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The Media Production Show announced it ended on a high, with its biggest ever visitor attendance of 6,500 – up 25% on 2018. Charlotte Wheeler, event director, Media Production Show, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with positive feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike, citing the breadth and depth of the seminar programme, the diversity of attendees and the overall value that the show offers. We are in constant contact with all sectors of the industry to help us deliver a relevant, inspirational and practical event, and the developments we will make in 2020 – with extra space and more technological content in addition to our established production focus – will offer a more rounded view of the industry and its myriad opportunities.”

With Resolution magazine as media partner, the Audio Theatre was packed for every session. “There was a certain element of physical risk in pushing past the long queue to distribute our magazines for each session!” said Resolution editor Nigel Jopson. “It was great to see such interest, and demonstrates that advice from respected directors like Danny Boyle about the importance of good audio has been taken to heart by the wider media production community. The Audio Theatre could certainly be expanded for next year!”

Full house in the Audio Theatre for the Women in Sound session.

L-R: moderator Lexie Morgan (head of marketing HHB Communications), Lucy Mitchell (freelance sound editor and dubbing mixer), Emma Butt (freelance dubbing mixer, sound editor, ADR recordist), and Kate Davis (head of sound, Directors Cut Films – interview Resolution V16.1)

A rare moment of calm at the Emerging booth, where there was strong interest from the crowd in PSI Audio monitoring, Trinnov room correction (review, Resolution V17.3), and the new Merging Technologies Anubis interface .

(L-R, Paul Mortimer, MD Emerging, Chris Hollebone marketing manager Merging Technologies, Soren Winter, international sales manager Trinnov Audio.

On the Neumann-Sennheiser stand, the team reported visitor attention for Sennheiser’s compact new XSW Digital Wireless system review, Resolution V18.3 , (L-R David Atkinson marketing manager, Lee Shuttlewood sales manager, Neil Watson regional marketing manager). The SK 6212 mini-transmitter, which offers the same reliable and intermodulation-free transmission as the larger Digital 6000 transmitters, was also popular amongst visitors.

Schoeps UK distributor ioCo Ltd had a jaunty selection of un-seasonally warm headgear dangling from an ORTF-3D rig.

(L-R, demonstrating some ‘blimps’ Neal McCormack, director ioCo, Philippe Chevenez, MD Cinela ) Cinela have a range of ultra-lightweight combo windshields tailor-made for Schoeps microphones, including their double-MS system.

Andy Copeland (Technical Sales and Support) immerses visitors to the HHB Communications booth with a Genelec Atmos system

Need a crazy RF solution? Skydiving, fast cars and drones (with CAA PFCO pilots and FAA licenses) are part of the armoury of services offered by Sabsound (L-R Jamal Miah general manager and Stuart Bruce director)

Lawo’s Oliver Hough (sales manager UK & ROI) demonstrates the Lawo mc²56 mkII to a potential customer.

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iZotope has released Neutron 3, the third edition of its plug-in-based mixing suite. Neutron 3 is packed with eight plug-ins – Sculptor, EQ, Transient Shaper, Gate, Exciter, Limiter and two compressors – that can be used individually or as eight modules combined together in a single plug-in.

Amongst the package’s new features is an intuitive Mix Assistant designed to get you off to a quicker start when mixing and the Sculptor plug-in that uses spectral shaping to modify instrument tracks.

With Neutron 3, iZotope has focused on machine learning. iZotope puts the new Mix Assistant, exclusive to Advanced, front and centre as the first-ever plug-in that “listens” to your project and communicates with each track in the mix. The purpose of this analytical listening is to help you find a starting balance, which will form the foundation of your mix. The plug-in allows the user to select which tracks will be the mix focus, and is designed to work with instrumentals and vocal-centred music.

The new Sculptor plug-in, available in both Standard and Advanced versions, is designed to sweeten the sound of instrument tracks. iZotope describes its function as “per-band army of compressors and EQs” dedicated to shaping a track. Sculptor uses machine learning and custom DSP to craft a “custom preset” for each track. It equips the user with 25 different instrument profiles that can transform each instrument into a “new version of itself”, according to the iZotope.

