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World Men’s Handball Championship Gets World-Class Sound Reinforcement From HARMAN Professional Solutions

April 09, 2021

CAIRO—Audio Technology recently outfitted the Cairo Stadium Indoor Halls Complex with state-of-the-art HARMAN Professional audio solutions to provide high-quality sound reinforcement for the 2021 World Men’s Handball Championship.

An extension of Cairo International Stadium, the Cairo Stadium Indoor Halls Complex is a multi-use facility featuring four Olympic-standard indoor sports arenas. Over two weeks in January 2021, the venue hosted the 2021 World Men’s Handball Championship in its 16,900-capacity Main Hall and 1,620-seat Hall 2. Although functional and visually impressive, the venue wasn’t designed with acoustic performance in mind, possessing a long reverberation time which made providing intelligible sound reinforcement challenging. Additionally, the venue’s structural design limits the amount of weight that can be hung from the ceiling, creating the need for a lightweight yet high-quality audio solution. Adding yet another challenge, the International Handball Federation (IHF) enforces a maximum sound pressure level (SPL) limit, as well as a mandatory minimum standard of speech intelligibility.

To overcome the venue’s limitations and meet the IHF’s stringent audio standards, event organizers turned to Audio Technology, a Cairo-based full-service provider of professional audio equipment. Audio Technology designed and implemented a full HARMAN Professional audio solution across both halls featuring JBL loudspeakers, Crown amplifiers, BSS signal processors and Soundcraft mixing consoles.

“When we started the project, we were concerned that the hall would need to be treated because of a high reverberation time,” said Mario Abadeer, Presales Pro Systems Head, Audio Technology. “We suggested some materials that would improve this, but when we installed the speakers, what they heard was so impressive, they decided they didn’t need any sound treatment after all.”

In the Main Hall, Audio Technology Installed JBL VTX V20 three-way line array speakers on a circular truss hanging from the center of the room. With dual 10-inch neodymium Differential Drive woofers in each 88-pound cabinet, the VTX V20 delivers low-frequency response down to 60 Hz, eliminating the need for heavy subwoofers. In Hall 2, Audio Technology hung four clusters of compact JBL VTX A8 line array speakers with VTX B18 subwoofers from a ceiling-mounted circular truss similar to the Main Hall. The combination of lightweight dual 8-inch loudspeakers and powerful 18-inch subwoofers provided the ideal balance of sound quality and power while staying within safe weight limits. Both the VTX V20 and VTX A8 feature advanced, proprietary waveguides for broad, consistent coverage throughout both halls.

“We had to remove the subwoofers, and for that we needed to use a larger Differential Drive in order to achieve the lower frequencies,” said Abadeer. “This was in the specs of the JBL VTX V20. It’s a very, very impressive speaker. And, when playing music through the VTX A8, the organizers could hear a complete frequency response. They were very pleased with the quality.”

In addition to the audience-facing VTX Series speakers, Audio Technology deployed four JBL AC2212/95 loudspeakers in each hall to provide sound coverage for the players and referees on the court. With their wide dispersion angle, the AC2212/95 speakers ensured players could clearly hear instructions from officials, as well as the bell marking the end of each half.

To power the sound systems in both halls, Audio Technology selected Crown I-Tech HD Series and DCi Network Series amplifiers, which feature onboard EQ and delay for crystal-clear sound quality, as well as remote monitoring tools for convenience and speaker protection. For precise control of sound reinforcement, Audio Technology provided Soundcraft Vi1 and Si Performer 3 mixing consoles, which feature a variety of flexible input and output options, powerful digital signal processing capabilities and color-coded FaderGlow technology for intuitive operation and visual feedback. BSS Soundweb London BLU Series networked signal processors provide flexible routing capabilities, allowing sound reinforcement personnel to easily configure and monitor the system.

“The Crown amplifiers already have the full presets for our speakers,”  said Abadeer. “Through the software, you can see every circuit. You have everything, and you can manage it from one place. You don’t need to go through different software in order to check the status of the system or the status of the amplifiers.”

The audio systems deployed by Audio Technology at the Cairo Stadium Indoor Halls Complex met and surpassed the IHF’s standards, providing clear, intelligible sound at safe sound pressure levels without the need for any acoustic treatment in the Main Hall or Hall 2.

“Hosting the 2021 World Men's Handball Championship was an incredible privilege," said Samir Shawkey, Project Coordinator. “Going into the event, we wanted to ensure that spectators and players alike had the best possible experience. With the help of Audio Technology, we were able to install a JBL Professional speaker system that met the requirements of the International Handball Federation, as well as our own high standards. The quality and clarity is excellent. We're thrilled with the results.”


Dushanbe Central Mosque Elevates Worship With Expansive HARMAN Professional Solutions Audio System

Dushanbe Central Mosque Elevates Worship With Expansive HARMAN Professional Solutions Audio System

April 05, 2021

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan—To provide clear, intelligible sound reinforcement for worship and events at Dushanbe Central Mosque, A&T Trade designed and installed a state-of-the-art HARMAN Professional networked audio system featuring 170 JBL loudspeakers powered by AXYS, BSS and Soundcraft solutions.

