audio's Geoff Tanner, the
system has seen early service with
Japanese recording artist, Masami
Okui -known for her work in Japanese
anime films. The Steakhouse's EMI
Neve is reckoned to be the only
vintage Neve console world -wide to
incorporate a fully featured Flying
Faders control panel, modified from an
AMS Neve V3 module. The console is
constructed from two 24-channel
frames offering 56 inputs, 24 buses,
24 tape returns, and 12 effects
returns, providing a total of 92 inputs.
The Steakhouse also houses post,
composition, and voice -over suites.
Steakhouse, US.
[email protected]
Martinsound, US. Tel: +1 626 281 3555.
France: Post house
Les Studios de
Saint Ouen has installed an AMS Neve
Digital Film Console. Sited in Auditorium D at the Paris -based facility, the
DFC will contribute to the studio's
French dubbing of 'foreign' films
record 73 completed in 1999.
Les Studios de Saint Ouen, France.
AMS Neve, UK. Tel: +44 1282 45701 1.
-a
Japan: Tokyo -based post facility,
Q -tec, ordered a Euphonix System 5
for installation in its MA1 Postpro-
duction Studio where it will be used
for digital broadcast, including high definition transmissions. DVD's
requirement for surround -sound and
96kHz sample rates also influenced its
selection. Another Tokyo -based post
house, Omnibus Japan, has ordered a
Euphonix System 5 digital console for
a new flagship long-form HDTV
postproduction studio. With the room
scheduled for completion in late
August, the desk brings the total of
System 5 orders to 34.
Q -tec, Japan. Tel: +81 3 3589 2373.
Omnibus, Japan. Tel: +81 3 5410 6500.
Euphonix, US. Tel: +1 650.846-1190.
UK: The BBC World Service
is to
install three new Audionics broadcast
consoles in the Balkan region. Over
9
SOUNDINGS
CONTRACTS
the last ten years the BBC World
Service has been developing a series
of overseas offices. In the mid 1990s
limited facilities, were established in
Tirana (Albania), and Skopje
(Macedonia). Increased activity in the
region over the last few years has
meant offices in Tirana (Albania) and
Skopje (Macedonia) have become
increasingly significant while the
cessation of hostilities in Yugoslavia
has prompted the opening of an office
in Pristina (Kosovo). The custom ACE
Mk.IV consoles standardise the
facilities in their Balkan offices. The
BBC has also introduced an FTP filing
system and communications
enhancements to the offices. The new
mixers installed in Tirana and Pristina
are now online.
The most striking conception of the
potential of music and mobiles perhaps
comes from SSEYO, the company best
known for developing the Koan interactive
music system. SSEYO recently announced
the SSEYO Phone,
a
'concept phone'
designed as a virtual example of how audio
on mobile phones and other mobile
devices may develop. A drum synth (based
on SSEYO's Freedrum software), high quality polyphonic ringtones, full -length
polyphonic RingTrax, and Audioicons
attached to emails are among the ideas
that SSEYO are putting forward. More
annoying noise, or a welcome improvement on the annoying simple tones of
today's mobiles? These possibilities may
not be so far off. According to SSEYO,
its Koan Interactive Audio Engine will soon
be available on mobile devices through
Tao Group's media stack. Even more ambi-
tiously, SSEYO is talking of Backtrack
interactive audio backgrounds for conver-
BBC World Service, UK.
sations, Group jamming over mobile
Tel: +44 20 7257 2941.
networks, and
Belgium: Brussels -based No Noiz
has installed a Fair light FAME system
Web mastered
replacing the obsolescent Fostex
Foundation installed at its opening five
years ago. The audio facility's
partnership with video, graphics and
animation houses was chosen to
provide ready transfer of files to four
Avid systems and future expansion.
US: Sterling Sound president Murat
No Noize, Belgium. Tel: +32 2 241 2626.
Fair light, Europe. Tel: +44 20 7267 3323.
also makes Sterling the world's first inde-
Russia: Moscow's A&T Trade
Management System).
The tools needed to master EMMS-
has
bought two Sintefex Audio Replicator
FX8000 digital signal processors.
Net: www.sintefex.com
Northern Ireland: Ulster Television
has ordered a 48- channel chassis
Calrec S2 desk as part of the Studio
refurbishment at its Belfast studios
where it will be used for live broadcasts
including the Friday night music and
chat show, Kelly.
Ulster TV, UK. Tel: +44 1232 328122.
1
Calrec, UK. Tel: +44 1422 842159.
US: Gateway Studios has installed
four dCS 954 D-A and four dCS 972
D -D convertors. Based in Portland
Maine. Bob Ludwig's mastering
operation will use the convertors
primarily in conjunction with SADiE and
Sonic Solutions workstations, on
24 -bit, 96kHz and DSD projects. As
well as project interchange the
convertors were the only units that will
convert up and down from 192kHz;
and from DSD to PCM. They will also
be used for bit -for -bit cloning format
conversion, and converting between
dual and single AES and vice versa.
Gateway. US. Tel: +1 207 828 9400.
DCS, UK. Tel: +44 1799 531999.
10
UK: London -based postproduction and recording facility The Town
House has installed a PMC monitoring system in the 5.1- capable
Mastering Room 3. The system is soffit -mounted throughout and
comprises BB5 /XBD (LCR) and MB1 3 -way monitors at the rear.
All channels are powered by a custom range of PMC series
Bryston amplifiers and electronic crossovers. Rather than
separate sub -bass unit, the system folds back the '.1' channel
into the LR main monitors.
a Remix capability. Will the
mobile phone ever be the same again?
Audionics, UK. Tel: +44 114 242 2333.
Aktar says the decision to adopt IBM's
digital rights management technology is
based on Sterling's conviction that electronic music distribution will become an
increasingly significant part of the music
and entertainment industries. The move
pendent audio mastering house to
license EMMS (Electronic Media
infused music at the renowned mastering
facility were installed in late July, in anticipation of the potentially huge on -line retail
music market. 'We're not doing it necessarily to start generating revenue from it
immediately,' Aktar commented. 'What we
want to do is be part of the process.'
The process officially began last June
when the five major record companies and
IBM conducted a 6 -month trial of EMMS.
About 1,000 participants, mostly in San
Diego, were able to buy major label releases over the Internet. While several of the
labels since have begun selling songs and
albums via the web on their own, currently the offerings represent a tiny fraction of
a label's entire catalogue.
During the same period, a bevy of competing digital rights management (DRM)
products have hit the marketplace. While
noting that 'there are other companies
that... have compelling bits of technology,' Aktar said IBM is 'the one that has a
truly integrated solution, front to back.'
With EMMS, Sterling's e- Mastering service can compress audio in multiple
formats and add copyright encryption,
watermarking, liner notes and artwork and
metadata. Songs also can be set to control related electronic devices, like CD
bumers or portable Internet audio players.
Down the road, said Aktar, Sterling will
offer other DRMs besides EMMS. The
facility plans to arrange listening tests,
allowing clients to compare compression
formats, bits rates and other technical variations. He called the future of Internet
music compelling, but complex.
'I think that one of the things we've
seen is that it's easy to distribute music
electronically, with no security features
and no quality control. To distribute a high quality product and to monitor the rights
and to distribute it securely is very complex, and requires the co- operation of lots
of groups.'
DAB
tie -up
US -UK: NTL has taken a US$1 m stake in
digital broadcast specialist RadioScape.
The news comes two months after Psion
PLC's US$4.5m strategic investment,and
represents a vote of American confidence
the UK digital radio industry.
RadioScape MD Peter Florence commented, 'This agreement will allow us to
work closely with NTL to deliver unrivalled
next generation digital radio solutions.
Digital radio is the future of wireless broadcasts and it makes sense for us to work
with trusted partners who share our enthusiasm and vision in this arena. We have
been shaping the development of digital
radio to date, and now both companies
can work together to bring digital radio to
the mass market.'
Peter Douglas, group managing director
of NTL Broadcast, added, 'The decision to
invest in RadioScape was a natural evoluin
tion of our relationship. We're at the beginning of a revolution in radio and by investing
in the technology we expect to stay at the
forefront of this industry.'
RadioScape's technology is
employed at the core of Digital One, the
UK's largest commercial digital radio
network and partly owned by NTL as
well as run on NTL's broadcast infrastructure. This system has been
transmitting the digital services of Virgin
Radio, Capital Radio, Classic FM and
News Direct since November 1999.
Net: www.radioscape.com
www.worlddab.org
Radio- active
UK: Capital Radio, Britain's leading commercial radio group has launched its online
music entertainment strategy for new
media division Capital Interactive. Three
narrowcast web radio stations will be
launched by Autumn 2000 to provide
music to valuable niche audiences. A new
online music brand, kikido, has been created and will appear as a stand -alone brand
as well as on all sites including the three
key Capital sites: 95.8 Capital FM, Capital
Gold, and Xfm, and the narrowcast stations. Deals have been signed with record
companies BMG, Universal, EMI Chrysalis- Virgin, Jive, and AIM (representing the independents) who together account for around two- thirds of UK
album sales. Capital Interactive is the only
UK online music provider to have such
online rights with major and independent
record labels. Technology deals have been
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
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SOUNDINGS
APPOINTMENTS
signed with RCS, Microsoft, eHNC, IBM
and Open Market. Partnership deals have
been struck with Handbag.com, Microsoft
Amek
and Sports.com, and further distribution
deals are under discussion.
David Mansfield, chief executive of Capital
Radio, commented, 'Capital Radio is in a
unique position to succeed on the Internet.
We can draw on many years' experience in
the radio business, our trusted brands, close
relationships with artists and record labels,
and cross -promotional opportunities to
ensure that we have an unbeatable offer for
consumers and advertisers.'
has named Nick Cook as sales
marketing director following a long
relationship between the former head
of Fairlight Europe and the OEM team
behind the Fame and Prodigy
consoles. Cook began his career as an
engineer in the mid seventies and
joined SSL in 1987 where he
progressed to Head of Sales before
moving to set up Fair-light Europe.
Net: www.amek.com
&
Studer UK
has appointed Andrew
Hills as managing director where he
replaces David Pope. Hills joins from
SSL where he headed broadcast sales
and was instrumental in creating SSL's
German office. Prior to this he worked
in a similar capacity at Neve.
Net: www.studer.ch
Mackie Designs has announced
the promotion of Jay Schlabs to the
position of national sales manager. In
this position, he will be in charge of
American national sales for all product
lines, including Mackie, Mackie Digital
Systems, and Mackie Industrial
Contractor Products. Schlabs joined
Mackie in 1994 as a technical sales
trainer and in 1996 was promoted to
western regional sales manager. This
follows the promotion of Scott Garside
to recording products marketing
manager from director of market
research. In this position, Garside is in
charge of marketing 'all things
recording' including the D8B and
ancillary plug -in products, HDR24/96
hard -disc recorder, HR824 monitors,
and the 8 -Bus consoles.
Net: www.mackie.com
SPARS executive director Shirley
Kaye is to stand down after 13 years in
the post in favour of Larry Lipman.
Lipman will be leaving the position of
director of degree programs in Recording Technology and Music Business at
The University of Memphis. Lipman is
currently nominated for Governor of
the AES as well as serving on various
AES committees.
Net: www.spars.com /spars
12
Deep
water
Germany:
The Fraunhofer Institute for
Integrated Circuits, Applied Electronics
IIS, has unveiled its advanced watermarking technology to help content providers to
keep track of their content and protect
their intellectual property. Fraunhofer
Bitstream Watermarking technology bundles Fraunhofer's robust watermarking
scheme with its suite of high -performance
audio coders by allowing direct embedding of watermark data (such as digital
signatures) into coded music content. In
this way, material can be personalised and
traced in the event of illegal proliferation.
Fraunhoffer insists that this is an important step for the music industries and the
secure digital distribution of audio files,
and that direct embedding of digital watermarks into coded bitstreams reduces time
and cost efforts for the companies while
preserving optimum signal quality.
Fraunhofer IIS -A has already presented
the world's first bitstream watermarking
scheme for MPEG audio coders at the
European AES convention (based on
MPEG2), and further technology will be
released at the American AES: MP3 support in the new bitstream watermarking
technology now allows seamless and efficient data embedding for the de facto audio
coding standard on the Internet
'The new bitstream watermarking systems were designed with two goals in
mind: achieving the best possible performance of the combined codec -watermark
system and maintaining the renowned
Fraunhofer audio quality,' said Christian
Neubauer, in lead of the development
effort. 'Much effort has been put into rigorous listening tests and optimisation of
the psychoacoustic models, taking advantage of Fraunhofer's codec expertise.'
The institute is a leading research laboratory in the area of audio coding. Since
the start of its audio coding work more
than 10 years ago, Fraunhofer IIS -A has
participated actively in the development
of audio compression algorithms. Major
parts of MPEG -1 Layer-3 (MP3), the most
popular audio format on the Internet, have
been devised at its headquarters in
Erlangen, Germany. In addition to audio
coding technology, Fraunhofer IIS -A is also
working on data -hiding technologies for
use in watermarking and fingerprinting
systems. Fraunhofer IIS -A is active in international efforts to develop methods to
technically manage and protect intellectual property, including the MPEG -4 work
on Intellectual Property Management &
Protection, the AES' activities on Internet
Audio Delivery Systems and the Secure
Digital Music Initiative initiated by the RIAA,
RIAJ and IFPI.
Christian Neubauer. neu @iis.fhg.de
Indian summer
India: BBC Resources has signed a deal
with state broadcaster Doordarshan
Television for the implementation of digital
terrestrial television (DTT) in India. The
contract was signed as a result of BBC
Worldwide working together with BBC
Resources to provide a practical solution
for upgrading and modernising studio and
transmission systems in order to embrace
the digital age. The new service is initially
planned for the four major centres of New
Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.
The first phase of the project will examine the business proposition and the
technical facilities necessary to provide a
viable digital terrestrial transmission service. BBC Resources' expertise in digital
transmission will be augmented by the new
consultancy business expertise and
acumen. BBC Resources will provide
Doordarshan with a complete blueprint for
the introduction of DTT in India by the end
of September 2000.
Doordarshan currently broadcasts in
analogue throughout the country reaching
approximately 70m homes and over 0.5bn
viewers. 'We are delighted to be corn missioned by Doordarshan, long established as the broadcast market leader in
India,' said David Manning, Head of BBC
Resources Consulting & Projects. 'They
will be the largest client to date to benefit
from our unique experience and expertise
in the field of digital terrestrial broadcasting. This new Indian assignment follows
hot on the heels of our support for the
launch of Botswana Television in Africa
and demonstrates the validity of developing our own consultancy practice.'
Mark Young, managing director of
EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and
Africa) for BBC Worldwide added, 'This
deal marks a milestone for the BBC.
Doordarshan is one of the world's largest
broadcasters and tnis is the biggest deal
we have done with.them. This is another
step forward for both BBC Worldwide and
BBC Resources business in India and
emphasises the close relationships we are
building in this exciting territory.'
BBC Resources: +44 20 8576 7860.
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US: Sound Kitchen's Big Boy room is home to the
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One of Spain's premier post houses, Soundtrack is in hot pursuit of bigger rooms better audio and bigger
clients. Tim Goodyer takes language lessons and visits the first Hidley- Newell collaboration in 22 years
AFTER LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS of
its reputation in the mid eighties, Barcelona's
Soundtrack has moved inexorably to the
fore of the city's postproduction scene. The
pursuit of high -quality audio begun by Josep Ferrer in
1983 was paired with Francesc Castillo's technical
vision when the studios moved to new premises in the
early nineties. Reopening in 1995 with a groundbreaking complement of 11 AMS AudioFiles, two
Logic 3s and a Logic 2, it commissioned a flagship
cinema room equipped with an AMS Neve DFC a
few weeks ago, itself the result of the first collaboration between Tom Hidley and Philip Newell since they
built London's Town House studios in 1978. Today
Soundtrack is a busy network of rooms tailored to
suit its thriving national business and ready to take
it into the international arena.
`I worked for three years in a publicity company
and then for three years in TV3 where I learned a lot
about digital sound and new technologies,' explains the
friendly Castillo. `In 1992 Soundtrack offered me the
new project, but I insisted that we change from
analogue to digital, tapeless. This was new to Spain
-nobody was using it and nobody really knew much
about it. I found three options -Solid State with
Screensound and Omnimix, Fairlight editors with
Euphonix consoles, and AMS who proposed Logic 3
and Logic 2 systems with the AudioFile.
`The problem at this point was that once a recording was finished in one room I needed a simple way of
moving it to another. I proposed to AMS and Solid
State that they divide their systems hard drive into
two -one small drive for booting the systems and the
other one for sound. It was not my invention because
I had seen this way of working at an AES show in
New York where someone had a drive that would
hold 15 minutes of audio, enough for three or four
advertisements. It seemed very useful so I took the
idea to Solid State and they insisted on using Soundnet,
but I didn't believe that it could work in my company.
AMS started to test removable drives and in summer
of 1994 they tested a system at the BBC and at the
end of the year they had our system ready. One of the
AudioFiles was a dedicated backup station because
at that time there wasn't a special system for backing
up and restoring.
`We opened with ten working studios, one was the
cinema theatre with the Logic 2 designed by Tom
Hidley; two more were video and TV mixing studios
with Logic 3s, and we had six rooms for dialogue
recording; and a studio for editing music and effects
but these could all be multipurpose rooms. After working with AMS technology I can tell you that it is very
expensive and it's not the most flexible, but it is the
only equipment that is usable in the rooms we have
with over 20 different engineers. After 5,000 hours
of dubbing, we have lost only one single project and
that was through a human mistake. I don't want to be
critical of systems like Pro Tools, but in Soundtrack I
think this is the best technology.
`I think the technology we have helps a lot-we can
give good sound quality and we can correct problems
like when you have some incorrect dialogue, because the
automatic mixing is non-destructive, it is easy to replace
it. When we had the old technology we used only to
keep the final mixes and they were in all different formats -video cassette, 2- track, '/4 -inch, and so on. We
couldn't keep all the recordings because they were on
2 -inch tape and it was too expensive. Now with the
AMS system we have all the recordings on Exabyte
tape. We have everything from 1995 onwards.'
Soundtrack took its established clients to its new
location, and the move coincided with the main
Catalonian television station reallocating its work.
`TV3 held a competition between the studios in
Barcelona to determine how many hours of work each
studio would get,' Castillo confirms. `The best studio
would get 20% of the work, the second one 16 %, the
third one 14 %, and so on. With the work we had
done before and the new facilities, they gave us the
first contract. Later, in 1996, the same thing happened, and in 1997, 1998... We have held the contract
now for the last five
years.
`The population here
is 35m -36m and there
are 6m people in Catalonia, so we are one
fifth of the audience in
Spain. The biggest audience is for TV-3 in
Catalonia. When Barce-
lona play football
2m-3m watch on television while other
television series have
perhaps 1m viewers.
Also people from other
parts of Spain watch
Soundtrack's technical manager, Francesc Castillo
16
TV-3 because its on the
digital network and it's also broadcast in Valencia
because their language, Valenciano, is similar to
Catalan. Also in Majorca and the Baleares Island the
languages have the same root as Catalan. The potential audience is perhaps 8m people.'
At the same time as moving house, Soundtrack
moved into cinema work. `It was very hard to begin
with, Castillo comments. `There were two traditional studios in Barcelona -Sonoblok and Voz de Espana
and what we were doing was new. Instead of using
different machines where all the recordings sounded
different, and having different people for projection,
sound loops, film loops, recording without the flexibility to easily check back if there was an earlier
problem, we tried to use the best of the video technology in film. So we bought an Albrecht high -speed
projector and synced it to a Studer A827 with Dolby
SR noise reduction and it seemed incredible to the
directors and the actors. Some directors were reluctant
to work with something that wasn't traditional, but we
persevered and finally, the rest of the studios changed
their way of working to follow us.'
At the time of building the new facility, a local
actors strike made finance difficult and Castillo is sure
that the rooms could have been better, but remains
happy with the acoustic. Particularly so after marrying it with Neumann TLM103 mics.
`We tested a lot of mics and monitors in the
studios and found that the Neumann U87 is very good
for video and TV productions,' Castillo recalls, `but I
was particularly impressed with the B &K 4011. I have
never tested a mic like it. An actor can move all around
the microphone without the sound changing. The
problem is that it has a small diaphragm and more
noise. For some cinema recordings the actors may
whisper a metre away from the microphone and there
is too much noise. Now the studio is using the
Neumann TLM 103 and at 60cm or 70cm the
response is still good. Good, clean, powerful sound
with no noise.'
The original Hidley cinema room came about after
an unhappy experience with a Spanish acoustician
left the job unfinished. The introduction came via
Dolby Labs finding Hidley making occasional trips
to Europe from his home in the Cayman Islands.
`He wouldn't come to Barcelona, only to Lausanne,'
Castillo recalls of his meeting with Hidley. He was
very interested because he had never done anything in
Barcelona and this was at the time of the Olympics so
it had a very high international profile. He quickly
agreed to present some ideas and we ended up lowering
the ground by 1.5m and remounting the acoustic treatment and we got a very good room. And he never
visited Barcelona...'
More recently, the proposal for a new cinema room
saw Castillo track Hidley down again -this time in
Florida. `I originally tried to do the project with Philip
Newell because I have read his work in Studio Sound,
but Josep Ferrer insisted we also use Tom again,'
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
Above: the AMS Neve DFC in Soundtrack's flagship room.
Below centre: the 'continuous' projector will hold 14,000ft of film
Castillo explains. He was very happy to do another
room for Soundtrack because after doing the first one,
he had been hearing all around the world that there was
a very good -sounding room in Barcelona! In fact, the
competing Spanish companies know ours is the best
sounding room in the country. I think he is proud of it.'
'We lost contact for a while after The Town House,'
says Newell of his collaboration with Hidley. 'Both of
us got out of studio design for a couple of years
between about 1980 -83. Then, when Tom was doing
Masterphonics, I flew to Paris to meet him and we
came together to sponsor Luis Soares on one -tenth
scale modelling studies because I was looking for
how to get things into smaller spaces and he was
working trying to get frequencies down on his infrasonic traps. But the Barcelona job was the first time
we co- operated on a project.'
The resultant room has five of Newell's Reflexion
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
Arts loudspeakers and McCauley loaded subs across
the front with 16 JBLs divided into left surround, right
surround and extended surround around the room.
It is the first studio in Spain capable of handling mixes
in SDDS and Dolby 6.1.
'I was very impressed by the honesty of the people
involved in Reflexion Arts,' Castillo says of the search
for an alternative to Hidley's speaker designs. 'And
I was interested especially in the quality of the amplifiers.'
'Tom had done the room design, but the studio
couldn't afford his monitoring,' Newell continues, 'so
he recommended the Reflexion Arts as an alternative.
Tom would have used slightly different monitors and
I would have used a slightly different room design.
But on the other hand, I haven't got any complaints
about what Tom's done and the owners seem to be
over the moon with it, so obviously the two things
have gone together. Although the details of the designs
are different the philosophies almost identical, so we're
going for the same thing -that is, the most neutral
monitoring possible, not making any compromise as
to what someth.ng is going to sound like in a real world situation. First of all we both believe that you've
got to get the recording right, :hen you can control it
in the playback rooms. If it's wrong in the recording,
you've got no foundation to work from. Neither of us
agree this thing about having to have a certain amount
of reverberation because of the rooms in which you're
going to listen.'
And Hidley has still yet to set foot in Barcelona...
When it came to selecting a console, the choice of an
AMS Neve would seem to have been a foregone conclusion.
'I tested other new consoles,' Castillo contradicts.
'Consoles from Solid State, Otari, Harrison, Euphonix
-but the DFC was the best solution. For me, the
dynamics and the equalisation on the DFC are the
best in the worlc. This is very important for cinema,
especially for dialogue dubbing. When we record we
never use any dynamic processing, we record direct
from the microphone preamplifier to the AudioFile
because we can do whatever we need with the console.'
The new room offers another unique feature in
the form of a projection system capable of showing
a full -length feature film with almost no disruption
between reels.
'One of the complaints of the clients was that it
took three or four minutes to change reels during a
film,' Castillo explains. 'I looked around for a solution,
but I couldn't find anything, so I spoke to a small
company in Barcelona called Sistemas Profesionales de
Proyeccion, and Salvadore Blanch designed a simple
and cheap system for projecting a complete high -speed
film that is now called the Nova continuous projector.
It will handle more or less 14,000 feet of film and it
will go forwards and backwards at any speed you
want. At the moment we're just doing 2x normal
speed, but the ballistics will handle up to 16x
17
FACILITY
normal. It means that you can control the complete
film with only 30 seconds to resynchronise the sound
between reels because the time code is not continuous.
We could correct this, but at the moment, the clients
are not concerned about 30 seconds. Its when you
have to stop, turn on the lights and the continuity of
the film is lost.'
Future plans involve the building of a big dialogue
recording room for cinema and a big Foley recording
room to meet the absence of a large specialised Foley
room anywhere in Spain to match the rooms found in
Paris and London. Before this, however, the search is
on to dramatically expand the client base. Castillo
reckons that there are around 200 cinema films to be
dubbed in Spanish every year and about 5,000 hours
each year of TV films and series across all the television channels.
We dub more TV into Catalan because we have
the Catalan stations here,' he says of the local language. 'There are only perhaps 20 films every year
dubbed into Catalan, but the head offices of the TV
stations are in Madrid so its easier for them to use
the studios there for Castillian language dubs. In
Galicia there are some good studios, but they don't
have good access to dubbing actors. There are also
studios in the Basque country, but they have the same
problem and there are studios in Valencia where they
have their own local, TV-9, and also in the south of
Spain. But about 98% of the work is done in Barcelona
and Madrid. About 80% of cinema is made in
Behind- the -screen
detail of the Reflexion
Arts monitors in
Soundtrack's HidleyNewell cinema room
At last, a miniature mic
that's big on audio quality
Barcelona- Castillian, Catalan, it doesn't matter
Are you sacrificing broadcast audio
-because we have the most famous actors here.'
But the future is bigger than the Spanish market.
quality for the sake of appearance?
Now there's no need to, as the
Miniature Microphones from DPA
Microphones provide unsurpassed
clarity and the lowest self -noise
available. Add a highly cost-effective
adapter system for every professional
wireless system and the most flexible
mounting options available, and you'll
understand why DPA miniatures a'e the
first choice for many of the world's
leading broadcast operations.
Request your
copy of DPA's
Miniature Microphcie
brochure today.
VISIT US AT IBC
BOOTH NO. 9542
Gydevang 44, DK-3450 Allerod, Denmark
F: +45 48142700
T: +45 48142828
Email: info @dpamicrophones.ccm
www.dpamicrophones.com
'Next week Josep Ferrer is going to Los Angeles to meet
some of the big Hollywood companies,' comments
Castillo. 'In the past we have worked with Dreamworks,
but now I think we are ready to make some important
relationships with companies like Fox and UIP. At least,
we are ready to try to earn these clients.
'We are working now with TV-3, Television Espana
TVE -1 and TVE -2 and the main independent Spanish
distributor of low -end films. We have also worked
with Warner and Fox. Now Buena Vista is starting
to work with us. It has been very hard work, but now
all the majors are with us. The boss didn't want us to
contact the Disney companies before we had the big
room and I think he was right because they are
impressed by its size and also the sound quality.
'What we are trying to do is to put a good root to
grow in a good way,' he elaborates. 'The idea is to
work slowly, we don't want to be in a rush. We are trying to take a good position in the Spanish market. We
think we can get a bigger market share than we have
especially in new cinema productions and film dubbing. In the future it might be good to be a centre of
mixing and dubbing of different languages in the
Mediterranean region-Portugal, Spain, France, Italy,
perhaps Greece-because we have good people and we
have good technology. We are in a good position in
Barcelona because we are near the airport, the beaches are only 15 minutes away... We need to work as
well as we possibly can and our clients must be happy
with our work but Barcelona is also a good place to
spend some time. We have the sun and the sea in
summer and in winter the weather is mild and we
have good skiing less than two hours away. We are
lucky to be here.
Contact:
Soundtrack,
M
I
C
R
O
P
H O
N
E
S
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes,
498, Barcelona 08015, Espana.
Tel: r34 93 452 9980.
18
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
Monitoring...the future.
Introducing Media
51
AMEK's solution for multiformat Music
Recording, Post -Production and Broadcast.
Media 51 specifically addresses the escalating
need for multichannel audio; effortlessly mixing
formats up to 5.1, whilst also providing
comprehensive monitoring for external stems.
51 has evolved from AMEK's proven
ergonomics and design. This not only
guarantees a short learning curve, but also
provides an intuitive and flexible introduction to
the world of surround.
Media
Audio circuitry by Mr. Rupert Neve
Multiformat mixing up to 5.1
Monitoring for up to 4 external stem mixes
SupertrueTM fader & switch automation
Visual FX
Virtual DynamicsTM
Recall
Optional Joystick
Audition the first -class surround capability and
pure sonic performance of the Media 51 today
and experience its true value.
Arti/stry U/t/ Aktatogaejm
International Headquarters
Langley House, Third Avenue,
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M17 1FG, United Kingdom
41
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Manchester
US
Headquarters
Los Angeles
Tokyo
+44 (0) 161 868 2400
+1
(888) 286 9358
+1 (800) 585 6875
+81 (3) 5707 0575
H
+44 (0) 161 868 2400
+44 (0) 161 873 8010
E:
[email protected]
W: www.amek.com
A Harman International Company
ÁVIEK
FACILITY
SILK SOUND
In the heart of London's post community, the capital's most famous Lexicon Opus user is refitting
its four studios and the transfer bay. Zenon Schoepe reports on the decisions made
ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL operations on the Soho postproduction scene,
Silk Sound has relished being different.
With bulk purchases of the then fledgling
and promising Lexicon Opus some ten years ago it
became and remained an island of the technology in
a sea of other brand solutions. Opuses were also
installed at the holding company White Lightning's
other facility The Bridge and between them they now
own every Opus that was ever sold in the UK.
But it has been so for a decade and while support for
the system from Lexicon officially ended in July, Silk has
long been planning the refurbishment in Berwick Street.
What it has opted for in its four studios and transfer room is four DAR Storms, a couple of OMR8s
and a four Soundtracs DPC -II consoles as part of an
order for seven-the Silk project should serve as the
20
model for plans for The Bridge as the next complex to
be refurbished. The third facility in the White Lightning
group, Space, remains an all -SSL OmniMix complex.
Emotional attachment to the Lexicon systems is
clearly still strong.
`It's been getting to the point that very few people at
Lexicon now know what an Opus is,' says MD Robbie
Weston. `I phoned them a few months back and they
thought I was talking about the Lexicon Studio PC
package,' adds technical director Rick Dzendzera.
`Parts haven't been a problem because the things are
built like battleships and they've been incredibly reliable,'
observes Weston who adds that the systems worked
out at an average cost of around £175,000. While huge-.
ly expensive for the time, he's not complaining as he's
more than earned his money back on them.
The refurb has been an opportunity to start afresh
at Silk and core to it all is a giant Lighthouse Digital
matrix which runs 100 x 100 in analogue and in digital with machine control, time code, and video networked across the complex The refurbishment goes
right down to the wiring.
`The Opus hasn't been developed for years and each
time we do something new we think about what we
are trying to achieve and then find the equipment that
gets around it,' explains Weston. `This installation was
designed to keep everything on big servers. We didn't
want removable drives and we wanted to eliminate
DATs as quickly as possible. Everything had to be networked and be able to talk to everything else and we
wanted to create a sort of virtual "job bag" booking system in to which you could put every element, so you
could say "That's the audio, that's the mix, those are the
sound effects that we used and there's the invoice." '
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
FACILITY
Aside from the well -known DAR networking technology, Silk is the first installation for Soundtracs'
net.tracs networking system for Silk's 16 -fader DPCII digital desks-`they're not very wide, but they're
very deep' quips Weston. `You could take them to
160 channels although I don't know where we'd find
160 inputs,' adds Dzendzera.
Net.tracs permits the interchange of project information between consoles in a multiroom facility and
to provide a convenient facility -wide archival and
restoration system. A 19 -inch rackmount server controller connects via CATS ethernet and deals in
Soundtracs session files for relocation and restoration.
`The DPC -II is a wonderful console and the best
we've come across. It's relatively affordable, it's well
thought out logistically, they haven't tried to reinvent
things,' states Dzendzera. ` Soundtracs has been fortunate in coming in to digital desks late, watching everybody else's mistakes, corning from a mass manufacturing
background and making something and getting it right,'
continues Weston. `We did think about SSL again, but
what ruled them out before we even started talking
about prices and facilities was that their desks are so
huge. And a Silk room is a small room.'
`We like to be different,' he continues. `A lot of
people seek comfort in having what everybody else
has and we like to think that there is always another
way of doing it. We've been fortunate with this project that we were at a stage where we could actually
ask for things we wanted and influence a product.'
Lessons have been learned from the last major build
they did -the ground -up Space complex-particularly in terms of what they did right. The fact we used the
central router worked really well and gave me the confidence to go ahead and do the same again,' says
Dzendzera. `The Lighthouse Digital has complete belt
and braces, dual power supplies, backup processors
and we've had it working for several months already.
All the work in transfer is via the router and with the
first studio on line that's going through it too.'
Studios are being completed and switched over at
the rate of one a month until September after which
transfer, currently running the old and new infrastructures simultaneously, will be converted.
`The Opus worked efficiently and quickly especially when you're trying to find things in it -the navigation.' he adds. `A lot of the systems we looked at
didn't come anywhere near it. To some extent the
Storm did when we first looked at it but they understood what we wanted and were willing to incorporate
our ideas.' Weston says that one of the advantages of
DAR being a Harman company meant there were no
trade secrets involved in handing it an Opus operating handbook with the good bits highlighted. They
also sat DAR in front of one and pointed out the
things they liked and the things that it couldn't do.
`We are not a postproduction facility we are a
recording studio,' states Weston. `Everything we do
ally working and can be delivered,' states Dzendzera.
Weston highlights the sound effects handling of the
system for special mention as it avoids cumbersome
combination systems. `You can describe the effect,
audition in place, scrub in place, without having to
transfer anything. It's in and it works and we have
around 200Gb of storage just for sound effects.
CDAdvance was the other thing that impressed us
and that is just so brilliant,' says Dzendzera.
Weston calculates that he's paid around £40,000 less
on the editor-mixer combinations than he did for his
Opuses, but adds that he's also getting much more
for that money. `But that's a long time ago now and
you would expect the technology to have got cheaper,' he says. `Some of our corporate clients send us
letters saying that "in keeping with our determina-
cheaper. Instead there are lots of enthusiastic chaps
who haven't quite caught on to the realities of life
mortgages, getting married, having children, and
living a bit -who work for nothing in all these funny
little rooms. There are people running business with
two small rooms earning way less than they could
earn working for someone else. Why do they do it? The
only way you can make it cheaper is to do it for less.'
Silk's acoustic design was by Recording Architecture
with Miller Sc Kreisel monitoring throughout, 5.1 in
the bigger rooms. They have also taken up the option
on the building next door with incomplete plans to
build `a very special studio' there.
And what of the fate of the Opuses? `We'll put
them in storage, see if anyone wants them, keep the
spare parts.' answers Weston. `It's sad but they've
starts with recording something and that really
tion to drive down costs 15% per annum please present your pricing proposals." We ignore it. With a
facility, how are you going to drive the price down?
Prices are determined by interest rates, rents, rates
and salaries Interest rates may have gone down slightly, rents in Soho have gone through the roof-they've
more than doubled in the last five years- Westminster
council is not known for cutting the rates, and if you
want highly skilled editors and engineers you have to
pay for them.
`If we said "Work for Silk Sound, we have a commitment to driving down wages 15% a year" we're not
going to get many good people. I can't understand
how anyone can think that our services can become
earned their keep now. The reality is that unless you
work the way we do you can buy a Lexicon card that
plugs in to your PC now that appears to do far more
for a fraction of the cost and without all the difficulty of administering a rack the size of a phone box.'
`There is an enormous difference between the type of
system we need for what we do and a PC or Mac based
system,' he continues. `If somebody giving you a load
of elements and you have to produce a fantastic mix a
week on Thursday and you're not doing it under any
great pressure, then these systems can work. But for
the guy who is under pressure to perform with his clients
sitting around him, grumpy actors in the booth, it is a
nightmare using do -it-all PC systems.'
makes a difference to how we view equipment. There
are places that just put together items that were
recorded somewhere else and they're concerned with
autoconforming and time -code locking to this and
that. It's irrelevant to what we do. We are a recording studio and it's important that we separate ourselves from the room at the end of the corridor in the
video facility.'
They praise the openness of DAR which contrasted to the attitude of other manufacturers who failed
to respond to questions or by modifying software.
`DAR's D -Net is the most advanced networking system from any of the DAW manufacturers that is actu-
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
-of
21
RF1'If \Y'
Amek Media 51
It aims to bring a package of real multichannel capability with an affordable and automated
analogue console with a big desk feel. Zenon Schoepe meets the successor to Big
ALONG TIME AGO, IN A GALAXY FAR
away, when the talk and prospects of con sole design was centred on the promises of
digitally controlled analogue and the idea
of affordable digital desks was as far fetched as desktop email and Internet access, Amek hoped to
supersede the flagship of its APC1000 digitally controlled analogue desk. Known only as the `Media
Console', strips were shown at shows and explained
to potential customers who marvelled at the pot and
switch density but glazed over when they were told that
it would work in all formats known to man and those
that as yet weren't. Here was the future they were
told yet the price, size, ambition and a user base solidly embroiled in stereo proved otherwise and it never
came to pass.
The best part of a decade later, part of the name
has resurfaced and with it many of those original sentiments but it's interesting that the Media Si should
be so affordable. But then it is derived from the Big by
Langley which it effectively replaces and things have
moved on. For those who have forgotten, Big was
revolutionary in pricing terms by offering a high den-
sity of I -Os in a compact frame that included Supertrue
automation, Virtual Dynamics and Recall and the
new console serves to continue this tradition.
Key things that need to be noted are that the motherboard system is exactly the same as Big so it's tried
and tested but it has useful additions up top of a
Rupert Neve mic amp and EQ. Big was becoming a little dated in this respect but, perhaps most significantly,
it includes 5.1 capability to at last make these facilities available at a lower end than was previously
available on a real analogue desk.
In terms of available channel numbers, they are the
same as the Big. Minimum size is 28 inputs in a
44 frame with a 60- channel frame being the biggest size
likely. In terms of automation it offers the same as
Big in VCA faders, the aux mute and input mutes with
recall available across all controls and switches.
Auxes numbers stand at eight arranged in pairs on
dual concentrics and available from either path with
four switchable pre -post.
Routeing to the 12 buses is accessed on individual
switches and can be sourced from the mix or channel
paths as well as from the output of Auxes 3 &4. The
channel path section contains the gain controls with
phantom power, mic -line selector, level and AFL while
the Mix path gets a gain with tape selector, phase
reverse, input flip and an insert that can be flicked to
the channel path.
Following the EQ, which lives in the mix path but
can split the HF and LF to the channel path, we're in
to the stereo and front -rear pan controls, automation
select switches, AFL and mute.
Stereo return modules sport a stereo effects return
and a stereo line input and four come with the desk as
standard. These are, with cosmetic changes, identical
to those on the Big. These get access to all the auxes
and a more rudimentary 4 -band stereo EQ but still
have enough features to make them integrate well
with the rest of the desk and offer a convenient means
of bringing stereo submixes in to the board.
As befits its title, it is when we get to the panning
that things get interesting although it is worth pointing out that you can ignore the multichannel abilities
of this desk very easily and drive it as pure stereo
board without any hardship or inconvenience. At any
point you can steal Buses 1 -6 either as LCRS buses
REVIEW
M3
AUXILIARY SFM) MAStERS.
All
with a press of the LCRS button or 5.1 buses by also
pressing the ss(stereo surround) button in which case
bus 4 becomes the LFE channel and is sourced post
fader. A corresponding WIDE (divergence) button next
to the Mix pan permits discrete panning and a front rear pan does exactly what it says on the label. The
remaining multitrack buses are free to be sourced from
the aux sends or the channel paths.
An interesting twist is afforded by the 1:1 switch.
Playing hack a 5.1 mix and reassigning it to Buses
7 -12 and pressing the 1:1 switch provides a means of
transferring the inputs without any gain control to
the buses. And before anyone wonders PEC /direct
fashion switching is supported.
Much of the Monitor module also shares functionality with the Big but moves in to a completely
different games level when it comes to multiformat
use. The monitoring section is actually extremely comprehensive although its arrangement, presentation and
the relatively small amount of real estate that it takes
up on the board means it doesn't look it. The pertinent
monitoring functions may yet emerge as a stand -alone
bolt -on product for other desks.
This monitor module handles all the traditional
things like mix fader assignment, metering, aux masters (with blend -an Amek invention), bus trim
tweakers, oscillator, talkback and solo control just as
the Big did before it. Although the desk is tagged up
for 5.1 work the six buses and the main stereo can
also be combined for 7.1 operation -perhaps a little
far fetched given price and likely target users but it is
possible anyway-and this is bolstered by the existence of a switchable 8 -wide insert and the pressing
into service of the LR bargraphs to follow Lc and Rc
when operating in this manner. Metering source selection is performed by buttons that activate input,
playback, direct and the speaker outputs.
Things get clever around the monitor source selection section of the panel which permits the selection
of five stereo and five wide -format sources and it's
here that you'll also find master PLAYBACK, DIRECT and
DIRECT -PLAYBACK switches. Dedicated switches are
also provided for encoder and decoder inserts.
Higher up the chain of command are mode switches that add functions to the speaker mute and format
switches. It's here that you can define solos for playback- direct monitors and the speakers, mute each
playback-direct monitor and mute inputs to the monitor system after the decoder insert and before the
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
metering, and realise individual direct -playback switching for the six monitor input paths. These work in
conjunction with two rows of six speaker format
switches which follow the aforementioned modes and
where monitoring or creation of downmixes is performed to mono, stereo, LCRS, 5.1 and 7.1 the last
introducing an additional pair of close -fields. Speaker
levels can be preset or calibrated (bypasses monitor
VCAs and allows calibration on trimmers) and recalled
on switches. An 8 -wide joystick will also be available
as an option.
There is a good logic to this section in the way that
the solos and speaker mutes work, for example,
throughout the various modes. As already said it is all
here in an extremely comprehensive section although
the layout is not ideal. The layout is dictated by the
width of the monitor panel rather than any overriding ergonomic considerations, consequently everything
is crammed in to where there is space as opposed to
where it might like to be found in a more ideal world.
