The 2022 Latin Billboard Awards Celebrate Icons and Modern Stars with JBL Professional Solutions

January 28, 2023

MIAMI—The 2022 Latin Billboard Awards celebrated both the classic icons and modern-day hit-makers of Latinx music using versatile JBL Professional VTX Series speakers, supplied by Reflections Productions.

Held in the University of Miami Watsco Center in Miami and broadcasted live on Telemundo, 2022’s Latin Billboard Awards featured performances by an eclectic roster of artists; honorary achievement awards for Chayanne, José Feliciano and Christina Aguilera; and a tribute to legendary singer Raphael. With a record-breaking 23 nominations, Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny took home eight awards including Tour of the Year, which used Martin MAC Series fixtures.

Like all televised award shows filmed live with an audience, the Latin Billboards required an audio rig that provided full-scale live sound for the audience and accommodated both the performers and presenters with proper dynamics and EQ––all while being visually discreet for the televised broadcast. To meet these lofty requirements, Florida-based Reflections Productions––in conjunction with Acoutech Corp, who handled stage and digital audio distribution––deployed a versatile and camera-friendly setup using JBL VTX A12, A8 and B28 speakers.

“The challenges with awards shows increase significantly compared to normal live music shows,” said Raphael "Raphie" Alkins, FOH Production Mixer, N & N. Audio Inc. “You not only have all the ergonomic and logistical demands––it must be lightweight, extremely high fidelity, very quiet or very powerful––you also need to make sure that the system sounds the same in every audience seat. When you think you have it all covered, you’re told you’re in a camera shot or blocking a light or LED screen, and it is back to the drawing board to find a compromise.”

“Weight capacity is always an issue at awards shows, since the biggest limitation is always that the show’s producers don’t want to see speakers in the shots––especially for a broadcast with so many visual production elements,” added JC Aguila, Network Technical Manager, Engineering & Tech Field Ops, Telemundo Network. “Luckily, JBL speakers and especially the VTX Series provide great SPL and an ergonomic banana curve design, which lets us raise the points way high and out of the shots and curve the line array. They’re just so flexible.”

With premium fidelity and extensive coverage housed in a strikingly compact enclosure, the JBL VTX A12 is a flexible speaker that thrives in a variety of settings, from permanent installations to mid-to-large touring rigs. The Latin Billboards team utilized the A12 and even smaller VTX A8 line array with 110-degree dispersion, as both speakers share the same high-frequency drivers, a newly redesigned Radiation Boundary Integrator and streamlined rigging system among other features. When used together, both line arrays provided the frequency range and dynamics needed for the many genres of music performed that night, as well as the precise coverage and clarity required for presenters speaking at podiums or from the audience, all while staying out of the camera’s view.

“The JBL A-12 system is just an awesome sounding PA that requires little to none as far as tweaking,” said Alkins. “The intelligibility was just outstanding and it sounded so rich and so full. Being able to go from a host at a podium to a live performance, and then back to the podium while keeping vocal intelligibility is not always easy to achieve, but the A12 system makes it all so seamless. As for the A8, when I demoed it at a convention, I asked the guy, ‘Could you turn the sub off so I could hear the speaker by itself?’ He said, ‘There's no sub.’ I was blown away that this tiny box could produce so much low frequency and still keep the intelligibility. I didn’t even think you needed a sub with the A8.”

JBL VTX B28 subwoofers completed the show’s rig, providing reinforced, distortion-free impact to the A12 and A8’s already-impressive low end. With a linear bass response down to 25 Hz, omnidirectional or cardioid mode support and a two-way rigging system, the B28 provides sufficient low-end presence whether stacked or flown. Like the rest of the VTX family, the B28 also pairs performance with ergonomics thanks to its lightweight enclosure. Finally, the entire setup utilized Crown amplifiers and JBL Performance Manager software for reliable output and high-bandwidth processing.

“This was the first time we used the B28 at the Billboards,” explained Raul Gonzalez, Senior Specialist for Production Applications at HARMAN Professional Solutions and FOH Music Mixer for the event. “There were a lot of musical elements on this show that have a lot of low frequency extension, like reggaeton and hip-hop performances, and normally they will hang nine S28s per side. This year, they were able to do it with six B28s per side, and even with less subs they had a significantly rounder, deeper sounding low end.”

“JBL really has a great product with the VTX speakers.” added Alkins. "When they ask, ‘How can we improve on this?’ All I’ve got to say is, ‘If it's not broken, don't fix it.’ With the A12 in particular, they have nailed it. It's not often you make a perfect product, but I really think the A12 sets the bar so high. Everyone else has to play catch-up now, big time.”

Long Beach Jazz Festival Hosts a Waterside, Music-Filled Weekend with JBL Professional Solutions

Long Beach Jazz Festival Hosts a Waterside, Music-Filled Weekend with JBL Professional Solutions

January 19, 2023

LONG BEACH, Calif.—To ensure clear, impactful live sound with wide, even coverage for the Long Beach Jazz Festival, AV integrator Flag Systems deployed a dynamic selection of JBL Professional solutions.

