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New AV System for New World Center, Part 1

May 19, 2011 1:09 PM, with Bennett Liles

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Right, the machinery is sort of forcing the people out to some degree. So how does the video get fed to the projectors? What’s the original source of the video being shown up there?
Because we’re broadcasting everywhere across this curved surface, you’re no longer in like a 16x9 or any noticeable aspect ratio, so all the content that they’re displaying up there is predominantly stuff that’s pre-canned and they’ve created it with a graphic artist before a show and we’re using custom templates that are matched to the aspect ratios of the sails, then everything gets fed through. We’ve got nine Coolux media servers and everything’s stored on those servers and then played back. This was very intensive in terms of the video servers that we’re using just because of the amount of cuing that’s required because it’s live music and everything’s based on a conductor there may be…I think there were about 30 or 40 jump cues in just one piece of music that they had for the opening of the facility and when you start jumping around that much in a video clip it’s just an enormous amount of buffering and it puts a really high demand on the CPU to be able to just jump anywhere on a timeline in real time like that, and the Coolux stuff has really been great with that. [Timestamp: 9:13]

And you’ve got a huge rack just off stage where all of the mics come into it and go into multi-channel pre-amps. I was amazed at the complexity of the audio system and all of the different places that you’re sending mic signals to.
Initially everything comes up, like you said, on a patch rack that’s just off to the side of the stage and then we’re going through Jensen splits at that point, and half of the signal goes straight to the stage racks for DiGiCo D1, which was actually chosen because it was the only console that they could find that would meet the noise spec for the performance hall. From that point the other half of the signal from the split goes into a series of pre-amps that are primarily Aphex pre-amps. We’ve also got Millenia and Grace in there, and we’re splitting off, I want to say, seven different ways from there so it’ll go…I think we’ve got two analog feeds and AES that gets converted to light pipe then we’ve got another direct ADAT feed off of that and then that’s going from ADAT and getting converted to MADi and then we’ve got several RME MADi distribution devices, MADi bridge and coaxial-to-fiber converters that then send the signal via MADi throughout the building which is really a necessity for them because the facility is somewhat unique in the sense that since it is a symphony and since they do mic things in a particular way most of the distribution and the main audio feed isn’t coming from FOH, it’s actually coming from a recording studio. We’ve got five different Pro Tools suites that we built for the project and there’s a main studio that ends up doing most of the mixing duty for most of the events and it’s sent up there. Well there’s a couple of different ways it can go but MADi being the predominant one and then from there they can send a mix onto video and a couple of other places. [Timestamp: 11:06]

Versatility is obviously the name of the game on this thing—flexible routing. And I looked at the stage layout. You’ve got a lot of floor boxes with Cat-6 for an Aviom stage monitoring system?
Yep and I think that’s going to be really useful to them over time. It’s a real common thing to be able to come into a concert hall and it’s more and more common that these buildings are used in a multipurpose sort of way, and the first time you come in and you have a drummer sit on the stage in a concert hall and they hit a snare drum, it’s just all over the place. So being able to have the ability to do in-ears and have everybody create their own mix in the Aviom system is, I think, going to be a real benefit for them. They’ve already done, a couple of weeks ago I think it was, they do an interesting type of event. It’s an amalgamation of club music and symphonic music and they bring in a DJ and some other electronic instruments and things like that and they’ve found that the Aviom worked really great in that situation for being able to get some reasonable levels without just having all that wash from the monitors on stage. [Timestamp: 12:12]

And these aren’t people that will just take any sound arrangement they’re handed they’ve got to have it all work just the way they want it and they know exactly how they want it.
It’s great to have people that know specifically what they want and they’re certainly on a level that they were able to do that. It was a really good experience working—it’s very collaborative project and like I said Acoustic Dimensions, Fred Vogler at Sonitus, and then everybody at New World. They’re very knowledgeable and able to tell you exactly what they want and that’s a great thing to have. [Timestamp: 12:41]

All right, Brad Gallagher from Pro Sound and Video thanks for being here for Part 1 to fill us in on the New World Symphony and the tremendous scale of the AV installation here. In Part 2 we’ll get into the Meyer sound system and some of the things you did outside of the building. So we’ll see you in Part 2.

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