HARMAN Professional Puts VIRginia International Raceway’s New PA System In the Fast Lane


DANVILLE, Virginia — If any place is built for speed it’s VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) – it was recently chosen by Car and Driver magazine as one of the top six road courses in the nation. VIR hosts The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (TUSC), NASCAR and other professional and amateur auto and motorcycle events. From its humble beginnings in 1957 when a group of men took a bulldozer to plow a track through some farmland, it’s grown to become a world-class motorsports facility. It took a while for its PA system to catch up, however – until recently, thanks to HARMAN Professional and systems integrator Choice AVTech.

Choice Audio-Video Technologies from Atlanta, Georgia had installed a PA system at Road Atlanta, another local racetrack, and when VIR’s management team paid a visit two years ago they realized just how outpaced their own PA had become. “VIRginia International Raceway’s system had been installed in 1999 and was pretty basic,” said Choice AV president David Miller. “It certainly wasn’t enough for the kinds of spectator events VIR has been hosting more and more, and the visit to Road Atlanta convinced them it was time for an upgrade.”

As a relatively new company (in business since 2011), Miller found the support that HARMAN Professional provided was invaluable. “They really rolled out the red carpet for us. There are always a few different options for this type of project and the support and service they provided us really helped us make the right decision, which was a system based around the JBL AWC Series loudspeakers.”

The new system includes 13 JBL AWC129 compact all-weather loudspeakers and 17 AWC82 all-weather loudspeakers, driven by a Crown CDi 6000 and two Crown CDi4000 amplifiers. The speakers are mounted on their included metal U-brackets atop 30-foot high poles that are deployed around the perimeter of the racetrack.

A dbx DriveRack 4820 Loudspeaker Management System provides EQ, time alignment, signal routing and other system processing and control functions. Four AKG D5 dynamic vocal microphones and two AKG K271 MKII professional studio headphones are used by the track announcers.

Miller mentioned the biggest challenge of any racetrack installation: “It’s incredibly noisy. The sound pressure levels from the engine noise are very, very high, and you have the crowd noise on top of that. Because of the sheer basic need to be heard over all that noise, and because they’re cheap, most racing facilities and especially NASCAR tracks have been built around old-school horn loudspeakers.” While such crude devices deliver high volume and are inexpensive, Miller notes that high-quality sound is becoming essential to racing promoters because of the increase in pre-race ceremonies and the need for high-fidelity music reproduction. “Racetracks can’t get away with those old bullhorns anymore. They need sound systems that are full range and more musical, with extended bass and high-frequency response.”

“We chose these JBL AWC loudspeakers because they combine exceptional clarity for speech with extended frequency response for music, and their high power handling and sensitivity make them incredibly loud and powerful for their size,” said Miller. “The speakers are more competitively priced than other brands we considered. They look good and blend in inconspicuously into the surroundings – you can hardly notice they’re there.”

Miller went with the Crown CDi Series amplifiers because of their power and efficiency. “Right now we only require three amplifiers to power the system, which I think is a testament to their effectiveness.” Regarding the AKG D5, he finds it to be an exceptional dynamic microphone with an easy to activate on/off switch and warm, yet clear sound.

“The track’s management is extremely happy with the speech intelligibility, coverage and the quality of the music reproduction the new system provides.” In fact, Miller concluded, “this is just phase one of a larger system installation we plan to do at some point in the future that will enable VIR to host multiple and bigger events.”

“VIR is a premium venue and we challenged David and his team at Choice AVTech to upgrade our PA system so it reflects the same quality as the overall facility” says Connie Nyholm, Owner & CEO of VIRginia International Raceway. “When people come here, they expect the best, and that’s what we asked them to deliver. We couldn’t be happier with phase 1 and look forward to working with Choice AVTech and HARMAN on its continued development.”

