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Ricki and the Flash Rocks with PreSonus, Part 2

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The five musicians that make up the band Ricki and the Flash are all top shelf players. Their credits are the stuff of legends; you hear them on the radio every day. Of the five, only bass player Rick Rosas and drummer Joe Vitale had played together before, as the rhythm section of the reunion tour for the legendary Buffalo Springfield (no relation to Rick Springfield).

Bernie Worrell is a visionary funk keyboardist and a member of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. His credits include Parliament/Funkadelic and Talking Heads. Rick Springfield is a fantastic guitarist who also played Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital.

Meryl Streep, of course, is one of the most renowned actresses in the world.

To get them to be Ricki and the Flash, we set up in the World Famous Rodeo Bar in the Murray Hill district of Manhattan. The Rodeo Bar is a long, narrow room with a brick wall behind the band. We were in a small space, and they were very LOUD.

We set up the band in an authentic club configuration and laid out the monitors for them. We used three StudioLive™ 312AI cabinets for the vocalists and keyboard position and a StudioLive 315AI for the drum wedge.

When we first set up the wedges, we decided to just use them in the standard DSP configuration. The speakers use Dave Gunness’ TQ™ (Temporal Equalization) settings to correct for the acoustical issues that arise in a coaxial design. In addition, each box has DSP settings designed to assist the user in different acoustic situations. There are four settings on the back of the speaker, accessed by a small button. The settings are: Normal (full range for front-of-house), LBR Source (for low-bit-rate digital audio, such as MP3 playback), Floor Monitor (for stage wedge), and a custom User preset.

Neil Citron is a long-time studio engineer, guitarist, and all around great guy. He ran the Mothership for Steve Vai for 15 years and is a member of the Sapphire Group, a bunch of audiophiles in Los Angeles. Neil has incredible ears and was brought in to teach Meryl guitar, be the music director, and record the performances.

Neil and I set up the wedges, supervised by Mark Wolfson, and we ran some program material through them. We really liked the sound of the default Normal setting, so we left it. As soon as the band showed up, we quickly realized that the stage mix just wasn’t “there.” A quick button-push, and the boxes were in Stage Monitor mode; they sat perfectly in the mix, with no additional EQ required.

We used one StudioLive 312AI plus one StudioLive 18sAI subwoofer per side of the “house” PA. We put the top boxes on using the SP1BK subwoofer pole; this also allowed us to steer the top box to reduce reflections off of the brick walls.

Thanks to Brad Graham, Rapco generously provided us with microphone cable and snakes to wire the stage. We wired the guitars using Radial JDX DIs to get the sound of the amplifier, not the guitar. We used Radial JDIs on the bass and keys. Thanks to Roxanne Ricks of Audio-Technica, we had A-T mics on the Leslie and hi-hat. We also used the fantastic A-T ribbons for ambient room miking. We had triggers on the drum kit; more about that later.

Here were the basic challenges:

  • Make sure the musicians can hear each other and the singers can hear their voices.
  • Make sure the levels into the recordings were right.
  • Get a good balanced mix for the audience.
  • Make it feel like a real show, which it was.

I’ll get into the recording aspect in the next part.

I need to give major props to Gary Goetzman, the producer, who took five musicians who had not played together before (with the exception of the rhythm section) and turned them into a real band in two weeks. Everyone was at the top of their game, and the professionalism of the band and producer really shone through.

Ricki and the Flash Rocks with PreSonus, Part 1

 

Ricki and the Flash poster (1)Hello everyone, I’m Phil Garfinkel, the Special Projects Liaison for PreSonus® Audio Electronics. I’m writing about the shooting of a new movie, Ricki and the Flash, discussing the PreSonus products that we used and how we used them.

First, a little about the film: Ricki and the Flash stars Meryl Streep as Ricki, an aspiring rock star who leaves the Midwest to “make it” in California. Her band, The Flash, features the talents of Rick Springfield on guitar, Bernie Worrell on keyboards, Joe Vitale on drums, and Rick Rosas on bass.

