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Multi-Channel setup with Sennheiser EW100 wireless G4

Sennheiser’s Wireless System Manager software allows you to control, monitor and setup large systems across mics and IEMs with ease and it works on EW300 series on up the line to Digital 9000 series. BUT… what if you have a few channels of 100 series G4 systems?  Are you being punished for buying the less expensive system by having to do 4 times the work?  Of course you’re not!  The evolution 100 G4 series allows you to coordinate up to 12 channels by networking the systems together using the RJ10 port on the back of the receiver and the corresponding cable that is included in the box. It’s really simple. You just create a small network by connecting each receiver together in a daisy chain configuration. Run a scan on the first receiver in the chain and set the frequency. The other devices in the chain will then prompt you to assign their frequency as well. You confirm the change on each receiver and BAM!!! You have a frequency coordinated multi channel setup that will be free of intermodulation problems.

For detailed directions on how to run the scan and setup your systems, follow THIS LINK to the proper section of the online manual.

6 ways to get BlueTooth into your Commercial AV System

Bluetooth connectivity is a staple of daily personal communication and entertainment these days. The commercial A/V business was slower to adopt, and for good reason.  Poor connectivity, a lack of consistent user experience and garbage audio quality plagued Bluetooth devices early on.  Those issues have largely been addressed (with a few exceptions) and the users of commercial AV systems have come to expect Bluetooth connectivity to their conference rooms, entertainment systems, business music systems, etc.

Techrep has no fewer than 6 different ways from 3 manufacturers, so get a high quality Bluetooth link to your commercial A/V system. Keep these in mind while you are working through your next design!

 Switchcraft

Every salesperson at Techrep carries a Switchcraft 318BT in their bag. It might possibly be the most convenient way to get connected via Bluetooth, especially when it’s “spur of the moment.” The 318BT uses Switchcraft’s AudioStix form factor which is compact and extremely rugged. One end of the 318BT has a male XLR connector that plugs into any XLR input. The other end is a Bluetooth antenna. The 318BT can be powered using your console’s phantom power OR via a 5v micro USB input on the side. The Bluetooth connection to your device is a Bluetooth 4.0 stereo headset device link, but inside the 318BT, the left and right channels are summed together to make a single mono output. This makes it convenient to plug into a single input channel on your console or powered loudspeaker.

 

PreSonus

PreSonus AR and StudioLive Series III consoles both have Bluetooth inputs that are easily setup from the master section of the mixer and can be used like an aux input to your mix.  on the AR mixer, pairing your device could not be easier. Hit the bluetooth button to turn the feature on and hit the pair button to enter pairing mode. On the StudioLive Series III, the Tape In can be fed from the SD Card, USB, the AVB network or the Bluetooth link.

 

Atterotech

unBT2A – The unBT2A is a high quality decora mount Bluetooth receiver that connects to an audio/control breakout box via a cat5/6 cable. That connection is NOT a network connection, however the Bluetooth front end of this device is the front end for the network endpoints mentioned below.

The unBT2A is an elegant solution for a permanent install, commercial or residential. It give the use easy interface access without going into a rack or cabinet and it’s a familiar interface to most people.

unA6IO-BT & unD6IOBT– These models are actual network endpoints that will send multi channel audio ingested at the wall plate to your DSP or mixer via either AES67 (unA6IOBT) or Dante(unD6IOBT) protocols.  To expand even further on the capabilities that being a network endpoint afford, there are native plugins available to control these devices from QSC and Symetrix DSP processors.  Having that sort of native control, allows you to give the user the necessary control via the same interface that they are using for the rest of their system.

If you aren’t convinced already and you would like a demo or a chance to test any of these product, please call or email us and we will be happy to help make that possible. Email sales@techrep.com or call us at 440-327-1624.

West Virginia State Fair leans on QSC and Worx.

Deep in southeastern West Virginia is a little place called Lewisburg, which is home to the magnificent West Virginia State Fair. When the Fairground Event Center began looking for a way to deliver exceptional audio content across the expansive fairgrounds, it met many challenges. To cover the areas between buildings they needed high output, high fidelity devices that could endure sustained inclement weather ranging from rain to snow and extreme cold to direct summer sun. Not only that, but the distances between buildings on the grounds presented an additional challenge concerning the needed distribution of audio and control, in order to deliver the required features.