Featuring headliners Robert Glasper, Ledisi and Sergio Mendes, 2022’s Long Beach Jazz Festival took place at Rainbow Lagoon Park for beautiful waterside views as fans enjoyed an eclectic mix of jazz, soul and R&B. While the location was a pristine setting for a weekend of laid-back jazz, the stage needed an audio rig with enough coverage to reach audiences on both sides of the lagoon, while also considering the stage’s limited height and space. To meet these requirements, Flag Systems designed a sound reinforcement system exclusively featuring JBL VTX and VRX Series solutions.

“If you’ve ever seen the site, you know one of the main challenges is that there’s a lake right behind the front-of-house,” said Kevin Kelly, Engineer, Flag Systems. “You don't have to cover the lake itself, but the audience goes around each side of the lake, and so we had to penetrate fairly far. The other main challenge with this particular event is that the stage is not high enough to do a bigger array. I've always felt it's needed to be a 10-to-12 deep hang to cover it correctly, but the bottom side of the top truss is only 28 feet, and so hanging that many boxes would put the bottom of the arrays below the height of the stage.”

The rig consisted of left and right hangs of eight VTX V25-II-CS line array speakers each, giving the audio crew both high-impact sound and no-fuss rigging. Featuring an advanced HF Waveguide and JBL’s patented Radiation Boundary Integrator technology housed in a lightweight enclosure and advanced easy-rigging system, the V25 provided the coverage and output needed to reach fans throughout the festival grounds while working within the stage area’s size limitations.

Additionally, the stage left area included four JBL VTX A12 line array speakers alongside the main left hangs for reinforced coverage for the lagoon’s more pronounced curvature on one side. With specially designed JBL transducers that guarantee maximum output relative to the speaker’s size and weight, the A12 offers up to 90-degree dispersion and dynamic clarity even at all volume levels. These speakers gave the stage left area the extra coverage and output needed to reach audiences while only adding minimal additional setup.

“The A12s throw exceptionally,” added Kelly, “And the separate EQ controls and delay timing stack really helped. They were physically maybe a foot and a half in front of the main hang, so there was very little delay required to just line it up and sound coherent. The single biggest challenge I had with mixing was the acoustic grand piano, and the A12s made it easy to EQ the piano to be level with everything else.”

For the front fills, four JBL VRX932LA-1 two-way line array speakers offered the output and flexibility needed to work within the stage’s limited height while still reaching every audience member. Loaded with neodymium magnet Differential Drive woofers and 2408J Annular Ring Diaphragm HF drivers, the VRX932LA-1 provides both detailed highs and resonating low end across a wide field of coverage. Additionally, the speaker includes both a dual angle pole socket and easy-to-use rigging hardware for simple and flexible setup options suitable for any type of venue.

“I have to let the FOH engineers know that the subs can be a bit heavy for those $175 seats down front,” explained Kelly. “They have to come down a couple of dB as a result, and I understand what they're trying to accomplish, but you have to do what's overall best for the entire venue and event. That’s typical with all subs, but the S28 handles that balance pretty well.”

Finally, 18 JBL VTX S28 subwoofers placed throughout the rig offered immersive, distortion-free low end thanks to their dual 18-inch 2269H transducers with Differential Drive technology. Designed to accommodate a range of venue sizes, the S28 offers a cardioid mode for extra rear rejection and thrives both ground-stacked or suspended thanks to the same quick-rigging system found in the V25. The subs also helped the sound teams find the right balance between reaching far away audiences without overwhelming the close-up VIP section with low end.

Fans of the Long Beach Jazz Festival have enjoyed JBL’s speakers for years, and this latest iteration was no exception. Kelly thanked JBL and HARMAN’s continued support of Flag Systems and praised the consistent quality across JBL’s line of solutions.

“All of the guest engineers loved the rig,” said Kelly. “We love JBL’s speakers, too. We're an all JBL house; we probably have well over a thousand JBL speakers in our inventory, and we’ve very rarely had to replace a component over the years. The speakers, the drivers, they all hold up. We appreciate HARMAN’s ongoing support.”

Dua by Lago Produces Unique Events with World Class Audio Technology by HARMAN Professional Solutions

Dua by Lago Produces Unique Events with World Class Audio Technology by HARMAN Professional Solutions

January 19, 2023

RISHON LEZION, Israel—To ensure perfectly balanced sound coverage and quality for a wide range of events, KZPRO recently collaborated with HARMAN Professional Solutions to outfit Dua by Lago with a state-of-the-art networked audio system consisting of JBL, Crown and BSS solutions.

Lago is a large event complex that houses three different venues—Spirit, Soul and Dua—for conferences, exhibitions and events of all sizes. Located on the edge of Rishon LeZion Lake, Dua by Lago is one of Israel’s premier venues for weddings, proms and other special occasions. To ensure world-class guest experiences from the moment they approach the building to the end of the event, Lago required state-of-the-art audio solutions uniquely suited to each area of the venue. Lago’s management turned to integrators KZPRO (Professional Sound Division of RBX / Kley Zemer) to outfit Dua’s indoor dance floor, dining areas, outdoor garden and canopy with a complete HARMAN networked audio system featuring JBL Professional loudspeakers, Crown amplifiers and BSS network processors.