Constructed over ten years at a cost of $93 million, Dushanbe Central Mosque is the largest mosque in Tajikistan and one of the largest in Central Asia. The Mosque and surrounding areas boast a maximum capacity of 120,000 for large events, with the Mosque itself able to accommodate around 25,000. The complex features several prayer halls, a library, a museum, an outdoor courtyard and four minarets towering nearly 250 feet high. Located in one of the warmest climates on the planet—where temperatures have been known to peak at 108° Fahrenheit (42° Celsius) during summer months—Dushanbe Central Mosque needed a sound system that could not only deliver crystal-clear speech intelligibility, but also withstand the environmental conditions. To meet these requirements, A&T Trade deployed a sophisticated audio solution featuring 170 JBL Intellivox column loudspeaker arrays, including customized enclosures in the outdoor areas to protect the equipment. The speakers are powered and controlled by AXYS IndustryAmp amplifiers, BSS signal processors and a Soundcraft mixing console.

“The mosque challenged us to calculate all of the performance parameters for the acoustical system to ensure it could achieve the desired speech intelligibility and SPL levels,” said Janis Zaneribs, Project Manager, A&T Trade. “Once we proved it would, they gave us the green light for the project. As for the sound, our goal was to go above and beyond and give them the best possible speech intelligibility in this type of building with such specific conditions.”

To deliver pristine audio throughout the complex, A&T Trade deployed 170 JBL Intellivox active beam-shaping column loudspeakers. With precise directivity and built-in delay adjustment, Intellivox loudspeakers ensure clear, consistent sound in large, reflective spaces that would normally present acoustical problems. DS115 and DSX500 loudspeakers serve the two main prayer halls, while DS180, DS280 and DS380 models serve the smaller prayer halls and two floors of galleries. In the outdoor courtyard, A&T Trade modified the IP55-rated HP-DS370 and HP-DS170 loudspeakers by removing the electronics and placing them inside the building to protect them from the heat. JBL CSS-15VA loudspeakers provide supplemental coverage for announcements.

In addition to providing unmatched sonic performance, A&T Trade chose Intellivox loudspeakers to blend in seamlessly with the mosque’s architecture and décor. The columns feature a slim, low-profile design, and A&T Trade took advantage of their paintable enclosures to match the color of the mosque’s interior. A variety of fixed and hinged mounting brackets allow the loudspeakers to be mounted discretely, further helping them blend in.

“I don’t know any other loudspeaker that lets you guide its directivity as tightly as the Intellivox,” Zaneribs said. “You can direct the sound exactly where you need it. The fact that you can adjust the delay on the loudspeaker itself was a life-saver in this project, because the mosque’s structure created a very complicated delay matrix. With Intellivox, we were able to create a uniform sound that was consistent as you walked through the halls. I can’t imagine any other loudspeaker being able to do this job.”

To power and control the expansive audio system, A&T Trade equipped the complex with BSS Soundweb London signal processors, AXYS and Crown amplifiers, and a Soundcraft mixer. The early decision to use a Dante networked audio distribution system was a key driver in the product selection. AXYS IndustryAmp PB-800-DN and Crown DCi Series amplifiers provide pristine sound and plenty of power for the system with Dante connectivity for seamless control. BSS Soundweb London BLU-806DA signal processors provide a high-bandwidth, fault-tolerant digital audio bus that provides advanced matrixing and routing capabilities via an easy-to-use interface. To ensure high-quality sound reinforcement in the main prayer hall, A&T Trade supplied a Soundcraft Si Impact mixing console. An AXYS WinControl server provides central supervision and control of the entire network.

“From the very start, we knew that this system would be extraordinary,” Zaneribs said. “We used HARMAN Professional’s top-of-the-line products because they provide exceptional speech intelligibility and background sound reinforcement, even in difficult acoustic conditions. We were constantly pushing ourselves forward, and the JBL Intellivox loudspeakers helped us hit all of our targets. This is the largest showcase of Intellivox products that I know of.”


Yeomkwang Church Enhances the Worship Experience With a Complete HARMAN Professional Solutions Audio System

Yeomkwang Church Enhances the Worship Experience With a Complete HARMAN Professional Solutions Audio System

April 02, 2021

GEOJE, South Korea—To deliver clear, powerful sound during its services, Yeomkwang Church recently partnered with TechDataPS Co., Ltd. to install a state-of-the-art HARMAN Professional Solutions audio system.

Founded in 1946, Yeomkwang Church belongs to the Presbyterian Church of Korea. One of the oldest Christian houses of worship in Geoje—which is located in South Gyeongsang province—Yeomkwang Church is a massive 117,790 square-foot facility that consists of a Vision Center and a main hall. The church recently decided to upgrade their existing sound system with a modern solution capable of delivering crystal-clear sermons and musical performances. The church hired TechDataPS Co., Ltd. to design and implement an end-to-end sound system with enhanced sound quality and ease of use. To meet the client’s requirements and stay within budget, TechDataPS selected a range of advanced JBL speakers, Soundcraft mixers, Crown power amplifiers, dbx processors, and AKG microphones.

Throughout the venue, TechDataPS installed a range of JBL professional speakers. Versatile JBL VT4886 loudspeakers, high-powered AM7215/64 loudspeakers and compact VT4883 subwoofers provide crystal-clear sound in the main hall. Chosen for its compact design, TechDataPS fitted a VTX M20 as the pastor monitor speaker and selected a JRX212 as the stage monitor speaker. For the choir, a CBT50LA-1 loudspeaker was installed to provide highly directional sound, while an AC18/26 loudspeaker was introduced in the upper balcony to provide maximum bandwidth. Additionally, a CONTROL 14C/T full-range ceiling speaker was fitted in the baby room so families, children and their caretakers can still experience sermons and the choir.

