Dolby has demonstrated its new Atmos 3D audio platform as well as high frame rate (HFR), 4K, and 3D visual capabilities. The Dolby Atmos platform can capture, distribute, and faithfully render audio in a way that is not limited by channels or fixed speaker locations. Due to this scalability and adaptability, exhibitors can build theatres with customised speaker configurations that optimise performance based on room size and shape. The latest addition to Dolby Digital Cinema products, the Dolby Integrated Media Block (IMB) offers exhibitors a platform with fully built-in support for HFR 3D (48 and 60 frames per second) and 2K and 4K playback, all at a single price.
‘With the introduction of Dolby Atmos, our forward-thinking approach to 3D, and 4K solutions, Dolby continues to deliver the premium experience that customers have come to expect from us’ said Doug Darrow, Senior Vice President, Cinema, Dolby Laboratories.
Dolby and Philips have shown Dolby 3D, a 3D HD format and suite of technologies designed to deliver HD 3D content to 3D-enabled devices, including glasses-free displays. The two companies have undertaken the joint project to improve the 3D viewing experience on displays of all sizes, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and televisions. Dolby 3D is a complete system designed to work throughout the chain to deliver clear glasses-free 3D content that operates over existing distribution systems. ‘We believe that Dolby 3D can help drive the adoption of 3D—creating a comfortable, customisable, truly enjoyable glasses-free 3D viewing experience while enhancing 3D display performance,’ said Ramzi Haidamus, executive VP, sales and marketing, Dolby Laboratories.
The National Association of Broadcasters’ preliminary figures for the 2012 NAB Show claim an increase in exhibitor participation and almost 10% increase in size. The event had 1,600 exhibitors over 815,000sqft of exhibition space and total registered attendees was 92,112 (against 91,932 in 2011) with 24,928 being international with 151 countries represented. NAB 2013 will be held 6-11 April.
Raycom has completed a deal to supply Wisycom radio microphone systems to Gearhouse Broadcast for its contract with Sky Sports for the new F1 HD channel.
The all-new approach being taken by Sky Sports F1 HD has all audio being delivered wireless from pit-lane remotes to studio interviews. To achieve this, Raycom has specified a range of Wisycom radio equipment including the new intermod-free transmitters in belt-pack and handheld form which feature the widest frequency tuning range of 232MHz for global use.
For receiving, a selection of rackmount MRK960 dual receivers and camera-mount MCR42 dual-diversity receivers have been specified with up to 370MHz available RF bandwidth.
‘Raycom provide some of the best wireless microphone systems available today,’ said Kevin Moorhouse, group operating officer for Gearhouse Broadcast. ‘Their products are well designed and they fulfil the requirements we have for this prestigious project for Sky which is why we chose them.’
PMC monitors, including a 5.1 TB2S-AII system with a TLES1 subwoofer, an IB1S-AII stereo pair and multiple sets of FB1i speakers with custom DS-001 amplification, have been chosen as the critical listening reference monitors throughout the £1 million music recording and listening facilities at the recently opened performance arts centre at the University of Wolverhampton.
The £18 million Performance Hub in Walsall serves as a destination to study drama, the performing arts, and music technology. The four-storey building contains audio recording, editing and music performance facilities on its top floor, including two Macintosh suites with a total of 60 iMacs, 15 music rehearsal and listening rooms, and two recording studios and associated recording areas, one designed for 5.1 recording and mixing, the other designed for stereo work. The studios and rehearsal rooms are all connected to an audio network via Cat6, allowing any of the rehearsal rooms to become live rooms feeding the studios.
PMC monitors feature throughout the music facilities, with a surround-sound array of TB2S-A MkII speakers in the 5.1 studio, a pair of IB1S-A MkIIs in the stereo studio, and FB1i speakers in the rehearsal and listening rooms.
Long-time SADiE user Peregrine Andrews has now added a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire interface to help tackle recording, digital to analogue conversion and monitoring with 5.1.
‘I spend about half my time mixing, and occasionally producing, radio (documentaries and drama), and the other half mixing TV (documentaries and comedy)… and the odd film,’ he said. ‘Recently, on the new series of the BBC sitcom Twenty Twelve, I used the Orpheus to record David Tennant's voiceover. I also used it for all the ADR on the new BBC Dickens-style comedy Bleak Old Shop of Stuff. As a straight wire device, I don’t really expect the Orpheus to have a “sound”, but the voice recordings I've done where I’ve plugged the mic straight in have sounded excellent with very little EQ added in the mix.
