Welcome to Sound Techniques’ May 2010 e-news.
At 8 pages it’s a bumper issue full of news and useful information.
The new ADAM Audio AX series are due very soon to help you appreciate NZ Music during NZ Music Month.
Stephen has returned from his annual world expo tour and reports below.
Read on, click the links, ask us questions and keep an eye on our website for the latest breaking news on new products, upgrades and developments here and abroad…
In this e-dition
Stephen reports on Frankfurt Musikmesse, visits to Nagra, Sonosax and NAB 2010
ADAM Audio introduces new speakers
Ken Kimura, DPA Asia Pacific Sales, visits Sound Techniques
NZ Music Month presents Studio Open Day May 29th
ADAM Audio speakers
HHB CDR 80 min silver CDs
Alpine Musicsafe earplugs
New in store
Aquapacs keep your transmitters dry.
Hawkwoods batteries, chargers and adapters
Latest on Radio Spectrum Management and the UHF spectrum
And hear the response from Hon Steven Joyce, Minister for Communications and Information Technology.
Wireless Users NZ (WUNZ) is active behind the scenes to secure the best outcome possible for radio microphone users.
Frankfurt Musikmesse & Pro Light & Sound
Frankfurt Musikmesse and Pro Light & Sound Expo combines 2 shows in one a MI show for instruments and a Lighting and Sound Equipment show directed towards live and recorded music. I spent more time getting there than I did at the Expo and much of the time at the show was spent getting from one hall to another.
It’s Europe’s finest show for musical equipment and related electronics. Most manufacturers or their European representatives are exhibiting here. The show is spread over 11 halls plus outdoor areas and it must be close to a kilometre from one end to the other. There are regular shuttle buses to move people from one hall to another. Regulars say there were more exhibitors and punters last year and that is a sign of the times. But you can’t make music without instruments, and rarely can you hear it without microphones, amplification and speakers. There is plenty of choice on show here. Each hall features a different aspect of the music industry. Fancy a room full of percussion or another full of classic guitars? You’re in the right place.
Which begs a question how many different PA brands does the modern world need? Hall 8 had dozens and outside there were live concerts on several stages sponsored by different manufacturers. One PA speaker brand had the enterprising name of Eric. I can’t see roadies keeping cred carrying Erics very far.
I entered the show proper through the Children’s music room. Here a larger space than our own Pro Sound Showcase was setup with various things for children to bank, twang, rattle and blow in the name of music.
Shows are fun when you can listen on a pair of nasty headphones to two German cowgirls ensconced in a soundproof booth singing a song made famous by Johnny Cash and June Carter.
I came principally to see and hear the new ADAM Audio speakers. ADAM Audio is an ambitious company just 10 years old which makes professional powered monitor speakers featuring a unique ribbon tweeter. The tweeter is very efficient and the speakers very accurate so even the smallest speaker, the A3X, delivers high levels of audio from its ADAM designed 25W amplifier. These are nearfield bookshelf speakers for the serious home studio.
The show had its own noise control officer to keep the sound pressure level to a maximum of 70dB in the studio speaker area.
Something every studio and large diaphragm microphone owner would be interested in is the Rycote USM universal mic mount. It’s a spider type mount with accommodates mics from 18mm – 56 mm in diameter. It’s very quiet and a great standby for when the elastic breaks on your expensive Neumann
Are you fed-up with emails from Tony at Naffoff Music offering you cheap mixers, microphones etc made in China? I don’t think he was in Frankfurt but I was surprised by the number of stands showing products from Chinese manufacturers. Once they modernise the designs the badge “Made in China” will start to be something to be proud of.
Frankfurt itself is an interesting city. I can’t claim to have seen much of it but it has a good public transport system with trams running outside my hotel room and lots of big buildings held in proportion by large public spaces.
I’d recommend anybody interested in musical instruments or related electronics and the business behind their distribution gets to one. It’s only 30 or so hours travel from Auckland.