Pricing for Neutron 3 versions are as follows:

Neutron Elements (v3): Available now at $99 (RRP $129)
Neutron 3 Standard: Available now at $199 (RRP $249)
Neutron 3 Advanced: Available now at $299 (RRP $399)

www.izotope.com

What’s New in iZotope’s Neutron 3 | Mix Assistant, Sculptor, and More - YouTube

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DPA Microphones previewed a new addition to its microphone lineup, the 4097 CORE Supercardioid Choir Microphone at InfoComm 2019. Ideal for house of worship and choir applications, the 4097 provides the same sonic qualities as the brand’s d:vote  CORE 4099 Instrument Microphone but was designed specifically to capture dynamic choir sound, with both wireless or wired configurations.

The new 4097 Choir Mic also features DPA’s famous flat off-axis supercardioid pattern and, like all DPA microphones, has been designed to be one of the most natural-sounding solutions available. As a result, the microphone has a very high-gain-before-feedback, and due to the off-axis characteristic that DPA is renowned for, it makes the entire choir sound natural – not just on axis – but from all angles. This makes using multiple mics on the choir easy for the sound engineer as he can easily mix the various parts of the choir and blend it all together without having to fight the artifacts created from uneven mic pattern pick-up.

“We are excited to introduce our newest microphone solution to industry professionals at InfoComm this year,” says René Mørch, product manager, DPA Microphones. “We put a great deal of time into designing a sleek choir microphone that is smaller than other mics of its kind, and has a light and elegant look at the same time. With the same sonic character as all other DPA mics, the 4097 Choir Microphone meets the high standards that users have come to expect from DPA.”

Configured with a MicroDot connector and a DPA adapter for wired or wireless, the 4097 allows the user to go wireless, which allows for great flexibility on stage when there are multiple uses of the same space. When it is time for the choir to take the stage, simply place the 4097s in the assigned spots and it is ready to go!

Featuring the CORE by DPA amplifier technology a clear sound is achieved as it lowers the distortion and expands the dynamic range.Furthermore, the 4097 includes three shock mounts to secure that rumble caused by movement on the stage, is damped effectively, and at a level that is not seen before in these kind of mics.

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“We are proud of what we have achieved alongside Tony Faulkner,” says RØDE Founder and Chairman Peter Freedman. “He is a true pioneer and innovator, and also a great friend of mine. Working on this microphone together has been a highlight of my career.”

Tony Faulkner is one of the most respected sound engineers in the classical music field. He has thousands of admired classical music recordings under his belt, and has been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards, winning Best Instrumental Soloist Performance in 2005.

“The TF-5 is designed to be no-compromise,” says Mr. Faulkner, “very very low noise, very broad bandwidth, very clean. Something which can be modified if you choose, but if you leave it, it sounds natural and clean and musical.”
“The new capsule,” he continues, “is so beautifully engineered. I’ve been to the factory and seen how they make them – the precision of engineering is remarkable. These are special microphones, very high quality, and I’m proud to be a part of them. Take two of them out of the box, rig them on a stand with the stereo bar, and enjoy how natural they sound.”

RØDE TF-5 key features:
Matched pair small diaphragm condenser cardioid microphones.
Imagined and designed in collaboration with Tony Faulkner and manufactured at RØDE’s state-of-the-art facility in Sydney.
Brand new capsule, precision-engineered to sub-micron tolerances, delivers breathtaking sonic transparency. Exceptionally low noise floor (14dbA), making the TF-5 suitable for the most critical recordings.
Includes high-quality RØDE stereo bar for easy rigging as a stereo pair.

www.rode.com

Introducing the RØDE TF-5 Premium Condenser Microphones by Tony Faulkner - YouTube

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At the beginning of June Apple unveiled its 2019 Mac Pro, marking the first new Mac Pro since 2013, when Apple released the shiny ‘trash can’ replacement – much derided by production pros for its lack of expansions slots – a model which Apple failed to update after dual GPUs became unfashionable and computer designers prioritised powerful single GPU options.