Many Media 51 users will be new to the idea of working in multichannel and will not understand the history
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presented in the manner that they are and why there are
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THE DESIGNER'S INPUT has been limited in the
Media 51 to the mie preamp and the EQ section of
the desk, the former being a new padless
arrangement offering up to 66dB ( -10dB to +15dB on
line). EQ is described in the literature as a refinement
of that on the Big but in reality it is a light year away
from the original's swept mids and switched
frequency HF and LF with a single switched high
pass. The new desk has swept frequencies on all
bands covering, from the top, 2kHz- 20kHz,
500Hz -5kHz, 100Hz -1 kHz and 30Hz-300Hz. It's all
±18dB and with 25Hz -500Hz and 2kHz -30kHz filters
stuck on it amounts to one mighty section. The HF
and LF can additionally be switched individually to
peaking characteristics.
I'll admit to being taken back at how modem
sounding this EQ is and its quite a bit more drastic
than less recent designs by the man which would
describe as more delicately geared. A twist results in
immediate aural action which can be quite dramatic
but it's still good powerful stuff. The filters are an
enormous bonus on a desk in this price range.
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REVIEW
5rtee
NOW RUNNING VERSION 3.7, which is long time
since the switch to PC from Atari that coincided with
the arrival of Big, Supertrue remains a simple and
approachable system. It's important to remind that it
has the largest installed user -base of any automation
system ever. That spans desks of the last decade and
is taken through, albeit in a far more automatable bits
and pieces form, to the flagship 9098i.
On the Media 51 aside from the faders, automated
control extends to channel and mix path mutes, plus
their equivalents on the stereo return module and Aux
1&2 mute on the channel strip and Aux 3 &4 on the
stereo return.
This system has been covered on numerous
occasions not least by me although long ago enough
for me to have forgotten that the system does not
present a horizontally scrolling fader position display as
part of its editing portfolio.
Fundamental operational modes are the familiar
read, write, and update selectable from the Select
switches on the desk or from the screen. They are
augmented by the popular concepts of autotakeover,
match and solo -the last of these allowing solos to be
written in the traditional way.
Off-line editing amounts to a mix processing page
for the likes of off -line trim, which involves the defining
of in and out points for the processing to occur over
selected channels. There's also repeat, shift (slip),
erase, copy and swap for moving channels around.
This process can be applied to definable automatable
event elements.
Recall is pretty standard stuff and includes the
autosearch function which scans the desk from a given
snapshot and identifies controls that have been
altered. The screen is clear and simple. Of course
there's also Virtual Dynamics which employs the
channel VCA as the tool with which to insert dynamics
processing in to the signal path. Virtual FX meanwhile
serves as a screen front end to control and adjust
MIDI equipped outboard gear parameters and presets.
Together this constitutes one hell of an automation
package at a time when you can no longer buy an
'affordable' third party automation system anymore.
Look at it as buying the desk and getting the
automation thrown in for free.
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variety of subtlely different ways of achieving what
are to an inexperienced eye very similar functions. The
shoe -horned layout may not help matters but anyone
who masters the presentation of principles on this desk
will be able to transfer those skills further up the technology ladder with ease. Amek has also produced useful
supporting literature on multichannel principles which
should go some way to speeding the process.
I like the way that operational principles follow
through on this desk and the way that the simpler business of stereo working, or in fact simple multichannel
working, requires decisions to be made further up the
top of the board. You only have to delve in to the monitor section with a vengeance for the really fancy stuff
and the `ordinary' user is to a great extent protected
from this.
In line with most potential user's requirements this
is a stereo console that you can do 5.1 work on as
opposed to a desk that is optimised for multichannel
work that you can do stereo work on. It's a subtle distinction but an important one to make. It's probably
the correct weighting of the issue and a good reading
of demand. It's a desk that is simple to operate on one
level with enormous power and capability beneath
that is likely to be beyond the requirements of occa-
24
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00 44 1011494 462246 Web: www.fuuarla..com
Tal: 00
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Tel: +44 161 868 2400
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regular user.
As such it represents by far and away the most
sophisticated analogue desk of its price and type and
has approached the multichannel aspect in a manner
that puts the tokenism of many affordable digital desks
to shame. Too frequently we encounter consoles that
have multichannel capability almost bolted on as an
afterthought, with the Media 51 we are looking at a
desk that has struck a modern and extremely accessible balance.
Proper multichannel tools in a proper and well
equipped stereo analogue board. The package is irresistible and it only remains to be seen whether Amek's
reading of the market is correct and apt. I've got to
admit that I think that it probably is.
r
801 9494 Web: mmm.pretel.ce.ne
Tel: 00 47 22 00
P
sional multichannel users but well up to the job for the
4
Names S Lydremmet
000a©BOI
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650 842 7900 Web: www.leco.riteuucom
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Tel: M 582 263 8790
a.turn
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00 502 267 4319
Vierar
Tel: 00 84 4 824 3058
Email:
h.noimasicenasm.ore.rn
Tokyo: +81 3 5707 0575
Net: www.amek.com
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
[ MASTER WITH
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The Focusrite Mix.Master inherits its classic analogue
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REVIEW
Tascam MX -2424
Getting to grips with Tascam's new hard -disk recorder- editor reveals why it may change the recording
market.
Rob James looks at the operational aspects of the
HAVING LOOKED at the technicalities of
the Tascam MX -2424 last month (Studio
Sound, August, page 14), it's time to get
something of the feel of it, its implications
and applications. I have long found the appearance
of new equipment in my life to be remarkably similar
to embarking on a new relationship. If there is sufficient initial attraction, any perception of obvious
defects tends to he submerged in the rush of excitement. This is followed by a period of exploration and
discovery while the euphoria slowly wears off. After
this, if the balance of advantages and disadvantages is
positive, I settle into comfortable familiarity. This will
usually last until some catastrophic fault occurs or
general unreliability creeps in. Eventually though, a
newer model will appear and may be seductive enough
to supplant the 'old faithful'. Even then, parting is
likely to be protracted. There is always a reluctance to
let go of the familiar and safe.
The last time this happened in a big way, it was
goodbye to multitrack analogue tape and magnetic
film and hello DTRS and ADAT. In the meantime
several alternative temptations have appeared, based
around hard -disk technology. So far none has really
succeeded in supplanting rotary head tape. This time,
think it really has something to worry about.
First impressions of the MX-2424 are promising,
transport control feels positive, the quality of scrub
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machine and courts revolution
audio is more than adequate and, more remarkably,
operates across all 24 tracks. I still miss 'chatter' audio
at up to 4x speed, but that's probably just my age
showing. There are no solos on the machine or
Viewnet, but since the MX -2424 will almost invariably
be used with a console this is no loss. For the same reason I didn't miss meters on the remote, although the
peak
BEDS
are useful.
Until the TL -SYNC synchroniser arrives, transport
sync to other devices is limited to other MX- 2424's,
TL -bus machines or MIDI. I hope it won't be a long
wait. TL -SYNC will add four Sony 9 -pin outputs and
one input plus SMPTE LTC and DTRS -ADAT sync
among other things. The Timeline heritage should
ensure it performs well.
There are a few signs of the machine and remote
having been built 'to a price'. The rubber keys on both
units are particularly 'squidgy'. For the lesser keys
this is of little importance, but the transport keys do
not inspire confidence. The lack of internal illumination is another minus. This is less forgivable on the
RC -2424 remote that is a relatively expensive item. It
isn't as if Tascam doesn't have suitable parts in the
bin. The transport keys on my DA -60 MkII DAT
recorder are shining examples. On the other hand,
since most people will use a remote and the Viewnet
software, the keys on the front panel could be said to
be largely irrelevant. In fact for many applications the
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MX -2424 could just as well be a black box with nothing but a mains switch on the front.
I was immediately impressed by Viewnet which
first appeared for the MMR -8 Digital Dubber. It could
he made sexier and some of the ways it goes about
things are less than intuitive, but it works well.
Network newbies would be well advised to get
their dealer to set up the computer's network address
to work with Viewnet. For anyone who has a nodding acquaintance with IP addresses, network masks
and Gateway addresses it should be a doddle.
Booting the application takes a minute or so, while
the networking sorts itself out. From then on it is
robust and co- exists happily with several other applications I tried -such as Vegas Pro, Nuendo and
Samplitude. The only real source of frustration is the
realisation of how much more Viewnet could do.
Waveform editing is slated for later this year so we
will have to wait and see what this brings. If Tascam
gets this right it will have a serious multitrack editor
on its hands. This could provide much more powerful ways of dealing with the problems which arise
during mixdowns where moving all the elements to a
workstation for a fix would be extremely cumbersome, if not impossible. As it stands the editing facilities
are welcome hut fairly rudimentary.
At present the networking is used purely for control
of the machine or machines. However, 100 Base T is
perfectly capable of moving audio about at reasonable speeds, even in real time for a limited number of
tracks. The MX- 2424's appeal would be greatly
enhanced if moving audio between machines was possible and I cannot see any good reason why this
shouldn't he implemented in the future.
The convenience and speed of operation of a dedicated hardware solution often greatly outweighs the
lack of a lengthy feature list. It is all about designing
tools for specific purposes and attention to detail. For
example, Tascam has elected to use the slightly more
expensive SCSI drives rather than EIDE. Although
DMA66 (and recently DMA 100) hard drives are now
capable of giving good performance in audio and
video applications they do not lend themselves well to
simple interchange between different manufacturers
machines. SCSI drives also still just have the edge in
performance and may be moved from the machine to
PCs and or Macs with relatively little drama. Where
it is necessary to connect multiple drives, this too is
more easily accomplished with SCSI.
The backup utility demonstrates the same sort of
philosophy. Once a project has been backed up, subsequent backups only record new material and
changes. This can save a great deal of valuable time and
disk or tape space.
On the editing front, the MX -2424 is adequate
rather than spectacular. In my opinion, front panel
editing is not really viable for intensive work on any
machine seen to date. Editing from the RC -2424
remote is considerably easier, but I don't believe this
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
SIC RECORDING
FILM SOUNDTRACK
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Client comfort.
Commenting on their choice of consoles, Rick Dzendzera their Group Technical
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REVIEW
machine is intended to replace a serious editor. A
bigger limitation is orphaned cues. In non -destructive
mode a cue that is completely overwritten is no longer
accessible, although it still exists and uses disk space.
The same applies when editing. If a cue is placed over
another, completely hiding it, the underlying cue 'disappears'. Moving the surface cue away does not reveal
the underlying one. When editing this is less of a problem since the multilevel Undo will restore everything
to normal, but I feel there should be a way of getting
at the orphans.
The MX -2424 will already prove highly attractive
to several groups of users, leaving aside what might or
might not be possible in the future. For anyone looking for a direct replacement for linear tape it offers
24 tracks of 24 -bit recording at a quite remarkable
price point. The audio I -O options are well thought out
and the analogue convertors sound fine. More importantly, all the I-O is as reasonably priced as the machine
itself. Thanks to this and the overall system design it
is not only possible but economically viable to put
together systems with huge numbers of tracks. For
music recording there is no longer any need to compromise the number of tracks on cost grounds. If you
feel the need to record every individual feed from a
massive mic rig it won't he the cost of the recorders
machine didn't appeal. Again, Tascam has paid
attention to the details that count. The transport
dynamics, jog -shuttle and ramping of rewind and fast
forward all contribute to a sense of comfort. The
destructive tape mode is ideal for acquisition since it
produces single files for each track and the running
time is a known quantity. With any machine of this
type there are going to be a lot of setup menus that can
initially seem a little daunting. I did read the manual
pretty assiduously, but I didn't have to keep going
back to it. Familiarity grows quickly and you soon
forget about the machine and concentrate on the mix
-just as it should be.
While perfectly capable as a stand -alone machine,
the MX -2424 really comes into its own when used with
Viewnet. This makes setting up the machine and editing far easier and clearer. The moving track display
together with the overview gives the operator a great deal
of information without confusion. Viewnet is even more
useful when multiple machines are involved. Since I
only had one machine I couldn't try this in anger, but a
number of highly useful things should be possible. For
example, to facilitate quick changes, machine setups
can be saved and reloaded to many machines in one
hit. Editing operations may be applied to selected tracks
on several machines at one time. This will prove invalu-
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which prevents you. Even at 96kHz four machines
will give 48 tracks. Once FAT32 arrives later this year,
record times shouldn't be an issue either. With hard
disk costs continuing to fall and low cost backup to
recordable DVD, stock costs won't pose a problem.
With tape, and especially rotary head machines, the
purchase price pales into insignificance beside the
maintenance bill. By comparison MX -2424 ownership will be thoroughly reasonable, hard disk recorders
are already prized for low maintenance and high reliability and the MX -2424 should be no exception.
Film and TV post took to DTRS in a big way. Once
the synchroniser appears the MX -2424 will be very
much at home. There is no biphase, but this is not a
show stopper in the vast majority of applications.
Lack of broad file compatibility might be seen as a
problem, but in many current production process
models the SDII and .WAV capabilities will be sufficient. As Tascam's Open TL (Open Track List) EDL
format is taken up by workstation manufacturers,
moving projects will become easier still. Steinberg and
SADiE are already signed up.
I can also see the machine finding applications in
theme parks and similar installations which need a
reliable and compact source of multichannel audio.
All this would count for little if the feel of the
able for making global changes to big projects.
Tascam will not have this market to itself for long.
There may well be other manufacturers waiting in the
wings and Mackie, in particular, has been promising
their own offering, the HDR24/96, for some time now.
Meanwhile Tascam has come up with a highly significant machine. I think with a bit of luck it should set
the agenda until the day when the whole paradigm
shifts again.
The quality of recordings is equal to those made
on machines at several times the cost. There are minor
compromises such as the rubber keys, but these in no
way impinge on the core functionality and scalability
of the system. Most importantly, the MX -2424 feels
good in use. If you really need more bells and whistles
it is going to cost a great deal to get them. I think for
many applications the limitations are trivial and I for
one would rather have 96 sample accurate tracks than
24 for the same money.
TCS @TCE LECTRON IC.COM
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Contact:
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Tascam. UK. Tel: +44 1923 819630.
Net: www.tascam.co.uk
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Net: www.tascam.com
1
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28
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REVIEW
Waves L2 Ultramaximizer
Breaking out of the virtual and into the physical domain, Waves digital Ultramaximiser
is
an impressive piece of hardware.
Dave Foister gets hands on
THE VIRTUAL STUDIO has still not taken
be modified by setting the output ceiling below zero,
and if this is done the threshold setting relates to the
ceiling value, not full scale. Why the ceiling should
ever he reduced is not clear, but it does make it pos-
over the world. Many would question
whether it ever will or should, and the biggest
factor fighting it is the fact that we love hardware. Working on a computer screen may be space
efficient and cost-effective, but it's never a substitute
for grabbing real controls and adjusting them, as
shown by the hardware interfaces that always follow
in the wake of the latest DAW. Of course, while the
existing hardware manufacturers have all been keen
to get plug -in versions of their products into the software domain, there have been newer companies only
producing software who have perhaps realised that
there's a whole chunk of the market they're missing.
MS SRN, A
input seleuor
T"nr5ar'.U4
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sible to compare raw and treated signals at the same
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the added gain, making comparison difficult. Reducing
the ceiling by the same number of dB as the threshold
setting effectively removes the gain, bringing the output level down to the same as that of the bypassed
signal. In this way any side effects of the limiting itself
can be heard.
The third control is for setting the release time of
the limiter, but again for most purposes this is happi-
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analogue to digital conversion in the L2 is 24 -bit at
up to 96kHz, and all normal rates and lengths are
provided at the outputs. There are three push buttons to deal with reducing the word length from the
standard 24, and when these parameters are as accessible as this it's a useful reminder as to what's going
on here. One switch cycles through the word lengths
from 16 to 24 bits in 2dB increments; one adds a
choice of two types of dither; and the other applies
various flavours of IDR noise shaping to the end
result. Putting a signal through the L2 at about 60dB
below the usual level shows all too clearly why such
things are necessary, and allows ready comparison
of the various settings.
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However good their processors are, there are many
studios who will never buy them unless they come in
a box. This is why we have, as an example, the Antares
Auto -Tune in a box, and now it's joined by the Waves
L2 Ultramaximizer.
Waves has been doing plug -ins as long as anybody
who still has their faculties can remember, and the
standard package of dynamics, EQ and other tools
and effects is to be found in almost every workstation.
A particularly powerful element is the L1 limiter, a
mastering processor that does a little more than just
limit, and it's this component that has found its way into
2U -high rackmount box with enough flashing lights
to satisfy the most demanding hardware die-hard.
If the appearance of the L2 looks a little extravagant
for what's basically a digital brickwall limiter, that's
because of the extra bits and pieces that have uses of
their own even when the limiter is not in use.
Admittedly its functions could have been confined to
one display screen, some softkeys and a single encoder,
but if you're going to turn a software processor into
a physical metal box you might as well eat the whole
hog. For this reason there are no less than six main
controls, each with its own meter and numeric display. For stereo mastering use, only the top controls
do anything, but it's as well to know that the L2 is
equally happy with two independent mono signals.
Despite appearances, operation of the L2 is kept
extremely simple. For most uses only one of the parameters is important-the Threshold of the limiter.
This is adjusted in 0.1dB increments for the benefit
of the fastidious, and compensating gain is automatically added. Thus setting the threshold at -6dBFS
adds 6dB of gain so that peaks still hit zero. This can
a
30
J
t
dealt with by the Auto Release Control circuitry,
engaged by a single button marked ARC. Its associated meter shows gain reduction, while the other two
show input and output levels, and all three have peak
hold by default, reset globally by a single button.
Attack times are not adjustable by the user, as the L2
can do better than that; it incorporates enough delay
to allow it to look ahead and deal with peaks before
they arrive, shaping them in the most unobtrusive
way possible.
There are in fact two more knobs, and they adjust
the analogue levels coming into the L2. I was surprised to find that in their centre detent position the
gain did not seem to match any standard level I was
expecting; in order to get a Ovu input to deliver a digital output at -18dBFS I had to increase the input level
significantly, and for the often -used -12 a lot of extra
gain was required. The centre detent corresponded to
something like -19 or 20, and didn't even seem to be
the same on both channels. Not a real problem of
course, as the meters on the unit allow precise calibration, yet puzzling nonetheless. The output level
meters corresponded very well with an outboard digital reference meter.
The left-hand end of the front panel has the pushbutton selector switches for the various parameters
relating to the digital output format, and this is where
the added features come in. Waves had a close and
productive relationship with the late Michael Gerzon,
and this resulted in several Waves products featuring Gerzon's ideas. Some were to do with stereo image
manipulation, but what concerns us here is Gerzon's
noise- shaping ideas, known in their Waves applications as Increased Digital Resolution or IDR. The
ly
Straight truncation to 16 bits makes such a mess of
that it's immediately obvious why a more
sophisticated approach is called for. The `grainy
graunch' sounds like a faulty gate or a loose connection, and the implications for reverberant tails and
other subtle details are all too clear. The L2 begins to
deal with this with two types of dither, although no
details are given as to what they comprise. According
to Waves, Type 1 provides no non- linear distortion,
while Type 2 exhibits a lower hiss level. Certainly
Type 2 sounded much quieter while smoothing out
the unpleasant truncation effects just as well as Type 1
on the material I was using. The noise shaping can
then be applied, and three shapes are available, simply labelled Moderate, Normal and Ultra. The
difference is the degree to which the process moves
the noise into the upper end of the spectrum. Ultra
leaves a very clear mid range while producing the
most extreme HF noise, which in many cases will be
very successfully masked by the musical material. If the
masking is insufficient, a lower setting can be used at
the expense of the amount of mid -band noise.
I was working with some quite aggressive, bright
material, and there was no question that the most
extreme settings of these controls worked subjectively the best. If it hadn't been for the prominent cymbals
this might well not have been the case, and it is therefore reassuring to know that there are more gentle
settings, all of which are very effective at delivering an
improvement over an untreated signal. Waves claims
that IDR can yield a subjective resolution of 19 bits on
a 16 bit medium, and 23 bits on a 20 bit format.
A claim like that is hard to verify, but there is no doubt
that IDR on these low -level signals revealed detail
a low signal
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
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InpallAVISK
Standard test facilities:
v
te
;
00
Ordo.,
Afji
Dual-channel programmable analog and digital signal generators
Real-time dual-chcnnel multi-functional, programmable precision voltmeter.
Dual-channel sweet analyzer.
A
co 9 froi
Automatic limit checking.
P
Scriptable FFT-based measurement detectors:
t.ce
Eve FFTeace
WM
13
L., FFT traCe
G
G
fi
Multiple readings cf different quantities can be displayed simultaneously.
A
range of standard measurements
is
provided plus the means to customize readings with VB
A,40,6
Script procedures cnd user-defined weighting filters.
J.:16/
Dual-channel digital 'scope and measurement trace display:
Trace types include audio
fO
Ct cumol A
I
Analog
Char.'
2-channel
waveform, audio spectrum (FFT), time-domain
analyzer function e.g distortion waveform) function reading (e g. distortion) spectrum, jitter
spectrum, sweep results and stored traces. Trace cursors and markers are provided and upper and
lower limit curves :an be defined and violations flagged.
Digital interface measurements:
Fs
RE
7
(source) and dato (intersymbol) jitter. carrier amplitude. eye narrowing, carrier phase, carrier
7.
Cs..
Skis
r Cxwe
rite
AT:04
es.e
PV.
L
Si. neJ Genereir Channel A
waveform and eye diagram display. Digital outputs may he degraded with long cable simulation,
source jitter noise and common mode interference.
r r-base..,en
j
Automation:
a Revlon.
rp_r
irer
rneeouremertt
id5F3
Automated operat on is provided by Microsoft VB Script. A visual toolbox is provided containing all
of the system variables and readings to ease coding. Snapshots of the instrument state, including
Freque,y
777777
the desktop layout, may be stared on disk.
Measurement procedures can be invoked from within MS-Access or MS-Word for automated
generation of test reports & results databases.
Key Specifications:
Analog Input, residual THD+n
FFT
tOfldB
for full
scale input, unweighted)
analyzer. residual THDtn -140dB (FS input, white TPDF dither at source)
Time domain analyzer residual THD+n
Analog input signal ronge (noise
-
135dB (FS input, unweighted)
max) 1.1uVrms to 159Vrms (balanced input)
CALL US NOW TO ARRANGE
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Prism Media Products Limited
Wilian James Hcjse,
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Fa: ,-44 (0)122Z 5023
Tel: 1-973 983 9577
Fax: 1-973 983 9588
a [email protected]
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21
www.pr smsound. pm
REVIEW
AES SPDIF A
CD -R
Input left
Input selector
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTORS
Ext
D
In!
Sync
AUSTRALIA: AUDIO PRODUCTS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD
Tel- 617 5502 8229 Fax. 617 5502 8229
Contact Michael Guest
AUSTRIA: STUDER AUSTRIA GMBH
44.1 48
Tel: 01 865 1676 Fax 01 865 167699
Sample rate
Contact Reinhold Flied!
10
1003
Tee
88.2/96
-16
18
20 22 24-N
x2
Link
Bypass
BELGIUM: EML PRO AUDIO
011 23 2355 Fax: 011 23 2172
Contact: Patrik Niels
BRAZIL: VISOM BRASIL
Tel 021 493 7312 Fax 021 493 9590
Contact Carlos De Andrade
CANADA: HHB COMMUNICATIONS CANADA LTD
Tel 416 867 9000 Fax: 416 867 1080
Contact. Dave Dysart
Quantize
CZECH REPUBLIC: AUDIOPOLIS
Tel: 02 3332 2132 Fax: 02 3332 4172
Contact Jan Adam
T2 T1 Off
IDR
Dither
1111
90 39 24 18 12
U
N
M
Off
DENMARK: INTERSTAGE
0000 Fax: 39 46 0040
Contact Finn Juul
Tel 39 46
FINLAND: HEDCOM
1
Tel: 358 9 6828 4600 Fax. 358 9 6828 4674
Contact Jarmo Rosas
Noise shaping
FRANCE: MILLE ET UN SONS
Fax: 01 47 89 8171
Contact Richard Broomfield
Tel: 01 46 67 0210
Input right
GERMANY: TRIOS
940810 Fax. 05451 940819
Contact: Hubert Dierselhuis
Tel: 05451
GREECE: KEM ELECTRONICS
Tel' 01 674 8514 Fax- 01 674 6384
Contact: Thimios Kolikotsis
HOLLAND: TM AUDIO HOLLAND BV
Tel: 030 241 4070 Fax. 030 241 0002
Contact: Peter de Fouw
THE LEFT-HAND END OF THE FRONT PANEL has the push- button selector switches for the
various parameters relating to the digital output format, and this is where the added features
come in. Waves had a close and productive relationship with the late Michael Gerzon, and this
resulted in several Waves products featuring Gerzon's ideas. Some were to do with stereo
image manipulation, but what concerns us here is Gerzon's noise -shaping ideas, known in their
Waves applications as Increased Digital Resolution or IDR. The analogue to digital conversion
in the L2 is 24 -bit at up to 96kHz, and all normal rates and lengths are provided at the outputs.
There are three push buttons to deal with reducing the word length from the standard 24, and
when these parameters are as accessible as this it's a useful reminder as to what's going on
here. One switch cycles through the word lengths from 16 to 24 bits in 2dB increments; one
adds a choice of two types of dither; and the other applies various flavours of IDR noise
shaping to the end result.
HONG KONG: DIGITAL MEDIA TECHNOLOGY
Tel: 2 721 0343 Fax: 2 366 6883
Contact: Wilson Choi
IRELAND: BIG BEAR SOUND LTD
Tel 01 662 3411 Fax 01 668 5253
Contact. Julian Douglas
ISRAEL: BAND PRO FILM VIDEO INC
Tel' 03 673 1891 Fax- 03 673 1894
Contact Ofer Menashe
ITALY: AUDIO EQUIPMENT SRL
Fax. 039 214 0011
Contact Donatella Quadric)
Tel: 039 212 221
MALDIVES: ISLAND ACOUSTIC PTE LTD
Tel 960 31 0032 Fax 960 31 8264
Contact: Mohamed Habib
MEXICO: LOLA DE MEXICO
Tel 0525 250 6038 Fax 0525 250 6038
Contact Carmen Juarez
NEW ZEALAND: SOUND TECHNIQUES
Tel: 09 846 3349 Fax: 09 846 3347
Contact Stephen Buckland
NORWAY: LYDROMMET AS
Tel. 47 22 09 1610 Fax: 47 22 09 1611
Contact Christian Wille
that the 16 bits did not appear to contain. Of course
there are many other ways of achieving this, but the
Gerzon IDR seems to have found favour in its software
guise; its availability now in a rackmount box for mastering may well see it gain further exposure.
The back of the L2 reveals a good selection of analogue and digital interfaces, from phono unbalanced
analogue ins and outs to AES -EBU, and there is a
wordclock input on BNC. If I have a reservation about
the physical box it's the apparent standard of construction, which does not inspire total confidence. It
doesn't look or feel expensive, which may not matter, and the push buttons are wobbly and sometimes
poke out of their panel holes at an angle, which may.
On the other hand, the multiple meters and read -outs,
which at first look gaudy and unnecessarily flash, turn
out to be extremely useful, with good use of simple yellow and red bars to show when levels are nearing the
top, half -dB resolution in the critical areas, and the
always- active peak hold that can be seen from half
way across the room. The tiny increments in the
threshold adjustment may have their uses for some
people, but their main effect is to make adjustment
take rather longer than strictly necessary as the encoder
is cranked round and round several times just to drop
the threshold by a few dB.
But at the end of the day the L2 undoubtedly deliv-
what it sets out to deliver. It seems to be possible
to make any signal louder than it started out, with or
without obvious side effects as required. Importantly,
the limiter itself can be made to work quite hard without any more noticeable indication than the gain
reduction meter's quick flashes. It can do this on a
digital source as readily as on analogue material, and
if presented with analogue provides mastering quality conversion with all the flexibility you could need.
The IDR dithering and noise shaping, whether used on
a high -hit digital source or following its own convertors, is no mere gimmick, but a significant and
worthwhile contender in this important field. Set up
with care (which is not hard to do) the L2 can make
a worthwhile contribution to the final stages of anybody's signal chain. Are there more physical
manifestations of Waves' expertise in the pipeline?
Watch this space...
POLAND: DAVE S.C.
Fax: 22 826 4912
Contact: Bogdan Wotciechowski
Tel 22 826 4912
ers
Contact:
KS Waves. Israel
Tel: 972 3 510 7667.
Fax: ,-972 3 510 5881.
Net: wwwwaves.com/waves
US: Naves
Tel:
Fax:
PORTUGAL: ELECTROSOUND PORTUGESA
Tel: 01 417 0004 Fax 01 418 8093
Contact Carlos Cunha
RUSSIA: AST TRADE INC
Tel. 295 796 9262 Fax: 095 796 9264
Contact: Alexei Gorsky
SINGAPORE/ASIA: SENNHEISER ELECTRONIC ASIA PTE LTD
Tel 273 5202 Fax: 273 5038
Contact: Dann Ho
SOUTH AFRICA: E.M.S.
Tel. 011 482 4470 Fax 011 726 2552
Contact: Dennis Feldman
SPAIN: LEXON
Fax: 93 280 4029
Tel: 93 203 4804
Contact: Robert Serrat
Tel-.
SWEDEN: POL TEKNIK AB
08 449 4440 Fax 08 88 4533
Contact: Jarmo Masko
SWITZERLAND: DR. W.A. GUNTHER AG
Tel 01 910 4545 Fax 01 910 3544
Contact Roland Bricchi
SYRIA: HAMZEH B PARTNERS CO
333 3753 Fax 11 3731573
Contact: Khaled Hamzeh
Tel: 11
TAIWAN: DMT TAIWAN LTD
Tel: 02 516 4318 Fax: 02 515 9881
Contact Honton Sze
TURKEY: SF DIS TICARET AS
Tel
0212 227 9625 Fax 0212 227 9654
Contact: Samim Mutluer
USA: HHB COMMUNICATIONS (USA) LLC
Tel 310 319 1111 Fax- 310 319 1311
Contact David Beesley
b
Inc.
423 689 5395.
+1 423 688 4260
1
FIRST WE USTEN
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Tel: 310 3191111 Fax: 310 3191311 E -Mail: sales @hhbusa.com
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Tel: 416 867 9000 Fax: 416 867 1080 E -Mail: sales @hhbcanada.com
www.hhb.co.uk
b
FIRST WE LISTEN
REVIEW
JBL LSR2SP
10O
Axial Response
15
Studio Sound's `bench test' loudspeaker reviews continue
with the LSR25P.
Keith Holland
THE JBL LSR25P is a compact,
2 -way active loudspeaker
comprising a 130mm woofer
with a carbon -fibre composite
cone, and a 25mm titanium composite
dome tweeter that radiates through an
`elliptical oblate spheroidal' horn; both
drivers are magnetically shielded. The
power amplifier and crossover electronics are housed in a diecast alu-
minium cabinet which has external
dimensions of 175mm wide by 270mm
high by 240mm deep. Each loudspeaker
weighs 7.7kg. The drivers are arranged
vertically on the front panel along with
two bass reflex ports, an on -off button
with LED and an input sensitivity control. The signal and mains input sockets are mounted in a recess in the back
panel, such that the plugs insert vertically, permitting flush- mounting of the
loudspeaker against a back wall. Also
on the back panel are a set of DIP
switches which control HF level
(i-1.5dB), a high -pass filter for use with
subwoofers (80Hz) and `workstation
LF boundary compensation'. The measurements presented in this review were
carried out with all controls in their flat
(default) position. JBL claims amplifier
power outputs of 100W for the woofer
and 50W for the tweeter giving a maximum peak SPL of 109dB at 1m distance under anechoic conditions. The
crossover is specified as a 4th -order
electroacoustic Linkwitz-Riley at 2.3kHz.
Fig.l shows the on -axis frequency
response and harmonic distortion for
the LSR25P. The response is seen to lie
within ±2dB limits from 90Hz to
34
45 degrees
reports
20kHz; a remarkable result. The low frequency roll -off is approximately 6th order with -10dB at about 50Hz. The
harmonic distortion performance is
also remarkable, with the 2nd harmonic reaching a maximum of -47dB
(0.4 %) at 75Hz, with all other levels
better than -50dB. These are very low
levels of distortion for such a small
loudspeaker enclosure.
The horizontal and vertical off-axis
responses are shown in Figs 5 and 6,
respectively. The response is seen to fall
smoothly with increasing frequency and
off-axis angle, with no evidence of side lobes or mid -frequency narrowing. A
driver interference notch is evident in
the vertical plane at the crossover frequency of 2.3kHz; this is characteristic
of most non -coaxial designs.
The time -domain response for the
LSR25P is depicted in Figs 3 to 7. The
step response (Fig.3) shows good driver time -alignment with very little
delay between the high and mid frequencies, but the acoustic source position is seen to shift to over 3m behind
the loudspeaker at low frequencies; a
consequence of the rapid, 6th -order
roll -off (Fig.2). The power cepstrum
(Fig.4) shows very little activity as the
on -axis response, from which it is
derived, is so smooth and flat. The
small, sharp dip in the on -axis response
at 1100Hz is seen to coincide with some
ringing in the waterfall plot (Fig.7), suggesting the presence of a low-level, high Q resonance rather than an interference
effect, but the low frequencies are seen
to decay very rapidly considering the
6th -order roll -off.
Overall the JBL LSR25P is an excellent small loudspeaker. The frequency
degrees
30 degrees
60 degrees
-30
-40
I
I
I1I1IIIIIIIId
20
i
100
II II
1111111111i
,
I
11111111111Ld
1000
Frequency (Hz)
10000
Fig.5: Horizontal Directivity
10
0
-10
Axial Response
dB
15 deg. up
-20
30 deg. up
15 deg. do
30 deg. do
-30
-40
I
I
20
100
II
I1 11I1I1I1Idd
I
I
11111111111d
1000
Frequency (Hz)
10000
Fig.6: Vertical Directivity
response, both on- and off -axis, is
among the smoothest and flattest of
any of the loudspeakers tested to date.
Low frequency extension is admirable
for such a small loudspeaker and the
harmonic distortion is exceptionally
low. Driver time alignment and low frequency decay are both noteworthy,
although the low- frequency phase
response, represented by the acoustic
source position plot, does suffer due to
the 6th -order roll -off. The high performance and small physical size of the
LSR25P should ensure that it wins
many friends as an accurate close -field
reference monitor.
20
1000
100
!IMO
Frequency (Hz)
Fig.7: Waterfall
Contact
JBL Professional,
Methodology
US.
Tel: +1 818 894 8850.
Fax: *1 818 830 1220.
Net: www.jblpro.com
Studio Sound, April 1998, page 14.
Net: www.prostudio.com /studiosound
/aprI98 /r- tannoy.html
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
10
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SRES.
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Axial Rcsponx
-20
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-50
-60
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1000
100
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Frequency (Hz)
Fig 1: On -axis Frequency Response and Distortion
8/9 November, 2000, Hall Seven,
National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK
4
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Fig.3: Step Response
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Fig.4: Power Cepstrum
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35
REVIEW
Stellavox PW1
Studio Sound's `bench test' amplifier reviews continue with the PW 1.
N MANY KEY RESPECTS, the Stellavox PW1
antithesis of Manley's valve amplifier tested last month. Both make claims for high sound
quality and both are targeted across domestic
and professional markets, but the routes taken to
achieve their common goals are as far apart as imaginable. And imagination certainly plays a role in this
review, for the Stellavox arrived from Switzerland
quite unannounced, bereft of anything but the simplest
specification.
At first sight, the compact (150mm x 270mm x
60mm) dimensions and light 4.2kg weight of this
monoblock amplifier, coupled with its high 200W rating and `PW1' model name, suggest some sort of
switch -mode or PWM design. Instead, the PW1 looks
like a linear class A/B amp running with a very high
( -70V) rail voltage. Two pairs of Hitachi J162/K1058
audio MOSFETs are bolted to the back of the extruded heatsinking, devices that can be married to a relatively simple drive circuit that needs no significant
current capability of its own.
This ties -in with what appears to be an encapsulated
driver stage with built -in heatsinking. Indeed, the
entire PCB measures no more than 75mm x 95mm,
and this includes a pair of small 100V /1000µF electrolytics. RCA and XLR inputs are provided, though
both are single-ended and connected, unswitched, in
parallel. Do not, under any circumstances, connect
two sources to the PW1 at the same time. Stellavox's
3k -10k52 input specification for the PW1 suggests
that, at one time, these inputs were directly loaded
by its stepped attenuator while, in practice, the output
of preamps, consoles and the like are actually faced
with a friendlier 25k52 resistor. The attenuator, mean-
Paul Miller reports
is the
while, offers adjustment over a 10.3dB range (gain
from +19.7dB to +30.0dB).
Because power supply energy is a function of volts
squared and not capacitance, the PW1 can get away
with a small reservoir at mid and high frequencies.
Nevertheless, the low capacitance supply is less able
to sustain a continuous output at and below 50Hz,
as Fig.1 demonstrates, though the MOSFET output
stage confers a good power bandwidth, extending to
a full 240W at 30kHz.
Load tolerance is also affected. So the PW1 may
achieve 240W into 8Q, hut only manages 245W into
5IFI1VOXPVIPOV(R MOT MMq MIpM0111COISIOMi10MwnmFOVEA UMIP01wlaMiw
yM1lLLM ATOM
AWN./
Fig.7
Fig.2
36
Fig.4
Fig.3
Fig.5
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
452 under continuous output conditions.
Under momentary or dynamic conditions, this increases to 292W, 386W,
417W (14.4A) and 318W (17.8A) into
80 452, 252 and 10 loads, respectively.
These are the black, red, blue and green
traces, respectively, on Fig.2 with the
continuous 80 output represented in
grey. These profiles are very revealing,
for while distortion remains both low
and controlled up to 80 -90% of full output, there are obvious bursts of distortion, possibly caused by a mild
instability, prior to true clipping.
Furthermore, the maximum 17.8A current capability is certainly not excessive
for a 200W amplifier (around 30A
would be more typical). There's no such
thing as a free lunch: the amplifier is
powerful and very capable provided we
steer clear of LF reinforcement or low
and reactive loads.
Assessed within these limits, the
amplifier is very impressive indeed. At
10W, distortion falls as low as 0.0015%
(around 200Hz) and increases to just
0.015% at 20Hz and 0.04% at 20kHz.
This is reflected in Fig.3 which also
includes a high -resolution spectrogram
of the midband THD, showing a low
but extended pattern of harmonics.
As reflected in the dynamic profile
(Fig.2), distortion is also well maintained
over the amplifier's specified 200W
range, showing no obvious crossover
effects (THD = 0.0038% from 1 -10W)
and a gentle increase in midband dis-
tortion levels to just 0.008% at the rated
852 output level. Residual noise is very
low indeed at just -73.7dBV (0.21mV)
and the A -wtd S -N ratio equally impres
sive at 90.9dB (re. 1W/80). This is some
5dB better than 'average' for a product
of this rating.
The exceptionally wide response of
the PW1 is demonstrated by Fig.5 (black
trace), though whether Stellavox's ±3dB
limits of 3Hz -1MHz are strictly necessary is another point altogether, bearing in mind the stability implications of
unusual speaker -cable combinations.
The output Zobel network (or LR to
be precise) will have a damping influence and limits the output impedance
to a minimum of 0.0252 (see red trace.
Fig.5). Play it safe and there's no reason why the PW1 should turn into an
RF amplifier.
Overall, the Stellavox PW1 looks to
be an interesting product and certainly
a departure for its parent company,
Goldmund, who are -or at least were
-best known in domestic audiophile
circles for its high -end and highly expensive hi -fi gear. How competitive the PW1
will prove depends on its price in the
UK which, with any luck, will not be on
a par with previous Goldmund product.
This being so, the measurements suggest that the PW1 is not best placed for
driving long, reactive cable loads or bass
bins with crude low -pass crossovers.
Compact, close -field monitors, however,
will suit the PW1 famously.
CUTTING
DGE
WIRELESS
the World's Nol manufacturer of RF systems.
theatre and broadcast, Sennheiser offers
professional, utterly reliable and flexible performance.
They have the finest choice available - and the awards
to prove it. But it's not just world beating products
that have lead to the Company's dominance in
wireless. Sennheiser's planning consultancy and
customer support network are second to none.
When you buy a Sennheiser RF system, you can
Sennheiser
is
For live music,
Methodology
Contact
Digital Audio Trading,
2 Chemin de
Graviere, 1227, Geneva, Switzerland
Net: www.stellavox.com
Studio Sound, June 1999, page 27.
Net: www.prostudio.com /studiosound
la
'index.html
be sure it's exactly right for your specific needs
and, wherever in the world you travel, you will
Power Amplifier: Stellavox PW1
{Rated Specification. in brackets where given):
20Hz
1kHz
20kHz
Max Continuous Power Output,
0.5% THD into
1% THD into
852
40
(one channel)
160W
240W (200W)
245W (200W)
-0.05dB
0.0dB
-0.04dB
+0.8dB (290W)
17.8A
(one channel)
Frequency Response
@
OdBW
Dynamic Headroom (IHF)
Maximum Current (10ms, 1% THD)
Output Impedance
0.0252
Damping Factor
400
Unbalanced Input
Total Harmonic Distortion
(OdBW, 1kHz)
-89dB
(<
(2/3 power, 1kHz)
-83dB
(
Noise (A wtd, re. OdBW)
(re.
2/3 power)
Residual noise (unwtd)
Input Sensitivity (for OdBW)
(for full output)
-80dB)
< -80dB)
-90.9dB
-111.3dB ( <- 105dB)
-73.7dBV
49mV
760mV (1400mV)
Input loading
25kí2 (3- 10k52)
DC offset
+16mV
Serial Number
60-05 -01
Retail Price
E
??
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
240W
-
never have to worry about local frequercy
legislation. Sennheiser will be there for
you.
The majority of top West End
shows choose Sennheiser RF systems.
Countless
performing
artists,
venues and conference centres
around the world make
Sennheiser their first
choice.
Sennheiser
- a cut above
the rest.
SENKHEISER
Sennheiser
UK Ltd, FREEPOST, High Wycombe, Bucks HP123BR.
Brochure Line: 0800 652 5002 Fax: 01494 551549
e -mail: info @sennheiser.co.uk web: www.sennheiser.co.uk
37
DON'T JUST
REDESIGN
YOUR SOUND.
OVER FIVE TIMES THE PROCESSING
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READY TO PLUG AND PLAY IN YOUR
BROADCAST CHAIN. WITH THE ALL
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LEFT TO BUY. YOU CLEARLY OWN LOUD.