Visits to Nagra Audio and Sonosax
Following on from the Pro Audio and Light show in Frankfurt Stephen took a side trip to Lausanne in Switzerland headquarters of Nagra Audio and, down the road, Sonosax.
The visit to Nagra was a treat. Nagra recorders had for so long been integral to the development of double system recording for film and for portable recording. Since the 1950s Nagra has made portable recorders. It has recently renewed its involvement in the radio, film and security fields with the Nagra ARES series, the LB and the Nagra VI, 6-track recorder
Much of what I saw and heard about was in development so I can only report there are exciting things in the wings.
Nearby is the Sonosax factory. Sonosax mixers and recorders are made in a converted farmhouse by a staff of about 20. Much of the manufacturing and all of the design, programming and assembly is done in house.
I had good reason to visit as Sound Techniques was negotiating the supply of Sonosax mixers for use in Australia, but more of that in the next issue.
Sonosax doesn’t make mixers for film production only. Of great interest was the Sonosax SX-M32 mixer 3 channels/stereo mixer with digital output.
It’s compact and light weight and a high quality 3 channel stereo ENG/EFP Mixer, the ideal companion for News - ENG - small Documentaries - with low power consumption and a digital output option. The SX-ES64 is a compact and lightweight 6 channel mixer with 4 main mix busses. Itoffers the essential communications system for location recording, OB facilities, or any mobile or studio applications. It is ergonomically designed for convenience and ease of operation.Its small size and light weight makes it easy to carry, even as cabin luggage.
· Video, TV and cinematography productions
· Mobiles or stationary Post-production facilities or recording studios
· OB Van, Live Broadcasting, sports events
· Analogue or digital recording of acoustic music
· High end installations in concert halls or theatres
· Home studios
NAB 2010 “Evolve. Innovate. Grow. SMARTER”
Every April the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) holds its annual trade show in Las Vegas and representatives from all walks of broadcasting attend to see what's new, renew business relationships and wait fopr the sun to go down for party time.
NAB 2010 was a business like show and the annual opportunity to catch up with Sound Techniques’ key suppliers.
It's heyday was around the turn of the century but 9/11, then the global economic meltdown has taken off some of the shine but still 88,000 unique visitors attended. Unfortunately the economic downturn has reduced the amount of venture capital and vapourware on show though there was a big push for 3D. Don’t think about the inevitable format war.
In random order some of the new items I saw:
Countryman - a new version of the type 85 DI, the type 10 with the lowest distortion (<0.001%), the highest SNR (>122dB) and most linear phase (<2 deg) of any DI.
The E6 Flex headset mic combines the rigid headband of the E6 with the flexible shaft of the E6i. The E2 headset has a short boom with a hypercardioid capsule and tailored electronics to match the E6. This allows it to have nearly the gain-before-feedback of the E6 Omni positioned at the mouth. The EM2 headset cable allows an E2 to be used with a Shure in-ear earpiece. The EM6 headset cable allows an E6 to be used with a Shure in-ear earpiece. Very tidy rigs for stage performance.
K-tek has a mount (called Norbert) for DSLR cameras which is so versatile almost anything can be rigged on it including handles to hold the camera. K-tek has devised a very short boom, carbon fiber or aluminium, to which a handheld recorder or camera could be attached to get closer to an interviewee. Also due is a quick release XLR adapter to allow microphones to be changed quickly on the end of a boompole.
Lectrosonics had the Quadpack on display. This holds 2 SR receivers for a 4-channel receiver system. The receivers can be powered from a single external DC power source. More innovation is on the test bench.
Both Professional Sound Corporation (PSC) and Remote Audio have innovative power distribution systems. Remote Audio also has a remote reader which displays battery voltage, current draw and turns the connected battery system on and off when connected to a Remote Audio distribution system. Remote Audio has the Shunt Box which can be connected to home made battery systems and prevent reverse polarity and surges. See forthcoming story in NZ Video News June issue
Remote Audio has V3 of the Speakeasy which runs on 2x 9v batteries to give even more volume and interconnectivity
Sanken has some new mics and possibly useful mods to existing ones in the wings. See preliminary information about the CS-2 shotgun on Sanken’s website
On the Sound Devices stand was the complete range of mixers and recorders. New to NAB was the 552 – 5 channel mixer with onboard 2-track recorder.
