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AMX Partners with Panopto to Streamline Video Recording and Sharing with New Software Integration for Modero Touch Panels

November 18, 2021

NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, today announced a partnership to integrate Panopto’s video management platform with AMX control systems and Modero touch panels. Panopto is the leading video management system, known for making it easy to securely record, manage and share videos. The new software integration gives AMX users the freedom to interact with Panopto using AMX control solutions and Modero touch panels.

“Integrating AMX control systems and Panopto’s easy-to-use video recording and management capabilities opens up a world of possibilities for higher education and corporate applications, all without complicating anything for the end user,” said Jamie Trader, Vice President, Video & Control, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “Achieving this kind of control used to require juggling multiple software and hardware systems, but this new functionality puts the power and security of Panopto at our users’ fingertips while letting them focus on what’s really important.”

Used abundantly in universities and large enterprises, Panopto allows users to securely capture video, presentations, meetings and screenshares, as well as webcasts. Users can monitor viewer behavior for engagement, share content securely and quickly search videos for specific moments using its Smart Chapters feature. The AMX-Panopto integration, developed in close consultation with the University of Freiburg, Germany, provides AMX and Modero users with several benefits:

  • One-touch recording of lectures, presentations and more
  • Ability to pause, stop, delete or extend active recordings
  • Easily view and manage scheduled recordings

“Teachers, presenters and facilitators need simple workflows to record, manage and share video content,” said Mike Rich, vice president of strategic alliances at Panopto.  “AMX’s offerings make it easier to put the power of Panopto at people’s fingertips.”

 


JBL Professional Introduces EON700 Series Portable PA Loudspeakers and Subwoofer With Bluetooth

JBL Professional Introduces EON700 Series Portable PA Loudspeakers and Subwoofer With Bluetooth

November 16, 2021

NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control, today introduced the EON700 Series portable PA loudspeakers and subwoofer with Bluetooth.

Launched in 1995, JBL’s best-selling EON family of PAs set the benchmark for how great a powered loudspeaker system can be.

The EON700 Series represents a major step forward in innovation and technology by delivering truly intelligible, clearly consistent coverage at any volume level. JBL engineers used exclusive, state-of-the-art design and measurement techniques to deliver the best-performing loudspeakers in their category, regardless of application. EON700 leverages the latest acoustic science, transducer designs, cabinet materials and advanced DSP, amplification and control technologies and extraordinary performance in a fully professional, highly flexible, easy to use, portable system.

With four models available, including the 10-inch EON710, the 12-inch EON712 and the 15-inch EON715 powered PA speakers and the 18-inch EON718S subwoofer, EON700 systems cover the needs of today’s working musicians and sound providers. These flexible systems are designed to effortlessly scale with customers’ needs, from DJ performances and full bands to solo singer/songwriter gigs, presentations and worship events. Configure speakers as mains or stage monitors, hung or stacked, in portable systems or permanent installations—the opportunities are endless.

Dial in optimal system sound in an instant using a built-in 3-channel mixer and dbx DriveRack Inside technology, featuring Automatic Feedback Suppression, 8-band output EQ and optimized use-case presets. Access functions quickly and easily via an onboard backlit color LCD screen or take control from anywhere using the JBL Pro Connect app. Bluetooth 5.0 streaming and control, mounting options and built-in speaker delay bring even more versatility to these rugged, reliable systems.

“The EON700 Series truly represents the next generation of portable PA systems,” says Brandon Knudsen, HARMAN Professional Product Manager, Portable PA Loudspeakers. “When we started designing these new PAs, we looked at our best-selling EON Series and made that core technology even better by upgrading drivers and amplifiers, refining waveguides, supercharging the effects package, and incorporating the most up-to-date Bluetooth protocol and universal app control. The result is a powerful, versatile system that sounds incredible at any volume, anywhere in the room.

“We’ve made it even easier than ever for performers to sound their best without having to rely on outboard gear, thanks to built-in advanced dbx DSP and presets that are optimized for a range of scenarios. And the series’ incredible power-to-size ratio and low weight mean a faster, lighter load-in, which we can all appreciate.”

 

Acoustics and Amplifier

JBL’s advanced waveguide and transducer technologies, coupled with highly efficient amplification, ensure uniform coverage across the entire listening area, even when you push the system to the limit. Woofers are redesigned for lower impedance and higher efficiency, an improved horn delivers a smooth off-axis beamwidth and JBL’s powerful 2414H compression driver features a premium neodymium magnet for balanced response in a lightweight footprint. Speakers are powered by 1,300 (loudspeakers) or 1,500 (subwoofer) watts of ultra-efficient discrete Class D amplification, for clean, clear sound. It all adds up to superior coverage, consistency and intelligibility at any volume.

 

Advanced DSP and Control

EON700’s advanced DSP package provides comprehensive control over EQ, limiters, delay, dbx Automatic Feedback Suppression, ducking and other speaker functions. Access settings on-speaker via an integrated backlit LCD screen, or from anywhere in the venue using the JBL Pro Connect App. Built-in Bluetooth 5.0 audio streaming (full-range speakers) and control take advantage of the newest protocol’s security features, low latency, broad range and improved audio fidelity.

 

System Versatility

EON700 loudspeakers can be used as main PA speakers or floor monitors. Full-range models feature top and rear suspension points for flying speakers; rear suspension points serve as connections for fixed installations, using an optional universal yoke mount. Indexed feet molded into enclosures enable a range of acoustic configurations and secure stacking for traditional stand-up configurations and convenient storage and transport. EON718S subwoofers feature a threaded pole mount for full-range speakers and are easily stacked for cardioid configurations.