We set up the band in an authentic club configuration, with plenty of PreSonus equipment to reinforce their sound. We recorded with Capture™ and used Studio One® to create reference recordings. I was on site as the PreSonus tech, mixing the live show.

Here is a quick overview of what we used from PreSonus:

 

The movie is directed by Jonathan Demme and produced by Gary Goetzman and Marc Platt, all Oscar winning veterans. Jonathan and Gary wanted the band to play, not just pretend to play along to tracks; I was brought in to mix front-of-house and monitors and to take a 32-track feed to capture the music as it happened.

We faced some unusual challenges. Thanks to teamwork and a mutual obsession for excellence (and some pretty great gear), Mark, Neil, and I worked through it to help Jonathan and Gary make an excellent soundtrack for the film.

Special thanks to Roxanne Ricks at Audio-Technica for helping us get high quality microphones and wireless systems, Peter Janis at Radial Engineering for getting us some fantastic Direct Boxes, and Brad Graham at Rapco-Horizon for helping with cable needs.

Thanks also to my cohorts in audio-land, Mark Wolfson and Neil Citron, who led the charge for this journey. Also Jeff Pullman, C.A.S, the film’s Production Sound Mixer, who worked with us.

Ricky and the Flash opens in theaters everywhere on August 7.

 

Click here for part 2!

Chris "The Hammer" Tsanjoures

Rational Acoustics @SmaartSoftware Basics Course Coming to PreSonus HQ in Baton Rouge, Aug. 10-11

Chris Tsanjoures

Rational Acoustics Smaart Basics Course Coming to PreSonus HQ in Baton Rouge, Aug. 10-11—Sign up here

Our good friend Chris Tsanjoures from Rational Acoustics will be in Baton Rouge to teach his Smaart Basics class at the PreSonus world headquarters on August 10 and 11. The class is open to the public – so if you’ve been wanting to step up your audio game using the full Smaart v.7 software  – this is an opportunity that you do not want to miss. For the uninitiated, Smaart is a dual-channel, FFT-based software platform we use in our work as audio engineers to view the frequency content of signals or measure the response of our loudspeaker systems. If you’ve used the RM or StudioLive software control applications, you’ve already had a glimpse at some very basic Smaart Measurement Technology features – now is your chance to start using Smaart v.7 like a Pro!

The Smaart Basics class curriculum covers the configuration, operation, and fundamental concepts of RTA, Spectrograph, Transfer Function and Impulse Response measurements. At the completion of the course, each attendee will have been given a functional knowledge of how Smaart operates as a tool and how to use it to perform essential system engineering tasks such as loudspeaker equalization, delay systems alignment, subwoofer alignment/arraying, multi-position live averaging and much much more.

Oh, and in true PreSonus tradition, we’ll see to it that every attendee will be well-fed.

Date/Time

Monday August 10, 2015 – Tuesday August 11, 2015
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Registration: http://www.rationalacoustics.com/events/baton-rouge-la-2/#register
Course description: http://www.rationalacoustics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/NEWSmaart-Basics6.15.pdf

Location

PreSonus Audio Inc.
18011 Grand Bay Court
Baton Rouge, LA United States 70809

About the Instructor: Chris Tsanjoures is a Product Manager at Rational Acoustics. This puts him in a unique position to split his time between the development of the Smaart Platform, and training folks on the use and theory behind it. Chris holds a BA in Music Production & Technology from the Hartt School of Music and is an active freelance sound engineer for various production companies throughout the North East.

 

Recording a Jazz Band: Audio Solutions from PreSonus

PreSonus offers you a full solution for jazz band rehearsal and recording. Take a look at how the Louisiana All State Jazz Ensemble takes advantage of the StudioLive AI family!

