Delta Sound Discover The Power of Ovation

Posted in: News- Jun 10, 2014

DELTA SOUND DISCOVER THE POWER OF OVATION

Merging’s Event Sequencer ticks the box for leading sound company

 

Huge events are the norm for Delta Sound but when faced with a major product launch in an aircraft hangar, additional challenges faced the sound design team.  Appointed by Brand Experience Agency; Jack Morton Worldwide, the size of the venue was not the only problem because significant movement was also involved, requiring 24 surround sound zones plus significant LFE.  This was achieved with 12 powerful yet detailed point source speakers either side of the seating block and enough strategically placed subwoofers to thrill the audience. This system was mirrored on the other side of the ‘catwalk’ style staging to complete the 24 zones.

This was not something that could be easily managed with the existing portfolio of equipment, so the search began for something that could do the job. The Delta team had encountered Pyramix being used at the London Olympics in 2012 and wondered if that was the answer.  In fact, the combination of a Merging Ovation Sequencer with MassCore and a Horus Networked Audio Converter provided the ideal blend of flexibility, creativity and audio quality and it includes Pyramix as the backbone of the system. It was also possible to use Ovation Native to work off site and to provide “belt and braces” back up for the event.

Complex video projection was also involved and the VYV Photon was the one chosen but, as always, making sure that the audio and video were perfectly together was vital. This was simply achieved by locking the Ovation to incoming timecode from the Photon and the timed cues would automatically trigger in the correct audio zone. The value of having Pyramix editing on the same computer showed itself in the rehearsals. The ability to quickly edit and adjust the cues in Pyramix saved a huge amount of time. Once everything is finalised, the project can be instantly pushed to Ovation for rock solid playout with the output matrix handling the separate audio feeds. The Ovation Native safety computer had the USB Sync card added so it could also handle the incoming timecode from the video server.

Initial sound design and surround movements were made at Delta’s East Molesey studio. A 12.1 speaker array was set up and the compilation of the audio tracks could begin using Pyramix. Delta Sound Project Manager, Davey Williamson was operating and programming the Pyramix under direction from independent sound designer David Brown. Having access to the original music stems from the composer was a real bonus and allowed for a lot more creative freedom.  “I knew that Pyramix would work well having seen it at the Olympics, but the Ovation playout programming was a revelation and very intuitive to set up. David was easily convinced with the platforms as we worked together on the programming in the studio.  Now we have completed a very successful project and I know what this system can really do, we are bidding for new projects with Ovation and Horus very much in mind. Ovation opens up a lot of new creative possibilities when you are designing a complex event.”

Ovation system supplied by Emerging Ltd.

Delta Sound is a professional audio and communications supplier which offers unparalleled quality of service and support across its range of services, which include sound design, professional equipment rental & sales and communication systems.Delta Sound is an established company with over 25 years trading history. We have operations in London, Dubai and Qatar. www.deltasound.co.uk

 

 

NBC Uses Merging’s Ovation for Sochi

Posted in: News- Feb 18, 2014

Sochi, February 2014: Ovation has been gaining fans in the broadcast community in North America for the last two years. An early adopter was NBCSN at their Sports Center in Stanford, Connecticut.  The initial order for four Ovation systems and four Horus units proved the advantages of managing the playout requirements in this way. The equipment list for Sochi for NBC Olympics included three more Ovations and another three Horus. The full suite of digital I/O and RAVENNA remote control of the routing and configuration of Horus allows for easy set up and high quality output.

The Ovation/Horus set is connected to the Calrec Artemis consoles via AES/EBU, with the dedicated keyboard controller located next to the console surface. The Primetime show’s theme music is cued on Ovation with a live voice over channel and “bumpers” in and out of the commercial breaks. Any stings or highlight music cues are also pre-configured in Ovation and fired from the keypad when needed. This controller is one of many different user interfaces for Ovation; touch screen, web browsers or conventional keyboard and mouse can also be deployed as the client prefers.

Dennis Gaines from Independent Audio, Merging’s US distributor was lucky enough to be included in the crew for the International Broadcast Centre.  His role was to train the freelance operators on the programming and operation of Ovation as well as checking that the installation was all correct and fully operational. One problem that was encountered early was the inability of some other playout devices to accept a variety of audio file formats. Ovation can not only handle any incoming file format but it can also convert those files to alternatives with different sampling rates as needed.

Freelance A1, Rick Smith was one of the trainees and had never encountered Ovation before.  After becoming aware of the flexibility but simplicity of the device, he was moved to say: “I have seen the future of broadcast playout and its name is Ovation. Fortunately, it is available now!” Dennis Gaines remarked: “It has been a blast being in Sochi even though I had to leave before the Games opened because there was nothing else to do! The systems were all up and running and the guys were fully up to speed, so now I can watch the end result on the TV at home.”

Merging resellers for Russia, Avallon supplied the audio installation for the main Fischt Arena where the incredible opening ceremony took place. Horus units were deployed to handle additional input signals and routing between the different systems.  In this case, Horus was connected to the Stagetec Nexus via MADI and the audio was controlled by the Stagetec Auratus-24 located high up in the stadium to give the operators an excellent view of the arena. This was the first Horus installation made by the Avallon engineers and they found it simple and intuitive to set up. To quote Sergey Vashchenko, the President of Avallon: “This is an extremely good product. We have now specified Horus for several football stadiums for the 2018 World Cup which is taking place in our country.”

Claude Cellier, President of Merging Technologies remarked: “We have enjoyed a consistent presence at various recent Olympic Games with Pyramix for the big ceremonies and now Horus and Ovation being used in vital situations. It is a nice reward for the hard work of my engineering team to see our products being used at such high profile events.”

