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AES to Garner Technical Emmy for AoIP

New York, NY (January 23, 2020)—The Audio Engineering Society will receive a Technical & Engineering Emmy Award for its work with audio over IP, sharing the award with six partners who were involved in developing the AES67 standard: ALC NetworX, Audinate, Kevin Gross, QSC, The Telos Alliance and Wheatstone.

The Technical & Engineering Emmy Award is for “Development of synchronized multichannel uncompressed audio transport over IP networks,” and will be given in a ceremony at the NAB Show at the Wynn Encore in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 19.

AES Worship Sound Academy to Debut in March

AES67 is a protocol that established a standardized language for audio transport. Although AoIP plays a huge role in radio, the Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards actually are given for developments or standardization in engineering technologies that affect television.

AES noted that its AES67 standard for high-performance streaming audio-over-IP interoperability was introduced in 2013. It stated, “AES67 compliance allows audio content interoperability between the proprietary IP-based audio networking protocols developed by the Emmy co-winners: Ravenna, Dante, Q-Sys, Livewire+ and WheatNet-IP.”

AES fellow Kevin Gross led the AES67 Standards effort and is the chair of the AES Technical Committee on Network Audio Systems.

In the AES announcement, Gross was quoted: “The improvement from audio networking born in the mid-1990s to new IP-based solutions emerged as a simultaneous invention from the honored companies. While collectively this represented a technical improvement, interoperability was not addressed until the AES initiated the X192 project on audio interoperability.”

He thanked the late Steve Church, Rich Zwiebel, Philip Lawo and Andreas Hildebrand as leaders of companies who “understood the potential for a standard to take audio networking to the next level,” and thanked then AES Standards Manager Mark Yonge for mentoring the process.

AES executive director Colleen Harper said AES67 “fundamentally changed the broadcast audio landscape and paved the way for recent similar developments for video.”

AES • www.aes.org

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High School Upgrades Coms for ESPN3 Broadcasts

Kearney, MO (January 22, 2020)—Kearney High School in Missouri has upgraded the workflow of its Bulldog Broadcasting Network (BBN) with new beltpacks and a Dante intercom audio engine.

The school’s broadcasting class allows students to cover about 25 football and basketball games aired on ESPN3 each year, along with several other games and events hosted on the school’s YouTube channel.

Historic High School Upgrades Auditorium Audio

According to Karen Johnson, broadcasting teacher and BBN sponsor at the school, the school’s previous comms system was unreliable and frequently presented students with bugs. She adds that the system could not be integrated to include BBN’s program audio to the camera operator’s headsets, nor could it be used to provide director communications to on-air talent, without using a separate system.

The school decided to purchase Studio Technologies Model 371A and Model 373A intercom beltpacks and a companion Model 5422 Dante intercom audio engine based on a recommendation from Niles Media Group, a local reseller of broadcasting products.

“Our studio and control rooms are over 500 feet away from the football stadium and gymnasium where the events are held, making traditional intercom systems over XLR or wireless impossible to use,” says Johnson. By leveraging Studio Technologies’ Dante communications system and the district’s existing 10Gb network infrastructure, the district was able to keep their studio and control room centrally located and use NDI video solutions.

Studio Technologies • www.studio-tech.com

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Ford v Ferrari Revs Up with Sound Oscar Nominations

Los Angeles, CA (January 22, 2020) — Ford v Ferrari, the true story of the Ford Motor Company’s upset racing victory at Le Mans in 1966, is among the nominees for sound editing and sound mixing Oscars, and much of the film’s drama hinges on the excitement conjured by its sound. That’s a fact not lost on reviewers such as Mihir Fadnavis of FirstPost, who noted, “Nothing beats the experience of bombastic sound design, tires squealing and sparks flying on a massive screen.”

Capturing those sounds was no simple feat either. Production sound mixer Steve Morrow used a variety of wireless transmitters and receivers to capture the action, recording the sounds of the cars as well as their drivers. “We only had one vintage Ford GT40 on set,” recalls Morrow. “The rest were film cars with more modern engines for the sake of reliability. So, for authenticity, the post-production team went to a track day and convinced a bunch of guys with actual GT40s to let them record their engine sounds. Where boom mics were needed, we put Lectrosonics HMa plug-on transmitters on the boom poles so that the operators could move around freely.”