Sound Techniques held an informal post NAB evening and is keen to take your questions on any audio product on show there
ADAM Audio introduces new speakers
How can you improve an already great speaker?
ADAM Audio has answered this question with the introduction of four new speaker models, the new AX series.
ADAM has added two new models, the A3X and A8X and upgraded two models the A5X and A7X.
A3X, the smallest big sound ever...
ADAM Audio’s smallest monitor to date, is perfectly suited for all environments where space is limited but sound shouldn’t be constricted. The A3X combines a tiny footprint with the much acclaimed ADAM sound quality by using the X-ART
tweeter for the higher frequencies, a guarantee for crystal clear music reproduction.
A 4.5” (basket) driver handles the lower registers.The diaphragm is made from carbon fiber, a material that is very light but very stiff and can deliver colour-free sound. Two built-in 25 Watt amplifiers power each of the drivers directly.
Stereolink is a very handy and exclusive technology found in the two smaller AX monitors. A pair of additional RCA connections bypass the second stereo channel to the other speaker.
Thus two A3X speakers are linked which allows the user to control the overall stereo volume of the system from one speaker’s gain control. Ideal for “mixer-less” desktop applications where overall system volume needs to be adjusted easily.
Controls and Connectors
Dual ports allow low frequency response down to 60Hz. The front panel also has power and gain controls. The rear panel includes a tweeter gain control as well as balanced (XLR) jacks and unbalanced (RCA) jacks, allowing for greater connection flexibility.
Review: "Highly recommended"
"I’ve used various monitors for my computer work before, but never of the caliber of the A3X series. Before these, I would have to redo my mixes significantly when transitioning from the small cheapies to the big “real ones.” The ADAM Audio A3X’s save me a step by providing both great sound in a compact format and by changing mundane audio task-work into a quality listening experience. If you use good monitors from the outset, you’ll learn your music that much faster so that when it comes time for mixdown and mastering on your big boxes, you’ll already be acclimated to your song’s subtler sonic aspects—aspects revealed only by the A3X’s with their sweet, smooth top end, and impressive handling of bass frequencies. Highly recommended."
(Jon Chappell, Harmony Central, 03/2010)
The new A5X
A quick listening however leaves no doubt that the A5X is much more than a new version of the original A5.
The small A5 made a big name in both professional environments as well as in computer or desktop applications. A wealth of truly outstanding reviews and many awards helped to establish this speaker as one “of the best small monitors” and a “great choice for the small studio.” (Future Music, 01/2009).
It features the proprietary X-ART
tweeter. Numerous listening tests have confirmed this is at the forefront of what tweeters can accomplish.
A 5.5” Midwoofer reproduces the frequencies below 2.5kHz. The diaphragm is made from Carbon fiber/Rohacell/Glass fiber, which is the same composite structure shared in the next two bigger models. This material with minimum weight and maximum rigidity prevents break up resonances, resulting in an outstanding dynamic behaviour and impeccable sound characteristics.
The A5X also include Stereolink which makes the A5X a natural for “mixer-less” desktop applications where overall system volume needs to be adjusted easily.
ADAM A7X: the evolution of a legend
With the A7X, ADAM Audio proudly presents the evolution of a legend. It takes everything that made its predecessor the A7 such an outstanding speaker to a new level.
, became the most popular of all ADAM monitors in a very short time. and are the reference monitors in many smaller studios
The new model features the X-ART
tweeter. The ‘X’ stands for ‘eXtended frequency response’. It now extends up to 50kHz. In addition, the X-ART tweeter has a higher efficiency and higher maximum sound pressure levels.