‘The Orpheus is three things in one box -- Preamp, A-D/D-A and monitoring controller. I like its precise volume control of multiple outputs and its ability to derive an independent headphone mix. It’s a single box solution and removes any requirement for a separate soundcard, preamp/mixer, volume control etc.’
His Moving Air studio is equipped with SADiE, Nuendo, PMC monitoring and a Smart AV Tango control surface.
Brussels-based Studio La Buanderie has installed a 16-channel API 1608. ‘I have always been an audio enthusiast, so I have known about API for a very long time,’ said owner and engineer, Pieter Apers. ‘But when I was choosing a console for my studio, I considered a number of alternatives. To be fair, some others offer deeper DAW integration and more bells and whistles than the 1608. However, when it comes to sound and sheer build quality there is no doubt -– the 1608 stands high above the others.’
Apers founded Studio La Buanderie eight years ago to fulfil a dream of having a comfortable space to work on his music in his home. After discovering a passion for recording live instruments, he decided to upgrade his small digital system to Pro Tools, later adding analogue outboard and now, the 1608. ‘I am part of the newer generation of engineers who never worked with big boards and tape. However, although I bought the 1608 only recently, I really have had an “aha” experience with it,’ he said. ‘I thought, “Oh, so that’s why everybody likes a console”.’ Apers records mostly jazz and acoustic music but also works with pop-electro.
Musician and composer J. Peter Robinson has installed Genelec active monitors for his first 5.1 surround monitoring system in his personal recording and mix studio in Los Angeles. Robinson opted for three 8250As for the LCR, a pair of 8240As for the surrounds and a 7260A DSP subwoofer. ‘I had been spending a lot of time and money in other facilities to do my 5.1 surround monitoring and mixing, and it was time that I got my own set up, but it had to be able to handle all of the kinds of media that I work in,’ said Robinson, who, in addition to his TV and film credits, has finished work on his first video game. ‘It had to be a system that could cover all of these types of media.’
The next issue of Resolution will celebrate the first ten years of one of the last truly independent professional audio magazines. The ‘ten’ theme will be carried through to editorial highlights from such things as our interviews, technology and Sweet Spot articles, broadcast stories, facility visits, and the most memorable products of the last decade. There will also be ‘Futurecasting’ contributions from Resolution’s editorial team on the next ten years.
Available at the end of May.
New Product Releases
Neumann has produced capsule heads KK 204 (cardioid) and KK 205 (supercardioid) for the Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless system. The acoustic features of the KK 204 and KK 205 capsule heads are derived from the KMS 104 and KMS 105 wired Neumann stage microphones. Due to the ‘single polar pattern design’, they are said to be very uniform over their entire frequency range.
In the development, importance was placed on the effective damping of pop sounds and handling noise and on an extremely low level of self-noise. They are designed to be very easy to service.
DPA has launched its handheld d:facto vocal mic by taking the cardioid 4011 and tailoring its qualities to a handheld design. The result is a supercardioid mic that is at home in sound reinforcement and recording. It claims superior gain before feedback, while the in-built 3-step pop protection grid removes unwanted noise. It boasts ‘exceptional’ isolation from handling noise and the ability to accommodate extreme sound levels. The microphone head can be used on the DPA wired body and can also be unscrewed for mounting onto a wireless body made by Wisycom.
Building on the success of the 4099 instrument clip mic series, d:vote has been enhanced with a new shockmount for better absorption, and an upgraded cable available in a heavy duty 2.2 mm and a 1.55 mm diameter version, which can now be detached from the end of the gooseneck. Offering further flexibility is an extension unit for the gooseneck supplied with the mic, which extends its length by 50%.
d:vote condenser mics feature supercardioid polar patterns and superior gain-before-feedback. The MicroDot connector and more than 35 DPA adapters ensure compatibility with just about any wireless system, and the product can also be used as a standard 48V phantom powered microphone via its supplied XLR connector.
Focusrite has introduced the ISA Two as a dual-mono, transformer-based microphone preamplifier that features two of its ISA-range mic/line/instrument preamps, each capable of providing +80dB of gain. Each channel has switchable balanced insert points, variable high-pass filter, and variable input impedance.
The ISA (Input Signal Amplifier) microphone preamplifier — featuring a Lundahl LL1538 input transformer and Zobel network filter — has remained essentially unchanged and at the heart of every ISA Series product since the 1980s.