FOR THE MOST UP -TO -DATE INFORMATION
GO TO
W W W. O P
T M
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O D
8 4
O
c 2000 Orban,
O. C O M.
Inc. Orban and OPTIMOD are registered trademarks.
INTRODUCING OPTIMOD -FM 8400 FROM ORBAN.
1525 Alvarado St., San Leandro, CA 94577 USA Phone: 1-510- 351 -3500 Fax: 1-510- 351 -0500
E
-mail: custsery @orban.com Web: www.orban.com
REVIEW
Trident Audio S80
The emergent trend of near-identical vintage equipment reissues continues with a strip from
the Trident Series 80 console.
Dave Foister casts
JOHN DRAM's presence at Trident during the
golden years makes him well placed to understand what it is about certain consoles that made
them special. So far he has applied that experience
to producing new processors under the Oram Sonics
banner, but now he has bought the Trident Audio
name and produced a replica of the channel strip that
made the Trident Series 80 the console it was.
The classic channel strip, and particularly console
EQ, in a box is nothing new. If you want the original
sound of a console by Neve, API, Focusrite, Amek, or
one or two others, they're there to be bought off the
shelf, with the added reassurance that new components
and a warranty can bring. How close a link the replicas can claim with the original is very much a variable,
but not with the Trident Audio S80 Producer Box.
From the metal knobs to the case made of the same
distinctive wood as the original Trident trim, the S80
is a painstaking reproduction, and this runs right
through the whole design, as it does on many of the
other replicas already mentioned. No attempt has
been made to sanitise, update or `improve' the original design; the aim was to produce exactly the same
sonic character as on the original, and that meant
cloning it as closely as possible. As is often the case,
the most problematic component was the transformer,
and Sowter was commissioned to replicate one of the
few original transformers available. The front panels
were printed using the original anodising process, and
the engraved push -buttons are the same; the only obvious difference is the mirror -image placement of the
controls, so that the EQ has the frequency selection on
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
a
connoisseur's eye and ear.
the left and boost -cut on the right.
The circuitry itself comprises the microphone pre amp and the equaliser, and all the controls for these
elements are on a short strip. The box contains two of
these strips, and a third panel that constitutes a simple mixer for the two channels, with pans, mutes and
grown-up faders. Each channel has its own XLR inputs
and outputs plus insert points, and the mixer has separate stereo outputs.
The controls themselves are relatively few and simple, and will be familiar to those who remember the
original console. The preamp has separate gain trims
for the mic and line inputs, a switch to select between
them, phantom power and phase reverse. The EQ
itself has four bands, the outer two shelving and the
inner two switched-frequency mids. This is where the
real simplicity is apparent, as there is no bandwidth
adjustment, no great overlap between bands, and fairly coarse switching of the frequencies. HF and LF
have only two frequencies, selected with push-buttons, while the mid bands have seven each on rotary
switches. There is a separate low-cut filter at 50Hz
and a button to switch the whole EQ in and out,
shown by the only LED on the strip.
But features and complexity are not what an EQ
like this is all about. The Series 80 console had a
sound that people wanted, and the success of this
Producer Box depends solely on how well it duplicates that sound. Oram's studio had an original
Series 80 channel strip hooked up alongside the new
box via an A -B switch, and I was left alone to
explore the two.
The character of the EQ was immediately obvious.
There is a great big warmth in the lows and mids, and
sparkle and edge in the upper end. The HF shelf set at
8kHz is quite aggressive and easy to overdo, while at
12kHz it adds a beautiful smooth sheen. Switching
around the mid frequencies with lots of boost showed
the Q to be narrow enough to be able to hear the centre frequency while wide enough to give broad control
without worrying about how few frequencies there
are to choose from. The most remarkable thing though
was the fact that Oram has achieved the aim of duplicating the original; any setting I created on the original
could be cloned exactly on the S80 with no audible difference. The one variation is that the new boost -cut
pots have a slightly different law from the old ones, and
have to be moved a little further away from the centre detent to get the same result, although the settings
at the extremes are identical.
This opportunity to do such a direct comparison is
a rare thing for a manufacturer to offer to a reviewer, and Oram's confidence in the S80 design was
vindicated. This is truly a replica of a desirable original, and if that particular colour is missing from your
palette the 580 will fill the gap.
Contact:
Oram Consulting.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
CD -R for glassmasters
Marantz has released the CDR500 combination
CD -R /CD as its first product with a new Automaster
process for full Red Book Disc at Once recording.
According to the manufacturer, this replicates
mastering plant procedures and negates the need for
transfer of recorded material to exabyte and produces
a CD -R from which Glassmasters can be produced
directly. Features include a DSP audio buffer, CD text
writing, normal and x2 duplication, full SCMS
manipulation, balanced XLR inputs, SPDIF -O and
CD /CD -RW playback. Other features include alternate
and parallel playback, 12 -56kHz and 96kHz SRC with
bypass, digital recording level attenuation, smart auto
and manual stop, and serial and IR remotes.
Marantz, UK. Tel: +44 1753 686080.
I
CEDAR `zero
=
ppressor
CEDAR Audio is to launch the DNS1000 Dynamic
Noise Suppressor at the AES Convention. The
DNS1000 is a free -standing unit designed for audio
post, live broadcast, and forensic audio. With virtually
zero latency, its 40 -bit multiband processing is suited to
removing unwanted noise from location sound, sound
effects and dialogue. Described as a 'breakthrough' in
noise suppression, it will remove rumble, hiss. whistles,
broadband noise, and the 'shot' noise that often makes
audio unusable. The user-interface is simple yet
powerful in employing a few faders and switches
and should make it extremely attractive in film
mixing applications.
CEDAR, UK. Tel: +44 1223 4141 17.
Avant v4
Version 4 software for SSL's Avant postproduction and
film console adds new grouping options that enable
controls such as panning and EQ to be linked. The
addition of PenPoint panning also gives operators the
option of screen -based surround panning using simple
pen and tablet operation in addition to operation from
channel pan controls and physical joysticks. The Virtual
Paddles feature available with v4 provides additional
monitoring and recorder control from a smaller number
of physical paddle switches. Aysis Air Mobile is a
compact- format console for OB vehicles and space restricted studios. Using the standard Aysis Air
software, the console's channel layering function
enables a fully specified 96 channel console to be fitted
in a 48 -fader frame less than 2330mm wide.
SSL, UK. Tel: +44 1865 842300.
DSP file transfer
'UK
Tel: +44 1474 815300.
Fax: +44 1474 815400.
Email: 101325,1646 @compuserve.com
DSP Media has introduced AVtransfer, an optional
self- contained software program for file translation and
conversion between workstations. AVtransfer reads
and writes all the common professional audio media
formats including 'difficult' and obscure files as well as
39
REVIEW
TL Audio Fat One
Whether the Fat Man takes the drudgery out of setting up a compressor or limits your
options is food for thought. George Shilling tries a new valve diet
WAS JUST a few days into my health diet when
the Fat One arrived, threatening to spoil things.
The novelty of receiving a cubic container was
quite irresistible-apart from mixing desks and
microwave ovens (CD changers) I rarely review something that cannot be bolted into a rack. Except that
despite the Fat One's chubby looks, by the time you
read this there will be available a matching red rack
tray, enabling one central or two adjacent Fat Ones to
be held in a 3U -high rack space. For the time being,
though, I had to balance the One on top of my rack
-those Fat blokes had kindly supplied some stick on feet for the purpose.
The Fat One is a stereo compressor, with two inextricably linked channels. The front panel therefore
quite reasonably features only one set of controls. It
is, like many other TL units, a hybrid valve /solid -state
unit, the single dual triode serving both channels, providing a preamp stage before compression takes place.
The Fat One has certainly not been dieting
is
quite weighty. The sturdy case features a mesh top,
that rakes down backwards from the front panel,
providing ventilation for the circuitry -even just one
valve generates plenty of physical warmth. The simple, small rear panel features an IEC mains socket and
input and output connections on balanced jack sockets (which will also happily accept unbalanced plugs)
with a GAIN switch to select -1 OdB or +4dB operation.
The front panel features a single cute illuminated
vu meter, that works well, although a larger one
would of course be preferable from a pro- user's perspective. A button allows display of Output Level
or Gain Reduction. There is a THRESHOLD knob with
a -20dB to +10dB range, and a RATIO knob with a
-it
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range of 1.15:1 to 1:30, with 1:3 coming about a
third of the way up. These ranges are well chosen
and allowed for any settings from very subtle 'tickling' to full -on limiting.
There are also two separate buttons to switch fastslow for Attack and Release settings, which give
enough variation for many situations. There is also a
hard -soft KNEE button, which also gives the 'mit some
unusual flexibility for a budget unit, although the
difference can be subtle on many signals. Input and
output gains feature useful ±20dB ranges, with centre detent. Turning up the INPUT GAIN will drive the
valve harder. A GAIN MAKE -UP knob provides up to
40
20dB further gain when the COMPRESSOR ON button
is activated, usefully allowing one to roughly match
the uncompressed and compressed signal levels. An
LED near the meter glows when COMPRESSOR ON is
pressed. Sensibly, a front panel power rocker switch
is included, with an LED indicating power on.
Unusually, for a completely analogue compressor,
there is a big rotary knob that clicks into each of 16
positions: 15 presets and a Manual setting. These
presets cover settings for Threshold, Ratio, Knee,
Attack and Release, disabling those controls. The
presets are usefully described by the application the
designers recommend them for. So there are settings
for Vocal (3 positions), Keyboards, Bass (2), Acoustic
Guitar, Electric Guitar (2), Snare, Kick, Kit and Mix
(3 settings).
Perhaps slightly to my surprise, these worked rather
well, with minimal tweaking of the Input and Output
Gains. They were always a good starting point, and
if not quite right it was very easy to try something
else. Unless you refer to the manual, you might not
guess their exact settings, which is not always a bad
thing. Inevitably, with such few variables, a number
of presets are similar, for example the Vocal 2 setting is the same as the Mix 2 with a slightly different
threshold setting.
But it is a fun new way to work, which is very
quick in practice. If you want to get fussy, there are
a couple of explanatory charts in the manual which
explain the settings and show exactly where the controls should be to recreate the presets, allowing you
to understand and modify them.
The unit performed particularly well across stereo
mixes, the valve circuitry injecting a vibrancy, which
brought my pop -rock track alive in the
midrange, but always retaining a solid, indeed
`fat' low -end. There is not the `zinginess' I would
associate with a Focusrite, but instead a fat,
warm, rockin' `British' sound, especially good
with lively mixes and rock guitars. The use of a
transconductance amplifier, rather than a VCA,
for gain control, is credited with giving the unit
its characterful sound.
This is also used in more expensive TL units.
An added bonus is a pair of Instrument jacks on
the front panel, which gives the unit a useful
DI box role. These sound terrific with an electric guitar, and can be used simultaneously with
the rear inputs with no loss of level.
The Fat One is cheap for a unit featuring valve
circuitry, albeit featuring just one valve. But even forgetting about the valve it is a funky, friendly, good
value compressor. Wherever you set the controls, you
are guaranteed a truly fat sound. I knew the diet
wouldn't last...
Contact:
TL Audio. UK.
Tel: 44 1462 680888.
Fax: -44 1462 680999.
Email: info @tlaudio.co.uk
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
OMF files that are not fully or properly OMF compliant.
Projects can also contain any mixture of file formats,
which will be converted and exported in a chosen
format. Integrated sample -rate conversion and
advanced project frame -rate handling are included.
DSP. US. Tel: +1 818 487 5656.
Studer D950 M2
The Studer D950 M2 represents the evolution of the
Studer D950 and has an all -new look that exemplifies
the enhancements to the software -based feature set.
It combines enhancements to the software -based
feature set with
a
newly designed control surface.
,:1",1+11l1
//////1/1/1/1/1/111111111i111111
comes standard with a new Central Assign Section,
colour 8- channel surround meter, as well as a larger
15 -inch TFT colour display monitor. The knob sections
contain new rotary encoders with an integral 21 -LED
ring for display of knob values and each knob is flanked
by an alphanumeric read -out. Almost all the channel
circuitry has been redesigned and enhancements have
been made to touch sensors, power distribution, and
the moving fader servo amplifiers. Studer 24 -bit
convertors are used, all digital -Os are 24 -bit, and
internal processing takes place at 40 -bit floating point
precision on a 32 -bit bus. The M2 digital core is fully
configurable and console capabilities can be expanded
by installing additional DSP cards. The M2 features
Studer's proprietary Virtual Surround Panning (VSP)
and the architecture has been extended to provide
smoother and more natural early reflections, as well as
the addition of late reflections.
Studer, Switzerland. Tel: +41
870 7511.
It
I
1
Behringer mic
Behringer has introduced the B -2 dual- diaphragm
condenser mic. The one -inch dual- diaphragm capsule
with gold-sputtered membranes is accompanied by
gold -plated internal head pins and FET circuitry with
switchable omni or cardioid patterns. A switchable
high-pass filter and 10dB pad are included and the mic
comes with a protective carrying case, a shock mount,
and windshield.
Behringer, Germany. Tel: +49 2154 920 6237.
Dolby Surround SFX
Produced by Renaissance Sound Technologies,
Renaissance SFX is the first sound -effects library
completely encoded and produced in Dolby Surround.
It starts with a first package of 7 CDs with a further
four to follow as part of a process of constant updating.
The library offers a huge quantity of immersive Dolby
surround sound-effects and complete sets of musical
tools to produce music soundtracks in surround. All
have been recorded on location and have been created
by using proprietary miking techniques and software
tools internally developed by the Renaissance sound
engineers to create a natural surround -channel.
A Dolby Digital version of the library will be available
on demand.
Dolby. Net: www.renaissancesfx.com
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
As radio enters the
fait
''
age, Soundcraft delivers a powerful. flexible
and affordable digital mixing Solution that's equally at home in self -
operator and large broadcast studios alike.
V
a new RM1d is available in 6 - 24
ér configurations, and combines
'nears of Soundcraft radio know-how
h a sophisticated and
comprehensive feature set to bring
advantages of digital mixing
iadio under
i
a
familiar and
t dive operating surface.
like other digital radio consoles,
u
won't find
a
long list of
expensive extras. Total flexibilily
in input and signal routing
on -board Eq and dynamics,
Lexicon effects, sophisticated
monitoring and metering
- it's
all included in the already
very competitive price.
So
forá straightfcrward,
a
able solution to your
dig'
I
mixing needs, call the
radio experts: Soundcraft.
www.soundcraft.corn
RMId
D
I
G
I
T A L
Soundcraft +44 (0)1707 665000
info<osoundcraf-com
Soundcraft
1-888-251-8352
US
soundcraft-usaoharmn.com
Soundcraft
HA
Harman International Company
REVIEW
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Dialog4 additions
Sountainer is the first portable MP3 recorder-player to
be equipped with a microphone input, line -O and USB
interface. Designed for reporter field use, MP3 files
can be transmitted over the Internet to the radio -TV
station via the USB Interface. Price EURO 430.00
including 64Mb memory and microphone and line
cables. MusicTaxi NET is Dialog4's latest codec
development allowing the use of ISDN X.21 TCP -IP
and UDP -IP transmission over 10base tx and ATM
network -TCP -IP for point to point, UDP -IP for
broadcast and multicast transmission. MusicTAXI NET
is based on the MusicTAXI SL -PRO and VP-PRO
operating platform and provides all their functions
and features.
Dialogue4. Net:www.dialog4.com
I
Ridge Farm Boiler
The latest in what seems like a range of kitchen appliances,
Zenon Schoepe scrubs up and clears the table for
ARGETED AT THOSE WHO LIKE their
compression to be strong and apparent the
Boiler from Ridge Farm Industries, the manufacturing interest of the Ridge Farm UK
residential studio in Surrey, is a dual channel stereo
linkable compressor- limiter. Control options are fairly limited and centre around the box's ability to be
pushed to excess to yield what the literature refers to
as `boiled', `boiling' and variable degrees of `dirt'.
Sounds promising, then, if you are seduced by the concept of dynamic control as a creative processing exercise
that is distinct from the more mundane business of
clamping down and controlling wayward signals.
Connection is via balanced XLRs on a box that is
refreshingly different in look to the majority of 1U -high
alternatives. It's a heavy -duty and heavy box containing all solid -state electronics which comes in a
colour not dissimilar to BSS' Opal range, but with the
proud inclusion of a centrally mounted chrome Ridge
Farm Industries badge portraying a stylised picture
of turn- of- the -century craft.
Remember that it's not the first device from this
operation, the Gas Cooker preamp and DI remains a
very capable unit that has found homes in numerous
control rooms. It also established the culinary connection through the use of old -style chicken -head
knobs for its pots.
Controls on the Boiler are similarly few, but as
already intimated operation and results relate to how
you use what there is. Each channel gets small INPUT
and THRESHOLD pots working in conjunction with two
2- position toggles for release and attack constants.
Given the stance of the box you'd be right to not
expect any associated detailed legending or figures
for the controls and this extends only to simple fast and
slow settings for the ATTACK and RELEASE switches.
Flicking a LINK switch hands side chain, threshold,
attack and release control to the left channel with
input levels remaining independent. Both channels
are bypassed on a single switch and metering on each
channel comprises ten LEDs which always follow the
output level regardless of BYPASS position.
True to its intentions, this box has character and
it is quirky in its operation. The first thing you
notice is that a surprisingly varied palette of control
is afforded by the few physical controls. This attitude aligns the Boiler more with ancient compressors
than it does with the sort of features that are expected, or at least given anyway, in dynamics control
devices today.
To add to the manufacturer's descriptive names for
its compression effects I would add `parboiling', 'simmer' and `autoclave' to attempt to highlight, in the
42
extreme compression
first two, the unit's skills at subtlety and, in the third,
underline just how extreme the boiling can be.
Pile in the INPUT level and sweep the THRESHOLD
pot around and there is almost a stepped alteration in
character at around the threshold point with what
appears like programme- dependent alterations of the
attack and release settings, although this is probably
a trick of my ears. Changing attack and release settings
emphasise parts of the spectral content of the original
-thickening in some instances and lightening at the
leading edge in others. Despite the fact that I felt ini-
tially sceptical about their effectiveness, the two
envelope switches really do have a great bearing on the
performance of this unit.
The scope is enormous and also alters with programme type. Wind the input back and you have a
completely different compressor to play with and one
that is arguably more akin to more ordinary devices.
In this application the results are as would be expected, although the over-threshold excursions do sound
more classically squashed than many modern alternatives. The effect is not dissimilar to tape saturation
and consequently highly usable on solo instruments
and vocals.
At extreme settings you are certainly getting more
out of the box than went in as dialled in distortion is
part of the deal-look at it as super tape saturation followed by heavy compression and you'll be in the right
sort of area. You can pile the level in and the meters
will lock solid and what comes out is a fantastic pumping caricature of the input with a fizz of presence,
wellington boots full of bass and a roundness that has
traditionally been the preserve of older and more exotic devices. It's very retro and not especially transparent,
but then this box is about boiling not stir-frying.
I don't get the impression that the circuitry is particularly radical, but it seems that its designers have
dared to allow themselves to turn up the wick at the
more extreme settings. It's a bold move, but its built
on a fundamental character that is pleasing and musical. If you are taken by the concept then you would get
a lot of use out of your investment. (£550+ VAT,UK).
Nicely presented, easy to use, easy to be impressed
with. Use it when you want to be heard and when
you want the effect to be heard. There's nothing else
quite like it. Recommended.
Contact:
The Home Service
Tel: +44 20 8943 4949.
Fax: +44 20 8943 5155.
Email: [email protected]
Net: www.ridgefarmstudio.com
,
,
Logger and convertors
New from Sonifex is the Net -Log audio logging
recorder which is able to record 4 mono or 2 stereo
audio streams for playback using TCP -IP. Audio is
encoded in MPEG layer 2 format and written to a large
internal EIDE hard disk drive. Playback is carried out by
streaming the audio across a network onto PCs. All the
Net -Log setups and operational features are controlled
by PCs, with additional operator over-ride buttons on
the front panel of the unit. The RB -ADDA A -D and
D
convertor is 24 -96 capable and produces an
AES -EBU or SPDIF output from balanced XLR or
unbalanced phono stereo input. The RB -SD1 Silence
Detection Unit monitors an audio signal and, in the
event of the input dropping below a preset level for a
predetermined length of time, will automatically switch
through to an alternative stereo audio signal.
Sonifex, UK. Tel: +44 1933 650 700.
A
UCR310 UHF synthesised receiver
The UCR310 is claimed to define
a new class of
wireless microphone receiver that the manufacturer
refers to as 'universal'. The assembly is compact
enough for use on cameras or sound carts and in
portable audio bag systems and claims RF and audio
performance suited for high -end film and studio
applications. The receiver can be powered by four AA
batteries via a detachable battery cartridge, or from
external DC power. 256 frequencies are userselectable via two rotary switches. As the frequency is
changed, the receiver automatically retunes the front end filters to keep them centred over the operating
frequency. This design provides the high selectivity and
IM rejection characteristics of a high performance, fixed
frequency receiver while still offering the frequency
agility needed for mobile applications. The selectivity
of the front -end filters allows maximum sensitivity, to
increase operating range and minimise noise even in
difficult RF environments. A very high RF overload
capability prevents interference problems commonly
caused by strong external RF signals.
Lectrosonics, US. Tel: +1 505 892 4501.
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
The guitarist wants more in his cans, the singer wants to hear the mix from last
night, the client is asking for a
mixer
5.1
mix and the producer keeps looking at the
At times like these you can totally rely on the new Sony d gital audio
clock.
-
DMX-8100. It has been designed for the mufti -tasking professional who
needs to work quickly and deliver excellent audio quality.
The mixer's "positively assignable" control surface gives you all this power at
Sony
Dr.1
17100
Du11L11
your fingertips. And packaged with Sony PrimeSupport, your DMX-8100 will be comp ehensively
Au fio
Mixer
maintained and serviced by the Sony service network
24111t/06 kHz
Launch yourself into the world of professional digital sound with the DMX-8100. Simply complete and
return the coupon below or telephone
01932 816340.
www. pro. so ily -mirope.conl /profession,)I- ,)Lillie
Sony and PrimeSupport are registered t-edemarks of Sony 7orporation, Japan.
Sony Broadcast 8 Professional UK, a di'ision of Sony United Kingdom Ltd, The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey. KT13 OXW. Company No.2422874. Registered in England.
Title (Mr/K1rs/r1tss /r1s)
First Name.
Job Title
Company
Address
Postcode
Telephone
E-mail
Fax
Please arrange a product demonstration or to speak to a Sony specialist
Completed coupons should be faxed back to
01932 817013
Please send me more information on the DMX-R100
or posted to David Snook,
Sony Broadcast & Professional UK, The Heights, Brooklands Weybridge, Surrey. KT13 OXW.
Sony UK and its agents or authorised Sony dealers may use the information you provide for marketing purposes.
Please tick this box if you do not wish your details to be used
in
this way.
tl.4i.4Q 1-n1.s.el
FIRST WE LISTEN 1
REVIEW
Audio Technica AT895
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Digitranslator
Audio -Technica's latest baby offers to revolutionise shotgun microphone design
through a cunning combination of technologies.
Neil Hillman
RUSE, IF YOU WILL, while you peruse this
periodical. Look above the magazine and take
stock of the people around you; momentarily listen to the world; remember where you were
when you first read this. Because all of these details
will become important when the sons and daughters
who walk -on in our phonic-footsteps demand to know
the minutiae of the moment that you became aware of
a significant and remarkable new arrival in our midst:
the Audio -Technica AT895 adaptive array microphone.
The AT895 is a DSP -controlled 5-element microphone array that provides an adaptable directional
pickup pattern. By using Audio -Technica's DeltaBeam
technology, the AT895 system manipulates and filters the output of the array by acoustical, analogue
and digital means. In simple terms, the processing
rejection in one plane giving a tighter vertical, wider
horizontal pick -up. Obviously, recognising the correct orientation of the unit in its mounting is crucial
for the resulting effects to be applied in the envisaged
direction. The Line and Gradient mode is non -adaptive, with just the centre MicroLine element being
used in conventional shotgun fashion.
The Control Pack provides all the power, DSP functions and control for the unit and is housed in a strong,
crackle- finish metal case. It is powered either from
three 9V MN1604 batteries, mounted in a clip-on
holder that locates securely on the back -plate of the
Control Pack, or through a 4-pin Canon external power socket, accepting input voltages in the range
9V-15V. Battery life for the alkaline MN1604 cells is
typically 4 -6 hours, with other sources such as NP -ls
providing more duration. Either side of the external
power socket on the bottom panel are the Mic In and
Mic Out sockets. The former taking a `reverse convention' male 7 -pin Cannon; the latter outputting at
mic level from a more usual male 3 -pin XLR socket.
The top face of the Power Pack is home to a '/4-inch
headphone jack, with a control pot next to it for
direct -monitoring level control. Alongside, a 3 -posi-
tion
enhances the pickup of a sound source from a desired
background relative to the unwanted background
noise or interference by means of cancellation up to a
maximum of 80dB. It also boasts minimised proximity and nearfield effects on the low- frequency
directionality of the array and offers a marked reduction in mechanical handling noise, such as that
generated by racking a boom, and a lower susceptibility to wind noise. If it could cook, you would want
to take it home to meet mother.
The business end of the AT895 itself consists of
one A -T MicroLine element
6 -inch `line- and -gra-
dient' microphone-that
-a
is
centrally mounted,
surrounded by four A -T cardioid elements mounted in
a co- planar diamond configuration. All five elements
are fixed -charge back -plate, permanently polarised
condensers. The output of this array is fed to a control pack that allows selection of either of three modes:
two `adaptive' modes and one `non- adaptive' mode.
In the adaptive modes, signals from the MicroLine
element and either one pair, or both pairs, of the correcting cardioid elements are used. These signals are
processed within the Control Pack by both analogue
and digital means to provide a continuously- adapting rejection of off -axis sounds. As the off -axis
intensity, direction or even wind -noise changes, the
system compensates for the changes.
The Full -Field Adaptive mode provides the maximum directionality and off-axis rejection, with all five
elements working. Typically, compared to a larger
shotgun microphone, the AT895 can provide an extra
50dB of separation. In the Planar- Adaptive mode, just
the vertical pair of cardioid elements are in use, resulting in an elliptical pattern that provides optimum
44
FILTER
is impressed
slider- switch offers
a
choice: Flat;
a
High -Pass of 80Hz with an 18dB/octave gradient or
a Band -Pass of 300Hz- 5.5kHz with a 6dB /octave
gradient. Below this switch is the 3- position MODE
slider- switch for the selection of Full -Field, Planar or
Line+Gradient settings. A small LCD screen to the
centre -right of this top panel displays countdown
markers to gauge battery life during operation with the
`internal' MN1604 cells. An ON-OFF slider with a red
LED above it, is to the right.
The output impedance is given as 450Q, with a
stated frequency response of 601-1z- 12kHz; the dynamic range is said to be 93dB. The 200Hz rejection figures
for 907270' also make interesting reading compared
to other typical shotgun microphones: a whopping
55dB greater than its rivals, by achieving 70dB.
The AT895 is designed to be used on location, in the
studio, even hand -held. Raised aloft Olympic -torch
style though, and the substantial Rycote `Zeppelin'
cover initially suggests that the system has indeed been
fashioned from lead; until fitted into the perfectly balanced pistol grip, with its centre -of- gravity minimising
the effect of a 216 total weight. However, a fish -pole
operator on location, with the rod at full extension,
will either develop the upper -body musculature of
Schwarzeneger or promptly declare `I'll not be back'.
But the natural home for this amazing device will be
in revolutionising outside broadcast's sports stadiums
acquisition, or in countless television studio's worldwide as the de facto Fisher boom microphone.
Remember where you heard it first.
UK.
Tel: +44 113 277 1441. Fax: +44 113 270 4836.
Audio -Technica,
US.
330 686 2600. Fax: +1 330 688 3752.
Net: www.audio- technica.com
Tel:
+1
New R.Eds
Soundscape will unveil two new versions of R.Ed at the
IBC. R.Ed /16 and R.Ed /24 use the same SSAIRA
award winning architecture as used in R.Ed /32 but are
tailored for different applications and budgets. Both
models have fully compatible editing software,
interchangeable files and hard drives, and support for
additional Soundscape software packages, like the
CDWriter Mastering Package and EDL Processor
which handles OMF Import Export and support for all
the popular EDL formats for auto conform. The full
range of available real -time DSP effects and TDM plug ins can be used with any R.Ed model as a typical
networked studio installation might include a number of
different R.Ed models, dependant upon the particular
tasks performed in each room. R.Ed /24, which
supports Emagic Logic Audio 4.5 as it's front -end
software providing integrated audio and MIDI
sequencing, is aimed at music recording and editing.
The hardware itself is capable of 24 tracks, 24 -bit at
48kHz (or 12 tracks at 24 -bit, 96kHz), with 24 digital IOS via three TDIF ports and has one removable hard
drive bay plus one position for an internal hard drive
providing 274Gb of storage. For synchronisation, the
R.Ed Sync LTC option board adds SMPTE time code IO to the standard MTC. R.Ed /16 is for the user who
needs a professional level of recording and editing with
balanced -Os but doesn't need the full track count of a
R.Ed /32. Typical applications include radio editing,
mastering and restoration work, or integrated with a
non -linear video editing system. R.Ed /16 has 16 tracks,
24 -bit at 48kHz, or 8 tracks at 24 -bit, 96kHz with up to
12 inputs and 16 outputs via 2 in /4 out AES -EBU
digital, plus 8 digital -Os via one TDIF port. The
I
Contacts
Audio -Technica,
Digidesign's DigiTranslator 1.1 is a Windows NTcompatible version of Digidesign's OMFI session
interchange application. DigiTranslator accurately
handles the conversion of Pro Tools session files to
OMF files, and of OMF files to Pro Tools session files.
It can be installed on any Pro Tools system, any Avid
system or on a dedicated conversion workstation and
can translate files over a network and can batch
convert media files in background while other
applications are running. With Pro Tools v5.0.1,
Windows 98 support will be available for Digidesign's
home and project studio products, the Digi 001 and
Digi Toolbox XP. Pro Tools 5.0.1 adds support for
AVoptionlXL, bringing audio and video postproduction
power to Mac OS-based Pro Tools TDM systems.
Using Avid's Meridien hardware, AVoptionlXL supports
capture, import and playback of uncompressed, Avid compatible video media directly within Pro Tools.
Digidesign, US. Tel: +1 650 842 7900.
I
STUDIO SOUND
SEPTEMBER 2000
ACTIVATE YOUR
VIBRATIONS
The beginning of a new style for your
mixing and a new meaning for the word
subwoofer are no longer only dreams.
The highest accuracy even with the
lowest bass, a built in 6 channel
bass management system with phase
calibration and test tone generator,
the innovative G- porting techique and
a class D power amplifier.
The new Genelec 1093A Subwoofer
from the pioneers in Active monitoring.
Available for audition at IBC Amsterdam
and AES Los Angeles, and visible at our
newly designed Web site:
www.genelec.com.
GENELEC®
A C T
I
V
E
M O N
I
T O
R
I
N
G
The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth
International enquiries: Genelec, Olvitie 5, FIN -74100 lisalmi, Finland,
Phone +358 -17- 813311, Fax +358 -17- 812267, www.genelec.com
In
the U.S. please contact Genelec Inc. 7 Tech Circle, Natick, MA 01760
Phone 508/652 -0900, Fax 508/652 -0909
REVIEW
Pure Distribution
XIX processors
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
optional R.Ed analogue interface board provides 2 in /4
out balanced XLRs using high specification 24 -bit,
96kHz A -D/D -A convertors. As with R.Ed /D24, the
system has one removable hard drive bay plus one
position for an internal hard drive, for up to 274Gó of
storage but the sync option is more comprehensive
offering optional VITO and LTC -O plus sync to RS422
and video reference signal. MTC sync is also provided.
Soundscape, UK. Tel: +44 2920 540333.
I
Mating Mondriaan styling with modest pricing, the Pure XIX series makes
sound sense. George Shilling checks out three bargain boxes
AT THE BOTTOM END of many markets,
presentation and marketing are everything.
That a new XIX range of effects processors
from Pure Distribution comes dressed as if
Mondriaan had done the paint job is notice of its very
low price tags, although build quality is quite good.
The legending is quite good too, but I struggled to
read any of the black on blue lettering in any (fairly
well -lit) studio. All units are housed in 1U-high rack
boxes and are solidly put together, with all controls
operating positively. The knobs are stiffly damped
and most have a gently stepped feel, which is pleasant
on continuously varying controls, and makes recalling
or matching settings a little easier. Each unit comes
with a comprehensive manual, featuring technical
specifications and plenty of helpful tips and suggested applications, although the ME- 1903's is less
informative. All feature a front panel LED- equipped
mains rocker switch, and an IEC mains socket and
cable. Indeed, it is good to see that even at the budget
end of the market, there is life without wall -warts.
Rear panel connectors vary considerably depending on
the unit.
The CP -1902 is a dual -channel compressor, featuring an expander and enhancer on each channel. On
the rear are input and output connectors on balanced unbalanced jacks. There are separate `detector loop'
jack sockets for each channel, which provide a useful
side -chain input with a signal output on the ring of
the TRS connection. Unfortunately there is no stereo
linking for any of the functions, so for stereo processing there may be some image shifting, unless you rig up
something using the detector loops. In practice, this is
not always a problem, but it does seem a bit of an
oversight. The expander is a simple single- knob affair,
with an LED, which lights to show when gain is reduced.
This is very effective, with a pleasant `dropout' curve
when it acts, no doubt due to the INTERACTIVE RATIO
CONTROLLER. The range of the knob covers just about
ck-
"a 'cis
Ck,
Comprtssor
Nady studio mic range
Nady Systems recently introduced several new studio
mics, the SCM Series, which it claims represents a
price /performance breakthrough for large diaphragm
least 60dB. The compressor section is richly featured,
with a wide- ranging threshold ( -40 to +20), a comprehensive ration range (1:1 to 8:1 limiting, with 2.5:1
at the halfway point), and separate attack and release
controls, which allow a wide variation of settings,
although audible pumping occurs in many situations
unless set carefully. The Auto mode isn't bad, disguising much of the pumping, so I tended to use this mostly.
Finally there is an enhancer, which interacts with the
compressor to compensate for lost high frequencies.
This is another simple one-knob control, which is sur-
prisingly effective. No harshness or extraneous
harmonics are generated, simply a high frequency boost
related to the amount of compression set. Oddly,
though, it is placed in the signal chain such that if the
expander is gating, high frequency signals are still audible if you turn up the Enhancer. This might be a useful
trick, if, for example you wanted to use the unit as an
exciter from an auxiliary send. Channel 2's controls
are laid out in the same order on the right -hand side,
but finding the right one isn't helped by the colour
scheme, as pairs of controls feature different background panel colours. The overall audio performance
of this unit is pretty good, with excellent noise and
crosstalk figures. I couldn't make it sound in any way
nasty or distorted, even at full -tilt limiting with the
LED Gain Reduction meters glowing brightly. The compressor uses a simple VCA controlled sensor, and is
unexceptional, but reasonably good results can be
obtained if you are on a tight budget.
The EH -1901 is a stereo enhancer. The rear panel
simply features balanced- unbalanced jacks for input
and output connections. On the front are separate
controls for each channel, although I suspect these
studio and broadcast microphones. The SCM Series
includes 5 models: the 900, 910, 920, 980, and 1000,
with the SCM -1000 being the top of the line. All
models feature true condenser design with large
pressure -gradient, gold- sputtered, ultra thin diaphragms
and FET preamplifiers. They also feature internal shock mount construction and the five models have different
combinations of controls, with the SCM -1000 offering
all options with selectable low -cut filter, 10dB
attenuation pad, and omni -cardioid- figure 8 patterns.
Nady, US. Tel: +1 510 652 2411.
will mostly be set to the same settings for stereo operation. In the centre is a solitary IN button, that lights
Surround mastering
The z- Q6/z -VL6 surround sound mastering suite
comprises a six -channel digital mastering EQ and six channel digital dynamics processor all working at
24/96. EQ offers four bell and two shelving filters per
channel together with individual channel volume offsets
and master volume control. Dynamics include
CP-1902
compressor /limiter with variable ratio, attack, release,
threshold, and gain make up. Interchannel linking is
possible and the package includes wordlength
reduction and snapshot automation.
Z Systems. Net: www.z -sys.com
EH-1901
Toa UHF
The dynamic cardioid WM4200 hand -held and electret
cardioid WM4300 lavalier mic head elements have
is
xig
s
all eventualities. It is good for gating, say, guitar hum
between licks or other background or processor noise.
Range is not specified, but I would guess it to be at
ci act
°.»,
.
adjustable input sensitivity while rubber coating
eliminates handling noise. The WT4800 tuner employs
Space Diversity technology and a proprietary algorithm
ME-1903
46
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
X-10
This Really
Actually,
it'; cutting
IS
Rocket Science.
edge aerospace technology.
It began wr.hi a sophist cated technique developEd
"The X -10 is the most
tc maintain cont-ol of inherently unstable
sophisticated
supE.rsonic aircraft such as Stealth fighters.
application of control
theo-y in loudspeaker
Now Meyer 3ounc has licensed
Pressure Sens ng Active Control (PSAC)TM (patent
fending) tracks the driver's acoustic output and
design to date..."
al implementati:n
:her employs sigh orcer feedback technology to
orecisely align output with the input signal.
- David Wessel,
of this technology from the Jniversity of
Professor and Director of
California at Ber<eley, adapted it for
CfIMAT, Center
tar New
Music and Audio
professional moritor ng applications, and
Ì`
Technologies, University,:
built it into the new X -10 High Reso ution
Linear Control Rcom Mcnito -.
X -10
cf California, Be-holey'r
is, quite
simply, the most accurate and neutral studio
monitoring system ever conceived. Frequency
balance is consistently linear regardless of
mon toring level. And the impulse response
looks more ike that of an electrcstatic
speaker than
a
monitor capable of 136dB
pea. SPL.
The X -10 is yet another quantum advance
from
a
company 3ccustimed to confronting
theoreical obstacles and pursuing
a
solution
for as long as it takes. :irst it was
the patentel phase co-rection
technology of the
HD -1. Now
the
"I was immediately
struck by
'le
clarity
and tonal talance.
X -10 is
ancther Experience you
can't afford to miss. Put
a
pair in
your studio and run them with the
Imaging wi,s superb.
There was iothing
artificial of hyped
about the * -10."
most cemanding mater al you've
Jim
got. Then judge for yourself.
Andemn, Freelance
Engineer (Patricia Barber.
Call Meyer sound to arrange an
audition. Bit, be forewarned.
Gonzalo Rubalcaba)
Meyer Sound _aboratories, Inc.
2832 San Pablo Avenue
Eerkeley, CA ;4702
You
may never want to mix on conventional
monitors again.
Studio Monitor
Fhone:
510-46 -'
166
Fax: 510- 486 -8356
REVIEW
the green Channel
1 LED when in, and the red
when out. 'Shurely shome mishtake ?'
Yes, both channels are active with the button in.
Anyway, the controls for each channel are LOW MIX,
TUNE, PROCESS and HIGH MIX. LOW MIX does nothing in
its central zero position, but clockwise is labelled Tight
and anticlockwise is labelled Soft, similar to SPL's
Tube Vitalizer controls if I recall correctly. Turning
the knob either way results in a massive boost of very
low frequencies. The manual states, `Most nearfield
monitors are not capable of handling the bass produced by the EH- 1901', which is possibly true and
just plain silly, and it is easy to go overboard here.
The other controls all relate to high frequencies, operating similarly to an Aphex Type B or C Aural Exciter,
albeit with less of the nasty artefacts. The PROCESS
knob works better than the Aphex' Drive control, as
it seems to vary between a subtler Enhance mode and
a less subtle Excite mode. It never gets harsh, just considerably brighter, depending on the HIGH MIX setting.
By turning up the PROCESS knob the treble is boosted, above the frequency determined by the Tune
control, variable from 1kHz to 8kHz, although in
practice most of the frequencies boosted seem far
Channel 2
LED
higher. HIGH
MIX
determines the blend between
unprocessed and treble -boosted signal. It is possible to
use this subtly, but as with LOW MIX, it is easy to go too
far. If your signal sounds like AM radio, or you don't
know how to clean your tape heads, then you might
have a use for this box. It is probably the cheapest
unit of its type, and if you are considering a Vitalizer
also single controls for INPUT and OUTPUT LEVELS, and
DRY -WET MIX, which are all self-explanatory, and these
smoothly rotate unlike the clicky knobs on the other
units. Finding the presets you want is another matter. To call up presets there are two (rather small and
fiddly) 16- position stepped knobs. The first one selects
a bank, and the second a program within that bank.
The front panel lists the banks (unhelpfully in near invisible black on blue lettering), but these bear little
relation to the order of the lists in the manual, (that
humour again ?) or even sometimes to the actual programs. So it is all a bit hit -and -miss at first. The unit
contains 256 presets, comprised of conventional
reverbs, gated and reverse reverbs, along with delays,
flangers, phasers, chorus and panners of varying speeds
and widths. Many of the programs are combinations
of two mono effects, accessed separately by the two
inputs. It is well worth wiring up the inputs to two
separate sends for this reason. However, some of the
single effects are disappointingly mono only, or with
many of the modulation effects, dual -mono, so that the
only stereo going on is the pan positions of the input
signals. Some programs simply blend the two inputs
to mono. By the same token, many effects are `true
stereo', so you pays your money... It is all no doubt
down to the maximum processing power available.
So you need to check carefully whether you are getting
a stereo output or just wasting one of those valuable
input channels on your mixer. There are some notable
goodies -the Fast Panner is a great Leslie -type effect,
although, disappointingly, it is mono. There are a
number of useful delays, although mostly quite short, but with varying amounts
of regeneration, and a large selection of
reverbs with different characteristics, with
some smooth reverse and gated settings.
The longer Chamber and Hall reverbs
tend to clang a bit, and sound like fairly
primitive digital algorithms. But hey, this
could be the new 'retro' sound. And with
a sampling rate of 31.25kHz this ain't a
Lex 960L, but it is quiet and clean. I liked
many of the flanger and chorus -type
or similar then this is worth a listen. However, some
very bad -sounding results are all too easily possible
here. If you have a mixer with a fixed high frequency
band this will allow you to tweak frequencies you
might not otherwise be able to reach, but I would
think it far better to save your pennies towards the...