Close up Ovation screen in NBC control room

Horus and Ovation

New VB-Audio C10 plugin for DXD/DSD

Posted in: News- Nov 02, 2013
VB-Audio C10 compressor plugin redesigned for DXD/DSD

VB-Audio C10 compressor plugin redesigned for DXD/DSD

The VB-Audio C10-Limiter plugin (designed by French wizard, Vincent Burel back in 1999) has been brought up to date to now support DSD/DXD in Pyramix. The C10 is a 10 band Compressor / Limiter based on original FIR filters  that performs a perfect signal extraction over 10 octaves. It allows the user to manage these 10 bands independently (or in groups) to apply different processes: gain, phase, stereo micro delay, compression and limiting, with total control of the  result thanks to its integrated display showing all levels and phase correlations per band. The C10, endowed with its non resonant and phase linear filters, is perfectly dedicated to high sample rate audio processing. Its 10 bands will let you master DSD media as never before by letting you keep control of the noise floor (typically located in the last band and to a lesser extent the second last.).

The C10-DXD graphic user interface has also been redesigned to bring clarity and better visibility of control and knobs. C10-DXD works only on MassCore (or Native) Systems, while the previous C10-Limiter pack is still available for Mykerinos users. This upgrade has also been possible thanks to Marcel Gerardts and Jochem Geene of Studio Van Schuppen who tested and validated C10DXD during this summer with different DXD and DSD projects.

Studio Van Schuppen is located at Veenendaal, between Utrecht and Arnhem in The Netherlands and has enthusiastically embraced the Pyramix/Horus workflow since 2012. Marcel Gerardts takes up the story: “During my 10+ years of involvement in pop, jazz and rock recordings, I always struggled with how to optimally combine my (high end) analogue studio gear with the flexible, yet poorer sounding, (pc-based) digital recording facilities. Last year, I decided to migrate to Merging Technologies’ Pyramix / Horus platform and, in so doing, entered the world of high-resolution recordings. At first, I found myself celebrating the obvious advantages of this format, but I soon found out that collecting tools capable of processing this material while preserving the intrinsic quality of the sound, was a big challenge.

 At the beginning of 2013, I discovered Vincent Burel’s (VB-Audio) plug-ins, started testing them and soon found myself ordering the “full pack”, as this appeared to be the ultimate solution to maintain the sonic quality of the source material while proving more than efficient in handling all aspects of the sound. By then, my main problem was that not all plug-ins were capable of dealing with the DXD format I wanted to use for my projects. I especially regretted the fact the C10 Limiter did not support DXD. I discussed matters with Vincent and he decided to help me out by preparing a DXD version of the C10 as well as migrating other plug-ins. To me, the upgraded C10-DXD is the most sophisticated sound designer / mastering tool available today. At the heart of its engine, the extremely smooth and transparent extraction and summing of 10 frequency bands provides a solid and reliable base for all per frequency band processing. Having 10 well-chosen frequency bands at one’s disposal, is for me the optimum solution in being able to separate out all the individual challenges whilst still preserving the overall configuration. Like all the dynamics modules of VB-Audio, both the compressor and limiter on each band are very efficient, controllable and transparent, and can be observed meticulously via the included monitoring screen. The extensive functionality to control the stereo image may require some experimentation in the beginning, but proves to be very subtle and effective in the end.

Nowadays, I use the C10-DXD on a daily basis as my main instrument for shaping the overall sound of my recordings and controlling the dynamic behavior of my productions, without the nasty side effects I’ve been struggling with for so many years. It allows me to achieve appropriate loudness levels in a superb way, while maintaining the detail and clarity that comes with the high-resolution format.”

 

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Invest In Horus

Posted in: News- Oct 25, 2013
In the control room recording the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

In the control room with CSO Resound

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Grammy®-winning independent record label, CSO Resound, has recorded with Pyramix for many years, so there was obvious interest in Horus when it was announced. The original Pyramix decision was based on sonic quality and the superior editing and mixing tools available in comparison with other DAWs on the market. The fact that Horus offered another level of improvement and also combined superb mic preamps and converters in the single unit allowed a simplification of the signal path.

The new equipment was installed in time to record the CSO’s September and October concerts which were conducted by its world-renowned music director, Riccardo Muti, for eventual radio broadcast and commercial release. It also was used to transmit a livestream worldwide webcast of a performance of Verdi’s Requiem on October 10th.  As of October 14, 61,000 people saw the performance, and the number continues to grow.

The initial reaction to these recordings has been extremely favorable. The three Horus units are RAVENNA networked which offers significant operational advantages, allowing remote control of the mic pres and routing of all digital signal paths. The new recording system was planned and designed by Grammy winning engineers Shawn Murphy and Tim Martyn who, along with engineer Charlie Post were also the recording team on these sessions. The audio producer credit belongs to eleven-time Grammy winner David Frost, also a long-time Pyramix user. In addition to the commitment made by the orchestra toward this new recording technology, the CSO also engaged John Storyk, from the multiple award-winning studio design firm Walters/Storyk Design Group, to design a beautiful new control room. The project was overseen by Marc Geelhoed, who heads up the orchestra’s CSO Resound record label.

Tim Martyn is a seasoned Pyramix user and operates his own recording facility, Phoenix Audio, from his New York area base.  He offered this comment on the CSO installation: “We normally record at 24/96 resolution and we have been extremely impressed with how Horus sounds compared with our other top quality mic pres and converters, but another key reason we decided to go with Horus is because of the flexibility of digital I/O which the unit affords us. We can run all of the microphone connections via RAVENNA, but still take double-MADI out of the system to run into our Yamaha DM2000 console for the monitor mix. Then we can quickly turn around and do an in-the-box mix for post-production, using the DM2000 as a Pyramix controller.”

