Thursday October 27
I would like to thank Kyle Wesloh at Mpr for lending us The Neve 88R for this event. Also Rob from engineering, and Michael DeMark, technical director for The Current, for showing the way he made use of the 88R features for live broadcast. Channel strips were discussed in detail by myself and Michael, and encompassed about 90 minutes of discussion. (TA: I should point out that I owned and operated a 60 channel 88 R for 3 years producing and engineering bands for my label.)
We demonstrated automated functions of EQ, inserts, Mic/Line selection, and aux sends. An interesting link of a master fader to a selected channel’s small and large fader panned opposite was achieved, and accomplished true panning with just the assigned master fader being moved. Michael had an interesting bank of mic –pre channels for “talk” mikes under one group master that were secondary to the normal mic inputs, and could act as a turbo boost of voice level in an instant after live music ended if needed.
For break we went over to the API Legend room and listened to an Allan Sides mix of Phil Collins done on the Oceanway 88R in 5.1. This evolved into a speaker design discussion led by Dr. Mark Carter after his recent visit to England.
We heard this 5.1 mix on Dynaudio speakers. The sound was in the main excellent but the speakers were too high with the sound above ones head. Since all speakers were identical the surround blend was seamless.
We got into a discussion of speaker issues and Mark Carter reported on an interesting morning spent with Billy Woodman founder and CEO of the Audio Transducer Company (ATC), at their factory in a rural setting deep in the heart of the scenic Cotswolds between Stroud and Cirencester in Gloucestershire, UK. ATC, founded in the early seventies, by Billy Woodman is primarily a transducer company. They supply a wide range of passive and active monitors to studios around the globe, as well as a line of domestic speakers. Currently most of their business is the design, building and installation of large high powered custom speaker systems, primarily in the USA. I saw a center speaker under construction that will weigh over two tons. This is part of a large system under construction for an auditorium at Stanford University, California. Billy Woodman started out in business to design the finest midrange driver. Since then ATC have produced a high powered 3” mid range dome, a four inch dome, and a complete line of tweeters, bass, and mid bass units.
The discussion progressed to issues surrounding how to create the subwoofer (0.1 channel) in 5.1 and 7.1 recordings. The general set up and operating principles of the low and high pass filters in current AV receiver and pre pros was discussed at some length.
There was also a discussion of center channel problems and whether center channels added or detracted from the aural soundstage in multichannel systems. It was pointed out that in movies there is a discrete dialog channel directed to the center speaker that can be varied in level from the dialog menu of AV receivers and pre/pros. This was an interesting discussion.
Several AES members were in attendance, the McNally Smith student chapter was represented, and 2 officers and 1 committeeperson from AES attended. Some of the MPR engineering staff stayed for the event after their workday and were wonderful hosts for the event. I encouraged a couple non-members from the recording community to join the AES. All in all it was a great evening with some very cool stories about “in studio circumstances” that only those who attended were privy to.
The next event will be announced soon.
Chair, Upper Midwest Section AES
Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2011