Integration with the lower frequencies has been achieved with a newly designed 7” midwoofer. It has been redesigned with a much bigger voice coil (1.5”) driven by an amplifier with twice the power of its predecessor. This combination produces an amazing sound and pressure levels with an almost distortion-free musical reproduction.
Amplifiers / controls
Each driver has its own dedicated amplifier. A 50W A/B amp is responsible for the X-ART tweeter, while the midwoofer is being driven by a 100W PWM
amp. The front panel includes a power switch and a control for the volume that retains the volume setting independently from the on/off switch.
On the rear panel are several additional controls: a gain for the high frequencies (± 4dB) and two shelf filters for high and low frequencies.
To ensure greater compatibility, there are both XLR (balanced) and RCA (unbalanced) connectors.
A8XThe most powerful AX monitor
Suitable for both nearfield and midfield monitoring with its power and radiation characteristics, the A8X has a hard to beat price/performance ratio. The A8X is equipped with the X-ART
tweeter and a large (8.5”) midwoofer, a combination that adds both a very deep and yet very tight bass response to the unsurpassed reproduction qualities of the ADAM proprietary tweeter “a licence to thrill”
Cabinet- and bass reflex-construction
Like the other AX-Series models, the upper corners of the A8X are slanted to minimize reflections. The very large, double bass reflex tubes on the front have been specifically designed to perfectly match the midwoofer with its large voice coil.
Amplification and controls
With a 50W A/B amplifier for the tweeter and a 150W PWM
amplifier for the midwoofer, the A8X has power in abundance and is the brawny monitor of the AX-Series.
On the rear panel are several controls: a gain for the high frequencies (± 4dB) and two shelf filters for the high and low frequencies.
There are both XLR (balanced) and RCA (unbalanced) connectors on the rear panel of the speaker, which allow the A8X to be used in almost any application.
Ken Kimura, DPA visits Sound Techniques
At short notice this week we had a visit from Ken Kimura, DPA’s Regional Sales director, Asia Pacific. A quick email to Auckland e-news subscribers assured a good turnout of clients interested in DPA’s products.
If you want more information about any DPA product, including those mentioned, email us
National Recording Studios Open Day – May 29th
Saturday May 29th will see a fresh addition to the annual NZ Music Month calendar with the first national Recording Studios Open Day.
Between midday and 4pm, a variety of professional studios around the country will open their front doors to anyone interested in taking a look inside. Owners, engineers and staff will be on hand to answer any questions about the studio and the recording, mixing and record mastering processes.
The national Recording Studios Open Day is a new initiative aimed at encouraging more musicians to take advantage of the wide range of recording studios and in-house recording professionals available around the country.
Co-ordinated by New Zealand Musician magazine (www.nzmusician.co.nz) the afternoon provides a rare opportunity for musicians, artist managers, music students (and those expected to fund new recordings) to find out more about local studio facilities, as well as the distinct audio quality benefits of recording in a professional studio environment.
Participating studios range from the high-end and long established likes of York Street and Stebbing Recording Centre in Auckland, to Palmerston North’s vibrant and incredibly low cost community facility known as The Stomach.
Entry is free and each studio will offer its own programme of information and entertainment.
Studios participating in the first national Recording Studios Open Day, Saturday May 29th , midday to 4pm:
Stebbing Recording Centre, Herne Bay Auckland www.stebbing.co.nz or firstname.lastname@example.org
New In store this month
Hawkwoods battery adaptors, lithium ion NP1 style batteries and chargers. – See the new NP35, 14.4v 35W stubby Lithium –Ion battery
Aquapac waterproof radio transmitter pouches – These convenient bags will seal your transmitter against splashing on wet locations. Two sizes available for standard or miniature transmitters.
Sanken black rubber mount for COS-11 mics
Rycote Universal Shock Mount – 2 sizes for small or large diameter studio microphones, Keep a spare in case the original suspension fails. Only $200 + GST each.