“The CSO has used Pyramix DAWs for many years, not only because of overall better sonics, but also because of the superior editing and mixing tools available,” noted Geelhoed. “This, along with Horus’ superior mic preamps and converters, made moving forward to the new generation of Merging hardware a relatively easy decision.”

Penta 721 goes on tour with Jamiroquai

Posted in: News- Aug 23, 2013

NTP Technology’s new Penta 721 routing and networking interface went into action recently, chosen for use during a stage tour across South America by British acid jazz band Jamiroquai. The group’s tour director and front-of-house engineer, Rick Pope, became aware of the Penta 721’s capabilities during a presentation by NTP Technology sales director Mikael Vest at the Audio Network Conference in connection with the ISE 2013 show in Amsterdam.

“We used the Penta 721 at a total of 11 gigs all over South America, starting in Buenos Aires,” explains the group’s front-of-house technician Warren Grimsley. “It enabled us to access Avid Pro Tools from our Yamaha CL-5 sound mixer. The system was used both for sound checks and recording. The 721 is very compact, easy to install, easy to operate and very reliable. The sound passing through the system proved absolutely transparent.”

The Penta 721 allows a full-bandwidth uncompressed audio routing network to be established quickly and easily. This makes it ideal for use in permanent installations, at temporary stage venues or for outside-broadcasts. Its IP audio networking capability offers more flexible and less costly networking than point-to-point digital audio systems. The IP audio protocol used in the Penta 721 is powered by Audinate Dante technology and is compatible with Dante-compliant third-party products.

Formed in 1992, Jamiroquai was a prominent element of the London-based acid jazz movement. Subsequent albums have explored other musical directions such as pop, rock and electronica. The group’s best known track is ‘Virtual Insanity’ which won four awards at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. Jamiroquai has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and won a Grammy Award in 1998. The original band was Jay Kay (vocals), Toby Smith (keyboard), Stuart Zender (bass), Nick Van Gelder (drums), Wallis Buchanan (didgeridoo) and Alec Moran (pipeau). The lineup of the band has changed several times. Longest serving and now core members of the band are lead singer and songwriter Jason Kay and drummer Derrick McKenzie.

About NTP Technology

NTP Technology (www.ntp.dk) produces high-reliability audio routing and signal processing systems for major international broadcasters, audio mastering and editing studios. NTP products are integrated into television and radio stations as well as production centres, post production facilities and outside broadcast vehicles. Based in Copenhagen, NTP is part of Dan Technologies Group, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of audio, video, transmission products and digital media solutions.

Find out more about the NTP Technology Penta products.

Pyramix 8.1

Posted in: News- Aug 19, 2013

Merging Technologies continue to push the boundaries of the capture and editing of digital audio.

Background Recording

Pyramix 8.1 offers a new methodology for capturing sound. Merging Technologies have introduced the concept of multiple background recorders in Pyramix – found in the Transport window.

Up to 4 Background Recorders can be initiated within a project and all of them are fully featured multitrack recorders – each with their own record mixer where plugins can be used either to record EQ or other FX “to track”.

Furthermore each Recorder can record to a different drive location and in a different format (BWF, PMF, DSDIFF and MTFF).

Edit, Mix + Master in Record

The background recorders introduce another game-changing tool.

Once you have started to record from one (or more) of the background recorders, you can now drag those current recordings onto the timeline and begin to edit, mix and master the audio whilst it is being captured!

Multiple “in record” files can be placed on the timeline together and be mixed with media already on your hard disks and while the recording continues, the file can be set to increase its length incrementally, auto-updating the timeline.

More Features:
Pre and Post FX Recording

Now in Pyramix 8.1 you can choose whether to record before or after VST and VS3 Plugins.

Record Pre-Buffering

Record pre-buffering feature provides a minute of safety where the environment is recorded even if Pyramix is not in record.

New Take Logger/Metadata Tool

The new Take logger and Metadata tool in the Pyramix Media Manager makes naming and note taking easier than ever.

Interleaved, Multi-mono and Strip Split Recordings

Introducing a new file recording option allows users to split a recording by channel strip type. Mono channels recorded to mono files, Stereo channels to stereo files and Multichannel tracks to multichannel files.

DSD256 and DXD Recording

Pyramix 8.1 combines with the Horus Networked Audio Interface to provide DXD and 384kHz PCM and the world’s first hardware and software combination capable of DSD256. At 4x the resolution of the SACD standard (DSD64); it offers the truest representation of an analogue signal ever.

Horus Mic Pre Control

In Pyramix 8.1, Horus Mic-Pre levels are controlled directly from Pyramix. Gain, Phantom Power, HPF and Phase can be adjusted from the internal mixer.The latest Horus firmware also enables Horus’ Mic Pre’s to be controlled from the UI of Pro Tools 10 Mic-Pre section.

Download Pyramix 8.1

http://www.merging.com/download

Pyramix 8 and DAD AX32 Nominated in Resolution Awards!

Posted in: News- Jul 26, 2013

Pyramix 8 and DAD AX32 Nominated in the Resolution Awards!

 

Voting is now under way for the Resolution Magazine Awards. This year sees the introduction of Resolution Creative Awards categories to recognise the achievements of the individuals in music recording, broadcast and post. Only registered Resolution readers are eligible to vote online .

Merging Technologies Pyramix 8 is nominated in the DAW category whilst the Digital Audio Denmark AX32 has been nominated in the Interface category.

Upon logging in you will see a link to the Resolution Awards Voting page. Each reader can vote once and has a maximum of seven votes to cast in the Product Categories. This limit has been set to encourage considered voting. Readers can vote in all the Creative Awards Categories.

Voting will close in the middle of September and the winners will be announced in a special Winners Supplement in the October issue of Resolution.

