Archive for January 14th, 2013

Click 3X’s ClickFire Media Delivers Bespoke Campaign Innovations

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With a growing portfolio of clever digital projects, ClickFire Media (CFM) has quickly established itself as an authority in using the full spectrum of social media tools to engage users in inventive and unexpected ways, maximizing the efficacy of any campaign.

“As a company, we are fueled by a deep desire to explore,” noted CFM Creative Director Nick Agderian. “Think of the Jamaican tourist who sits at the resort and takes a tour bus into town, buying tchotchkes. That is not us. We are the ones sneaking off the resort grounds and wandering into a shanty bar with a guy called Dance Dance, having an adventure we will cherish forever. We are always looking for a new way to answer the question, and we are more than happy to take our clients along with us.”

CFM’s work in the social media space has been impressive in its breadth and variety. For example, their Electrified campaign for Vice allowed users to create an electrified version of themselves on Twitter to mimic a stunt pulled off by David Blaine. The studio has built a fully functional social media site for AFS, a Facebook app for Estee Lauder and Breast Health Awareness, and augmented reality activations for Daffy’s and AT&T football.

Much of CFM’s innovation emerges from an improvisational and inventive company culture that seeks to exploit each platform’s every available aspect. When designing a recent interactive mobile ventriloquist dummy app for GEICO, for example, the studio had to avoid using front or side controls in order to maintain the mystique of an independently operating talking puppet. They solved this problem by turning the phone’s backside camera into an input device that opens or closes the puppet’s mouth when the lens is blocked or unblocked.

Such physical interactions with devices often create an extra layer of technical roadblocks, which CFM’s creative technologists identify and work out with the creatives at the beginning of the process. An augmented reality site for Daffy’s, for example, allowed users to blow out a virtual candle with a microphone, which presented the problem of working around varying hardware specs and user-set sensitivity levels. To avoid destroying the purity of the experience by requiring a complex battery of user adjustments, CFM developed a code that sampled the ambient background and determined an average silence, allowing a user to blow out the candle with nothing more than a puff into their microphone.

“When we approach any project, we ask both pertinent and odd questions that are going to lead to interesting answers about the creative problem at hand,” explained CFM Head of Production Ephraim Kehlmann. “If you do that right, innovation will flow naturally, but it will never really feel like innovation, just the right answer.”

To view a selection of case studies, click here.

About ClickFireMedia:

ClickFireMedia is an interactive design studio specializing in multi-platform, media-rich creative campaigns. CFM partners with agencies and entertainment industry clients in the conceptualization, design and development of fully-integrated, consistently branded experiences. Through insight and innovation, CFM combines that latest interactive technologies with the best design, video, animation and live action skills from Click 3X to deliver integrated solutions in the ever-developing media landscape.

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Honda Teams With Forza Horizon for Civic Launch

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TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 14, 2013 – Honda is set to launch three distinct performance-oriented models in the year’s biggest racing game, Forza Horizon on Xbox 360. Beginning on Tues, Jan. 15, Forza Horizon players can download the Honda Challenge Car Pack on Xbox LIVE, featuring three Honda models, the new 2013 Civic Si Coupe, original 1986 Civic Si or Honda Performance Development B-Spec Rally Fit, free to Xbox LIVE members.

“Gaming is a huge passion of our Honda Civic customer and integrating with the latest installment of the popular Forza franchise allows us to interact with our customers where they naturally are,” said Mike Accavitti, vice president of national marketing operations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “To create an immersive event, we partnered with Microsoft and Xbox to develop a branded destination experience complete with free car downloads for players.”

In addition to downloading Honda cars to play in-game, players can race virtually against Honda IndyCar driver Scott Dixon and try to beat his fastest time around the environment in a 2013 Civic Si. This “2013 Civic Si Challenge” contest awards the fastest racer the opportunity to meet the Indianapolis 500® winner in person and receive a custom Civic Si-themed Xbox 360 gaming console.