The ME -1903 multi- effects unit is the wackiest of
the three. The manual is quite different from the other
two units, seemingly written by someone aiming for
a career in comedy writing, with not one knob or
switch's description spared from some witticism. The
unit itself deserves a prize for the largest assortment of
audio connections, with the rear panel featuring stereo
inputs and outputs on unbalanced RCA phono sockets, balanced -unbalanced jack sockets and XLR
balanced connectors. In addition, the front panel features a pair of microphone inputs on jack sockets,
accompanied by dedicated separate gain knobs for
each one. So interfacing with this unit shouldn't, in theory, present any problems wherever you are. However,
the results of changing the front panel Input Selector
are not always what you might expect. This selects
between line and mic levels, but in the Mic position
there is not much gain from the mic inputs. However,
switch to the Instrument position and both sets of
inputs become active, with the rear lines oddly reduced
considerably in level, but the front panel mic inputs'
gain increased to a usable level. Very strange. There are
48
effects, many reminiscent of those from a
Yamaha SPX90, and this box is probably quieter.
There are no parameter adjustments whatsoever, but
with plenty of programs to choose from it is not hard
to find something interesting to use. For a novice, it is
probably good training in making decisions. For sheer
value for money this is the best of the three, and certainly the most fun, despite its idiosyncrasies.
The compressor and multi -fx unit are both ideal
tools for anyone trying to build a first home studio
system on a tight budget. The exciter-enhancer is useful for tarting -up substandard recordings, but its
potential to do damage to recordings, not to mention
speakers, is high. The build of these boxes is terrific for
the money, although I'd have to say that the front
panel colours are a triumph of marketing over
ergonomics. They are not serious high -end tools, but
I am sure there will be many satisfied customers, particularly in the younger DJ- studio segment of the
market. Anyway, I'm off to spend a few more days
fathoming out the ME -1903 effects banks.
D
Contact:
Pure Distribution.
Kimberley Road, London NW6
Tel: +44 (0)20 7 328 0660.
Email: sales @puredistribution.com
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
for constant reliable coverage. Four 16- channel banks
of circuit frequencies are available each with an operating range of around 150m. A built -in scanner is included
to locate available free preset frequencies while a tone
squelch function ensures constant coverage.
Toa, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 8337 2573
DK -Audio adds spectrum analyser
A third -octave spectrum analyser has become a
standard feature of the MSD600M /SA Master Stereo
Display from DK -Audio alongside the FFT- analyser.
Whereas the FFT- analyser is widely used as an
accurate measuring tool, the new 1/3-octave analyser
shows the energy distribution of the signal. The
analyser has 30 bars and a range from 20Hz to
16000Hz. Presentation is in colour on the TFT LCD,
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Maximum level of the signal is continuously indicated in
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new is the MSD200F /SA which is a version of the
popular MSD200. The new unit is a larger cabinet with
built -in universal 90 -260V power supply and XLR -Os
and is a direct replacement for the well known stereo
oscilloscope from the German company Filbig KG,
which is no longer available.
DK- Audio, Denmark. Tel: +45 4485 0255.
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Rane pres
Rane's NM84 network mit preamp offers 8 mit or line
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Rane, US. Tel: +1 425 551 1812.
Trident -MTA three
New boxes from Trident -MTA include the Signature
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Joemeek, UK. Tel: +44 1803 321921.
DCA EQ
The DEQ series from Altair includes a dual /stereo
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REC remote software. SCAN automatic feedback
suppression is available and 17 units can be chained
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Altair, Spain. Tel: +34 918 043 265.
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INTERVIEW
There's a purity to it which is very nice.
I think I am happiest with Saving Private Ryan
because the sound was allowed to play an emotional
role. It wasn't a matter of designing sounds which
never existed before, but orchestrating them so they
would have some power, a sense of what it was like in
battle or the emotions when tanks were coming into
town, when you're going to have to fight. Working
on Private Ryan felt like I'd lived through some battle myself.
Creatively, I struggled most with the Jurassic Park
movies. Trying to create icons the way Ben Burn does.
It was daunting and pretty scary to be faced with so
much that needed to be created out of `whole cloth'.
The hardest thing in sound design, is to try to create
a living creature. Whether it's what Ben did with R2D2
or King Kong, things like that have a personality.
Do movies affect you?
On Titanic James Cameron said he wanted to make
movie where people could check to make sure their
plumbing still worked. Cameron's right, you use
movies as an emotional outlet. You feel a lot of emotions you can't or haven't had yet or maybe never will
experience in real life. I've always been moved by
movies, the scary thing is if you are moved more by
movies than by real life.
You've got to use yourself as the canary. It's gut
level to me, not intellectual. As much as people might
think otherwise, most great movies work on a real
gut level and emotional level. I've always considered
that to be part of my job, just to react. But sometimes
repetition can immunise you against emotion.
a
What projects were landmarks for you?
GARY RYD STROM
With more award -winning films on his CV than any other film mixer, Gary Rydstrom
probably also has the best home movies to prove it. Rob
FROM
A CHILDHOOD in Chicago to the gentler climate of California, Gary Rydstrom has
come a long way. From Super -8 movies at home
through film school and the University of Southern
California he started at Skywalker Sound in 1983.
With a terrific body of work behind him he is now
director of creative operations and a prolific sound
designer and mixer.
What are the favourite film projects
you have worked on?
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
James talks
pictures
Apocalypse Now. Seeing it recently, I was struck by
about Vietnam, but told like a fifties
drug-trip movie. It's so full of hooks, red -meat opportunities to get inside the minds of characters or to be
psychological about the sound. There's these internal
sounds like Alan Splet did so well in Blue Velvet and
Black Stallion.
Black Stallion is equally audacious, there's a whole
section in the middle with no dialogue for reels at a
time. The story of how the boy and the horse come to
trust each other is told with just visuals and sound.
its audacity. It's
The first film I really had any design work in was
Cocoon. It was really fun to play and see what I could
make work. I used Hot Spot, an obscure film noir
directed by Dennis Hopper, as an experiment to see
how far I could go. I tried to be Walter Murch with it
or Alan Splet, to see how much off -screen sounds
could parallel the on- screen action and emotions. It
was fun to use, as the intellectuals like to put it, for onscreen and off-screen sounds, what do they call it?
Diagetic.
That's it, diagetic and non -diagetic sounds. It might
be a little bit too high -falutin a word for what we are
talking about, which is what makes sound fun. You
inject a lot of life if you can hear things you don't see.
You can use that disconnect to treat ambient sounds
like music and to create tension, a sense of nostalgia
or beauty, whatever you are looking for. I used everything from the pace of the cricket chirping to the
off-screen trains to try to parallel the action on screen.
How do you approach a mix?
It's nice to have it planned out so I have an idea
where the stress, the important sounds and moments
are. When I premix I'm also listening to the previous
ones so everything is in context. I love the last premix with all the premixes playing straight across the
faders so it sounds like a movie as much as possible.
We just did a movie called The Legend of Bagger
Vance, directed by Robert Redford. It's an almost
mystical golf movie, very subjective, all sorts of weird
things happen. The real sounds may drop out, you
lose the sense of reality and go into his brain and back
out into reality. Those moments were all built into
the premixes the way I thought they should work.
51
INTERVIEW
I always elect to make all those decisions as you go, as
opposed to the approach of leaving as many options
as possible.
Do you usually start with dialogues?
We usually work in parallel rooms, dialogue and
effects. Dialogue isn't something I ever thought I was
great at. I've done it on movies where I've been the only
mixer. My fellow mixers may want to kill me, but I can
understand the single mixer approach, you are intuitively making everything work together, you can more
accurately intertwine the three major elements. You
don't have to go through the extra step of diplomatically arguing with other mixers to help you out. I did
a documentary called Into the Arms of Strangers, dialogue, music and sound effects. It was very satisfying
to be where the buck stops for all of those elements.
A lot simpler than a Titanic, but creatively satisfying.
It's counter -intuitive, but I found documentary more
freeing, less tied to reality, than a lot of feature films.
Anytime the sound can he subjective rather than objective, I'm happy.
Do you keep settings in your
head for certain things?
Sometimes I use a starting point and sometimes
I just play. There are starting points especially with
dialogue, you know you're not going to need any
sound below 80Hz or above 8kHz. A close mie on a
dialogue or on a Foley footstep is maybe a little hit
unnatural so you do things to make it sound like
you're not four inches away from the source.
Experience saves a lot of time because you don't go
through six ways of doing something you've tried
before that don't work.
The danger, the tension, between experience and
inexperience is you can use experience as a crutch.
You have to try something that pushes the envelope.
Every film I try to think of something, an approach
that's just different. It's nice to store new things up, but
with the fabulous crutch of experience behind you.
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There was a lot of discussion about
the dialogue levels in Jurassic Park?
Too low do you mean? Yeah, it's a tricky thing, it's
probably on the edge. If you make a movie where you
are trying to push the envelope and make it dynamic,
theatres sometimes turn it down. Then what you
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52
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STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
E
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Import Music SA.
ARGENTINA
( +54)1- 300 -1111, 1112. 1113. 1114 FAX: (+54) 1400 -1115
AUSTRALIA Syntec International
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AUSTRIA Alec Audio Technology GmbH
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BELGIUM EML NV
TEL: ( +32)11- 232355 FAX: ( +32)11-232172
BRAZIL Habro Comerclo, Importano & Exportano Ltda.
TEL: ( +55) 114249787 FAX: ( +55) 114249025
BULGARIA Shark Art
TEL: ( +359) 52- 600172 FAX ( +359) 52- 250578
CANADA Jam Industries Ltd.
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CANARY ISLANDS Muskanarias. S.L
TEL: (+34) 922-821664 FAX: (+34) 922-821420
CHILE inter Video SA.
TEL: (+56) 2-235-2668 FAX: ( +56)2- 235 -8607
COLOMBIA Musidand Digital
TEL: (+1) 305-668-0153 FAX: +1) 305- 662 -3903
CZECHO Praha Music Canter spot s.r.a.
TEL: (+420) 2- 248 -10 -981 FAX: +420) 2- 231 -72 -72
DENMARK SC Sound ApS
TEL: (+45) 4399-8877 FAX: ( +45)4399-8077
FIJI South Pacific Recordings Ltd.
TEL: (+679) 700478 FAX: (+679) 780193
FINLAND Noratron Audio Oy
TEL: ( +358) 9- 525 -9330 FAX: ( +358) 9- 52594352
FRANCE Guitiard Multiuse
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GERMANY Studlosound & Music GmbH
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GREECE Bon Studio SA.
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HONG KONG /CHINA Tom Lee Music Co.. Ltd.
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HUNGARY ATEC Hungary
TEL: (+36) 27-3-42-595 FAX: (+36) 27-3-42-657
ICELAND I.D.etrf.lectronk Ltd.
TEL: ( +354) 588 5010 FAX: ( +354) 588 5011
INDIA cinecite Comoptronics Industries Pvt. Ud.
TEL: (+91) 22-4930500 / 4945365 FAX (+91)22- 4937440
TEL:
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1
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Audio Effects P
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TEL: (+91) 33-2455788 FAX: (+91) 33-2452274
INDONESIA PT. titra Intirama
TEL: (+62)21-6324170 FAX: (+62) 214324171
ISRAEL More Audio Professional Stage System Ltd.
TEL: ( +972)3- 6956367.6956391.6955983 FAX: (+972) 34965007
ITALY Genralmuslc S.pA
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KOREA Young Nak So RI Sa
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KUWAIT Professional Systems Company
TEL: ( +965) 264 5635 FAX: ( +965) 265 9062
LEBANON ELTEK
TEL: ( +961) 1472666 / 3- 216730 FAX:( +961) 3- 598222 / 1472535
MACAU Same
Hong Kong
MALAYSIA Same as Singapore
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MALONES SIX-X
thought was a comfortable dialogue level is too low.
We went for a fair amount of dynamics. I'm always
struggling with that issue, obviously dialogue should
be intelligible. But if you think about dialogue as a
sound effect it has to fit within the scale. A human
talking shouldn't be the same level as a T-rex roaring.
I probably am guilty in that movie more than anything else of stepping on dialogue with one of my
damn sound effects.
Are movies getting too loud?
Yes. Especially when digital first came in, I think we
were all equally guilty. Sometimes it's just a bad call on
the director's part, insisting, for a show to be dramatic
they want to keep it loud. Sometimes it's just bad mixing. But I don't want to give up this fun new toy, this
great new dynamic tool and I don't want to overuse it.
You have to make sure you're not asking the audience to sit through a movie that's the equivalent of
sitting next to a 747 engine for two hours. You've got
to give them more than that. Really pay attention to
the quiet moments, peaks and valleys. I think that's a
big part of our job and unfortunately that means convincing directors.
How do you hold attention?
The most under-used technique is silence. If the
movie is loud, full and bombastic, often the audience
will just sit back, eat their popcorn and take it in like
a TV show. But if you go down to silence, simplify
54
the track and really focus on what is happening, the
audience will pay more attention.
The same goes for music. There are a couple of
really emotional scenes in Toy Story 2 and the more
emotional the moment, the more reason to take the
music out and everything of mine too. You just play
it with the simple silence of a character you like, having to make a tough decision.
Music over emotional peaks can flatten them. I like
the way the music was spotted in Private Ryan. The
intense moments had no music. Music was a transition
out of those scenes, soldiers just walking, or the after
effects of someone's death. It's kind of like getting two
for one. The moment itself and time to reflect.
Without blaming anybody, the sound is often not all
that well planned. Out of fear a film -maker ends up
having the composer put music from start to finish.
People do their aspect of the movie without really
hearing what everyone else is doing. Everyone goes
for the same moment, it's like a car wreck.
In the, getting somewhat tiresome, action genre,
people try to one up each other. I've heard of one film
where any time there was even a micro -moment of
silence the director would have somebody fill it. It
becomes like sound sparkle, filling every crack with
sound. That comes out of fear of losing the audience.
Terminator II was a classic action film, but James
Cameron did a really good job of planning it so it has
peaks and valleys, moments of quiet, slowness and
silence so the big moments and the movie seem bigger.
Spielberg is the same way. When he does those kind of
films like Jurassic Park, he knows how to build con-
TEL: (+960) 32-1969 FAX: (+960) 32-2725
MALTA 'Audio A Auto Sound
TEL: (+356) 24-2431 FAX: (+356) 24-2431
MEXICO / CENTRAL AMERICA ums as USA.
NETHERLANDS, THE IEMKE ROOS AUDIO B.V.
TEL (+31) 20-697-2121 FAX: (+31) 20-697-4201
NEW ZEALAND Digital Music Systems
& Audio and Video Wholesalers
TEL: ( +64) 9- 279-4289 FAX: ( +64) 9479 4146
NORWAY SN. Ing. Bonum AS
TEL: ( +47) 22- 139900 FAX: ( +47) 22- 148259
POLAND MEGA MUSIC SP. Z.0.0.
TEL: (+48) 58-551-18-82 FAX (+48) 58- 551 -18-72
PORTUGAL Caius - Tenotogiu Audio Musics. Lda.
TEL:1+351) 22-208-6009 / 200-1394 FAX: (+351) 22-208-5969
QATAR Same as Kuwait
RUSSIA MS-MAX
TEL ( +7) 095 -234 -00 -06 FAX: ( +7) 095449 40 -34
SAUDI ARABIA Omar Badoghaish Trading Corporation
TEL: (+966) 24292494. 6394245. 6393748 FAX: (+966)2 -6394055
SINGAPORE Swee Les Company
TEL: ( +65) 3362307. 3360752. 3367886 FAX: ( +65) 3397035
SLOVAKIA Same as Austria
SLOVENIA Same as Austria
SOUTH AFRICA Enron (Ply) Ltd.
TEL: ( +27) 11 7870355 FAX: ( +27) 11 7879627
SPAIN Multitrsdur. SA
TEL: ( +34) 91- 4470700, 91- 4470898 FAX: ( +34) 91- 5930716
SWEDEN TTS Professional TNwbionAB
TEL: (+46) 8-59798000 FAX:1+46) 8-59798001
SWITZERLAND Audio Bauer Pro AG
TEL: (+41) 1-4323230 FAX: (+41) 1-4326558
SYRIA Hawa Audio Design
TEL: (+963) 11-331-5345 FAX: ( +963)11-332 -1388
TAIWAN R.O.C. Orient Power International Co., Ltd.
TEL: ( +886) 242984688 FAX: ( +886) 2- 2298 -2396 / 2645
Bah Ngtep Song Musical Instruments Ud., Part
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TURKEY ZuMI Monk Aletieri Tic. vs San. Ltd.
TEL: ( +90)212- 249 -8510 FAX: (+90) 212-251-3599
USA Fos as Corporation of America
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UK SCV London
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UKRAINE Combo Ltd
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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES N.M.K Etadronin Ent
TEL:1 +971) 6- 5551316 FAX:( +971) 6- 5725613
URUGUAY same
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THAILAND
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INTERVIEW
trast into every element of the film.
How do you
use booms?
DID A LOT OF THEME PARK STUFF FOR DISNEY. They have completely wild and elaborate sound systems
the theatres and control over it, six channels and up. What pushed me was doing these Disney shows where
we had 12 channels or 15 channels.
We did a Muppet Show for Disney where the Swedish Chef was the projectionist. He was in the back, always
shouting at the audience and it was fun so always remembered that and that's why, on Episode One of Star
Wars. we tried to at least add one more channel and have a rear channel from Dolby EX.
With most of the Disney things we try to emulate the layout of the ride in our studio. A long time ago we
did Startours, a flight simulator ride at Disneyland. We took the actual sound system that was in the ride and
set it up in our studio. But then you do a final pass on the ride itself. Its a luxury and a pretty big one to mix
in the room and the only room its going to play in.
It's great to be able to hear it with an audience and fine tune it. In Disneyworld's Honey I Shrunk the
Audience you are supposed to believe that some mice have been let go from the stage and are making their
way back through the theatre. They have a great little device which makes you feel the whip of a rats tail on
the back of your foot. As part of the design there are a series of speakers on the floor, so we put the sound
of rats waving from the front to the back of the theatre which worked great when we were just in there alone.
But every time we'd bring an audience in, they screamed so loud, you couldn't hear the rats squeaking. If I
brought the level of the effect up to the point where you would hear it, it was abominably loud, so we had to
give up.
I
in
More now than before. I just did a DVD remix of
Terminator 11. One of the main things I did was to add
more boom. Originally, we did the full final mix and
didn't deal with adding any boom until the very last
pass, kind of like that last little bit of dessert! That way,
I
you're not entirely dependent on the boom. A lot of
movies now, if you take the boom away, there's nothing left.
Now I go the opposite way and start adding boom
from the premixes on, a cleaner way of doing it because
you're just suhharmonically generating one isolated
element. You're not throwing general crap down there,
you're actually being more precise about it.
How do you know when you're getting it right?
It's almost as if the sound and the image snap
together. It feels of a piece', the moment when it sits
in there and you realise, oh, that's it. Like wearing
3D glasses, when they come together, you know it.
How
is the process changing?
One bottleneck is interchanges. Films change radically up to the last minute. A frustration for directors
is, with a fairly simple picture change, how complicated
it is to ripple through everything. I'd love to see some-
thing that would take the picture change, talk to the
workstations and consoles, and make a quick nondestructive attempt at making the change. This would
involve the systems knowing the difference between
conforming ambience or a line of dialogue.
At some point you have to be in a big room for
acoustics, but there's no reason decisions about panning, EQ, balance and everything else shouldn't he
made in the editorial room. By 'sound designing' that's
essentially what we mean here. So, our approach is
we're building sound design rooms, bigger than our
traditional editorial rooms.
There are still attitude issues, mixers who don't
want sounds brought to them with judgement of level,
let alone EQ or panning.
The tricky thing during these transition years is
how to use everyone well. But the editor of the future
will be skilled at both. It's a bigger job, mixing preparation as well as editing.
..7:
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It would be nice to see how far sound can go, to see
what sound can add to a movie. The more emotional and psychological use of sound is what appeals to
me. The kind of stuff which was used so well in
Apocalypse. It's an interesting realm, I'd like to get
into that more, where sound is not so literal but more
purely dramatic.
The new VCIQ solo feature Q mis channel
multichannel
analogue console
Do you still have ambitions?
.
polar
conventional
How do you spend your time as
director of creative operations?
Well all that means is essentially 'in addition to'.
While I'm doing films, I at least keep an eye on what
we're doing as a company and try to have some creative vision for both the process we use here and the
people that do the work. Trying to make a reputation for doing good work. Ideally that brings you
more work.
A
co
I6 channel miciline interface
-
the consoles to talk to each other.
Plug -ins become the other element of a consolidated mixing -workstation system. You want to have
plug -ins that are applicable to both.
www.joemeek-uk.com
The audio renaissance
Trident-MTA Series 980
workstations, but there is no reason this won't be
happening soon. What it requires is to get companies
that make the best of the workstations and the best of
My favourite design toy by far over the years has
been a Synclavier. At the final mix I could call up a
sound and play it on the keyboard. Lock it to time
code and do a lot of sweetening. It's just a great creative tool. I've yet to find the perfect replacement for
it. Mostly because of the antiquated but useful interface Synclavier built, which is partly why it cost a ton
of money. You get a keyboard with a thousand buttons
on it and once you learn them, they give you very
quick access to things. Nowadays interface usually
means another computer screen, and computer screens
aren't as fast as real buttons no matter what you do.
I still haven't found the perfect console. You wish
it could be like in those cheesy 'B' horror movies,
1X-one
Mixing is going back to an idea that was around a
while ago, but never really took off. Integrated source
and console. Film consoles have yet to talk to the
Do you have favourite toys?
And the big consoles?
:
How will we be mixing movies in 20 years time?
you'd put these little steel helmets on the different
consoles and blend them.
The Capricorn's the first digital console we got here.
It's been five years or so now. It allowed us to do things
we'd never been able to do before. The first feature
mixed all the way through on the Capricorn was
Titanic. In the old days when we tried to do a fix we'd
either put fix units up on dubbers or try to spin something in from a tape deck. After that, this was amazing,
just to have the freedom to say, 'well that creak doesn't really work let's find another one' and every time
you go back it'll be there, fully automated. It gave such
flexibility it was astounding. Before, you'd spend most
of the time worrying about getting in and out.
It's not just a revolution for technology's sake. It's
allowed us to do better work, if we do a bad job, it's
really our fault, not the technology.
Mond-stereo ,
5
1
-+441626333157saks(ñ loenscrk- ukrotn
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
m e d
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p r o d u c
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Never say Never again...
Your working hard, the new movie trailer's final mix is due tomorrow by 10 am, everything
is
going great and then you hear it, somebody made
twenty edits back, but you don't have
AtUn
5
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a
a
mistake, you think it might be about
backup!
CORI
ate
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he top grayed section
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But Nuendo goes even further. You can process any audio segment with
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With Nuendo you'll never say never again...
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DVD-AUDIO
DVD -AUDIO
The limitations of CD performance have conspired with manufacturers' preoccupation with
new formats to bring us DVD- Audio. George Cole explores its history and politics
WHEN THE DVD FORMAT was first
conceived, it was defined by its name:
Digital Video Disc. Very quickly, however, it was transformed into the Digital
Versatile Disc. The new name was designed to show
that DVD could be used to carry a wide range of enter-
tainment media, including audio, video, data and
games. The first DVD format to reach the consumer
market, DVD- Video, carries movies and music videos
on a CD -sized disc. DVD -Video was launched in Japan
in November 1996, in the US the following year, and
in Europe, in spring 1998.
DVD -Video has since become the fastest -selling
consumer electronics format of all time, reaching
world -wide player sales of more than 10m units just
three years after its launch. Formats such as the colour
television, VHS video recorder and audio CD took
much longer to reach this milestone. Some DVD -Video
players are now selling for the same price as a VHS
recorder, but those consumers who like to keep up
with the latest developments in AV technology are
now going to have to make room for another type of
DVD offering -the DVD -Audio (DVD -A) player.
DVD -Video players can play a variety of audio
formats including, Linear PCM (LPCM) which conforms to the audio CD Red Book standard (44.1kHz
sampling, 16-bit encoding), as well as multichannel
(5.1) surround -sound formats like Dolby Digital, DTS
and MPEG2. DVD-Video players can also offer LPCM
which exceeds the existing audio CD standard, with
48kHz or 96kHz sampling rates and 20 or 24 -bit
quantisation. In fact, a number of specialist record
labels have launched audio titles designed to take
advantage of DVD- Video's superior LPCM performance. But the latter feature should not be confused
with DVD- Audio, which offers much more, both in
terms of audio performance and features.
DVD -Audio background
The DVD format was originally developed by a consortium composed mainly of consumer electronics
companies, and now known as the DVD- Forum. The
companies included Toshiba, Pioneer, Sony, Philips,
JVC, Matsushita (Panasonic-Technics) and Thomson.
In December 1995, the consortium set up the Working
Group 4 (WG4) to develop a standard for a new audio
format that would offer much better performance
than the audio CD, as well as new features like multimedia. At the same time, the music industry formed
the International Steering Committee (ISC) to put
develop a wish-list of features content providers would
like to see on a new audio format. Regular meetings
between WG4 and the ISC resulted in all items on
the wish list being incorporated into the DVD -Audio
specification.
In November 1997, WG4 membership was expanded to include companies from many other fields, and
over 40 companies joined it including, Intel, IBM,
C -Cube Microsystems, Adaptec Japan, EMI, Dolby
Laboratories, Digital Theatre Systems (DTS), Nimbus
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
and Sonic Solutions. Version 1.0 of the DVD -Audio
standard was set in February 1999, with the first players set for launch pre-Christmas that year. But as we
shall see later, the DVD -Audio's launch was delayed
until summer 2000.
DVD -Audio follows the same basic disc specifications of DVD- Video, that is a 12cm disc that is 1.2mm
thick. The discs are created by bonding two 0.6mm
disc substrates. Note that 8cm discs are an optional
extra and could be used for portable audio players
and other devices. DVD -Audio discs can be single layer (4.7Gb capacity) or dual -layer (8.5Gó). The
second layer could be used to extend playing time or
adding multimedia content. It could also be used for
hybrid discs that have a single layer of DVD -Audio
content plus a second layer of Red Book audio. This
means that a hybrid disc could play on both DVD Audio and audio CD players.
Although the DVD -Video specification includes
provision for double -sided discs, DVD -Audio is a single -sided format. Like the audio CD, DVD- Audio's
standard playing time is 74 minutes, but this can be
extended to 25 hours of mono sound using a tech-
nology developed by the UK audio company Meridian
(see below).
DVD -Audio offers six audio sampling rates: 48kHz,
96kHz, 192kHz, 44,1kHz, 88,2kHz and 176.4kHz.
There are also three levels of quantisation, 16 -bit,
20 -bit and 24 -bit, giving 18 possible permutations.
The format also offers two to six hi -fi audio channels
(Table 1), the latter being used for multichannel sound.
DVD- Audio's maximum bit rate is 9.6Mbps, higher
than both DVD -Video and audio CD. A comparison
between DVD-Audio, DVD-Video and CD audio specifications is given in Table 2. DVD -Audio offers a
96kHz frequency response and dynamic range of
144dB. The audio information encoded on a DVD Audio disc can be up to 1000 times greater than on an
audio CD.
DVD -Audio discs can also offer additional content
such as text information (such as song lyrics) for displaying on a TV screen or an LCD screen on a
DVD -Audio player, audio commentary, video clips
and URL addresses for adding web links to the content (Fig.1). DVD -Audio has been designed to be as
flexible as possible, allowing engineers and producers
Panasonic DVD -A
Amazingly, DVD -Audio can store a rich plenitude
of valuable information above and beyond its highdensity audio signals. This includes album and
track titles, artist name, lyrics, liner notes and
more, displayable as text or menus offering
interactive functionality. Full- motion video, still
images, and computer data can also be included,
so that video clips can be viewed on a connected
monitor or Internet website home page URL
addresses embedded in the disc can be accessed
to download artist concert information.
A leading edge copy protection system
incorporating encryption and digital watermark
technology is employed to guard against illegal
copying and pirate editions, giving the content
provider copyright management capability.
DVD -Audio Contents
Pure Audio
(High quality & Multi- channel)
Still Picture
DVD -Audio Disc
Text Information
(Names of Contents, etc.)
(Group
Visual Menu
&
Track selection, etc.)
Video
(subset of OVID-Video)
Fig.1
59
DVD-AUDIO
Playback times for different discs (Linear PCM)
Playback time per disc size
Combination
of
12cm disc
8cm disc
Configuration
audio contents
Single
layer
Double
layers
Single
layer
Double
-
,;, laers
2- channel only
48kHz, 24 bits,
2 channels
258 min.
469 min.
80 min.
146 min.
2- channel only
192kHz, 24 bits,
2 channels
64 min.
117 min.
20 min.
36 min.
Multiple -channel only
96kHz, 16 bits,
6 channels
64 min.
117 min.
20 min.
36 min.
Multiple-channel only
96kHz, 20 bits,
5 channels
61
min.
112 min.
19 min.
34 min.
to create the mix of media they want.
Not everyone listening to a DVD -Audio recording
will have a multichannel system in their home, so the
signal will need to he down -mixed to two channels.
Another system, Smart Content (System Managed
Audio Resource Technique), also allows studio staff to
control the audio playback by saving mixdown coefficients as control information to a data channel on the
DVD -Audio disc. This means that when a multichannel
DVD recording is played on a 2- channel system, the
listener gets to hear the sound exactly as the artist
intended in a stereo environment.
DVD -Audio has been designed to offer much creative flexibility. A producer could decide, say, to have
equal or split sampling rates and hit depths for the
front and rear channels, to use a separate 2- channel
mix or a programmed multichannel fold down, or to
only use I.PCM or add another audio format such as
Dolby Digital or DTS.
Protection and Regional Coding
2- channel
&
multiple -channel
(same contents)
Table
96kHz, 24 bits,
2 channels
96kHz, 24 bits,
3 channels &
48kHz, 24 bits,
2 channels
43 min.
each
78
min.
each
13 min.
each
24 min.
1
Panasonic DVD -A
My dad is so enthusiastic about his new outboard device!
He spends so much time with it,
he doesn't want to come home.
That means I'm home alone
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Good
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The new premium series of
Not surprisingly, 1)VD -Audi(, uses powerful copy protection technology including data encryption and
watermarking. DVD -Audio's launch was delayed when
in October 1999, a 17 -year old Norwegian boy broke
the Content Scrambling System (CSS), developed by
Matsushita and Toshiba to protect DVD -Video titles
from piracy. The teenager then decided to publish his
exploits on the Internet, with the result that DVD Audio's launch was delayed while the DVD industry
developed a more powerful encryption system. The
new system, initially called CSS 2, was originally
designed for DVD- Audio, but will now he used by
all DVD formats.
The new copy protection system was completed
by the end of December 1999, and was renamed
because the CSS brand had been tarnished. CSS2 is
now known as CPRM (Copy Protection for
Recordable Media) and CPPM (Copy Protection for
Prerecorded Media). The complete system is called
4C, after the four companies that developed it,
Toshiba, Matsushita, Intel and IBM.
Watermarking involves burying a fragile signal in
the audio waveform. The presence of the watermark
is detected by the DVD-Audio player before it will
play the disc. If the audio signal is copied or compressed, the watermark vanishes, and when the copied
disc is placed in a DVD -Audio player, it registers that
the watermark is missing and refuses to play the disc.
The watermarking system developed for DVD -Audio
has proved controversial, with some hi -fi listeners
believing that it affects the quality of the playback
signal. But DVD -Audio companies say that the system
has been cleared by 'golden -eared' listeners employed
www.junger-audio.com
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STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
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DIGITAL PRECISION
DVD-AUDIO
DVD -Audio Major Specifications vs DVD -Video & CD
DVD -Audio(single layer)
Item
Capacity
Size
Channels
Frequency response
Dynamic range
4.7GB
4.7GB
650MB
12cm, 8cm
DC-96kHz max
DC -48kHz max
144dB
12cm, 8cm
2
5 -20kHz
96dB
133 minutes average
74 minutes
6.1 Mbps
1.4Mbps
Dolby Digital, MPEG, PCM
PCM
DTS, SDDS, etc.
-
48, 96kHz
44.1 kHz
48kHz
-
16, 20, 24 bits
6 ch 2 ch
i
16, 20, 24 bits
16 bits
Yes
Yes
No
Yes (SAPP)
Yes
Yes (subtitles)
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
(Including
144dB
or more
modes
bits6ch
I92kl -W24 bits/2 ch)
Max transfer rate
.Audio signal
Audio signal format
9.6Mbps
,
PCM
Dolby Digital,
DTS, MPEG, etc.
(2 ch)
Audio options
8 max
.::,
44.1, 88.2,176,4kHz or 48, 96, 192kHz
Sampling rate
(multi -channel)
44.1, 88.2, or 48, 96kHz
Quantization
Smart Contents
Functions, etc.
Still images
Real -time text
Regional code
Simplified play data
Interactive features"
Liner note display
Message play
Website access
Lyric link
CD
I
12cm, 8cm
6 max
74
Recording time
DVD-Video(single layer)
No
Yes
No
Yes (TOC)
'
No
No
No
No
Table 2
by the record companies to evaluate the system.
The DVD -Video format uses a Regional Coding
system to control the global distribution of DVD titles.
The system adds ID flags to DVD titles which identify the territory they were produced for. This means that
if someone tries to use a disc created for the US market (Region 1) on a European player (Region 2), the
disc will not play.
Hollywood insisted on Regional Coding in order to
protect its carefully controlled release windows for
films and packaged video media. In many cases, a
blockbuster film appears on DVD in the US before it
has even reached European theatres. Although it would
have been technically possible to have added a
Regional Coding system to DVD- Audio, the music
industry rejected this option, so all DVD -Audio discs
Martinsound
will play on all DVD -Audio players regardless of
where they were bought. Many believe that in a world
of the Internet and global shopping, film companies
will have to adopt the same model.
Lossless Packing
A disc data capacity of 4.7Gb sounds a lot, especially
when you consider that it is seven times greater than
for an audio CD. However, multichannel hi-fi sound,
and features such as video clips and graphics can soon
eat -up all of the available data capacity. In fact, a
5- channel PCM audio track using 20 -bit encoding and
96kHz sampling would have a maximum playing time
of just 65 minutes on a 4.7Gb disc. And a 6- channel
audio track with 24 -bit encoding and 96kHz sampling
would require a hit rate of 13.8Mbs, well above DVDHHB Communications Tel: 020 8962 5000
E-mail:
Audio's maximum data rate of 9.6Mbs.
The answer is to use a data compression system,
and a small UK company developed the system used
by DVD- Audio. Meridian Audio, based in
Cambridgeshire, created the Meridian Lossless Packing
(MLP) system, which is a mandatory part of the DVD Audio player specification. There are many data
compression (or more accurately, data reduction) formats around including, Dolby's AC -3 (used by the
Dolby Digital format), DTS, MPEG and Sony's
ATRAC used on the MiniDisc format. These use algorithms designed to mimic the way the human ear and
brain perceive sound. Some audio frequencies are hidden or masked by louder sounds of the same frequency,
and so (in theory anyway) they can be discarded,
reducing the amount of data that needs to be encoded and stored.
These so- called perceptual coding systems work
remarkably well, although hi-fi purists insist that even
masked sounds contribute to the final fidelity of the
audio signal. It was certainly clear that a high -end hifi system like DVD -Audio could not use a lossy or
data reduction system to increase playing time or disc
capacity.
The story of MLP begins in 1992, when Meridian's
chairman, Bob Stuart and friends Michael Gerzon
and Peter Craven worked on audio coding techniques.
In 1994, Stuart was asked to become the new chairman of the Audio Renaissance for Audio ARA, an
organisation set up to develop a new standard for
audio disc technology. It was also around this time,
that proposals for a new high- density disc (which
would eventually become DVD) were being made.
Stuart felt that such a disc would make it possible to
encode all the sounds a human ear could hear. ARA
formed a technical committee and in April 1995, circulated a document proposing a new audio standard
which included LPCM coding up to 96kHz, 24 -bit
and 6- channel sound. At first there was hostility to the
proposal, especially from Japanese companies who
remembered the fiasco over quadraphonic sound.
But Stuart was convinced there was great potential
for offering high -quality multichannel sound on a
disc, and Meridian developed a lossless coding system targeted at DVD- Audio. The system was
demonstrated to the ISC and the RIAA, and the break-
through came when Dolby and Warner Music
expressed support for MLP. Once the principle of
lossless coding was accepted, Meridian found itself
sales @hhb.co.uk
Surround sound. Now you can make the change,
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Poll
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62
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STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
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DVD-AUDIO
Compatibility between Disc and Players
Audio -only Player
DVD-Audio
1
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DVD-Video
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AM:
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Fig.2: Disc and player compatibility
channels; lossless prediction to reduce inter -sample correlation (waveform prediction), using a large palette of
filters, and third, Huffman coding.
Meridian now sells professional MLP encoders,
which run on PCs using Windows 95, 98, NT4 or
2000, with a 100MHz or faster Pentium processor, a
minimum of 16 Mbyte RAM and 5Mbyte of hard
disk space, as well as extra space for the created MLP
files. (The MLP encoder costs £5,875 inc VAT. For
more details on the MLP encoder go to www.meridi-
Panasonic DVD -A
facing stiff competition from rival systems, and a competition to select the best lossless coding system for
DVD -Audio took place in 1998. MLP emerged as the
winning system.
MLP makes use of the fact that high -rate formats like
DVD -Audio carry more information than is necessary for
the human ear, as well being be beyond the capabilities
of modern microphone and converter techniques. This
means there is redundancy in the DVD -Audio audio
stream. MLP uses an audio coding system that detects
redundancy and packs the audio into a smaller space.
However, the coding allows a decoder to recover the
original signal, bit -for-hit. MLP uses three methods to
reduce the data capacity: lossless processing and loss less matrixing, which reduces the correlation between
an-audio.com/m_mlp_in.htm)
Players and Prospects
There is provision for several different types of DVD Audio players. Some are pure audio players, and even
within this group, several types are available. Some
DVD -Audio players will have built -in multichannel
decoders; others will simply play down -mixed 2 -channel audio. However, most of the players designed to
be compatible with DVD -Audio are so- called Universal
Players, which can play both DVD -Audio and DVD Video discs. These players will also play audio CD
discs and some will even read Video CD discs.
However, DVD -Audio is only partial compatible
with DVD -Video players, even those offering 24 -bit,
96kHz LPCM audio. DVD -Video players cannot play
DVD -Audio files but if a DVD -Audio disc also carries a video clip, this will play on a DVD -Video
machines (video clips are likely to use Dolby Digital or
DTS audio). Fig.2 shows the compatibility between
various discs and players. So far, Panasonic and
Technics have launched DVD- AudioNideo players
and mini -systems in the US, and DVD -Audio should
reach Europe this autumn. JVC UK has a Universal
DVD player in its latest product catalogue. Not surprisingly, these early DVD -Audio players command
quite a price premium over standard DVD -Video players, and sell for around £.650-£850. However, prices
are expected to fall and in time, it will make more
sense to purchase a Universal DVD player than a bog standard video player.
Supporters of DVD -Audio say the time is right for
a new digital audio standard. They argue that the
audio CD is now over 20 years old and that technology has moved on considerably since its launch. But
others argue that there is little suggest that most consumers are dissatisfied with the performance of the
audio CD, and that DVD -Audio will only appeal to
hard -core hi -fi enthusiasts. Critics add that most homes
will not have an expensive, multichannel audio system
to take advantage of DVD- Audio's superior sonic performance.
Another fly in the ointment is a VHS vs Betamaxtype battle that has broken out between companies
supporting DVD- Audio, and Sony and Philips, which
have developed a rival and incompatible system, Super
Audio CD. SACD offers a similar performance to
DVD -Audio, although it uses a different audio encoding system known as Direct Stream Digital. As
DVD -Audio emerges, Sony has launched second -generation SACD players designed to appeal to a broader
base of consumers.
The appearance of two rival `super CD' systems
on the market together has not helped matters, and nor
has the fact that most major record companies have
been slow to release titles for either format although
(not surprisingly, Sony Music is actively supporting
SACD). Many believe that a new generation of `super
universal' players will emerge, with the ability to play
DVD -Audio, DVD -Video and SACD discs. But it
remains to be seen whether even this development
will convince many consumers to switch from today's
CDs to the new generation of audio discs.
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STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
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DVD-AUDIO
COOL, BUT
IS IT
COOL ENOUGH?
The long- awaited DVD -Audio comes late to the entertainment landscape to find
even newer technologies waiting in the wings. Dan Daley asks: Is it too late?
THE LONG -HELD PROMISE of high -density
audio formats has excited audio industry
professionals like nothing since the introduction of console automation systems
20 years ago. Just one component of these new
formats-multichannel surround -has become a cottage industry in itself, with its own trade magazine
and numerous seminars. The option of 8- channel output buses on new consoles has become the equivalent
of power windows on new cars, and speaker manufacturers slather over the prospect of tripling unit
sales. Furthermore, the conception of the basic DVD
format, which increased the real estate that a standard -sized optical disc could hold to upwards of 17Gb,
against the 750Mb of the conventional audio CD,
was contemporaneous with the movement of pro audio equipment into the 96kHz, 24 -bit range. Thus,
it seemed that the stars were in alignment for high density audio's roll -out and that the new high- density
formats and the pro -audio business were a match
made in heaven.
But such marriages are never as glossy on the inside
as they are on the exterior. And since DVD -Audio is
the offspring of the broader high- density optical media
format, a little family history is useful.
DVD itself had a difficult birthing, with a number
of major movie studios, including Fox, holding off
on committing to it until the last moment. Their concerns were twofold, and both have an impact on
high- density audio's fortunes: piracy and competition
with existing formats.
The CD was always a loaded gun that the music
business had pointed at its own foot. Each digital disc
was a potential pirate master, and that's precisely what
they were used for globally, a situation that has only
been exacerbated by the arrival of affordable CD -R
hardware and media and which has turned music piracy into a $15bn -a -year problem world wide. The film
business, which was the first customers of the DVD
format and which were deeply involved with its development, were quite aware of this and that obstructed
unanimity in their ranks. It's also worth noting that the
DVD format has over 16 participating major patent
holders, some of which include major content developers, such as Warner Studios. In contrast, the CD
was launched in 1982 by two main protagonists, Sony
and Philips, in a situation where fewer cooks made
for at least a faster stew. The corporate pair obviously hoped that lightning would strike twice when they
formed their own proprietary high -density audio venture, SACD, three years ago, based on Sony's Direct
Stream Digital technology. The film industry wanted
some guarantees regarding copy protection, which
led to the development of the CSS encryption codec
and to the decision (now increasingly ignored) to
include regional coding on the discs.