The new Mac Pro is a high-end, high-throughput machine designed for Apple’s pro user base. Apple has learned from its mistakes and the thermal limitations (which it admits) of the 2013 ‘trash can’. The new Mac Pro features a design that’s similar to the rectangular 2012 Mac Pro – hot-rodded versions of which are still to be seen in many studios –  focusing heavily on upgradeability and expansion.

The new ‘cheese-grater’ offset two-layer circular lattice design serves as an extremely high-surface area heat sink for use with the trio of fans moving airflow through the tower horizontally. The rectangular design means that GPUs and other additional hardware can be easily slotted in on one of its broad sides. Once the cover is removed using a simple twisting lock mechanism, you have complete 360-access to all the internals of the computer, and the frame can be fitted with wheels. The 2019 Mac Pro features four double-wide PCI slots, three single-wide PCI slots, and one half-width PCI slot, allowing the machine to accomodate any form factor that a supplemental GPU or RAM card may assume. It gives users many options for external peripherals, with two USB-A ports and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

The base model is equipped with an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, a Radeon 580X graphics card, 32GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The 2019 Mac Pro is capable of scaling up dramatically, with enough slots to pack in 1.5TB of RAM, and options to swap the Radeon 580X for four Radeon Pro Vega II GPUs working in two pairs. These GPUs, which together offer 56 teraflops of computation, are connected with Apple’s proprietary Infinity Fabric Link, which reportedly allows data transfers faster than current standard PCI buses are capable of. Apple’s proprietary Afterburner FPGA will enable the computer to simultaneously play back three streams of 8K video, or 12 streams at 4K resolution.

The starting price for the Mac Pro is $5,999: an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of memory, Radeon Pro 580X graphics and a 256GB solid-state drive for storage. No pricing details have been given for higher end configurations, but with top-of-the-line specs, the high-end Mac Pro could cost upwards of $20,000: 28 cores, 1.5TB of memory, 2x AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo and Afterburner. Availability is “fall 2019”.

The news of this computer should be welcomed; for production pros in busy post houses and in facilities where audio integrates with video, it will be well worth the investment. But, aside from any considerations about this particular model, it indicates Apple’s commitment to the media production community – a retreat from the idea that creative professionals must live with consumer design, and an acceptance it is worth building products for professionals because of the reputational cachet –  a welcome marker for all of us who depend on Apple’s hardware and software for our daily work.

Introducing the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR — Apple - YouTube

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Yamaha Corporation has adopted Audinate’s Dante AV Product Design suite for integrated AV over IP audio/video technology, and has begun the development of an exciting suite of new products targeted at the Pro AV market.

Based on Audinate’s recently-announced Dante AV technology, initial Yamaha AV products will centre around applications requiring the need to breakout and distribute audio and video signals, while maintaining tight synchronisation throughout the facility or venue.

Dante AV solves the problem of networked video and audio synchronisation by utilizing a single network clock for sub-microsecond accuracy. Dante is an IP routable Layer 3 technology, which allows you to use standard IT network switches and cabling that are readily available, making it possible to build highly reliable networks while minimising equipment costs. The Dante AV Product Design Suite includes the industry leading intoPix JPEG2000 codec which is capable of supporting 4K/60 4:4:4 video for visually lossless results with low latency.

Dante AV brings all the benefits that have made Dante the market leading audio over IP solution to video: discovery, ease-of-use and integrated control. Dante AV enables complete interoperability with nearly 2,000 Dante-enabled audio products already on the market. With Dante AV, audio and video signals are independently routable in a single, easy-to-use interface using Dante Controller software.

In recent years, with the development of IT infrastructure, Pro AV (which combines audio and video), is advancing rapidly. AV over IP provides a much more flexible cost-effective solution. Dante AV is a truly groundbreaking technology that seamlessly integrates video transmission and routing over existing 1 Gbps Dante networks.

Yamaha first supported Dante audio networking technology in 2010, with the Mini-YGDAI card DANTE-MY16-AUD. In 2012, Dante interfaces became a standard installed feature on CL Series digital mixing consoles, marking a major change in the professional sound industry. Yamaha has subsequently introduced a number of Dante-compatible products, such as the RIVAGE PM series of flagship digital mixing systems, the MTX / MRX series of matrix processors and the VXL series PoE line array speakers.