Find out more about: Merging Technologies Pyramix 8 

Find out more about: Digital Audio Denmark AX32

Los Angeles Philharmonic Invest In Horus & Pyramix

Posted in: News- May 30, 2013

World famous Los Angeles Philharmonic invests in Pyramix/Horus Combination

The remarkable Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall recently made recordings of notable challenge and complexity for the recording engineer, featuring the orchestra conducted by their Music Director, Gustavo Dudamel, released on the Deutsche Grammophon label in multiple digital formats as the latest in the LA Phil Live series.

Pyramix and the Horus Networked Audio Converters were chosen in this particular instance, with Friedemann Engelbrecht from Teldex Studio in Berlin as producer and engineer Enno Mäemets from Editroom Oy in Helsinki. Enno is a Pyramix convert since 2006 and has used Merging Technologies’ flagship products on many recordings with Esa-Pekka Salonen, the LA Phil’s Conductor Laureate. Enno’s connection with the orchestra goes back to a recording of Witold Lutosławski’s First Symphony made in the hall to complete the cycle of Lutosławski’s symphonic works started some years ago by Maestro Salonen and recently released by Sony Classical. When asked to record the latest concerts with Gustavo Dudamel, Enno wanted the Merging items to be delivered in time for the first recording of La Mer by Debussy and Stravinsky’s The Firebird which commenced on February 25th. This was rapidly edited and mixed and delivered to Bernie Grundman Mastering for immediate release in March 2013.

Enno Mäemets explains his choice of equipment thus;

“Today we have to record, edit, and mix and master these projects very quickly and Pyramix is the only feasible choice for this. In addition, Merging are the only company offering a choice of high end recording formats so we can respond to requests for DSD or DXD delivery as well as 192 or 96 kHz PCM. The big bonus with Horus is that, as in most symphony halls, we have to suspend microphones from the roof. We can have a Horus in the roof that handles 16 mics and a second Horus on the stage with an additional 24 mics and 8 return lines. The RAVENNA connection means that these are connected and controlled by a single Cat 6 cable so we can set up the levels, filters and routing from the control room and have the microphone cables as short as possible. This is really a breakthrough.”

“We are excited to have Pyramix and Horus as part of our arsenal.  It provides us a top-notch system to capture a variety of recording projects with a range of size and scope,” commented Chris Ayzoukian, Vice President of Philharmonic and Production for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Main Image. Gustavo Dudamel conducting the LA Philharmonic in Walt Disney Hall. Copyright, Vern Evans and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

Pyramix and Horus units on session for the recording.

Pyramix and Horus units on session for the recording.

Super Audio Mastering Trust Trinnov

Posted in: News- May 29, 2013

Impressed with the elegance and quality of Trinnov Audio room optimisation, Simon Heyworth of Super Audio Mastering has chosen to install a system in his world renowned mastering studio.

Simon Heyworth began his audio career back in the early days of Richard Branson’s  Virgin Records empire at The Manor Studios in 1970, where he would soon establish his reputation as engineer and co-producer on the 15 million selling album, Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells”.

This flying start has led to a prestigious 40 year career in the music industry including collaborations with artists such as Brian Eno, King Crimson, Imogen Heap, Marillion, Nick Drake, Depeche Mode, Simple Minds and many more.

Having established himself as a Mastering engineer in London at both Chop’em Out and Sanctuary and also  in Belgium at Galaxy Studios, during the summer of 2002 Simon setup his own state-of-the-art Mastering facility, Super Audio Mastering in Devon, South West England which is now considered one of the world’s finest Mastering Studios.

Q & A with Simon Heyworth

How did you first hear about Trinnov?

“I was talking to Paul Mortimer from eMerging about new gear and the discussion shifted towards a French brand he now distributes in the UK called Trinnov Audio whom have developed a room and speaker optimization system”.

What were you thinking at the time?

“The final bits of acoustic room treatment can often mean the use of equalizers across the monitoring system. Once one has sorted out all the timing and phase issues with the room using physical room acoustics, one may still need to complete more work on these issues and how the monitors interact with the surfaces within the space (console, equipment etc). I was interested to see how real-time DSP 3D room/speaker optimization technology could work, as it involves A-D’s and D-A’s between the output of the console and the power amps”.

Was it worth giving it a try?

“Absolutely! Although I was very sceptical at first it must be said. This kind of system has been around for a while but there has never been the combination of computing power, high quality A-D’s and enough elegant algorithms to make it all work coherently.

So, Paul came down to the Studio to demo the system. We set about taking readings using the Trinnov 3D mic and tweaking the system to suit our needs. From the outset it was clear that the A-D and D-A’s were of a very high quality. To be absolutely certain we switched out all the DSP processing just to listen to the A-D/D-A conversion and they were really transparent. So much so that I was tempted to use them as Mastering A-D’s as well, to add to our arsenal.

Since our initial aim with the Trinnov was to get our Dunlavy SC-V’s to work in this room I was very surprised to find that after a little over 5 minutes of room calibration and some detailed listening to a few choice reference records, the improvement of the stereo image and the low end control was obvious. I soon realized that I was finally getting to hear these speakers in the way I first heard them in various Mastering facilities in the USA. By the end of the day I seriously started thinking that the Trinnov could be a very good addition to our monitoring system”.

What are your other monitors of choice?

“I have traditionally used TDL Reference Series over the years for my Stereo Mastering work and M&K MPS-2510’s in a 5.1 Surround array for my Surround work”.

How do you think the Trinnov system will affect the way you work?

“I don’t think I will do anything different as a Mastering engineer, it will just enable Andy and I to hear what is going on even more clearly. Through Trinnov you hear it flatter – truer than it was before, which is good, but it does not necessarily mean you use it to create a completely flat sounding room. The target curve feature and the realtime graphic equalizer allows one to tailor the sound to have an accurate but also pleasant/exciting sounding room for our clients to spend time in. Also, as we have the 3D Trinnov microphone we are able to check the room alignment on regular basis”.