“We were asked to install a distributed sound system that would provide unified sound quality throughout the interior and exterior of the venue,” said Libby Kochan, Marketing, KZPRO. “They wanted to be able to play music in the event garden as well as inside the hall in a way that would be user-friendly and uniformly distributed. We also needed to ensure each speaker’s properties were suited for the environments, in terms of both sound quality and visual aesthetic. JBL’s wide selection of speakers allowed us to pick the right solution for each area. JBL speakers deliver the sound quality we need while blending in seamlessly. Our clients are very happy with the outcome—they’re proud to have one of the best sounding venues in Israel.”

For ceremonies and activities in Dua’s outdoor canopy, KZPRO installed JBL CBT 70J-1 column loudspeakers and AC115S subwoofers. The CBT 70J-1’s asymmetrical vertical coverage sends more sound toward the far area of the canopy, yielding consistent levels for guests in both the front and back rows. To provide immersive music playback in the rest of the beautiful outdoor garden, KZPRO installed JBL AWC62 highly weather resistant outdoor speakers. JBL AWC62’s IP56 weather rating protects the speakers from the harsh winds and high humidity that typically come from being located so close to the Mediterranean.

In Dua’s reception area, KZPRO installed JBL Control 25AV compact background speakers in the ceilings, while they outfitted the dance floor area with JBL AM7212 loudspeakers and ASB6128 subwoofers. The high-powered AM7212 loudspeakers and ASB6128 subwoofers help keep SPL and energy levels high on the dance floor itself, while the Control 25AV speakers enable guests to have conversations at their tables with comfortable music levels. KZPRO installed Crown ITech series amplifiers to power the floor speakers and subs, while the ceiling speakers and outdoor speakers are driven by Crown CDi Series amplifiers.

“At Lago, every floor is a different venue, so they wanted to keep the sound contained with Dua without disturbing the other floors,” said Oren Zisman, Manager of KZPRO’s Professional Sound Division. “To meet that goal, we used a large number of speakers with precise directivity—to put the sound where we want it without interfering with other events. We picked JBL because they offer a wide variety of speakers for every application and environment. The Crown amps have presets for each JBL speaker type, which made it really easy to tune the system and deliver unified sound quality throughout the entire venue, and the BSS control systems make it easy for the staff to control the volume level and source selection in each zone.”

To give Dua’s staff user-friendly control over all the speakers, KZPRO created a networked matrix using a BSS Soundweb London BLU-160 network processor with BLU-BIB and BLU-BOB input and output expanders. Using a unified touch screen controller, staff can choose to play different music in the various zones or combine the entire system into one seamless distributed system.

In addition to a successful installation at Dua by Lago, KZPRO also recently opened a new showroom at their headquarters. The new KZPRO showroom gives professionals in the Israeli market an opportunity to see and experience the latest technologies from HARMAN’s iconic brands.

UNITE San Antonio Brings People Together for Two Days of Music & Worship with HARMAN Professional Solutions

UNITE San Antonio Brings People Together for Two Days of Music & Worship with HARMAN Professional Solutions

December 29, 2022

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—To provide visitors to UNITE San Antonio with immersive live music experiences and clear communication, event production company Internally Sound recently deployed a complete JBL Professional VTX line array concert sound solution powered by Crown.

UNITE San Antonio is a two-day community worship and live music event that took place on July 29 and 30 at the Alamodome. Produced by the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association, the two evenings featured influencers, speakers, live music from Chris Tomlin, King & Country, David Crowder and more, in addition to presentations from Dawson himself. To ensure balanced sound quality and a dynamic live concert experience, the show’s producers turned to Internally Sound to provide a capable sound system. To accomplish this task, Internally Sound partnered with HARMAN Professional Solutions and First Born Productions to design and deploy a JBL VTX line array system for its versatility, intelligibility and impactful sound quality.

“UNITE San Antonio—like many of the events we do—featured a combination of live music and speech segments,” said Mark Jenkins, Co-Owner/Operator, Internally Sound. “The JBL VTX system gave us the articulation and detail we needed for the speech parts, but it also delivered the power and impact needed for the concert artists. It sounded fantastic. The bands were very happy with it—one of the bands’ engineers said it was his all-time favorite concert PA. So it was smiles all around with the VTX system.”

Co-owners Phil Jenkins and Mark Jenkins of Internally Sound worked with JBL technicians to design the system, which featured VTX A12 and V20 tops as well as B28 and S28 subs. The main left-right hang consisted of 32 VTX A12 line array speakers (16 boxes per side), with 18 VTX B28 arrayable subwoofers (9 subs per side) suspended directly behind the A12 hangs. The JBL VTX A12 is a dual 12-inch line array loudspeaker with 90-degree dispersion, which helped the team deliver unmatched performance, sensitivity and coverage at the event. To enhance sound quality for the arena’s wrap around audience, Internally Sound also deployed 32 VTX V20 line array speakers (16 per side) as out fills. The team supplemented the low end with 27 VTX S28 stackable subwoofers distributed across the floor in front of the stage in nine cardioid-stacks of three S28 subs each.  

“We’ve been using the JBL VTX V20 speakers for almost a decade, and it’s been a big success for us” said Jenkins. “The V20 is a compact box that’s not terribly big or heavy. It pins well and flies well. We also brought in First Born Productions to provide the A12 speakers, which blended seamlessly with our V20 boxes and helped us deliver perfect coverage in the entire arena. In terms of the PA, we’d be very happy to roll in with the exact same system again. We’re very grateful to be a part of Unite San Antonio, and all of the work we do with Scott Dawson’s ministry. It was a big event, but the JBL system made it easy.”