CharterOak's H1000 large diaphragm condenser is designed as a dedicated vocal microphone that will appeal to engineers with vintage tastes, who also want high headroom and detail. The H1000 has a 6dB/octave low end roll-off starting at 100Hz and a 10dB attenuator. The microphone’s large body size is a result of large components used in the design such as the microphone’s Lundahl transformer and 400V polypropylene film capacitors. The microphone is free of body resonance as a result of the use of new powder coatings that solve the problem.
Roland Systems Group has a firmware update (V1.5) for its M-480 console, which includes increased DCA groups and Scene Fade Function -- significant for the theatre and broadcast markets. Increasing the DCA groups from 8 to 24 provides more power in complex applications especially when using the M-480 in 96-channel cascade configurations. The Scene Fade function allows channel fader levels to be set to fade smoothly when a scene is changed. Fade time is selectable up to 100 seconds and can be set to on or off for each channel and each scene. New Delay parameters can now be set up to 1.2 seconds on any input or output channel and new channel effects include MultiBand Compression/Expansion and four modelled Boss compact effects including OD/DS series (Overdrive/Distortion), DD-3 (Digital Delay), DM-5 (Delay) and CE-1 (Chorus Ensemble).
The REAC Driver Kit enables recording of 40 simultaneous audio tracks into Sonar X1 Producer software via Cat5e/6 cable from a REAC System to a PC Ethernet Port. The Kit is sold separately from X1 Producer and is intended for use with the M-480, M-380, M-400, and M-300 and is also compatible with S-4000 and S-1608 Digital Snake Systems.
Perhaps best known for its 17X single-channel transformer coupled FET compressor/limiter, Lindell Audio is introducing a series of three 500 Series modules that it says is targeted at a retail price of US$299. The PEX 500 is a one channel transformer coupled passive Pultec EQ in an all-discrete design based on the 990 amplifier. The 7X-500 is a one channel compressor/limiter and is what Lindell describes as its take on the ‘1176 sound’. It’s a FET design that incorporates a High Pass Sidechain Filter and a Mix knob to mix between the dry and wet signal. The 6X-500 is a one channel transformer coupled mic preamplifier and passive 2-band Pultec equaliser. It offers 80dB of gain with switched LF boost at 30Hz, 60Hz, 100Hz and HF boost at 6kHz, 10kHz, 16kHz.
Royer Labs has the Sling-Shock Microphone shockmount, which it says is maintenance free and provides excellent isolation between a mic and the stand.
It uses no materials that are prone to deterioration from age or use and is a departure from traditional shockmounts that rely on stretched rubber bands or rubber bushings. The Sling-Shock suspension uses a non-resonant nylon cord and damped tensioning springs and is designed to work indefinitely with no loss of performance or function. Its tension balance compensation is user adjustable and the mic clutching mechanism offers greater adaptability by enabling critical position adjustments to the mic. With the ability to fine-tune the vertical and horizontal positioning of the mic, a knurled lock-down knob secures the microphone in place. A soft cotton interior chamber provides a non-abrasive grasp of the mic. The first release fits Royer’s 1-inch diameter microphones and is adjustable +/-1/8-inch and future releases will fit a wider range of bodies.
KOBA, Seoul, 29 May-1 June
InfoComm, Las Vegas, 13-15 June
Broadcast Asia, Singapore, 19-22 June
BIRTV, Beijing, 22-25 August
IBC, Amsterdam, 7-11 September
Plasa, London, 9-12 September
BroadcastIndia, Mumbai, 10-12 October
Prolight + Sound Shanghai, 11-14 October
AES, San Francisco, 27-29 October
SATIS, Paris, 13-15 November
InterBEE, Tokyo, 14-16 November
Tonmeistertagung, Cologne, 22-25 November
Wisseloord reopens with Ronald and Darcy
Ed Greene -- Mr TV Sound on a career in US broadcast
Loudness recommendations: Camerer's guide through the menu
Mandy Parnell: modern mastering
Meet your Maker -- Hiroshi Akino, Audio-Technica
WSDG Acoustic Essentials Series
Plus regular columns by Dan Daley, John Watkinson and Dennis Baxter and reviews of the Sennheiser MKH8060 & MKH8070, Shure VP82 & VP89, Rode NTG8, Audio Ease Altiverb 7 XL, DK-Technologies DK1, Lynx HiLo, RCF Mytho 8, RND Portico 5024 and AEA KU4.