K-Tek's Norbert™ Camera Mounting System is a rock-solid foundation for the latest generation of video-capable DSLR's and compact high-definition video cameras. The flexible Norbert system has mounting options for both tripod and handheld use. Its lightweight machined-aluminum base frame can be used to mount a variety of production tools, including:
· external viewfinders and monitors
· continuous light sources
· audio recorders
· video recorders
Grab-a-deal (until May 30th & while stocks last)
Grab-a-deal #1 ADAM A7 speakers new, 5 year warranty (2 pairs only) 15% off
Grab-a-deal #2 ADAM A5 speakers, 1 pair piano black, 1 pair matte black 15% off
(psst also a couple of ex demo pairs available at ex demo prices)
Grab-a-deal #3 HHB CDR80SIP – blank 80 min recordable CDR silver, inkjet printable, in jewel case, secure archival life in excess of 200 years
20% off for boxes of 10; 25% off for 5 boxes or more
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If you want this service please email Sound Techniques with your name, business name, contact phone number and email address.
FLEXIRENT When you don’t want to pay the full price upfront or are concerned about the lifetime cost of equipment start an operating lease or lease to own with Flexirent.
It's a simple process. Your eligibility and approval can be determined quickly.
WHY AN OPERATING LEASE?
• Flexibility to upgrade during or end of lease term
• Ideal for rapidly depreciating equipment
• Payments are an operating expense & typically 100% tax deductible
• Can extend term and upgrade when ready
• When ownership is preferred at the end of the lease
• For assets that have a longer usable life (typically 3 years plus)
• Asset & liability – interest & depreciation claimed as a tax deduction.
We give thanks to: Mark Williams;AUT University, Scott Creighton; Ande Schurr; University of Canterbury; Andrew Dalziel; Gabriel Muller; Haresh Bhana, Louis Vuitton Regatta; Phil Donovan; TVNZ, Don Paulin; Ben Vanderpoel; Allianz NZ; Hammond Peek; Peter Kraan; Splashroom Media; Tim Brott; Unitec, Sai Yin Leung; Yogi Bear; Camilla Anderson; NZ Racing Board; Justin Bons; Victoria University; Mary Donald; National Army Museum; Rocket Rentals; Pickled Possum Productions; Otago Museum; Susan Foster; State Insurance; Opotiki College; Eastern Institute of Technology, Peter Eade; Kura Productions; Radio Waatea; Radio New Zealand; Sean Wallace; Narrow Road; ADAM Audio, Katharina Raddatz; John Owens, Nagra Audio; More Technologies, Peter, Shirley, Jeff & Randy; Pierre Blanc, Sonosax; Peter Treloar, Australian Parliament; Ken Kimura, DPA.
Our standard hours
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday 08:30 – 17:00.
We open at 9:30 am on Tuesdays to allow us time for a team meeting & training.
We only open on weekends and public holidays by prior arrangement.
Terms of trade
Our principal terms of trade are:
1. All invoices are to be paid COD unless agreed in writing.
2. Claims arising from invoices must be made within 5 working days of invoice.
3. All goods remain the property of Sound Techniques Ltd until paid in full.
4. All overdue invoices bear interest at 20% per annum (or maximum allowed by law) on unpaid balance. There is also a $30 returned payment fee for any declined cheques/automatic withdrawals.
5. In the event of default of payment when due, all costs of collection, including legal fees and court costs, shall be paid by the debtor.
Buy or rent gear from Sound Techniques and we promise:
· We will deliver the appropriate gear for your application to achieve the best quality of audio.
· We will support all products sold to the best of our ability.
· We will always make time to discuss equipment requirements with our customers.
Who do you know who would like to know more about our products and services?
Introduce a new customer to Sound Techniques and we’ll give you 5% of any resulting sale back as a credit, up to $50 total. Just tell the client to let us know you sent them
Contact Sound Techniques
136B Newton Rd (cnr St Benedicts St), Eden Tce, Auckland 1010
P O Box 68 594, Newton, Auckland 1145
phone 09 366 1750; fax 09 366 1749
Open 08:30 - 17:00 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
09:30 – 17:00 Tuesdays
Other times by appointment
"we listen and give sound advice"
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