On Feb. 15 a photo contest will launch in Forza Horizon encouraging players to submit photos taken in-game of the 2013 Civic Si. The best photo will be featured on Honda social channels and on the Honda website. Winners of the contest will receive a custom Civic Si-themed Xbox 360 gaming console.

Beginning on Dec. 15 the branded destination experience launched and video banner ads directed players from the Xbox LIVE environment. Players could then view photos of Honda cars and vote on the track to compete in the “2013 Civic Si Challenge.”

Credits:

Client: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Branded Destination Experience
Pre-launch: Dec. 15, 2012
Honda models avail in-game: Jan. 15, 2013

Agency: RPA
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, GCD: Jason Sperling
VP/ACD: Luis Ramirez
ACDs: Hobart Birmingham, Perrin Anderson
Sr. Copywriter: Jesse Golden
ADs: Sarah Hass, Quinn Killick
Jr. Art Director: Fritz Paguio
Brand Experience Director: Albert Ocampo

Microsoft Corp
Senior Public Relations Manager: Rob Semsey
Senior Partner Manager: Kim Wolfkill
Senior Product Marketing Manager: Justin Osmer
Group Product marketing Manager: Guy Welch
Executive Producer: Joe Brisbois
Community Manager: Brian Ekberg
Cinematic Lead: Landin Williams
Cinematic Producer: Shay Goldenberg
Licensing: Bassima Algusane
Product Manager: Jon Gosline
Product Manager: Yohan Sengamalay
Sr. Acct Executive: Ryon Haness
Media Solutions Specialist: Ryan McAuliffe
Media Solutions Specialist: Grant Ogburn
Media Solutions Specialist: Tom Marostica
Media Solutions Specialist: Randy Shaffer
Account Manager: Ross Michaelis
Designer: Derek Atkinson
Developer: Chris Hagen

About RPA:

RPA, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., is a leading independent advertising agency. RPA builds momentum for brands by offering its clients truly integrated campaigns that resonate throughout its disciplines, which include traditional advertising, interactive, and direct and event marketing. RPA’s client list includes American Honda, both the Honda and Acura brands, ampm, ARCO, Castrol, California Department of Public Health, Intuit Small Business, La-Z-Boy, Farmers Insurance Group and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. For more information, visit http://www.rpa.com.

About Honda:

Honda offers a complete lineup of Honda cars, trucks and service through a network of 1,037 Honda dealerships within the United States. In 2012, Honda will mark 30 years of producing automobiles in U.S.1, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio in November 1982. Having produced over 23 million vehicles in North America, Honda currently operates 7 major automobile manufacturing facilities in the region.

Connect with Honda:
Media Newsroom (for journalists): www.hondanews.com
For consumers: http://automobiles.honda.com/civic/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HondaCivic
YouTube: www.youtube.com/honda
Flickr: www.flickr.com/hondanews
Twitter: www.twitter.com/honda
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/honda
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+honda

1Honda products are produced using domestic and globally sourced parts.

About Forza:

Celebrate speed, music, and style at the Horizon Festival! Forza Horizon combines legendary Forza authenticity with the freedom of the open road. Forza Horizon is exclusively on the Xbox 360 and is now available in a Limited Collector’s Edition ($79.99 U.S. ERP) and a Standard Edition ($59.99 U.S. ERP). The game is rated “T” For Teen by the ESRB. According to MetaCritic.com Forza Horizon is the highest-rated racing game on the Xbox 360 this holiday season.

