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FRONT of HOUSE editor George Petersen
FRONT of HOUSE editor George Petersen

It's AES Time!

George Petersen
Editor's Note

There are certain times that mark the end of summer. After all those Labor Day picnics, it’s time to pack that Weber grill back into the garage and get the kids off to school. Heck, fall officially kicks in on September 22, so pretty soon, many of us will be enjoying the changing of the season, with trees exhibiting their amazing annual display of fall colors.

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Rob Zombie and Korn 2016 Return of the Dreads tour photos by Steve Jennings
Rob Zombie and Korn 2016 Return of the Dreads tour photos by Steve Jennings

Rob Zombie and Korn: Return of the Dreads Tour

Kevin M. Mitchell
Production Profile

The Korn/Rob Zombie Tour might just be the best-kept secret of the summer. “It’s selling really well,” says Zombie’s FOH engineer Mark Woodcock. “Besides the Guns N’ Roses tour, it’s the #1 rock act of the summer. The reviews have been great — both bands sound great, and the lighting and staging on both shows are spectacular. And it really is two different shows. At first, the way they look together might seem like a bizarre combination, but it totally works.”

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2016 Parnelli Audio Innovator Greg Mackie
2016 Parnelli Audio Innovator Greg Mackie

2016 Parnelli Audio Innovator Greg Mackie

Kevin M. Mitchell
Features

If Greg Mackie had just stopped at his 1970s company, TAPCO, his contributions to pro audio would have been worthy of a lifetime achievement award. But then, in 1988, he founded Mackie Designs, introducing the groundbreaking CR-1604 audio mixer three years later. In 1996, the company expanded beyond analog audio mixers, creating digital mixers and powered speakers. And now he’s again involved in innovation, this time with M&W Audio, partnering with former Trident Audio designer Peter Watts. “We wanted to create better products at affordable prices that fit the evolving music scene with wide dynamic ranges that fit the music of rock ‘n’ roll,” Mackie says. And that’s exactly what he did.

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2016 Hometown Hero Finalists
2016 Hometown Hero Finalists

2016 Hometown Hero Finalists

Kevin M. Mitchell
Features

Here’s a look at the regional finalists in the 2016 Hometown Hero Sound Company of the Year award.

There are many ways to judge the vitality of our industry — ticket sales, manufacturer’s bottom line, new hires. As we compiled the voting for this year’s Hometown Hero finalists, we noticed that there are so many new companies being honored. Not that these are “new” companies, per se —most have been around for a quite a while (one since 1976). But this year, only two have been in the winner’s circle before. What do these winners get? A nice certificate suitable for wall-hanging; a chance to come to the Parnelli Awards show on Oct. 22 and win Regional Company of the Year; but perhaps most important of all, bragging rights. Let’s meet the regional winners!

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Lovers Lane UMC, Dallas
Lovers Lane UMC, Dallas

Recent House of Worship Projects

George Petersen
Installations

Sound system designers for the house of worship market face some tough challenges. By their very nature, churches — whether traditional or modern — are often not designed for the sonic needs of today’s high-SPL worship and frequently built into acoustical spaces such as storefronts or warehouses that were never intended for music appreciation. At the same time, church services typically combine a wealth of spoken word portions that require superb intelligibility with music that can range from delicate instrumentation and quiet vocal solos intended to go with quiet contemplative moments to turn-it-up-to-10 hymns that instill the soul (and the sanctuary itself) with the sounds of praise.

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The Orpheum has been equipped with a new d&b audiotechnik system.
The Orpheum has been equipped with a new d&b audiotechnik system.

Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles

Thomas S. Friedman
Installations

The Greeks regarded Orpheus as the father of music. (Hermes may have invented the lyre, but Orpheus perfected it.) The Orpheum chain of vaudeville theaters, built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reflected the confident and optimistic aura of the West Coast during those years, with the opulence and musical perfection Orpheus might have appreciated. The Orpheum Theatre on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles (about seven blocks from the Staples Center and the L.A. Convention Center) is a spectacular example. A high vaulted ceiling supporting ornate crystal chandeliers, exquisite plaster work, lush velvet seating, deeply curved unsupported balcony — and all eyes drawn to what might lie behind the classically framed proscenium arch.

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Column Array Speakers
Column Array Speakers

Column Array Speakers

George Petersen
Buyer's Guide

The concept of the column array speaker has evolved significantly since the days when the standard was set by a pair of Shure VocalMaster columns on a church wall, music venue or at a corporate presentation. Current column array designs offer high intelligibility, wide bandwidth (particularly when used with a companion subwoofer) and a huge new bag of tricks including flexible, secure mounting; various powering options; and in many cases, the ability to “steer” audio directly to the intended location. With that in mind, here’s a selection of what’s available from some two dozen manufacturers.

To download a PDF of FRONT of HOUSE's Sept. 2016 Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE

The Radius family (L-R) includes the RSX12 subwoofer (at top of array), RSX208L line array modules and RSX12 and RSX8 point source speakers on top of the RSX18 single-18 sub. At bottom right is the RSX12M coaxial-12 stage monitor.
The Radius family (L-R) includes the RSX12 subwoofer (at top of array), RSX208L line array modules and RSX12 and RSX8 point source speakers on top of the RSX18 single-18 sub. At bottom right is the RSX12M coaxial-12 stage monitor.

Eastern Acoustic Works Radius Loudspeakers

George Petersen
Technology Spotlight

Audio manufacturers unveil new lines of gear — particularly speakers — on a fairly consistent basis. After all, technology marches forward and change is an inevitable part of life in the pro audio lane. While newer designs can incorporate more powerful, more feature-laden elements, the downside of any new technology — whether in the form of smartphones, audio over IP or advanced sound reinforcement systems — is that all this sophistication is nice, but only if it is also is easy for the user to access and use in everyday situations.

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Cardioid Subwoofer Setups
Cardioid Subwoofer Setups

Cardioid Subwoofer Setups

Phil Graham
Tech Feature

Managing low frequencies is one of live audio’s constant challenges. We deal with room nodes, architectural resonances, uneven coverage and unwanted spill. The last two decades have brought about the ready availability of digital signal processing (DSP) and digital consoles. DSP is now in almost everyone’s arsenal, allowing the easy creation of cardioid arrays with everyday tools.

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Audio-Technica AE2300 Instrument Mic
Audio-Technica AE2300 Instrument Mic

Audio-Technica AE2300 Instrument Mic

George Petersen
Road Tests

When it comes to selecting dynamic mics for live instrument miking, the choices are nearly endless. So earlier this year, when Audio-Technica unveiled its new AE2300 model, I must confess that initially I wasn’t overly excited about the concept. However, what quickly piqued my interest in the AE2300 was its onboard switchable low-pass filter.

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