November 30, 2016
New water-themed visitor attraction in Poland features end-to-end solution with JBL, Crown and BSS Soundweb
LONDON – Creating the innovative and interactive exhibit, Hydropolis, required a customized audio solution by HARMAN Professional Solution. Located in Wroclaw, Poland, the immersive experience posed a challenge with its multi-zone audio needs coupled with its historic location in a 19th century underground clean water tank. ESS Audio, HARMAN’s Polish distribution partner, created a system which includes nearly 150 JBL loudspeakers.
Hydropolis was conceived as a multimedia experience which required specific components and systems to be installed. The €16.2M ($17.1M) project is divided into eight themed zones and covers an area of 4,000 square meters (43,055 square feet). Such a large-scale installation provided acoustical and logistical challenges. There was a tremendous advantage to have HARMAN supply the full line of audio products from within a single portfolio for this project.
“We were able to devise a single, well thought-out system which met Hydropolis’ unique requirements,” explained ESS Audio Director Witold Karalow. “Speaker selection was crucial to this project because acoustics in this space were challenging. This included everything from JBL pendant speakers to Dante-enabled processors.”
Aside from the acoustics, another challenge was to create a giant matrix system, which is where the Crown Amplifier Switchers proved vital. Different soundtracks are fed to each of the different zones which include such themes as Ecology, The Planet of Water, The Depths, The Ocean of Life and The Relaxation Zone. In addition, there are several temporary exhibition spaces which have their own audio requirements.
“Thanks to an informed product selection, visitors are able to engage and interact with highly intelligible and consistent audio as they travel through the eight zones,” Karalow continued. “The decision to transport the signals over the Dante protocol provided an obvious and flexible solution. The advantages of this included higher channel count, lower latency and automatic configuration.”
JBL components selected consist of products from the Control Contractor series. This includes 38 Control 65P/T full range pendant speakers, which incorporate JBL’s Radiation Boundary Integration technology to provide consistent, wide coverage throughout the space. These are accompanied by 24 Control 62P ultra-compact satellite pendant speakers that are visually discreet.
Elsewhere, 50 Control 29AV-1 and a pair of Control 50S/T subwoofer / satellite packs have been deployed along with 14 Control 25AV and three Control 30. Finally, 13 LSR4328PA studio monitors are also part of the installation. Assigned to these are Crown’s state-of-the-art DriveCore eight-channel amplifiers offering ultra-efficiency and economy. These consist of six Crown CT 875, 12 Crown CT16S, 16 Crown DCi 8|300N (300W) and two Crown DCi 8|600N (600W) amplifiers as well as 12 CT16S amplifier switchers.
The digital network is based around three I/O-configurable, Dante-enabled BSS Soundweb BLU-806 DSP’s, a BLU-BIB eight-channel input expander and eight BLU-BOB’s which adds a further 64 outputs, increasing the size of the matrix. There is also provision for BLU-3 wall-mount remote volume/source control switches for local operation.
November 30, 2016
The leading provider of professional audio solutions outlines plans for a new training academy
LONDON – HARMAN’s Polish distributors ESS Audio arrived at Klub Wytwornia in the City of Lodz recently to coincide with the annual SoundEdit Festival, an annual, international festival dedicated to music producers and sound designers. While Brian Eno was holding court at the Festival, a staggering 170 tour sound engineers turned up to support ESS Audio’s series of workshops, which were presented at the festival for the second consecutive year.
Showcasing products from the HARMAN Professional portfolio, this highly successful educational event was designed to train sound professionals in the methods of tuning sound systems, including tops, subwoofers (in cardioid, front and end-fire configurations) using JBL HiQnet Performance Manager, JBL Line Array Calculator (LAC-II) and Smaart software. Soundcraft’s new Vi5000 was also tied into the working rig, while another Vi2000 console was on show as well as the JBL VTX M22 stage monitor.
“Everyone loved the event,” exclaimed ESS Audio director, Witold Karalow, adding that the company is already preparing another similar event in March and has confirmed that it will be returning to SoundEdit 2017.
This is just the beginning of a training academy which is expected be rolled out across EMEA by HARMAN in 2017. According to Ed Jackson, HARMAN Senior Application Engineer, Tour Sound, EMEA, these System Optimisation Workshops will be led by HARMAN technical personnel, under his supervision.