Connect with Forza:
Web: www.forzamotorsport.net
Facebook: www.facebook.com/forzamotorsprort
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Turn10Studios
YouTube: www.youtube.com/Turn10Studios

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West Post Digital Now Making Available Rental Space Which Includes Avids

Santa Monica, CA, January 15, 2013 — West Post Digital, a leading online post production company based in Santa Monica, is now offering turnkey offline suites as part of its rental space within its 20,000 sq. ft. building. The complement of gear includes Avid Media Composers, Producer Stations, and Unity, all completely wired and readily accessible.
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In addition, West Post Digital has added office trailers to its 4,000 sq. ft. warehouse. As such, the company has created a unique community of editing suites and offices that is both flexible and configurable to virtually any need.
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Todd Brown CEO, West Post Digital, said, “We understand the ever changing needs involved in production, and will work to customize a solution that is optimal for the specific requirements involved in any project. West Post Digital is offering attractive price packages that include rental space, editing systems, and finishing services. We are dedicated to ensuring that the needs of any film or video project are successfully brought to fruition, at reasonable fees.”
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ABOUT WEST POST DIGITAL:
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Founded in 1998 in Santa Monica, CA, by Kenny Fields and Todd Brown, West Post Digital specializes in online post production for network and cable television programs, independent, major studio and documentary films, home entertainment releases, videogames and Web-based content. Among the company’s high profile clientele are such industry leaders as MTV, “South Park,” National Geographic Channel, James Cameron, ABC, ESPN, Walt Disney Pictures, FX, “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy,” among many others.
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West Post Digital’s services include Editing, HD finishing, da Vinci color correction, HD and SD Deliverables (including closed captioning and dubbing,) 100% Quality Control, audio sweetening, 5.1 audio mixing, and a host of other services—among them DVD authoring and file based services (for RED and Canon 5D formats.) With the slogan, “Welcome to Your Digital Destination,” West Post Digital helps its clients realize their creative dreams.
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Located in a state-of-the-art, fully loaded, 20,000 sq. ft. facility, the mission of West Post Digital is to deliver the best possible end product to its diverse range of clientele. All of the company’s editing systems –Avid Symphony’s, Avid DS and Final Cut’s, can be utilized in any of its bays, allow for shared media storage, and are wired into West Post’s machine room (which sports 22 racks of all the latest gear.) West Post’s services are available to clients on a 24/7 basis.
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Whether clients require layoffs to tape, deliverables, closed captioning, QC or other “tricky technical stuff,” every option is offered by West Post Digital. Add to that West Post Digital’s professionally staffed editorial suites, da Vinci Resolve, and two audio mixing rooms for the perfect combination of comfort, functionality, and cost effectiveness.
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West Post Digital is located at 1703 Stewart Street, Santa Monica, CA, 90404. The phone is 310/857-5000, and the website is: www.westpostdigital.com

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Gravity Kicks Off 2013 By Signing Internationally Renowned VFX Supervisor & Compositing Supervisor Alex Lemke, an Award Winner for his Work at WETA Digital on the “Lord of the Rings” Franchise; Lemke Becomes Gravity’s Senior VFX Supervisor & Compositing Supervisor, Feature Films & Commercials