To tackle these issues the Fair, with the help of Charles Hatcher at Alpha Music in Lewisburg, decided on QSC’s Q-SYS platform paired with Acoustic Design Series AD-S12s and PreSonus’ Worx Audio Stadium Series weatherized arrays.
 
To address the geographic challenges, switches were placed around the fairground at the amplifier locations. Fiberoptic links connected each location because copper data networks could not traverse the required distances.

A single Q-SYS Core110f is doing all the audio routing, as well as control and monitoring of the system, while the Q-LAN network feeds CXD4.5Q amplifiers around the fairground. This is a testament to the power of the small, but mighty Core110f. The processor is mixing and routing sources to all the outputs, as well as handling array processing and all the user control interfaces for the entire fairground!
 
Users access zone controls, source selection and monitoring via a Q-SYS User Control Interface. Those controls are accessible from anywhere on the grounds via an iPad.

 

When it came to moving the air around the fairground, PreSonus Commercial came out of the gate swinging with their Stadium Series weatherized X2 and X5 arrays. The X2 and X5 are high performance, all-in-one line array systems. These systems take the design principles of a flexible array and build them into a single optimized system. The Worx arrays deliver full bandwidth, dynamic playback of music at impressive distances.
 
With the arrays in place, Tony Flammia of PreSonus Commercial took measurements at the convergent points of the many sources. Q-SYS processing aligns those sources so that regardless of the listeners’ location, they only appear to be listening to one source.

The team that made this project possible included people from Techrep Marketing, Alpha Music, PreSonus and The West Virginia State Fair. This is a perfect example of how a system can be very lean, with minimal hardware, minimal points of failure and still deliver a premium user experience.

www.qsc.com
www.commercial.presonus.com
www.statefairofwv.com
Alpha Music on Facebook

KanexPro Q-SYS Plugins

One of the beautiful things about Q-SYS is it’s ability to control other devices in the system without additional hardware. A prime example is our Q-SYS plugin for KanexPro video matrices. We have versions for 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8 HDMI and HDBT matrices but the plugin is written in such a way that just by changing the number of buttons in the interface, you can adjust the one copy of the plugin to work with any of models in the KanexPro lineup with minimal modification. The plugin also has full feedback from the devices so changes made from the front panel are reflected in Q-SYS.

You can download this plugin from our Q-SYS control forum on our Techrep Wiki. Email me at chris.bednar@techrep.com for access.

 

 

TouchMix as a Zone Mixer

Zone Mixer TouchMix Presets

Is your client in need of a good quality DSP zone mixer but doesn’t have the budget?  Could you use a product that allowed zone paging for a bar and restaurant and would allow you to mix a small band in the same box? Look no further my friend!  You can even use the ipad app to walk the venue while you set up zone routing and levels.

The QSC TouchMix is compact, inexpensive and has all the capability that you need in either scenario. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a couple of presets that turn the Touchmix8 or 16 into a zone mixer with ducking.  You can download then from the link at the top of this page. Here is how the presets are set-up…

  • Inputs 1-2 are summed to mono and are output on Aux 1
  • Inputs 3-4 are summed to mono and are output on Aux 2
  • Inputs 5-6 are summed to mono and are output on Aux 3
  • Input 7 is a mono input and is routed to Aux 4
  • Input 8 is for a paging mic
  • Input 9-10 are a stereo input and is output in stereo to the main outputs
  • Engaging the paging scene ducks all the inputs  by 10dB and routes the paging mic to all of the outputs.

DCAs control your output for each zone. Engaging the paging scene ducks all of the inputs by 10dB (except for the paging mic) and routes the paging mic to the all of the outputs. Like a Page-All scenario. You can modify this to fit your various routing needs and save them as new presets.

The mic inputs are all low-cut at 120Hz and they have a compressor on them at 4:1. This will make the paging mic a bit more forgiving for various users.

Finally, all of the outputs have some processing applied. They have an 80Hz Low Cut, a 20:1 limiter set at 2dB from clipping and Delay is on for each output but set to 0ms. There is also a graphic EQ engaged on each output and is set to flat.

To set up your mixer, load the presets in the Zip file at the link above. Plug in your sources. Adjust the delay and EQ on the outputs as needed. (if you are using a system with sub woofers, you may also need to adjust the low-cut filter) Set the gains for your sources and the paging mic. Then finally set the output levels to each zone.

