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Pro Sound News Online Index: August 2020

Read stories from the August 2020 issue of Pro Sound News.

on the cover

Studios Reopen Cautiously Around United States, by Steve Harvey
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pro audio industry is virtually incalculable, challenging industry pros, companies and manufacturers alike to find new ways to move forward in a difficult economic climate. There are no simple answers, but resourcefulness and determination remain in great supply as the industry pivots to face the pandemic head on.

As Live Sound Languishes, Livestreaming Evolves, by Clive Young
As the live music drought continues, artists like Trivium and Underoath, as well as sound companies, are turning to livestreaming to keep working and connect with fans, rapidly evolving the concert livestream in the process.

Home Studios Finally Legal in Music City, by Steve Harvey
For decades, Nashville’s Metro Council said, “Home studios? Not in my backyard.” Through a five-year legal battle, a petition with 165,000 signatures and more, Toy Box Studio owner Lij Shaw campaigned to end the ruling, which was finally overturned in July after being championed by city councilman Dave Rosenberg.

Floodlines Podcast Tracks Katrina Tragedy, by Jim Beaugez
Host/creator Vann R. Newkirk and sound designer David Herman used the evocative local sounds of New Orleans in creative ways to tell the story of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in the eight-part narrative podcast Floodlines.

Download the August 2020 Issue of Pro Sound News

Røde Mics Founder Nets Nirvana Guitar for $6M, by Clive Young
The acoustic guitar used by the late Kurt Cobain for Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged session was purchased at auction by Rode founder Peter Freedman for $6 million. 

Full Compass’ Mark Nash Retires
Mark Nash, president of pro audio retailer Full Compass, is retiring after 35 years with the company.

Final Round for Aston Mic Vote Underway
Aston Microphones is conducting its third and final public test session for its new Aston Element. 

Sennheiser Announces Layoffs, Cites Slowing Global Market, by Clive Young
With consumer and live sound sales heavily impacted by COVID-19, Sennheiser will cut 650 jobs worldwide by the end of 2022.

Group One Limited Expands to West Coast
The U.S. distributor behind Calrec, DiGiCo, Klang, Solid State Logic, XTA and others has opened a 10,000 square-foot facility outside Los Angeles.

AES Names October Audio Engineering Month
The Audio Engineering Society has declared October “Audio Engineering Month” as it expands its traditional Fall Convention Technical Program and exhibition Showcase into the virtual realm.

FCC Announces Repack Complete, Spectrum Open for Wireless, by Michael Balderston
As of July 13, the 600 MHz spectrum, which numerous models of wireless RF microphones and other pro audio devices were allowed to operate within before the auction, has officially been vacated.

Report: Global Pro AV Industry Primed to Bounce Back
The global Pro AV industry reached a peak of $259 billion in 2019, according to a new report released by AVIXA. 2020 will not be a repeat performance, but an explosive rebound is on the way.

Spatializing Primal Energies with Meyer Sound
Sound artist Bill Fontana’s latest installation, Primal Energies, opened July 1, using the spatialization abilities of Meyer’s Spacemap Go to envelop visitors in audio.

Eurosono Aids Enterprise in Lyon
A new Coda Audio N-Ray loudspeaker system left Eurosono team feeling like kings of Lyon when the company recently provided audio for a regional business awards ceremony.

EDM Gets Cube-ist in Australia
A DiGiCo SD9 is used for a variety of mix responsibilities inside The Cube, a livestreaming space in Australia for EDM heroes.

Sound for a Socially Distanced Ravenna Festival
Cancelling this month’s annual Ravenna Festival in Italy was never an option, so audio provider BH Audio is using a revamped d&b audiotechnik system with d&b Soundscape for the event.

Mediapro Argentina Builds Lawo Infrastructure
The new IP infrastructure at Buenos Aires-based Mediapro Argentina is based on video, audio, control and networking solutions from Lawo.

Winnipeg Church Revamps with Renkus-Heinz
Winnipeg’s Fort Garry Mennonite Brethren Church recently got a new audio system based around Renkus-Heinz IClive X loudspeakers.

Home Studios Finally Legal in Nashville Metro Area, by Steve Harvey
For decades, Nashville’s Metro Council said, “Home studios? Not in my backyard.” Through a five-year legal battle, a petition with 165,000 signatures and more, Toy Box Studio owner Lij Shaw campaigned to end the ruling, which was finally overturned in July after being championed by city councilman Dave Rosenberg.