New York, NY, January 14, 2013 — Gravity has appointed globally renowned VFX Supervisor Alex Lemke as its new Senior VFX Supervisor/Compositing Supervisor for films and commercials. Gravity’s CEO/Chief Creative Officer Zviah Eldar made the announcement.
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While at Weta, Lemke worked on all three installments of “The Lord of the Rings” franchise, and won a Visual Effects Society Award for Best Compositing on “The Two Towers.” More recently, Lemke contributed to the visual effects on Peter Jackson’s latest epic film, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
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In 2012, Lemke served as the VFX Supervisor on the Coen Brothers’ upcoming feature film “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and worked as the Compositing Supervisor on David Chase’s film, “Not Fade Away.” In his new position, Lemke will work in tandem with Karin Levinson, Gravity’s EVP of Features and Television, and with Bob Samuel, Gravity’s CMO/Executive Producer for Commercials.
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“We are thrilled to have Alex join our team,” said Levinson. “He possesses a high level of expertise that is rare to find, especially with respect to Compositing and Visual Effects Supervision. His talent and demeanor are recognized industry wide, and we are excited that he will play an integral part in the company’s growth.”
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Adds Samuel, “Talent at Alex Lemke’s level isn’t often made available to commercial producers and brand marketers. He has worked with many of the most successful directors in the entertainment business, among them Peter Jackson, Tim Burton, the Coen Brothers, Roland Emmerich, Wolfgang Petersen and David Chase. We are already seeing how well he applies his talent to the advertising industry.”
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ABOUT ALEX LEMKE:
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Alex Lemke is currently marking his 20th anniversary year working within the Visual Effects Industry. Prior to joining Gravity, he was the Senior Compositor for Peter Jackson’s latest epic visual effects masterpiece, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Earlier, Lemke was based in-house at Framestore, where he worked closely with Academy Award winning directors Joel and Ethan Coen as the VFX Supervisor for their upcoming film, “Inside Llewyn Davis.” He was also the Compositing Supervisor for David Chase’s current film “Not Fade Away.”
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Lemke began his career as an optical cameraman, later moving into digital effects at ARRI Munich, and moved on to compositing on Flame and Cineon. His technical background in both optical and digital workflows, coupled with a deep and integral understanding of color pipelines and an artistic eye, is readily apparent.
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Spending three years at Weta Digital in New Zealand, Lemke worked on all three films comprising “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy as a 2D Sequence Supervisor. This work resulted in Lemke winning a 2002 Visual Effects Society (VES) Award for “Best Compositing” for his work on “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.”
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Upon returning to his native Germany, Lemke founded his own small VFX studio in Munich. There, he worked as VFX Supervisor and Lead Compositor, while also providing on-set supervising and managing, while producing world-class visual effects on many German feature films. These included “Krabat,” “We are the Night,” and the German film prize winner, “John Rabe.” Lemke also worked with Velvet, a leading German Commercial Design house, as a Senior Flame Artist. There, he was involved with a variety of cutting edge commercials for such high profile clients as Mercedes Benz, Hyundai, Haagen Dazs and Visa.
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He also produced full and highly complex VFX sequences for Dreamworks’ “Sweeney Todd” and Sony Pictures’ “2012.” Other notable films Lemke provided visual effects for include Paramount Pictures’ “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Warner Bros.’ “Troy,” and New Line Cinema’s “Dark City.”
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In 2004, Lemke began sharing his knowledge with the next generation of visual effects artists. First as a lecturer and then evolving into a full professor in 2009, Lemke established the first Masters Program in Digital Compositing in Europe at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. His teaching style was heralded for combining theory and practice with enthusiasm and technological expertise – today, many of his students are currently employed at visual effects studios around the world.
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Lemke is a member of the Visual Effects Society and the German Filmakedemie (German Film Academy.)
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ABOUT GRAVITY:
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Gravity is one of the new breed special effects and creative companies specializing in digital production. Its clients are Ad Agencies, Brand Marketers, TV Producers, Broadcasters, and Hollywood Filmmakers, who contract for its abilities in design, creative, 3D animation, and photo-real visual effects.
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Gravity’s clients include Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., DreamWorks, Sony Pictures Entertainment, HBO, Paramount Pictures, Virgin Produced, The Weinstein Company, Dimension Films, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Mercedes Benz, Verizon, Pantene, MGA Entertainment, Carlsberg, Kmart, and Braun. The company’s recent feature film credits include “Tower Heist,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “The Adjustment Bureau,” “Arthur,” “The Other Guys,” “Salt,” “The Reader,” and “Ghost Town.” The company’s television credits include HBO’s “Bored to Death,” “The Sopranos,” and “Sex and The City.”
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Gravity’s New York office is located at 315 Madison Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY, 10017. The phone is 212/986-1584. The company’s West Coast office is located in the Lantana Building, 3000 West Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA, 90404. The phone is 310/264-3909. For more information, please visit www.gravityworld.com

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The Cove Church Upgrades to HD Production with Broadcast Pix Granite 5000 Video Control Center

Billerica, Massachusetts – Broadcast Pix™ today announced that The Cove Church in Mooresville, N.C., is using a Granite™ 5000 2 M/E Video Control Center™ to produce image magnification (I-MAG) for its congregation during services, as well as simultaneously stream its services live on the Web and share the live video feed with three campuses across the state. The church began using its new system in mid-October.