Don’t forget the rack-mount kit if you need to tuck the TouchMix neatly away in a rack. TM-RACK-LEFT

Side Note – If you are looking for a good paging mic to use in this scenario, a Sennheiser e835s or Sennheiser MEG14-40 with a MAT133-S push-button stand are both great options.

 

Mt Olive Cathedral – Memphis, TN

Originally constructed in 1905, Mt. Olive Cathedral in Memphis Tennessee just underwent its second renovation. When church leadership set out to modernize the facility, they wanted to blend the old with the new keeping the charm of the original space.  Mount Olive chose Dill Audio of Jackson, TN to do the install and Tim Dill himself was the design lead on this project. He decided to stick with an all QSC speaker, amp and processing solution.  For the main PA, Tim selected a 5-box QSC KLA Line Array system supplemented by a KW181 subwoofer.  The folks on stage are hearing themselves via a pair of AP-5122m monitors at the stage lip while the choir gets their feed from a pair of AP-5102s mounted to the wall at either side of the stage. The AP Series can provide high fidelity, dynamic sound at high output.

The under-balcony and narthex areas are also covered by QSC, using the Acoustic Design Surface Mount Series. The AD-S6T offered a very clean looking solution that sounded great and was easy to install using the X-Mount mounting system.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this whole system is that every speaker in the facility, except for the KLA Arrays and sub, is being run by a single amplifier. Tim chose the CXD4.5 to drive the monitors, under-balcony and narthex speakers. The built in DSP offered Dill Audio the ability to quickly set up speaker voicings, limiting and protection using QSC’s intrinsic correction filters.

This is a beautiful example of what is possible with the complete QSC solution. The system looks fantastic, sounds great and has a minimal visual impact. The entire audio system only has 6 different products in it!

IMG_4354 2015-04-02 14.22.10 IMG_4369 

Q-SYS as a performance mixer

QSYSCore1000_RightLow_reflection

As DSP systems become more powerful their applications grow as well. With Version 3.3 of Q-SYS you can create a complete performance mixer in software.  One may ask why?

1. Zero sight lines: Putting the mixer in the machine room allows you to not have a traditional front of house position. Aesthetics are especially important in theatrical and house of worship spaces. This allows you to have the power of a large front of house mixer with no visible hardware in the performance space.

2. Totally customizable. You can easily create a mixer that fits your application. Q-sys includes everything you use in a performance mixer. You specify the number of channels auxes and VCAs you need and then create your own channel strip. In addition you can add Reverbs, Chorus, Flange, and Delay. Because of the huge amount of DSP horsepower in even a basic core 250, you can make high channel count mixers with very little DSP consumption.

3. Wireless control: In addition to control from a PC laptop you have control of Q-sys via UCIs (user control interfaces). These are totally custom control interfaces that can run on on a PC or Apple iOS devices.  You can make these control interfaces as simple or as complex as needed.

To put this concept to a test I put together a mixer based on a standard feature set. specifically my mixer has:

• 32 input channels

• Each channel has 4 band fully parametric EQ, HP filter and compressor

• 12 aux busses

• 2 Reverb processors

• Multi effects processor with delay, chorus, and flange

• 8 assignable VCA groups

Using the Q-sys designer software I was able to build it in about 2 -3 hours. This included creating all of the user control interfaces. Below is the layout:

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 3.17.46 PM

The first mixer module is for input trims and meters. That goes into the channel group that has all of the individual channel processing. The second mixer module is the output gain stage. There are also additional inputs for the effect returns. Lastly there is a snapshot processor for saving scene data. You can also see the individual effects processors.

Here are the user interfaces I created:

2014-04-08 at 15-00-19
This is the main mixer page. The inputs and meters are not the top. Below them are the VCA group assigns, solo and mute buttons. There are also channel labels.

Here is the “Fat” channel view:
2014-04-08 at 15-00-25
There are controls for the 4 band parametric EQ, HP Filter and Compression settings

Here is the master section:
2014-04-08 at 15-01-38

 

Here are the aux and effect send pages:
2014-04-08 at 15-01-42

2014-04-08 at 15-01-42

 

The Effects pages:
2014-04-08 at 15-02-53

2014-04-08 at 15-02-58

Lastly here is the VCA page:
2014-04-08 at 15-02-49

One of the nice thing about the UCIs is that you can make tabbed pages. The little tabs on the left hand side of the screen allows you to very quick switch views. You can also resize controls to fit your application. Placing the controls is as simple as dragging them onto the UCI from your schematic page. You can group and align the controls very quickly.