MPSE Announces Golden Reel Winners

While one might move around a car to get sounds, when it comes to capturing the likes of Christian Bale and Matt Damon, keeping the mic still and out of sight are priorities. “I always use SSM transmitters for all the actors’ mics,” says Morrow, who was previously nominated for Academy Awards for his work on La La Land and the 2019 remake of A Star Is Born. “SSMs are the smallest and lightest transmitters Lectro makes, so the talent barely knows they’re there. They have other transmitters with higher output power, but we’ve never had a problem with range. For most of the dialogue, we have active shark-fin antennas on long coax cables, powered from the Venue 2 receiver chassis.”

Lectrosonics Captures El Camino

With the FCC rewriting the rules on wireless audio every few years, being able to find and hold a usable frequency is more crucial than ever. Accordingly, Morrow comes to the set loaded for bear: “I now have three Venue 2 units on my main cart, so I can do 18 channels of wideband. The SSMs are wideband-capable, which is key with the available frequency spectrum being such a moving target.”

For on-set communications and IFB monitoring, “My team, which included Craig Dollinger and Brian Mendoza, used LT transmitters to talk to each other,” says Morrow. “We also used an older UM400a as an IFB transmitter, and we all listened using IFB-R1a receivers. I’ve recently just gotten into the M2 Duet system as well.”

All that effort is already paying off as Ford v Ferrari won Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing— Effects/Foley at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ Golden Reel Awards in mid-January.

Lectrosonics • www.lectrosonics.com

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BAM Studios Opens Podcast Division

Chicago, IL (January 22, 2020)—While podcasts have been around since the mid-2000s, the portable broadcast format has hit peak awareness in recent years, and with that has come a wave of change that has swept out the amateur production values that were so prevalent in early years, and replaced them with sophisticated audio presentations that include music, guest appearances, sound effects and more. The ability to create that level of audio artistry has resulted in a number of existing recording studios now providing podcast production services.

Melissa Monte on Raising Your Podcast’s Profile

Chicago-based BAM Studios recently launched its own Podcast division, guided by Emmy-winning producer/creative director Chris Olsen. BAM’s intent is to essentially provide one-stop shopping for potential podcasters. While technical offerings are the driving force behind the new division, it also provides a number of other services, from original content development to full production recording, editing and music, as well as final posting to a variety of podcast hosting sources.

The division, however, is mostly centered around BAM’s new podcast recording studio, Studio K.  The custom-designed room features a modular mic setup allowing up to four in-studio voices to be recorded simultaneously. Gear on hand includes the ubiquitous podcasting mic, the Shure SM7B, as well as three Electro-Voice RE27N/D broadcast mics mounted on Electro-Voice 309 A shockmounts hanging from Blue Compass desktop boom arms, all leading to a pair of Focusrite RedNet X2P 2×2 ethernet audio digital I/Os. A selection of Fostex T40RP headphones are available for talent.

The studio can also connect clients, guests and hosts from around the world to any session via Skype, digital Phone Patch, ISDN, SourceConnect, Comrex IP and IpDTL, making use of the facility’s TV, film, and commercial capabilities.

BAM Studios has already worked on a variety of podcasts, including ACLU’s Talking Liberties, Ronan Farrow: To Catch and Kill, Chris Olsen’s ShoutBox, Callaway Rogue Moments with Bill Macatee, McDonalds’ The Sauce, and Add Passion and Stir, for which the studio provided voiceover recording, music licensing, sound design, editing and mixing. A slew of corporate podcasts have passed through the facility and soon the studio’s resume will include BAM’s own Bang-Zoom podcast, coming later this year.

The kind of entrepreneurial spirit often found in fledgling podcasts is something familiar to BAM Studios, which marked its 20th anniversary in December. Founded by Brian Reed in 1999 in downtown Chicago, BAM sprang to life when Skyview Studios, a post-production facility he worked at, shut down. Left with a slew of McDonald’s projects that he was still booked for, Reed founded BAM as a single studio, employing one assistant. After several years going it alone, a former assistant, Dave Leffel, joined the team, resulting in a second studio. In time, BAM grew to encompass a half-dozen studios across two locations, with rooms variously designed by Russ Berger Design Group and Threshold Acoustics. Today, the company sports nine employees (including Ellie Bellie, the studio pup) and offers sound design, ADR, voiceover recording and casting, digital patching, mixing, sweetening, re-recording and more.

BAM Studios • www.bamstudios.com

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BAM Studios Opens Podcast Division

Chicago, IL (January 22, 2020)—While podcasts have been around since the mid-2000s, the portable broadcast format has hit peak awareness in recent years, and with that has come a wave of change that has swept out the amateur production values that were so prevalent in early years, and replaced them with sophisticated audio presentations that include music, guest appearances, sound effects and more. The ability to create that level of audio artistry has resulted in a number of existing recording studios now providing podcast production services.