Would you recommend Trinnov?

“Yes. The overall soundstage is now more stable but one definitely needs to listen to it and take time to see how it can improve the accuracy of your listening space. I don’t think people should be scared of it. As I mentioned earlier, I was very sceptical about what it would do to the sound adding another conversion and DSP into the chain but quite simply, I want people to be able to experience this room in an exciting but accurate way and hear what their mix  really sounds like on a big or small system. Trinnov has provided me with an elegant way of achieving this”.

Trinnov Optimizer MC

Trinnov Optimizer MC

 Click here to find out more about Trinnov Room Correction and Loudspeaker Optimisation Systems

Ovation & Dataton Watchout are in Sync

Posted in: News- May 22, 2013

South African Music Awards powered by Merging Technologies Ovation Media Server and Sequencer

Live events being recorded for broadcast are demanding ever more sophisticated audio visual and staging solutions. Awards shows in particular demand a smart projection system but until now the partnering audio solution was a bit of a mess. The Ghoemas Music Awards in South Africa had been considerably enhanced by the addition of Dataton’s WATCHOUT™ multi-image display and presentation software and local WATCHOUT Premium Partner, PENMAC Audio Visual advised that advanced audio could be efficiently integrated to best suit the customer’s needs. PENMAC’s Malcolm Finlay visited the Merging Technologies stand at ISE in January and was introduced to Ovation working seamlessly with WATCHOUT and providing a number of additional features that made this combination the ideal solution for the 2013 Awards on 14th April.

The two hour broadcast demanded 16 high quality audio feeds running alongside the WATCHOUT visuals and once the program was loaded onto both servers, all that was needed was to set the IP addressing, naming the audio track grouped file with the same names as the auxiliary timeline in WATCHOUT, then when you play the visuals, the audio follows in frame-accurate synchronization. If you prefer to use the Ovation as your master controller, Ovation will send triggers to the WATCHOUT timeline to keep the video content synchronized to the audio. Although communication is via TCP/IP, no programming is necessary because the drivers are already integrated into the main applications.

Malcolm Finlay had this to say about the outcome. “Our experience with the first outing of this Merging Technologies solution is that it ‘does what it says on the tin’. The initial (Ethernet) linkup between the two systems was achieved within five minutes and remained solid for the duration of the event. Other than the link to WATCHOUT, Ovation provides a great deal of flexibility to integrate audio with modern digital mixing consoles by way of any of the multichannel IP streaming audio platforms now available via fiber or copper. On this type of event, Ovation could also very simply extend its functionality into multi-track recording of the same event.”

“Aside from mainstream music applications, PENMAC is very excited about the new possibilities Ovation provides for surround sound multi-stream audio productions, particularly with a growing demand for stereoscopic productions. Literally hundreds of high quality audio streams are now possible to synchronize with your visual production. Theatres, museums and visitor centers can also benefit from this ‘audio on demand’ technology where not only digital communication triggers requests, but discrete contacts are also a means of instant content playback as and when required.”

The final word comes from event sound engineer, Murray Lubbe: “I always prefer to run a multitrack audio session with live performances as it provides good support, particularly on the backing vocals. At this event we used Ovation – synchronized to WATCHOUT – as the multitrack backup system and it was fantastic!”

 

Merging Technologies Horus Records DSD256

Posted in: News- May 17, 2013

The world’s highest resolution audio recording has been captured using Merging Technologies Horus. Using staggering 11.2MHz Direct Stream Digital or DSD 256, which is 256 times more than the temporal resolution of compact discs.

Five/Four Recording Producer Thomas Moore, Recording Engineer Robert Friedrich, and Assistant Engineer Ian Dobie travelled to Worcester, Massachusetts to record Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece Missa in Angustiis (Nelson Mass) Hob XXII:11, and Symphony No. 102 in B flat major Hob. I/102, with Martin Pearlman and Boston Baroque in the world-renowned acoustic of Mechanics Hall. The recording is tentatively planned for release in October, 2013 on the Linn Records label.

Five/Four Productions sees this recording as a quantum leap in high resolution recording technology that promises to deliver to the consumer the most realistic sound reproduction to date. 11.2 MHz Direct Stream Digital technology is a digital platform that utilizes a 1-bit ultra-high sampling frequency that results in a recording that is 256 times the temporal resolution of CD.

The transmission of many ultra high resolution audio channels is only possible using RAVENNA Audio over IP networking technology employed by Horus and Pyramix. Multiple audio streams plus control information is connected with a single Cat5e/6 cable and uses standard network components.

Recording Producer Thomas Moore commented that Five/Four always strives to capture sound in the most natural and realistic manner that reproduces pure and true. To be able to merge the sounds of period instruments and singers with this very modern technology is the perfect way for us to deliver the most realistic audio experience, just as if you were standing with the performers among you.

Five/Four Recording Engineer Robert Friedrich said Recording to Direct Stream Digital has always been a must for us to deliver the most revealing and accurate sound. Taking DSD from 2.8 MHz to 11.2 MHz doesn’t just step it up to the next level, it catapults it!

“I am excited that Boston Baroque could be part of this landmark recording,” remarked Martin Pearlman, Music Director of Boston Baroque. “Capturing the detailed nuances and transparency of our period instruments has always been important to us, and now it is possible on a higher level than ever before.”

Merging Technologies Horus

Merging Technologies Horus

If super high sampling rate recording is not your bag, Horus can be fitted with Standard AD/DA modular cards supporting the earthly sample rates of 44.1-192 KHz.