 

Rugged and Reliable

All audio products have useful lives, and JBL engineers are committed to making that lifespan as long as possible—not only in terms of reliability, but in terms of how good the system sounds every time it’s turned on.

Full-range speakers feature FEA optimized composite enclosures, taking advantage of injection-molding and mechanical-shaping techniques for added durability without sacrificing cabinet size or performance. Subwoofers are housed in rugged 15-ply birch enclosures; computer-optimized ergonomic handles make moving boxes a breeze.

Every JBL Professional product undergoes stringent testing that goes above and beyond any conditions the product would face in the real world. Our industry-leading 100-hour power test ensures longevity so musicians and audio engineers can rely on JBL components in any scenario.

 

Additional Details

For complete details and specifications, please visit: jblpro.com/eon700-series.


JBL Professional Introduces EON700 Series Portable PA Loudspeakers and Subwoofer With Bluetooth

JBL Professional Introduces EON700 Series Portable PA Loudspeakers and Subwoofer With Bluetooth

November 16, 2021

NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control, today introduced the EON700 Series portable PA loudspeakers and subwoofer with Bluetooth.

Launched in 1995, JBL’s best-selling EON family of PAs set the benchmark for how great a powered loudspeaker system can be.

The EON700 Series represents a major step forward in innovation and technology by delivering truly intelligible, clearly consistent coverage at any volume level. JBL engineers used exclusive, state-of-the-art design and measurement techniques to deliver the best-performing loudspeakers in their category, regardless of application. EON700 leverages the latest acoustic science, transducer designs, cabinet materials and advanced DSP, amplification and control technologies and extraordinary performance in a fully professional, highly flexible, easy to use, portable system.

With four models available, including the 10-inch EON710, the 12-inch EON712 and the 15-inch EON715 powered PA speakers and the 18-inch EON718S subwoofer, EON700 systems cover the needs of today’s working musicians and sound providers. These flexible systems are designed to effortlessly scale with customers’ needs, from DJ performances and full bands to solo singer/songwriter gigs, presentations and worship events. Configure speakers as mains or stage monitors, hung or stacked, in portable systems or permanent installations—the opportunities are endless.

Dial in optimal system sound in an instant using a built-in 3-channel mixer and dbx DriveRack Inside technology, featuring Automatic Feedback Suppression, 8-band output EQ and optimized use-case presets. Access functions quickly and easily via an onboard backlit color LCD screen or take control from anywhere using the JBL Pro Connect app. Bluetooth 5.0 streaming and control, mounting options and built-in speaker delay bring even more versatility to these rugged, reliable systems.

“The EON700 Series truly represents the next generation of portable PA systems,” says Brandon Knudsen, HARMAN Professional Product Manager, Portable PA Loudspeakers. “When we started designing these new PAs, we looked at our best-selling EON Series and made that core technology even better by upgrading drivers and amplifiers, refining waveguides, supercharging the effects package, and incorporating the most up-to-date Bluetooth protocol and universal app control. The result is a powerful, versatile system that sounds incredible at any volume, anywhere in the room.

“We’ve made it even easier than ever for performers to sound their best without having to rely on outboard gear, thanks to built-in advanced dbx DSP and presets that are optimized for a range of scenarios. And the series’ incredible power-to-size ratio and low weight mean a faster, lighter load-in, which we can all appreciate.”

Acoustics and Amplifier
JBL’s advanced waveguide and transducer technologies, coupled with highly efficient amplification, ensure uniform coverage across the entire listening area, even when you push the system to the limit. Woofers are redesigned for lower impedance and higher efficiency, an improved horn delivers a smooth off-axis beamwidth and JBL’s powerful 2414H compression driver features a premium neodymium magnet for balanced response in a lightweight footprint. Speakers are powered by 1,300 (loudspeakers) or 1,500 (subwoofer) watts of ultra-efficient discrete Class D amplification, for clean, clear sound. It all adds up to superior coverage, consistency and intelligibility at any volume.

Advanced DSP and Control
EON700’s advanced DSP package provides comprehensive control over EQ, limiters, delay, dbx Automatic Feedback Suppression, ducking and other speaker functions. Access settings on-speaker via an integrated backlit LCD screen, or from anywhere in the venue using the JBL Pro Connect App. Built-in Bluetooth 5.0 audio streaming (full-range speakers) and control take advantage of the newest protocol’s security features, low latency, broad range and improved audio fidelity.

System Versatility
EON700 loudspeakers can be used as main PA speakers or floor monitors. Full-range models feature top and rear suspension points for flying speakers; rear suspension points serve as connections for fixed installations, using an optional universal yoke mount. Indexed feet molded into enclosures enable a range of acoustic configurations and secure stacking for traditional stand-up configurations and convenient storage and transport. EON718S subwoofers feature a threaded pole mount for full-range speakers and are easily stacked for cardioid configurations.

Rugged and Reliable
All audio products have useful lives, and JBL engineers are committed to making that lifespan as long as possible—not only in terms of reliability, but in terms of how good the system sounds every time it’s turned on.

Full-range speakers feature FEA optimized composite enclosures, taking advantage of injection-molding and mechanical-shaping techniques for added durability without sacrificing cabinet size or performance. Subwoofers are housed in rugged 15-ply birch enclosures; computer-optimized ergonomic handles make moving boxes a breeze.

Every JBL Professional product undergoes stringent testing that goes above and beyond any conditions the product would face in the real world. Our industry-leading 100-hour power test ensures longevity so musicians and audio engineers can rely on JBL components in any scenario.