FAQ for Ray’s Beard

With the arrival of the StudioLive RM-series rackmount mixers, we’ve received a lot of questions about the functionality. 96K? Can they be cascaded? What about the Dante cards? When can I get one?

We’ve answered those questions (and more) in the RM-series mixer FAQ, which can be had by clicking here. But we’ve also gotten a lot of other questions that we feel are worthy of their own FAQ—particularly regarding Ray’s beard. While we understand and appreciate your curiosity, we have had to keep some secrets for a while for competitive reasons—but, the cat is out of the bag and we can go public with the announcement of the Garibaldi FH16K. Read below for more info.

Garibaldi

Ray’s Beard FAQ

The Garibaldi FH16K is a true-analog face-mountable beard that allows for maintaining facial warmth in the coming winter months, as well as unsurpassed soup and juice filtering. Beta testers of the Garibaldi have reported up to a 30% increase in their dates-per-week ratio shortly after concluding installation. Garibaldi is compatible with all walks of life, and enjoys cross-fashion compatibility with both corduroys and flannel.

While currently only compatible with human males over the age of 14, we plan to broaden availability to women and younger users through a hormone therapy add-on kit available in Q3 2015. At the time of this writing we have no plans to make the beard available to Androids.

  • Q: Is the Garibaldi FH16K difficult to maintain?
  • A: Not really, but carrying the weight of the beard consumes approximately 200 calories daily.

 

  • Q: Does UC Surface contain a beard Channel Type preset?smallbeard
  • A: Yes. It was released as part of the most recent UC Surface update, which can be downloaded by clicking here. It is accessed from the Channel Info menu.

 

  • Q: Any affiliation to the cast of Duck Dynasty?
  • A: No. Ray is from the Northwest.

 

  • Q: Ray has more hair on the bottom half of his head than the top half. That’s weird.
  • A: This is not a question.

 

  • Q: MIDI implementation?
  • A: Not available at this time.

 

  • Q: When does it ship?
  • A: The Garibaldi FH16K is available to begin growing immediately, with full installation concluding in 2-3 years.

 

  • Q: What networking options exist?
  • A: There is no Dante option planned, as Dante Alighieri (the great Italian poet who wrote the Divine Comedy) was clean-shaven. AVBeard is being considered.

 

  • Q: What customization options exist?
  • A: At the time of this writing, the Garibaldi FH16K grows to the default Grizzly Adams setting pictured above. We will be introducing the FuzzTrim QT expansion in Q2 2015, allowing for stored presets including the Goatee, Neckbeard (AKA “The Linux”), Mutton Chop, Fu Manchu, and Gandalf.*

 

*Gandalf has not yet tested for compatibility with OSX Mordor, please wait before updating your OS

Tech Specs:

Follicle Preamp

Type

Cellular Unbalanced Male x 16,000

Frequency Response (±3.0 dB)

1 Hz to 20 kHz

Input Impedance (Balanced)

B/G Ratio: (Brown to Grey)

16,000/3

Input

Type

Multicellular

TS Unbalanced Male Input Impedance

0.5 MΩ

Chin Output

Type

0.00067” Follicular Mono

Maximum Output ≈6″ (152.4 mm), annual

Balanced Output Impedance

Sideburn Outputs

Type

0.00085” Follicular Active Stereo

Maximum Output

≈8″ (203.2 mm), annual

Balanced Output Impedance

MIDI I/O

Type

N/A, that would be silly

Physical

Dimensions

1F (Facemountable)

Length

12.5” (317.5 mm)

Depth

1.75″ (44.45 mm)

Width

8.5” (215.9 mm)

Diameter per follicle

≈ 0.0275″ (00.70 mm)

Weight (Total)

.5 lbs (0.226 kg)

Sex Appeal

≥ ∞

Power

Calorie bus-powered

As a commitment to constant improvement, PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., reserves the right to change any specification stated herein at anytime, without notification.