So is all of this practical? You bet! A fully configured Core 250 with 32 I/O runs under 5K. My mixer only consumes about 15% of the DSP power. Lets look at the other specs:

64 network channels

Networkable external I/O

AES, Dante, CobraNet interfaces.

When considering many similarly configured mixers are in the 20-30K range this should present an appealing option for those looking for an aesthetically pleasing alternative to a traditional FOH mixer.

 

Techrep HQ Q-Sys install

QSC’s Q-Sys system has been getting the reputation as the premiere DSP solution for large venues. It has found its home in some of the biggest stadiums, convention centers, airports and hotels.  The upward scalability and redundancy is one of the main reasons it has become the system of choice. One of of the areas where the system gets overlooked is for smaller applications. In this area Q-Sys may seem like overkill. NOTHING can be farther from the truth!

The reason for this is that Q-Sys is far more than audio processor. It becomes the core processor for all audio in a facility. In short the most basic Core 250 system handles audio transport, processing, control,monitoring, audio conferencing, paging, mixing, automated announcing, and playback.  Its this flexibility that makes it the ideal platform for smaller venues.

We recently installed a system at our HQ in North Ridgeville OH. Our application is pretty standard for a small office setting. We have a conference room with some basic AV, we have couple of shared office spaces, an executive office and a training room.  We wanted the system to do BGM, conference room AEC, and handle zoned playback for our training room.  We needed that system to give us both common and individual controls for each zone. This allows us to have BGM playing while there is a conference in the conference room and a training video playing in the training room. Both the conference room and the training room have microphone and line inputs. The office has only a line input. Everything is controlled by iPad or iPhone via a custom UCI (user control interface). The entire system is tucked away in our server closet.

The system:

Q-Sys core 1000 with a single I/O frame*

2 COL4 output cards

2 CIML4 input mic/line cards

CX168 8 channel amp

We had one of the first generation Core 1000 systems in stock so we chose to use that for our office system. For a new installation we could have used a Core 250 for everything. We would not have needed the I/O frame. A Core 250 would give us 32 channels of physical outputs.

The main UCI view:

Zone Layout

 

The conference room:

In our conference room we have 2 table mics that require echo cancellation, 2 AD-S52 speakers for playback and audio inputs for AV.

Below is our iPad UCI for the conference room

 conference room

The training room:

The training room has a local display audio input or it can take audio from the office BGM input. There are also 2 streaming inputs from RTSP.

training room

Both of the office spaces and the warehouse have simple control interfaces.

office

These UCIs were built in the Q-Sys designer software. We were able to layout the whole facility in a couple hours including the time it took make the graphics. If you have worked with other DSP software interfaces Q-Sys designer will be a refreshing change. The system was very easy to configure and customize for our needs.

Here is the setup for the office:

office

This is the AEC schematic. We have snapshots for different input settings and a schedule snapshot for our Monday morning sales meetings

conference room

We also have a schematic page setup for monitoring our amps and speakers.

amp monitor

The AEC module is especially cool. Its included in the system at no extra charge and no licensing fee! It also does not require additional hardware. We have more than enough DSP processing left. Could AEC on all of our current inputs and have more DSP processing left over than we could possibly use.

Here is a couple pics of the gear installed.

IMG_0208 - 2014-01-02 at 15-06-30IMG_0206 - 2014-01-02 at 15-05-36 IMG_0210 - 2014-01-02 at 15-07-17 IMG_0209 - 2014-01-02 at 15-06-59

QSC brings comfort to distressed dogs

Music can have a profound impact on our physiological well-being.  Nearly anybody who has ever listened to their favorite song has experienced it. Why wouldn’t it affect your dog’s health?

Tail Lights Dogs, a dog boarding, training and daycare facility in Greenville, South Carolina is in a class of its own.   Specifically, each element of the Tail Lights environment has been designed to mitigate the stress pet dogs often experience when away from their home and human family.

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The Art and Science of Soldering

Soldering was one of the first things that I learned to do with electronics and oddly enough, it has been one of the most valuable skills I have ever acquired. I use it on a weekly if not daily basis and I have for probably the past 14 years.  Most of the time it’s cables and connectors but sometimes it’s circuit boards or my daughter’s earrings. (Don’t worry, I use lead-free solder for those).

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