The setup also features Soundcraft Vi1000 mixing consoles and Vi Stageboxes, which are routed to front-of-house via redundant analog and digital AES/EBU connections to ensure reliable audio. The system is powered by Crown IT4x3500HDS, DCi 2|600N, and DCi 8|300N amplifiers and is networked using BSS BLU Link technology, a high-bandwidth, low-latency audio bus that operates via AES.

To ensure crystal-clear audio with even distribution, the speakers were configured using dbx equalization and speaker management systems. At the church’s request, TechDataPS provided dbx PMC16 personal monitor systems, which enable performers to create their own custom monitor mixes using up to 16 channels of audio. The system is powered by Crown IT4x3500HD and DCi 2|600N amplifiers via BLU Link integration.

To deliver exceptional speech and vocal clarity, TechDataPS equipped the main hall of the church with world-class AKG microphones. This setup included an AKG C214 large-diaphragm condenser microphone for the choir, a C214 for stage rigging, a Drum Set Session I microphone package, a PZM6 D high-performance hemispherical boundary layer microphone and D5 CS handheld microphones.

TechDataPS installed JBL AM5215/95/ASB6115 loudspeakers and subwoofers to deliver full-range sound throughout the middle chapel. An EON612 multipurpose self-powered PA speaker was installed as the pastor monitor speaker, and a JRX212 was chosen as the stage monitor. Soundcraft Si Impact mixing consoles control the system, which is powered by Crown CDi DriveCcore 4|600 and CDi DriveCore 2|1200 power amplifiers.

The other rooms of the church were fitted with JBL EON615 speakers and Soundcraft Signature and EPM Series consoles. JBL Control 14C/T speakers were installed in the café for background music and announcements. The system is controlled using a Soundcraft EPM6 mixer, and powered by Crown XLi800 amplifiers.

“Unique places of worship like Yeomkwang Church require a powerful, dynamic audio solution, allowing sermons and performances to resonate with visitors,” said Amar Subash, Director, Channel Management & Audio Solutions, HARMAN Professional Solutions, APAC. "We would like to thank our partner TechDataPS for meeting the client’s unique requirements and delivering clear, intelligible sound for sermons and worship experiences.”


Tan Hiep Phat Creates Future-Forward Business Space with World-Class HARMAN Professional Audio Solution

Tan Hiep Phat Creates Future-Forward Business Space with World-Class HARMAN Professional Audio Solution

April 01, 2021

BINH DUONG, Vietnam—Equipping its large meeting facility with state-of-the-art technology, Tan Hiep Phat hired Ba Sao Audio to design and install a premium HARMAN Professional audio solution.

Founded in 1994, Tan Hiep Phat Beverage Group (THP) is Vietnam’s leading FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) business. Beyond developing and producing some of the country’s most popular beverages, THP distributes product throughout all of Vietnam’s 63 provinces as well as to 16 other countries. Some of the company’s best-selling drinks include its Zero Degree Green Tea, Dr. Thanh Herbal Tea, and Number 1 Energy Drink. Wanting to enhance its meeting hall, THP selected a cutting-edge HARMAN Professional audio solution that delivers pristine sound, crystal-clear speech intelligibility and an enhanced business experience.

“The client wanted a premium audio system installed in the meeting hall, which can accommodate up to 1,000 people. After thorough consideration, our team designed and installed a HARMAN Professional system that seamlessly delivers clear, high-fidelity audio throughout the facility,” said a spokesperson for the partner. “The installed system is easy-to-use and can produce exceptional sound clarity without any signal interference.”

Offering unmatched sound performance with consistent coverage throughout the hall, the system features JBL VRX932LAP powered line array loudspeakers and CBT 100LA-1 line array column loudspeakers. The installation also includes VRX918SP powered flying subwoofers, which provide accurate, authoritative low-frequency response, while PRX815W and PRX812W full-range PA speakers serve as floor monitors. Powered by Crown XTi 4002 amplifiers, the solution is optimized and controlled through the dbx DriveRack PA2 loudspeaker management system. For audio mixing and source connectivity, the system features a Soundcraft Si Expression 2 digital console and Mini Stagebox 16R.

“We wanted to create a future-forward meeting space,” said a spokesperson for Tan Hiep Phat. “We are pleased and impressed with the HARMAN system. The technologically-advanced audio system undoubtedly adds sophistication to the meeting space. We are thankful to the team for putting the system together, delivering powerful audio during lectures, seminars and small performances.”

“Meeting spaces require a dynamic system with exceptional audio clarity to inform, persuade and entertain guests in every corner of the venue,” said Amar Subash, Director, Channel Management & Audio Solutions, HARMAN Professional Solutions, APAC. "We would like to thank our partner Ba Sao Audio for deploying robust audio solutions that create spatially uniform sound levels, elevating the listening experience.”


CNBC Equips New Studio B Set With More Than 250 Martin LED Lighting Fixtures for The News With Shepard Smith

CNBC Equips New Studio B Set With More Than 250 Martin LED Lighting Fixtures for The News With Shepard Smith

April 01, 2021

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J.—Ferri Lighting Design & Associates (FLDA) recently equipped CNBC Studio B with a complete Martin LED lighting rig for optimal on-camera looks and increased energy efficiency.