Bar Menaka Revives Its Music Bar with  HARMAN Professional Solutions

Bar Menaka Revives Its Music Bar with HARMAN Professional Solutions

December 27, 2022

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – To transform the prestigious Bar Menaka into a modern entertainment venue, Nano Tech Co Ltd installed a range of world-class HARMAN Professional audio solutions.

Located at Phnom Penh, Bar Menaka is a popular venue for upscale parties, fashion shows, dinners and corporate events. Elaborately decorated with lush jungle terraces, Khmer sculptures and a long Angkor-style hallway, the venue exudes a unique ambience while offering impeccable Cambodian hospitality.

To deliver captivating live music experiences for guests, Bar Menaka’s management wanted to repurpose the venue’s cafe into a premier bar and entertainment space featuring a world-class audio system. With live bands and DJs performing on a regular basis, it was imperative that the new system had tour-grade power and versatility. To meet these requests, NanoTech Co Ltd partnered with HARMAN Professional and installed a diverse range of JBL Professional, Crown and Soundcraft audio solutions.

The JBL VTX F15 multi-purpose loudspeakers provide the main stage with a full spectrum of dynamic sound. Compared to conventional loudspeakers, the JBL VTX F15 has significantly higher output, less distortion and superior power handling. With patented D2 Dual Drivers and Differential Drive® Technology, these high-performance loudspeakers dramatically enhance all music performances at Bar Menaka.

NanoTech Co. Ltd. installed the JBL STX812M for powerful on-stage sound. Featuring a low-profile design that is only 12 inches above the stage, these professional monitors provide accurate sound for the performers without obstructing the audience’s field of view. The waveguide ensures nominal coverage, allowing performers to hear clearly while moving around the stage.

The Crown ITech 4x3500HD amplifier delivers substantial power for the entire loudspeaker system. As the industry’s first high-powered tour amplifier, the Crown ITech 4x3500HD has a powerful processing engine and a wide selection of inputs to meet the needs of any scenario. Each channel includes the acclaimed LevelMAX™ Limiter Suite for accurate response and smooth sound.

Bar Menaka also received the Soundcraft Si Performer digital live mixer. Powerful and intuitive, the Soundcraft Si Performer provides limitless flexibility and control for the front of house. The Soundcraft Si Performer features four Stereo Lexicon FX processors that can be used simultaneously without affecting sound quality. In addition, the mixer’s built-in DMX controller grants seamless control over the light fixtures on Bar Menaka’s main stage.

A spokesperson from Bar Menaka said the transformation of the sound system has significantly improved the quality of music performances. Bar Menaka now boasts powerful sound with unrivaled clarity, which is critical as a top entertainment night club in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

“Our range of industry-leading audio products ensures HARMAN delivers the best sound for versatile spaces like Bar Menaka,” said Amar Subash, Director, Channel Management and Audio Solutions, HARMAN Professional Solutions, APAC. “We are grateful to Nano Tech Co. Ltd. for the opportunity to collaborate on this exciting project.”

Alice Cooper Brings the Shock Factor Across the U.S. Using JBL Professional Audio Solutions

Alice Cooper Brings the Shock Factor Across the U.S. Using JBL Professional Audio Solutions

December 21, 2022

Portage, MI—To provide rock legend Alice Cooper with impactful and dynamic audio for his 2022 US tour, SLS Production Services implemented a diverse selection of JBL Professional audio solutions.

Often referred to as “The Godfather of Shock Rock,” Alice Cooper is one of the most successful and influential rock artists working today. While he has sold over 50 million records, Cooper is perhaps best known for his onstage persona and visuals inspired by horror films, injecting a sense of camp and theatricality in rock music that still inspires artists to this day. For his latest US tour, Cooper and his band performed onstage with gravestones, skeletons and a platform that doubles as a medieval castle wall.

As a result, the band did not use amps onstage in order to accommodate the set design, meaning that the tour required live sound that provided impact and clarity for both the band and audience while also accounting for the budget, personnel and gear limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet these requirements, SLS equipped the tour with a selection of JBL VTX Series speakers, including the new VTX A12 Line Array Loudspeaker.

“The setup has certainly changed over the years, even from just a couple tours ago,” said Todd Hartman, Owner, SLS Production Services. “There are no wedges or amps onstage for the performers on this tour, for example. They're all just running through the rig. So basically we needed a rig that had great sound and was easily deployable with limited numbers of people. When you go into these rooms, you're always five or ten guys short on labor calls. So trying to limit the number of guys we need and still put a large format PA up in the space is part of the challenge in today's touring world.”

The latest speaker in the VTX line, the JBL VTX A12 was designed from the ground up to provide unbeatable sound quality for audiences and time-saving usability for touring crews and rental companies. Equipped with newly designed JBL transducers, an advanced Radiation Boundary Integrator (RBI) for lower distortion and wider coverage, and next-generation LF section with Differential Drive woofers, the A12 emits powerful output and dispersion that matches or even exceeds larger line arrays.