Additional Details
For complete details and specifications, please visit: jblpro.com/eon700-series.


Carved at Descanso Gardens Brings Family-Friendly Halloween Visuals to Life With Martin Professional

Carved at Descanso Gardens Brings Family-Friendly Halloween Visuals to Life With Martin Professional

November 10, 2021

LOS ANGELES—To provide Descanso Gardens with immersive and weatherproof lighting for their Halloween-themed event Carved, visual design company Lightswitch selected and installed next-generation Martin Professional lighting solutions.

One of the National Register of Historic Register’s most recent additions, Descanso Gardens is a 150-acre botanical garden that is home to a wide array of flora and fauna. From November to January, the gardens host the annual Enchanted: Forest of Light, a nighttime event that showcases a wide array of light-based and interactive art installations. In 2019, Descanso Gardens premiered Carved at Descanso Gardens, a Halloween-themed, family-friendly visual art attraction in the style of Enchanted, featuring highly imaginative and impressive Jack-o-Lanterns, pumpkin sculptures, light fixtures and more.

Organizers requested a unique and immersive lighting rig for Carved that could then carry over into the setup for Enchanted later in the year. Additionally, since the event takes place at night in a forested area, the lighting had to not only be expressive and immersive, but also practical to ensure that families stayed on the trail and weather-resistant to endure the elements". To meet these requirements, Lightswitch deployed a range of lighting solutions including the durable and versatile Martin VDO Atomic Bold fixtures.

“During the pandemic, Descanso Gardens contacted us about doing a Halloween-themed version of Enchanted, because they saw an opportunity in the market to provide a high-production nighttime Halloween event that was also family-friendly,” said Chris Medvitz, Lighting Designer, Lightswitch. “The solution was to take the Halloween show and integrate it into what we were doing for Enchanted later in the year. Carved features of artisan-designed carved pumpkins and jack-o'-lanterns placed within this big forested area, so we designed the whole experience to feel handmade and crafty like the art installations and not too high-tech or busy. Everything needed to feel organic, like somebody made it by hand.”

Capable of washes, strobes, complex pixel-mapped designs and more, the Martin VDO Atomic Bold is an LED hybrid fixture created for a wide range of settings and applications. The Atomic Bold combines a pixel-controllable RGB Aura backlight with a high-output color beam in order to create bold eye-candy blends that translate effectively in any setting. Along with its creative capabilities, the Atomic Bold’s IP65 weatherproof rating and built-in power supply made it an ideal fixture for Carved, which requires all of the  lights to be outdoors and powered for long periods of time.

Medvitz and the Lightswitch team installed the Atomic Bolds near a large flower bed, featuring light boxes made of reclaimed wood with monstrously carved faces. The Atomic Bolds, placed on a nearby rooftop, provided a deep, saturated wash area that heightened the impact of the light coming from the wooden boxes and brought a subtle but transformative atmosphere to the installation. Additionally, Medvitz took advantage of the Atomic Bolds’ included PAR64-sized front accessory holders to add top hats to minimize glare into audience areas.

“With the Atomic Bolds, we created this massive wash of color across this flower bed,” added Medvitz. “It was cool because the flower bed itself has plants with all different colors of leaves and flowers, and saturated colors from the Bolds were able to alter the colors of the flowers, like when you shine a colored light on a colored object. Shifting the colors really changed the way that the flower beds appeared, and that ended up working out great.”

With a maximum output of 13,000 lumens, the Atomic Bold provided plenty of power to the installation, but also the dexterity to be used in more subtle ways. Medvitz noted how he originally intended to use the Atomic Bolds just as blinders, but their ability to broadcast vivid colors even at low power made them an ideal choice of wash as well.

“We ended up dialing them down probably to 50% intensity because they're so bright,” said Medvitz. “We certainly were just scratching the surface on the capabilities of the fixtures in our application, but they're definitely impressive. I have a high opinion of the Atomic Bolds after using them, and I think they turned out looking really great.”


Porter Robinson’s Nurture Live Tour Wows Audiences With Dynamic, Immersive Lighting From Martin Professional

Porter Robinson’s Nurture Live Tour Wows Audiences With Dynamic, Immersive Lighting From Martin Professional

November 09, 2021

ORLANDO, Florida—To complement the immersive video content featured on Porter Robinson’s Nurture Live Tour, Ben Coker designed and programmed a sophisticated lighting rig featuring Martin Professional MAC Ultra Performance and MAC Aura PXL fixtures controlled by a P3-50 system controller.

Porter Robinson is an electronic musician and DJ who was nominated for the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording, named MTVu’s Artist of the Year in 2015 and listed among DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs for seven consecutive years. After releasing his second album Nurture in April 2021, Robinson embarked on a nationwide tour with stops in 22 states. Featuring multiple video walls and a video floor displaying synchronized visual content ranging from abstract animated sequences to picturesque nature scenes, the Nurture Live Tour required a sophisticated lighting rig to complete the experience. To bring maximum immersion to the show, Lighting Designer Ben Coker deployed the new Martin MAC Ultra Performance and MAC Aura PXL fixtures, taking advantage of Martin’s flexible P3 platform for detailed pixel mapping.

“Porter has always valued production a lot, and he gets really involved with it,” said Coker. “We put a lot of emphasis on having plenty of flexibility in the show and being able to have different looks and layers throughout, but we try not to use the typical approach where everything’s at a hundred percent all the time. Instead, we try to give video and lighting their own moments and make them both play well together by matching color and intensity to get the content to play back and forth between the two.”