In this configuration you can still access the same world-class AD and DA stages, RAVENNA network connectivity, MADI and AES I/O.

Find out more: http://www.emerginguk.com/?portfolio=horus

Julian Gough – Portable Heaven for Noises Off

Posted in: News- May 17, 2013

After a year of operating as a freelance sound supervisor, one inescapable truth was becoming more obvious to Julian Gough; production budgets were decreasing.  One of the major costs of any outside broadcast is supplying the vehicles, but as technology has continued to provide higher quality in smaller packages, a number of video hire companies were offering a complete set of cameras and associated vision mixers and accessories in flight cases.  This then left the audio requiring large mixers and racks of gear which would normally be housed in a specialist audio truck.  Could the audio rig be dealt with in a similar way?  A meeting with eMerging at the 2012 BVE event provided the answer.

Mr Gough had used Pyramix many times during his time with the BBC so that part of the puzzle seemed relatively easy to solve but how to get a mixer, speakers, microphones, microphone preamplifiers and all the other items into a standard estate car? Also on display on the stand was the Tango 2 from Smart AV which only had 8 faders but was able to access many more channels with relative ease.  If this was used to control the powerful mixer within Pyramix, this might also work but that still left a lot to cram into the car.  Another item on display caught Julian’s eye.  This was the soon to be released, Horus Networked Audio Converter from Merging Technologies.  Once the concept of Horus had been explained including the enormous convenience of operating on the RAVENNA network, the last piece of the puzzle had been solved.  The reduction in size, reduction in cable and the convenience of the in-built routing made a big difference but the real joy was that Horus also had high-quality mic pres that could be remotely controlled so yet more boxes could be saved. If this was the solution, there were only two snags, Horus was not shipping yet and this little bundle was going to be costly enough to need some additional finance.

By the end of a busy summer for Noises Off both these problems had been solved.  Not only was Horus available and it had already picked up a cluster of industry awards but media finance specialists, Fineline, had accepted the business plan and advanced the cash needed to get this project off the ground. In October a booking came in to record the perennial BBC Sunday night “Songs of Praise” in the crypt of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.  It had been decided that the carry-in option would be easier and less costly but that meant that this whole rig had to be ordered, delivered, put together, tested and the new equipment mastered in a few weeks, all whilst other assignments were being undertaken.

The challenge was also on for eMerging staff who were tasked to build a fully specified PC for the Pyramix, in the smallest possible box without fan noise. The recording took place on 26th November and went almost without a hitch.  All the gear worked fine but the room used to monitor the sound was acoustically challenging and using unfamiliar speakers meant that some mixing decisions had been made that were not optimal. Julian Gough takes up the story; “I was confident that everything would work technically but mixing in an in an unknown and uncontrolled acoustic was always going to be a challenge. I had foreseen this and purchased portable acoustic treatment, sadly they had been delivered damaged and not having enough time to get them replaced, I had to leave them at home. In addition, the programme recording schedule meant we had very little rehearsal time with the choir and musicians in situ before we had to go for a take. I also had to get used to mixing in the box with a controller, quite a step from using a conventional mixer. The whole ‘in-the-box’ Merging solution worked well and delivered the sort of low latency figures that are essential for this sort of work. Having a built in multitrack recorder is a huge advantage and gave me the option to do a little bit of re-mixing back at my place which resolved the minor monitoring issues and the end result sounds excellent.  Now that I have proof of concept, my challenge for the New Year is to really launch this service properly and do some marketing.”  He continues; “What is certain is that the pressures on production budgets is going to be just as severe next year and going forward, so Noises Off is offering a more cost-effective solution without compromising the end result.”

BVE2013 News

Posted in: News- Mar 01, 2013

Emerging Stand BVE2013

 

The Merging Technologies’ Horus operating with ASIO drivers was a talking point amongst show-goers, as was debating Dante vs. Ravenna protocols for sending audio over IP.

The brand new Digital Audio Denmark AX32 and NTP Technologies’ Penta 720 and 721 with Dante connectivity represented a new generation of audio router and audio distribution interfaces. Whilst the Trinnov Audio SmartMeter V3 demonstrated the first time code aware loudness metering allowing total program loudness to be calculated at any time.

Further stand highlights included:

If you desire or require more information about any of the above, do not hesitate to call 0208 941 6547 or email sales@emerginguk.com.

Pyramix 8.0 Released

Posted in: News- Jan 03, 2013

We are proud to present the release of Pyramix Virtual Studio Version 8, among a raft of new features and improvements; it is the first DAW in the world to natively support RAVENNA Audio over IP.

Key Features & Improvements

• RAVENNA Support for MassCore and Native
– Connect directly to the MassCore audio engine or use our generic 32/64bit ASIO driver – which allows any Pyramix user to access the power of Audio over IP with RAVENNA from ALC NetworX.
• New, more powerful MassCore
– Described as “the most powerful Audio Engine on the market”. Pyramix 8 now offers even more horsepower allowing for the use of multiple cores on 8 core CPU’s.
• Automation Enhancements
– Improvements to editing in source and destination mode and using VCA faders.
• PanNoir – Advanced Panning Plug-in
–  Free for all Music, Post and Mastering pack owners, find out more at: http://www.merging.com/products/show?product=1&page=99
• Enhanced Search Engine
– Refined speed and functionality.
• Timeline and User Interface Improvements
– Following user feedback there are new feature enhancements in the Meter Bridge, CD Import window, Time code ruler bar and the Track headers.
• Mixer Improvements
– Ability to add plugins to strips without the need to rebuild the mixer.