Attendance at the main campus in Mooresville, a suburb of Charlotte, averages 3,800 over its four weekend services, with another 900 attendees spread across its North Carolina campuses in Newton, Statesville, and Cornelius. When the church’s aging SD video system needed to be replaced, church officials decided to transition to a full HD production workflow. “We wanted to give our campuses the absolute best quality image,” said Greg Antisdel, director of production.

The Cove Church purchased its Granite 5000 from ClarkPowell in Charlotte, N.C., but designed and installed its own HD infrastructure. The upgraded control room is housed backstage in a room large enough to accommodate up to eight volunteer production team members. Antisdel said the video production team gives people the opportunity to serve the church and help share its message.

Using Granite’s 2 M/E capabilities, the church produces two very different productions. The I-MAG production is designed for the local audience, while the Web/satellite campus version resembles a broadcast production, complete with an announcer, wider shots of the service, and shots from a camera on a jib. “Our goal is not to be a TV production,” Antisdel explained, “but to help you ‘feel’ the venue and feel like you’re part of what’s going on.”

The Fluent™ Clip Store is used for a countdown video before services and a message intro, as well as “life story” videos that are sometimes integrated into services. Antisdel said Fluent Macros were designed for some tasks, so a volunteer TD – who operates the system maybe once a month – does not need to be particularly skilled at switching to get professional results. Fluent-View, the built-in, customizable multi-viewer, populates all sources on two Sharp 70-inch LEDs in the control room.

The built-in Fluent workflow tools, as well as its overall cost effectiveness, made Granite the ideal choice for the Cove Church. “I looked at other switchers, and I still kept coming back to Broadcast Pix. I like the platform,” Antisdel said.

About Broadcast Pix The leader in live video production systems, Broadcast Pix was founded in 2002 and has customers in more than 110 countries. Its Video Control Centers™ combine an integrated switcher, clip server, CG, and device control software with patented control panels, unique touch-screens, and exceptional displays that enable operators to create with confidence. That confidence is further enhanced with rock-solid stability, patented technologies to maintain lip sync, and great technical support. Systems range from compact systems controlled by touch-screen or voice automation to sophisticated 2 M/E control panels. Customers include leading broadcast, corporate, education, religious, government, webcast, entertainment and mobile studios. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Fluent, Granite, and Video Control Centers are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

Waves CE 2012 CES Press Kit

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Matrox Graphics to Highlight Advanced Video Management Solutions for AV and Digital Signage Installations at ISE 2013

AV integrators and installers to see latest innovations in Full-HD video distribution over IP, output/input video wall controller board, and fiber-optic KVM extension technologies

Montreal, Canada, January 14, 2013 — Matrox Graphics Inc. today announced that Matrox Maevex™ video distribution over IP, Matrox Mura MPX™ video wall controller boards, and Matrox Avio™ F120 KVM extenders will drive a number of high-performance video management platforms at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2013, stand #11-H68.

Maevex will demonstrate its versatility as an AV and digital signage solution by cost-effectively leveraging standard TCP/IP networks to deliver up to 1920×1200 and Full-HD multimedia content across multiple high-volume networks. The bundled Matrox PowerStream software conveniently provides both centralized and detailed control of each Maevex device and feature. A Mura MPX-powered 2×2 video wall—via an Advantech AVS-540 controller system—will meanwhile serve as the centerpiece of a collaborative ecosystem capturing and displaying numerous live and recorded video feeds, including Maevex sources. An Avio F120 will round out the installation by remotely driving Matrox MuraControl™ for Windows® software to manage content on the video wall.

The Matrox Maevex video distribution over IP solution delivers one-to-one unicast or one-to-many multicast of Full-HD quality video extension and playback over standard TCP/IP networks. Maevex Encoders and Decoders capture, stream, and decode video from a variety of sources, and even allow for software-based decoding on non-Maevex devices. The Decoder can also act as a standalone player and supports H.264 content from local or networked sources. Matrox PowerStream software meanwhile offers a myriad of user-defined management features enabling administrators to control the Maevex network, streams, and devices.