Missed Opportunity Returns to Rob Burrell, by Steve Harvey
Early in his career, Grammy-winning mix engineer Rob Burrell had to choose between making records and making movies. Now, having recently outfitted his Nashville home studio with a 11.1.4 Dolby Atmos mix environment, he’s taking on documentaries and Netflix productions.

Studio Showcase: Enviyon Entertainment, by Steve Harvey
Romel Williams founded his recording studio in his garage almost by accident. A decade later, Enviyon Entertainment has steadily grown into a fully staffed, four-room professional facility that’s now reinventing remote recording as it keeps moving forward during the pandemic.

Tracks – August 2020
Tracks is a monthly look at the recording process behind 10 new releases by artists across the musical spectrum.

Ron Gilmore Jr. Doesn’t Fake the Funk, by Keith Nelson Jr.
Ron Gilmore Jr. has toured the world playing keyboards for J. Cole and Lauryn Hill, and has produced and played on multiple Gold and Platinum albums with every artist on Cole’s imprint, Dreamville Records. Now his own recording career is heating up.

Golden Bear Grabs Preamps
Bryan Vanderpool recently outfitted Golden Bear Records, the studio he runs with partner Sarah, with AMS Neve 1073LB 500 Series preamps.

Sweetwater Studios Captures Nick D’Virgilio with DPA
When Sweetwater Studios captured tracks for Nick D’Virgilio’s new album using DPA mics, the mics were small but the album was Inivisible.

Richards Readies Road Return with ADAM Audio
U.K. guitarist Dan Richards, formerly a touring musician with One Direction and now musical director for such rising artists as Anna Clendening, Loren Gray and Emma Zander, recently acquired a pair of ADAM Audio A7X monitors as he settles into a life off the road.

Blackbird Revamps Studio F Mix Room
Nashville’s Blackbird Studios has brought one of the first SSL Origin analog in-line mixing consoles into its Studio F mix room.

Radar Stays True to Analog with Neve Genesys
Radar Sounds in London, one of the few remaining studios in the UK to offer analog tape recording facilities, has installed a Neve Genesys G32 console.

Snapsound Takes Its Shot with Atmos, by Steve Harvey
Fresh out of film school, Zach Seivers founded his own audio post company in 2006, growing the business from one to four rooms before recently adding to his storytelling tools with an upgrade to Atmos mixing capabilities.

Mendel Details Production Sound Toolkit
Jon Mendel, a first-call sound mixer in the state of Vermont, reaches for his Lectrosonics toolkit regardless of the type of project.

Elias Arts Rebrands as Elias Music
Music and audio agency Elias Arts, celebrating 40 years in music and sound for brands, is rebranding as Elias Music.

Choir Connects with Royer Ribbons
Jason Graham, broadcast audio engineer for the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra, uses a variety of Royer mics when capturing performances.

Beverly Goes Wild with Sennheiser
Field recordist uses drop rigs to capture soundscapes, spot effects and surround ambiences for sound design.

Floodlines Podcast Tracks Tragedy in New Orleans, by Jim Beaugez
Host/creator Vann R. Newkirk and sound designer David Herman used the evocative local sounds of New Orleans in creative ways to tell the story of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in the eight-part narrative podcast Floodlines.

Bootstrapping Audio Production for Out Alive, by Jim Beaugez
Sharing heart-stopping tales of survival means that Backpacker magazine’s Out Alive podcast moves quickly and travels light.

Reverse Engineering with Song Exploder, by Jim Beaugez
Over the course of 190 episodes, Song Exploder has become a must-listen podcast for artists and engineers alike, as each show features musicians ranging from Solange to Lindsey Buckingham to Vampire Weekend recounting how landmark songs in their careers developed, using demos, stems and more to illustrate their insights.

Double Elvis Doubles Down on Sound Design, by Jim Beaugez
Berklee assistant professor of music production/engineering by day, rock ‘n’ roll podcast producer by night Matthew Beaudoin brings the audio might to Disgraceland and 27 Club.

Focusrite Pro Podcast Marks One-Year Anniversary
The Focusrite Pro Podcast has released nearly 25 episodes in its first year, covering pro audio topics of all sorts with hosts marketing manager/producer Daniel Hughley and global marketing manager Ted White.