Coker selected the Martin MAC Ultra Performance, Martin’s next-generation moving-head LED luminaire, as the primary lighting fixture for the tour. Built to support the biggest live events, the cutting-edge fixture incorporates a proprietary 1150-watt LED engine that delivers up to 46,500 lumens with high-resolution dimming, strobing and Martin’s unique Animotion effect. A refined optical system provides 1:7 zoom range with precision focus control, while Martin’s innovative Extended Framing system offers unparalleled flexibility, response time, shutter angling and ease of programming. A complete effects package including two layers of rotating gobos, an advanced animation wheel, iris, frost and prism effects gives lighting designers unprecedented power to create never-before-seen looks.

“I've used a lot of the other bigger fixtures over the past several years and the MAC Ultra Performance is the nicest, brightest spotlight that I've seen,” said Coker. “For what I'm using it for, it checks every single box. It has a great gobo set, great colors, great zoom range, it's fast for its size and it’s super bright and punchy. When you iris it down, it holds its own with a lot of the beam fixtures, and when you zoom it out wide, you still have enough intensity to be able to see big gobo breakup patterns and aerials. That's really difficult to find in most fixtures.”

To enhance the tour’s immersive video content, Coker took advantage of the creative pixel mapping capabilities of the new Martin MAC Aura PXL. The latest iteration of Martin’s popular Aura Series, the MAC Aura PXL is a multi-source LED wash light with a separate 19-pixel beam and 141-segment backlight. Both engines offer independent control at the pixel level for ultra high-resolution pixel mapping and vivid effects. RGBW color mixing delivers everything from vibrant, saturated colors to subtle pastels and even realistic tungsten emulation. And, with up to 10,500 lumens of output, the MAC Aura PXL has enough power on tap for any application.

“The Aura and Aura XB have been my favorite go-to fixtures for a long time,” said Coker. “I liked their simplicity and dependability. When I first saw the PXL, I was really excited—probably the most excited about a fixture I've been for quite a while. I knew that it was going to be the right choice for the tour. The sheer quantity of individual LED diode sources inside the lens and backlight really appealed to me because it gave me a higher resolution of pixel mapping. The fact that I could still use a main engine wash light and not have to pixel map the main engine source, and that I can light a stage with a wash and still do a pixel map on the lens of it, was really appealing to me.”

Coker used a single Martin P3-050 system controller unit to map video content to the MAC Aura PXLs. The P3-050 System Controller is a compact and affordable unit capable of controlling systems of up to 100,000 pixels via Martin’s powerful P3 protocol as well as standard DMX and Art-Net protocols. According to Coker, P3 control unlocked many creative possibilities while remaining streamlined and reliable for a high-profile touring application.

“Since we have a video floor, I wanted to be able to take that content and replicate it overhead via P3,” explained Coker. “By using the P3-050, I could have that full pixel control and send whatever content I wanted to the lights, but I didn't have to use a ton of channels. That's a huge advantage for P3—besides ease of control, mapping and setup—not having to use tons of parameters. It would take one universe per light to be able to have that same control via DMX.”

The Nurture Live Tour kicked off September 23 at the Cuthbert Amphitheater in Eugene, Oregon and continued along the West Coast before covering the Midwest, East Coast and several southern states throughout October and November. After multiple sold-out shows and new dates added along the way, Robinson played the final show of the tour at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego on November 13.


Kane Brown Hits the Road With Versatile, Next-Generation Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

Kane Brown Hits the Road With Versatile, Next-Generation Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

November 08, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—To provide country star Kane Brown with impactful onstage visuals for his 2021 North American tour, Ahlstrand Productions selected dynamic and cutting-edge Martin Professional lighting solutions provided by lighting company DCR Nashville.

Kane Brown is a multi-platinum singer-songwriter and the first artist to simultaneously claim the number one spot on all five of Billboard’s main country charts. After postponing his Worldwide Beautiful Tour in early 2020, Brown is back on the road with the Blessed & Free Tour, playing some of the biggest arenas in the country including Madison Square Garden. Because the songs in Brown’s setlist range from tender acoustic ballads to loud and rollicking anthems, lighting designer Trevor Ahlstrand of Ahlstrand Productions wanted to design a rig that supported the music’s stylistic changes and gave fans an exciting visual experience while also accommodating a 56-foot onstage screen that plays throughout the show. To meet these goals, Ahlstrand selected next-generation Martin VDO Sceptron 10 video battens powered by P3 and VDO Atomic Dot CLD fixtures.

“One of the main things I wanted to do was create a wall of light behind the transparent video screen,” said Ahlstrand. “Kane’s entrance starts behind the screen where he ascends to the top and stands on top of the video screen before repelling down to the stage via a harness. No matter what we were going to place back there, it had to have the power to carry the opening of the show while revealing him silhouetted raising behind the screen. We needed to be able to have a fixture the could complement the video content on stage while also popping through the screen with a lot of intensity to accent larger hits and stops in the music. The Atomic Dot does just that, and they bring a different feel and energy throughout the show. The Sceptrons outline every set piece like the ego risers, thrust, and automated lighting pods; I use them on the majority of the shows that I put out.”

The rig features 60 Martin VDO Atomic Dot CLD fixtures configured in rows of twelve behind the video screen, creating a massive backdrop for deep washes and stunning automation. A highly versatile fixture featuring a high-power white beam combined with a pixel-controllable RGB Aura backlight, the Atomic Dot offers powerful beams, vibrant color washes, intense strobes and more. While the tour features CLD variant fixtures that specialize in cooler 5700K lighting, the Atomic Dot also comes in a WRM variant for a 2700K color temperature. Additionally, the Atomic Dot’s compact design and smart interlocking mechanics allow for a wide range of designs, arrays and shapes.

