May 18, 2016
Production Company Continues 40-Year Investment in Soundcraft by HARMAN with Upgraded Audio Consoles
Since 1976, Soundworks of Virginia has relied on the quality of Soundcraft consoles and recently upgraded to the Vi5000 for enhanced functionality
RICHMOND, Va.––Soundworks of Virginia has come a long way since 1976 when its founder was loading up his Ford E350 van with a Soundcraft Series 1S console, small JBL horn-loaded speaker system and Crown DC-300 and DC-150 amplifiers. Today, the full-service live production company has more than $1 million worth of equipment that’s used for events of all sizes, including multi-day festivals that attract more than 200,000 spectators. In January, the Richmond-based production company invested in two Soundcraft by HARMAN Vi5000 consoles to replace its Vi4 consoles.
Much has changed since Soundworks was founded 40 years ago, but one thing has stayed the same—its loyalty to Soundcraft consoles. “We have always appreciated the high sound quality of the Soundcraft Vi systems,” said Steve Payne, President, Soundworks of Virginia. “It’s especially pleasing when a guest engineer turns around with a big grin and says, ‘This thing sounds great!’”
Prior to purchasing the Vi5000 consoles, Soundworks had much success using the Vi4 consoles at hundreds of events over the last four years. One event was a large outdoor show in 2015 with the Richmond Symphony, where the symphony’s mix engineer was so impressed with the Vi4 console that Soundworks was subsequently hired to provide audio support for all of the Symphony’s 2016 outdoor concerts.
“Almost without exception, guest engineers who are new to the Vi series are thrilled with the console. They’re extremely pleased with its easy interface and exceptional sound quality,” said Grant Howard, Vice President and Senior Engineer, Soundworks of Virginia. “We continue to appreciate the ease of setup on gigs that have short changeover times. There is no burrowing down into menus with the Vi operating system. Every feature is readily accessible and very quick to access.”
According to Payne, when the Vi5000 consoles were introduced, he and his team knew it was a must-have upgrade. They particularly appreciate the Vi5000’s fast startup time of less than 30 seconds, enhanced Vistonics™ screen graphics, 128 inputs/32 stereo outputs and more powerful user-definable keys. Payne was especially happy to see the digital implementation of the classic BSS DPR901ii Dynamic EQ adding to the channel processing.
“I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to see the 901 multiband compressor included in the latest software for the Vi,” said Payne. “For the longest time, I have been half-jokingly saying to Soundcraft, ‘Come on guys, you own BSS. It would be a no-brainer to put a 901 into the Vi.’ Well, they actually did it, and it rocks. What a great audio tool to have at your fingertips.”
With the Soundcraft Vi5000, pristine sound quality is assured by ultra-low noise microphone amp designs and enhanced 96kHz 40-bit floating point digital audio processing. Effects come courtesy of 8 independent Lexicon multi-FX units, BSS DPR901ii™ integration and a BSS graphic EQ on every bus output. Rapid configuration and powerful automation features, radio mic status monitoring and extensive ViSi Connect I/O expansion (EtherSound™, CobraNet™, Dante™, MADI, etc.) complete the package.
The Soundcraft Realtime Rack provides access to Universal Audio's acclaimed analog audio processing emulations and award-winning UAD plug-ins. Realtime Rack software gives Vi console operators all the control they need to insert plug-ins on individual channels, auxiliary channels and master busses—just as easily as real hardware. A comprehensive snapshot system allows total recall of all plug-ins and their settings, while tight network integration with the Vi Series ensures that all settings of the application are stored inside the console.
“The Soundcraft Vi Series consoles are one of the few digital desks that stand alone as a total mixing package. The Vi’s have powerful, no-compromise audio tools built in. It’s all there,” said Payne. “When Soundcraft added plugin tools, they did something exceptional. The UAD plugins running on the Realtime Rack hits it out of the park. The UAD plugins are the pinnacle of classic analog signal processing emulation. The Realtime Rack integrates seamlessly with the Vi surface and operating system. Two thumbs up!”
