There is a lot to see and do at AES, least of which are the technical tours.
One of the tours this year is the Microsoft Theatre (formerly Nokia Theatre) where the American Music Awards are staged and the Staples Arena which is home to the LA Lakers basketball team, the LA Kings Ice Hockey Team, the Grammy’s and major concert tours. Both these premiere venues are in the LA Live precinct which is next door to the LA Convention Centre.
What is striking for an Australian visitor is the budget and scale that comes with the American Entertainment Industry. They don’t do things by halves here. On the last American Music Awards, they used 452 chain motors in the Microsoft theatre which seats 7,200 people. The stage is the biggest in the USA at 84 metres wide
There is over 610,000 metres of house production cable and patching which terminates at 25 locations. The cabling system is designed to accommodate all conceivable requirements including data, triax, fibre, Smpte etc so production companies and broadcasters don’t need to install temporary solutions.
The Staples Centre (which accommodates up to 20,000 people) has a similar and bigger system that terminates in 70 locations. An underground tunnel links the 2 venues and both cabling systems are linked in the same tunnel. They really can get any signal anywhere quickly and easily.
The Staples Centre’s house PA cold be described as “more than adequate” with 144 JBL Vertec Series line array cabinets.
I also visited Paramount Recording Studios. Paramount is one of the great Hollywood recording studio complexes.First built in 1968, the complex now boasts 7 rooms, most of them with big SSL consoles and truckloads of nice old outboard gear. All rooms now have external subs as part of their monitoring packages. This represents a shift away from flat, accurate monitoring to loud and big bottom end when recording to represent better the way the music is played at nightclubs.
They rarely use the SSL’s to mix on nowadays either. They typically use just 2 channels. Protools left and right with the mixing done in the computer,
Back at the AES, the ladies from the Women’s Audio Mission have a stand. Women’s Audio Mission is a San Francisco based, non-profit organisation dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and the recording arts. Women are chronically under represented in out industry and WAM seeks to solve that with programmes such as training, networking and mentoring. They have their own studio in San Francisco and have put 12,000 women and girls through their various programmes.
Back on the show floor there are more product releases.
As is their form at trade shows, Radial have released a swag of new products including their 2 channel Dante in and out boxes (Di Net), a media split system with transformer isoaltion on all outputs (M press), 4 channels of audio over Cat 5 extenders including transformer isolation (Catapult) and finally 2 and 3 output line level splitters with Jensen transformer isolation (LX 2 and 3).
Telefunken have come out with a range of active and passive DI’s. They seem to be proud of the engineering that went into them, check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZrvObADddk&feature=youtu.be
It was fun to see their entire range of M80 colours. As far as I know, the only microphone that comes in 12 colours.
Talking of colourful mikes, Shure’s new Dualdyne capsule is available for the ULXD2 as a chrome microphone.
Yamaha’s new TF rack was on display which is the latest entry level addition to the Yamaha range. The TF rack series have 16 in, 8 out and a footswitch jack which permits various parameters to be foot controlled such as scene change, mute on/off, fx on/off.