Recording Compositions for Podcasts with BAE Audio
Luis Guerra, composer behind Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast, makes use of his BAE Audio gear to help tell musical stories.

RME Fireface Fuels Crooked Media Podcast Efforts
A pair of RME Fireface UFX+ interfaces serve as system centerpieces at Crooked Media’s Los Angeles Studios.

Innovations: Meyer Sound Spacemap Go, by Steve Ellison
Steve Ellison, Meyer Sound director, Spatial Sound, pulls back the curtain on the development of its new Spacemap Go iPad-based interface. Allowing multichannel panning using multiple GALAXY processors, it becomes a spatial audio performance instrument by turning the company’s theatrical sound design tool upside down.

Innovations: Ashly Audio’s New Installation Loudspeakers, by Noel Larson
Noel Larson, vice president of marketing and business development at Ashly Audio, explains that while the company is “not out to be a speaker company per se, we wanted to be able to offer complete solutions that best match all the benefits of an Ashly system.” The result is two new loudspeaker lines for integrators to implement.

Review: Maat thEQblue 12, by Rob Tavaglione
Producer/engineer Rob Tavaglione puts the Maat thEQblue 12 parametric stereo equalizer plug-in to the test and declares it may be the best of its type yet.

Review: Austrian Audio OC818 Microphone, by Rob Tavaglione
Our reviewer finds Austrian Audio has put out a new microphone that “combines the best of the old with a healthy dose of some extraordinary new features.” Find out why in the review!

Review: Revive Audio ART VLA Custom Modification, by Rob Tavaglione
Rob Tavaglione tried out Revive Audio’s mail-in modification service on an ART Pro VLA compressor and was impressed with the results, noting, “In many ways, it’s still the same sonic signature—warm, forgiving, rich in bottom end and tastefully congealing—but now it does all those things better.”

Review: Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs, by Rob Tavaglione
Having tried many models of earplugs over the last 20 years, reviewer Rob Tavaglione says that for applications where audio fidelity is crucial, he is sold on these Vibes.

Studio Products

Sound Reinforcement Products

FDA Adapts Live Sound Efforts in COVID Era
Originally intended for producing live interview events, the FDA’s new Yamaha Rivage PM10 is still put to good use.

DAS Covers the Party at Canopy
Canopy by Hilton in West Palm Beach, FL, has a variety of upbeat areas that are covered with DAS loudspeaker systems.

Special Report: Houses of Worship
Pro Sound News looks at various recent audio installations in worship spaces around the world.

From the Editor: Pro Audio Veteran Goes Viral (on YouTube), by Clive Young
A playful cover of the 1980s hit “Easy Lover” has gone viral, bringing a group of L.A. session players into the limelight, including bass legend Leland Sklar and, on vocals, pro audio industry vet Gussie Miller.

The METAlliance Report: Creating a Classic: The Recording of Steely Dan’s Aja, by the METAlliance
Widely considered a pinnacle of recording excellence, Steely Dan’s 1977 album, Aja, had an occasionally tortured gestation—but it won the Grammy for Best Engineered Album. Two of the legendary engineers behind it (and members of the METAlliance), Al Schmitt and Elliot Scheiner, give the inside scoop on the process, recalling the days when the studios were big and the budgets were even bigger.

View from the Top: Alan Macpherson, L-Acoustics, by Clive Young
Alan Macpherson, CEO of L-Acoustics’ new Americas division, shares numerous ways the company’s new arm will serve the United States, and how it’s answering the challenge of COVID-19.

60 Seconds with Marc DeGeorge of Solid State Logic
Get to know Marc DeGeorge, the new sales manager of Solid State Logic’s audio creation products for the United States.

People: Hires and Promotions in the Audio Industry for August 2020
Industry moves this month include promotions and hires at L-Acoustics, Sound Productions, Sweetwater, Listen Technologies, Audio-Technica U.S. and Symetrix.

The Aha Moment: Return of the Jedi, by Peter Janis
Peter Janis, former founder/CEO of Radial Engineering, explains why developing your 2021 budget during a pandemic might be a great opportunity.

Music Etc. – Danielia Cotton, A Different War, by Steve Harvey
Steve Harvey talks with blues rocker Danielia Cotton about racism and healing, gravitating to rock as a young girl and coproducing her politically charged new EP, A Different War.