The Matrox Mura MPX Series output/input boards feature highly flexible, universal input channel support for both digital and analog (DVI, RGB/VGA, Component, S-Video & Composite) video signals. Mura MPX’s unique ability to capture and display uncompressed data ensures impeccable text, video, and graphics. Mura MPX high-density analog video capture cards provide additional NTSC/PAL/SECAM input channel support, while the Mura MPX-SDI board includes support for two 3G SDI video inputs and two DVI outputs.

The Matrox Avio F120 transmitter/receiver KVM extender transmits uncompressed dual-HD video, keyboard, mouse, and audio from the host system by up to 4000 meters via a single fiber-optic cable. Avio’s uncompressed transmission maintains system performance and ensures the playback of HD, 2K, and 4K video without any dropped frames or added latency. Users can also access the host computer via a second desktop connected to the transmitter unit for maintenance purposes or to share the remote desktop on a collaborative video wall.

Matrox Maevex, Mura MPX, and Avio solutions will be demonstrated live at ISE 2013 at Matrox stand #11-H68.

About Matrox Graphics Inc.
Matrox Graphics is a leading manufacturer of graphics solutions for professional markets. In-house design expertise, top-to-bottom manufacturing, and dedicated customer support make our solutions the premier choice in industries that require stable, high-reliability products. Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

For more information, visit www.matrox.com/graphics/ise2013 or contact graphics@matrox.com.

Matrox and Matrox product names are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of Matrox Electronic Systems, Ltd. and/or Matrox Graphics Inc. in Canada and/or other countries.

TC-Helicon and Sennheiser join forces

Vocal processing expert TC-Helicon and audio specialist Sennheiser today unveiled their cooperation in the field of vocal effects microphones. Bundling their extensive expertise in tools for vocalists and microphone technology, the two brands have been working on joint research projects since 2011, and will launch a joint product at NAMM in January 2013.

“The initial spark for our co-operation was at NAMM 2011, when TC-Helicon premiered a microphone with controls for vocal effects and Sennheiser demonstrated ‘Concept Tahoe’, a beatboxing microphone developed in their research lab in the USA,” said Kevin Alexander, CEO of TC-Helicon. “We had never met, we had never talked – and happened to be showing the same benefit, mic control!”

“We sat down together right at the show in a very open and friendly atmosphere and talked about what we were working on in our respective companies. We immediately saw each other as partners,” said Michael Polten, Director Customer Relationship Management at Sennheiser. “TC-Helicon’s mission is to give singers full control and Sennheiser’s aim is to provide excellent microphones – so our brands were a perfect fit.”

So TC-Helicon and Sennheiser started a joint research project, exploring how to interface their products to provide one-stop solutions for singers and musicians – products that will make a real difference for their users. As a first outcome of this commitment, the companies will launch a joint product at NAMM 2013.

Kevin Alexander: “We are very excited about this upcoming product bundle. Taking the most innovative microphone brand and the most popular vocal processing brand can only be a good thing for singers.”

Captions:
Kevin Alexander.jpg: Kevin Alexander, CEO of TC-Helicon
Michael Polten.jpg: Michael Polten, Director Customer Relationship Management at Sennheiser

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XL Video Supplies Over 2500 FX-200 LED Spheres to Mumford & Sons Tour

The latest UK arena leg of the hugely successful Mumford & Sons ‘Tour of Two Halves’ world tour featured 2,547 of XL Video’s latest FX-200 product, together with three Pixled F11 LED screens, HD cameras / PPU and crew.