About VIRginia International Raceway
VIRginia International Raceway is one of America’s premier road courses, offering professional and amateur racing for modern and vintage classes while providing contemporary resort amenities. Conveniently located at the Virginia/North Carolina border, VIR is just a short two hour trip from Richmond and about an hour and 15 minutes from both the Piedmont-Triad and Raleigh-Durham International Airports.

Recognized as the country club of racing, VIR offers complementary amenities such as lodging, dining, a spa, an exclusive driver’s club, karting, off-road racing, shooting sports, skid pad and more. The grounds also offer a unique setting and specialized facilities for corporate retreats, group activities and conference space. Onsite parcels are available for sale/lease to motorsports industry tenants. 

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

SSE Hire Pilots HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi6 Digital Console and Realtime Rack at Cambridge Folk Festival


CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom – One of the longest running folk festivals in the world, the Cambridge Folk Festival recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, drawing an audience of approximately 10,000 people. Taking advantage of this historical occasion, SSE Hire provided HARMAN Soundcraft Vi6 digital consoles for the main and second stage, while also using the Soundcraft Realtime Rack on the second stage.

The result of a unique collaboration between Soundcraft and renowned plugin manufacturer, Universal Audio, the Soundcraft Realtime Rack brings industry-standard UAD studio plugins to the Soundcraft platform.

Connecting to Vi Consoles via Optical MADI, the Realtime Rack hosts Universal Audio’s authentic hardware emulations and award-winning UAD plugins. Each Realtime Rack unit processes up to 16 channels of a MADI stream and up to four racks can be cascaded together to provide a maximum of 64 channels.

“The Realtime Rack offers 74 plug-ins, all of which are designed and produced by UAD,” said Richard Watts of SSE Sales. “The great thing about UAD plugins is that every single one is signed off by the original outboard unit manufacturer. This ensures that each one is as close to the real thing as possible, making them some of the best plugins on the market.”

"We had a request from FOH engineer Jesse Godolphin to supply a Realtime Rack for use with the Soundcraft Vi6 at Cambridge Folk Festival," Watts continued. "SSE Hire once again supplied the PA systems for the festival and Jesse was looking after FOH for the second stage, a role he's had since 2007."

Already a fan of UAD plugins, Jesse Godolphin expanded on his choice of the Soundcraft rack. "I was using a Vi6 for Cambridge so when Soundcraft launched the Realtime Rack, I thought it would be ideal for the festival." Godolphin was certainly not disappointed. "I have mixed FOH at Cambridge Folk festival for many years and I can easily say with the UA 1176LN plugin I got best the vocal sound ever."
Godolphin found the unit user friendly. "I was very impressed with the ease of which you could select and recall compressors, effects and EQ. Navigating around the software was very easy and intuitive. A very handy function was the HARMAN HiQnet™ software, which linked the Vi6 to the Realtime Rack. With HiQnet I could recall and store snapshots just on the Vi6, which was very handy for quick changeovers. Patching MADI inserts was very quick too, as I could have 16 plugins ready patched across the Rack MADI stream and then assign them to any channel. Copying and pasting plugins on the fly was very easy too."
The Realtime Rack is available for hire and sale from SSE Audio Group.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

Canada’s Arden Theatre Delivers Robust Production With HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi Consoles


SAINT ALBERT, Canada – Catering to a wide array of events ranging from live concerts to full theatrical productions, the Arden Theatre in the Canadian province of Alberta is a dynamic venue where folk, blues, modern rock and jazz music come to life. To deliver world-class sound for its programs and events, the Arden Theatre currently employs HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi6 and Vi1 mixing consoles.

The Arden Theatre is an intimate space that seats 509 people, with a stage that is 40 feet wide and 26 feet deep. Of its 240 shows per year, the Arden Theatre features many repeat performers that are drawn back by the facility’s acoustics. With such a variety of performers, in-house Sound Technician Tyler Patrick finds the digital features of the Soundcraft Vi consoles to be essential to his workflow.