Melissa Monte on Raising Your Podcast’s Profile

Chicago-based BAM Studios recently launched its own Podcast division, guided by Emmy-winning producer/creative director Chris Olsen. BAM’s intent is to essentially provide one-stop shopping for potential podcasters. While technical offerings are the driving force behind the new division, it also provides a number of other services, from original content development to full production recording, editing and music, as well as final posting to a variety of podcast hosting sources.

The division, however, is mostly centered around BAM’s new podcast recording studio, Studio K.  The custom-designed room features a modular mic setup allowing up to four in-studio voices to be recorded simultaneously. Gear on hand includes the ubiquitous podcasting mic, the Shure SM7B, as well as three Electro-Voice RE27N/D broadcast mics mounted on Electro-Voice 309 A shockmounts hanging from Blue Compass desktop boom arms, all leading to a pair of Focusrite RedNet X2P 2×2 ethernet audio digital I/Os. A selection of Fostex T40RP headphones are available for talent.

The studio can also connect clients, guests and hosts from around the world to any session via Skype, digital Phone Patch, ISDN, SourceConnect, Comrex IP and IpDTL, making use of the facility’s TV, film, and commercial capabilities.

BAM Studios has already worked on a variety of podcasts, including ACLU’s Talking Liberties, Ronan Farrow: To Catch and Kill, Chris Olsen’s ShoutBox, Callaway Rogue Moments with Bill Macatee, McDonalds’ The Sauce, and Add Passion and Stir, for which the studio provided voiceover recording, music licensing, sound design, editing and mixing. A slew of corporate podcasts have passed through the facility and soon the studio’s resume will include BAM’s own Bang-Zoom podcast, coming later this year.

The kind of entrepreneurial spirit often found in fledgling podcasts is something familiar to BAM Studios, which marked its 20th anniversary in December. Founded by Brian Reed in 1999 in downtown Chicago, BAM sprang to life when Skyview Studios, a post-production facility he worked at, shut down. Left with a slew of McDonald’s projects that he was still booked for, Reed founded BAM as a single studio, employing one assistant. After several years going it alone, a former assistant, Dave Leffel, joined the team, resulting in a second studio. In time, BAM grew to encompass a half-dozen studios across two locations, with rooms variously designed by Russ Berger Design Group and Threshold Acoustics. Today, the company sports nine employees (including Ellie Bellie, the studio pup) and offers sound design, ADR, voiceover recording and casting, digital patching, mixing, sweetening, re-recording and more.

BAM Studios • www.bamstudios.com

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Men Still Dominate the Music Industry, Report Finds

Los Angeles, CA (January 22, 2020)—Lizzo and Billie Eilish may have the most nominations between them—14, combined—going into this year’s Grammy Awards, but as the third annual USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reports, men still greatly outnumber women in the upper reaches of the music industry.

“Inclusion in the Recording Studio?” was authored by Professor Stacy L. Smith and was funded by Spotify. The study considers the gender and race/ethnicity of artists and content creators across 800 popular songs on the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End Charts from 2012 through 2019. It also evaluates gender for eight years of Grammy nominations in the top categories—Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Producer of the Year and Best New Artist. And it comes to a stark conclusion: More women are being included in the music industry, but they have a long way to go before achieving parity with their male counterparts.

Women in Music Production Face ‘Epidemic of Invisibility’

Last year saw women artists credited for 22.5% of the top songs, an improvement over the previous year and well above 2017’s low of 16.8%. Yet averaged over the study’s eight years, 2019 only moved the needle to 21.7%, or roughly one in five.

“Women are still missing from popular music,” according to Professor Smith. “Yet we do see that the music industry values women of color and their contributions. In 2019, over half of the female artists on the popular charts were women of color. This is in stark contrast to what we see in the film industry.” (Professor Smith also conducts demographic research into the movie industry.)

According to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, more than half of the studied artists in 2019 (56.1%) were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Averaged over the entire study period, people of color account for nearly half, or 45.4%, of more than 1,600 artists, the report finds.

Below the line, to use movie parlance, the disparity is even worse. The number of women songwriters ticked up very slightly in 2019, to 14.4%, from 2018’s figure of 11.6%, yet it remains at just 12.5% over the eight-year period. Worse still, the percentage of women working as producers across a five-year sub-sample from the Billboard chart was just 2.6%, a gender ratio of nearly 37 males to one female. Eight women of color were included in that five-year sample, a ratio of all male producers to underrepresented female producers of 133 to one.