“Our collaboration with Audinate over the past 10 years has been extremely beneficial to us,” says Yoshi Tsugawa, Senior General Manager of Yamaha’s Audio Business division. “Having a commercially-supported, complete networking solution provides customers with a trusted solution. Taking advantage of Audinate’s expertise in digital networking has transformed networked audio and we anticipate Dante AV will deliver the same benefits for networked video in the Pro AV industry.”

“We are honoured that Yamaha has selected Dante AV for their new product line. Yamaha has a remarkable history of developing innovative, high-quality digital products,” adds Lee Ellison, CEO of Audinate. “By adding Dante video into Yamaha products, the distribution of audio and video will become easier for customers to deploy integrated solutions.”

www.yamahaproaudio.com

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MSM Studio Group in Munich has chosen PMC monitoring for its new Dolby Atmos studio, which is now being used to mix and master projects in the immersive audio format, primarily for release on Pure Audio Blu-ray.

The system installed at MSM Studios exceeds the required specifications for Dolby Atmos certification and includes a 9.1.4 loudspeaker set up consisting of PMC IB2S (Left, Center, Right) and DB1 (Surround and Height), as well as three PMC SB100 subwoofers. The control room includes HD film projection and was calibrated by internationally renowned acoustician Jochen Veith, of JV Acoustics, to provide a transparent and homogeneous soundstage for all musical challenges.

With mixing in Dolby Atmos becoming increasingly important, MSM Studio’s owner and managing director Stefan Bock believes that offering a fully certified environment is the best way to emphasise professional standards and address his customers’ needs.

“We want to face the challenge of Dolby Atmos with the necessary seriousness, professionalism and the highest quality standards,” he explains. “Our customers can rely on the fact that they will find a defined playback situation in our studio – and one that is based on exceptional monitoring from PMC. Furthermore, the end consumer can be sure that the Blu-ray audio they hear at home is exactly what we mixed in the studio.”

Known for decades for high quality media productions, MSM Studios sees great potential in media on demand services that create and broadcast sophisticated TV productions with a Dolby Atmos stream. Bock believes that the number of music productions published on Pure Audio Blu-ray containing a Dolby Atmos mix will also rise, and this is a key reason why MSM Studios group is specializing in this high data rate format that can be played on any standard Blu-ray player and can store up to 50GB of sound, video and multimedia content.

Bock recently worked with PMC to create a Pure Blu-ray version of tracks fromMiles Davis’ 1959 jazz album Kind of Blue and 1960 Sketches of Spain, which had been remixed into Dolby Atmos at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. The tracks were then used by PMC to demo its Hi-Fi speakers at the 2019 High End show in Munich last month.

“Blu-ray authoring is part of MSM Studio’s service portfolio, and test Blu-rays can be created at any time to check and evaluate the final audiovisual experience,” Bock says. “We can listen to the Blu-ray under controlled conditions. Apart from that, we have a consumer system and a sound bar, so we can simulate at home listening situations.”

www.msm-studios.com

www.pmc-speakers.com

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PRS Foundation’s Writer Producer Fund is open again for another round, but make sure you get your applications in before the deadline of 24th June. The fund provides an opportunity for songwriters and writer-producers working in popular music genres to further develop their careers and writing/production credits with grants of up to £10,000 available.

Applicants must have at least 3 commercially exploited works – this means a work that has been performed live, has received media coverage or radio play, and/or has been released via commercial channels. For those without evidence of commercially exploited works, we will ask you to name at least 5 credited works registered with PRS for Music.