“We have a lot of shows that come back year after year, so the ability to recall stored settings is huge for us,” said Patrick. “The Vi6 with a Compact Stagebox allows us to have an expanded channel count at front of house and the Vi1 is perfect for our monitor position. With these consoles, we’re able to mix our big yearly musicals without problems.”

When deciding to transition out of analog, the technical staff attended demos of digital consoles from various audio brands, none of which struck as strong a chord as the Soundcraft Vi Series. According to Patrick, ease-of-use features like Vistonics™ and FaderGlowTM were the factors that took the Vi6 and the Vi1 beyond excellent sound quality.

“The Vistonics touchscreen is so easy to use, and the biggest selling point for me is that it allows for more than one person to operate the console at the same time,” said Patrick. “Many of the artists who play here bring their own engineer. Also, sometimes we allow high school students to come and operate the sound equipment on their own. Naturally, we place a high value on ease of use.”

Patrick continued to explain why he loves every aspect of the Soundcraft consoles. “When we first plugged in the Soundcraft Vi consoles, they sounded like analog desks without any harshness of a digital desk,” he said. “It sounds very smooth, exactly like you would expect a high-quality board to sound. The parametric EQ’s on the channels are fantastic and responsive.”

As part of the venue’s future growth, the production team has partnered with a video company to offer web-streaming capabilities for its shows. To this end, it is planning to use the Vi6 console to send multi-track audio via optical MADI to the Soundcraft Vi1 console, which in turn will be managed separately in a different room. Webcasts with pristine sound quality will be available next year thanks to this configuration.

While in-house and guest engineers are getting used to the five minute setup times of the Soundcraft consoles, the theater is well-equipped to serve the local community of Saint Albert for years to come.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

The Masonic Upgrades Stage With Intelligent LED System From Impact Lighting and HARMAN’s Martin Professional


Photo Credit: Ashely Graham/Live Nation 
SAN FRANCISCO, California — The Masonic has been a landmark in San Francisco since opening in 1958 and is now operated by concert promotion company, Live Nation. The venue recently underwent a massive renovation that included the addition of a new concert stage, luxury VIP boxes and flexible, tiered open floor space for both general admission and seated shows—which brought capacity to 3,300. Among the several major enhancements unveiled, The Masonic now features a new stage lighting system with more than 45 of HARMAN’s Martin Professional MAC Viper and MAC Aura fixtures.

Developed by San Francisco-based Impact Lighting (www.impactsf.com), which began working with Martin Professional in 2003, the new lighting design was tailored specifically for the flexibility of the new space to ensure optimal lighting for every event held at the venue.  

“Live Nation initially requested a state-of-the-art lighting system,” said Kim Martin, Sales and Marketing Manager, Impact Lighting. “So at the time of the proposal we felt the challenge was to convince the client that to truly be innovative they should move to intelligent lighting and LED fixtures.”

Live Nation, however, was ready: The new operators were so impressed by the intelligent LED system proposed by Impact Lighting that the installation began almost immediately. The design features eight MAC Viper Profiles and eight MAC Viper Wash lights across two 50-foot trusses (four of each fixture per truss) above the main stage for effect lighting, backed by 16 MAC Aura wash lights (eight per truss). Impact also installed five MAC Viper Performances on a front stage truss along with 12 MAC Auras for front wash. The system is DMX-controllable and programmable through the house console.

“We’ve been working with Martin for more than a decade,” said Kim Martin. “We have the Martin Vipers and Auras in our production rental inventory so it made sense for us to install them at The Masonic from a fixture knowledge and support perspective. The Vipers are phenomenal fixtures from the zoom to the gobo selection. The optics are truly superb with a bright beam and a CMY color mixing system that produces consistent color from lens to target.”

Kim Martin said, Impact lighting has continued to rely on Martin Professional because of its unique ability to consistently produce equipment that sets industry standards. “You can not please everyone, but to become an industry standard you’ve got to offer enough features that designers want at a price production houses can afford,” she said. “Martin has done this incredibly well and as a result it’s possible to travel around the country and have your equipment needs fulfilled. Even for our own house-designed productions, we may need to add inventory to complete a large event so it’s important to have a company like Martin whose gear you can find and rent at other production houses no matter where you are.”