May 10, 2016
Soundcraft by HARMAN Releases Free Firmware Update for Ui Series Compact, Portable, Remote-Control Mixers
NORTHRIDGE, California––Soundcraft by HARMAN announced the availability of an upgrade to its Ui Series digital consoles with the release of a free firmware update, which adds several new features and extends browser and device compatibility.
“These amazing remote-control mixers have led the way with respect to portable digital mixing,” said Danny Olesh, Product Manager, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “The revolutionary HTML5 control GUI, coupled with stunning on-board DSP from dbx, Digitech and Lexicon have made the Ui12 and Ui16 the mixers of choice for many customers. The latest firmware extends the Ui12 and Ui16 mixers’ features and compatibility even further.”
Soundcraft engineers considered feedback from the user community and have included many of the most requested features within this firmware update. Most notably, the software now supports Microsoft's latest Edge browser. In addition, the Ui12 now includes stereo recording features—previously found only on the Ui16.
The introduction of a more secure password-protected Access Limitation System now gives mix engineers the comfort of assigning secure access privileges to other users. A wide range of limitations are possible, giving complete flexibility on what areas of the mixer are opened up to individual user control.
A new Sync ID feature has also been added, allowing users to maintain channel Sync across multiple browser windows, on different displays or even devices. On large screens or multiple screens, users can open multiple GUI Edit windows (EQ, DYN, and FX) and have them maintain channel sync. The user can select a channel on any of these pages and instantly view and control all EQ, DYN and FX values across devices and displays.
Further enhancements include MoreMe Portrait ON/OFF mode, Enable/Disable SSID broadcast, Channel MUTE now mutes auxes in PFL mode, and new global pre-fade Aux Send Point Selection and AFS2 preset manager. MAC Address visibility in Network Settings, a local user settings Preset Manager, Reset Local User Settings as a default feature and host of other optimizations and issue updates are also included in the firmware update.
The Soundcraft by HARMAN Ui Series mixers feature cross-platform compatibility with iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS, and Linux devices, and can use up to 10 control devices simultaneously. In addition, the Ui12 and Ui16 each feature built-in HARMAN signal processing from dbx, DigiTech and Lexicon, including dbx AFS2, DigiTech Amp Modeling and more. Both models feature fully recallable and remote-controlled mic gain and phantom power, along with 4-band parametric EQ, high-pass filter, compressor, de-esser and noise gate on input channels.
The free software update for Ui Series digital mixers is available immediately. New and existing Ui Series mixer customers can download the upgrade from the Soundcraft website.
April 15, 2016
FOR THE THIRD YEAR RUNNING, HARMAN PROFESSIONAL SPONSORED THE OUTDOOR STAGE AREA OF THE NAMM SHOW, NORTH AMERICA’S PREMIER PRO AUDIO TRADESHOW. RENOWNED FOR SHOWCASING NEW AND LOCAL TALENT, AS WELL AS ATTRACTING SOME TOP-CLASS ARTISTS DURING EVENING FESTIVITIES, THE SET UP INCLUDED A MARTIN BY HARMAN LIGHTING RIG TO FULLY ENHANCE THE BRAND’S PRESENCE.
The 2016 event culminated in a headline performance from Graham Nash of The Hollies and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fame, now a successful solo artist in his own right. Nash drew crowds to the stage and seemed to really enjoy interacting with the them, reflecting on his on-stage ease.
As a sponsor of NAMM, Harman products are supplied to the entire Grand Plaza or outdoor stage area, which included all lighting requirements. Eric Friedlander, Manager of Technical Resources for Harman Tour, Audio and Cinema CSU (Customer Solutions Unit) has an intimate involvement with the event. He told TPi: “For the last three years we’ve supplied a JBL VTX V20 system and a Martin by Harman lighting package with the idea being that during the day singer/songwriters, competition winners and school bands play and then later in the night we produce shows for headliners such as Graham Nash. It’s been very cool for us, he was just incredible.