He explained, “This follows on from the training we did in Ibiza earlier this summer and will cover JBL VTX line array theory and the integration of Smaart measurement software. We will also be running training on the Soundcraft Vi consoles for both Mixing and Servicing engineers.”
Once again HARMAN will work in conjunction with local distributors. “In addition to knowledge sharing, the idea is to build up face-to-face contact with end users,” Jackson concludes.
Watch this space for further information.
June 08, 2016
Flexible, easy-to-use interface integrates PC/Mac computers with HARMAN audio systems through BLU link digital audio transport
LAS VEGAS—Today at InfoComm 2016, BSS by HARMAN introduced the Soundweb London BLU-USB interface. BLU-USB is an accessory product for interfacing USB audio to BLU link-enabled audio systems. BLU-USB allows a PC or Mac to send audio to, and receive audio from, the BLU link bus.
Ideal for corporate meeting room applications that use a variety of web-based conferencing services, BLU-USB is an affordable accessory that easily integrates any computer with the local conference audio system. BLU-USB can simultaneously send and receive up to eight channels of audio.
“We designed BLU-USB to be the easiest way to integrate corporate soft-phones to local conference audio systems,” said Tom Lureman, Large Venue Electronics Solutions Manager, HARMAN Processional Solutions. “BLU-USB solves the distance limitations associated with USB transmission. By converting audio to BLU link close to the source, the processor can be located in a different location up to 100 meters away.”
As an accessory product, BLU-USB will work with any BSS Soundweb processor or any other device that includes BLU link. BLU-USB can rest on top of a table or be conveniently mounted under a table or on a wall.
BLU-USB will be available in July 2016.
May 26, 2016
Visit the world’s most comprehensive provider of professional AV solutions at Booth N805
NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—The industry’s largest AV manufacturer, HARMAN Professional Solutions, will showcase an unmatched range of technologies at InfoComm 2016. The leading professional audio, lighting, video and control products and systems company will bring a powerful conglomeration of enterprise and entertainment brands together at booth N805, including AKG, AMX, BSS, Crown, JBL Professional, Lexicon, Martin and Soundcraft. Visitors are invited to discover how HARMAN is leveraging the power of these iconic brands to deliver audio, video, lighting, and control solutions for every market.
Featuring a number of real-world scenarios commonly found within enterprise and entertainment environments, HARMAN’s impressive interactive booth will give attendees the opportunity to explore the technological solutions available to them in a fully immersive way. The company’s range of traditional and networked audio/video distribution and switching solutions will be highlighted, including the latest AMX SVSI Networked AV solution. This game-changing technology streams high resolution video, using standard IP network infrastructure. Attendees are invited to discover the advantages of using AMX SVSI for compressed 4K video and see it in action with an amazing real-time, side-by-side demonstration of visually lossless 4K over 1Gb solution – the future of AV isn’t coming, it’s already here, and it will be demonstrated live at booth N805!
Find out how the multi-award-winning AMX Enova DGX Digital Media Switcher, with its powerful new web interface, successfully resolves AV issues for digital video distribution. It enables users to centrally monitor, manage and control connected devices over an IT infrastructure, all while offering a robust dashboard for single view setup and real-time monitoring of a system. Touch panels that have consistently led the industry, including the AMX Modero X Series G5 Retractable, will also be on display. The latest example in a long line of ingenuity, these hideaway panels rise and retract on their precision-glide, motorized mount, with the press of a button. In addition, find out how the innovative AMX RoomBook Scheduling Panels leverage the style and cost efficiency of the Modero S series range to deliver what is arguably the world's easiest-to-use dedicated room scheduling device, purposefully designed to get rooms online and scheduling in minutes.
Attendees can see how BSS has a signal processing solution for every requirement and, thanks to the inclusion of BLU link capabilities, its Soundweb London processors effortlessly pair up to any Crown DriveCore Install (DCi) Network Series amplifier. Visitors can also find out how the JBL Professional Control 80, CBT 1000 Series and Contractor Series span the complete range of surface-mount (on-wall), in-ceiling and in-wall models to offer mastery of any architectural, aesthetic or system performance requirement. Last, but certainly not least, find out how Soundcraft’s Vi7000 digital mixing console delivers the best Vi sound ever, bringing optional 96kHz processing, upgraded channel counts and even more reliable hardware to live sound's most popular mix interface.