The Martin VDO Sceptron 10 sports next-generation 16-bit per color image processing technology and pixel-level calibration for everything from full and bright washes to subtle hues. The stage outline created by the Sceptrons gives additional impact to Brown and the band’s stage presence with bold and saturated colors and flashes. Additionally, Ahlstrand designed them into automated set pieces or lighting pods that come down to surround Kane during his acoustic set or stripped-down songs. The Sceptrons highlight a triangle pattern directly behind the musicians, creating a more subtle and intimate lighting effect that still translates to arena-sized venues. The Martin P3 software used to control the Sceptrons allowed for instant data processing and pinpoint pixel mapping and automation with ease, making them a key lighting component throughout the entire show.  

“I tried to build something that was very dynamic and could look very different depending on what feel the songs needed,” added Ahlstrand. “The Sceptrons are a really versatile tool. They're one of those things that I rarely turn off, because at a low intensity and color they're a nice, subtle set piece, and then when you want them to, they carry a big punch for a part of the song with intense movement. They can be the main focus or just a set element, and they’re an extremely versatile tool that has done a lot for the show.”


Pantheon Podcasters Upgrade To Professional Sound With AKG Podcaster Essentials Audio Production Toolkit

Pantheon Podcasters Upgrade To Professional Sound With AKG Podcaster Essentials Audio Production Toolkit

November 04, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO—Podcasters on the Pantheon network are using the AKG Podcaster Essentials bundle to great effect, enjoying improved sound and ease of use from the AKG Lyra USB microphone and K371 headphones.

Pantheon Podcasts is a network of more than 70 music-focused shows, running the gamut from casual music exploration to history, production, banjo culture and much more. Pantheon founder and CEO Christian Swain is also the host of Rock N Roll Archaeology, a chronological, episodic podcast that tells the story of how the music of the late 20th century intersected with the changing culture of the times to create what is now one of the greatest moments in music history. According to Swain, the AKG Podcaster Essentials toolkit makes it possible for less-experienced hosts achieve professional sound easily and lends a cohesive sound to the network’s many shows.

Lyra is an ultra-HD multimode USB microphone that combines legendary AKG engineering for superior sound quality with a sleek design and integrated desktop stand that makes it quick and easy to set up and use. To complement the microphone, the Podcaster Essentials bundle includes a pair of AKG K371 headphones. Sporting a closed-back, over-ear design and premium AKG drivers, K371 headphones offer transparent sound with extended frequency response and excellent isolation from external noises. The bundle also comes with a copy of Ableton Live 10 Lite software for streamlined recording and editing.

“We pride ourselves on providing audiences with quality content coupled with quality audio,” said Swain. “We choose our music-related podcasts for their quality content, but not all come with the quality audio we expect. Having the ability to quickly and inexpensively supply these shows with the AKG Podcaster Essentials kit is an excellent way to solve this problem when it arises. It also allows us to have a somewhat uniform raw audio signal for editing and enhancing the content when needed. We used to shy away from USB microphones, preferring a more traditional external XLR interface, but the AKG Lyra meets our needs and offers a cost savings. We have been very happy with the results and our hosts using this package are extremely happy to be able to up their audio quality!”

Corey O’Flanagan of the Songfacts Podcast

Corey O’Flanagan’s Songfacts Podcast is an offshoot of the popular website Songfacts.com, a compendium of information on all things music. On the podcast, O’Flanagan speaks with songwriters, musicians and music journalists, discussing classic songs and exposing the audience to new music. According to O’Flanagan, the AKG Lyra compared favorably to other USB microphones as well as professional XLR microphones.

“When I first started out, I ordered a $40 USB mic from Amazon,” said O’Flanagan. “Then, when we got a little more serious, I bought one of the more well-known USB mics and used that for a while. When I got the Lyra, I couldn't quite figure out how it was so much better—it just is. I have a lot of experience with microphones from recording music, and I've used some really high-end condenser microphones. I have a $400-500 microphone that's sitting in storage right now, but I haven't had to use it because I've got this. Lyra gives me a good studio sound.”

Daniel Cohen of Ready to Record

Daniel “The D3” Cohen is a musician, producer and recording engineer based in San Francisco. On his Ready to Record podcast, Cohen interviews veteran recording engineers, reviews gear and shares music he’s working on. Cohen praised Lyra’s ease of use and broadcast-ready sound, but as a musician and engineer, he especially appreciated Lyra’s versatile pickup patterns and stereo recording capabilities.

“It's very easy to work with when it comes to setting up,” said Cohen. “I thoroughly enjoy the desktop stand as an on-the-go tool if I need to do quick voiceovers and things like that. As far as the sound, compared to other microphones in its price point, I think it blows a lot of them out of the water. Feature-wise, my favorite is the multi-pattern recording capability and the fact that you can use it as a stereo array, which I’ve used to record stereo drums and acoustic guitar. That's a very powerful thing that not a lot of other USB microphones out there do. I see a lot of different applications for this microphone.”

Quentin Self of No Filler

Quentin Self and his twin brother Travis host No Filler, a podcast dedicated to highlighting the overlooked “hidden gems” on popular albums. In each episode, the hosts dissect a well-known record, delving into the merits of the lesser-known songs between the hits. Quentin recommends the AKG Podcaster Essentials bundle for its sound quality, ease of use and great value.