“All the sound and front-of-house guys want to mix on the newest and the latest and the greatest, and us being a JBL house and having A12s, that was a no-brainer,” added Hartman. “Even though it's got a 12-inch low frequency driver, it's still full range and acts like a 15-inch box. It’s also a little bit smaller, lighter weight and even easier to fly than the V25, so even less labor intensive overall. And the fact that it's a good sounding box is a huge bonus.”

Along with its lightweight and compact design, the A12 also features the VTX Series’ trademark easy-rigging system for streamlined deployment and takedown by crews of any size. As a result, Hartman and his crew found that using the A12 alongside older VTX line arrays, like the VTX V25 and the VTX A8 with 110-degree dispersion, was seamless and hassle-free both in terms of rigging and tuning.

“We had twelve V25s per side with an additional twelve A12s per side for sidefill hangs,” explained Hartman. “JBL made sure that when you deploy the A12 with older models in Performance Manager software, they work together seamlessly. We figured out how to program the older V25 box with the A12 and make it seamless from side to side, and it works really well.”

In addition to the line arrays, the live rig also includes JBL VTX B18, B28 and G28 subwoofers to deliver the impact and immersion expected from a rock show. All three speakers utilize specially built 18-inch woofers with JBL’s patented Differential Drive technology for a wide dynamic range, improved responsiveness and low-end clarity even at higher outputs.

“We set the B28s in cardioid on their carts dead center in front of the stage because they were shallower than the G28, so that we could get the barricade closer to the center of the stage where Alice likes to see the people,” said Hartman “Then we deployed the G28s on the outside of those, in cardioid configuration across the front of the stage, with the A8s for front fills on each of those sub deployments. Then the B18s were also alongside the A8s on the side fills.

The reception from the band and crew has been so positive that they intend to bring the speakers on Cooper’s upcoming European tour. Hartman also notes that he intends to use the A12 on future installations.

“I can see us using the A12,” said Hartman. “The guys on the tour like the ease of flying with a smaller rig, so they’d much rather see the A12 roll in for the European leg.”

Stages Hotel Prague Pushes the Hospitality Industry Forward with Help from HARMAN Professional Solutions

Stages Hotel Prague Pushes the Hospitality Industry Forward with Help from HARMAN Professional Solutions

December 20, 2022

PRAGUE—To provide the state-of-the-art Stages Hotel Prague with a comprehensive and versatile networked audio system, AV integrators Nowatron Elektronik and AudioMaster CZ installed a wide range of dynamic and powerful HARMAN Professional audio solutions.

Situated near both the O2 Arena and O2 Universum, the Stages offers visitors to Prague an unforgettable luxury experience showcasing the city’s eclectic music and arts scene. Along with its modern rooms, restaurants and meeting spaces, the Stages also features a fully linked audio-visual network between the hotel, the O2 Arena and O2 Universum. This ambitious system allows for independent or shared media broadcasting and streaming between the three venues in real time with minimal latency.

Given that this system is the first of its kind in the Czech Republic hospitality industry, the Stages required a modern AV solution that balanced advanced features and bandwidth with ease-of-use and accessibility. To meet these requirements for the hotel’s audio component, Nowatron Elektronik and AudioMaster CZ designed a versatile and future-proofed system using JBL Professional, Crown and BSS solutions.

“We were contacted to help with the installation because the hotel wanted to make something special—a hotel not only for regular guests, but also for all guests to the O2 Arena or Universum,” said Matěj Sborový, Project Manager, AudioMaster CZ. “All three buildings are interfaced via optical connection and they can transfer all audio and video signals from one building to another. All of the system functions had to be done very easily and without any complications for the user, so we had to implement the simplest user interface possible.”

The Stages Hotel’s audio system is divided into 13 zones, each capable of independent AV output. Some zones also include sub-areas such as conference rooms, which in turn have their own output. Such an intricate system was only possible thanks to the BSS BLU806DA digital signal processor with BLU link and Dante. Featuring configurable I/O and signal processing with “drag-and-drop” controls and a low-latency 256-channel audio bus, the BLU806DA combines high bandwidth and power with ease-of-use for instant and reliable audio distribution throughout the hotel. Additionally, the system’s Dante-based protocol allows for easy reconfiguring or expansion in the future, should the hotel need to do so in order to accommodate either of the O2 venues.

Along with the BLU806DA, the system backend also utilizes BSS BLU BIB input expanders and BLU BOB1 output expanders to maximize the network’s reach within the hotel and seamlessly connect with the O2 Arena and Universum’s respective systems. Finally, BSS EC-4BV ethernet controllers allow hotel staff and guests to quickly and easily control the audio signal for each zone and subzone. Hotel staff can also control each zone wirelessly from a smart tablet.

“The main core of the audio is the BSS BLU806 processor because of its high processing power and Dante connectivity,” said Sborový. “All of the audio signals are distributed through the hotel via the Dante network, so hotel staff can easily connect with some converter in any internet socket and to pass audio to the processing or DSP processor. For example, the hotel hosts a Master Chef-type show in the restaurant, and they need to use wireless microphones since there aren’t any analog inputs nearby. So instead, they can use an internet connection and wireless system with Dante output and broadcast the audio in the area without any problem.”