Notwithstanding the current events concerning the ouster of Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan, barely two weeks before the Grammy Awards, the report credits the work of the organization’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion with improving committee composition and membership over the past year. Still, while 2020 represents an eight-year high for female Grammy nominations, women have accounted for fewer than 10% of the nominees for Record of the Year or Album of the Year during the study. Over the eight-year period, only one woman—Linda Perry, in 2018—has ever been nominated for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, and hers was reportedly the first nomination for a woman on her own in 15 years.

Professor Smith and her collaborators single out several organizations for endeavoring to increase the percentage of women working throughout the industry: She Is The Music, for working to increase the representation of women throughout the business with songwriting camps, mentorship programs, and external outreach; the Spotify EQL Residency program, which places emerging female engineers in recording studios to gain experience alongside industry mentorship; and Women’s Audio Mission, which trains the next generation of music producers and recording engineers.

The report concludes, “Given music’s influence on culture, and the rapidly changing nature of the business, this study demonstrates where there has been progress over the last several years and how far there is to go. As individuals and companies continue to produce the soundtrack to our daily lives, it is imperative that women’s voices, talents, and perspectives be included in those songs.”

USC Annenberg • annenberg.usc.edu

Full Report • assets.uscannenberg.org/docs/aii-inclusion-recording-studio-20200117.pdf

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AES Worship Sound Academy to Debut in March

Nashville, TN (January 23, 2020)—Fresh off its successful AES Academy at NAMM education event last week, the Audio Engineering Society is now preparing for its next offering, the AES Worship Sound Academy, taking place March 10–11, 2020, at the Johnson Center on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

The Academy will examine specific elements of audio for houses of worship and related productions, covering everything from fundamentals of sound, to mixing for services and events, outreach through streaming media, and present featured gear exhibits showcasing the latest technologies.

AES Reflects Increasingly Diverse Industry

Day one will begin with a session for defining roles and goals of a worship sound engineer and team, discussing attitude and focus, identifying core knowledge and the boundaries of responsibility. In-depth technology and applications sessions will follow, including “How Sound Moves: Physics Without Math” (covering concepts such as sound transmission, acoustics and system optimization), as well as separate sessions on FOH and monitor mixing for houses of worship.

The afternoon will continue with “Reaching Outward: Streaming and Podcasts,” and attendees will be invited to a Producing Worship special event taking place that evening, which will utilize a live performance by touring artists with a veteran production team as the platform for addressing the concepts of worship sound production.

On day two, the AES Worship Sound Academy will begin with a pair of sessions outlining microphone basics, wireless and in-ear monitoring, detailing readily-applicable information on available technologies and techniques to achieve clear and consistent sound. Afternoon sessions will cover “Productive Rehearsals and Sound Checks,” followed by a session on AoIP audio networking and management fundamentals, and the newly available possibilities afforded by these technologies for any size production and facility. “Anatomy of a Tech Team” follows, providing an overview of workflow and illustrating the planning and prep required by tech team leaders, as well as maintenance, training and assignment of responsibilities, job descriptions and other details. The day will conclude with an “Unanswered Questions Town Hall.”

Both days will also feature dedicated times for onsite lunch (included with registration) and to browse and network in the exhibition area.

AES Worship Sound Academy • www.aesworship.org

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Carter Burwell Breezes into New WSDG Studio

Long Island, NY (January 21, 2020)—Having worked out of a WSDG-designed studio in Tribeca since 1999, film composer Carter Burwell returned to the architectural, acoustic and engineering design team to commission a new studio in an ultra-modern home he was remodeling on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean near Montauk Point on Long Island, NY.

Engaging WSDG while his home renovation was still on the drawing boards provided Burwell with many advantages. Founding partner John Storyk, partner, COO and project manager Joshua Morris and the design team made acoustic and ergonomic recommendations early in the process that maximized the efficiency of the new addition to the house and enhanced the studio’s recording and listening quality.

A Half-Century of Innovations: John Storyk Looks Back at 50 Years of Studio Design

Working with an open floor plan, WSDG prescribed a 600-sq.-ft. studio in a separate wing attached to the second floor of Burwell’s 4,420-sq.-ft. home, which was being renovated by architect Maziar Behrooz. Acoustically isolated from the living/entertaining quarters, the studio is large enough to host visiting filmmakers, and small enough to make an inconspicuous footprint on the home.

“Carter was happy with the gear complement from his original Tribeca studio but opted for an Avid S6 32 fader console in his new room,” says Morris. “He stayed with Genelec for the surround monitoring system, 8351A mains and 8300 surrounds. His composing keyboard can alternate positions between the ocean-facing console — and a 65in. flat screen that flips down from its motorized ceiling mount — to a second location in the rear of the room with an equally commanding view. Motorized sheer and blackout shades were installed to block sunlight for composing and mixing sessions.”