“This is quite a fun and unique set up for us because the artists are booked by NAMM, and we’re here to support what they need for their performance with our products. Some people are familiar with the brands but others will have never used them so it’s a combination of experience up there and our expertise mixing on the ground. We’re able to showcase the PA to our customers who can come outside of the convention centre and their meetings to hear the system and enjoy the constant flow of shows.
“With Graham Nash for instance, Kevin Madigan, his FOH engineer, is familiar with the V20. He often takes it out on the road with [California-based sound rental company] Sound Image for Graham’s tours.”
Madigan noted: “I’ve had a lot of experience with the VTX. We’ve toured extensively with it in a lot of different venues and I’d be happy to see it anywhere I work. JBL have done a great job with this PA; its defi nition and power are superb which makes it easy to get a great sounding mix.”
As Harman is primarily a manufacturer and not entirely set up as a sound rental company, it hires a local vendor. Friedlander continued: “One of our customers and a really good rental partner, Mastermind Production Group help out with crew and the event in general, while Harman provides all of the equipment.
“I really enjoy this part of the job. For me personally, I love mixing and I do it as often as I can. That’s why I got into this industry in the first place, for an opportunity to get behind the console and make some music.
“While NAMM is an audio-heavy and touring professional show, we still get a lot of customers who do a variety of disciplines such as integration retail, and some large format live sound installations with both lighting and audio.
“The great thing about this setting is that the audience is very discerning, it’s a mix of keen-eared sales forces, business development specialists, and older rock ‘n’ roll folks who are very serious about seeing artists like Graham Nash.”
The set up for the stage this year comprised some of Harman’s latest offerings including the VTX M20 and M22 stage monitors, something Friedlander was clearly excited about. “Our new M Series stage monitors have just been released and we’re already able to get them front of professional musicians and artists as we continue to get people used to JBL being a brand they can recognise as something they are comfortable with using from early on in their careers.”
Friedlander once again designed the stage’s audio system. There were 10 JBL VTX V20 boxes per side, six JBL VTX S25 subwoofers per side and a group of six G28 mono clusters in the middle. The subwoofers are confi gured in a cardioid pattern in order to minimise any noise upstage. To complete the system and eight JBL VT4886’s were used as front fi ll. At FOH a Soundcraft Vi7000 desk was chosen alongside a Soundcraft Realtime Rack, a UAD Powered plug-in for the Soundcraft Vi Series of live sound consoles. The monitor system comprised a Soundcraft Vi3000 console, JBL VTX M20 and M22 stage monitors, JBL CSX F35 as side fill and JBL VTX S25 subs. All amplification was via VRACK 4x3500HDs.
The microphone package is entirely AKG including D5 and D5C vocal microphones, D40’s, C451’s, C518’s, D12VRs, and C214 instrument microphones. C414XL II were utilised for audience microphones.
Chad Griswold of Mastermind Production Group told TPi: “Getting to work with new technology from Harman is an exciting place to be. This year I mixed FOH on a Soundcraft Vi7000 for the first time. Within a very short time I became very comfortable with the console, and ultimately really enjoyed mixing on the desk throughout the weekend.”
Madigan echoed this notion: “I hadn’t used the Vi7000 before NAMM but I had some brief experience with the Vi Series. It didn’t take long to get to grips with the Vi7000 at all. It sounds good and is well laid out for efficient working, which is my most basic criteria. The plug-in integration is easy to use too.”
The JBL VTX V20 system powered by Crown IT4x3500 amplifiers performed flawlessly and was not only a nice punchy sounding rig but coverage was smooth over the entire listening area. Having Harman’s Performance Manager software available to tune and time align the system and make any necessary adjustments is a great all in one solution. It makes the system easier to setup, tune and monitor throughout the event. Additionally, the new M-Series wedges on stage and the new CSX-F35 side fill boxes were awesome! These brand new products from Harman have great potential, and at Mastermind we are really looking forward to utilising them. The amount of sheer output of these new speakers and their tonal quality is amazing!