The installation team installed over 200 JBL ceiling, pendant, wall-mounted and outdoor speakers throughout the hotel to best accommodate each area’s specific requirements. JBL Control Series speakers accounted for the majority of the system thanks to their high output, reliable coverage and discreet design. The Control 12C/T and 14C/T ceiling speakers, for instance, are both equipped with compact full-range drivers for distortion-free audio at any output, as well as sleek designs that blend seamlessly with their surroundings.

Meanwhile, speakers such as the JBL Control 67HC/T and 64P/T pendant speakers respectively offer narrow and full range coverage with minimal echo for areas with high ceilings, while the Control CRV architectural speaker allows for discreet audio sources in curved areas. Finally, the weather-resistant JBL Control 25-1 speaker provides detailed sound for the outdoor spaces, and the JBL SoundBar 1 reinforces sound for TV monitors in the private conference spaces.

Finally, the installation team powered the system with both JBL CSA and Crown CDi Series amplifiers. All four amp models used––the JBL CSA18OZ, JBL CSA24OZ, Crown CDi4/300BL and Crown CDi4/600BL––are equipped with Crown DriveCore technology for reliable power output, ample input options and versatile operation. Additionally, the CDi4/300BL and CDi4/600BL also come with BLU link for effortless connection to BSS networks.

Overall, the resulting audio system provides the Stages Hotel with seamless connection to the O2 Arena and Universum, and provides plenty of audio control and flexibility for staff and guests as well as potential for future modifications.

“The hotel management is happy that they have everything under control,” added Sborový. “They also appreciate that it's quite easy for them to make any changes now as well as in the future because they will probably in a few years want to do some small changes or something else entirely. With this system, it's very easy to implement whatever they want.”

My Chemical Romance Return to the Stage With Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

My Chemical Romance Return to the Stage With Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

December 19, 2022

TORONTO—To provide My Chemical Romance with immersive and stylized lighting for their highly-anticipated world tour, lighting production house Penlight designed a custom-built rig featuring Martin Professional solutions.

My Chemical Romance is one of the most acclaimed and influential bands of their generation, known for their emotionally charged songs including “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and “Teenagers,” as well as their ambitious, multi-platinum-selling album The Black Parade from 2006. After officially disbanding in 2013 and several postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MCR embarked on their highly-anticipated, world tour in May 2022.

The band aimed to exceed fans’ lofty expectations with massive, immersive visuals that accentuated their music’s raw energy and adapted to their constantly changing setlists. To meet these requirements, Penlight worked closely with the band to design a detailed and versatile lighting rig featuring Martin MAC Ultra Performance, MAC Quantum Wash, MAC Aura XB and Atomic 3000 fixtures.

“For this tour, the band never does the same setlist twice,” said AJ Pen, Founder, Penlight. “And by that I don't mean that they swap some songs around. Literally, with the exception of the first song, they wipe the board clean every night. I think we're up to 55 songs that they've rehearsed and we have programmed, and the set list is only 20 songs long. Anybody who bought tickets to multiple shows will have a completely different experience each time. Lighting-wise, each song had to stand on its own, so I collaborated very closely with Gerard Way, the lead singer, and the rest of the band to get a rig that could adapt to whatever they needed.”

With a jagged, asymmetrical design and a washed-out color palette, the tour’s lighting rig matched the stage’s depiction of dystopian urban decay while also providing the coverage and output needed for stadium-sized venues. The system most prominently showcases the Martin MAC Ultra Performance, with 36 units used throughout both the trusses and six custom-built, collapsible ground towers.

Equipped with Martin’s proprietary 1150 W, 6000 K LED light engine, the MAC Ultra Performance is capable of a massive 46,500-lumen output as well a 1:7 zoom range for a wide coverage range. Combined with the fixture’s extensive features collection––including pixel-level color mixing, two layers of gobos, Martin’s specially designed Extended Framing system and more––the result is a compact, all-purpose light that easily surpasses lights of similar size. Even as the lighting design underwent numerous changes, Pen knew from the start that the MAC Ultra Performance would be the rig’s main light due to its power, ease-of-use and unrivaled palette of effects, from laser-tight beams to dramatic washes.

“The MAC Ultra has never let me down,” added Pen. “There are some songs where I push them forward and they completely alter the mood and take over the space. Even after the entire set design went through a major direction change, the MAC Ultra was always in the design.”

In addition to the MAC Ultra Performance, Martin Atomic 3000 DMX strobes and MAC Quantum Washes were placed on the hanging trusses. The Atomic 3000 is a famously impactful fixture whose name reflects its maximum wattage, while the MAC Quantum Wash utilizes a highly versatile Colorganics system. While both are legacy Martin fixtures, Pen found that they both perfectly complemented the MAC Ultra Performance’s modern effects and beams with wide-reaching strobes and audience blinds.

“When Mikey Way, the band’s bass player said, ‘I want strobes,’ I knew he was talking about Atomics, which is still one of the best strobes ever made,” explained Pen. “It's a fixture that was all over everybody's rig back in the early 2000s, so it made sense to have them for MCR. And then the bulk of my audience lights are Quantum Washes––I find that the nice big face of them gives you that epic, all-encompassing look. They’re not the latest from Martin, but they’re still the greatest.”