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Preorder RM32AI, RM16AI Digital Mixers

SweetwaterB&HAMSFull-CompassThe StudioLive RM32AI and RM16AI created the most significant online buzz in our history of product releases. We were up to a whopping 16,000 views of our release videos for these products in mere days, and responding to the Facebook and YouTube comment threads on the matter have seen Ray Tantzen, our Sr. Product Manager, seriously distracted from bringing his next stroke of genius to store shelves, venues, and studios. Don’t worry, he’ll catch up—and thanks for all your great questions. With the cat out of the proverbial bag, we’ve done our best to keep up with customer interest. Fact is, if you really want to get to know one of these things, the best thing you can do is get one of these things.  But where? When? Who?

  • Where: Several online and brick-and-mortar retailers are currently taking pre-orders for the RM32AI and RM16AI mixers. Most will allow you to pre-order online, but this will vary by dealer.
  • When: Whenever! That’s what makes it a pre-order. In terms of arrival dates, RM-Series mixers are currently on planes, trains, and slow boats, and will be in dealer hands, and subsequently customer hands, in early October.
  • Who: You!

 

Click any of the icons above to get the ball rolling on a preorder!

If you’ve heard the RM-series mixer buzz but don’t yet understand what all the fuss is about, take a look at the videos in the playlist below to learn a bit more.

Here’s a couple videos regarding the RMAI line from Sweetwater and Full Compass.

Wise Wisdom

[This just in from James Wise, Account Manager for TechRep!]

Hey PreSonus!
Last weekend a good friend and long-time customer of mine was asked to help run sound for the North Coast Bluegrass on the Bay festival in tropical Sandusky, Ohio. He sent me the picture below showing a PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2 in use by the headliners, Lonesome River Band, mixing their in-ear monitors. The banjo player; Sammy Shelor, raved about his experience with the StudioLive mixers, he said they have owned and used this console almost daily for the last two years with no problems. The only thing they would love to see was something smaller and more portable as they fly a lot, and are not always able to take the mixer on the plane with them, which it sounds like there will be a solution for very soon.
I know the bluegrass scene is a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the live production that goes on out there, however it is still nice to see some of the top musicians and bands in my little realm if musical interest using products that I represent. Thanks!
CgAAG1P6GOOEbHJiAAAAAHtD5jo519

 

StudioLive AI Firmware 1.05 (firmware 5436) Released—Cascade your AI Mixers!

SLsA firmware update for the StudioLive 32.4.2AI, 24.4.2AI and 16.4.2AI mixers has been released to the web! You’ll need to log in to my.presonus.com to get it.  

In this release is a New Feature!

As of firmware version 1.0.5436, the StudioLive AI mixer line will have the ability to cascade two mixers together to create one large mixer. Start with a 16.4.2AI, 24.4.2AI, or 32.4.2AI, then cascade a second StudioLive AI mixer of any frame size to create custom-sized mixing consoles with the hardware and software advantages of StudioLive Active Integration™ systems.

For full details on this update, please click here to download the PDF.

For troubleshooting your cascaded mixer setup, click here.

The Blue Devils Win Big with Record-Breaking Score of 99.65!

unnamed-1The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps won their 16th World Championship on Saturday with a record-breaking score of 99.65—the highest in the history of the competition! 

The PreSonus family is extremely proud of the organization, and we have the utmost respect for the members and staff who worked tirelessly all summer and kept improving until the very end. Congrats!

Check out this video of the Blue Devils doing what they do best with the support of the PreSonus StudioLive AI mixers and loudspeakers.

Don’t forget to Power Up! Time is Running Out!

For those of you who haven’t taken advantage of our power-up offer… the clock is ticking! You can save up to $1200 when you trade in your “classic” ­StudioLive mixer for the 2X power, extra ­features, and sweet sound of our new AI Series!

Click here to take advantage of the deal. It ends on July 30, 2014!

Not sure why to upgrade to AI? Here’s a video with the reason for the season.