“On the lighting front, the Martin M1 console was driving a variety of proven Martin lighting fixtures as well as some new ones. We have found the M1 is user-friendly, quick to set up and easy to run. Our lighting designers liked the amount of faders it has, making it easy to grab things on the fly in a festival situation such as NAMM. We utilised 24 MAC Aura’s for all of our front light and mid and upstage washes, 14 MAC Quantum Profiles for all of our hard-edge fixtures, four brand new Atomic 3000 LED strobes, which are very bright and have a great aura effect which makes them much more versatile than your standard strobe fixture.
“We also used four new rush LED strobes for effects, and eight Rush MH4 beams on the subs downstage for some arial looks. While the beams are still a discharge lamp, all of the fixtures on the stage itself were LED-based, which is great for both power saving and heat reduction on stage. We were able to run the entire rig at 120V on a 100A 3-phase service and didn’t come close to consuming half of the available power, even with everything going full out which is quite impressive!” he added.
It’s interesting that Friendlander opted to specify the Rush fixtures in this live setting. As he explained: “These are generally a fixed install or entry level fixture, but because they’re well designed and easily integrated into the system, they were chosen to add more depth and allow for more programming options for our LD. They really held their own quite nicely when paired with the more ‘pro’ level Martin MAC fixtures.” The latter of course are often seen on arena level touring productions. He also favoured the new Atomic 3000 Strobes, which he described as “legitimately mind-blowing!”
As the sun set on the final day of NAMM, Friedlander concluded his thoughts: “I teach people about our products all the time and do training courses with them, but it is just that; training. The real world experience with musicians and engineers is the most valuable education for me, and ideally the most genuine experience for our customers too.
“Being able to be here at NAMM gives me a more complete knowledge and complete confidence in the tools that I’m using, which in turn are the tools we’re supplying to our customers and our end users. It’s been a great success for us, and we’ll be back again next year for sure!”
Griswold continued: “As we have got to know the team at Harman better it is obvious that there is a wealth of knowledge and talent there. The friendships and relationships we have created with the Harman staff through our time with them at NAMM and other events has proven invaluable. Knowing that we have a line to the people that are best suited to help us resolve any issues we come across is a great resource for our business. Furthermore, the fantastic new and innovative products are helping us expand the resources we can offer to our clients for even the most challenging of events. We enjoy being involved with Harman and look forward to being involved with more of their events in the future!”
April 05, 2016
The compact Vi2000 offers high-performance control, sound quality, DSP processing and digital audio/network connectivity
PL+S 2016, FRANKFURT—Soundcraft by HARMAN is proud to unveil the latest addition to the industry-leading Vi range of digital live consoles, the Vi2000. This feature-rich console brings unparalleled mixing power to the live touring, install and corporate AV markets in a cost-effective, single-box package. The Vi2000 combines the unique Vistonics-based control surface of the highly successful Vi3000, Vi5000 and Vi7000 consoles with Soundcraft® SpiderCore, a powerful integrated DSP and I/O engine based on Studer by HARMAN technology.
“For touring or installations, the Vi2000 is an amazing console that includes everything today’s engineers are looking for in a compact digital console,” said Andy Brown, Product Manager, Tour Mixers, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “The technologies integrated into the console put the Vi2000 on the leading edge of sound quality, control responsiveness and complete digital connectivity.”
The Vistonics interface is central to the Vi2000 design, providing direct access to all functions with maximum information and visibility at all times. Multiple switches and rotary encoders are built into each Vistonics screen, so where you look is where you control. Functions are color-coded and change according to the selected mode. One touch of the screen is all it takes to bring all relevant controls to your fingertips.