To download the Pyramix Virtual Studio 8.0 Installer you will need to log in or register at:

http://www.merging.com/pages/DownloadLoginPyramix8

To perform a full clean un-install of Version 7.x.x and install Version 8.0, please follow .PDF guide on our website: http://www.emerginguk.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Pyramix-V8-Upgrade-Guide.pdf

If you have any questions regarding upgrading to V8, do not hesitate to contact eMerging Support on 0208 941 6547 or 0208 941 1925 or support@emerginguk.com

Award winners made using Pyramix

Posted in: News- Jun 06, 2012

Following the string of Grammy® awards for classical recordings made on Pyramix, two notable performances by leading Polish musicians have collected more highly prestigious accolades.

The first is a collection of Schumann Piano Pieces issued on Virgin Classics which received the top prize in the instrumental category of the BBC Music Magazine Awards. This was played by the outstanding pianist Piotr Anderszewski. The recording was made in DXD format on Pyramix by CDAccord with Andrzej Sasin producing and Ola Nagorko as recording engineer and editor for the production.

The International Classical Musixc Awards ceremony took place in Nantes on 15th May 2012. The prize for the best contemporary work was presented to conductor Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra for a recording of the Penderecki Viola Concerto and Cello Concerto No. 2.  The soloists were Grigory Zhislin and Tatjana Vassiljeva and this was released on the Naxos label. The fact that the winning team was Andrzej Sasin and Ola Nagorko working with Pyramix again has made the Merging team immensely proud. All the more so because this section was hotly contested with fifteen nominated recordings from all over the world, including other pieces from Krzysztof Penderecki.

The ICMA jurors are music critics representing prestigious music magazines from all over Europe (such as “Scherzo”, “Musica”, “Crescendo”, “Viva Classica”, “Pizzicato”, “Music & Theater”). Awards are granted in 15 CD and DVD categories as well as 6 special categories.

“A truly notable result for Polish music and Polish performers in two hotly contested international competitions.” Said Igor Pogorzelski, Merging Technologies Distributor for Poland. “And the fact that so much was won using Pyramix makes us all the happier”.

Ovation at the Heart of Adam and Eve

Posted in: News- Jun 06, 2012

Ten years after the musical Les 10 Commandements, Pascal Obispo has returned to the Parisian theatre world at the Palais des Sports with his new show Adam et Eve la Seconde Chance.

 

At the time of pre-production, he had already shown confidence in Merging Technologies products by initially choosing Pyramix Virtual Studio to do the multi-track record and design of the audio for the entire show.

But Pyramix, whilst having a very trusted name in live recording, post production and music mastering, was not the perfect tool for the job of playout at the theatre. The ultimate tool has the ability to playback large scale multi-track audio – as Pyramix is perfectly capable of, but is also then able to playback those multi-tracks instantaneously.

This playback needs to be based not only on a spacebar being hit, but from incoming control triggers (MIDI, GPI, TCP/IP etc). It should also be more than capable of transmitting the same types of control protocols as outputs along with the sound. And if needed, it should playback two or more multi-tracks at the same time, through outputs which allow for summing of signal into stems.

The following is a close look at sound designer and audio engineer, Julien Tota and his experiences with Merging Technologies Ovation Media Server and Sequencer and how he realised the show of his dreams with Merging’s new theatre playout device.

Interview with Julien Tota

What is your role in this production?
I am responsible for the multi-track audio playout, sound effects design and synchronisation with action on the stage as well as timing commands with other control devices and the video operators.

What are the different stages of preparation for a muscial production such as this?
Generally, we have a preparation (or pre-production) phase, wherein we design and deliver multi-track audio from the studio and create a rough edit, formatting the music and sound effects for use in the show.
The second stage then starts as soon as the rehearsals begin and we then need to work constantly to change our initial edits to fit with the director’s vision.

So with this process, what difficulties have you been confronted with?
For starters, I am a Protools user and a Mac user, so starting this production with Pyramix made the summer we got going a tough one. As soon as this production is finished, I am signing up for a Pyramix training course.

So why did you go with Ovation then?
Throughout rehearsals I am required to edit and re-edit the multi-tracks that we bring from the studio. Before, I was using Protools for the editing I was also using AlesisHD 24 track recorders. So every time I needed to make an edit, I then had to record the multi-tracks back in, in real time! This was an almost sacrilegious waste of time when even after the premiere, Pascal Obispo was asking for more changes.

Even the slightest change in the structure of a piece, such as removing or adding a few bars became so tedious in the sense that I had to edit in one machine and transfer to another in real time.

With Ovation, I can instantly transfer a cue containing as many tracks as I need – Ovation is capable of containing cues with over 300 audio tracks embedded inside – into the Pyramix timeline on the same system. I can then make the required edit and then publish it right back to Ovation instantaneously! So, with Ovation I can respond quickly and easily to all the demands of the director as well as the front of house mix engineer, Bruno Viricel who rather needs adjustments to track gains and other audio specific parameters.

I can, for example, automate levels, pans, mutes, eq’s and more, using the mixer snapshots and recall with the internal Ovation mixer. After that, the programming of MIDI or GPIO – which is all they use on the production at this time – couldn’t be easier.

It has totally changed the way we work. And, I found out as well that a PC interface is just as intuitive as that other brand with the fruit on the front.

Merging Partners with Ross Video

Posted in: News- Jun 01, 2012
Integrating Ovation with OverDrive Boosts Systems Performance

Merging Technologies has partnered with video production technology industry leader, Ross Video to redefine production automation.

Ovation is a real time mix engine combined with a media server and playout sequencer, designed by the Swiss pro-audio/video manufacturer, Merging Technologies SA. Able to manage over 300 audio channels (live input and playback) through a maximum of 256 bus outputs, complete with EQ and dynamics processing, Ovation manages that and more in a compact 2U box.