When anchor Shepard Smith joined CNBC in July 2020 to host The News With Shepard Smith, the network took the opportunity to completely renovate its 3,600 square-foot Studio B set. The new set is dominated by two massive LED video walls, including a five-panel display opposite the host’s desk that can be used to show multiple video feeds for remote guests and correspondents or combined to display one large image.

Additionally, the center screen can be moved up to 17 feet away from the wall via a motorized arm to draw focus to a specific element. In order to complement the light from the displays with precisely-calibrated illumination and reduce electricity costs, CNBC opted to replace the studio’s incandescent lighting with a modern LED solution. The network hired Ferri Lighting Design & Associates to equip Studio B with a complete Martin lighting solution including more than 200 Martin ELP CL ellipsoidal profile fixtures and 50 RUSH PAR 2 CT Zoom wash fixtures.

“We had previously talked about converting Studio A to LED, but budgets and COVID put that project on the back burner,” said Bruce Ferri, owner of Ferri Lighting Design & Associates. “When the Studio B project came up, I decided to move forward and make it an all-LED installation. The big reason is that most of the set is dominated by displays. When you use incandescent light, you have to color-correct the displays down to 3,200 degrees, but most displays are not designed to operate at that color temperature. The Martin fixtures allow us to work at a higher color temperature to match the displays.”

FLDA selected Martin ELP CL fixtures as the main light for illuminating talent and scenery, deploying a total of 226 in Studio B’s lighting rig. The leading color LED ellipsoidal fixture in its class, the Martin ELP CL delivers up to 6,900 lumens with a broad color temperature range of 2,000 to 10,000 degrees Kelvin and an RGBAL Luxeon Rebel LED engine for vibrant, saturated hues. A maximum Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 90 allows the ELP CL to reproduce color naturally on camera, making it an ideal fixture for television studios. Configurable for beam angles of 19, 26, 36 or 50 degrees and compatible with third-party lens tubes as well as a wide range of accessories, ELP CL fixtures offer excellent flexibility.

“The nice thing about the ELPs is that in addition to using them as lights for talent, we can use them as scenery lights because they're full-spectrum,” said Ferri. “I've done other installations where the talent lights have been variable white with no color mixing, but as things change and all of a sudden you have too many talent lights and not enough scenery lights, you're at a huge disadvantage. So, the nice thing about the ELPs is that I can use them for both.”

To augment the main lighting, FLDA selected Martin RUSH PAR 2 CT Zoom fixtures as fill lights. Featuring 12 10-watt warm and cold white LEDs, the RUSH PAR 2 CT Zoom provides pre-mixed white light ranging from 2,700 to 7,800 degrees Kelvin with a CRI value of 90 for natural on-camera looks. The fixtures’ motorized 10- to 60-degree zoom allowed Ferri to achieve rich, balanced wash illumination even from long distances.

“The throw distances in that particular studio make using a traditional fill light impractical, because we're trying to keep all of the lighting on the grid,” added Ferri. “I don't like to hang lights down into the picture if I can avoid it, because I hate when you see lighting instruments break the plane of the set. So, in order to create a softer fill light, I turned to the RUSH PAR 2 CT Zooms. The fact that they can zoom means that we can tailor the beam spread for the throw distance.”

Thanks to the ultra-efficient, all-LED Martin lighting rig, Studio B reportedly consumes only 10% of the power used by the neighboring Studio C, where Mad Money is broadcast from. Not only does this reduce operating expenses for the network, it also eases the burden on the facility’s backup power system in the event of a power failure.

“They're set up for incandescent fixtures, so they have plenty of power, but they're still really happy with the fact that we're working at a fraction of that capacity,” said Ferri. “And whenever there's a hint of bad weather, they switch over to a generator backup so that they don't lose power, which has happened in the past. Having an all-LED rig lets them devote less of the generator power to the lighting.”

After a short stint in a temporary studio, The News With Shepard Smith broadcast its first episode from the new studio on October 28, 2020. Shortly thereafter, viewers across the nation saw FLDA’s work during Smith’s coverage of the 2020 United States presidential election.


Sky High Creates World-Class Clubbing Environment with HARMAN Professional’s Audio and Lighting Solutions

Sky High Creates World-Class Clubbing Environment with HARMAN Professional’s Audio and Lighting Solutions

March 31, 2021

PUNE, India—To enhance its venue and provide guests an unforgettable clubbing experience, Sky High – The Club hired integrators Smart Homes to design and install cutting-edge HARMAN Professional audio and lighting solutions.

Known as the best rooftop venue in Kharadi, Sky High – The Club spans more than 5,000 square feet and offers guests a one-of-a-kind nightlife experience. The impressive facility features an indoor clubbing space with a DJ booth and dance floor as well as an outdoor terrace with a patio and bar. Looking to take the impressive venue to the next level and offer an even greater partying experience, Sky High – The Club upgraded its sound and lighting systems to top-notch HARMAN Professional audio and lighting solutions that feature JBL Professional loudspeakers, Martin Professional lighting and much more.