The Vi2000’s sound quality is assured by Soundcraft SpiderCore – a 40-bit, floating-point DSP engine that mixes FPGA and DSP technology in a unique combination that maximizes I/O routing and DSP mixing capability in a footprint small enough for inclusion within the control surface.
In addition to a full assortment of onboard mic and line I/O, the console is configurable up to 48 mic line inputs and 16 line outputs, using combinations of 16-channel XLR modules in four rear-mounted slots. The console also includes two 64-channel expansion slots, allowing up to two MADI-based Stageboxes to be connected. Or, alternatively, the slots provide access to the extensive range of D21m I/O option cards, addressing all industry-standard audio formats. The total I/O count of the console is 246 in and 246 out.
Like other ViX000-series consoles, a built-in 64x64-channel Dante interface provides direct recording/playback connection to any PC- or Mac-based recording software via Ethernet. It also allows the Vi2000 to integrate into an existing Dante network. The Dante interface is complemented by an additional optical MADI interface, designed for either record feeds or to connect the Soundcraft Realtime Rack Plug-in engine, adding the power of Universal Audio UAD-powered plug-ins to the Vi2000's pristine audio quality.
The package is completed with an ultra-compact frame design, only 1.15m (just under 3-feet 8-inches) in width, with 16 input faders and 8 output faders, allowing the console to fit into both space- and budget-restricted applications. Patented features, like FaderGlow, VM2 microphone monitoring and Vistonics, provide a user-friendly mixing experience. In addition, superb sound quality is assured by a 40-bit floating-point DSP environment, running Studer, BSS, Lexicon and dbx audio processing algorithms, with the acclaimed BSS DPR901ii Dynamic EQ being the most recent addition.
March 28, 2016
Soundcraft Si Performer 3 console delivers clean, smooth sound for smaller venue tours of chart-topping UK artists, including Gabrielle Aplin and Maximo Park
BRISTOL, England—A Soundcraft by HARMAN Si Performer 3 console was the ideal digital live sound mixer for British recording artist Gabrielle Aplin's small venue tour throughout the UK. Its compact form allowed the console to easily fit in smaller venues that ranged in capacity from 200 to 900 people, along with an eight-piece band, and still deliver pristine sound quality.
Independent sound engineer Darryl Walsh worked with Aplin on her tour and helped select the new Soundcraft console after it was decided they would bring their own system to each of the smaller venues. Walsh said he looked at several options but the Si Performer 3 won out because of its small size, ease of use and exceptional sound quality. The console’s 64 channels and eight stereo inputs met the band’s complete microphone and in-ear monitor needs.
“Having never used a smaller mixer, I admittedly had my reservations but these were quickly dispelled after the first day in rehearsals,” Walsh said. “I was so impressed with the sound quality. The in-ear monitors sounded great and all of the band members were happy.”
In fact, Walsh was so impressed that he purchased his own Si Performer 3 console after seeing how flexible it was during the tour. Following Aplin’s small venue tour, he used it as the monitor console for British alternative rock band Maximo Park’s 10th anniversary tour, and on Aplin’s most recent tour.
“The feedback from the bands has been excellent,” Walsh said. “Both Maximo Park and Gabrielle Aplin claimed it was the best monitor sound they’d experienced, especially regarding how clean and smooth the sound was.”
Walsh has worked as a front of house and monitor engineer on the tours of several popular UK artists, including Shane Filan, All Saints, The Saturdays, Little Mix, Tricky, Matt Cardle and Joe McElderry. Walsh had become accustomed to Soundcraft’s Vi Series consoles prior to purchasing the Si Performer 3 and claims the sound quality surpasses other small consoles.
According to Walsh, the layout and usability of the console can’t be beat due to the fact that any fader can be assigned anywhere, with four banks and a dedicated button to send to every mix.
“It is without a doubt the easiest and one of the most pleasant surfaces I’ve used,” Walsh said. “Anyone who has any experience using a console could learn to use this in a short amount of time. It’s a lot simpler than anything else in its class in my opinion and the sound quality wins for me.”