“I think the mic sounds amazing, and I really like the design of it,” said Quentin. “I like that it's got the headphone output so I can monitor my vocals without having to use Ableton's monitoring, and having the volume knob right on the mic is really convenient as well. And the headphones are unbelievable—I can wear them for 12 hours and they don’t hurt my ears at all. It's a no-brainer for podcasters to get this Podcaster Essentials kit. With these headphones and this mic, the price is just too good to pass up, and it also comes with the Lite version of Ableton, which is really cool. I absolutely recommend it.”

Nate Wilcox of Let it Roll

Hosted by Nate Wilcox, Let It Roll explores the history of American popular music with a focus on the social, technological and business forces that influence culture. The show’s first season comprises a series of in-depth interviews with music historian Ed Ward, author of The History of Rock and Roll, Volume 1: 1920–1963. Other guests include Robert Gordon, Paul Trynka, Peter Doggett, Elijah Wald and others. Upon upgrading to Lyra from another popular USB microphone, Wilcox noticed a significant increase in sensitivity.

“It sounded really good,” said Wilcox. “It was a huge improvement over the mic I was using before, so much so that I had to minimize my ambient sound. I'm pretty low-tech, so I liked that I could just turn it on and record. I also love the headphones; they're comfortable and they sound good.”

Matthew Szczepanski of Audio Judo

Co-hosted by Matthew Szczepanski, Audio Judo aims to expose listeners to great music—new and old alike—while digging into the history of bands and albums. Recently, show consultant Chris Delisle began hosting a limited series of jazz-focused podcasts called Audio Judo Does Jazz. Because Delisle lives in a different part of the country than the other hosts and did not have prior experience with audio equipment, Szczepanski sent him the AKG Podcaster Essentials bundle, which helped him deliver high-quality audio with minimal setup and technical knowledge.

“Even though he had no experience, he was able to just plug and play with the mic and headphones and get started right away,” said Szczepanski. “That was one of the big benefits—it’s very simple to use and he doesn't have to overthink it. The difference in sound quality between the Lyra and what we use—what I would consider high-end production equipment—is kind of indistinguishable. It sounds really, really good. It's definitely a warmer sound than I anticipated. It's a great product.”


Parker Playhouse Modernizes the Stage With Versatile Lighting Solutions From Martin Professional

Parker Playhouse Modernizes the Stage With Versatile Lighting Solutions From Martin Professional

October 22, 2021

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—The Broward Center for the Performing Arts collaborated with Pro Sound Inc.’s Stage Equipment & Lighting division to create a cutting-edge lighting system featuring Martin Professional fixtures for the newly-renovated Parker Playhouse theater.

Founded in 1967, the Parker Playhouse is a beloved fixture of the local Fort Lauderdale arts community, hosting a variety of Broadway shows, plays, concerts, dance and educational events for the past 54 years. In 2020, a $30 million renovation and restoration project transformed the building from a historical playhouse into a modern live music venue. Now known as The Parker, the theater is set to welcome back audiences and host a wide variety of events this fall, from educational children’s shows to rock concerts by artists including Rick Springfield and Lindsey Buckingham. As part of the effort to transform The Parker into a multifaceted venue equipped to serve the needs of modern live productions, The Broward Center, which has managed The Parker since 2005, and the Stage Equipment & Lighting (SEAL) division of Pro Sound Inc. designed a lighting system featuring Martin ERA 800, MAC Aura, and ELP-CL lights.

“We do a lot of the community events as well as educational shows for kids in the mornings, but then by the time the sun goes down, we're ready to do a rock and roll concert,” said Anton Foresta, Director of Production-Affiliated Venues, the Broward Center. “One of the primary goals of the renovations was that concerts hosted by The Parker started getting bigger and requiring higher production values for today’s touring artists. When we take a look at a production’s rider, we want to be able to provide the artists’ first choices in equipment. So, when it came to deciding on a lighting package, everyone's first choice was always Martin. That's why we worked so  hard to make sure that we could install a full Martin package as we reimagined the theater.”

The main component of the new lighting setup is the Martin MAC Aura single-lens wash light, with sixteen on electric line sets and four on a motorized truss. Featuring a broad RBGY color spectrum and eye-candy Aura effects, the MAC Aura combines multicolor beam LEDs with a backlight LED array to generate deep washes, subtle shades and more. Additionally, the lighting team installed eight Martin ERA 800 Performance LED profile fixtures in a v-shape pointing upstage for wide washes, powerful beams and eclectic patterns. The CMY color mixing and six-slot color wheel provide numerous blending options, while features including static and rotating gobos and full stage framing blades with +/- 60° rotation make the ERA adaptable to any production.

“The Auras are our main wash,” said Robyn Allemand, Technical Coordinator, The Parker. “We placed them on most of our electric line sets to give an even wash and also because they can zoom in really well. It’s great to have the option to provide movement. We wanted to make sure the line sets were even in rows that fit onstage to allow for a fun look or a general overhead wash look.”

“One of the reasons why I recommended the Auras and the ERAs for The Parker was because of the massive amounts of flexibility these fixtures provide while still doing everything the production team needs to accomplish to fulfill technical riders,” added Kirstin Anderson, Sales Engineer, SEAL.

Finally, 38 Martin ELP CL LED ellipsoidal profile lights provide impressive functionality and power output of 6,900 lumens. The ELP is also equipped with the gear-based Fine Focus––an industry first––which allows for adjusting and locking in the focus instantly, as well as an RGBAL Luxeon Rebel LED engine for a vivid and striking color palette.

The Parker team recently turned on the lighting rig in the theater’s Lillian S. Wells Hall for the first time and were reportedly thrilled with the results. Both Foresta and Allemand note that Martin’s innovative and reliable lighting solutions are a key component in ushering in a new, modern era for The Parker.