Ovation’s PC-based audio mixer and GUI interfaces, has allowed Ross Video to incorporate the full audio system into their OverDrive control cockpit within it’s existing desktop space. Using the RAP protocol, they are able to use Vision audio modules and OverDrive to drive the audio engine directly while using the PC-based GUI supplied by Ovation to provide status and deep control.

“I am always so amazed what can happen from the most innocent and simple of beginnings,” says Johan Wadsten, the Ovation Product Manager at Merging Technologies. “After getting in touch with Ross to discuss the potential of allowing the OverDrive system to fire audio cues from the Ovation for a ‘cart player’ style scenario, we gave them a demo and they immediately became focused on our VS3 mix engine as a potential for vastly increasing the flexibility of an OverDrive installation. We are incredibly excited about this solution-based offering which combines both of our products and look forward to our continued work with the Ross team.”

“At Ross, we are always looking for new products to interface with. This year, we have partnered with Merging Technologies to show off their Ovation audio interface with OverDrive in our product suites at NAB,” says Allan Pepper, OverDrive Technical Marketing Product Manager with Ross Video. “Ovation provides a unique solution for production automation that results in smooth, scalable control over any size of automated audio production without needing a separate audio room.”

More details on Ovation here

Collegium uses DAD for Jubilee album

Posted in: News- Jun 01, 2012

Cambridge-based Collegium Records has expanded its 16-channel NTP DAD AX24 system to 24 channels for the production of a new album celebrating some of the choral music heard on royal occasions during the lifetime of HM Elizabeth II. The recording, ‘This is the Day: Music on royal occasions’, includes a newly orchestrated version of John Rutter’s celebratory royal wedding anthem, written for the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in 2011.

“We have been using a 16 channel DAD AX24 system for over three years,” comments composer, conductor, editor and record-producer John Rutter. “The AX24 incorporates high quality microphone pre-amplification and analog-to-digital conversion in a single system. Both processes are crucial when you are trying to capture an ultra-high quality mirror of an actual performance. Our new album was recorded at St Alban’s Cathedral and London’s Temple Church. Eight additional AX24 channels allowed us to field up to 24 microphones instead of the 16 which the system previously accommodated.

“Choral music can generate very fierce peaks which demand very forgiving mike pre-amps. Dual soprano parts in thirds, for example, tend to generate huge energy spikes. The DAD AX24’s pre-amps really do absorb them, are ultra-reliable and have very low internal noise. Choral distortion is also dependent on the analog-to-digital converter. Choirs generate all kinds of strange intermodulation artefacts and you absolutely don’t want to add any more. The AX24’s analog to digital converters are outstandingly transparent. Even before I used the pre-amp options, the AX24 sounded cleaner and clearer than the competition. It delivers the quality we require and is very light and portable.

“We record onto a Pyramix digital audio workstation using the AX24 system at its 44.1 kHz sampling rate which eliminates the need for subsequent downconversion. The AX24 gives us the capability of using sampling rates as high as 192 kilohertz which could be useful to match future audio publishing standards.”

For more information on the DAD AX24 Click Here

Horus wins best in show at NAB 2012

Posted in: News- Apr 27, 2012

Horus networked audio converter wins top prize from ProSound Network at NAB 2012

Las Vegas, 19th April 2012:- The Horus Networked Audio Interface, from Swiss manufacturer Merging Technologies, has won the “Best in Show” award from the ProSound Network at this year’s NAB show in Las Vegas. Selected by a panel consisting of the editors from Pro Sound News USA, The Pro Audio Review, Audio Media and Mix, the award is given to new or noteworthy products that display a “noteworthy merit”. The group of judges spent the entire duration of the show scouring the halls, looking through thousands of new pieces of broadcast equipment to be able to come up with the final winners. This marks the 4th accolade that the revolutionary new audio interface has received, and it only started shipping last week!

Claude Cellier, president of Merging Technologies had this to say: “We have spent a long and hard few years developing our new flagship audio interface. With so many different types of users to satisfy, from mastering and recording engineers, to broadcast technicians and theatre sound designers, we had to make sure that Horus was able to be the ultimate interface for all of these applications. We are immensely proud of what we have achieved technically and I can’t wait to let the global Merging community reap the benefits”.

 

For more details on Horus click here

TVA goes for Ovation

Posted in: News- Apr 12, 2012
Montreal broadcaster selects Merging’s Ovation for audio playback

French-Canadian broadcaster TVA has installed an Ovation MassCore Silver unit with a hot keyboard. Already firmly established as the superior media server and sequencer with many major European broadcasters, Ovation is gaining a firm foothold in the North American market. Orders just received in the past few weeks from one of the top broadcast companies in the USA gives further credibility to this choice.

“When I first saw the demo of the Ovation System at Sonotechnique in Montreal, I immediately saw what would be the replacement to our old Digicart machines. It was doing everything we were looking for: 5.1 and stereo cue playback, multiple simultaneous cue playout, file based audio ingest, multiple wrapper and audio codec support, ease of use, built in audio editor, IP network friendly, exellent feature/price ratio.” commented Jean-Luc Sauvageau, Senior Audio Engineer at TVA. “We have just installed our first system and started using it even before we received training from the distributor.”
The current plan is to use Ovation to fulfill all the needs for audio playback, whether live or automated, news cast, drama production, game show or variety show. The idea is to replace all other audio playback devices over a period of time.

Ovation 3.0 has already established its credentials in a variety of critical live applications where the ability to program and easily edit cues is mandatory.  This includes theme parks, theatres, live venues and large installations.  It is no surprise to find Ovation in critical playout situations in broadcast.  OB trucks in particular have found the Ovation to be the perfect answer to live audio playback during a show.  The same holds true for on air studio applications where absolute reliability and ease of use are the highest priorities.

Images

Ovation running at TVA

Operating Ovation at TVA

Ovation installed at TVA