As a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural and commercial sectors, Martin lighting and video systems are renowned the world over. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin operates the industry’s most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. Founded in 1987 and based in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin is the lighting division of global infotainment and audio company HARMAN International Industries. For more information please visit: http://www.martin.com.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.3 billion for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014.

HARMAN’s JBL Professional Delivers Unrivalled Control and Low Cost of Ownership with New Intellivox 380 Series Loudspeakers


NORTHRIDGE, California – Building on its industry-leading line of Intellivox loudspeakers, HARMAN’s JBL Professional is introducing the new Intellivox 380 Series. The DC380, DS380 and DSX380 offer unmatched control, complex room coverage capabilities, and pinpoint steerability, making them ideal for applications where intelligibility and accuracy are critical.

“The Intellivox 380 Series fills an important point between the Intellivox 280 and 430 models, providing an optimal combination of control and size that fits the requirements of many of our customer’s venues,” said Rick Kamlet, Senior Manager, Commercial Sound, JBL Professional. “Two of the 380 Series models offer our industry-leading DDS complex beam shaping technology, and all of the models provide very precise resolution in parametric-type beam ‘steering’ capabilities.”   

The flagship model in the Intellivox 380 Series is the DSX380, which features complex room-molding DDS Beam Shaping.  This technology molds the coverage to match the requirements of rooms that have multi-faceted listening planes, while providing not only consistent SPL but also consistent frequency response throughout the listening space.  In addition to its ability to deliver clear and intelligible speech the DSX380 units also feature extended HF bandwidth, so they sound great with music especially when you add a subwoofer.  The DS380 also features DDS Beam Shaping, with a longer acoustic array length.  

The DC380 offers parametric DDC Beam Steering technology and is ideal for speech applications in rooms with a less complex listening plane.  Both the Opening Angle and Aiming Angle are adjustable in very fine 0.1 degree increments. This is the highest aiming resolution available on the market, allowing these speakers to meet the exact aiming and coverage requirements of the space, for best direct to reverberant performance.

Typical throw distance for the 380 Series models is 45 meters (150 feet). Idle power consumption is very low at 0.5A @ 115V, providing lower cost of ownership for a facility and greatly reducing the size requirements for UPS systems, when required.  

All units include a 16-channel amp/DSP module and eight presets that can be recalled and/or locked for security purposes.  Each model has two inputs each with a 4-band parametric EQ, volume control and delay. Output processing includes an 8-band parametric EQ, volume control and delay.  An ambient noise-sensing microphone and control software are built-in, as are redundant internal monitoring features to ensure reliability.   Featuring the smallest depth and width footprint in the industry, Intellivox 380 Series models are especially thin and unobtrusive, and can be easily recessed into walls.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

Aurora Sound and Light Design Provides Tremendous Audio Experience at Palladino’s Restaurant with HARMAN Professional


SOUTH PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania — In the revitalized neighborhood of south Philadelphia, famous chef and Philly native Luke Palladino is returning to his old stomping grounds with a new restaurant called (what else?) Palladino’s. The restaurant opened on December 17 and features gourmet Italian cuisine and world-class atmospherics courtesy of a HARMAN Professional audio system.

Ian Hoffer of Aurora Sound and Light Design, who has provided audio and lighting systems for some of the most popular clubs, bars and restaurants on the East Coast, designed the audio configuration for Palladino’s. The restaurant is separated into three separate zones and features a variety of BSS Audio signal processing, Crown amplifiers and JBL loudspeakers.

“Like many restaurant and bar projects, budget was a major factor when it came to technology, but we also did not want to compromise in quality,” Hoffer noted. “I’ve had a lot of success with HARMAN in the past and the combination of BSS, Crown and JBL allowed us to install a really nice system for the 100-person capacity restaurant.”