Applicants must submit at least 3 works for consideration and advisors will listen to at least 2 submitted works. Activity supported is likely to cover a number of areas, which combined will support your career development.
Click here for details of how to apply:

www.prsfoundation.com

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UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom has given “provisional” approval to plans that would enable shows to be available on the BBC iPlayer for longer. The BBC will be allowed to keep programmes on its iPlayer service for up to a year after they are first broadcast rather than the current 30 days, in an attempt to help the corporation compete with Netflix. Under the current system, the first episode of a popular series often vanishes from iPlayer before the final programme has been shown, meaning there is no option to “binge watch” an entire series as a box set. The BBC also won approval for children’s programmes to remain on iPlayer for up to five years, creating an archive of material aimed at parents and younger viewers.

The BBC helped create modern catch-up streaming services when it launched iPlayer in 2007, in 2014 iPlayer had a 40% share of the UK streaming video market, but this has declined to 15% following the dramatic growth of Netflix and other VOD streaming services. In April 2019 the BBC published a submission report proposing that most shows would be available for up to a year by default, after which point many programmes would then become available on the forthcoming paid-for BritBox service. In its submission, the BBC steered Ofcom to the conclusion that there is no chance it will be able to catch up with Netflix in British online market share: “The proposals will simply allow the BBC to stop the continued decline we expect to see over the next five years.”

Younger viewers are turning to Netflix for programme recommendations but generally only watch iPlayer when they have missed a specific show. The BBC says there is no sign that younger audiences will return to viewing traditional TV channels as they get older, meaning the corporation’s future relies on making iPlayer more popular. “We expect that, unless we can do something to make our offer more relevant to our audiences, over time this may lead to people turning away from the BBC for good, challenging the core purpose of the BBC to provide a universal service.”

The availability of individual programmes on iPlayer may also depend on negotiations with independent production companies who produce shows for the BBC. Many BBC programmes are likely to transfer to the forthcoming paid-for BritBox service after 12 months, which will require an additional subscription on top of the licence fee. All of these future changes will have ramifications for composers and producers who license music to the BBC and independent production companies.

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

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The newly-founded triumvirate of software developers United Plugins has released three plug-ins, one designed by each developer. They are FireSonic’s FireCobra, SounDevice Digital’s Royal Compressor and JMG Sound’s Hyperspace.

The FireCobra processor is designed to make your tracks punchier and better-sounding. One of its key features is an algorithm named Intensify, which relies on an analysis of input audio to make the output “tighter and fuller”, according to United. You’ll also be able to dial in additional punch with the plug-in’s Smack feature. Modelled on ‘vintage analogue devices’, this feature introduces a harmonic distortion that’s described as pleasing and authentic.

As a ‘highly-optimised plug-in’ designed to make most efficient use of the host computer’s CPU (Central Processing Unit) and also exploiting the newest AVX2 and AVX512 architectures, the 64-bit processing FireCobra can be applied to multiple tracks to best bring out difficult to perceive elements of a mix while attenuating those that tend to drown out others, at sampling rates of 192 kHz or higher.

Royal Compressor is inspired by a vintage, Beatles-era unit. At its core is a simulation of Vari-Mu circuits which contributes to warm and pleasant compression, according to United Plugins. The compressor features three circuit types – A, B and C – which offer different fixed attack values. Controls include an automatic gain control and emulated valve saturation.

Hyperspace is a customisable algorithmic reverb with six modes: Vintage, Classic, Retro, Modern, Sci-Fi and Cosmic. The plug-in lets the user create reverb algorithms by combining emulations of vintage plates and classic hardware as well as otherworldly textures. The reverb effect can be further tailored to your mix with additional built-in mixing tools including spectral noise separation, transient recovery and ducking. Three dice symbols are smart randomisers that dial in useful settings for great-sounding reverbs in just one click, from subtly changing the character of an existing sound or unleashing chaos to surprise and inspire, while the wide range of onboard presets programmed by professional sound designers and producers truly showcase the sonic beauty of HyperSpace, however users choose to use them — whether for convenience or as an inspirational starting point without slowing down their creative workflow.

All three plug-ins are available to purchase for a time-limited introductory promo price of €77.00 throug June 2019 — rising thereafter to €129.00 (compatible with 32-and 64-bit VST hosts, 32- and 64-bit VST3 hosts, 32- and 64-bit AU hosts, and 32- and 64-bit AAX hosts) directly from United Plugins.

www.unitedplugins.com

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