Secondly, though less well- documented, is the fact
that the VHS business was booming throughout the
mid 1990s (and still is, despite DVD- Video's initial
success), when DVD was being discussed and prepared for introduction. There was quiet concern that
a second format, digital though it may be, would confuse consumers. In addition, some factions said that
releasing a non -recordable format to consumers used
to being able to record on their VCRs was doomed to
failure. Record labels in the US, where all DVD formats would he released first, were particularly wary
about this as they watched their industry grow from
the $10bn mark in mid -decade to over $14bn this
year, a 40% increase in sales, almost all of it based
on standard CDs. That more than anything explains
the reticence on the part of major record labels to
commit to high- density formats, since piracy has
always been an issue and a longer word length and
higher sampling rate weren't going to dramatically
increase piracy. In fact, the only real commitments
until very recently came from small, audiophile or
dedicated multichannel start-up labels.
Thus, when DVD -Audio began to emerge from the
corporate cocoon last year, it faced a somewhat hostile, or at least indifferent landscape. It was made even
more so when a group of Norwegian hackers last
November cracked the CSS2 encryption code, which
was designed specifically for DVD- Audio, and posted it on the Internet for free. A new encryption codec,
Content Protection for Recordable Media and Pre Recorded Media (CPRM/CPPM), has since been
developed by the 4C Entity group of companies
Matsushita, Intel, IBM and Toshiba, for DVD- Audio.
Those who had been eagerly awaiting the DVD -A
or SACD high -density formats won't take comfort
from this analysis of the long -range market, by the
UK -based international research consultancy Understanding & Solutions, which tracks the optical media
market. According to an extract from a report issued
earlier this year, `In the short term the overall impact
of either DVD -Audio or SACD is likely to be minimal. The global CD market accounts for well over
two billion units, with nearly a billion of these sales
from the USA alone. Combined DVD -Audio and
SACD [disc] shipments are anticipated to account for
only 6% of the total music market in five years' time.
In the short term, these new formats are more likely
to have an incremental rather than substitutional effect
on the music market.'
And, the report goes on to state, `The majority of
consumers are not renowned for adopting 'incremental' formats offering subtle improvements -S -VHS
and DCC are two prime examples of this.'
If high-density audio had a difficult runway to
approach, it also found its destination crowded with
new faces, technological celebrities, as it were, in the
form of MP3 and search engines like Napster, which
rendered DVD -Audio a sort of has -been before the
-
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STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
DVD-AUDIO
Chuck Ainlay does concede the possibility of ivory
tower thinking in how DVD -Audio's proponents have
fact. Computer file-based music ignited the most desirable demographic in the entire music industry: those
between 14 and 21, the most computer-savvy, economically affluent and terminally bored cohort in the
US, which saw MP3 and Napster and Gnutella not
so much as statements against the corporate music
machine as just plain cool. And cool, as trends forecaster Faith Popcorn points out, wins every time.
Nonetheless, high -density audio will likely survive
in some form or another, if for no other reason than
that it offers a clear alternative to the compressed for-
proceeded. 'It's natural that studios and engineers
want this to happen, and that they'll talk positively
about it,' he says. 'But the reality is, we just don't
know until consumers get it in their hands.' And,
Ainlay adds, the bottleneck there is twofold: the lack
of fast, simple, reliable and affordable authoring systems, and the reluctance on the part of content holders
to spend what he believes it costs to do DVD -Audio
mats of computer file music. Understanding &
Solutions' report on high -density audio's marketplace
underscores the format's specific attractions to a niche
market when it states, `...the key drivers will be the formats' more obvious features, such as surround sound
and the inclusion of DVD quality video, rather than
24- 96/192/DSD, etc'. In short, the palpable quality
difference that high- density formats offer over both
solid -state and conventional optical formats will be
appreciated by only a small slice of the market; rather,
it's the bells and whistles-multichannel audio and
the ability to include multimedia elements -that will
drive most of any success DVD -Audio or SACD have.
Those on the pro -audio side of high- density audio
equation continue to feel optimism, optimism that
they contend is not misplaced but which has been
considerably frustrated. Jake Nicely, co -owner of
Seventeen Grand Recording in Nashville, and one of
a handful of surround music mixers, along with Chuck
Ainlay, Ed Cherney and Elliott Schemer, who have
become the so- called poster boys of surround and
DVD -Audio, voices that frustration when he says, 'I
don't think the music industry has done a good job of
promoting or marketing DVD -Audio. No one wants
to be first, and no one wants to put any marketing
money into it. But in doing so, they're letting the
opportunity to promote what is a very good format
pass them by.'
Nicely agrees that the most spirited enthusiasm for
DVD -Audio has been centred on certain pro-audio
circles and within special divisions at record labels,
usually nestled in their new new media' departments.
(Which, ironically, also have to address MP3 issues.)
But he bristles at the suggestion that as a result those
camps have become insulated incubators of cheering
sections for high -density formats, unaffected by the
kinds of realities outlined in research reports such
Understanding & Solutions'. 'You want reality ?' he
asks testily. 'The reality is there. Panasonic just released
their DVD -Audio players last week in July in the US
-the Panasonic deck will retail for $999.95 and the
Technics brand model will cost $1,999.95. Matsushita,
which owns both brands, also announced an in -car
DVD -A player for later release]. But marketing DVDI
Seventeen Grand's Jake Nicely: ' I don't think
the music industry has done a good job
promoting or marketing DVD- Audio'
Audio needs to be a concentrated and co- ordinated
effort between music companies and hardware makers.' An effort yet to become manifest: Panasonic has
done little to herald the introduction of the players,
which are backwards compatible with CD players,
and the total number of titles available for DVD Audio players is less then 500 thus far. (That number
is an estimate which includes several dozen titles created three years ago by DTS as a marketing tactic in
that company's unsuccessful bid to make its multichannel format the preferred one for the DVD -Audio
specification. DTS is included as a secondary format
in the DVD -A spec, so those titles would conceivably
be playable on this generation of DVD -Audio players.)
Nicely also acknowledges the role of newer media
in delaying DVD- Audio's acceptance. 'All the enthusiasm for DVD -Audio has been at the special divisions
level at labels,' he says. `Very little of it has filtered
down to the group level, where everyone is totally
concerned and worried about MP3 at the moment.
It's been a terrible distraction.'
But he is unwavering in his conviction that, despite
projections that it will never exceed single -digit market penetration, DVD -Audio will ultimately replace
CDs. He is equally vociferous in his desire that SACD
just go away: 'We'll have to replace every bit of gear
we have to work on SACD because it's not PCM
audio,' he says. 'All it's doing is confusing consumers
and record labels.'
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mixes correctly.
'There's only going to be a few titles out at first, so
they had better be the best they can to show consumers all that the format can offer,' he says. 'Word
on the street is that labels are looking to spend around
$20,000 for remixes or surround. That's not enough
when you figure the studio and the engineer will cost
you each around $2,000 per day, for eight to ten days
for a whole album, plus the systems and media costs.
It's not enough. But we don't need someone doing
these remixes on the cheap with a few extra speakers
set up in their living room.'
David Kawakami, the director of Sony Music
Entertainment's corporate strategy group in New York,
which is spearheading the SACD initiative, agrees that
there's more to creating DVD -Audio than many labels
have realised. 'There are a lot of surround mixes in the
can, but there's more to it than that to make a DVD Audio disc,' he says. Sony Music has put out about 60
of the estimated 100 titles available for SACD thus
far; Kawakami adds that Sony as a record label is
'format- agnostic' and will release DVD -Audio titles,
'when there's a market for them.' The only other major
label that has committed significant numbers of titles
to DVD-Audio is Warner, which was a hands -on developer of the DVD format and pioneered its
premastering and replication processes. But few of
anyone's titles have made it to retail shelves yet. This
Christmas is expected to tei the tale for that.
What support there is for DVD -Audio from major
record labels appears muted. Warner Music Group,
the leading proponent of the format, will say only that
they are 'working hard to get titles out this year,' according to Jordan Rost, the group's vice president of new
media. Otherwise, most titles are coming from small
or startup companies, such as Los Angeles -based
5.1 Entertainment Group, which has announced 17
titles (16 classical and one jazz) on its Silverline label.
Mastering engineer Denny Purcell, who has done
15 DVD -Audio projects thus far, put it most succinctly: 'This is a science experiment. We're taking the best
audio ever-the closest a listener has ever gotten to the
studio-and asking if anyone cares. And this is probably the last physical media introduction the music
business will ever have. So let's see what happens.' D
limiter
not your
fairwea her friend
Y
EAR Yoshino Ltd
Tel: 44 1480 453791
Fax: 44 1480 432006
www ear -yoshino.com
e -mail earyoshino @aol.com
67
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
www.americanradiohistory.com
DVD PRACTITIONER
RORY KAPLAN'S INITIAL EXPERIENCES
in the music business came as a keyboard
player, programmer, songwriter and engineer. He toured with luminaries such as
Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder,
Christopher Cross and Michael Jackson, and played
studio for Yes, Joe Cocker and Belinda Carlisle.
After producing an album for Edgar Winter, Kaplan
was introduced to DTS by Winter's A &R man and
learned that the company intended to make its entry
into the consumer market for multichannel music in
order to `pioneer and spearhead where quad hadn't been
able to go before because of the medium delivery'. By the
time that Kaplan joined DTS in 1996, the relatively
small setup had already enjoyed considerable success
on the theatrical side with Jurassic Park and other motion
pictures, but it would be largely thanks to Kaplan's own
record industry contacts that it would be able to diversify, commencing with Elliot Schemer's multichannel
remix of The Eagles' Hell Freezes Over album.
`That was a real success story,' Kaplan recalls,
`because it went from a DTS CD -which did very
well and gained us a lot of publicity
being a laser
disc that generated even more sales, and then to a
DVD. In just a little over a year that thing has sold
more than 400,000 units, and it's only got a DTS track
on it. Elliot's perspective was that he wanted the audience to almost be in the orchestra pit, with The Eagles
playing in front while the additional musicians were
on the sides and at the back. We did that without
picture, but when you locked it to picture it somehow made sense. It was really phenomenal.'
DTS excursions on the part of Al Schmitt, Ed
Cherney, David Tickle, Chuck Ainley, Rob Jacobs and
George Massenburg have since resulted in surround
remixes of recordings by Bonnie Raitt, Sting, Roy
Orbison, Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Dave Grusin, Vince
Gill, Trisha Yearwood, Olivia Newton -John, Don
in the
-to
Henley, The Mavericks, Peter Frampton and Lyle
Lovett, among many, many others.
'I've worked on about 80 of these projects, and you
really pick up on the details of how to use reverbs correctly, what delays to use and what new equipment is
supporting this format,' says Kaplan. `George
Massenburg was waiting for the proper verbs to come
out before he would try it, and I know that Lexicon and
TC Electronics have both come out with some great
machines for working in this format, where the reverbs
are coherent, time -aligned and not out of phase with
each channel -in other words, all of the headaches
that we had to go through in the beginning.
`So, right now I'm getting excited watching all of
these engineers discover this new format, because it's
like a whole new canvas for them to paint on. It's a
chance for them to relive music in a format which
they would have liked to have heard it in from the
beginning, and the result is that they're producing
some stunning results.'
RORY KAPLAN
Already a veteran of DTS surround music mixing, Rory Kaplan has
worked with the greats on more multichannel remixes than anyone else.
Richard Buskin rounds up his experience
68
What ground work needs to be done in terms of
preparation for a multichannel remix?
Quite a few things. One is figuring out what studio
you're going to work in, and that often relates to the
tapes. You see, if you're dealing with a project that's
15, 20 years or older, the condition of the tapes is a big
issue. These are your master multitracks and you don't
want to lose anything, so you have to take the utmost
precautions. Capitol Recording Studios tin Hollywood]
has a great convection system, and so we sent the ana-
logue tapes of Don Henley's End Of The Innocence
album there to be transferred to 3348, which means
that the label now has a backup.
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
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DVD PRACTITIONER
Anyway, once the tapes have been secured in good
condition you then have to make sure that the room
in which you'll be working is set up for 5.1. Otherwise,
if it's not, you have to make sure that you have enough
buses and whatever box they want to use to monitor
5.1, along with enough automation faders and the
whole nine yards. After that, it comes down to what
medium you store it on-originally it was D -88s with
20 -bit convertors, whereas during the past two and a
half years everything with DTS has been done 24 -bit
-and then there's the outboard gear.
I mean, the good news is that we're not using half
as much compression now-we're only using it on a
kick drum or a bass or a vocal if necessary, and we're
doing so as an effect of that instrument, not for popping things into perspective through stereo imaging.
So, it depends on the project in terms of how big it is
and how many tracks are available, but it's good to
have at least a 48 -input board, because you're going
to want effects returns and have extra faders to do
sweeping if your board is not set up for it. On the
other hand, there are going to be a lot of small places
popping up that advertise surround, but you've got
to make sure that they really have the right outboard
gear and are prep'd correctly.
that they miss some of the details because they didn't
work that area. Some guys are still using NS10s
because they like the subwoofer crossing over 85 or
100 cycles down, and then there are other guys who
are using these KRK Exposé 8s, Al Schmitt is using his
Master Lab Tannoys. So, what I've found is that the
speakers that these engineers are used to using in stereo
suit them best in 5.1 with a decent subwoofer. That's
really the trick. I still think there's no substitute for
near -field monitoring in this format. You can't use
the big soffited speakers. If you want to A -B to them
to get a feel for them, that's one thing, but to nie it's
really a danger to try to mix everything on big speakers. You lose all of the perception of depth.
Is it best to have a preconceived idea of sound
placement and soundfield, or does experimentation yield the best results?
The straightest answer is that every song dictates
what's going to happen. Like when I listened to Sheryl
Crow's album [The Globe Sessions', at the beginning
of the song `Something More Than Nothing' there
are these great ambient tracks going on, and then a little drum rhythm comes in, the piano sort of trickles a
bit and her voice is real light. Well, in my head I can
hear all of the ambient stuff floating around the back
sidefields in the mix. Most of these songs I can hear
where they're going.
How do engineers generally arrive at their choices
of monitoring system and configuration? what are
the common mistakes and misconceptions?
Well, it's really interesting. For instance, Don Smith
engineers for Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones, and
I went with him and Mike Campbell to do a 5.1 mix
of Mike's own material at Cherokee Studios. They
have these sort of mid-range monitors -not soffited big
speakers but free -standing Klipsch floor speakers
-and the room is kind of narrow, and I couldn't tell
what the heck was going on in there. I encoded the
stuff, we played it back, and the level was down on one
side and a number of things were wrong. The encoding was an input -throughput process and we hadn't
level -changed anything, so for Mike that room clearly represented a false perception in terms of the
speakers. They therefore went to another room in
North Hollywood which had near -field monitors and
all of a sudden it made sense to him.
So, every engineer has his own particular monitor.
For instance, I've noticed that the Genelec 1031s or
1032s are beautiful- sounding speakers for playback,
yet when people mix on them it sounds so glorified
Producer-engineer Chuck Ainley (left) relates his adventures in surround mixing,
as Rory Kaplan listens intently at the Pro Sound News US conference
HHB Communications Tel: 020 8962 5000
E
-mail: sales @hhb.co.uk
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Elite+ is remarkably easy to use. It oFers the recording
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DVD PRACTITIONER
May 19 -20, 2000
Marriot Cool Sn.-intil
E- Studio Summit: Jake Nicely (standing) introduces his e- studio panel (left to right)
Kerry Moyer,Chuck Ainley, Rory Kaplan, Hank Williams and Denney Purcell
PSN US
When we did The Police's Greatest Hits album with
David Tickle, he did a great job figuring things out
because some of the tracks from the early days were
really sparse. You know, six channels of drums, bass,
guitar and vocal. It wasn't a complicated production.
So, he had to figure out how to take the voices and
delays and verbs and rhythm guitars, and where to
space them so that there was some ambient cohesiveness to it. It wasn't that easy, but then you get an album
like Sheryl's where, for instance, can already hear
those great Rolling Stones-type horns on `There Goes
The Neighbourhood' probably in the back sidefields.
So, each song dictates what you do, but the flip
side is that you still want to maintain the integrity of
the intention of the song. Like you don't want to make
some artistic move and say, `Oh, it'll he hip to have her
vocal come out of the rear-left speaker, detached from
everything else', unless it's theatrical like a Pink Floyd
project.
1
1r/hat are the common mistakes that engineers
make with respect to their first remixes?
Yes, well, the common mistake is either overloading the centre channel with too much or too little
information, or overloading the subwoofer with everything just because it's there; in other words, kick drum,
low end of the piano and occasionally bass. I mean,
people now have home systems with bass management that is going to drive all five speakers of
everything below 100Hz down to the sub, so you
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Tel: 020 7923 1892. Fax: 020 7241 3644 email: [email protected]
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
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DVD PRACTITIOI`+1ER
want to make sure you're not going too far and for that
there are bass management monitoring systems.
Trying to use stereo verbs at the front and back is
also really kind of a no -no. It's much better to use
mono verbs for delays for the rears. You should also
try to isolate as much as you can and create your own
sound stage, while using the rear speakers as full range speakers, not as the old Dolby Pro Logic
approach where you're out of phase and get a little
effect back there. We're using full on, and somehow
DTS has created that standard for full perceptual
audio all of the way around.
a
speaker that you are
comfortable with.'
make the guy buy a new speaker. As a result, the speaker companies have now jumped on the bandwagon
and they're selling complete 5.1 systems for under a
thousand bucks.
2) 'Use the centre speaker, but always be
careful to diverge what is in there.'
3) 'Try to use the original audio chain that
In terms of where you place the speakers, does this
vary between filin and music work?
Well, the ITU standard specifies a 60° width at the
front and 110° for the rears, but while that's fine for
the film industry it doesn't work quite the same for the
music. I went over this, in fact, with Elliot Seheiner,
David Tickle and Al Schmitt-they tried going out wide
on the rear, but you're not just putting effects back
there; you're actually using them as full -range speakers.
So, we drew more of a rectangle as opposed to a wider
circle, and as a result you get better depth of perception
from verbs and delays, especially from front to back, but
also from back to front. When you go too far wide I lose
that perception, and it turned out that a lot of other
engineers felt the same way. So, it's kind of interesting,
because I'd hoped that music would catch onto the sort
of merge used between film and home theatre, but when
you're mixing these things it really doesn't work.
I did Don Henley's End Of The Innocence with his
engineer Rob Jacobs at the Record Plant using an
SL9000, and the software of the board wasn't set up
for a 5.1 mix, so we had to figure out how we were
going to use the pan and small faders to derive what
we needed out of it. Then, once we did, we tried the
wide separation at the back to see if ITU would even
work in that room and then we put the speakers back
was employed on the stereo mix.'
4) 'Do try to use bass management
Is there a best plan of approach when it comes to
building a multichannel mix from scratch that will
reveal placement opportunities and ideas?
I'll tell you what most guys are saying... and it took
me a while to agree with them, but I have to now.
What they're doing
'Absolutely find
1)
Radio Shack variety, where the centre speaker was
less than an Auratone quality. So, if you loaded up
too much information it would crap out and you
wouldn't hear what the engineer had done. The other
trick was to have the engineer not mix to the lowest
common denominator, but mix to the highest and
for monitoring back and forth with
and without.'
5) 'Don't be afraid to use your subwoofer
they are taking the original
stereo mix and they're recalling or mixing their stereos first. They're going to recall everything as close as
they can to the stereo so that they'll get a perceptual
idea of the track -how the vocals sit with the track
and then they'll go ahead and pan out from there.
So, the building block is to get your stereo imaging
first, or get as close as you can to the original, and that
accommodates quite a few things. It gets you back to the
integrity of the song, it gives you a feel for what was
intended for that song, and then, when you start placing things around, you have something to refer to so that
you don't get too far off base.
That has been the easiest way to build. Of course,
get your rhythm tracks up first-your percussion,
your drums -because that gives you a great sound field to go from. Your bass is usually diversed a little
off to centre -left and right, with a little bit of a point
of it in the centre speaker and in the sub. As for lead
is
when applicable.'
6) 'Keep the music intact and don't worry
-
about the gimmicks.'
vocals, on the remix of Gaucho Donald Fagen for
instance loved having his voice in the centre speaker,
and Elliot [ Scheiner] got some criticism for that
from outside people, not those in the industry -and he
thought, 'O -oh, I can't do that anymore.' However,
that's one of the greatest mixes around, so we had a
long talk about it and I said, 'You can't worry about
public opinion. You are creating the standard.' It's
like saving, 'That's a horrible song because I don't
like it.' It's a personal opinion.
Why I think the issue of the centre speaker was
such a problem in the beginning is that four years ago
most home theatres were of the old thrown- together
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where I normally set them up. I set them up at an
equal distance from the engineering position
-technically what I do is put a mie stand where the
engineer would sit, take a tape measure, go out to the
centre speaker and take an equal distance to the left
and right speakers. Then what I'll do is move the mike
stand about a foot closer to the board and do the
measurement again, so there's like a convergence zone.
As a result, if you sit forward eight or ten inches, or
sit back eight or ten inches, at least you have a converging area as opposed to having to keep your head
in the exact same place. Likewise, I set up the rear
speakers in precisely the same way, and it really works
out well. I mean, so far I've done that for 99% of the
projects that I've been on and it's been failsafe.
We even did a 6.1 mix on one of Henley's tracks.
Dolby came out with a matrix rear -centre -with DTS
we go up to 16 discreet channels, and so they decided to do a discreet centre -rear and see how it works.
On the Henley track it worked fine, and so now
I might even mix Sheryl Crow's last album The Globe
Sessions] in 6.1. I'll do a 5.1 as well for the DVDAudio, but I think we'll go ahead and have it available
for the 6.1. That'll be kind of interesting.
I
What role do -or
should-the surround speak-
ers have on the total mix? Is it realistic to expect a
whole lot from them in the average domestic listening
environment?
Well, you know, there's this great thing called the
WAF-the Wife Acceptance Factor...
That applies to a lot of things.
Yeah, and apparently some people have their rear
speakers up behind a bookshelf, ten feet back to the
side. Their ears are not even at the speaker level. So,
1)
'Overloading the centre speaker with
too much information.'
2) 'Overloading and not checking your
bass information to the subwoofer.'
3) Not aligning your speakers properly.'
4) Not taking budgets into account
for original equipment... That creeps
up on you.'
5) Not taking into consideration the original
intention of the song.'
6) 'Going in with a preconceived idea.'
there are all kinds of issues, but you have to take into
account that most people will hopefully have their
speakers all in phase in the right place, and you've
got to mix with that in mind.
DTS has a test disc that it sends out, and it checks
out your speakers, your level settings and everything,
so when you listen to this stuff it's set up properly.
Nevertheless, that's an education. That's a whole other
article, just dealing with the education of the public.
We were talking before about how there's no preset formula, because every record has different
requirements. however, what considerations must be
given to the multichannel remixing of an established
and much -loved classic album?
For example, Steely Dan's Gaucho album is accepted as one of the standard CDs, and so when we went
to remix it we had to bear in mind that the original
board it was mixed on was a Neve 8078. We therefore
remixed it on an 8078 at Donald jFagen]'s studio,
River Sound, in New York, and Donald and Walter
]Becker] were in the room, making the calls with
Elliot. I mean, aside from the equipment, the other
thing which DTS has established -and this is largely
because of my own music background
that, wherever possible, you should try really hard to keep the
original people involved and thus keep that integrity.
-is
In line with the need for consistency, how important is this with regard to the formats being used
between the stereo and the surround mixes?
That's a good point. For instance, with Don Henley,
originally they used a Rev on like three of the tracks
for his lead vocal, and I happen to have one. So,
I brought my rack with me to the studio and we did
use some of the original verbs of that time. Basically,
mean, if
you try to match the original audio chain
the original audio chain off the tape was that it went
to an LAI compressor, a Neve 1073 and then to a
Lexicon 480 XL, in most cases the guys will recall
that chain as far as possible. There again, it's not
always possible
cost -effective
rent certain
vintage gear, and in some cases the equipment now is
better, so it depends. After all, you've got to watch
your expense, and therefore if I have a choice between
a Fairchild and an Avalon, and the Avalon sounds
just as good and the engineer says, 'Hey, look, that's
all I need', then I'm going to go with the Avalon.
That's where the production value of experience comes
in, because you don't want to compromise the music
but you've also got to know what gear does what
best. It's a tough call.
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BROADCAST
2000
OLYMPIC GAMES
This time around it is the city of Sydney that has the honour and the privilege of staging the world's
most prestigious sporting event. Richard Clews sets the scene on its international broadcast
THE STAGING of the Sydney 2000 Olympic
Games is possibly the most eagerly anticipated broadcast event of the year. In
Australia, the Games have been a front -page
story for months on end, with various controversies
and rumours serving to provide even more pre-event
speculation than usual.
What is known for certain is that for the 16 days of
the Games themselves, the International Broadcast
Centre will be the world's largest TV production house.
The A$80m warehouse conversion, located at the
Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush, holds 70,000
square metres of broadcasting facilities. This includes
50 television studios which are being fitted out by
some of the 190 organisations who have purchased
Olympic television rights. More than 3,400 hours of
competition from 300 Olympic events will be televised to an estimated peak audience of 4bn people.
Orchestrating this massive enterprise is the Sydney
Olympic Broadcast Organisation (SOBO), a full -service broadcast company created by the Sydney
Organising Committee for the Olympic Games
(SOCOG). In the lead up to the Games, one of
SOBO's concerns was to ensure the highest quality
sound for the coverage of events, improving on the
high standards set out during the last Games held
in Atlanta in 1996.
Equipment playing a major role in the broadcast
effort includes two 60- channel Calrec Q2 desks and
a 60- channel Calrec 52 for NBC Olympics' main
Broadcast Centres, where they will be used in mixing
programme feeds for NBC's US broadcast and cable
transmissions. The BBC's Sound Control Room will
also house a 36- channel C2 and an M3 mixing console, while a 60-channel Q2 will be used by Australian
OB company Global TV.
From across the water in New Zealand, Moving
Pictures, a division of Television New Zealand, has
commissioned a new OB mobile vehicle especially for
the event following its securing of a contract with the
host broadcaster, Seven Network, to provide a variety
of production facilities during the course of the Games.
The truck is built around Moving Pictures' second
Euphonix CS- series console, a CS3100B. `Moving
Pictures is committed to providing its customers with
quality outside- broadcast equipment to support a
team of professionals that bring a high level of experience and expertise to every assignment,' said General
Manager Maureen Ross. She further maintains that the
resettability as well as the sound quality of the
CS3100B sits well with their brief.
Meanwhile, Audio -Technica, who over the last two
years has developed a series of microphones to
improve the sound of sports coverage significantly.
The company was selected by SOBO and NBC
Olympics, responsible for the US broadcasting of the
Olympics for the next 10 years, to provide more than
one thousand mics in total.
Bob Dixon, project manager-sound design for
NBC Olympics said: `Picture this: we're at an
Equestrian event with horses coming over a hill, and
they have to jump over these big logs and then into
a pond of water. Since our cameras can't be too close,
we are going to have an AT815ST stereo shotgun
mounted directly on the camera for stereo ambience. We will then use A -T's U100 Series Wireless and
place the mic in proximity to where the horse jumps,
allowing us to capture the up -close sound corre-
Below: SOBO audio director Al Craig will be producing the stadium and arena audio
for the Games from his vantage point behind two of the 10 Panasonic SX -1s.
sponding to the picture, with the proper ambience.
It will be climactic.'
Making sure the climaxes are reached according
to plan has required A -T's attention over recent
months. Dennis Baxter, Sound Designer at the
Atlanta Games and consultant to Audio -Technica
during the Sydney Olympics, gave an idea of the
hurdles to be faced.
er.
`One of the biggest problems in Sydney is the weathThe Games take place at what is officially the start
of the spring in Australia, when the weather varies.
Audio -Technica has had to pay close attention to protecting the microphones from wind and rain, using
windshields. You have to expect the worst, but hope
that in the end the weather will smile on you.'
Whatever the weather, Audio -Technica plans to
have a huge range of mics available for broadcasters.
Among the mics that will feature are the new AT815ST
and AT835ST stereo shotgun mics, AT804 omnidirectional hand -held mic, AT825 and AT849 stereo
mics and AT895 adaptive -array mics.
Another potential source of problems is cabling.
78
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
The control rooms are one kilometre away from the
venues themselves. Two Otani Side Winder systems
have been installed to cope with the demand, working alongside Telstra's Millennium Network (TMN).
More than nine years in development, the TMN
links the IBC with the Games venues via 4,800 km of
optical fibre. Some 3,200 audio and 280 video links are
on hand, in a network using Synchronous Digital
Hierarchy geographically diverse self -healing ring
topology. Of utmost importance to broadcasters, this
means there are always several ways to get signals
from point to point. The TMN has been proven a success at 36 Olympic test events, and looks set to handle
the massive coverage over the 16 days of the Games.
Elsewhere, ARX has responded to requests from
Panasonic Broadcast and SOBO for an Audio for
Video Switcher based on its Sixgate unit. The new
VCS -6 DC controlled Audio Switcher -Gate is the
result of several months' development and testing to
meet Panasonic's needs. In addition, ARX is providing major audio contractor Greater Union
Entertainment Technologies (GUET) with 106
MaxiSplit Line Splitters. At each of the 34 Games
venues (15 of which are located in the Sydney
AS THE BIGGEST TECHNOLOGICAL
achievement in Olympic history, the 2000
Games boast a lot of firsts. Among them is the
complete broadcasting of all events in stereo as
well as significant live sound reinforcement.
Obviously, this has ramifications for all
equipment down the
line. There is only one location, the archery
venue, where the audio is being sent as an
embedded signal back to the IBC. This is
because of power generators being used
nearby. Other than that, every event will be
sending multiple stereo feeds separately via
fibre. Those feeds will come back from Stadium
Australia, site of opening ceremonies, track
events and the soccer final, and the swimming
and basketball venues through 10, 52- channel,
Panasonic SX -1 consoles. These boards output
stereo to DVCPro50 video decks being used as
audio loggers in each of the control rooms and
are then fed back to the main control room of
the IBC and onto the individual broadcasters
(the US rights holder is NBC) to do with as they
please. Overall there will be more than 50 audio
mixers including those at remote venues.
In addition to the stereo feeds for broadcast,
significant effort has been made to upgrade the
on -site audio for those in attendance. Included
in these setups are the large in -house systems
with an overlay for the Olympics comprised of
34 Ramsa sound systems. For example,
Stadium Australia has a large Bose system
installed permanently, but will receive the
Olympic overlay to augment sound.
The raising of the audio profile for these
games has had a profound effect throughout the
city. Not only is the top local recording facility,
Studios 301, busy tracking opening ceremony
music, but the famed Sydney Opera House is
the site for another Olympic recording.
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
Olympic Park) there will be a PA and broadcast audio
splitter system based on three MaxiSplits. GUET will
also press 33 Quadcomp 4- channel compressor -limiters into service for level control.
Once the Games get under way, American TV viewers with Dolby Pro Logic decoders will be able to
enjoy the Olympic broadcast in Dolby Surroínd,
thanks to NBC. Multiple mics will be placed in the
audience at many of the major events, including the
opening and closing ceremonies, swimming and gymnastics competitions and track and field sports. The
NBC Broadcast Centre is being fitted out with Dolby
Surround sound equipment centred around 13 SEU -4
Dolby Surround encoders and 10 SDU -4 decoders,
and 5 Dolby 430 noise -suppression systems.
Away from the stadium complex, Sydney's Studios
301 has recorded the music for the opening and closing ceremonies, effectively `bookending' the broadcast.
The recently refurbished and reopened studio has
been the base for the recording services provided to the
Olympics Committee for the opening and closing ceremonies of this first Olympiad of the new millennium.
Studios 301 will provide all location recording services for these events, which will then be mixed at the
studio's impressive new facilities in the Sydney suburb
of Alexandria. Studios 301 will employ hundreds of
graduates and students from the School of Audio
Engineering as Assistants and General Assistants to
support the recording projects.
`Being the facility to document the ceremonies to
these Games is an honour and one that Studios 301
is worthy of, both in terms of its own history and
legacy, and in terms of what we can bring to the
event,' said Tom Misner, owner of both Studios 301
and the SAE. `Studios 301 is the flagship not only
for SAE, but also for the Australian recording industry. We believe that the world is looking upon these
Games as an important moment of peace and worldwide co- operation at the start of the next millennium.
We will play our part in ensuring that it is seen and
heard throughout the world.'
Add in the Australian accent, and the picture of a
country eager to supplant its reputation for soap operas
and novelty singles with a broadcast equal to the status
of the Olympic Games is complete. In all, the Sydney
Games should prove to be a comprehensive test for everyone involved -both on and off the track. And given the
long -term nature of Olympic planning, audio requirements at the Athens 2004 Games are sure to be on
everyone's agenda in the very near future.
79
RECORDING
HALLYDAY
IIA
PARIS
As Johnny Hallyday pulls an unprecedented crowd to watch him perform in front of the Eiffel Tower,
George Shilling steps backstage to report on its live broadcast and surround recording
FRANCE HAS FEW STARS bigger than Johnny
Hallyday. His recent Paris concert took in the
lighting system on the Eiffel Tower and attracted over 500,000 avid fans. 'Estimates range
from 500,000 to 800,000,' offers Mega Studios'
Thierry Rogen, who with Le Voyager's Yves Jaget was
responsible for engineering a live broadcast and recording of the mammoth event. 'I think it was about
600,000 people, but we will never know exactly.'
'It was a very big show', agrees Jaget, with a twinkle in his eye. He rolls a VT to show me a truly
unbelievable crowd. 'From front to back measured
about 700m, about 60m wide,' he observes.
Make no mistake: Johnny Hallyday is big and his
shows are big events and big news to his fans.
`In France Johnny is a little bit like
The Boss, Bruce Springsteen in the US,
especially on stage' Jaget confirms.
'Each year he does a new, crazy show.
He was the first guy to do the Stade de
France. He has done so many crazy
shows in France that everyone is waiting for the new concept. To put on this
show, we're talking about FFr4Om
(£4m). The pyrotechnics were amazing, and the guy who did the lights had
control of all the lights on the Eiffel
Tower from his hoard.'
We are sitting in Mega Studios in
Suresnes, Paris. Outside, the road is significantly narrowed by the presence of
Le Voyageur's VI mobile. Five days
previously, the pair had handled the
recording and broadcast sound for a
huge concert by the French star, coproducing with musical director Ivan
Cassar. Things were complicated by a
seemingly impossible mix deadline.
After the Saturday show, mixing was
scheduled for Sunday to Thursday, with mastering on
Friday. Two factories had been reserved for pressing
over the following weekend, with the CD in the shops
on the following Monday.
Using Le Voyageur's SSL Axiom MT- equipped V1
truck, Rogen recorded the concert, while Jaget handled
the mix for broadcast on TV and radio from the Neve
VR- equipped Voyageur V2.
`We rehearsed for three days before recording this
show,' says Rogen, 'recording three warm -up shows
in Toulouse at the Zenith, which holds 10,000 people,
to be safe technically and artistically.'
The recordings of the warm -up concerts were taken
onto the V2 mobile to set the initial balance. 'The TV
Channel TF1 broadcast the concert live, and the sound
was simulcast on RTL in stereo,' adds Jaget, 'so we had
a lot of work to control the delay, because between the
TV and radio you have a different delay: you work
with satellite for the TV, but the radio is a fibre channel, so I employed a guy who specialises in this kind
of work, so just before the antenna he checked every80
thing. In the V2 truck we had a little laboratory. He
got the line two days before and repeatedly checked to
make sure the TV and radio were in sync. With the
radio there is a 600ms delay, but with the TV it is
about one second more. In France the radio technicians
and the TV technicians work in different worlds and
don't care if the delay is different, so we do the work
for them. We also multitracked to a Sony 3348 in the
second truck in case of failure'.
Fortunately this proved unnecessary, but 'if Yves
had had a problem, he could have used my balance for
the broadcast,' Rogen explains. 'At first, the company asked me to do everything with the V I -the
recording and the broadcast -and I said "no way ",
because if we had a problem I would have taken a
`The PA engineer Jean -Pierre Ganneaud is a good
friend of ours, so we agreed with him what microphones to use. He used a lot of radio mies -for the
horns, backing vocals, lead vocals, bass -only the
drummer was without a radio system. There were
about 44 radio frequencies, plus the in -ear monitors
for each musician, so it was crazy, and there was some
interference to start with.'
Jaget: 'We were parked 200m from the back of the
stage, just under the feet of the Eiffel Tower inside a
large security square that was mainly for the very,
very big pyrotechnics. We had a lot of pressure because
everything was buzzing and noisy one hour before
the show. We installed the equipment two days before
the main show, but the problem was that we were not
on the same generator as the PA system. We had changed everything and
were isolating with transformers, but
just one hour before the show we
changed to the same generator as the
PA, and -no noise.
'We recorded audio to two 48 -track
Sony HR machines in the V1, but in
16 -bit because our v Axiom only
allows you to hear 20 bits. The new
version is 24 -bit. In the truck we use
two Pro -Bel interfaces for AES to
MADI. We have 96 mie pres, which
were all made use of for this show. We
recorded the audience to four Tascam
DA -88s. The single 48 -track machine
in the other truck is not a fully digital
recording so the sound is not the sane.
But this was just for backup, and wasn't needed, as we had no problems.
'The mic signals were split from the
PA to the SSL remote mie inputs (which
connect to the SSL Rio fibre -optic system) on stage with a splitter box using
Jensen transformers. There were two fibre -optic cables
for the 96 mie lines -you can do it with just one, (it
is an 8 -way multi- fibre), but always for safety reasons we use two. In the rehearsal somebody unplugged
a mie pre, and in this version of the software that
means you need to reboot -you can't reroute the mie
pre. It works fine on v2.' Jaget prefers the v2 software, but reverted to v1.3 for compatibility with Mega
for the mixing. Rogen has yet to update the software
in the otherwise identical Mega console, as he has
several ongoing projects where recalls are needed.
The Axiom -MT v2 was designed to be compatible
with y 1, but Rogen, perhaps understandably, did not
want to risk compromising any tracks recorded with
vl by upgrading to v2 in order to he compatible with
Le Voyageur's software. The latest Axiom -MT software release, v2.2/39, addresses upwards compatibility
issues, including some which were outstanding at the
time the concert was planned.
Jaget had a cunning plan to achieve a seemingly
impossible deadline for the mixing by parking the V1
I
plane to Africa and you would never see me again.'
The band for this concert consisted of Hallyday
and guest lead vocalists, five backing vocalists, two
guitarists, two keyboard players, bass guitar, drums,
eight string players and a 4 -piece brass section.
However, Jaget explains: `The biggest work for this
show was to design and install the audience mies,
because we prepared the stuff to have a real 5.1 recording, and also you can't rehearse the audience. We
focused on an area of 300m2, and we split the design
into two parts, because I needed to have lots of mies
for the broadcast stuff, but I couldn't use the very distant mies because there was such a big delay, so we
designed a special part on the front of the stage to
have the closer audience, and used the further mies
just for the recording, and move it in the ProTools.
At the far end of our square the delay was 600ms.
We used six shotguns on the front of the stage, split
into three positions for LCR, and also two stereo
pairs. The 42 mies were recorded on 16 tracks.'
As regards the onstage miking, Rogen continues,
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
RECORDING
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EMS
MIN
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STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
I
gill natant
81
RECORDING
outside Mega for simultaneous mixing. 'We are friends
with Thierry, and the project is so big, and we have to
mix so quickly, that the idea was to begin the project
on this Axiom, and copy all the setup to the other one
and mix different sections simultaneously. So we split
the concert into four sections, and are mixing the
whole show during the five days.'
Rogen: 'An hour after the show we came back to
Mega and used two Pro Tools-two control rooms all
night to clean up the gaps in Pro Tools for two of the
four sequences that split the show into. Even for just
a 2 -bar gap in the horn parts we would clean it, and we
use a crossfade in and out every time. Two years ago,
mixing live stuff I spent hours and hours muting channels because of the problem of spill. Now you never see
a cut on my automation, everything is open all the
time. It's fantastic because you win a lot of time, you
don't have to spent time muting stuff because it is
noisy -this is not music, it is a boring technical thing.
So when you forget this you just have one thing to do,
which is make music and get a good balance.
'On, the day after the show, Yves and I came into
Studio B to make the balance together, and when we
were happy, I made an M -O disc for Yves to put onto
think it
the desk in the Voyageur. We are friends
would be impossible to do this project if you didn't
have that kind of relationship, because the time factor
is crazy -only five days to mix 25 songs.
`We have two lines between the truck and the studio-I send them my mix, and he sends me his mix so
we can compare sometimes to make sure we are on the
same wavelength'. These were straightforward AESEBU connections with using a thick coaxial, 60m long.
Although the stereo mixes that were hurriedly being
completed were primarily for the imminent CD release,
they will also be used for the VHS soundtrack. So the
-I
pair were working to picture. I was privileged to see
one particularly entertaining song, which featured the
dancing girls from the Crazy Horse, who were notable
for their rather revealing costumes. The unedited
broadcast pictures had been transferred to a Doremi
Labs VI hard -disk system, which compresses the data
almost imperceptibly, and chases time code from the
SSL with wordclock connected to the Pro Tools. Jaget:
`It's a fantastic system, we used two 9Gb disks for the
show which give about three hours of video. Using
the SSL pen I can change songs instantly.' Rogen:
` Doremi uses great algorithms and looks great. We
have a Doremi in house all the time, and we rented
another one for the truck. So we did a copy onto both
machines. And the same with the Pro Tools, there is
one here, and for Johnny we bought another Pro Tools,
and we installed one on the V I to have the same data.
So if we make any modifications here, we take the
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STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
RECORDING
Mega Studios' Thierry Rogen
hard disk onto the V1 and just load it, and it's 100 percent compatible. We have three Pro Tools v5
systems -one for the editing and cleaning and two
for the mixing, each using 64 tracks and about 38
plug -ins. We are also tuning vocals, and sometimes
the musicians have made mistakes. We don't have
time for overdubs, but it is almost always possible to
find another place in the song where you have the
same chords, so we take that to fix it. We used the
Snider ADAT-to -MADI interface for the transfer, so we
take the MADI from the 48 tracks to the interface,
then optical to the ADAT bridge for Pro Tools, so we
lose nothing. The Pro Tools in Studio B is connected
to the console with eight 888s using AES going to the
SSL Rio at up to 24 bit. We multitracked at 16 bits
because when you record live music at high level on
the tape there is not much difference. But using the
Pro Tools on 24 bits for processing and plug -ins makes
bigger difference.'
Jaget: 'When we mix the DVD we will take the
M -O discs from the stereo mixes into Studio B. There
is a lot of work to do for 5.1 with movement. But
we'll have the edited pictures then, and put those into
the Doremi.'
