February 21, 2017
Belmont University Expands with World-class Dolby Atmos Theater, Powered by HARMAN Professional Solutions
HARMAN Professional Solutions’ JBL, Crown, BSS help provide sound and networked audio for the first and only university-based immersive audio film production program
NASHVILLE Tenn. – In mid-August 2015, Belmont University’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business moved into the new $87 million R. Milton and Denice Johnson Center, a 134,000-square-foot structure featuring a new home for the music business, motion pictures and media studies programs. Functional spaces include classrooms, labs, performance spaces, production spaces and research rooms. Additionally, the Johnson Center features a 250-seat theater and mixing stage equipped with Dolby Atmos immersive audio system. HARMAN Professional Solutions’ JBL loudspeakers, Crown amplification and BSS networked audio are proud to play a role within this important entertainment education facility.
“Curb College has always offered excellent state-of-the-art technology resources for our students including the best of music production, sound stages, audio recording and editing,” said Dave Warburton, Manager, Recording and Film Studios, Belmont University. “With this latest expansion, we’ve greatly enhanced this world-class facility to offer advanced audio for film and film editing facilities with immersive sound production and editing and networked audio experience.”
Serving as a home base for a wide range of entertainment, music and film students, Curb College offers a comprehensive curriculum for majors including audio engineering, songwriting, motion pictures, music business and entertainment industry studies. University officials worked with Nashville-based AV Integrator, M3 Technology Group, who provided the systems, technologies and installation on the project.
From a technology point of view, the college offers a comprehensive set of facilities, including a TV Production Studio for producing and capturing student newscasts, commentators, product shots and small interview productions; a Motion Capture Space to create live-action computer-generated imagery, allowing for 3D animation, digital compositing and motion graphics for any production; a 2,500-square-foot Sound Stage for making single- and multiple-camera motion pictures; 24 Student Edit Bays in which students can view, process, synchronize, edit and mix video and audio program material, and a Foley/ADR Suite to capture sound effects and atmospherics for replacing and enhancing sounds in audio, video and film productions.
A crown jewel within the new facility is the 250-seat Johnson Screening and Mixing Theater, which serves as a screening room for motion pictures and a mix theater for audio mixing for film. In fact, this makes Curb College the world’s first and only university-based film program capable of teaching the process of developing and producing theater-ready films in the Dolby Atmos immersive format.
“Often with school film projects and amateur productions, the audio is usually the first element to drop off. Student film courses at most schools don’t dedicate the time and resources to teaching and creating professional audio,” said Warburton. “Directors regard audio as half the film experience. Our goal is to give students the opportunity to work with the very latest in audio production tools and technology and enable them to create projects that look and sound professional.”
The Dolby Atmos Rendering and Mastering Unit (Dolby RMU) allows faculty to teach the process of creating and compiling movies in immersive Dolby Atmos sound, as well as traditional 7.1 and 5.1 formats. The system design for the loudspeakers alone presented some unique challenges, with the overall goal of providing maximum sound quality and flexibility.
“Designing and installing the Atmos system within the Johnson theater was fun and rewarding,” said Keith Martin, Senior Account Manager, M3 Technology Group.
“Every speaker in the theater is independent and we’re able to create a completely immersive audio experience. With different imaging between all channels and speakers you can make sounds come from an exact location in the theater,” added M3 Senior Designer Engineer, Todd Lewis, CTS-D, DMC-E.
The Johnson theater has 34 JBL 9320 high-power cinema surrounds, 5 JBL 5732 3-way high-power ScreenArray loudspeakers and 4 JBL 4642A dual 18-inch bass reflex subwoofers. The entire system is powered by a set of 14 Crown DCi Network amplifiers with a total of 64 channels, connected through BSS BLU-806 audio transport.
“At one point we were challenged to come up with a ceiling mount solution for a few of the JBL 9320 speakers. We fabricated a nice mounting system that is completely flexible, allowing for angle changes and adjustments,” said Martin. “This turned out to be a great feature for this working classroom. If students want to work with how speakers are angled and mounted, and how it effects the room in either 5.1, 7.1 or immersive. They can make it what they need. It’s a very flexible sound system.”
A great deal of planning for audio transport infrastructure went into assuring the entire facility had fast, flexible access to data. Treating each room of the four-story facility — theaters, sound stages, production suites, edit bays — as a network node, engineers were able to create a robust system to support the university’s current and future needs.
“We deployed a HARMAN-based system with JBL speakers, Crown DCi amplifiers, BSS BLU Link because it all works together seamlessly,” said Lewis. “Another huge advantage for a HARMAN solution is that the Dolby Cinema processors also use the same transport protocol. This makes the entire system reliable, efficient and easy to install and use.”
BSS BLU Link by HARMAN is a high-bandwidth, low-latency audio bus that can be used as a standalone technology or used as a complement to Dante, AVB and CobraNet.
“Essentially we daisy-chained all the Crown DCi network amplifiers, DSPs and the Dolby processors on a loop with Cat6 cable between each box for access to the entire system. Except for a few analog input cables and speaker cables, the entire audio system is in the digital domain, said Lewis. “We used Dante to integrate the Avid products into the BSS DSP so everything is connected digitally.”
ABOUT THE MIKE CURB COLLEGE OF ENTERTAINMENT AND MUSIC BUSINESS
In 1971, Belmont University first established a music business program designed to prepare students for operational, administrative, creative and technical careers in the music industry. The program grew in both size and reputation, leading to the advent of the full Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business in 2003. Currently home to more than 2,500 undergraduates with majors in five areas including music business, audio engineering technology, entertainment industry studies, songwriting and motion pictures, Curb College boasts an impressive faculty of academic scholars and authors, entrepreneurs, songwriters, producers, filmmakers and sound and recording engineers. The college serves as a world leader in music business and entertainment industry education and the only freestanding college of its kind.
