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AV System Launches BurnLounge

A digital audio download service uses AV to stage a corporate event featuring live performances and a talk show-style venue on a single stage.

High-definition video

After the team addressed the sound systems for the event, Nickens turned his attention to designing a video system. For the event's video capabilities, Nickens specified a system that was designed to add visual elements to the event, as well as capture performances for later use on the BurnLounge website.

Two 16-foot-wide by 12-foot-high ScreenWorks projection screens were installed in front of the velour draping at the back of the stage to serve as projection surfaces for four Christie Digital Systems S+16k projectors, each outfitted with a Christie 18k 1.8-2.5:1 lens. The projectors displayed video clips and logos, as well as the live, onstage activities.

Prerecorded images were sent to the projectors via a Toshiba SD-V393 DVD/VCR player. Event presenters also brought in video clips on DVDs. The live video displayed on the screens was captured by two Panasonic AJ-SDX900 DVCPRO 50 video cameras and processed by a Sony DFS-700 DME switcher, which switched the signal to serial digital interface (SDI) mode. The signal was switched to SDI so it could be projected in high-definition. A third-party video server for on-demand streaming also captured content for later use on the BurnLounge website.

Marer says that despite the wide variety of musicians and presenters with different system needs, the show went off without a hitch.


To increase speech intelligibility in the corporate talk show portion of BurnLounge's June 2006 kick-off event at Bally's Event Center in Las Vegas, Stan Nickens, executive producer of Stanco Productions, a St. Louis-based AV and lighting staging company, added a center channel to the line array system in he specified in the venue.

According to Jim Cousins, senior project engineer at Martin Audio, solely relying on left and right arrays for high intelligibility of spoken words can lead to problems. “Assuming a coherent sound source is available, intelligibility can be destroyed by the interference effects — combing and time smearing — of multiple arrivals from room reflections,” he says. “Similar interference effects can be caused by multiple sources if the listener isn't positioned exactly central.”

Cousins says that in a situation like the BurnLounge kick-off event, where the New York-based digital audio download service wanted both live performances and interviews to take place on the same stage, the best solution is to use a three-way system. “A good way of producing a system with vocal intelligibility, spatial instrumental interest, and reasonable imaging is to design a three-way system where the band, chorus, and backing vocals are mixed to the left and right stereo, and the principal vocal intelligibility is sent to a full-coverage central system.”

Additionally, he says psychoacoustics play a role. “The central vocal system benefits our ear-brain system's ability to ‘tune in' to sounds coming from different directions,” he says. “A system with the vocals coming from the central area, where the vocalist tends to be, sounds more natural because of improved imaging.”

However, Cousins warns that while a center channel can be effective in enhancing intelligibility, it shouldn't be used as the sole audio source. “Although a sound system comprising of a single, coherent source may be highly intelligible and detailed, it would sound pretty boring on its own,” he says. “An effective sound system would need to include the spatial information as well.”


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