Attendees can expect all this plus all the new product announcements and innovations the industry has come to expect from the world’s most comprehensive provider of professional AV solutions.
For more information, visit the HARMAN Professional Solutions InfoComm 2016 Event Page.
May 24, 2016
Monaco Philadelphia’s Stratus rooftop lounge installs an all-HARMAN sound and lighting system featuring JBL, Crown, BSS and Martin components
PHILADELPHIA—HARMAN Professional Solutions recently provided a significant sound and lighting upgrade to the Stratus rooftop lounge. The technology overhaul included JBL loudspeakers, Crown amplifiers, BSS controllers and Martin fixtures.
In the heart of Philadelphia's Historic District near Independence Hall sits the equally historic Lafayette Building, home of the prestigious Monaco Philadelphia boutique hotel. And sitting atop the hotel, floating 11 stories above the country’s most historic square mile, is the newly renovated Stratus rooftop lounge.
“Essentially, we had to upgrade and rework everything,” said Ian Hoffer, President of Aurora Sound and Light. “In order to optimize and provide separate control for the spaces, we designed and installed four sound system zones—interior lounge, exterior lounge, pavilion #1 and pavilion #2—all built with JBL loudspeakers and subwoofers, and Crown amplifiers. We networked and manage the zones with BSS Contrio controllers.”
According to Hoffer, when the Monaco Philadelphia Hotel opened three years ago, the Stratus lounge and its outdoor pavilions were equipped with just basic sound and lighting system support, based on a simple 70-volt, in-ceiling system that needed replacing. The system covered announcements and background music, but offered no zone or room-to-room control, and no entertainment lighting.
Management’s plan was to get the hotel launched, and then through a second phase, come back and focus on the sound and lighting system needs of the lounge, with the goal of turning the Stratus into an entertainment attraction.
“The Stratus lounge has always been a cool space. It’s lush and comfortable and offers a really good mix of indoor and outdoor environments,” explained Hoffer. “But the hotel wanted to create something exciting. They specifically wanted to bring in professional, entertainment-level sound and lighting systems, and be able to use the lounge and its pavilions for a wide range of up-scale events. I’m happy to say that from corporate meetings to weddings, to an impressive nightclub and dance venue, the Stratus now has plenty of headroom and is ready to perform.”
THE SOUND SYSTEM
With available space at a premium and aesthetics a prime concern, Hoffer and his team installed a mix of JBL AC-28 and AC-16 loudspeakers within the interior spaces, supported by a set of JBL ASB6115 and JBL ASB-6112 subwoofers. The large exterior space utilized the JBL AM-7212 loudspeakers and JBL ASB-6115 WRX subwoofers.
“For the pavilions, we wanted to go as large as possible but not be too obtrusive. Luckily, we had some architectural elements we could work with. We used a mix of black cabinets and white cabinets to blend in to the décor, and we were very careful with horn placement. We wanted the space to be exciting and sharp, but comfortable,” explained Hoffer. “The compact loudspeakers and subwoofers look good and sound even better.”
Because of the close proximity to rooms and other less party-focused guest areas, hotel management had a concern about bleed-over vibration. Aurora Sound and Light took an innovative approach to the solution by mounting the exterior subwoofers on a spring system, similar to what might be found with AC units. The subwoofers ride on springs, isolating them from the building, providing a pleasant aural experience for all guests.
THE LIGHTING SYSTEM
For nightclubs and entertainment spaces, lighting is a prime component for creating the right atmosphere. Across the four spaces, Hoffer and his team placed more than 30 Martin Exterior 50 LED lights. These super rugged, compact, indoor/outdoor fixtures were a perfect lighting solution for the lounge and its pavilions.
“The Martin compact LEDs are easy to place and work with, and are really nice in creating a mood and setting a tone for the spaces. We used the Martins for up lighting, down lighting, and for creating some impressive focal points,” added Hoffer. “For the outdoor areas especially, we needed small, weatherproof LED systems. The light quality, and color and control capabilities of these fixtures are very impressive. All built into a rock-solid, easy to install unit.”
Similar to the sound system, the lighting system has been completely updated and modernized and is now based on nicely organized zones, with digital controllers and room scene presets in place, all under password protection.
Hoffer noted that the most challenging part of the lighting system was to get updated wiring and control in place for the Martin 50 LED systems. In many spots, there may have been power, but no data. Hoffer and his team pulled Cat5 where they could, made use of some existing cabling, and even went wireless for a key focal point within an outdoor pavilion.