“When people see that you have Martin fixtures, that's as far as they need to go,” said Foresta. “Everybody already has the profiles for it. It makes it really easy for touring companies coming through with their own consoles to take over and merge the system to their files. Again, just looking at the riders, the first choice is always Martin.”

“This new lighting is something we’ve never seen at The Parker, especially for the actual permanent plot,” added Allemand. “It was a big moment for us and the crew to be able to see the strong colors and the variety of looks that we could pull with our new lights. This rig is truly state of the art and will not just be for this year or even the next five years,  we’re confident that what we have installed with Martin is going to last. This system is pulling us into the future, not just getting us to the present, and that’s really awesome for artists and audiences alike.”

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Schmigadoon! Pays Homage To Classic Musicals With Versatile Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

Schmigadoon! Pays Homage To Classic Musicals With Versatile Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

October 22, 2021

VANCOUVER, Canada—To bring a combination of hyper-realistic daylight looks and classic theatrical lighting to the production of Schmigadoon!, Director of Photography Todd Elyzen, Lighting Programmer Jason McKinnon and Gaffer Bill Kassis deployed more than 200 Martin Professional MAC Encore Performance CLD fixtures supplied by Christie Lites.

Schmigadoon! is a six-episode Apple TV+ streaming series based on the 1947 musical Brigadoon, starring Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key as a couple who find themselves transported into a golden-age musical. Set in an idyllic mountain village and full of dance numbers and homages to iconic musicals, Schmigadoon! required a combination of realistic daylight illumination and exaggerated theatrical lighting. Since much of the show was shot on elaborate sets with a 40-foot-high, 360-degree blue screen for digital set extensions, consistent illumination was critical yet lighting angles were limited.

To achieve the right look for every scene and be able to easily switch between and recall lighting setups, Director of Photography Todd Elyzen came up with the unorthodox idea to deploy a lighting rig primarily composed of moving-head fixtures mounted overhead. Lighting Programmer Jason McKinnon selected the Martin MAC Encore Performance CLD for the task, securing more than 200 fixtures with the help of Christie Lites Rental Representative Joe Foley. In the end, the team deployed half of those fixtures on the primary set at Vancouver Film Studios, supplemented by additional sources to create a base level of ambient light in daytime scenes.

“The show borrows from a range of '50s Hollywood musicals, from The Wizard of Oz to Oklahoma and everything in between,” said Elyzen. “Oklahoma was shot on an exterior backlot in sunlight conditions and The Wizard of Oz was the opposite of that. Because we were blending so many of those different looks into our own story, I took the liberty of lighting in different ways. These lights allowed me to get hard sunlight where I wanted it or create a slightly overcast look with a bit of direction still coming through. We could also utilize them for feature lighting like lampposts and things like that.”

Designed for the stage and optimized for TV and broadcast applications, the Martin MAC Encore Performance CLD was perfectly suited to Elyzen and McKinnon’s needs. The CLD variant specializes in generating pristine, full-spectrum light with ultra-high color rendition, which was ideal for the many daytime outdoor scenes in Schmigadoon! High Color Rendering Index (CRI) and Televised Lighting Consistency Index (TLCI) values ensured accurate color rendering on camera. Ultra-fast and silent movement, along with 16-bit DMX control of parameters like zoom, focus, dimming and gobo rotation, gave the team extreme flexibility and precision when programming the rig and recalling specific scenes. This functionality allowed Elyzen and McKinnon to easily switch between lighting directions for realistic outdoor lighting on an indoor stage.

“We wanted to be able to turn around and shoot in any direction,” added Elyzen. “Instead of having four different lighting setups, all prefocused for that purpose, we were able to pre-program the same fixtures and light from any direction we needed to. They were so versatile and programmable that it allowed us to flip back and forth between directions with the push of a button.”

In addition to the logistical advantages, the MAC Encore Performance CLD gave McKinnon the versatility to achieve a variety of creative looks. Five rotating glass gobos, an animation wheel, Animotion effects system and variable soft frost diffusion gave the team nearly endless possibilities for creative effects. Four framing shutter blades with fully electronic control made it possible to direct light exactly where it was needed. According to McKinnon, the Encore’s versatility was key to making Schmigadoon! come to life.

“The flexibility and versatility of the Encore were what made it such a great choice,” said McKinnon. “One Encore would have a gobo to mimic sunlight coming through the trees, the one next to it on the truss would be shutter-cut down to frame an actor and the next one would be completely zoomed out filling in a blue screen. The adjustable frequency of the Encore from the console was also very handy and got used often when we would start shooting off-speed on the camera. I honestly don’t recall a moment where I was asked to do something and had to answer ‘The light won’t do that.’”

Schmigadoon! was filmed between October and December 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to McKinnon, the unique all-automated lighting rig not only saved time during production, it also reduced the number of crew needed on set. This made production safer, reduced costs and increased efficiency—a win for everyone.

“The use of moving lights as the main lighting instrument for each scene is what made this project unique,” added McKinnon. “Often, the catwalks are full of lighting techs, and many conventional fixtures constantly need re-focusing, but the Encores made this obsolete. We shot this during the lockdown part of the pandemic, so being able to have less people on set was crucial.”

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Transmoto Enduro Revs up the Racing Experience  With JBL Professional

Transmoto Enduro Revs up the Racing Experience With JBL Professional

October 22, 2021

NEWCASTLE, Australia—To provide high-quality sound across a wide field of coverage for the Transmoto Endura dirt bike races, CMI Music & Audio and Be Productions deployed JBL Professional EON ONE Compact speakers for maximum impact in a portable package.  