Rogen: Now Yves has finished his first set of mixes,
we transfer from the V1 to this console with the AESEBU link, then from this console we go to the Avalon
EQ and compressor, then directly to the half inch.
[15ips with Dolby SR] It seems funny for people who
use digital all the time, but we love to use digital for
multitracks, but I don't know any machine that's as
good as a half -inch machine, especially when you put
an analogue limiter before it.'
The mastering was to take place the day after my
visit, and while I was there they committed the mixes
of the first songs completed in the truck to half -inch
a
and DAT in Studio B, and immediately couriered these
to the master ng house, so that Jaget and Rogen could
approve it.
'Generally I master at Metropolis because I like to
work with Tony Cousins, but because we have a very
short time we will master at DM Music in Paris. But
they start mastering tomorrow, and I want to listen
tomorrow evening to be sure it's right. In 30 minutes
we will have the first two sequences finished, so they
will go to the mastering studio tonight, so that we can
listen to the sound of the mastering before we finish
mixing sequences three and four,' says Rogen. 'Later,
in two or three weeks, we mix the DVD. 'This session
is only for the stereo stuff -for the CD and for the
VHS, and the next work is for the DVD in 5.1, but I
think we'll have much more time for that.' This will
take place in Mega Studio B with Jaget and Rogen,
possibly even working together in the same room.
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83
POSTPRODUCTION
THE HOLLOW VIAL
With its main character absent from the screen, Hollow Man makes dramatic use of SDDS to fill in the
picture. Richard Buskin talks to the invisible sound men behind Sony Pictures' psychological drama
THE SETTING is a top -secret military laboratory. Its inhabitants are some precocious
young scientists who have just discovered the
formula of invisibility, and the protagonist
is one Sebastian Caine, the team's arrogant know -it-all
leader, who opts for adventure over common sense in
order to test the risky procedure on himself. There are
no prizes for guessing what happens next: in time honoured Hollywood tradition, Caine performs the
great disappearing act only to realise that he can't
rematerialise. Worse still, the power- hungry scientist
actually enjoys his new -found anonymity, and while his
colleagues struggle around the clock to come up with
an antidote, the out of sight ingrate
starts to perceive them as a threat to
his very existence.
Starring Kevin Bacon in the title role,
alongside Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin,
Kim Dickens and Joey Slomick, Hollow
Man is veteran director Paul Verhoeven's second film -after Starship
Troopers
boast 8- channel Sony
Dynamic Digital Sound. In short, SDDS
features an additional pair of left-centre and right- centre speakers on either
side of the centre one, thus offering the
director and sound crew additional cre-
was his inaugural 8- channel project, and one that
resulted in a soundtrack that is `open, spatial and
dynamic, without being cluttered. The music, in particular, is wide and rich,' he says.
The score for Hollow Man, composed by Jerry
Goldsmith and delivered to Mike Minkler on 24 -bit
Pro Tools, was recorded in London by Bruce Botnick
and mixed with the 8- channel configuration in mind.
`When the music is playing very much by itself and it
is very large, you can really hear the articulation in the
orchestra,' Minkler says.
The dialogue, on the other hand, recorded digitally and also cut on Pro Tools, was `in excellent shape'
Scott Hecker's involvement with the Hollow Man
project commenced at the start of February, 2000,
when he supervised the overall sound editorial process
from his office at Todd -AO in Hollywood while dialogue, ADR and Foley work was taking place on the
Sony Studios lot in Culver City.
`I initially sat down and spotted the movie with the
director, film editor and producer,' Hecker recalls. `I
was there for the dialogue spotting and the sound
effects spotting, and really the director didn't hear any
sounds until we got to the predub stage because there
were no temp dubs. Both the editors and myself
would decide which would be the best effects to use.
We would spot the reel, talk about
how each effect would be used in con-
junction with what other effects, and
then, when the editor had completed
what we'd talked about, the work was
always reviewed and then it was
refined according to my personal
sensibilities.
`Paul Verhoeven is a very intelli-
-to
ative and technical options. Indeed,
spreading the soundtrack across five
front speakers provides a wider sound scape for effects, music and dialogue,
and this was especially useful on
Hollow Man, where the primary intention was to use sound effects sparingly
in order to reinforce the main character's point of view,
while adding to his presence by using subtle effects in
conjunction with the musical score.
`Having access to five-rather than three-front
screen speakers meant that we could isolate sounds
more easily and make use of an extended dynamic
range,' says the film's supervising sound editor, Scott
Hecker. `With SDDS 8- channel, effects and music have
their own spaces to live in.'
The 1997 movie Last Action Hero was the
first to be released in the SDDS format, and it
has since been followed by titles such as Erin
Brockovich, Girl, Interrupted, and The
Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.
Upcoming 2000 releases include All The Pretty
Horses, Charlie's Angels, Sixth Day and
Vertical Limit.
Audio postproduction on Hollow Man was
completed recently on the Todd -AO West dubbing stage at The Lantana Centre in West Los
Angeles. Under the supervision of Scott Hecker,
Michael Minkler handled dialogue and music,
and Gary Gegan oversaw the effects. Minkler
worked on the aforementioned Last Action
Hero, and Gegan gained SDDS experience on
a movie titled First Knight, yet for Hecker this
84
gent, discerning and demanding
director. I'd worked with him in a different capacity on Total Recall and
Basic Instinct, and so I'd already had
some experience as to his tastes and
inclinations. Every detail must be
attended to, and at every turn you go
through all of the available options in
order to come up with the best choice.
The beautiful thing about working
with Paul and his producer Alan
according to Minkler with regard to when he first
heard it. `The production recordist did a fabulous
job,' he says. `He had a lot of practical locations, but
he also had motion control cameras that he had to
deal with, which make a lot of whirring noises. He
used radio mics and boom mics, and it all turned out
great. Where we did looping, it was mostly because of
performance or some other artistic choice. Very rarely
was it due to noise problems.'
Marshall is that not only are they
demanding, but they also give you the time and the
financial resources to do the job that they're expecting. This is as opposed to a lot of other films that we
sound people work on, where the demands may be
just as high, but the resources and co- operation are not
nearly as adequate.
`For instance, on Hollow Man Paul and Alan allotted me a 20 -week post sound schedule, and they're
very smart that way. They give you plenty of time,
and so I basically felt like they gave me enough
room to hang myself. I loved it. I knew what
the demands were and I felt like, "Well, I don't
have any excuse for not being able to deliver
to them exactly what they want ".'
He didn't need to. Benefiting from a com-
fortable schedule and the technological
know -how, the sound work on Hollow Man
was fairly straightforward. Nevertheless, certain scenes did present some interesting and
time -consuming challenges.
`The film doesn't have car chases and it
doesn't have gun battles, yet it is very insidiously busy,' says Hecker. `For the effects we
The sound team, left to right, Mike Minkler, dialogue -music
mixer; Ken Hall, music editor; Scott Hecker, supervising sound
editor and Gary Gegan, effect mixer
made
a
number of high -quality location
recordings using 4- channel microphone arrays
to capture front- and rear -oriented stereo
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
soundfields. Well, we didn't have to figure out how to
do that, but sometimes just implementing it was a
logistical challenge.'
Sample the big scene towards the end of the film in
which the two lead characters are being threatened
by a runaway elevator car. In an effort to record as
many elevator -related sound effects -crashes, impacts,
rattles, creaks, groans and falling debris -as well as the
ambience of the elevator shaft, this called upon Scott
Hecker, effects recordists John Fascal and Eric Norris,
and assistant Carmen Flores to climb inside a shaft at
the Edison Power Station in Eagle Rock, California,
just north -east of Los Angeles.
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
`Just trying to figure out how to get into the shaft
and mount microphones in certain positions there
was very complicated, not to mention physically a little scary,' says Hecker. `You know, hanging off of
ledges and taping microphones to the sides. Obviously,
we couldn't be in the elevator car to do that because
we wouldn't get to the elevator wall that way. I mean,
we knew what microphones we wanted to use-that
wasn't an issue-but it was just a case of how do we
get these mics mounted to the side of the elevator
shaft, midway down? That was a bit of a hurdle to get
over, but it turned out really spectacular, especially
with the use of the SDDS format. We were really able
to accentuate a lot of details.'
The same applies to spotting the exact location of
the aforementioned invisible man himself, most
notably in the scene where he chooses to play cat and- mouse with his fellow scientists and fool them
as to where he is standing. The liberal movement of
his voice around the room makes for some ear- catching use of the surround channels, with very smooth
pans between the speakers.
`Interestingly enough, we did a little preview here
with our final dub and we had to dub it down to 5.1,
and it was amazing how even then it retained its
smoothness,' says Hecker. `We didn't feel pans jump-
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quite well.'
And then there is the fly, whose scene -stealing performance also necessitated extravagant use of all eight
channels in one particularly notable instance. `We'd fly
it around the room, have it go off into one corner and
sort of fade out a little bit, and then come back and
swing around the room again,' explains Hecker. `At
various junctures you also see it appear on camera.
That was the most obvious use of SDDS.'
Nevertheless, while scenes such as these -and another featuring a poor gorilla that is prey to the scientists'
experiments -are among the audio highlights, perhaps the greatest impact of the 8- channel configuration
is on a more general and subliminal level.
`There are a lot of small things that you can do to
improve the soundtrack as a whole,' says Gary Gegan.
`Rather than just make a specific sequence jump out
at the audience, you can generally improve the imaging. I mean, I'm not sure that having those two extra
speakers is going to radically alter the way you would
play a sequence, but the main effect of it is an overall
improvement in terms of the clarity and the imaging
and less distortion.'
At Todd -AO all of the sound effects were edited
on Fairlight MFX3s, while the sounds were manipulated via Synclaviers and a variety of outboard
processors.
`The Fairlight isn't the strongest tool as far as bending sounds is concerned,' says Hecker. `It's just a
beautiful editing tool. Most of the sound manipulation
was done with Harmonizers, vocoders and the
Synclavier itself, which has some really interesting
processors, so we weren't limited in that way.'
Effects predubbing commenced at Todd -AO West
in May, where the entire show was mixed on an Otari
Premiere console.
`The exceptional sound editing team really paid
attention to making sure that all of the sound effects
could be articulated,' says Mike Minkler. `There wasn't an abundance of overlapping material, it was very
intelligently laid out, and so based on that and the
high level of quality that the director demanded, we
had the gratifying knowledge that we could make it all
sound very special.' For his part, as the only person
present who had heard all of the requests, wishes and
demands of the director and producer, Scott Hecker
served as the conduit of information appertaining to
how things should sound.
`We were very experimental,' he says. `Mike
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I
I
O
(020) 7267-3323
N
www.fairlightesp.com
S
POSTPRODUCTION
Minkler and Gary Gegan are very creative people,
and we didn't do much of anything that was just
down -pat. Using this SDDS layout with eight channels,
we really experimented a lot with speaker placement
-"Well, let's try it over here... let's try it on the hard
left... maybe bend it in a little towards the left extra...
let's try that in the surrounds..." There were always
various permutations and combinations.'
Which is all very good, but doesn't the availability
of extra channels sometimes encourage experimental
overkill and a tendency towards Mickey Mouse effects?
`No, we had that filter on the whole time,' asserts
Hecker, `and because there were three of us in the
Oxford
+44 (0)1865 84B00
88
New York:
+1 (212) 315 1111
os
room we all checked one other continually. From the
get -go we are all quite sensible people, and we don't
like gimmicky soundtracks. Definitely our main goal
was to keep the film sounding very natural, while also
dynamic and spectacular, without drawing attention
to any one speaker. We spent a lot energy trying to
make it seamless and not place things in the surrounds
that would prompt audience members to whip their
heads around and go, "Wow! What was that ?" Instead
I think the dub is very smooth and fluid, and we used
all eight channels very effectively.'
`The basic premises of mixing a good soundtrack
don't change with 7.1,' adds Gary Gegan.
ngeles
+1 (1)323 463 4444
Tokyo
+81 (0)3 5474 1144
Paris
+33
(0)1
3460 466
`Theoretically it's the same, but you just have better
tools to accomplish your goals. For instance, many
times you get a stereo sound effect that you don't necessarily want to play extremely wide as that wouldn't
be appropriate for what you can see on the screen.
However, you would still like to keep it stereo, and it's
much easier to keep a discreet stereo on the inners if
it's a somewhat smaller image than in, say, 6- track,
where your option is to start collapsing the stereo
into the centre. That really just muddies things up,
you get phase cancellation and all sorts of funny things
can start to happen. By keeping it stereo you can
really make it live.'
D
i1an
39 039 2328 094
Toronto
+1 (1)905 655 1192
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
for WindowsTM
Professional Audio Post Solutions
Rd
R.Ed- Recorder
,NNG
IODO
Id&
Editor
3.0
Designed for
,r%
a
`1'
Microsoft
Windows NT'
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Windows'98
Windows'2000
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transfer to other workstat,nns.
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workstations.
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range of Interfaces to suit any configuratiotr,
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puts i
any digital tape machine or
channel 24 bit digital. audio
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installed on the sani PC (eg. discreet edit*. DPS Velocity /Reality. Fast 6O1).
'iA DAGViR .doesn't work rinu /taneoasl_y with i:irteo edit iHo systems on the same computer.
VEd* can record, edi and be controlled across a standard Windows Network v\a TCPI \P.
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auto-tonforming to all common EDL file formats (CMX, GVG, Sony etc).
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R.Ed /supports
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with
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up to 64 tracks at 24bit 9%Akt.
standards. like L16kHz recordi-ig for DVD.
R.Ed by Soundscape, a company that from 1993 has consistently set the m*\estones for
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A DAWfrom a company that has recently realise,! !lair Witndowsm is
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What do you need from your next audio worksta
Need a serious audio post solution for Windows 98, NT4 OR 2000? Well
Call now to arrange a personal demonstration or receive additional information :-
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email: sales(i'soundscape- digital.com
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G
COPYRIGHT 1993 TO 2000 no SOUNDSCAPE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOUNDSCAPE IS
D
A
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I
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REGISTERED TRADE MARK OF SOUNDSCAPE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGYLTD. WINDOWS IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF MICROSOFT CORP.
E
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AIL OTHER
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L O G Y
TRADE MARKS MENTIONED ARE THE PROPERTY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OW
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4.ud1 o
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SACd
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Everything from CD to DVD and SACD
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Audio- Technica's 4T895 microphone was among
the winners
a
sporting history of
the last chapters in the 77 year
;
/embley Stadium were
1
-0
in the last F.A. Cup final to be played under the
shadow of the fan ous Twin Towers, Audio Technica's new aray mic was ensuring that
around 500 milli(
n
00
000000
The
Technica House, Royal Landon Ind
Atria Estate, )Id
Lame,
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LS11 81'13 Tel 0113 277 1411 Fax: 0113
AT895
Adaptive -Grray
Microphone Systems
273 4836 email: sales audio- technica.co.0 k
000
1141
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Robert Edwards:
Freelann Sound Director for Sky Television
World -wide feed of the FA Cup Final
people were
ta .Fclation
414
04
enviroirnents a useful tool for specific
situations where it picks up desirable
audio lion a sea of unwanted sound
possible.
Complet
s
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most important step forward since
sound coverage
The
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the advent of shotgun mies. The AT8S 5
receiving the bes
nica
au io-tec
Mieropio
00
is a gout device for particularly dihicut
being
written. While Cheea were beating Aston Villa
110
e
00
0
www.audio-technica.co uk
TECHNOLOGY
BEATING THE SYSTEM
Leitch's Diamond Audio range was designed to enable a stereo broadcast infrastructure to meet
5.1 or multilingual broadcast needs. Leitch's Ian
THE PRESENT RAPID RATE of
technological progress, the consumer has
come to expect more from the modern
broadcaster. As video has moved from
black and white to colour and now to high- definition,
so audio has moved on. Currently broadcasters are
transmitting stereo to the home but the consumer can
get 5.1 surround sound from DVD and other media
and now expects the same from the broadcasters. In
response to this, Leitch's Diamond Audio is a range of
audio compression products that will enable broad-
Puszet explains compression and application
contribution environment. These include the following:
use of AES3 signals for transportation in standard
infrastructures; multiple passes with minimal degradation; low encoding and decoding delay (latency);
robustness to errors; switching versatility (synchronous and asynchronous switching); capacity for extra
data (metadata); synchronisation of compressed audio
to video; auto detection between linear and compressed
signals; integration into mixed audio -video and embedded environments; and concatenation with other
compression systems.
The objective is that a compressed AES signal can
in practice be recorded, switched, routed and embedded in a `transparent' system in the same way as a
normal linear AES signal. In view of theses requirements, the compression algorithm chosen for Diamond
was the enhanced apt -X.
The existing apt -X 16 -bit audio coding system is
currently in use world -wide, in many applications.
These include studio to transmitter, radio frequency
and other fixed digital cable links, satellite and ISDN
based outside broadcast links, and cinema and film
WITH
casters to pass 5.1 audio -and potentially
more-through the existing broadcast infrastructure
(see Fig.1). Diamond Audio uses the apt -X compression
algorithm explained here along with the applications
appropriate to the Diamond range.
When choosing a compression system it is most
important that the compression system best suits the
application. In order to achieve this, these requirements must first he understood. Hence any
compression -based solution must address the real world requirements of an integrated audio -N ideo
theatre surround systems. The enhanced apt-X algorithm is an enhanced version of the existing apt -X
16 -bit algorithm which aims to code, transparently
and in real time, very high quality digital audio signals. It provides at the output of the coder a 16 -bit
(20 -bit or 24 -bit) word that represents four 16 -bit (20bit or 24 -bit) linear PCM samples at the input, thus
achieving 4:1 compression. In this application it operates at 48kHz and will deliver eight channels of audio
with bandwidths of 22.5kHz with a total bit rate of
1.536Mb/s (1.92Mb /s or 2.304Mb/s).
The three key components of the algorithm which
collectively achieve this degree of compression are:
subband coding, linear prediction and adaptive
quantisation.
The complete enhanced apt -X (coding and decoding process is illustrated in Fig.2. The input linear PCM
audio sample is filtered into four frequency bands of
uniform bandwidth using Quadrature Mirror Filters
(QMF) (Fig.3). This process allows the audio signal
to be eventually reconstructed again using a QMF in
the decoder while at the same time retaining good
Fig.1 Leitch Diamond Audio
10
Decoder
Encoder
0
i*
oe
0
1K
loo
10K
201:
Frequency
Q
Subband
Fig.3: Subbands
P!
U
L
Q
PCM
VP
Subband
-
T
IT
2
I
1r20bit
word
@48KHz
&t Stream
P
ex
4
L
Subband 3
A
V
'dilT
Im
werd'
§ da4Hi
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1
Prediction based on the
history of previous
122 samples
X
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:
E
b
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it
ADPCM
iQ inverse backward adaptive.700nnSer
P Backward adaptive predictor
Q Backward Adaptive Quannser lath
ft
Fig.2: Enhanced apt -X coder and decoder
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
A Quantiser step size adaptor
red bit allocation
Fig.4: Prediction and difference signal
91
TECHNOLOGY
nel (multilingual or 5.1 surround sound) broadcaster
to encode up to eight audio channels into one AES
compatible signal. Physically the encoder is a 1U-high
box with up to five AES inputs, one LTC input, one
metadata input, one reference input and one AES out-
Metadata
AES
AES
AES
1
Compr
2
essi
Resam
pie
3
AES 4
Ref
OP-
put (Fig.5). Depending upon the configuration
required, the unit is available with BNC AES interconnections for unbalanced operation or 25 -way
D -type AES interconnections for balanced AES operation.
The unit receives the linear PCM signals for compression on four of the AES inputs. These can be
synchronous or asynchronous with each other and
the local station reference. If the signals are asynchronous then the unit has built in resampling circuits
which will resample and lock the sources to the station
reference. The reference for the resamplers is taken
from the reference input which is selectable between
black and burst or AES reference. This ensures that the
audio channels will remain in phase and frequency
locked to each other. If the sources are already locked
AES
(MPX out)
Mux
Ow-
PP
LTC
AES (MPX in)
Fig.5: ACE -1600 audio compression encoder
signal quantisation noise ratios and constant coding
delay within each band.
Each of these subbands is processed separately by
a backward adaptive predictor. Redundant information is removed by subtracting a predicted signal,
derived from coder look -up tables, from the incoming
subband signal. This creates a difference signal (Fig.4)
that may then be re- quantised. If the prediction is
accurate enough then the magnitude of the difference
or error signal will be quite small, much less than that
of the original subband signal. Relatively few bits are
needed to code such a signal effectively with a high res-
olution.
Each of these subbands is processed separately by
backward Laplacian quantiser. The coder uses a
Laplacian quantiser with backward adaption that
extracts the step size information from the recent history of the quantiser output. This avoids the problem
a
of estimation delay and range transmission overheads.
The backward adaptive quantiser operates with sufficient headroom to accommodate signals with the
highest slew rates. Thus it is non optimal, and for
most signals displays a variation in the signal to quantisation noise ratio in each of the subbands. The code
words at the output of each subband section are then
multiplexed to produce a single 16 -bit (20-bit or 24-bit)
word at the output of the coder.
The initial stage of the decoder demultiplexes each
word and feeds each subband inverse quantiser with
its respective code word. The output from each inverse
quantiser is a difference signal. A signal identical to that
predicted and subtracted in the coder, and similarly
TLA®
udio
combined to form 16 -bit (20 -bit or 24 -bit) linear PCM
samples in the time domain.
Overall, the advantages of this compression system are that it is non psychoacoustic, it has a
lowcoding and decoding delay (1.9ms per process),
it is robust to random bit errors, has high accuracy
(98 %) and offers 16 -bit, 20 -bit or 24 -bit quantisation resolution.
The Leitch Diamond
Four Audio Samples
audio product sets out
AES Input 1/2
to achieve one fundamental goal, this is to
AES Input 3/4
provide a simple solu-
to the station reference the resamplers can be bypassed.
The LTC input enables the user to carry LTC with
the compressed audio signal. This is a useful feature
as it allows the user to compare the LTC through the
audio chain and the LTC through the video chain. By
doing this the user can calculate the delay (if any)
between the two chains and therefore adjust the delay
to match, ensuring no lip sync errors will occur.
Likewise it is also very useful when editing the audio.
tion to multichannel
audio contribution on a
single stereo infrastructure. There are two core
products
in
the
AES Input 5/6
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7
AES Input 7/e
8
Diamond range, the
Audio Compression
Encoder (ACE -1600)
and the Audio Compression
Decoder
Data
Compression Packet Output
(peel row fumat)
(ACD- 1600).
The
ACE -1600
enables the multichan-
Fig.6: Compress
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by HHB Commun cat ons USA
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Ti_
derived from look up tables is added back again to
the now decoded error or difference signal. This
enables the original linear PCM signal to be reconstructed with minimal loss of information.
Finally the four reconstructed, now 16 -bit (20 -bit
or 24 -bit), subband signals are inverse filtered and
console
mpip
1
sounds
aosolutey
amazing:'
a
campertitian
r
Fully modular in -line format
Configurations from 16 channels to 56 channels
Optional patchbay (internal or external), fader /mute
automation and comprehensive meter bridge
Four band EO with fully parametric mids, one stereo
and six mono aux sends, and faders on both
channel and monitor signal paths
A truly unique multitrack console!
You cant replace the vibe of this desk, and
the warmth it has is incredible."
Sean Vincent - The Mix
92
"Call me predictable. but
want it now."
11 e1e1
Best Analogue Mixer 2000
soue
2000 WINNER
rc Audio utt
I
want one, and
I
George Shilling - Studio Sound
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
EVERYTHING ABOUT THE A -20 HAS BEEN DESIGNED WITH THE UNDERSTANDING
THAT SPLITTING HAIRS IS EXACTLY HALF AS GOOD AS QUARTERING THEM.
3
Everything, os in every single thing, about the
A-
reference
- revealing
A -20
-
points to the concept of unmitigated clarity and razor sharp
every nuance in detail, in balance and in sonic image. The amplifier
is a horse
(check
out those specs), and due to its outboard nature, there is more efficient heat dissipation and head room than when crammed
inside
a
more conventional wood -based monitor enclosure.
your fingers' easy reach.
Moreover, this puts acoustic controls and diagnostics within
Incorporate some of the finest drivers made and the result
is a
only helps make each session as predictable and repeatable as humanly possible, it makes for
i
s
cut with considerably more precision than any previously known.
Professional Audio by Vergence Technology.
w w
w.
NHT is o registered trademark of the Reintun Corporation
n h
monitor that not
a
t
recording that
p
r
o.
c
o
m
PRO
TECHNOLOGY
AES(MPX
nn. Compressed
Sam I,
Foui Audio Samples
r
AES Inpu11/2
AES Input 3N
AES Inp
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AES 2
AES 3
AES 4
Sync
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Fig.7: Replace
Ref
Fig.8: ACD-1600 audio compression decoder
The last, metadata, input allows the user to carry
metadata along with the audio. By combining the meta data with the compressed audio, the metadata will
always have the same delay as the audio and therefore he relevant to that audio and not perhaps out of
phase resulting in possible artefacts.
The AES output from the unit is the compressed
audio. This output can be a 16 -hit, 20 -bit or 24 -bit
AES signal, and is therefore compatible with all AES
distribution equipment provided the equipment does
no processing (sample rate conversion, word size reduction, or floating point conversion) and passes the
relevant number of bits. So for example, a 16 -bit video
embedder will not pass a 20-bit AES signal but will
pass a 16 -bit AES signal.
The fifth AES input is an already compressed AES
to the co
AK4394 24 bit
192KHz stereo DAC
120dB dynamic range
AK5394 24 bit
192KHz stereo ADC
123dB dynamic range
Even if you think you are not converted, you
probably are. Most music is either
played through or made using AKM multi -bit technology. For over 15 years, AKM
have been a leading force in the world of Delta Sigma ADC /DAC and Codecs.
AKM's advanced mixed signal CMOS technology provides solutions for up to
192KHz for the latest digital audio systems. From mini disk to MP3, live performance
to CD, TV centres to set -top boxes, karaoke to DVD, AKM are here and now.
Tel
UK
GERMANY Tel
+44 118 979 5777
+49 8141 328441
Fax +44 118 979 7885
Fax +49 8141 328442
www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/akm
e-mail - saleseakmeurope.com
European representatives
863 050 Belgium +32 3 544 7066 Denmark +45 44 446 666 Finland +358 9 502
1500
France +33
4687 8336 Germany +49 89 5164 503 Israel +972 3 753 0776
Italy +39
039 20481
Netherlands +31 2 0504 1437 Switzerland + 41 62 919 5555 UK +44 1223 462 244
Austria +43
1
1
94
Out)
Metadata
signal input from another ACE -1600 source. This
input allows the unit to carry out an additional function over and above the normal compress (Fig.6)
function, the replace function. The replace function
allows the channels of audio to be replaced by new
channels of audio without the need to decompress and
compress all the channels (Fig.7). This is useful for
voice -overs, station ID and censorship.
The ACD -1600 audio compression decoder is the
complementary piece to the ACE -1600 encoder. Like
the ACE -1600 it is physically mounted in a 1U -high
frame and is available with balanced or unbalanced
AES inputs and outputs. It has five AES outputs, one
AES input, one LTC output, one metadata output and
a reference input (Fig.8(. Four of the AES outputs are
the decompressed AES source signals, the fifth output
is a loop through of the compressed AES input which
is a compressed feed from an ACE -1600 encoder. The
LTC and metadata outputs are the extracted LTC and
metadata corresponding to the extracted AES audio.
The decoder performs one basic function and that is to
decompress the audio from compressed to linear PCM
audio (Fig.9).
The decoder has to be slightly more intelligent
than the encoder so that operational errors can he
compensated for. Operational errors may mean that
the decoder will have a linear PCM signal fed to its
input instead of a compressed input. In this case the
unit bypasses the signal to all its AES outputs with a
matching delay as if the unit was still decoding.
Alternatively the compressed audio may be mapped
incorrectly within the compressed feed. The unit has
the ability to remap its AES outputs. For example in
a multilingual installation English may be swapped
with German, the decoder can swap them back again.
The last but certainly the most important is that the
decoder can automatically detect the status of the
compressed stream coming into it and therefore apply
will autodetect
the correct decompression method
-it
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
1,
L1
110 Series
L
LL1
Wireless Microphone
Outstanding performance
at a modest cost.
300 Series
Wireless Microphones
settings must '
switch
i. Fred+a.'4yreiver.and
tr
mptd+ on
with'
begins Orating
2: pöwei' LED
remabirn9.
oF.xahon
hours
See
gamlifst or in the
3. Set ttansrteter
on transMitter
set
ÌnShUCtOnb
transrniMawan ta
manuat;lMaen
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properly.
and
light *di e-th°
açcBStcnity
4. Now
sr;tWef t%!Wt
We
bee ce
5.
dB will
çyrier= tie
The reference standard for high quality.
.
to mald` the
w Plaitt
Lave/
eprtUd. ¡Automaticrnaing
noise,)
Euro Series
Wireless IFB System
Machined
aluminum
construction.
P
.rt.- /.'d CNN.
ïa:
.Nr.
/NINO ..-N1
Yowl
4.00.l aw..I ..w...w
+.
Exceptional range.
CD quality audio.
I
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J J J J J J
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Audio Components
Automatic microphone mixing.
Programmable matrix mixing.
Multi- channel DSP processing.
3044
LECTP0130f.C5
fivC.
.
. n,,, ,r,. 046.' 40.1P/10,24140
LECTROSONICS®
IBC 2000, Hall 9
Stand 320
visit: www.lectrosonics.com/R /ss900
581 Laser Rd., Rio Rancho, NM 87124 USA - tel (505) 892 -4501 - fax (505) 892 -6243 - sakes @lectrosonics.com
TECHNOLOGY
One Compressed
Sample
Four Audio Samples
AES Output 1/2
AES Output 3/4
rano0uov®MEu
nuu©uov®trnra
Go-
-
--
Channel
Selection
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AES Output
Compression
Engine
HESS
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Oulpur 7/P
AES7
AES2
AES3
AE54
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ChpeOerK.n
Fig.9: Decompression
Fig.10: 10-channel audio recording -playing
the AES transport, the AES quantisation and the
number of channels.
Finally one unique feature to the Diamond products is the handling of AES source and destination IDs.
The linear PCM signal has within it channel status
and part of this channel status is a four ASCII character
Source ID and a four ASCII character Destination ID.
These IDs exist for each discreet channel within the
PCM signal. Using these it is possible to label each
channel with
unique name. For the multilingual
a
broadcaster it could be the language, for the surround
sound broadcasters it could also be the language or it
could be the channel -left surround, sub...
The Diamond range was designed to simplify the
installation of a 5.1 or multilingual broadcast installation. The basic problem here is that the
broadcaster has until now only been broadcasting
a single stereo language and as a result the infrastructure has been designed for this purpose
will only carry two or four channels of audio. To
meet this need, system designers and manufacturers have designed their systems and products to
cope with this requirement. As a result VTRs record
typically four channels of audio.
The broadcaster having identified the problem has
a choice of two possible solutions. The first is to expand
the infrastructure. So, for example, if the target is eight
channels (5.1 + LtRt), and currently it is a 4-channel
AES system, then extra D As, six extra levels of AES
routing and extra wiring would need to be installed.
This is expensive and finally falls over when it comes
to recording the signal because, as already noted, most
existing VTRs only record four channels of audio. The
alternative is to install a second machine (a DAT),
which will record the channels that the VTR cannot
record. Although this is a viable solution it is open to
operational error. The programme maker will now be
supplying the source material on two tapes and human
error may mean that the wrong DAT tape is inserted
with the VTR tape.
The second solution is to use audio compression.
This route is more simple than the first, as the first
principle here is to use the existing infrastructure and
just compress the AES audio at the ingest point. There
are several reasons why this is simpler, the first is that
having compressed the AES channels there is no longer
the need for a DAT machine to record the extra audio.
This results in the programme maker supplying one
tape to the broadcaster and therefore the correct audio
will always be broadcast with the relevant video.
Typically, the ACE -1600 would be on the front end
of the contribution system, or alternatively on the
input to the recording media. With these boxes the
bottleneck created by the recording media is thus
solved. By putting an encoder on the input side of a
VTR the tracks are expanded by a factor of four, and
putting the decoder on the output side will expand the
audio back to its baseband AES form (Fig.10).
To conclude; by using compressed audio as against
expanding the infrastructure, the broadcaster is able to
use the existing infrastructure with little or negligible
change to operational practices. As a result the system design is simplified, the operation is simplified,
and the scope for error is greatly reduced.
-it
Today's digital world offers a range of exciting
new possibilities to embrace,
-
With more digits flying around the studio all the
time Aardvark and Z- Systems provide the
means to keep everything in perfect sync and
under automated control.
and complications to overcome.
Our experience at The UK Office with complex
wide area audio and data network design and
specification, including ISDN & permanent
circuits, as well as studio signal routing and
clocking, means we can help you with the
practical implementation of most of your digital
interconnect requirements.
Then, from simple studio to transmitter links to
complex distribution of network programmes the
Intraplex multiplexers are the gateway to
telecoms El circuits, or Western Multiplex
spread spectrum (licence free!) radios, which
can also integrate Programme and IT services
for some real cost savings. Dialog4 ISDN
codecs offer some unique features for dial -up
links. And Riedel intercom systems offer state of- the -art, sophisticated network comms.
We do this with products from Aardvark,
ABL, Dialog4, Intraplex, Western Multiplex, and
Z- Systems.
aror, acti'
IY
Visit us at httpitwww.theukotfice.com
BERKHAMSTED HOUSE
121 HIGH STREET
B
Aardi
'ark
Dla-oc4
96
410111,
(4-11
W
t:l'[RN
Mktl/
Intraplex
E
R
K
H
A M
S T
E
D
HERTFORDSHIRE HP4 2DJ
TELEPHONE
01442 870103
FACSIMILE 01442 870148
ÍWS.
E-MAL
[email protected]
The author would like to thank Fred Wylie and the Audio Engineering
Society for their help in the production of this article. 'Ref: apt X100: low bit rate subband ADPCM Digital Audio Coding', by
Fred Wylie, published in Collective papers on Digital Audio Bit Rate Reduction, pp83 -94, Sept 1996.
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
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SOFT FOCUS
STAR TURN
Antares' unique software has established a profitable niche for itself in the effects plug -ins market.
Vice president of marketing Marco Alpert talks to Simon Trask about the Auto -Tune effect
THE EFFECTS plug -ins world has a star turn,
it's Auto -Tune, the pitch correction plug -in from
a small Californian company called Antares Audio
Technologies. Auto -Tune first blazed across the
plug -ins firmament in 1997, starting out as a TDM
plug -in. To reach a wider user base Antares also produced a stand -alone version for the Mac; this ran within
an audio I -O shell program, AudioStream. The standalone version in turn led to plug -in versions for MAS
and Mac VST as users clamoured for a version that
was integrated into their software of choice. To this
list today can be added versions for DirectX (the
Windows platform) and now RTAS (just recently introduced to plug in, so to speak, to the Digi 001 market).
Also available is a scaled -down, entry -level version, Auto -Tune LE for Mac VST, which provides the
software's Automatic mode, but not its tweakable
F
Graphical mode. Introduced at the January 1999
NAMM show as a more affordable version of the
Auto -Tune software for users of budget VST-based
programs, the LE version can be upgraded to the full
Auto -Tune VST offering.
`We've had tremendous success with Auto -Tune,'
confirms Marco Alpert, Antares' vice president of
marketing. `It was the right product at the right time,
and as a brand name it's almost universally recognisable in our particular little niche of the world.'
It was the success of Auto-Tune, and the resulting
decision to bring out a hardware rack version, the
ATR -1, that led to what had previously been essentially
a one -man operation evolving into a fully fledged
company, complete with a CEO, Stephen V Tritto,
and a VP of marketing, Alpert, both of whom had
worked previously at E -mu Systems (as president and
VP of marketing respectively). Alpert had also done a
stint consulting for Akai's EMI division before the
opportunity to join Antares came up. Today Antares
is up to around 10 or 11 people strong, spread around
three different facilities divided into engineering, marketing, and sales and distribution.
The roots of Antares actually go back to 1990 and a
company called Jupiter Systems, that was set up by the
man who would later be responsible for creating Auto Tune, Andy Hildebrand. From 1976 to 1989 Hildebrand
had worked as a research scientist in the geophysical
industry, first with Exxon Production Research then
with Landmark Graphics, a company that he both cofounded and helped guide to a successful IPO. In fact,
last year he was selected by the Society of Exploration
Geophysicists to receive its Enterprise Award for his
breakthrough work in the development of the geophysical industry's first stand -alone seismic data
interpretation workstation. What Hildebrand had done,
during his time at Landmark Graphics, was to develop
a way to visualise the Earth's crust using 3 -D acoustical
data from seismic surveys-work that would, as it would
turn out, allow him to approach musical audio problems from a new perspective.
`What he did in geophysical exploration was large-
98
digital signal processing on repetitive waveforms,'
explains Alpert. `Now, the frequencies were way different than what we deal with in the music world, but
ly
the principles were more or less identical. You're looking at waveforms, sonic exploration in the oil industry
for instance, and you're shooting waves down into the
ground and analysing what comes back and trying to
develop a picture of what's down there. That's where
he came from and even within that industry he developed entirely new ways of looking at such things.
`In our industry there's music DSP literature. Some
of it comes from Stanford, some from IRCAM, some
from practice within the industry over the years, and
that's what people turn to. When Andy came over
into the music industry, he came over with an entirely different DSP literature as his resource.'
It was in 1989 that Hildebrand decided to return to
one of his first loves, music, and went to study music
composition at the Shepard School of Music at Rice
University. When he found himself faced with the
problem of creating seamless sample loops of multiple instrumentalists for his music, in true one man- and -his -garage tradition he set about devising a
solution, drawing on his background in DSP in the
geophysics industry.
`It was a given in the sampling world back in those
days that you couldn't do seamless loops in section
sounds, because you didn't have one nice clean repetitive waveform,' recalls Alpert, himself a veteran of
that sampling world through his years with E -mu.
Positive reaction to the solution that he came up
with convinced Hildebrand that there was a market for
his ideas, and he formed Jupiter Systems to further
develop and market the technology, which was released
in 1992 as a Macintosh program called Infinity. Today
the stand -alone program is still part of the Antares
software lineup, a testament to its enduring value.
After developing Infinity, Hildebrand turned his
attention to the nascent effects plug -ins market, first
developing MDT (Multiband Dynamics Tool), one of
the early Pro Tools plug -ins, that was released in 1994.
He followed this up with JVP (Jupiter Voice Processor)
in 1995 and SST (Spectral Shaping Tool) in 1996 before
developing Auto -Tune. Today MDT and JVP are still
in the Antares product lineup, as TDM -only products.
Also in 1996
Jupiter
Systems
became
Antares
When Auto-Tune came along, it became RiChard's
largest -selling product line, and founder Neil RiCharde
merged his company with software and CD -ROM
distribution group Invision Interactive to form Cameo
International and focus primarily on Antares products. The subsequent merger with Antares became a
logical step, with RiCharde assuming the position of
VP of Business Development.
While software plug -ins are often seen as the `sexy'
side of technology these days, hardware still has its
own attractiveness.
`There are still a lot of studios out there that have
racks and racks of effects devices, and there's a reason
for that,' says Alpert. `As the workstations become
capable of supporting more channels, you're going to
run out of power on your computer if you want to
run lots of DSP processes on lots of channels. Plus
you also have the added risk of updating your system
and half of your digital recording functionality disappears until the conflicts are resolved. Particularly
in time -critical environments, then, there's still something seductive about having a piece of gear that does
one thing, that always does it, that doesn't have to
share its resources with anything else. We want to
serve both those markets. We don't have a particular
sense that one is more important than the other, it's just
that, given that we have some unique technology, we
want it to be available -and obviously want to be
able to profit from it being available-to as wide a
part of the market as possible.'
And Alpert says that it's a lot easier for a small
company to get into hardware these days than it was
a decade ago.
`We're sitting in the middle of Silicon Valley, and one
of the things that Silicon Valley offers is very cost effective contract manufacturing,' he explains. `Back
in the early days of E -mu that wasn't readily available; we had to invent our own manufacturing
department, hire people, get space and invest in inventory and manufacturing equipment. For a small
company that's a huge risk, and in the old days it used
to make getting from software into hardware an
enormous undertaking. Now a small, modestly capitalised company like we are can move into hardware
with a lot less risk than was possible as recently as
Systems. Then, when
the company incorporated in 1998, it
Auburn
became
Audio Technologies dba (doing business as) Antares
Audio Technologies. That same year Antares also
merged distribution company Cameo International
into its operations. Back in 1994 Hildebrand had
drawn on the services of RiCharde and Associates, a
distribution company specialising in plug -ins, to provide sales and distribution services for his software.
eight or ten years ago.'
Another factor that makes getting into hardware a
lot easier these days is the integration of more and
more functionality into fewer and fewer components.
`The integration of computer DSP functions over
the last ten years has been amazing,' says Alpert. `Going
back to when I joined E -mu full time, there were three
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
SOFT FOCUS
of us there, and even though I had the rather grandiose
title of General Manager I would sit there with a soldering iron and build the circuit boards in those first
microprocessor polyphonic keyboards. And it would
take me three 8 -hour days of hand -soldering to build
one board for that keyboard. And that entire function
could probably be programmed into two chips today.'
In another way though, the situation has come full
circle
the benefit of small companies. As Alpert
explains: `When things were analogue you didn't need
anything custom, you just built out of the various
analogue components that were available. Then when
in most cases represent the opposite ends of the user spectrum
actually neck and neck in terms of the
-are
revenue they're bringing in, while VST comes somewhere in between. Clearly, then, what the DirectX
version loses in terms of price and profit per unit it
makes up for in terms of sheer market numbers.
`On the DirectX side you've got a lot of people who
are just dabbling,' says Alpert. `But there are so many
of them that even a small portion represents real money.
Also there are a lot more people using PCs in a professional environment these days.
`There are very few dabblers in the TDM world,
-to
things started getting digital there
was this barrier to
entry where you
had, for the most
part, to get custom
VLSIs if you wanted any special
functions.
The
investment to get
those chips was a
$100,000 or more,
and you had to
commit to huge
quantities, and a
huge lead time, and
it was an incredible
though,
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-13
risk. A company
had to be of a certain size to even play in that arena.
Nowadays it's crossed back over. The general -purpose DSPs you can go out and buy on the market are
getting more and more powerful, but also cheaper
and cheaper. So there's zero risk, you're buying off-theshelf parts and just writing the code for them, and
once again it means that small companies who never
would have had the resources to get a custom chip
can get into the fray.'