The audio system at Palladino’s is separated into three zones: the dining room, bar and exterior patio. A total of 21 JBL Control 226CT ceiling loudspeakers—Kevlar-reinforced woofers and compression drivers for highs—are dispersed throughout these zones, with Crown CDi4000 and CDi1000 amplifiers powering the system.

“The BSS BLU-8 was chosen as it provides for more control options than a simple volume control. The manager can select from multiple sources—TV, Mac Mini, DJ input, or an iPod,” Hoffer noted. “I installed JBL ceiling speakers at the Rumor club in Philadelphia a few years ago, so I knew they would work well at Palladino’s. That, combined with a BSS BLU-50 signal processor, gives us a lot of options and kept the technology budget in check.”

For more information on Aurora Sound and Light Design, please call 609-433-6289.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

Trinity Christian Centre, Singapore Is A New Nighttime Icon with HARMAN’s Martin Professional Lighting


PAYA LEBAR, Singapore — In a prominent intersection on the outskirts of Singapore City in Paya Lebar lies the Trinity Christian Centre, Trinity@Paya Lebar. Designed to imitate the vast canyons of the Israeli deserts, the building’s beige-colored facade mimics the folds of the desert landscape and now boasts HARMAN’s Martin Professional lighting.

The original lighting scheme did not live up to Trinity Christian Centre’s aspirations to become a neighborhood nighttime landmark. In fact, even the next-door gas station outshone it and made more of an impact on the surroundings with lights. In consequence, ONG&ONG (Lighting Design) were commissioned to design and implement a new lighting concept for this house of worship.

ONG&ONG (Lighting Design) installed 14 Exterior 400 Image Projectors, 28 Exterior 410 fixtures, all controlled by Martin’s M-PC controller. Inspired by the original visions, ONG&ONG set out to use the light to mimic the hues of colors of the Israeli skies and to tell meaningful stories to the community.

“Our task was to enhance and improve existing architectural features in the night,” said Swee Hong Ong, Director at ONG&ONG (Lighting Design). “To ensure the success of the lighting design we had to conduct various onsite tests and consider the surroundings and conditions before we could propose our idea for the new design. This process is a lot more demanding than designing a new project from scratch.”

After a series of shootouts to test various fixtures from different manufacturers in relation to their wash quality and color rendition, Martin fixtures from the Exterior range were chosen to project the new design onto the facade of the building. The fixtures were mounted on poles, equipped with lenses and glare shields to reach all the folds in the facade and complement the geometry of the architectural surface.

“The Exterior range from Martin proved to have the rich, saturated color wash that we were looking for,” said Ong. “The fixtures are easily controllable and unlike the other fixtures we tested, the exact calibration enables all the fixtures to display the same colors.”

The new lighting design attempts to create a connection between the church and its community. Pre-programmed sequences display messages of faith and joy to spectators, and colors and projected patterns add a dimensionality to the architecture. The animation and vibrancy of the colors mirror the dynamism of the sky.

“Apart from depicting the sky, as an added benefit the color scenes we’ve worked on together with Trinity also works to relate to the events and festivities celebrated by the church,” said Ong. The animated scenes and effects would not have been possible without our great installer, Kurihara Kogyo. We can only be happy with the result we achieved together.”

Against the backdrop of the relatively quiet, semi-industrial surroundings, Trinity has now completed its transformation into a new night-time icon in the neighborhood.


Martin Equipment
1 x M-PC controller;
14 x Exterior 400 Image Projector;
28 x Exterior 410 with snoot kits.

Lighting design: ONG&ONG (Lighting Design)
Martin equipment supply and installation: Kurihara Kogyo Co., Ltd
Lighting programming: Martin Professional Pte Ltd

Photo Credit: Chee Keong Photography

As a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors, Martin lighting and video systems are renowned the world over. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin operates the industry’s most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. Founded in 1987 and based in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin is the lighting division of global infotainment and audio company HARMAN International Industries. For more information please visit: http://www.martin.com.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.
 

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