Burwell’s scoring credits range from Todd Haynes’ Carol and Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (both Academy Award nominees) to Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich and all but one of the Coen Brothers’ films, including Fargo and The Big Lebowski.

“Carter Burwell has a penchant for clean, uncluttered workspaces,” Storyk remarks. “We learned that early on with his Tribeca studio. Outfitted with acoustic doors and windows and set apart from the living and entertaining areas, this new room should provide Carter with all the serenity and visual inspiration his creativity requires. And, when he feels the need to get back to nature, he can hit the deck for fresh ocean air and the spectacular view.”

WSDG – Walters-Storyk Design Group • www.wsdg.com

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Carter Burwell Breezes into New WSDG Studio

Long Island, NY (January 21, 2020)—Having worked out of a WSDG-designed studio in Tribeca since 1999, film composer Carter Burwell returned to the architectural, acoustic and engineering design team to commission a new studio in an ultra-modern home he was remodeling on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean near Montauk Point on Long Island, NY.

Engaging WSDG while his home renovation was still on the drawing boards provided Burwell with many advantages. Founding partner John Storyk, partner, COO and project manager Joshua Morris and the design team made acoustic and ergonomic recommendations early in the process that maximized the efficiency of the new addition to the house and enhanced the studio’s recording and listening quality.

A Half-Century of Innovations: John Storyk Looks Back at 50 Years of Studio Design

Working with an open floor plan, WSDG prescribed a 600-sq.-ft. studio in a separate wing attached to the second floor of Burwell’s 4,420-sq.-ft. home, which was being renovated by architect Maziar Behrooz. Acoustically isolated from the living/entertaining quarters, the studio is large enough to host visiting filmmakers, and small enough to make an inconspicuous footprint on the home.

“Carter was happy with the gear complement from his original Tribeca studio but opted for an Avid S6 32 fader console in his new room,” says Morris. “He stayed with Genelec for the surround monitoring system, 8351A mains and 8300 surrounds. His composing keyboard can alternate positions between the ocean-facing console — and a 65in. flat screen that flips down from its motorized ceiling mount — to a second location in the rear of the room with an equally commanding view. Motorized sheer and blackout shades were installed to block sunlight for composing and mixing sessions.”

Burwell’s scoring credits range from Todd Haynes’ Carol and Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (both Academy Award nominees) to Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich and all but one of the Coen Brothers’ films, including Fargo and The Big Lebowski.

“Carter Burwell has a penchant for clean, uncluttered workspaces,” Storyk remarks. “We learned that early on with his Tribeca studio. Outfitted with acoustic doors and windows and set apart from the living and entertaining areas, this new room should provide Carter with all the serenity and visual inspiration his creativity requires. And, when he feels the need to get back to nature, he can hit the deck for fresh ocean air and the spectacular view.”

WSDG – Walters-Storyk Design Group • www.wsdg.com

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Gateway Mastering Adopts Sonoris Review Software

Damwald, Netherlands (January 21, 2020)—Gateway Mastering Studios in Portland, ME is using a customized and branded version of the Sonoris DDP Player, dubbed Gateway Player, to streamline its client review process.

“We strive to provide clients with masters that are both creatively and technically perfect, and Sonoris software helps us to back up that work with equally exceptional service,” said Adam Ayan, a Grammy Award-, five-time Latin Grammy Award- and TEC Award-winning mastering engineer who works at Gateway Mastering Studios.

Manley is the Gateway to Ayan’s Sound

“Serving as an extension of our in-studio services, Sonoris software helps us to make the master approval process simple and seamless for our clients. It also allows us to feel confident that when clients hit play, they’re experiencing audio in much the way they’d hear it if they came into the studio.”

The Gateway Player can import both DDP and disk image files generated by engineering working on the studio’s Pyramix digital audio workstation. When clients want only WAV files, the team at Gateway Mastering uses the Sonoris software to export WAV files that can then be sent for client review.

More often, Ayan and his colleagues send clients the small Gateway Player app along with installers and a disk image file. Installing the app on a Mac or PC allows clients to play back audio files, export WAV files and burn CDs. Because the software doesn’t require a license, clients can pass the player on to other reviewers at will.

“The Gateway Player has turned out to be a great solution for reviewing album projects,” added Ayan. “It allows us and our clients to hear the transitions between songs and to get a macro view of the project. The software offers a convenient way to get our arms around different ways of hearing it.”

Sonoris • www.sonorissoftware.com

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