"For the club’s sound, we were looking for control,” said Shaukat Ali of Sky High – The Club. “Since the venue is located in an IT hub and surrounded by a residential neighborhood, we need to control the levels that we are sending to our audience and outside our facility. It’s very important that we do not annoy our nearby residents.”  

Filling the bar’s indoor club environment with crystal-clear sound, Smart Homes installed JBL AM7212/26 12” high power two-way loudspeakers as the main PA, while AM7212/95 speakers supply delay fills. Adding accurate, authoritative bass, the system features two ASB6128 dual 18” high powered subwoofers, which are positioned under the DJ booth and directed towards the dance floor for optimum performance. For the DJ monitor, Smart Homes deployed a PRX812 full-range loudspeaker. The system is powered by Crown XTi 6002 and DCi 4|1250N amplifiers, while BSS BLU-100 signal processors with BLU Link ensure guests are treated to peak audio quality.

Creating an engaging, fun atmosphere in the outdoor terrace area, Sky High – The Club features 10 JBL AWC62 all-weather, compact two-way loudspeakers. In addition to delivering excellent sound, the speakers allow Sky High – The Club to direct the audio inside the venue and limit unwanted noise from spilling to the surrounding industrial and residential communities. Smart Homes selected Crown DCi 8|600N eight-channel amplifiers with BLU link to power the outdoor system.

While JBL Professional loudspeakers supply incredible sound, Smart Homes installed an array of Martin Professional fixtures to create dazzling lighting displays throughout the venue. Eight Martin THRILL Mini Profile moving heads allow the club to shine spotlights or add the dramatic effect of colors and “gobos” when and where they need them, while eight THRILL Compact Par 64 LED lights wash the venue with full, intense and saturated colors. The lighting system also includes four THRILL Multi-FX LED lights as well as a JEM Compact Hazer Pro and DMX 5.3 Splitter.

“We chose JBL Professional’s AE and All Weather speakers because of their ability to deliver high quality sound with directivity from its design and full-range cardioid techniques,” Ali said. "Smart Homes was very instrumental from the very beginning in terms of the output and very confident with the design. The entire process was very smooth and they made sure everything was setup on time."

"This is a very special project as it gave us an opportunity to showcase our strength in all aspects of sound and lighting,” said Pratik Singhal of Smart Homes. “We could design the outdoor sound, club sound and also use Martin lighting to create excellent effects. The client was very happy with the final outcome, and so were we."


Seongnam Arts Center Connects People To Culture With AMX Networked AV Solutions

Seongnam Arts Center Connects People To Culture With AMX Networked AV Solutions

March 31, 2021

SEONGNAM, South Korea—HARMAN Professional Solutions recently partnered with MIX Media and TechDataPS Co., Ltd. to upgrade Seongnam Arts Center’s AV system with AMX networked video solutions.

Seongnam Arts Center is the largest venue for cultural arts in the city of Seongnam. The facility features a 1,804-seat opera house, a concert hall that boasts the greatest acoustics in South Korea, an ensemble theater for smaller performances, two visual art galleries and an outdoor amphitheater with seating for 11,000 people. In order to ensure high-quality video playback and streaming in all areas of the facility, including the lobby, venue owners needed a state-of-the-art AV network. Seongnam Arts Center hired MIX Media to upgrade its video infrastructure with a HARMAN networked VoIP solution consisting of AMX encoders, decoders and controllers supplied by TechDataPS.

According to Seongnam Arts Center staff, the venue requested an easy-to-use AV solution that would enable them to transmit and display high-quality video and promotional content throughout the multi-room facility. Although they had seen such concepts deployed in other theaters, they didn’t understand how to implement their own. When TechDataPS recommended an AMX networked AV solution, the facility staff was attracted by the platform’s ease and convenience.

To provide a scalable AV control platform with intuitive operation, network security and backward compatibility, MIX Media selected the AMX NX-3200 NetLinx NX Integrated Controller as the core of Seongnam Arts Center’s AV infrastructure. Compatible with a wide variety of analog and digital formats, the NX-3200 provides a platform for future expansion with the addition of more devices and control capabilities. For transmitting and receiving AV signals with imperceptible latency, MIX Media installed AMX N1000 Series encoder and decoder units throughout the facility.

To make operating the system easy and intuitive for staff, MIX Media provided Seongnam Arts Center with AMX MCP108 Keypad Controllers and a MT1002 Modero Touch Panel. Combined with the ability to control the NetLinx controller via tablet, the keypads and touch panels allow Seongnam Arts Center staff to conveniently control the AV system in real time from anywhere in the facility.

Seongnam Arts Center staff reported being completely satisfied with the new AMX AV network’s user-friendliness and reliability, saying it gave them integrated control of the equipment inside the concert hall as well as promotional videos broadcast to a display in the lobby.


HARMAN Professional Solutions Provides Immersive, Networked Sound and Lighting for Samsung KX

HARMAN Professional Solutions Provides Immersive, Networked Sound and Lighting for Samsung KX

March 25, 2021

LONDON—To complement the next-generation technology on display at Samsung KX, Snelling Business Systems and Cosmic Electronics recently outfitted the venue with a complete state-of-the-art HARMAN networked AV, lighting and control system.