March 21, 2016
HARMAN Professional Solutions to Showcase Complete System Solution at Icon Nightclub for Miami Music Week
Full-scale display features JBL® sound, Crown® amplification, Martin® lighting and Soundcraft digital mixing during spectacular week-long event
MIAMI -- Nearly six months into operating under its new structure, HARMAN Professional Solutions announced its participation in Miami Music Week 2016 in another example of its customer-centric approach. This partnership demonstrates the division’s commitment to its customers in the nightclub market, along with appointing Bradley Drummond as Nightlife Solutions Manager in October 2015. Providing solution expertise in key markets is designed to help customers, like nightclub operators, advance their businesses by providing unique experiences and improvements in quality, procurement, design support, installation, programming, commissioning and customer service.
“Nightclubs used to be about one thing only—music,” said Drummond. “But today, nightclubs are driven to provide audiences with unique and memorable experiences. Every night, they must create a visual and auditory masterpiece. Not only does the audio quality have to be superb, but the lighting and atmospheric effects must also perfectly complete the sensory experience. We’re uniquely positioned to enable nightclub owners and operators to achieve these results with our comprehensive, end-to-end solutions for this market, which our lighting and sound system deployment at Icon clearly demonstrates.”
HARMAN Professional Solutions has been providing audio and lighting solutions for some of the highest profile events in the United States for more than a decade. By leveraging this expertise and dedicating resources to the nightlife market, HARMAN offers a host of technologies for nightclub owners who want to elevate their customers’ experiences and provide a venue for talent to perform with optimal results.
The system for Miami Music Week was designed by Drummond and Tony Perez, Manager, Cruise Lines & Nightlife, HARMAN Professional Solutions, in collaboration with Icon Hospitality. All of the audio and lighting equipment and technologies come from the HARMAN Professional Solutions family of products.
Martin Professional lighting is used throughout the venue. The design includes 16 MAC Quantum Profiles™, 11 MAC Quantum Washes™, 23 RUSH MH 3 Beams™, 11 Atomic™ 3000 LED strobes and two JEM™ Hazer Pro atmospheric hazers.
The main audio system consists of 18 JBL VTX V25-II line array elements hung in two arrays for the main dance floor. Twelve VTX G28 dual 18-inch ground stackable subwoofers are in front of the stage. Six VTX V20 loudspeakers and four VTX S25 arrayable subwoofers flank both sides of the stage for DJ monitors. The main VIP area has eight dedicated VTX V20 loudspeakers in two arrays, and the VIP balcony features eight VerTec® 4886 line array elements ground stacked in two arrays, with a total of four VerTec 4883 subwoofers completing the configuration. Fifteen Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD and six I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers provide power to all the JBL speakers in the venue, and a Soundcraft® Si Impact digital mixing console is used for audio mixing.
“Icon has a coverage area of more than 30,000 square feet,” said Perez. “It’s a big project during one of the biggest music events of the year. We’re the only organization with the scale, depth and expertise to take on a project like this, and it’s only appropriate that this event tells the industry that HARMAN Professional Solutions intends to dominate the nightclub market.”
Miami Music Week (MMW), an annual event held in Miami Beach, Florida, attracts some of the biggest names in electronic music and hundreds of thousands of attendees to more than 70 participating venues around the city. Individual events and shows run concurrent to MMW, including the highly popular, three-day Ultra Music Festival. Icon Nightclub, a participating venue in MMW and the official headquarters for several HARMAN-sponsored shows throughout the March 15–20 event, will host top-billed DJs like Ferry Corsten, Armin van Buuren, Nicky Romero and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, with more shows and many special guests throughout the week yet to be announced.
To learn more about Icon Nightclub, please visit http://iconmiami.com/.
To learn more about Miami Music Week, please visit http://miamimusicweek.com/.
More Soundcraft news
Apr 15, 2016
HARMAN DELIVERS ANOTHER STAGE SENSATION AT NAMM