The latest addition to the Antares product line -up
is the AMM -1 Microphone Modeller plug -in, introduced last September. Again initially a TDM plug -in,
it has subsequently been released in versions for MAS,
VST, DirectX and, most recently, RTAS. Based on
Antares' patented Spectral Shaping Tool (SST) technology, as its name suggests Microphone Modeller
creates software models of the sonic characteristics
of a variety of microphones, which users can then
draw on to create the sound of the desired mic. The
plug -in also gives users control over mic- specific
options such as low -cut filter on -off, as well as features
such as mic placement and wind screens; new models
are made available for download from Antares' web
sites (www.antarestech.com and www.antares-systems.com both work).
At this year's January NAMM show Antares previewed new speaker modelling technology, again based
on its SST technology, which it says will allow artists,
producers and engineers to use their current monitors to audition mixes through virtual digital models
of the sonic characteristics of a wide variety of speakers; in addition it gives users control over the effects
of speaker placement. The company plans to release
Speaker Modeller as a TDM plug-in in the Summer of
this year, with a stand -alone rackmount version to
follow in the Autumn.
With its small, yet unique product range, Antares
has sought to maximise its user base-and therefore
its revenue -by making Auto -Tune and now Mic
Modeller available for not only TDM but also a range
of native formats, as listed earlier. Alpert reveals that
the TDM and DirectX versions of Auto -Tune -which
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
0
1
their own time if they're working on their own projects,
it will pay for itself in a month.
`So, although TDM's priced at the top, the Mac
Native formats are down from that, and then DirectX
down from that, there's sort of an expectation there on
the part of the various users, and rarely do we get any
comments about pricing.
`But then, one of the things about Auto -Tune is
how fast it processes. You get over to the DirectX side
and you're limited by the fact that DirectX itself makes
it impossible to guarantee a certain amount of the
CPU's power in a timely manner, so you do have to
deal with the vicissitudes of Bill Gates' scheme over
there. You're dealing with latencies that are inherent
in the computer platform rather than the software,
and you can't really predict, necessarily, from one
moment to the next what that's going to be. So, there
are certainly advantages in performance that you get
from the TDM systems. Although, assuming that the
soundcard is good enough there shouldn't be any dif-
ference between DirectX and TDM in core audio
performance.'
The most recent platform to get the Antares treatment is Digidesign's Digi 001, with the port of
Auto -Tune and Mic Modeller to RTAS format.
`We had a slight wait -and-see attitude at the very
beginning with it,' admits Alpert, `because frankly we
didn't have much choice, we were working on Mic
Modeller TDM so we didn't have a lot of resources to
do the port. But it's clear now that there's going to be
a substantial Digi 001 installed base out in the field.
The indications we get are that Digidesign is doing
very well with the 001. They're clearly one of the
strongest brand images in our market for what they do.
Being able to put that brand behind the 001 is really
powerful for that product, and they're selling a ton
of them. Now we're all waiting to see how many of
those people lust after plug -ins as much as the more
expensive TDM people do. We're certainly hoping
for us it's going to be a good undertaking.'
Another way in which a small company with indemand software technology can grow is to license to
third parties. This is a direction that Antares has started pursuing, and the first result is a deal with Mackie.
This has seen Auto -Tune made available as a third party plug-in for the mixer company's D8b digital mixer;
via the mixer's new UFX card and OS 3.0 software.
`We have two things to offer: we have the functionality of our products, and we have the brand equity
that goes with Auto-Tune and hopefully will also go
with Mic Modeller,' says Alpert. `As a small company
we can't conceivably pursue directly all of the markets
that these things could address. So we're given the
choice of either not pursuing it and watching someone
else come in and meet those goals, or working through
non-competitive, compatible strategic partners. We've
been aggressively pursuing the second choice.'
No high -tech market stands still for long, and the
plug-ins market has evolved to a point where, according to Alpert, companies need to offer something
beyond the conventional.
`In the early days there wasn't a lot of functionality standard in the platforms themselves, so things
were really ripe for plug -ins. You didn't get a decent
reverb or a decent compressor or whatever, so you
could always see the value of adding a high-quality
one. There are a lot of little companies that are still successfully turning out a suite of conventional
channel -strip effects that I think should be worried.
Because very soon if not now in a lot of cases you'll get
virtually everything you need for standard channel strip processing right in the platform.'
Antares is in a good position through having technology that provides a distinctive addition to the
standard effects functionality. The success of AutoTune has given the company a strong base from which
to build growth. And through licensing deals such as
the one with Mackie it's clear that there's still mileage
to be had from that core software technology. At the
same time, Antares is more than a one -product company that struck it lucky with Auto -Tune.
The uniqueness factor has allowed us to grow to
where we are now,' Alpert acknowledges. 'If we'd come
out with just another good compressor and another
good limiter and another good de- esser, the quality
would be great, and we'd sell some, but it would be
hard for us to build growth on that sort of thing. So our
corporate goal is to continue to introduce innovative
new technologies. We want people to be thinking `What
is Antares going to come out with next ?'. Because
they're going to know that whatever it is it's going to
be something interesting. We need to make a splash
with unique stuff because we don't have the resources
to crank out endless products quickly. At least not yet.
But we recognise that continued growth is also going
to depend upon a wider range of products that are
attractive to a larger part of the market.
`Our priority now is to grow our company, and
that means releasing the products that we have in the
stream on time, at the right price, with the right functionality, so that people buy them and like them. It
means finding the right strategic pro audio partners,
like Mackie, and looking for other places to put our
technology through additional strategic partners. Also
looking for investment to bring more capital into the
company to allow us to grow faster. We know we can
execute the plan we have in place right now self -.
financed, which is quite an undertaking these days,
but we also know that with more resources we can
execute it faster and reduce the risk by getting the
products out sooner, before any of our competitors
have a chance to do anything like them.' Q
99
shelving EQ
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"If you can't get the sound you want through this unit, then you
have chosen the wrong Mic (or the wrong performer)."
David Mellor - Audio Media(UK) October '99
"This is a first rate piece of audio gear and is a perfect
illustration of why high -end analogue is still the preferred choice
for serious audio processing"
Paul White - Sound On Sound Magazine October '99
£1
f2245ex.VAT
Rupert Neve does not design for, nor
is
Produced
in
Ask for
a
demonstration before your next session.
ISA 430 Producer Pack
995ex.VAT
WITH DIGITAL OUTPUT
affiliated with Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd.
See page 24/25
Ever since Rupert Neve* designed the first generation of
Focusrite EQ and Dynamics modules, they have been the
choice of many successful recording engineers and producers.
The ISA 430 repackages these classic designs in one comprehensive
unit. Versatile routing and access to the signal processing blocks means
you can split the EQ and compressor into two separate signal paths for
simultaneous use on two tracks. Or use them both together with the
original classic transformer -coupled microphone preamp for the best
Total Input Channel money can buy.
Cap it off with the AES /EBL- 24 bit /96 kHz optional Digital
Output Stage, which can also be used as an independent A/D
Converter. This is the best of Focusrite signal processing packed into
one unit. Hence we've dubbed the ISA 430 the "Producer Pack ".
for worldwide disributor list
the UK by Focusrite A.-idio Engineering Ltd.
Focusrite®
www.focusrite.com
1 email: giles @focusrite.com
tel: +44 (0)1494 836307
TECHNOLOGY
MEETING METAD ATA
There are buzz words and keywords; some count and some don't. Dolby Laboratories'
Peter Cole explains why, in
the burgeoning world of multichannel sound and all the opportunities it offers creators and listeners, metadata counts
IN
EARLIER ARTICLES, Studio Sound has
frames. This means that Dolby E sources can be cut
and edited on frame boundaries without any artefacts
and in sync with the associated video feed. Dolby E in
postproduction allows metadata parameters to be
included along with the mix. This metadata is then
carried within the Dolby E bitstream all the way
through the distribution chain, decoded back to PCM,
and then encoded to Dolby Digital for final emission.
The metadata is connected from the Dolby E decoder
to the Dolby Digital encoder via RS485 protocol.
looked at Dolby Digital and Dolby E, explaining
how the two technologies are integrated to carry
the `metadata' required by the consumer decoder
from the postproduction environment to the home.
Metadata is basically 'helper' information that the
home decoder uses to optimise the incoming audio
feed for the playback audio system. The same Dolby
digital bitstream can be decoded in the home to
provide 5.1-channel, Dolby Surround Pro Logic, stereo
and mono versions of the original
material.
This article will explore how
metadata can be created within the
professional mixing environment
by the audio professional. However, before we dive into metadata
creation, here is a quick recap:
Dolby Digital is an advanced
form of digital audio coding
enabling the storage and transmission of high -quality digital
sound. This technology can provide 5.1 channels (five discrete
channels, each with a range of
20Hz- 20kHz). Speaker configuration is typically positioned Left,
Centre, Right, Left surround, and
Right surround. The '.1' refers to
a bandwidth- limited LFE (Low
Frequency Effects) channel
(100Hz- 7kHz). Dolby Digital is
widely available on the majority
of DVD titles and is the only universal multichannel audio standard
available. All currently available
consumer DVD players contain a
Dolby Digital decoder as standard.
For broadcasters, Dolby Digital
is the mandatory audio transmission standard for the ATSC standard and a legitimate option within
the DVB standard, where the
broadcaster may elect to use Dolby
Digital as the only audio, in preference to MPEG audio. Dolby E
encodes up to eight PCM channels
with associated consumer metadata onto a single AES -EBU pair,
can be recorded on broadcast
VTRs, servers and routed via
2- channel infrastructure such as
routers, telecom and satellite systems. Dolby E can also he encoded into an MPEG transport stream
for contribution applications. It
also uses higher bit rates, allowing
for up to ten encode- decode cycles
at 20 -bit depth and has frame
lengths that match the video
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
PCM Audio
Digita Audio
Multitrack
Sources
L
eti
Dolby E has been designed for professional use only
and will therefore not appear on consumer equipment.
With metadata, a single high -quality, wide dynamic
range 5.1 audio bitstream can be adapted to mono,
stereo, Surround; and, if required, at reduced dynamic
range, as clearly a loud cinema soundtrack will not
replay from a single mono TV speaker -at least not for
very long. Metadata also brings about the end of having to control programme levels with a compressor.
This is because the ideal actual replay level of the programme can he transmitted to the
decoder. The result is simply better audio. The key metadata para-
meters which are required for
transmission to the decoder are:
Dialnorm (a dialogue- average
Ioed-.
i
Dig'tal Audio Mixer
Lait Right Ce are LIE
RS LS
i
e
e
Steroo Aux
DP571 Dolby E Encoder
Emulation of
Dolby Digital
SDI Video
Sources
AES-3
Dolby E
Bltst,eam
Dolby
E
Encoded Multichannel Audio
Recorded on two tracks
of the digOal video tape
DP572 Dolby
5.1 PCM Mix
4
E
Decoder
11111
MCR Presentation Mixer (Audio & Video)
DP563 Dolby Surround Encoder
DP569 Dolby Digital Encoder
Dolby Digital
Doroyy Dlgltal
(AC -3
Bitatreuml
(ACJ Bitetream)
11
e
-i
Dolby Surround
AES-3
DP562 Dolby Digital Decoder
MPEG Multiplexer
commercials). Downmix parameters (for setting centre
and surround levels in a stereo
downmix or other output configuration). Dynamic range control
(information the decoders can use
or ignore, depending on the capabilities of the audio system being
used in the home).
The creation of metadata is the
big question for all broadcast professionals, producers, sound engi-
neers, and systems designers.
Dolby has developed a product
called the DP570 Multichannel
Metadata
5
level indication used for level setting, that enables different programme material to be replayed
at the same average level, without compromising the dynamic
range-particularly useful for
minimising the loudness in some
Audio Tool. This enables the audio
professional to create the metadata at the key point in time, during
the final mix.
The DP570 provides two main
functions: metadata selection and
receiver emulation. These func-
tions allow creators of multichannel Dolby Digital audio
programmes to create the metadata for that programme and to
monitor the effect of their choices.
The product takes eight channels of audio input and modulates
the input according to the meta-
",e
iJ
data values, compression and
downmix settings chosen by the
user. The modulated audio is
Dolby Digital Broadcast
Reference Monitoring
Dolby Surround Broadcast
Existing Services
Creation of metadata from post to home
available as either a digital or ana-
logue output, and metadata is
chosen via the user- interface. The
metadata choices are then sent to
101
TECHNOLOGY
fl
Console
Monitor
Sends
rr
LJR
C/LFE
Ls/Rs
zz
1/2 =C- Digital
Audio
3/4
Inputs
5/6
7/8 =C
Digital
Emulator
Outputs
DP570 Dolby
Console
Monitor
Returns
LJR
.1- C/LFE
=
Ls/Rs
Metadata
Output
Multichannel
Audio Tool
DP571
Video
Dolby E
Encoder
Metadata
Ref
Input
Console
1/2
3/4
5/6
Main
Outputs
tr
Digital
Audio
Inputs
Main
Program
Out
Audio
Video
Ref
A typical integration of a console and DP570 Dolby Multichannel Audio Tool
the Dolby E or Dolby Digital encoder as a complete
metadata stream.
The DP570 provides several features that simplify
the process of creating multichannel audio programmes. It provides audio routeing to compensate for
the various channel configuration formats. It also provides metadata authoring, while allowing the user to
listen to the effects of the metadata via Dolby Digital
Decoder emulation. Finally, there is an extensive monitoring section that eases the setup and use of a multi speaker monitoring system.
Eventide
Examining the signal path for metadata, the obvious place for authoring is during the production of a
programme. This may happen in the studio or OB
truck, if the finished version of the programme is produced there, or in a postproduction facility, if the pro-
gramme elements finally come together there.
However, it can be very useful to have some of the
metadata defined earlier in the process. The dialnorm,
for example, can be used as an indication of the headroom required by a programme element. Other parameters, such as the dynamic range control profile can
HHB
Communications
Tel:
only he defined for the final mix.
The DP570 Multichannel Audio Tool can be integrated with a console, so a familiar control surface
can be used to author metadata parameters, and
monitor their effects in real time. Stereo and mono
downmixes, for example, can be auditioned -and
trimmed -using metadata, so the logical place to set
the values is from the console. A variety of different
control interfaces on the DP570 make this already
possible with a number of today's consoles. Further
benefits are possible using metadata for console
020 8962 5000 E -mail: sales @hhb.co.uk
Orville. Calling it an effects processor is like
calling the Grand Canyon a hole in the ground.
Eventide
(ms,....,erv.ms
:.,, -,
.
,.
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If you've never heard one, it's a very expensive effects processor. If you
have, it's the most creative instrument ever to enter a recording studio.
Call 020 8962 5000, ask for Orville, and find out what you're missing.
li
,.....,
:.
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HRHIb
MOT WE LJSTEN
102
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
hard disk recording comes of ease
MX-2424... the
full power and potential of 24 track
recorcing and hard disk editing in just
a
port to extend recording
adcitional external drives;
store your hard drive in a machine room up to 40 feet away;
chain up to 32 machines for a huge integrated system with true
panel drive bay and rear wide
record TASCAM's new MX -2424 will fly "straight out of
the box "; recording and tracking like any tape based MDM
providing 24 tracks of stunning 24 -bit/ 48kH sound (or
chase
&
to whatever else
is
in the studio2.
who's talking your language?
tracks of 24 bit/ 96kHz audio').
comp
15
single sample accuracy. The MX -2424 will, of course, sync and
-
12
SCSI1
time, or create backups, with up to
single unit.
edit
The
Switching to "Loop Mode" unleashes
the power of non -linear editing and the ability to record
MX -2424 really shows its breeding as it reeds and writes
and store unlimited "virtual" tracks for later comp'ing.
the PC*
Sound Designer
multi -platform system. Moreover, it will
playback, record and edit to ProToolsTM, AvidTM and SADIETM
format files, without even going near OMF - though it will
happily work with that too.
how much? And one final surprise the price. The
if not thousand
MX -2424 is several hundred
pounds less
than you imagine.
Powerful functions are all accessible from the front panel
controls, including a Jog/ Scrub wheel to emulate the
"rocking" of analogue tape for locating edit points; visual
editing and transport control is possible with the supplied
ViewNet MXTMGUI software for either MacTM or PC.
Simultaneous digital and analog interfacing allows for 24
channels of 24 -bit analog I/O and a further 24 channels of
non
or AES/EBU digital I /O.
SCSI
SCSI
In
a
-
addition
2
is
to your accountant
ever likely to bring their session in on it.
of the optional
use
-
bus protocol, such as IDE, might seem attractive
but no -one
how far do you want to go?
to its internal ultra fast
offering
-
analogue and digital recording
TDIF, ADAT*M
files for the MAC or Broadcast WAV files for
II
TL SyncT'
further ethances control and sync capabilities.
drive, you can... use the front-
TASCAM MX-2424
5
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The MX -2424 (shown with optional IF -AN24 analog
I,'O) feature' built -in SMPTE Sync, MIDI Time Code,
MIDI Clock, Video Sync, stereo AES/EBU and S/PDIF
ports and much more. The MX -2424 is available
today from you authorized TASCAM dealer.
available Summer 2000
Sales &
5
TASCAM
Mar n
use he Croxley Centre Watford Herts WD1 8YA
Brochure Hotline: 01923 438880 www.tascam.co.uk email:[email protected]
TASCAM
All the copyrights are the property of their respective holders
a
whole world of recording
TECHNOLOGY
DP570 multichannel audio tool
NO
COMPROM
Brauner mics
hand built in
Alan
Douglas,
Grammy
nominated
(Eric Clapton)
Germany.
Vintage valve
sound, but
digitally quiet.
The world's
says: "It's
the best
best rely on
microphone
in the world
Brauner.
operations. If consoles are able to read incoming meta data streams, professional metadata (such as that identifying the audio streams and individual constituent
channels) might be used to autoconfigure the console
channel strips appropriately, while at the same time
writing ASCI text to the console fader legend strips.
Dolby Laboratories will be making this know -how
available under license.
In practice, a sound engineer will be able to mix
for optimal 5.1 audio and establish some in -house
metadata presets for the programme genre currently
under production. It will be very easy to quickly monitor the mix in stereo, Dolby Surround, or mono modes
by the easy selection of the monitoring button.
Between facilities-that is, in the general distribution infrastructure of OB, studio links, intra studio routeing, feeds to transmission, and so on, AES -EBU digital
audio is becoming the norm. The use of Dolby E to
carry either multiple audio streams or multichannel
audio streams down those existing 2- channel audio
paths will also provide an ideal way to carry metadata,
synchronously linked to the audio to which it pertains.
The DP570 will be ideal for live DTV audio production, postproduction, network distribution and
DVD authoring applications by slotting into the
audio path.
Dolby has developed the DP570 with an open strategy to enable the unit to be controlled and integrated
with many other broadcast products and systems.
These include: the console interface as a more advanced
serial interface that will function as a full remote control using Dolby remote protocol. This protocol will
be made easily available to developers. Many leading
console manufacturers have already planned to implement the software that would run on their platform,
for seamless integration between console and the
DP570. Control of the DP570 will also be available
from a PC using the standard serial port. The GPIO is
intended to provide a simple contact closure and tally
interface that will activate user -defined presets or other
key features. By providing these features via GPI, systems integrators can quickly and easily provide an
integrated solution.
Dolby Digital enables a radical new approach for
broadcasters to deliver high -quality multichannel
audio to the home, catering for other existing audio
configurations within the same Dolby Digital bit stream by the utilisation of metadata.
The creation of metadata is simple, and allows the
audio professionals to achieve a level of audio compatibility across different systems and programmes
that has hitherto been impossible.
+44 (0)20 8943 4949
[email protected]
GERMANY +49 (0)2856 9270
info @dirk- brauner.com
+34 93 674 2100
SPAIN
fxspain @retemail.es
UK
DM100 digital multichannel analyser
104
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
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Watermarking making waves
Far from clearing the air, the recent
London listening sessions have
added further concern to the
proposed audio watermarking
system writes Barry Fox
MAKING NO APOLOGIES for writing
another progress report on DVD -Audio watermarking. The audio industry will live for decades
I'M
with the decisions now being taken by the music
industry, and there are whopping contradictions in
what we are being told.
The AES Audio Watermarking Workshop is set for
the morning of 23rd September, Saturday, at the LA
Convention Centre during the 109th Convention.
Tony Faulkner will chair Karlheinz Brandenburg,
Malcolm Hawksford, Paul Jessop (IFPI -SDMI), George
Massenburg, Glenn Meadows, Joseph Winograd
(Verance) and Al McPherson. There may be listening
tests. But the point of it all remains as unclear as the
point of the London listening tests arranged by
Malcolm Davidson of Sony Music, and held at the
Sony-CBS Studios in Whitfield Street.
Although no -one from 4C was present in London
(indeed it is hard to see how 4C can now be an independent tester, given that 4C has formed LMI to licence
Verance technology and collect royalties for Verance),
Paul Jessop of the IFPI was there to represent the
SDMI and David Leibowitz was there to represent
Verance. As reported, some participants were very
critical of the music quality. Even my cloth ears were
disturbed by the sound of a laptop hard drive, which
was louder than quiet passages of the music, and odd
effects on decaying piano notes.
Leonardo Chiariglione, executive director of the
SDMI, has since complained that the SDMI was not
asked for comment on these criticisms. This is odd
because during the listening test Tony Faulkner heard
the dCS 954 D
convertor muting and wondered
how it was being clocked; clock irregularities would
cause jitter and adversely affect sound quality, explain-
A
ing some of the odd effects heard (on decay, for
example), invalidating the results. One possibility is
that the D A was clocked to an older piece of Sonic
Solutions kit, rather than the incoming AES audio
data. Did anyone use an Audio Precision dual domain
tester to compare the phase and framing of the word-
Will these results
acknowledge the objections
raised on the music and
reproduction quality?
Or, with DVD -Audio
such an obvious loser,
does it matter a damn?
106
clock and data? Faulkner put this to Malcolm
Davidson and Paul Jessop. But at the end of July, Tony
Faulkner was still waiting for comment.
Both Chiariglione and Jessop have said that there
will now be further tests of watermarking at DVD Audio level (176.4kHz and 192kHz), because the
original 4C tests and London tests were at 96kHz and
the material was up- converted digital or analogue. Paul
Jessop has assured that nothing will be passed for use
at an untested quality level. Leonard Chiariglione says
that further tests will take into account `the constructive
suggestions that have been made regarding improvements to this listening experience.'
As 200 SDMI members each now pay $20,000 a
year to be members, there should be no shortage of
funding for these further tests. Paul Jessop has said
that the further testing will embrace the London results.
But DVD Audio players are already on sale in Japan
and the US, and due for launch in Europe in September.
Panasonic Europe and Panasonic UK, who are launching the first players, were blissfully unaware of the
London tests. David Leibowitz Chairman of Verance
said in London that the DVD -Audio decision was
`done and complete'.
Koji Hase, who heads the DVD Forum in Japan, has
confirmed that from 1st October all DVD -A players
must integrate a Verance detector. He says the decision
follows the 4C tests held last year.
The system has been tested by more than 50 very
critical "golden ears" recommended by the major
music studios... the Verance WaterMark has shown the
superior sound quality and robustness required by 4C
and the SDMI. We at the DVD Forum wish to rely
on this proof of quality inspection. Results were
analysed using statistical methods. We felt very comfortable that all the people participated in this test
process agreed upon the test results as credible. Verance
sound quality has successfully met the critical requirements of the copyright owners and music studios as
tested by the "golden ears ".'
But the London tests meant so little to the SDMI and
4C that Hase asked me for information on the procedures and results! So on one hand we are being told
that the choice of watermarking for DVD -A is still
open and on the other hand the matter is closed.
Those who took part and were present in London,
including myself, were promised the results as soon as
they were available. These results have not yet been
communicated. But both Ted Abe of Panasonic Technics in Japan, and Leonardo Chiariglione, write
about the results of the London tests as if they have
seen then in final form. Indeed Chiariglione refers to
them as `facts'. Says Ted Abe: `According to the latest
reports regarding the London listening test, we are
very confident that the watermark system is quite transparent. The result is almost identical to what was done
last Summer, jointly with various golden ears of US
major studios. Very few golden ears have detected the
embedded WM, but they recognised it as the acceptable
quality. Most of the golden years have shown no reliable detection on the basis of statistical analysis.'
So when will the participants, who were promised
the results, get them? Will these results acknowledge
the objections raised on the music and reproduction
quality? Does the statistical analysis take these objections into account? Or, with DVD -Audio such an
obvious loser, does it matter a damn?
It started
with sampling
The technologies troubling established
lines of entertainment distribution
have only just begun to make their
effects felt writes Dan Daley
HERE'S A BIT OF ENTERTAINING LOGIC
that won't appear on the back of your cereal box this morning: that which can be
digitised can be easily stored and distributed. That which can be easily stored and distributed
can be easily stolen. Virtually anything can be digitised.
Ergo sum: Oh, shit!
We have arrived at the logical conclusion of the digital audio revolution that began nearly 20 years ago.
Napster and MP3 may be getting the media's attention in all the news weeklies and the Times, but these
softwares are simply the evolutionary extension of the
more widespread and available ability to make music.
Once you make the creative process more accessible,
it's just a matter of time before the distribution process
catches up.
If there is any pride in having been at the forefront
of this audio equivalent of the tumbling of the Berlin
wall, enjoy it, because it will be quite fleeting. The real
implication of all of this is actually a bit disturbing.
What's happening is that we have also put into motion
a process that establishes a disincentive to create music
for commercial purposes.
Read that last sentence again: A disincentive to create music for commercial purposes.
The very process that has made the making of music
simpler, more accessible to more people and thus
democratised the music business like never before, is
also up ending the economic basis for the music business. Not to sound like some kind of audio Cassandra,
but a part of the world is ending, and it's the part that
attracted many of us to the music business in the first
place -the potential to make a living at it. People are
not going to stop making music-it's too much a part
of human nature to do so. But the sheer amount of it
that has been created in the last 20 years -the number of new releases annually in the US has grown from
around 15,000 a scant ten years ago to closer to
50,000 today -has commoditised music. That in and
of itself might be enough to weaken the underpinnings of the music industry as we know it. It certainly
was enough to radically alter the recording studio
industry, wasn't it? But combined with the ability to
store music in a very convenient form (MP3) and then
to be able to make it move effortlessly and without
restraint throughout the world (Napster), the incentive to capitalise the entire process on any major level
diminishes dramatically.
We see the results of this already at work. Universal
music, the mega-corporate scion owned (and enlarged
to behemoth proportions by further acquisitions such
as PolyGram's music assets) by a Canadian distiller,
is now in the process of being unloaded onto a French
utilities corporation turned media company. (There
are so many potential jokes in that one sentence,
I don't know where to start, so I'll leave it alone.)
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
I)FLIVERY
Another media behemoth, Sony, continues to try to
quash rumours that it, too, wants to dump its entertainment media holdings, specifically its music and
film businesses. Not for nothing is it an historical fact
that no foreign -owned company has ever made a profit in US entertainment holdings. The handwriting,
quite simply, is on the wall: it will become increasingly difficult, to the point of nearly impossible, to make
a profit on intellectual property in an era in which the
object of our desires has become so fluidly ethereal
and -the truly pernicious aspect of all of this -as a
result is conditioning an entire new generation of music
lovers to the notion that the stuff is free to start with.
As much as we have ranted and railed about the
mega- corporations that have run the music business for
the last century, it's only now, as they begin to depart
the landscape like so many dinosaurs, that we realise
how critical they were, because they capitalised it.
They funded it. They provided the lucre on a scale
similar to that of NASA or the Ministry of Defence.
They will now go off and fund other, more profitable
things. Ten bucks says I'm right.
Back to pro audio. We saw this coming. The whole
sampling mishigas foreshadowed it. Stealing sounds
and riffs was a cornerstone for house and hip -hop,
and it did produce a few indignant musicians complaining about being ripped off. But nothing on the
scale of Metallica appearing before Congress in July
explaining to lawmakers (some of whom were younger
than the band members) how their livelihoods were
being threatened by Napster (created by someone who
is younger than all of them). They're not singing, Pay
Bo Diddley' now. They're scrambling to cover their
own assets. Maybe this is all some sort of Biblical retribution for stiffing Little Richard.
Or maybe this is all about personal responsibility,
something the music business has not had a surfeit of
historically. The real reason we sample other people's
records is because we can. The real reason college kids
use the university library T-2 server to download
Metallica songs for free is because they can, too. Most
college kids in the US can afford $15 for a CD. (The
real irony of all this is that the price of CDs will almost
certainly come down drastically in the next year or
so, to compete with downloads.) We all do this because
we can. The same digital technology that facilitates
this new distribution model comes with technical
instructions, but not any inherent moral obligations.
That's for us to insert into the equation.
Because, ultimately, that's all we really control. We
can set the parameters on the compressors and EQs, but
the tectonic movements behind all this are beyond our
abilities to direct. No one could have predicted the situation the music industry finds itself in now even five
years ago. But based on the recent past, we can make
some reasonable predictions about the next five years.
As broadband proliferates, music isn't the only thing
that's going to be stolen on a regular basis. Movies,
television shows, every form of entertainment will
eventually be subject to digital larceny. And no matter
how sophisticated the watermarking and other digital
countermeasures the industry comes up with to blunt
this trend, they will all be brought to naught by someone like the bright, bored 17- year-old in Norway, who
cracked the CSS2 code last year and delayed DVDAudio by over six months.
So I guess the only thing left to try is a little personal responsibility on the part of individuals, and
hope that somehow it takes on a global scale. We have
to find a way to make it cool, along the lines of the `Just
say no' anti -drug campaign. Or at least cooler than
stealing songs is. I'm open to suggestions.
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
The alchemy of broadcasting
The dynamics of language have
reached such extremes that they are in
danger of turning our technicians into
philosophers, writes Kevin Hilton
ANGUAGE is important as it is how we communicate with others. But sometimes it can
get in the way. JB Greenough said: `Language
Jis the felicitous misapplication of words.'
A recent survey by a recruitment agency underlines
this: it found that the biggest turn -off for potential
employees was bosses spouting such inanities as `Let's
get our ducks in a row' and `We are a global player.'
There seems to be the view that because technology is changing and that it is changing how the business
of music and broadcasting is done, new words have to
be invented to describe some of the activities. We are
all getting used to talking in a new media, or multimedia, argot, but my jaw dropped recently when
someone spoke about `metadata and essence'.
Metadata has quickly established itself as part of
the brave new lexicon of broadcasting. Regrettably,
the more it is used, the less it seems to mean. At a
recent conference on asset management, observers
noticed delegates' eyes glazing during a discussion on
the subject.
Even the seemingly helpful definition `data about
data' does not help anymore. As multimedia grows
in many different directions, the data that is carried and
delivered is diversifying and, by extension, so is the
data that accompanies it. Part of the problem is that
these matters push us dangerously into the area of
semantics.
The delivery and distribution of such creative products as television and radio programmes, films and
music should be practical; defining metadata is too
esoteric and academic an activity. In recent months
I have found myself having almost ethereal, philosophical conversations with broadcast professionals
concerning the correlation between wide-screen pictures and surround sound.
In John Carpenter's flawed movie Prince of
Darkness, which draws inspiration from quantum
mechanics, a student says a professor does not want
to produce scientists, he wants to teach philosophers.
It is such a change of attitude that is at odds with the
increasingly ruthless, fast-paced business of media
today. Attempting to define a created word like meta-
data
is
something that might have sat more
comfortably during the time of Lord Reith.
Getting etymological, meta comes from the Greek
and means either something being in a position behind,
after or beyond something else or denoting a change
of position or condition. Neither of which relate to
the notion of data about data. This last definition pertains to a raft of information, including copyright
details, data about the video, when something was
created and how many times it has been screened.
Things get complicated when a company or organisation comes up with its own definition of something.
Dolby's is in relation to its Dolby E multichannel audio
distribution format and is closer in spirit to the definition of denoting a change of position or condition.
`Every decoder needs metadata to determine what to
do with the 5.1 audio mix,' explains Peter Cole,
marketing manager for pro audio at Dolby UK.
`Metadata can be used to derive the stereo or mono
version of the S.1 if the consumer only has a 2 -channel system. Metadata ultimately means that the
broadcaster or production house can mix for the optimum of 5.1 and add information about how it can
be folded down into stereo. It means there is no compromise.'
Dolby's concept of metadata is as control information, which is slightly at odds with everyone else,
who see it as a glorified log sheet. Both are relevant,
but, as the future would still appear to be built around
the consumer's set -top box, being a control stream
for optimum performance seems more compelling. As
important as the housekeeping information is, human
apathy could defeat the idea.
In the days of tape, how many contained comprehensive session sheets? Many survived with hastily
scribbled notes in chinagraph pencil on the reel itself.
It may be that typing the information into a special
computer text box will be easier and more attractive
but, honestly, how many name diskettes when formatting them?
Ultimately, studio operators merely want the system
to work. They do not care how it works or what it is
called, which is why metadata is becoming a multi meaning, meaningless term. As for `essence', this is
an example of thinking that because times have moved
on, the words used to describe a particular thing are
outmoded. `Essence' means the intrinsic nature or
indispensable quality of something; I can see the logic
but applied to a recording of whatever kind, it is senseless and unnecessary.
Railing against changes to the language is usually
the preserve of deeply conservative, intransigent people. I swore I would not do it myself. But Essence is a
buzz word too far. Programme material may be two
words, but at least they mean exactly what they say.
Technology has introduced many new words to the
dictionary and this can only be a good thing, as it
enriches the language. But sometimes what we call
something is not as important as what it is about or
what it does.
Railing against changes
to the language is usually
the preserve of intransigent
people. But Essence is
a
buzz word too far.
Programme material may
be two words, but at least
they mean exactly
what they say
107
DR JOHN
SIDEBANDS
Audio sidebands show up in a surprising number of places in audio working,
but where do they come from and how are they used? John Watkinson explains
SIDEBANDS ARE A MODIFICATION of the
spectrum which result when two signals interact. This can be deliberate and beneficial, or
accidental and detrimental depending on the
application and can take place in the analogue or
digital domains. Whether the goal is to create side bands or get rid of them, knowing something about
them is useful.
Fig.la shows an AM radio transmitter. A pure sine
wave or carrier at the nominal station frequency is
multiplied by the audio waveform so that the envelope
of the carrier is the same shape as the audio waveform. After modulation, the carrier is no longer pure.
Fig.lb shows the example of modulating the carrier
with an audio frequency sine wave. During the increasing part of the carrier envelope, successive cycles must
get larger and this means the slope of the waveform
must get steeper. This has the effect of increasing the
frequency. On the other hand, during the decreasing
part of the envelope, successive cycles get smaller and
the slope of the waveform must reduce, lowering the
frequency. As a result the spectrum shown in Fig. lc is
obtained. The carrier is still present, but some energy
has moved to a pair of sidebands, equally spaced
above and below the carrier frequency.
Fig.ld shows that with real audio programme material, the baseband spectrum is repeated mirror fashion
above and below the carrier frequency. The carrier of
the next station has to be far enough away in frequency
so that the sidebands don't overlap. This is the reason
AM radio sounds are so dull: the audio bandwidth is
deliberately reduced at the transmitter to allow the
stations to be placed closer together in frequency.
Fig.2 shows an AM signal being demodulated. The
carrier frequency disappears and the spectrum shifts
down to the audio band. The upper sideband becomes
the conventional audio spectrum and the lower side band becomes the negative audio spectrum in which
all frequencies are negative.
What, then, is a negative frequency? There are a
number of ways of considering negative frequency.
One way is to argue that it really exists, but that to
human observers negative and positive frequencies
appear the same. The other is that it is a quirk of
the mathematical models we use to predict what systems will do. As long as we get the required result
does it matter?
Fig.3 shows a rotating wheel with a mark on the
perimeter. Viewed along the axis, it is obvious whether
the rotation is clockwise or anticlockwise. If the wheel
were driven with a DC motor, we would be quite
happy with the concept of positive and negative terminals and with the motor having negative rotation if
the terminals were reversed. However, viewed in the
plane of the wheel, the mark just rises and falls with
a sinusoidal waveform and the same result is obtained
whether the motor runs forward or reversed.
This means that a sine wave could have a negative
frequency or a positive frequency and we wouldn't
know which. It is a useful concept to assume that a sine
wave contains equal amounts of positive and negative frequency. This is consistent with transform duality
108
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(Dr John, Studio Sound, August 2000). Fig.4 shows
that in the time domain we are comfortable with the
that if two wheels are geared together and the motion
of two marks on the peripheries are summed, the hor-
future
izontal motions always oppose and cancel whereas the
vertical motions add to produce a sine wave.
If the entire contra -rotating assembly were to be
itself rotated, the frequency of one wheel would rise and
the other would fall, producing an upper and lower
sideband pair. This is exactly what happens in helicopters. The blades twang like guitar strings and this
vibration alters the tension at the blade root. However,
concept of a signal having
a
history and
a
because this is what happens if we put T =0 in the middle of the waveform which is then symmetrical. In the
frequency domain we would also expect symmetry,
and if we pur F =0 in the centre, we get positive and
negative frequencies.
Thus a sine wave can be considered to be the visible
result of a pair of contra -rotating processes. Fig.S shows
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
heads. The result is that the gain of an analogue
recorder varies dynamically. A reduction in coating
density or head contact pressure will cause the ampli-
Fig.2: Negative frequency
Fig.3: Sine wave is one dimension of
a
rotation
Fig.4: Where negative frequency comes from
Fig.5: Frequency can be considered as opposed
rotations, one positive and one negative
the vibration frequencies seen in the hull are not the fre-
quencies at which the blades are vibrating. The
rotational frequency of the rotor adds to the positive
frequencies of the vibration and subtracts from the
negative frequencies so that a pair of sidebands above
and below the rotor frequency are created.
Suppose the entire assembly of Fig.5 were to be
rotated at its own frequency. One of the rotations
would be cancelled out and the other would double
in frequency. This is how a stroboscope works.
Flashing a light once per revolution will appear to
halt rotation, and that is a time domain explanation.
In the frequency domain, the lower sideband is
brought to zero frequency.
In AM radio and in the stroboscope, the creation of
sidebands is a requirement, however in many cases
the sidebands are something we would rather not
have. In analogue tape recorders (remember those ?) it
is very difficult to produce tapes in which the density
of the magnetic coating is perfectly uniform and it is
also difficult to get absolutely uniform contact with the
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
tude to decrease. These amplitude modulations interact
with the audio waveform to produce sidebands above
and below every frequency in the audio signal. The
phenomenon is called modulation noise.
Modulation noise still occurs in digital magnetic
recording, but the effect isn't large enough to change
the value of the numbers recorded and so it has no
effect on the sound quality. Modulation noise also
occurs in loudspeakers. The force applied to the
diaphragm is given by the product of the coil current
and the flux density. The flux density should be
absolutely constant. In practice it isn't because it is
modulated by the audio signal and the result is the
generation of sidebands.
In order to generate a force on the coil, the lines of
flux in the magnetic circuit must distort so that their
distribution is asymmetric. This results in the flux
trying to move with respect to the magnetic circuit
of the speaker, which is how the Newtonian reaction
to accelerating the cone is able to act on the chassis.
Unfortunately the flux cannot move with respect to
the pole structure in a linear fashion. Flux movement
can only take place by movement of domain walls
and this is fundamentally nonlinear, which is why
analogue recorders need bias. Flux movement in a
loudspeaker proceeds as a series of jumps which modulate the field strength which in turn modulates the
audio. One of the reasons for the superb quality of
electrostatic speakers is the absence of this distortion
mechanism.
The best solution to flux modulation in moving
coil loudspeakers is to make all parts of the magnetic circuit from electrically conductive materials.
Magnetic fields find it hard to move through a conductor because massive short circuited currents are
generated. At one time all loudspeaker magnets were
conductive, using materials such as alnico and alcomax. The `co' in these names indicates that they
contain cobalt. When the price of this element went
sky high because of politics, speaker manufacturers
turned to ferrite magnets. Ferrite is an electrical insulator and cannot resist flux modulation. As a result
the quality of loudspeakers actually went down, and
because of the incredibly low cost of ferrite, it has
largely stayed down. High -quality loudspeakers incorporate conductive magnets using elements such as
Neodymium.
Digital audio works completely on sidebands. The
baseband spectrum of the audio is multiplied by the
sampling clock which is like the carrier in AM radio
except that, being a pulse train, it contains harmonics. The upper and lower sidebands are replicas of
the audio baseband above and below each harmonic of the sampling rate. The carrier spacing issue of
AM radio is solved with an audio low -pass filter
which prevents the sidebands of one carrier reaching
more than half way to the next carrier. The same
problem exists in digital audio and the solution is the
same: a low -pass filter is used. This time we call it
an anti -aliasing filter.
In audio compressors used for bit rate reduction, it
is common to split the audio into a number of different frequency bands. After this has been done, each
frequency band is then downshifted in frequency by
modulating it with a carrier so that the lower sideband
extends from zero upwards. The result is that, for
example in a 32 -band system with 32kHz sampling, all
of the sub -bands occupy a spectrum of 0-500Hz and
so the overall sampling rate can remain the same.
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MASTERCLASS
DTRS
HHB's service team pool knowledge to give a service overview of DTRS
machines. Service co- ordinator Gerry Glancy assembles their thoughts
THE EVOLUTION OF DIGITAL multitrack
recordings over the last 10 -15 years has
appearance of the front panel is that the PCM800 has
the AES -EBU interface not the Tascam TDIF card.
The DA -88/98 and DA -38 share the same servo, load
and transport mechanism, however DA -98 and DA38 have an enclosed head.
More recently Tascam has introduced the DA78HR and DA -98HR (High Resolution). These
recorders offer 24 -hit recording and replay. The DA98HR in addition is capable of sampling at 96kHz,
24 -bit in 4 -track mode or 192kHz sampling 24 -bit
on two tracks. These higher sampling and word bits
increase the data density on the tape. This means that
the data read and write processes are far more susceptible to data errors induced by a dirty head drum,
poor alignment and tape imperfections.
DTRS machines should be serviced every 500 hours.
Over a period of time there will be a build up of tape
dust on the head, guides, rollers and pinch wheel and
so on. These deposits of dirt and dust in turn will
effect the mechanical performance and therefore the
recorded data will gradually suffer from higher error
rates being recorded. Interchange ability of tapes and
recorders becomes more difficult as the recorder ages,
variations in tape tension and tape stretch all have an
effect on tracking accuracy. Problems often arise in
postproduction when the tape is further degraded by
multiple passes and problems can occur in chase mode
before audio drop -outs start to occur. If the original
recording is made on a machine that is in good condition and well maintained then the chances of a bad
recording are reduced. You cannot improve a bad
recording and because there is no confidence monitoring on the DA -88 often the first time you realise
there is a problem is in front of your client.