The versatile FX-200s were specified by Lighting and Visuals Designer Ed Warren from Next Level Lights.
The small opaque plastic balls encase LED clusters and can be fitted together and configured to suit any design. They are ideal for bespoke applications and offer twice the brightness of similar LED spheres. An IP65 rating makes the FX-200s ideal for both indoor and outdoor applications.
The band have been touring for the last three years with various different arrangements of tungsten lightsources over and around the stage as an integral part of the lighting rig.
Earlier in this tour, Warren introduced LED festoon lighting, going from the stage and reaching right out into the audience … and he wanted to take this up another level and add another dynamic and adaptable lightsource to the mix – enter the FX-200.
He had seen the product in action at various festivals over the summer and thought it ideal for the next evolution of his design. “I wanted something far more than just a standard light bulb or lightsource, and something that could produce high-impact low-res effects like the stars at night or burning embers”.
Apart from that, he needed to be able to get a good tungsten to match and complement the rest of the lighting aesthetics.
The FX-200s were mounted on small different length steels and hung on two independent trusses. Their layout and where they were positioned onstage was critical to the rest of the lighting rig, and when in position they brought two distinctive additional curved visual layers to the stage.
Content from a Catalyst media server triggered from Warren’s Chamsys MQ100 console was run through all the FX-200 balls which certainly brought the desired whole new dimension to the show, “But without it being too elaborate or over-done,” confirms Warren.
The more complex FX-200 effects in the show included spinning and chart-wheeling impressions for “I Will Wait” and an arc-like rising sun accompanied by bouncing sun-beams from the VL3500 moving lights in “Awake My Soul”.
‘Crowning’ the top of the stage were three of XL’s Pixled F11 LED screens, an 8 panel wide by 3 deep section in the centre, flanked by two sections of 3 x 3 panels wide per side. These were originally suggested by Rob Sinclair, Visual Consultant for this leg of the tour, which was also the band’s first in UK arenas since they shot to prominence in the last year.
XL supplied a 2ME Grass Valley HD Kayak mixer and full PPU with five Sony HXC100 HD cameras – two positioned at FOH, two in the ‘pit’ and one onstage, plus four Sony BRC H700 Robo-cams stations around the drums and piano – for the IMAG mix directed by Woody.
XL’s crew chief was Al Bolland, described by Ed Warren as “A legend!” He was joined by Myway, Steve Jones, Steve Clarisse, and Connie Glover on the road, and the tour was Project Managed for XL by the equally fabulous Jo Beirne and Phil Mercer.
Warren sums up, “XL put a lot of time and effort into prepping this elaborate rig and the commitment and professionalism of the crew was exemplary. I’d been wanting to work with Jo (Beirne) for quite some time, so it was good to finally get the ball rolling!”

grandMA2 Helps Empire State Building Illuminate the Skyline With Pixel-Map Philips LED Lighting System

It may not have looked like your grandma’s Empire State Building (ESB), but a grandMA2 enhanced the dazzling pixel mapping of the New York City landmark that launched the building’s groundbreaking Philips Color Kinetics (PCK) LED lighting system. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of grandMA in North America.

The world-famous ESB recently revealed its new, one-of-a-kind LED tower lights with a first-ever light show on the Landmark, which was designed by noted lighting designer Marc Brickman. The stunning display featured six Hippo HD media servers, controlled by a grandMA2 and operated in conjunction with the PCK LSM control system and its associated network. The Hippos drove 11,500 pixel-mapped DMX channels to four types of Philips Color Kinetics RGB and white fixtures located on the building’s top four tiers where they replaced old metal halide and fluorescent fixtures. All four sides of the structure were pixel mapped making the landmark visible throughout the city and surrounding areas.

“It was an honor to work on the project,” says Brickman. “Philips and their team did an incredible job, and I had a great team. Everyone wanted to try something new and create a special musical show, and we did.”

He explains that Philips “felt they needed enhance their control system” to implement the pixel mapping. “grandMA2 would have been any designer’s choice for this application,” he says. “I was familiar with using pixels; it’s still animated light. And the grandMA worked great.”

Brickman was assisted by programmer Tony Fransen, 3-D artist Deitrich Juengling and Hippo programmer Darian Koop.

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