“One of the outdoor pavilions has this huge, ornate flowerpot. It anchors and sets the space, but it had no lighting. An attractive piece, but we knew if it was properly lit, it would be really impressive. So we used a set of Martin outdoor LEDs and installed a wireless DMX unit to feed data to the lights,” said Hoffer. “It’s now a really impressive focal point, and we can change the colors and control the lights any time, even remotely.”
POWER & CONTROL
Hoffer explained that BSS BLU link Soundweb and Crown DriveCore Network amplifiers provided critical capabilities needed for the project.
“The BLU link and Crown amps greatly simplified the installation. Ultimately, we were able to run three Cat5e cables to network the system, rather than 30 analog cables. This not only saves a huge amount of time and money during the installation, but adds a high level of flexibility and scalability for future changes or additions,” said Hoffer.
Hoffer noted that the synchronicity between HARMAN Professional Solutions products is a big reason he so frequently relies on a comprehensive HARMAN audio system.
“Installation after installation, I keep coming back to JBL, Crown, Martin and BSS. The systems work great together. The integration capabilities are so impressive. Factory support is excellent. I’m really glad we were able to deploy these solutions and technologies at Stratus.”
In mid-October 2015, the Stratus Lounge hosted a grand re-opening party with a popular DJ and a great deal of fanfare and positive reviews. With the ability to host about 300 people across all four venues, the Stratus Lounge is now fast on its way to re-branding itself as an exciting, private event and destination nightspot.
May 12, 2016
Historic Czech Republic Hockey Stadium Turns to HARMAN Professional Solutions for Modern Sound System
Upgraded audio system elevates hockey stadium sound performance with excellent coverage, speech clarity and control
KLADNO, Czech Republic–– A comprehensive HARMAN Professional Solutions sound system has been installed in ČEZ Stadium Kladno, one of the oldest ice hockey stadiums of its kind in the Czech Republic. Originally opened in 1949 as an open air stadium, the ČEZ added a roof in 1959 and underwent an extensive reconstruction project in 2014. With an overall capacity of 5,200, the stadium’s two ice rinks have hosted many great Czech hockey players, world champions and Czech Olympic winners who trained at the stadium. Today, the stadium is home to local hockey club Rytíři Kladno and many aspiring figure skaters.
Struggling for many years with an outdated, unsatisfactory audio system, stadium management recently turned to local HARMAN Professional Solutions distributor AudioMaster CZ to orchestrate a comprehensive modernization. According to Project Manager Matej Sborovy, the goal of the upgrade was to put in a sound system that can be used for all of the stadium’s audio needs, including hockey matches, figure skating and training. Special attention was given to address the stadium’s size and shape, the low-but-wide seating platforms and the increased humidity inside the stadium.
“We designed the system around JBL SRX800 Series loudspeakers, including 16 SRX815, six SRX812 and four STX818 models,” said Sborovy. “The SRX800 Series offers an excellent price and performance ratio, great sound quality and high output. We really like these speakers, and we use them wherever we can. We keep finding new uses for them—they are very versatile. We also used an additional eight JBL AWC82 enclosures to cover the shorter sides of the seating platform.”
“For digital audio distribution, we decided to use BSS London BLU devices due to the excessive power loss on potential, long-run audio wiring,” said Sborovy. “The core of the system is a HARMAN HiQnet Audio Architect™ panel that provides users quick control over the entire system. The Signature 12 is a high-performance, 12-input, small-format analog mixer with onboard effects.”
“On the ice, we’re using AKG WMS470 vocal and sport wireless microphones for the presenters, timekeepers and judges,” said Sborovy. “In the control room, we have a pair of JBL LSR305 studio monitors. Because the control room is completely soundproof, we placed four AKG P170 condenser microphones in the stadium for picking up the atmosphere and ambient sound of the hall.”
The AKG by HARMAN P170 is a versatile, small-diaphragm condenser microphone that’s perfect for recording room ambience, percussion overheads, acoustic instruments and ensembles. Its lightweight 1/2-inch true condenser transducer diaphragm delivers outstanding clarity and transient response.
“The whole installation was possible to finish in a relatively short time of only five days. We managed to achieve amazing speech intelligibility and very high output strong enough to handle even the loudest hockey fans with ease along with perfect sound coverage,” said Sborovy.