There have been two versions of the software for the
DA -88 servo and four for the system control, the
changes up to v3 on Syscon were made fairly quickly after the DA -88 was introduced.
The current software is Servo 2.02 and Syscon
v4.00. Some recorders will still be running older versions of Servo and Syscon software and these can be
upgraded free of charge to Syscon v3, but v4 is chargeable. The original Servo 1.3 only needs to be upgraded
to v2.02 if there are problems. From Syscon 2.00 on
product serial numbered 200001 upwards various
error messages and improvements were added.
There have been several upgrades
Action
on the Syscon software from the first
Clear tape path, guides. drum.
production model, v2.01, to the latincomplete
Defective drum motor, drive or
est version, v4.00. The main
cleaning required, service
upgrades from v2 to v3 were:
involved a wide and varied range of recorders
from the more sophisticated Sony and
Mitsibushi reel -to -reels to the VHS -video -based Alesis
ADAT format.
In the early nineties there was a strong interest in
smaller, modular digital multitracks. Tascam developed the DA -88 using the Hi -8 video format that
possessed the bandwidth required for recording eight
channels of digital audio on a standard Hi -8 videotape,
and launched it in 1992. DTRS is a rotary head system using four heads each recording a track in turn on
the tape. The success of the format was based on several factors including the ability to lock recorders
together creating up to 128 tracks; relatively low cost
media and hardware; solid construction; high- quality transport; remote control of up to 16 recorders;
9 -pin port for video machine control; easy access for
servicing; synchronisation capability; individually variable track delay; varispeed ( ±6 %); seamless punch -in
and punch -out; excellent interface accessories; and
reliable electronics.
Fig.1 shows the track format for
Code
Meaning
the DA -88 and how this relates to
Mechanical defect, general tape thread or path
Error
the RF waveform recorded on the
problem
tape. Sub -code data (ABS time) is
Error 2
Incorrect drum speed. servo not synchronised
to tape speed or drum not rotating
recorded at the lead -in side of the
required
RF waveform. Head -drum wear is
Error 3
Errors 182, sometimes indicates tape wrapped See 1&2 above
most likely to occur on the lead -in
around the head
side where the sub code is recorded
Error 4
Capstan problem, not coming up to speed
Capstan motor spin undetected
1
(this is indicated by the reduced
amplitude, A as compared to B in
Fig.1). Hence, the first sign of head wear is usually that the ABS time is
lost or becomes intermittent. When
ABS time is lost, it is difficult for the
machine to chase and lock to external time code. When these symptoms
occur, it is usually a good indication
that the head needs replacing or that
tracking alignment is wrong. As the
head drum wears further, the audio
data will be affected.
DA -88s are more susceptible to
losing sub -code than DAT machines
because there is only one sub -code
region per RF waveform, whereas in
DAT there are two-one on each side
of the RF waveform.
The DA -88 and Sony PCM800
are essentially the same recorder.
They share the same servo loading
and transport mechanism they have
the same head assembly record and
playback boards and DSP. The part
numbers are different for the Sony
and Tascam parts, but they are com-
pletely interchangeable. The only
difference besides the cosmetic
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
Error
5
Error
6
Error
Error
7
8
Error 9
Error 10
Error 11'
within 500 ms
Errors 1&4, possibly tape wrapped around
capstan/pinch roller
Errors 2 &4, general servo defect- neither drum
nor capstan operating at correct speed
Errors1.2 &4
Reel problems, reel move pulses not detected
within time window
Errors 188
See errors 2 &8
See errors 1,2 &8
See errors 1&4
See
2 &4
See errors 1,2&4
One or both reels not turning.
parts of meth require replacing
See errors 1&8
See errors 2 &8
Mech not working unable to
load or unload. Most often
caused by damaged logic cam
left- replace it and sector gear
assembly
Errors
12.13.14,1
5
Error 21*
Error 31'
Error 41
Error 59
12
13
14
15
See
See
See
See
Table
1
4.8
1.4,8
2.4.8
Solenoid not engaging correctly, recorder will
not go into 2"' stage of FFWD /REW
Reel motor not rotating or reel servo not locked
within 5s after eject command
Reel motor not rotating or reel servo not locked
within 1.55 after play /shuttle/wind commands
DA -88s; enter rehearsal mode or
auto I -O from any mode; punch
point verification; auto play- rewindplay loop and peak hold on -off in
the level meter.
The main differences between v3
and v4 are that changes can be made
in the menu display and that you no
longer have to use the dip switches.
You can indicate the version of the
Syscon microcomputer by pressing
the STOP key, PLAY key, and RECORD
key simultaneously, and then pressing the POWER switch.
To indicate the version of the
Servo microcomputer: while pressing the
1,2,4.8
Tape is not wound into cassette even when
eject is pressed
Tape slack in FFWD /REW and STOP operated
1
Error 68
errors
errors
errors
errors
Multiple formatting for locked
Dust accumulation on
chassis? Replace slide reel
cam with new type. This
reduces mechanical load on
slide reel cam?
Bent slide lever assembly.
Replace faulty part
key
REWIND key, F- FORWARD
and STOP key simultaneously, press
the POWER switch.
To indicate the drum's accumulated time: while pressing the STOP
key and PLAY key simultaneously,
press the POWER switch.
The recorder should as far as
possible be kept in a dust and
smoke -free environment. The DA88 uses a fan that pulls air in
through the right -hand side of the
recorder and across the tape transport and exhausts on the left -hand
side of the unit. When there is a
111
MASTERCLASS
SUBCODE
DATA
ATF
CH
CH
CH
CH
12
34
54
AS
TRACK FORMAT
í
A
8
F
RF
LEAD -IN
WAVEFORM
LEAD -OUT
(TAKE-UP SIDE)
(SUPPLY SIDE
Fig. 1: relating track format and RF waveform
tape loaded in the mech then an air current also
moves through the loading door and exhausts
on the left -hand side. Hence any dust in the atmosphere is recycled through the tape path and
transport mechanism.
Always take care when loading a tape into the
recorder. Let the mech accept and load the tape never
push the tape or exert pressure as you are likely to
damage the loading mech and probably end up with
the tape jammed in the mech.
Tape cleaners should be avoided if possible, they
only remove light surface dust, but not tape dust that
has stuck to the surface. HHB recommends that if the
customer experiences high error light flashes and
degraded audio then the recorder should be returned
to a service centre for examination and cleaning by
qualified personnel. If it is necessary to use a cleaning
tape then we would recommend that it is only used
once and only as an emergency not as a matter of
routine. Cleaning tapes are abrasive and cause wear
on the head every time that they are used. The more
they are used the shorter the life of the head. Every
time a cleaning operation is performed it is logged
and can be checked The hours of head use are also
automatically clocked. Dirt and dust are the cause of
most of the mechanical problems in DTRS and DAT
recorders.
To use a cleaning tape proceed as follows: Eject
the tape in the recorder and turn the DA -88 off. Power
up the DA -88 while holding the Up and Down arrows,
this puts the DA -88 into the cleaning mode. Next
insert HC -88 tape and the cleaning process will start
and stop automatically. Upon completion the tape
will be automatically ejected and the DA -88 will be
ready to use.
It is vitally important after servicing a DA -88
recorder to ensure that that RF amp is correctly
aligned for metal particle and metal evaporated tape,
there are different adjustments for each type of tape.
This is checked by putting all tracks into record
and formatting both kinds of tape and then playing
back the tapes ensuring that there is no red light for
high errors
It is essential that DTRS tapes are used with these
recorders as they require a tape formulation that will
withstand the harsh conditions that are demanded of the
medium for example continuous fast forward and rewind
sequences in postproduction and multiple track laying.
There are two types of tape used in DTRS recorders
and these are for different uses. They are metal particle tape and metal evaporated tape. The metal particle
tape is thicker and stronger this makes it suitable for
repeated editing cycles. Metal evaporated tape is suitable for one pass recording and for work that requires
scrubbing, however it generally reduces head wear.
Due to the nature of the work in film and video postproduction most major services may require some or all
of the following parts to be replaced: cam logic and
gear assembly sector which are always replaced together, pinch roller assembly, slide reel cam, reel tables
supply S and T take up are again replaced at the same
time and finally the head drum assembly. Head failure
per 100 recorders serviced is approximately 25%
The most common faults are error 1, 2, 8, 11, 31 and 41.
This is only a guide to where a service engineer
might find the cause of a problem. It is NOT a 100%
guarantee that it is the exact description of the fault.
(See Table 1.)
The DA -88 is a robustly built recorder with a good
record for electronic reliability. The recorder rarely
chews tapes, but early models were prone to having
loading and unloading problems caused by the logic
cam that were cured in later production models.
HHB's main area of input to the DA -88 has been the
9 -pin RS422 interface. In the early days the sync boards
9 -pin interface were rather basic and we helped in
bringing them up to the level required for professional postproduction work. As important, perhaps, as the
recorder itself is the way that the DA -88 and its accessories come together as a system. The SY88 chase
synchroniser board slots easily into place and the
RC848 remote control carries the 9 -pin port that can
drive video machines and interfacing to other digital
audio equipment is easily achieved. It is advisable when
using multi -recorder setups that all the recorders have
compatible software including the RC848 and SY88.
If you are looking to buy a secondhand DA -88 a
good test would be to use a known good recorded tape
and put the recorder through a chase -lock sequence.
This would give a good indication as to the state of the
head. If this is not possible, then ensure that ABS time
is not intermittent or audio drop -outs are not present.
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STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
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SERVICES
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Avinu
DENECKE INC.
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HrrtIurdshur 1112 711)
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Fun .49 40 8517 700
Fnn .44 114
Fax +49 40 8517 764
fax .44 144 2399(144
TIMECODE EQUIPMENT
SALES AND RENTAL
2265405
AUDIO- SERVICE
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3124+
API has long been acknowledged
as amongst the best souixtmg audio
processing equipment ever made Designed from 1968 to the present
day by Paul Wolff the range has remained largely unchanged for 30
years and current units retain the same discrete. hand made circuitry
of the originals
Demand has always outstripped supply, but Funky Junk now carries
stocks of most items including the legendary 550b 4 band sweep eq.
512C discrete mic pre and 525C compressor. plus a range of racks to fit
Of particular interest for live recordists and Protools users is the 3124+
4 channel discrete mic preamp in a 1 unit rack While other manufacturers
loudly advertise their latest devices. API continues to sell steadily to leading
producers, musicians and studios worldwide on the basis of a simple.
handmade design offering a noteably superior performance
Trade enquires welcome
TLA®
udio
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LONDON- PARIS -MILAN -STOCKHOLM
+44 (0)207 609 5479 fax +44 (0)207 609 5483
For more details about other banches
and distribution please visit our Website
sales @funky -junk.co.uk
prooudIourope.ccìi
www.tlaudio.co.uk
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Audio Limited, Sonic Touch, Iceni Court,
Icknield Way, Letchworth, Hertz 566 ITN UK
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Tel: +44 (0)1462 680888
Fax: +44 (0)1462 680999
email: [email protected]
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sound a
RATES: Recruitment £3
ointments
To place an advertisement contact: Studio Sound (Classified),
Miller Freeman Entertainment Ltd.,
Montague Close, London SE1 9UR, UK
Tel: +44(0)171 940 8518 Fax: +44(0)171 407 7102
All box numbers reply to the above address
8
per single column centimetre. All other sections £33 (minimum 2cm x 1) Box number £10 extra per insertion. Published monthly.
Channel creation and marketing, program production and distribution, mastery of high -end technology... The CANAL+ group
is made up of 4,000 people at the service of more than 13.6 million subscribers in 12 countries. The Engineering and
Maintenance Division of our France Technical Department is looking for an:
AUDIO SYSTEM ENGINEER
You will participate in the Technical Department's studies and projects from the design to implementation phases.
You will provide technical support to the Department's technicians, and oversee Headquarters' technical installations.
You will assist the manager with all his engineering duties. The successful candidate will have an Associate's Degree
(Bac+
2),
and at least 5 years of experience in the audio -broadcast field. He or she will be familiar with electronics (AF, HF),
electro- acoustics and telecommunications. Finally, he or she have excellent knowledge of a drawing application and speak
English fluently.
Please send your application, quoting reference number FM /ISA /431 to CANAL+ service recrutement Le Ponant
19 rue Leblanc
-
UK Product Specialist:
Paris Cedex 15.
E -mail:
recrut @canal-plus.com
digidesign'
An in -depth knowledge of Digidesign's products would be an advantage
but training will be given if the correct candidate is unfamiliar with our
Avid
product range.
Given the above requirements any candidate must possess the following
personal characteristics:
Self- motivation and able to work independent of the rest of the group.
of
Digidesign -The worlds leading supplier of digital audio recording solutions
are seeking a UK Product Specialist.
The primary role of the UK Product Specialist is to provide successful
demonstrations and relevant technical knowledge to prospective and
existing customers, within UK and Eire. This will involve a fair degree of
travel around the UK, and major trade shows (AES Europe, IBC, etc) at
which the candidate will be expected to engage in mainstage
demonstrations.
The secondary role of the product specialist is to train the UK Digidesign
Authorised dealers on new products and associated technologies, as well
as being involved in product development.
Excellent written and verbal communication and social skills.
Ability to convey highly technical information to target audiences with
varying levels of comprehension.
Public Presentation Skills.
To apply please post or e -mail your CV to Jed Allen at:
Avid Technology, Pinewood Studios, Pinewood Rd, Iver Heath,
Bucks, SLO ONH, infouk @digidesign.com
equipment wanted
EVE
any condi
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PRO
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AUDIO
A UNITED KINGDOM BASED COMPANY
Telephone: 01932 872672 Fax: 01932 874364 Telephone International: 44 1932 872672
Fax: International: 44 1932 874364
Website Address: AESPROAUDIO.COM Email Address: [email protected]
studio for sale
THE
CH U RgH STUDIQS
equipment for sale
AUDIO CARE
LóDóN, EgLAND
WQRLD RENQWNED CóMMERgIAL RECóRDINg CóMPLEX
HQME STUDIQ QF DAVE STEWART
Call or fax at: 33 16
1 04 03 69
Web: http: / /www.ata78.com.fr
We buy and sell.
EURYTHMISS
2 RECQRDINg STUDIQS PLUS QVER 90 Só. METRES QF QFFISE SPAgE
(4 TIMES BRIT AWARDS BEST PRQDUÇER) Er
VISITINS ARTISTS / PRÇDUSERS:
STUDER.SSL.NEVE.
ALL SAINTS, BQB DYLAN, NATALIE IMBRUgLIA, MISK JAggER, )QN BQN JQVI,
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DAVE BASCQMBE, AL CLAY, FLQQD, NIgEL GQDRICH, ALAN MQULDER, GIL NQRTQN,
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Studer 24/A820/SR /Locat /sync
Studer 24/4800 mk3 /new heads
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1 Studer 8/A820/3500 hrs /remo
Harrison 1OxB /96 in /TR /FlyingFad
SSL G +64 in with Ultimation
SSL 5000 Broadcast
Neve 5308 /32 /patchbay
2 Neumann U47 long body VF 14
2 Neumann U67 valve
Neumann M367 valve
Neumann SM69 Stéréo
6 Schoeps M221 valve
1 UREI LA4 and 1178
2
1
1
1
1
and much more
...
nstration LA100D A
special price of £4,5
ve a number of ex -d
We
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These
4011*4:..,
atrrir-
full 12
'RatJ
ONE ONLY
ONLY
E50,000 £35,000
SSL
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NEW SPENDOR
POWERED
MONITORS
1/2
PRICE!
K.G.B.
NEUMANN
STUDER
-
CALL OR FAX FOR OUR LATEST LIST OF
USED EQUIPMENT OR VISIT OUR WEB SITE
Tel: +44 (0)1462 680888
Appian Acoustics Ltd.
SPEAKER CHASSIS
CROSS -OVERS
"l'cl:
+44
(0)ii
1
420 3662
Fax: +44 (0)141 420 3353
4 Francis St., Glasgow G5 ßI1'1'
www.loudspeaker.co.uk
EX VAT
http :/iwww.tlaudio.co.uk/used.htm
NEW AND USED VINTAGE EQUIPMENT
NE VE
r
Professional Audio Specialist
U -87s
ALL
Fax: +44 (0)1462 680999
HARBORSOUND
phone-001 (818) 904 -9400 fax -001 (818) 904 -9444 pgr-001 (818) 999 -8970
ANY GEAR NOT LISTED CAN BE FOUND WITHIN 48 HRS!
"SPECIAL: NEUMANN
please seed
+44 (0) 1394 380301 Fax +44 (011394 385156 uncoil: [email protected]
www. killergearbroker. corn
VISA
so
and carriage to the address below.
lindos Electronics, Saddlemnkers lune, Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk. 1P121PP.
Tel:
USED SSL USED NEVE
CONSOLES V-1 48 channel
VAT
.
mhlore wìlktin4Wri software owl a
wr4hnwommtT T1I ese prices it's cheque with order,
£5287.50 (to include
ANDREW.OWEN @CHURCHSTUDIOS.COM FAX +44 (0)20 83415589
FROM ONLY
nits are in 'as new' condition
Ph: 001 (781) 231 -0095 Fax: 001 (781) 231 -0295
new $1,800"
SSL 8096G -W /Ultimation and Total
Recall, film monitor, in great shape,
remote patch bay, $340k; Two Studer
A827 2" 24trk brand new less than 250
hours on each machine, full remote,
locators, covers in mint condition just
over twelve months old $48k each.
Ernie Woody +1(323)467 -9375
www.harborsound.com
TRADE
BUY SELL
STUDIO, RECORDING & PA EQUIPMENT
+
all musical Instruments
1
technology
STUDIO CLIARANCIS UNDIRTAKSN
'
MUSIC EXCHANGE
56
Notting Hill Gate, London W11
OPEN 7 DAYS
+44 (0)20 7229 4805
LARGE SELECTION ON SALE
products
CLEARSONIC PANELS
rochure showcase
and
Better Audio Quality
!
Request your copy of the new
,;,dtlÌ1ÍÍ@'
microphone catalogue from DPA
Microphones
--1PÖR
DPA
Helrevang
SR"
RFECTION
11
3450 Allered, Denmark
Now More Transparent Than Ever!
Del:
Effective & Portahlc,Aolunu Control St Separation
For a tree brochure call: 1.800-888-6360
Email: info @dpamicrophones.com
+45 4814 2828
S
C
Fox: +45 4814 2700
t,V
I
www.dpamicrophones.com
clearsonic.com
Analogue Perfection
CLOSE 1IICROPHONE Sl'S7'Ii1IS FOR ALI,
A('OUS'1lC INS'l'RU11EN'I'S
AIl
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For nformatlon on John Dram's stunning
range of Consoles and Rack equipment,
return details or visit our Web site.
www.oram.co.uk
E-mail: [email protected]
ORAM PROFESSIONAL AUDIO
Tel: +44 (0)1474 815300
Fax: +44 (0)1474 815400
TA-
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Pro Tools and Outboard Specialists
121
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The
Acc
The Father of British Et) - John Oram
H
6850 - MENDRISIO - SWITZERLAND
TEL
+41-91 630 07 10 - FAX +41-91 630 07 11.
[email protected] - www.schertler.com
- Ï-
Hud, I.ulter.trlll
1.1
17
41-1.
1
Is
pet,
Studio design, build & wire from our own professional team
engineered to out- perform end look the beet ac
»
+44 (0)7071- 247 -247
CALL US NOW FOR A FREE QUOTATION
AND WELL TURN YOUR DREAM INTO REALITY
wvdw atiauücrp ïor)I < r)onN
New G4 in stock.
Call Gavin Beckwith London's leading Mac guru.
Avalon
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Focusrite
Lexicon
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Summit
TC Electronic - TLA - Eventide
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Massenberg - Alan Smart Neumann - Oram
Mackie d8b Main Dealer
Call Niki Melville- Rogers
+44 (0)20 8440 3440
mastering and duplication
FOR ALL YOUR
REPLICATION NEEDS
We can supply the
following formats
& products:
C
CD
CD -ROM
DVD
Audiocassette
Mini Disc
Business Card CD
Vinyl Record
CD-R
Unique Packaging concepts
Music licensing
ROM authoring
1000 CDs with Booklet +Inlay c.£600
High Quality CDR copies from £1.50
Real Time Cassette Copying
CD /CD -ROM Mastering £60ph
Enhanced CDs, CD- audio, CD -ROM
itin
Copy Masters, Compilatio
Graphic design
15 years experience
Photo quality or litho printing
Large and small run specialists
Excellent quality and presentation
RG24 BAL
6 Grand Union Centre
West Row
London W10 5AS
Tel. 020 8960 7222
visit us at
.vww.repeat- performance.co.uk
pik
$á F. Y
N`tucrN
t
ncosn
CD Duplication
£15.00
50 CDR's - £59.00
100 CDR's - £99.00
10 CDR's
PURITY C/-1MP'Id.-r I)N®C SPECIA,(. (WEEPS
Ino Truwsrtx & PO ENCODING Buss MASTLnINO,
COLOUR DIáCFUU. COIßUn 4 Pn:+x r3UOn. & T+t.r/ ,J-GJwto / Wuul7r,
co W 'ro 74
E
Hats,
Multimedia
C.
or visit us or our website
Basingstoke,
Repeat Performance
0161 953 4230
Coll us now on
Pinewood, Ehineham Business Park, Erockford Lane, Ehiheham,
'
Pure
+44 (0)1256 698016
www.opticaltechnique.com
RP ht
MNN4
OYERWrwP, QEuvEtiY
900 ree £520
IQDCt FOR
£73C
i-VAT IC61 1,001
-F
VAT
e£859.75)
-
Call Sales 0800 3281386
*Fast Turnaround*
services
AIR CONDITIONING &
VENTILATION TO SOUND
STUDIOS IS OUR SPECIALITY
APPROVED SERVICE CENTRE
Service Centre for all broadcast and video
post -production audio requirements.
EA
Digital audio multi -track
1Ve
MiniDisc
COR
out by our qualified engineers on a priority basis.
Full warranty on all service and repairs. Personal and friendly service.
DAI
AKAI
DENON
FOS=
provide design only or design and
installation for many well known clients.
Whether it be for displacement free cooling,
V.A.V., V.R.V., split, unitary or centralised
Free estima es available. All work carried
call Mike Hardy of
Ambthair Services Ltd on
TASCAM
+44 (0)1403 250306 or fax +44 (0)1403 211269
Everything Audio Limited
Elstree Filin Studios, Shenlev Road. Borehamwood. Herts. WD6 IJG
Tel: + 44 (0)20 81 324 2726 Fax: +44 (0)20 81 324 2775
Web :http: / /wwv`'.antbthair.cont
Email: cool(a'ambthair.com
alicchop.corn
Addressi
you will
never know
how good our prices
are until you log on
Professional movers of studio equipment within the UK and Europe
www.aliceshop.corn
Call Graham Cook on +44 (0120 8450 9127
.
Experienced, reliable, fully insured and always on time.
(mobile: 07785 290754)
134 Cricklewood Lane, London NW2 2DP
e -mail:
Fax: +44 (0)20 8208 1979
aIII
broadcast equipment to your door
sMSm-
audiomoves @easynet.co.uk
Storage facilities also available
eac- 0 SELF ADHESIVE
((3e:D
®
http://www.sensible-music.co.uk
MOBILE RECORDING
'L'
LOLtd
LI
COMPUTER LABEL
MANUFACTURERS
HIGH GLOSS
LABELS
INKJET
resistant
Instant
dry & Rub
whether: MONO, ANALOGUE or 96 TRACK DIGITAL,
CU
CASSETTE OR SONY 3348
using
Focusrite micamps, 24 Bit Pro tools etc
choose
The Ampex ATR endures as the ultimate quality standard for
music mastering. And only ATR Service offers:
at
A
Tel: (01795) 428425
OF
Supplied for most makes,
Tape Head Re- Lapping /Re- Profiling.
Same day turn round.
PROJECTORS AND MAGNETIC FILM MACHINES
SPECIALISTS
SUMMERTONE LTD.,
98
jbs records
HEAD TECHNOLOGY
Scatterdells Lane, Chipperfield, Herts. WD4 9EZ UK
Phone: +44(0)1923 263220 Fax: +44(01 1923 260606
e
MUSIC and SPEECH
11
Brittania Way. Stanwell, Staines. Middx TW19 7HJ
TEL: +44 (0)1784 256046
-mail: smtone @globalnet.co.uk
REAL-TIME/HIGHER -SPEED Quality Cassette
Duplication and Blank Cassettes from 1 -1000.
Computer printed labels. Solo, %l' reel or
R -DAT recording. Fast Security Delivery service.
FILTERBOND LTD
19 SADLERS WAY, HERTFORD, SG14 2DZ
Tel/Fax: 01992- 500101
E-mail: jbsrecords [email protected]
Fax: (01795) 422365
NEW TAPE HEADS
WORN HEADS
AGENTS FOR SONDOR
I
(24 hrs)
HEAD TECHNOLOGY
MCI & OTHERS
REFURBISHMENT OF ALL TYPES
www atrservice.com
C E
S E R V
C O M P A N Y
AMPEX
OTARI - 3M
yrs
Units 15'16 Church Road SittIngbourne Kent MELI) 3RS
MAGNETIC TAPE HEADS
STUDER
CD lobe with security lab
http :/ /www.superfast.eo.uk/label/
Phone 020 7700 9900 Fax 020 7700 4802
Email studios @sensible- music.co.uk
Call Michael Spitz in the USA at 717 -852 -7700
Le3111mm CD Labels
On -line orders
NO Truck NO Parking NO Hassle
Transport upgrades for better -than -new performance
Complete stock of replacement parts
or visit us on the Web
L14118mm CD Labels
THE SENSIBLE SOLUTION
NEW 1 -inch 2 -track version now available!
Sales and complete restoration services
1/2-inch conversions with Flux Magnetics heads
Modular tube electronics and transformerless I/O
11
STUDIO FURNITURE
SOLUTIONS
Lockwood Audio
THE
Auihonsed
TArsNn
Oudioagenrv
y
Tot 01908 510123
Ema,l: omnuaxtonudloagoncy.co.uk
Full ramp: tochnical hrochuro on request
of professional
furniture solutions for Mackie,
A wide range
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Yamaha, Digidesign, ProTools, ProControl and
all other mixers, computer and keyboard workstations.
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SPEAKER BARGAINS GALORE
Phone: +44 (0)20 8864 8008
OLD RECORDS
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films
1}761689 Kafscbrf
htp://www.houscofaudio.come-mail: offíce4Thouseofaudio.co111
Wc)RI.I) F.VFNTS
September
Tel: +49 89 94901.
4-7
Net: www.messe- muenchen.de
22-25
IECEP 2000
Philippine International
IN A STFATEGIC MOVE to further promote a
nd positon the ABU Theatre Show. the
109th AES
Convention Centre,
CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard,
Associa-ion of British Theatre Technicians
committee has apoointed Point Promotions,
organisers of the Sound Broadcasting Equipment Show, to manage its show opera
t ions. promotion and logistics. This comes at
a time Then the physical size and importance of the Show has surpassed the ABTT
committee with the organiser, Roger Fox
concedir g that it is now "very much a full time
Job" andit can only meet the demands of the
Industryvith professional exhibition management. In its 20 -year history the ABTT show
has becc me an industry favourite for theatrical servic e and eqi ipmenl providers, being ab
le to meet ti :ends and customers in a convenient arc pleasant location in the Royal Horticultuial Halls. Central London.
Los Angeles Convention Centre.
Los Angeles. California. US.
Contact: Chris Plunkett.
Tel: +1 212 661 8528.
Email: 109th_exhibits @aes.org
Net www aes org
Manila. Philippines.
Contact: Overseas Exhibition Services
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 2090.
Email: philippines @montnet.com
8 -12
-
October
IBC
Amsterdam. The Netherlands.
Contact: International
Broadcasting Convention.
Tel +44 (0)20 761 7500.
Fax: +44 (0)20 761 7530.
Email: [email protected]
Net www.ibc.org
17 -18
Broadcast India 2000
Centrum Centre 1. World Trade
Centre, Mumbai, India.
Contact: Kavita Meer. Saicom Trade
Fairs and Exhibitions.
1
1
Tel: +91 22 215 1396
10-13
Email: saicom @bom2.vsnl.net.in
Plasa 2000
Net: www.saicom.com/
broadcastindia.
Earls Court, London. UK.
Contact: PLASA
Hong Kong. China
7 -10
Satis
Email: [email protected]
16 -20
Email your event
details to Peter Stanbury:
Hall 7. NEC Birmingham. UK.
pstanburyOunitedbusiness
media.com for prompt inclusion
in World Events
Tel: +44 1398 323 700.
Fax: +44 1398 323 780.
Contact: Point promotions.
and 5th April 2001 For Further information. Stan
d availability and general information please call
01 398
323700 or fax 01398 323780.
24-27
Nippon Convention Centre.
Makuhari Messe.
Contact: Japan Electronics Show
Association.
Fax: +81 3 5402 7605.
Email: bee @jesa.or.jp
Net: http:i /bee.jesa.or.jp/
Sound Broadcasting
Equipment Show
The ABTTTheatre Show 2001 will be held at
the Royal Horticultural Halls. London on the4th
Net: www.ioa.org.uk
36th Inter BEE 2000
8 -9
MOC Events Centre.
Munich-Freimann, Germany.
Contact: Messe Munchen.
dedicated to backstage equipment and
services. We are delighted to work with the
ABTT. It is very much in line with our SBES
operations. albeit to a completely different sector of the market" stated Dave
McVittie. Partner of Point Promotions. We
see great potential for this show which is
constructed specifically for the theatre
services market and. like the SBES, it is an
exceptionally well- targeted event.'
Email: ioa @ioa.org.uk
15 -17
Paris. France
Cinec 2000
being used to increase the number of stands
and to provide improved visitor facilities. The
original show location. the New Hall. will be
Stratford upon Avon. UK.
Contact: Institute Of Acoustics.
Tel: +44 1727 848195
Fax: +44 1727 850553.
8 -10
Replitech
November
Tel: +44 (0) 8831 7607
Fax: +44 (0) 8891 6994
The show will be significantly bigger next
year with the newly refurbished Old Hall now
ABTT Theatre Shows
Points New Direction
Email: [email protected] muenchen.de
21st Tonmeistertagung
VDT International
Audio Convention
Hannover Congress Cur t
Hannover, Germany.
Contact: Gisela Jungen. VDT.
Tel: +49 (0) 2204 23595.
Fax: +49 (0) 2204 21584.
Email: vdt @tonmeister.de
Net: www.tonmeister.de
17 -19
Email: info @pointproms.co.uk.
Reproduced Sound 16
Net: www.sbes.com.
Stratford Victoria Hotel,
Hear the Power!
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STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
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ARE VOL MISSING PART OF THE PICTURE?
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Finland
Soundata Oy
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& B-oadcastirg
Equ pment
Studiotechnik GmbH
+7 812 233
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9561
Germany
Great Britain
Spa n
HHB
Gedelson S.A.
+34 93 5741122
Communications Ltd
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Italy
Grisby Music
+39 717 108 471
universal synchronisable audio clock reference with multiple outputs and
integrated video black & burst generator
I Integrated power supply
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Dimensions: 1U -19"
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Weight: 1,8 rg
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measurable levels
IN
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ROSENDAiL:
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MtO1X1 ([email protected]%[email protected]ß [email protected]@
4iMS aElEREHeE 4EITt91XT0e
OX55
T[ 50 1,05
WORD
Video Outputs
Sweden
POL -Teknik AB
+46 8 4494440
Switzerland
Giart
Helios Recording
& Broadcast
+31 235 319472
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ProLyd AS
Reference Inputs
Audio Clock Outputs
i
VID
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(E
0 (o,:o)
tootOto
AES
4 x Video black
& burst
®--
WO
/
rs :>.,I
EBU
output
SPDIF output
outputs
6 x Word clock outputs
input
Word clock input
LTC
PAL
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NTSC video sync
/ through
outputs 1 -3 individual configurable .s
outputs 4 -6 individual configurable cs
F5 x 1
FS
x
I
or FS x 2
or F5 x 256
input
ROSENDAHL
www. rosendahl*studiotechrrik
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THE WISH LIST
LETTERS
Continued from page 122
Radio simulator with
radio compression
`In other words, checking the mix
through your car radio. At the old
A &M Studios in Hollywood (which
I think is now The Muppet Show headquarters) they had a system set up so
that you could send your mix through
a selected frequency -with all of the
esting Studio Sound special -Millennium
Edition (December 1999) -1 became sorely
upset at not finding any coverage of my past
mentor and dear friend, Dr Marvin Camras,
who passed away June 1995.
Dr Camras' development breakthrough
patent was to inject a high- frequency AC bias
signal -which was modulated by audio record
signals -into his special patent- designed,
I
Table tennis table
moment! It gets the muscles moving
after sitting over the desk for hours at
a time.'
Cappucino machine
`Good coffee is a valuable mix tool.
Administer when required.'
would have to rely on expert advice, as
I am not particularly technically minded
(and I am quite happy that way).
`I
Total
ex enditure:
Well, Tim hasn't gone mad
in
terms of the
equipment, so he should be able to secure
a
decent commercial property overlooking the
Ocean. And, who knows, possibly he'll even
Installation
magnetic- record -play heads. Dr Poulsen's
patent in the late 1800s on magnetic wire
recording had high noise, high distortion,and
a low signal level, making it unusable.
Dr Camras' highest achievement was developing magnetic (wire -tape) audio recordings
to produce 40dB signal -to -noise ratio, low
distortion (3 %), and wide frequency range
50Htz to 5kHz (±3dB) during 1940-50.
In 1945
went to Illinois Institute of
Technology, called IIT. There was privileged
to work with Dr Camras on his inventions.
During this interim, he became my mentor
and best friend. After obtaining patents on
circuitry innovations using high- frequency
AC bias in magnetic audio recording, and
advanced magnetic head design -he began
work on formulating experimental 'magnetic
oxide' slurries to deposit onto paper and plastic tape ribbons, wound on a reel. This
opened up the way for his magnetic recordplay 'tape' patents, and also patents on magnetic record -play tape heads. It was at this
point that he started experimenting with Multi
Multi Magnetic Tape Audio Record-Play, systems, upon which he obtained patents. This
was in the late 1950s.
in the Studio Sound Millennium Anthology on
audio achievements, from 1917 to 2000.
Enclosed is a complete biography and
genealogy on Dr Marvin Camras -his break-
through
magnetic
recording
patents
acknowledgments.
think it would be 'ethical and upright'
-for Studio Sound to print some explanation for the oversight, together with excerpts
from enclosed Biography and Genealogy
Master Index depicting Marvin Camras' magnetic tape recording inventions & acknowledgments (dating from 1945 to his demise in
1995). Perhaps it could be in the next issue
of Studio Sound.
Philip D Pavda, New Jersey, US.
&
I
vidious.pal @juno.com
Tim Goodyer replies
Your comments, and Dr Camras'
work, are duly noted.
I
should serve to keep everyone else away.'
good game of table tennis is an
important way to get a break for a
netic tape audio recording were not mentioned
AFTER GOING THROUGH your most inter-
relevant limiting-to your car radio.
That was a lot of fun and quite helpful. I think I would like one of those.
A very comfortable control room
chair, as well as two uncomfortable
chairs for anyone else.
`A good chair is a must for mixing
and the long hours that come with it.
If not, the back is knackered by the end
of the day. A Brookstone massage chair
would be especially nice. At the same
time, the two uncomfortable chairs
`A
I'm sorely upset and surprised that
Dr Camras' breakthrough patents on mag-
Historical
outburst
be relevant to the song that I am working on, so I give it a shot.'
have enough left to buy a one-room 1930s
condo in Pacific Palisades...
Photographic
memory
OUTSTANDING! commend your magazite
I
for the excellent tribute to Richard
Swettenham. It was the picture that really
brought back the memory. haven't seen him
I
since 1976 if remember right, when had the
I
I
chance to spend the best part of a day with
him in Chicago. was chief engineer for
Brunswick Records at the time. The name
rang a bell. but that picture, wow, like a flashback. What a wonderful and charismatic fellow he was. Thank you again for the memory
I
and excellent tribute.
Robert G. Kachur, Charlotte,
Michigan, US.
ROCK 'N' ROLL ANIMAS
Poppadom Preach
Dansak on the Ceiling
Tears on my Pilao
Living Dahl
Tikka Chance on Me
Paperback Raita
Korma Chameleon
Vindaloo Sunset
Mulligatawny of Kintyre
Annie's sag
When Doves Karai
Reshmee Amadeus
Cedric marvelled at the rich, vibrant detail of the studio
120
2 eco system
Bhaji Trousers
Saageant Pepper
Paint It Palak
Rogon All Over the World
Tarka Side of the Moon
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
E
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THE WISH LIST
TI_VI
PALMER'S MIX ROOM
Richard Buskin introduces
a new series in which we offer a producer or engineer
a (sometimes) generous sum of money with which to equip a given task
recorders anymore? There again, when
I print the mix I love the sound of the
Ampex half -inch tape machines.
RODUCER, ENGINEER AND
REMIXER Tim Palmer started
his career as an assistant engineer
at London's Utopia Studios during the early 1980s. Here he worked with
artists such as Mark Knopfler and Dead
or Alive before becoming a fully- fledged
producer on projects from the likes of
Robert Plant, The Mission, The Mighty
Lemon Drops, House of Love, Texas, Tin
Machine, Tears For Fears, Gene Loves
Jezebel and Ned's Atomic Dustbin.
During the early 1990s Palmer made
another transition, devoting most of his
professional time to mixing and remixing
-Pearl Jam, Catherine Wheel, Concrete
Blonde, The Cure, James, Michael
Hutchence, The Dance Hall Crashers,
Reel Big Fish, Soak and Sepultura are
among his credits in this latter genre.
Now relocated to Los Angeles, it is
unsurprising that for his dream mixing
facility he would like a Malibu, California
location, with a control room that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. `It would be
quite inspiring to work in an environment like that,' he says with a tendency
a dream
world I would live very close to the studio, although the house prices in that
area might be a little out of my reach at
this moment in time.'
Well, £5m is a lot of money to spend, Tim.
However, before you go and blow most of it on a
highly desirable but totally unnecessary beachside
property, you would be best advised to invest your
huge windfall in some state -of- the -art mix room
technology.
towards understatement. `In
Console:
SSL 9000J
`In the last few years I have been lucky enough to use
the SSL J- Series, and in my opinion it is the best sounding and most creative console I have ever worked on.
In the past, people seemed to favour the sound of the
Neve and the ease of operation of the SSL. Well, with
this console you have both. I love the automated panning that is available to every channel, and the automated switching makes life very simple.
`When I was mixing Pearl Jam's first album, Ten, at
Ridge Farm, I would often split the vocal four or five
times to get the variation in vocal sounds that I needed. Now, with all of the automated sends and inserts,
I am usually down to just the one.'
Monitors:
Genetec 1031A;Yamaha NS10
The monitors that I mix mainly on are the Genelec
1031As. Nowadays I find that I rarely use the big
monitors in a control room. I have a listen to check
122
what's going on in the very low end, but apart from
that I work mainly on the close -field 1031A. Any
speaker is just a personal point of reference, and this
is mine. With this speaker you can hear what's going
on in the high frequencies right through to the lows.
The NS10 is also a valuable tool, and it is a great
speaker for balance. You get less distracted by fidelity and simply ask yourself, "Does the mix feel good ? ".'
Editor:
ProTools 24 Mix -Pius with plug -ins
and massive hard drives
'The Pro Tools has improved my ability immensely
to be creative at the mix stage. I use the Mix -Plus system- alongside the format of the music I am mixing
on -as a kind of slave, and I use Pro Tools to try new
arrangement ideas, add new parts, affect guitars and
vocals with plug-ins, and generally move stuff about.
The Amp farm plug -in is great for vocal distortions.
I used this a lot under the vocals on U2's song, `The
Ground Beneath Her Feet'. Thanks to this system
everything is done very quickly and with ease, and it
is of course all non -destructive.'
Tape machines:
Studer A8O0; Ampex half -inch
`Studer multitracks are like tanks; the best machines
ever. Can you believe they don't make multitrack
Outboard:
GML stereo EQ (2); rack of API EQs;
rack of Focusrite EQs; teletronix
LA2A (2); Distresser; DMX stereo
harmoniser; Eventide 113000 (2);
Drawmer gates (20); Lexicon
PCM42 (8); Lexicon 480 reverb;
Lexicon 224XL reverb; AMS RMX
reverb; dbx 902 de -esser (4);
`I have mañy favourite pieces of outboard equipment. The Teletronix LA2A
compressors are great for a transparent,
solid sound. On the other hand, when I
want to hear the compressor working I
sometimes like to use the Distresser,
although the compressors on the SSL J
are usually sufficient for most of the processing I need in a normal mix situation.
`As far as extra EQ, not a lot is
required really as the SSL EQ is so good,
and of course on the j-series you can
choose between two different EQ curves.
I often use the GML stereo EQ over the
mix bus, and it is a unit that I think
sounds really good. Some EQ sounds so
angular and unnatural, whereas I find
the GML to be smooth and -dare I say
it-very musical. In addition, I really like
the API EQs, which I fell in love with when I was producing bands like Texas and The Mission at RAK
Studios in London.
DAT Machine and CD Burner
player is an obvious must -have. When mixing, I still print the "master" version of the song to half
inch, but all variations I print to DAT only. In fact,
some mixers don't even bother with half inch at all
these days, so a good DAT machine is important.
`CD is likely to be the medium on which the hand
and A &R listen to your mix, so it is worth taking
time to get a good CD burner and put plenty of level
on it. It seems to me that some members of our indus`A DAT
try just nudge
a
mix according to how loud it is. They
is correctly mastered, whereas
have never listened to a CD and not been able to
reach over and set the volume to my desired level.
Some mixers actually master their CDs before sending
them out, and this prevents their work from being
judged on this ridiculous premise.
cannot wait until it
I
Big TV Monitor
'I like a big TV in the control room, with the sound fed
through the monitors. I take short breaks to clear my
head, and also, often when I switch the TV to MTV,
M2 or a movie, I may hear a sound or effect that could
Continued on page 120
>
STUDIO SOUND SEPTEMBER 2000
I
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New hard disk recorders
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Our new HDR24 /96 was
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drop fades & crossfades, Ix /2x /4x /8x /24x wav_form
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The HDR24/96 was the
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Pro Audio Review, June 2000
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