Situated in the recently developed Coal Drops Yard shopping district in King’s Cross, London, Samsung KX is a destination for the public to experience Samsung’s range of innovative connected technologies working seamlessly together. The 20,000 square-foot space features a 32-foot Screenmax LED display wall, connected “smart kitchen,” immersive augmented reality experiences and an ever-changing list of temporary installations. To further enhance the futuristic experience, Samsung KX required a facility-wide immersive AV, lighting and control system with enough flexibility to serve any current or future needs. Audio-visual integrator Snelling Business Systems and lighting integrator Cosmic Electronics outfitted the space with state-of-the-art JBL, Crown, BSS, Martin and AMX solutions.

“In terms of design, we didn't approach Samsung KX like any other traditional shop,” said Tanya Weller, Director, Samsung Showcase. “It was very much about creating an incredible space to bring the latest innovations to life and showcase our products working seamlessly together, but also a flexible environment that we could invite the community into for various events and experiences. The beauty of it is that it's incredibly adaptable. If we've got an event in one zone, we can ensure the sound is great in that area, or we can have total takeover of the space.”

The centerpiece of Samsung KX is the Screenmax video wall, which features tiered seating for presentations, panel discussions, movie nights, gaming sessions, interactive experiences and other events. To provide cinematic sound for any application, Snelling installed JBL CBT1000 line array column loudspeakers with CBT 1000E extensions on either side of the screen, which deliver full-range audio with focused coverage. Along the top of the screen, four JBL AC16 compact loudspeakers provide additional center coverage, with proprietary Coverage PT waveguides for consistent 90-degree vertical and horizontal dispersion. Two JBL VTX F18S subwoofers complete the Screenmax sound system, delivering impressive bass response in a compact enclosure. Snelling also supplied four JBL 708P powered reference monitors, which can supplement the system to create a temporary surround-sound setup.

The opposite side of the space features a Samsung The Wall Professional LED display in a comfortable living room-style environment. Two soffit-mounted JBL Synthesis S3900 speakers provide ultra-dynamic, high-fidelity sound thanks to dual 10-inch low-frequency drivers, a 1¾-inch high-frequency transducer and a dedicated ¾-inch ultrahigh-frequency transducer for crystal-clear treble detail. JBL AC115 subwoofers provide additional bass, delivering full-range sound that brings the latest movies and games to life with incredible depth and impact.

To provide seamless AV control and easy reconfiguration of the space, Snelling equipped Samsung KX with BSS signal processors, Crown amplifiers and AMX control systems. BSS Soundweb London signal processors provide a high-bandwidth, fault-tolerant digital audio bus that can route up to 256 individual channels over standard Cat-5 cable. The BSS signal processors feed network-connected Crown amplifiers, which provide crystal-clear amplification to the many speakers throughout the showroom, as well as advanced DSP via HiQnet Audio Architect software. An AMX Netlinx NX-1200 integrated controller, Modero MD-1002 touch panel and multiple Samsung tablets loaded with the AMX TPControl app provide seamless control over the audio, video and lighting systems.

“In order to deliver mission-critical performance with a versatile and robust AV infrastructure, we turned to HARMAN’s technology,” said Steve Royans, Director, Snelling Business Systems. “The BSS signal processors allow for highly flexible deployment of DSP over two ‘wings’ of the store, as well as full audio routing to independent zones. Using Dante networked audio, we were able to configure all 52 speaker channels individually, which enabled us to ‘move’ audio around the space. The AMX NX-1200 integrated controller, Modero touch panel and AMX TPControl app give Samsung KX staff complete control of the space at all times. From simple volume and display control to full video and audio routing, the AMX NX-1200 is what holds the store together day to day.”

To further elevate the Samsung KX experience with dynamic lighting effects, Cosmic Electronics deployed a variety of Martin lighting fixtures and LED video elements. In the Screenmax area, three Martin MAC Encore Performance fixtures provide bright, natural-looking spot lighting for presentations and events, while seven MAC Aura XB fixtures provide rich, vibrant washes with superb color mixing. Additionally, Cosmic Electronics highlighted the unique architecture of the bridge that joins the two wings of Samsung KX using Martin VDO Fatron 20 LED video blades. Mounted vertically at intervals along the floor-to-ceiling windows, the fixtures feature a 20mm pixel pitch and 16-bit color mixing, providing dazzling video effects when mapped with Martin P3 control.

“MAC fixtures are used in theaters and TV studios all over the world, so we knew that the refresh rate was going to be fine for any sort of camera work and not conflict with anything on the screens,” said Mark Damon, Director, Cosmic Electronics. “They're also ultra-reliable. Since they’re mounted very high up, they're not the easiest to get at and we can’t access them during the day, so it was very important for us to have very high-quality lights up there.”


Illuminate: COVID-19 Art Installation Sheds Light on Pandemic Data With Martin LED Video Tiles and P3 Control

Illuminate: COVID-19 Art Installation Sheds Light on Pandemic Data With Martin LED Video Tiles and P3 Control

March 25, 2021

NEW YORK—The Illuminate Cities Project recently incorporated Martin VC-Grid LED video tiles supplied by Hayden Production Services into a unique information-as-art installation called Illuminate: COVID-19.