Finally, the rig featured 18 Martin MAC Aura XB, an extra-bright version of the award-winning original wash light. With 6,000 lumens of RGBW output and an advanced color mixing system, the majority of the Auras hung in scenic trusses to downlight the set as well as on side "banner" trusses for audience lights, providing striking walls of color that accentuated the stage design’s ominous, post-apocalyptic aesthetic.

“The XB does the same task as the Quantum Wash, and that's audience lighting,” added Pen. “It was very important for me to light up the crowd evenly, and to do that, I couldn’t think of a better fixture than the Quantum Wash. But the XB was almost as bright as the washes, so it filled in all of the gaps for fuller coverage. That little guy punches way above its weight.” 

The MCR tour kicked off this past summer in the UK, and will take the band to almost every continent through spring 2023. Pen noted that the band was thrilled with the lighting’s final design, and he thanked Martin for their continued support and consistency.

“All of the Martin fixtures put a huge emphasis on the quality of the light, and that's where they don't compromise,” said Pen. “They've always been ahead of the competition; there's a lot of really great moving lights out there, but Martin's always have that little extra edge.”

Sarnsara Learning Center Fosters Collaboration With World-Class AV Systems from HARMAN Professional Solutions

Sarnsara Learning Center Fosters Collaboration With World-Class AV Systems from HARMAN Professional Solutions

December 11, 2022

BANGKOK—To provide versatile and intuitive AV technology for a variety of events and scenarios, Mahajak Development recently installed state-of-the-art networked AV systems by HARMAN Professional Solutions at MTLA’s new Sarnsara Learning Center.

Founded in 1951, Muang Thai Life Assurance (MTLA) is a major provider of life insurance with 250 branches across Thailand. In 2020, MTLA constructed Sarnsara Learning Center, a new facility with the aim of creating an ideal learning space and collaborative environment for its associates and clients. Its facilities include a 1,000-seat auditorium, 73 guestrooms and 16 training rooms of various sizes, each accommodating between 20 and 200 people. In 2021, the Inavate APAC Awards honored the facility with the Education Project Award, in recognition of the center’s innovative use of AV technology to promote a positive learning environment.

To ensure that the array of rooms could support a variety of purposes—including seminars, meetings, group discussions, workshops and other activities—MTLA turned to trusted integrator Mahajak Development to equip Sarnsara Learning Center with the latest AV technology and user-friendly audio systems. Mahajak Development selected and installed HARMAN networked audio systems utilizing JBL Professional speakers, Soundcraft mixers and AMX network processors.

“We are so proud to be entrusted with providing audio solutions for Sarnsara Learning Center,” said Pongsakorn Kanchanachayphoom, Project Director at Mahajak Development Co. Ltd. “Because Muang Thai Life is imbued with the core value of “caring”, we have made this our priority as well—to deliver our best and achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction.”

Mahajak outfitted the main auditorium with JBL CBT 100 LA-1 column loudspeaker array systems to deliver wide and balanced sound quality in the large space. A Soundcraft Si Expression digital audio console makes it easy to dial in professional quality mixes quickly, even for users with limited audio experience. To ensure excellent sound quality and clarity for a wide variety of applications, Mahajak equipped the meeting spaces and seminar rooms with JBL Control Series 14C/T, 16C/T and 18C/T ceiling loudspeakers, which blend in seamlessly with the ceiling. 

Both the auditorium and the largest seminar room feature prominent motorized LED screens for video content. To ensure reliable operation and support for multiple analog and digital formats, Mahajak installed an AMX NX-2200 Netlinx integrated controller, which provides a scalable platform with backward compatibility and extensive network security features. AMX Modero G5 Series touch panels allow users to access that control via a beautiful, single, streamlined interface.

Sarnsara Learning Center reported that they are confident in HARMAN Professional Solutions and they are satisfied with Mahajak’s installation and customer service. They also confirmed that the AV system installed by Mahajak is easy to use.

“It has been a rewarding experience to work with Mahajak Development on this project,” said G Amar Subash, Vice President and General Manager at HARMAN Professional Solutions, APAC. “We are glad that the versatility and reliability of HARMAN products will serve Sarnsara Learning Center well into the future.”

Martin by HARMAN Announces Martin Companion Software Version 1.5.1

Martin by HARMAN Announces Martin Companion Software Version 1.5.1

December 06, 2022

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control, today introduces new Martin Companion Software Version 1.5.1, that includes several robust enhancements making it easier than ever to deploy any Martin lighting fixture.

Martin Companion is the unified fixture management and firmware upload tool that is compatible with all Martin lighting fixtures and easily synchronizes with Martin’s online firmware library to get the latest updates. New Martin Companion 1.5.1 includes a variety of enhancements, including the addition of an RDM Toolkit, enabling fixtures to be addressed and configured remotely and Settings Templates, making it simple to update settings on multiple fixtures such as Outdoor Parameters for Martin fixtures with XIP smart outdoor rating.

“At Martin, we are always looking for additional ways to simplify installation, configuration and programming so that designers and technicians can spend more time delivering best in show performance,” said Wouter Verlinden, HARMAN Professional Product Manager of Creative LED, Lighting and Control. “In developing this latest Martin Companion update, we zeroed in on enhancements that could have the utmost impact and the addition of RDM Toolkit and Settings Templates, among the other enhancements is a huge time saver.”