February 06, 2017
AES67 support added to multiple HARMAN product families to deliver networked AV infrastructure
ISE (Stand #1-F6), AMSTERDAM — HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, including networked AV, today announced support of AES67 across networked audio and video product families. AES67 is a standard to enable high-performance audio-over-IP streaming interoperability between various IP-based audio networks.
New Soundweb London BLU-806DA, BLU-326DA and BLU-DA devices will support both Dante and AES67 natively and will replace the BLU-806, BLU-326 and BLU-DAN devices respectively.
The Crown DCi-DA Dante amplifiers will also support AES67 through a forthcoming firmware update.
In addition to the new Soundweb London DA processors and Crown DCi-DA amplifiers, new AMX Networked AV N2000 and N1000 Series Video encoders and decoders will be released with support for AES67 providing networked audio compatibility with BSS and Crown products. The model numbers of these encoders and decoders will be identified by the suffix A, denoting AES67.
“AMX Networked AV encoders can now stream audio digitally to a Soundweb London system and from Soundweb London to AMX Networked AV decoders,” said Tom Lureman, Large Venue Electronics Solutions Manager, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “Since the Soundweb London DA devices send and receive both AES67 and Dante simultaneously, the advanced functionality offered by Dante can be retained between compatible devices, such as HARMAN processors and amplifiers.”
Support of AES67 by HARMAN video, processor and amplifier products brings interoperability with other AES67 compatible systems and more options to facility upgrades.
A forthcoming release of HiQnet Audio Architect will include the new Soundweb London devices and updated firmware for the Crown DCi-DA amplifiers. The same release will also include a firmware update for the existing Soundweb London BLU-806, BLU-326 and BLU-DAN devices, bringing AES67 functionality to devices already deployed in the field.
February 06, 2017
JBL, BSS, Crown at hub of new 23-zone Warsaw facility
WARSAW, Poland – Following its earlier closure, Poland’s Hulakula Entertainment Centre, which combines bowling, billiards, live music and much more, has relocated to a brand new building in the center of Warsaw. HARMAN Professional Solutions distributor, ESS Audio, won the contract to supply the facility with a complete sound system based around matched HARMAN components.
“The quality and professionalism of our offer and service, the warranty and support we were able to provide as well as the good relationship we already had with the investors was key to our bid,” stated ESS Director Witold Karalow. “In addition, the products we proposed are well known as being high quality.”
ESS Audio was also able to demonstrate the advantage of an integrated HARMAN system using BLU link enabling Crown and BSS devices to be programmed and controlled through HARMAN’s HiQnet Audio Architect™ software. This application used the advanced BSS Soundweb BLU DSP devices and Crown’s DCI-N networked amplifiers. The installation specialists equipped 23 zones including 20 BGM zones, two zones for the main stage and DJ systems, and a final zone for conference purposes.
“The main system had to be sufficiently powerful for top DJ’s and live artists to perform,” continued Karalow. “Thus VRX was specified as being the obvious option within the available budget.”
Six JBL VRX 932LAP and six SRX828SP subs in cardioid configuration have been installed in the main room, while four JBL EON 612 are provided for stage monitoring. Delays and additional fills for distribution to the mezzanine level, comprise four JBL AC18/95 and four AC18/26, while four AKG WMS470 wireless mic channels have been supplied, along with splitter and antennas. The AC18/95’s are powered by a Crown DCi 8|600N.
The smaller music / club room has been equipped with four JBL SRX 815P and four SRX 818SP self-powered 18” subs. This room is alternatively used as a small conference room equipped with nine JBL Control 64P/T, and a pair of AKG WMS470 radio mics plus splitter and antennas. Additionally, the various ancillary zones, which mainly receive BGM feeds, include a restaurant, bar, kids playground, birthday rooms, bowling tracks, billiards room, VIP rooms, restrooms and corridors.
These were collectively equipped with 54 JBL Control 64P/T pendant loudspeakers; 27 Control 25-1; four Control 28-1; a JBL SB2210 dual 10” subwoofer; six JBL Control HST (using Hemispherical Soundfield Technology™); six JBL C14C/T and 18 x 8124 ceiling speakers, powered by three Crown DCi 8|600N. Finally, a separate mobile system comprises a pair of JBL EON610, an EON618S and pair of SRX812P.
ESS Audio’s Peter Bielec and Maciej Barański designed the network for signal distribution entirely over the proprietary BLU link platform, with all loudspeakers powered by four Crown DCi8|600N multi-channel amplifiers. To enable multiple sources to be routed to any of the zones, this network is formed by a combination of Soundweb fixed format BLU-50 (4x4) devices, BLU-100 (12 x 8), user-configurable BLU-800 devices, along with Soundweb Contrio EC4BV / EC8BV Ethernet wall controllers at the reception desks. Two VIP Rooms also have EC4BVs for clients, while one EC8-BV is used to control the conference room.The system is managed from custom HiQnet Audio Architect panels (with room combining) on the PC at the front desk.
Finally, a pair of AKG CGN321 STS table-top paging gooseneck mics are stationed at the main reception and kids’ area so that voice announcements can be made to any of the zones.
“ESS managed to overcome timescale restrictions to deliver an installation that meets all requirements,” said Karalow. “Our aim was to build a really nice, easy-to-use system based on premium HARMAN components and thanks to careful budgeting, this is what we have achieved.”
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 Professional 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.