Co-founded by architect Domingo Abrusci and urban planner Alexandra Payne, the Illuminate Cities Project is dedicated to improving cities through data exploration, art, design and engagement. Its pilot project, Illuminate: COVID-19, is an art installation that combines data mapping and lighting design to visually display COVID-19 infection and death rates alongside racial and economic demographic data, highlighting how the pandemic has affected specific communities in New York City. Brought to life in collaboration with fabrication and design specialist Robyn Squires of RYSQ LLC and lighting designer Elisa Forlini, a RIBA-certified architect, The installation is a large hanging lightbox which Abrusci designed as a map of New York City’s five boroughs. To illuminate the piece, the team required a highly adaptable lighting solution, and chose Martin VC-Grid LED video tiles and P3-PC control software to create an eye-catching design with a flexible, data-driven backend.

“My partner and I both live in Brooklyn, and our other collaborators live in Harlem and the Lower East Side,” said Payne. “All of the neighborhoods that we were living in were highly impacted by COVID-19. When Domingo and I started talking about the project, he imagined having the entire city turn off their lights to symbolize how the life had gone out of the city. We eventually agreed to use light as a way of translating the maps we were seeing in the news that showed the neighborhoods which were most affected. Our interest was not only to show where people were sick, but also to  provide information which might suggest why those communities were being more intensely impacted. As a planner, it was also about visually displaying information in a more understandable way and making it accessible to individuals that aren't normally digging through data and doing comparative mapping or correlation discovery.”

In order to create an effective installation that not only displayed data in an easily relatable format but also had strong aesthetic appeal to draw attention on the street, Illuminate: COVID-19 required a bright, colorful and versatile lighting solution. With guidance from Forlini, the team selected Martin VC-Grid fixtures and P3-PC control software as the perfect tools for the job, acquiring 24 fixtures through Martin distributor Hayden Production Services.

“At first, we were talking about using fiber optics, but we began running into this problem where we needed to be able to light up very different areas sometimes, or data that's in very different geographic subsets, so we needed something that was super flexible on the backend,” added Payne. “Elisa, who we brought in because of her expertise as a lighting specialist, sent us a list of companies, and I just started calling people. We had developed a brief about what we needed the tools to do, and I got Ken Romaine from Martin on the line and said, ‘I'm not a lighting person. I don't know anything about the backend of this. Can you walk me through how these tools work, what they do and what the cost is?’ And he was super helpful.”

The Martin VC-Grid is a creative LED video tile that provides maximum artistic flexibility in an easily configurable format. Each of the installation’s 24 tiles features 64 individually controllable pixels in an eight-by-eight grid with a 25mm pixel pitch for a total of more than 1,500 individual LEDs. With an output of up to 12,000 lumens per square meter and 16-bit per color image processing, the VC-Grid tiles make the map stand out on the crowded New York City streets with vivid colors and sharp contrast. A combined single-cable power and data input and throughput system makes it easy to connect large daisy-chained arrays to the P3 PowerPort 1500 unit, providing a streamlined solution for power and data delivery.

Martin P3-PC control software allowed Illuminate Cities to easily map a sequence of custom images onto the map of New York City, despite the asymmetrical configuration and orientation of the VC-Grid tiles required to fit the irregular shape of the piece. The free P3-PC software provided all the power and flexibility of the Martin P3 creative video and lighting platform in a convenient laptop-based solution, allowing the team to accurately map data with ease.

The piece displays four sets of data visualized by a spectrum of red to blue illumination in a looping sequence. First, areas are illuminated red in varying degrees of intensity to show COVID-19 infection rates from March–September 2020, the first wave of the pandemic in New York. Then, the map fades out and shifts to displaying COVID-19 death rates for the same period. Next, it highlights the locations of communities of color using US Census data for individuals who self-identified as Black, Indigenous or people of color (BIPOC). Finally, the map displays the percentage of people with income below the poverty threshold, also determined by US Census data. Before the sequence repeats, the outlines of the five boroughs briefly glow blue to indicate the cycle restarting.

“For a large part of the population, it might seem rather obvious,” Payne said of the data. “Yes, there's social inequity, there's drastic racial inequity in our country, but what does that actually mean when it comes to health? What does it mean when the majority of our frontline essential workers are also the people who are being most affected by this virus—not only in its immediacy from a health perspective, but also in terms of long-term wealth gaps and financial well-being—and how does that perpetuate the link between race, poverty and health disparities?”

“We really wanted to build something that would serve multiple purposes: to drive awareness about these issues and cause people to question the underlying structures that brought us here,” Added Abrusci. “We also wanted something that could be a form of art as a memorial and an access point so that people could engage with data about themselves and have their experience reified.”

Illuminate: COVID-19 debuted on December 16, 2020, hanging in the front window of The Canvas at 250 Bowery in Manhattan until February 28, 2021. The piece is now installed at the New York State Assembly District 74 offices at 107 Avenue B, where it will hang until April 12. As more data becomes available, the team plans to update the piece to include statistics related to COVID-19 vaccinations and health care access. Learn more at https://illuminatecities.com/.

Photography by and courtesy of Alex Contell


Aairport Festival Transports EDM Fans to New Heights With Martin Lighting Solutions

Aairport Festival Transports EDM Fans to New Heights With Martin Lighting Solutions

March 19, 2021

AALBORG, Denmark—HARMAN Professional Solutions recently partnered with LiteNordic and Lighting Designer Mikkel Stoklund Moltzen to deliver an engaging visual experience at Demark’s first annual Aairport Festival.