Transmoto organizes team-based endurance events in a relaxed and fun atmosphere for everyday dirt biking enthusiasts, staged on remote locations with challenging but safe off-road loops that combine grass tracks and bush trails. The Transmoto Enduros consists of eight- and twelve-hour endurance races for amateur riders taking place on dedicated tracks in rural areas across Australia. With racers often spread out in outdoor campsites, Transmoto officials needed an audio system for announcements and communication with wide enough coverage to reach every racer and compete with the sounds of motorcycles and weather conditions. To meet these requirements, Be Productions consulted the audio team at CMI Music & Audio and selected the JBL EON ONE Compact portable PA with an onboard mixer.

“With every event on the calendar a sell-out, covering the huge sites with audio systems for communication, announcements and the race call is a challenge,” said Marc McAvoy, Director, Be Productions. “The trickier issue we had was to get audio to the camping area 300 meters away, where they did not want the constant hum of generators.”

The JBL EON ONE Compact is a self-powered two-way speaker with up to 112 dB output, an onboard four-channel mixer and processing, Bluetooth capabilities, remote app control and a rechargeable and swappable battery with up to 12 hours of run time. Designed for maximum coverage and intelligible output with minimal setup, the EON ONE automatically lowers background music levels during speeches and announcements to ensure that audiences hear every word loudly and clearly. Lightweight and portable, the EON ONE is the ideal mobile option for speech amplification, sound reinforcement and stage monitoring for outdoor events like the Transmoto Enduros.

“The charge on the battery was very reliable,” added McAvoy. “The first day, we were running full whack and didn’t have to swap batteries until that evening. We had a tech looking at the onboard battery indicator every hour, and they were fine. The swapping was really the key to success for us, as we could do it quickly and easily without having to de-rig the units. In terms of sound, the speech intelligibility is very good, and they absolutely cut through. The output is very impressive for a battery-powered unit. I’m very happy with their coverage, and I’d say the EON ONE Compact is the way forward for us in these applications.”

A spokesperson for Transmoto reported that event organizers were thrilled with the intelligibility and flexibility provided by the EON ONE speakers. Even though the Transmoto Enduros are uniquely big, loud and remote, the EON ONE was the perfect solution to keep the event running smoothly. Transmoto organizers also thanked Be Productions and CMI for their assistance. 

"The Transmoto Enduros is a unique event where the challenge was to achieve both speech clarity in an open setting as well as weatherproofing the system," said Amar Subash, Director, Channel Management and Audio Solutions, HARMAN Professional Solutions, APAC. "We would like to thank Be Productions and CMI Music & Audio for their expertise and commitment to make the project a success."

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Erindale Theatre Increases Production Value With Pristine Sound From JBL Professional Line Array Systems

Erindale Theatre Increases Production Value With Pristine Sound From JBL Professional Line Array Systems

October 21, 2021

CANBERRA, Australia—Due for a complete audio overhaul, the Erindale Theatre recently collaborated with CMI to outfit its facility with JBL Professional BRX300 line array systems for pristine sound, broad coverage and easy setup and reconfiguration.

With 443 seats, the Erindale Theatre is the largest theater space south of the Canberra central business district. Featuring a full fly rigging system for set changes, an acoustically optimized orchestra pit and advanced AV and lighting equipment, the multi-purpose space can accommodate a wide range of functions from theatrical productions and concerts to large corporate seminars and community group presentations. To ensure a high-quality audio experience, Erindale Theatre needed a modern sound reinforcement system. CMI selected the JBL BRX300 modular line array system for its excellent sound quality and coverage in a compact, easy-to-use form factor.

According to CMI staff, the variety of performances and events held at the theater dictated that the new audio system needed to be compact, easily manageable and provide the highest-quality sound. They reported that the JBL BRX300 modular line array system met all of the requirements, deploying in minutes and providing optimal sound throughout the venue.

The JBL BRX300 system consists of four BRX308-LA line array elements and one BRX325SP powered subwoofer. The BRX308-LA line array elements feature dual 8-inch low-frequency drivers and 3-inch titanium compression drivers for crystal-clear sound from 80 Hz to 20 kHz with 110-degree horizontal coverage. The BRX325 sports dual 15-inch woofers for powerful low-frequency output up to 136 dB. Built-in DSP includes crossover management, EQ, limiting, correction filters, phase-corrected processing and driver-protection circuitry. An integrated six-channel amplifier provides 1,000 watts of power to the subwoofer and up to four line array elements.

In addition to providing clear, powerful sound with broad coverages, the JBL BRX300 system provides unmatched versatility, easy setup and flexible configuration. The line array units can be stacked on top of the subwoofer, pole-mounted with the optional BRX308-PM pole accessory or flown using the BRX308-AF array frame. The BRX308-ACC transporter kit includes a rolling cart that can hold up to four BRX308-LA line array elements, as well as a set of water-resistant protective padded covers to keep the loudspeakers and subwoofer safe during transit.

A spokesperson for the Erindale Theatre said that as a center for both local community groups and theatrical productions, they required an advanced yet easy-to-use audio system capable of consistent, impactful sound. They added that they were delighted that the compact JBL BRX300 system integrated seamlessly into their setup and can be operated by their in-house staff effortlessly.

“Given the aesthetics of Erindale Community Theatre and versatility of events, the need for exemplary audio systems is paramount,” said G Amar Subash, VP & GM, HARMAN Professional Solutions, APAC. "We would like to thank our partner CMI for their superior technical expertise and dedicated customer service during the installation.”