RDM Toolkit
Features of the new RDM Toolkit feature include:

  • The ablity to quickly connect and discover all fixtures on a DMX line at once
  • Readout of full fixture details, including firmware version, warnings, errors, usage data, and more
  • Modification of every setting, including fan modes, dimming curves, addressing, DMX mode, pan and tilt limits, display settings, hibernation, self-test; and much more Having the RDM Toolkit feature greatly improves ergonomics and safety as no physical access to the fixture is required. Update speed is also significantly improved as settings can be updated much easier than changing each fixture manually.

Settings Templates
The new Settings Templates feature enables users to update entire sets of settings on multiple fixtures with a single click. Any parameter that can be modified via the RDM Toolkit can be stored in a Settings Template and applied to multiple fixtures at the same time. This leads to powerful workflow improvements including:

  • Rental companies can now prepare fixtures going to the job by making a Settings Template with their preferred settings (for example: Silent Fan Mode, Square Dimmer Curve, Tungsten Emulation Enabled, Smooth Pan and Tilt Speed, etc) and then apply this template to all fixtures with a single click of a button, without any manual fixture operations.
  • Multi-purpose venues that need to adjust fixture settings for each performer visiting the venue can now create multiple Settings Templates (with different DMX modes, pan & tilt speed, dimmer curves, etc.) and update all fixtures simultaneously without having to send a technician up into the rig to update fixtures manually.

Additional Details
Martin Companion Version 1.5.1 is now available, free of charge. For complete details and to download, please visit:

REO Speedwagon, Styx and Loverboy Bring Contemporary Mixes to Nostalgic Arena Rock with Sound Image and JBL Professional

REO Speedwagon, Styx and Loverboy Bring Contemporary Mixes to Nostalgic Arena Rock with Sound Image and JBL Professional

November 18, 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—To provide modern and impactful live sound for rock veterans REO Speedwagon, Styx and Loverboy on their Live and Unzoomed Tour, San Diego-based and longtime JBL partner Sound Image enlisted a selection of JBL Professional and Crown audio solutions.

After dominating the 1970s and 1980s as two of rock’s premier hitmakers and live acts, Styx and REO Speedwagon joined forces along with hard rockers Loverboy for a massive summer co-headlining tour on the Live and Unzoomed Tour, a celebration of high-octane arena rock following the COVID-19 pandemic. The tour required an audio rig that emulated a classic rock show while also incorporating the dynamics and impact of modern live sound. To meet these requests, Sound Image deployed JBL VTX Series speakers with Crown I-Tech amplifiers for immersive sound and wide coverage.

“The main goal was simple—to provide a fun and exciting experience for the audience that makes them want to come back to our shows again and again,” said Joe Walsh, Front-of-House for REO Speedwagon. “Even though these bands are considered ‘legacy’ bands, we had to approach our live mixes in a contemporary manner that audiences expect in 2022. Modern live mixes require fidelity, punch and control, and we needed a system that was easily configurable and scalable while still providing the tonal balance and low distortion we are striving for.”

A staple for touring and mid-to-large venue productions, the JBL VTX V25-II-CS made up the majority of the Live and Unzoomed sound rig, with over 50 speakers used as the main and side hangs. Equipped with JBL’s patented D2 Dual Driver, Radiation Boundary Integrator and Differential Drive technology, the V25 II built upon the strengths of its previous iteration with balanced coverage, crystal-clear highs and distortion-free lows even at high output levels. Additionally, the speaker’s aluminum front design and newly designed compression suspension system make for lightweight and streamlined rigging.

“We prefer to have a full-range sound coming from the flown arrays, which the VTX drivers provide,” said Chris “Cookie” Hoff, Front-of-House for Styx. “The bass guitar to kick drum frequency range is crucial to us, and the V25 provides the phase response and frequency response in that area that we were looking for.”

Along with the V25, the live rig also includes eight JBL VTX V20 speakers, featuring the same design as the V25 in a smaller enclosure, as front fills. Despite its compact design, the V20 was specifically designed for even horizontal coverage up to 105 degrees and delivers notably high output compared to other similarly sized speakers.

Alongside the line arrays, the JBL VTX S28 provided ample low end and impact as both grounded and suspended subs. Built with two 2269H 18-inch transducers and a cardioid mode for reinforced rear rejection, the S28 ensures low-end clarity and detail that complements a rig of any size. Additionally, the S28 thrives as suspended speakers thanks to the same rigging system found in the V25.

“We prefer to not punish the front rows with low information that is intended for someone at the back of the venue,” explained Walsh. “That long-throw information is much better suited to coming from above people's heads. But in addition to the tight low-end punch of the V25/S28 combo, the linear phase response in the mid to upper frequency range is crucial to great sounding vocals, as both of our bands have.”

Finally, 72 Crown I-Tech 12000 HD Amplifiers provide ample power for the entire rig. Designed with the latest in touring amplification technology, the I-Tech 1200 features the BSS OMNIDRIVE HD engine for processing time and clarity that far exceeds its predecessors.

“Reviews have been positive, crowds have been great and the bands are having a good time playing for their multi-generational audiences, who have been singing along all night,” said Hoff. “HARMAN was there every step of the way, providing insights and suggestions to any questions we had throughout the tour.”