Held in Aalborg in early 2020, Aairport Festival is Denmark’s first music festival dedicated exclusively to electronic dance music. During its inaugural weekend, Aairport Festival featured performances by some of Europe’s biggest EDM producers and DJs, including R3HAB, Salvatore Ganacci, Martin Jensen and others. On Saturday the festival witnessed a full takeover of the stage by Holland’s EDM promotional giants Q-Dance and their super-team of DJs and visual artists. In order to deliver an immersive visual experience and enhance the festival’s all-night party atmosphere, Aairport organizers hired Sound & Light and its resident lighting designer Mikkel Stoklund Moltzen to provide an exciting and unique visual design for the festival’s debut. With the help of Danish lighting provider LiteNordic, Moltzen created a stunning display using Martin VDO Sceptron and Dotron LED video fixtures.

“The venue had a very high ceiling, so my goal was to bring an intimate club vibe to the room with a ‘fake ceiling’ made of lighting fixtures,” said Moltzen. “We chose Sceptron and Dotron fixtures because of how simple and easy they are to use, along with their ability to plug and play with the Martin P3 System Controller. The festival’s production team and I were extremely satisfied with the way the Sceptron and Dotron fixtures integrated with the main video screens and tied the room together.”  

Moltzen’s design included 256 VDO Sceptron and 128 VDO Dotron fixtures suspended from four trusses floating over the audience area. The Martin VDO Sceptron and VDO Dotron are both compact and powerful LED video fixtures that can easily be mixed and matched for creative video and lighting applications. Both fixtures are driven by Martin’s P3 System Controller and backward-compatible with DMX for maximum versatility.

Moltzen used the VDO Sceptron and Dotron fixtures to create a hangar-like environment to match the festival’s airport-inspired theme. The fixtures were programmed using Martin’s innovative P3 System Controller to match the content on the main stage video screens and bring the artists’ visual content to life in a three-dimensional overhead display. Moltzen’s team also took advantage of the fixtures’ DMX programmability to create an eye-catching introduction that mimicked runway lighting for each new artist’s arrival on stage. 

“The P3 System Controller’s flexibility and intuitive operation was essential to the success of my design,” said Moltzen. “When you have so many artists and visual content creators working together on one event, things can get complicated and mistakes can happen. That’s why it’s important to use gear that anyone can work with. The P3 System Controller enabled us to easily translate artists’ custom video content on the Sceptron and Dotron fixtures, and its pixel mapping abilities allowed us to hand system control over to the Q-Dance team and ensure their visuals would instantly translate to our rig.”

“We were also able to use its DMX integration to program a landing strip sequence that tied into the airport theme and made it feel like each artist was landing on the stage when their set began,” continued Moltzen. “Simply put, the P3 System Controller is one of the most powerful video control systems ever made.”


Martin by HARMAN Launches Largest Lighting Initiative in a Decade with Martin MAC Ultra Series

Martin by HARMAN Launches Largest Lighting Initiative in a Decade with Martin MAC Ultra Series

March 17, 2021

NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—Today, HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, substantially raised the bar for extremely bright and compact lights with the debut of Martin by HARMAN’s revolutionary Martin MAC Ultra Performance and MAC Ultra Wash workhorse stage lights. Featuring benchmark lumen output across the zoom range, a uniquely advanced framing system, higher definition optics and astoundingly low noise levels, the MAC Ultra family is perfect for concert and touring productions and equally applicable for noise-sensitive broadcast and theater applications.

Powered by Martin’s brightest engine ever, the MAC Ultra Series features an all new 1150 W, 6000 K proprietary LED light engine. This gives MAC Ultra Wash the power to project a jaw-dropping 63,500 lumens and MAC Ultra Performance an astounding 46,500 lumens of output. And while cutting-edge output was a key design pillar, achieving visual quality that is more pleasing to the human eye was an equally important design consideration. With higher red content and better daylight balance, MAC Ultra produces dramatically rich, vivid colors and more natural skin-tones, redefining seeing is believing.

Creating peace of mind in fixture reliability was also a cornerstone of the MAC Ultra design. Without exception, every component can be relied upon to achieve consistent results from the first hour of use throughout the product’s lifetime - show after show, year after year. In fact, the minimum LED engine life is rated to exceed 50,000 hours and deliver over 90 percent of its initial output after 20,000 hours of usage at maximum power.

The extensive MAC Ultra feature package includes a wide zoom-range, precision focus-control, uniform color mixing, variable CTO, additional color and spectral correction filters, motorized frost for a softer field, high resolution dimming and strobing – all built into a sturdy and legendary MAC design. And, the brand new Martin Extended Framing System debuts for the first time in the MAC Ultra Performance, offering more flexibility, easier programming, quicker response time and precision shutter angling that surges the fixture into a new class of creative potential.

“We are so proud to be able to introduce MAC Ultra to our incredibly loyal client base of designers and customers,” said Peter Skytte, HARMAN Professional Solutions Director of Lighting Product Management. “These fixtures were specifically designed to be the lights that they can achieve more with than ever before. From lumen output we never thought possible to you-have-to-see-it-for-yourself visual quality to hands-down, rock-solid reliability, there is not one facet of this product that we didn’t over-scrutinize and challenge our engineering team to get just right. The result is a feat of innovation like nothing else we’ve ever attempted. I encourage everyone to experience these lights for themselves and imagine the possibilities created by this new standard for stage lighting.”

 

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