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ProSound News - Teragram Ballroom

Teragram Ballroom: Built From Experience
Posted on Jun 9, 2015
By Steve Harvey 

ProSound News Magazine

 Teragram1

Getting the Teragram Ballroom ready to roll are (l-r) Jeff DelBello, system designer/installer, dB Sound Design; Ken Blecher, regional manager west, d&b audiotechnik; and Robin Danar, production manager, Teragram Ballroom.

LOS ANGELES, CA—Leveraging the recent rebirth of downtown L.A., Michael Swier of the Bowery Presents has opened his first West Coast venue, Teragram Ballroom, in the adjacent Westlake neighborhood. The new music club—named in honor of Swier’s late wife, Margaret—features a Midas analog mixing console and racks of outboard gear at front of house, a digital Midas desk at stage right, and LCR main and monitor speakers from d&b audiotechnik.

“It’s the bones of this place that were the most important,” says Swier (pronounced Sweer), founder and owner of New York’s Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg, among others. Swier and his team have built out the structure to include a 30-foot stage with a proscenium, three large, well-appointed dressing rooms, a bar and café area and offices. Due to open June 1, Teragram’s calendar already includes The Delta Spirit, Palma Violets, Nate Ruess and others.

“This was originally built as a cinema in 1913. The current landlord bought it in the late ’50s and had a print shop in here,” Swier continues. The refit, reportedly costing around $2 million, was very much a collaboration, involving talent largely brought in from back east. Swier’s brother, Brian, an architect, has designed several of the company’s New York venues and is a partner in Teragram. Jim Falconer, who designed the sprung floor and acoustics at the Mercury Lounge, was also a big part of the design, says Swier.

On the equipment side, Jeff Del- Bello, of New Jersey-based design, installation and sales company dB Sound Design, is involved with the audio, assisted by local sound engineer Sam Coy. Another Bowery Presents alum, Luciano Savedra, lighting director at the organization’s Terminal 5 location, provided the design of the Teragrams substantial lighting rig. Production manager for the new Teragram Ballroom. venue is Robin Danar, who began his career as sound engineer at CBGB’s during its heyday.

Swier appreciates good sound, he says. “I’m a bit old school, but for a reason—I think it’s going to be just that much better sounding in here.” Take the Midas analog console at FOH, for example: “Even though they make extremely good digital boards these days, I need that real warmth. There’s something about that Midas. The sound quality, in everybody’s opinion, is going to be that much better.”

The house speakers comprise a d&b rig configured as an LCR point source system rather than arrays, explains DelBello. “Left, center and right are going to be Q7s, up top, and Q10s for the front fill. In the center we’re going to have a couple of smaller E8s for front fill, too. We’re using five Vi subs for the array below the stage.”

The FOH effects racks include compressors, equalizers, gates and reverbs, many in multiples, from the likes of Chandler Ltd., dbx, Empirical Labs, Eventide, Lexicon, Pendulum Audio and Summit Audio. On stage, the monitors are d&b audiotechnik M4 wedges driven by a digital Midas Pro3.

Unusually for a small club—Teragram holds around 600—the room and stage are fully acoustically treated, as much to keep the surrounding residents happy as for its benefits inside. For Swier, great sound is paramount. “It’s all about the sound: The bands hearing themselves on stage, and the people watching the show and how it sounds to them.”

He continues, “We built the Mercury Lounge for sound; it was the first place in New York that was built specifically for that. I just wanted to make it the best sounding room for its size.”

Every subsequent music venue has been a learning experience, he says. “This is the culmination of it all. With every one, you learn a little more about it.” Looking around as the construction enters its final phase, he says, “You have these visions of the end result, but when they happen, and it’s even better, it’s kind of nice.”

d&b audiotechnik - dbaudio.com 
Midas - midasconsoles.com 
dB Sound Design - www.dbsounddesign.com 

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ProSound News - Teragram Ballroom

 

 

ProSound News - Rock 'n' Roll High School

Oufitting a Rock ‘n’ Roll High School
Posted on Dec 19, 2016
By Steve Harvey 

ProSound News Magazine

RnRHighSchool
Recreating The Power Station’s famed control room in New Jersey-based Mount Olive High School this summer were (l-r): pro audio installer Jeff DelBello; producer/engineer Ron Saint Germain; and Power Station founder Tony Bongiovi.

FLANDERS, NJ—Mount Olive High School (MOHS), rated among the top schools in the nation, made some major upgrades to its facilities over its summer recess, including the construction of a recording studio outfitted with an API Vision analog mixing console. “It’s a real, honest-to-God Rock ‘n’ Roll High School—with a Power Station control room,” says producer, engineer and mixer Ron Saint German, who lives in the area and was brought in to consult on the project.

Unlike the rock ‘n’ roll high school depicted in Roger Corman’s classic 1970s B-movie of the same name, where the students choose the Ramones instead of an education, MOHS, “Home of the Marauders,” offers a curriculum to keep even the most rebellious teen happy. And with the start of the 2016-2017 school year, MOHS has added Audio Engineering and a Rock and Roll Academy, both based at the new recording studio, which is known as MPAC.

When Saint Germain says that the new facility has a Power Station control room, he means exactly that. After his name was put forward by a mutual friend when the school district’s superintendent, Dr. Larry Reynolds, went looking for professional guidance as the project neared its final stages, Saint Germain met with the architects
They apparently had no previous experience with designing studios. “I said, if you want to build a world-class studio, I’m happy to help you out. If you want to build this, good luck,” he recalls, after looking at the plans.

Happily, a large portion of the available space, a former gym that had been—and will continue to be—used for wrestling matches, had been set aside for the control room. “In my head, I could see Power Station’s Studio A control room just drop right in,” he says. He called Tony Bongiovi, who opened the Power Station (later sold and renamed Avatar Studios) in Manhattan in 1977. “Tony and I have been friends for 43 years. And I knew he still had the plans for the Power Station.”

“This is the tenth control room that I’ve built. Some are replicas of Studio A; that’s the control room I’ve replicated the most,” says Bongiovi, who licensed his plans to MPAC’s architects.
MOHS, which has about 1,450 registered students in grades 9 through 12, is very technology-forward. The school has long housed a professionally-equipped TV production facility that broadcasts over closed circuit and locally over-the-air. Its robotics department was started in 2000 and has won multiple awards. As part of this summer’s renovations, the school has also opened the new Marauder Innovation Learning Lab, or MILL, equipped with 30 3D printers, in the same part of the facility as MPAC.

“This is not just a room that we threw some equipment into; it’s the real deal,” Bongiovi continues, noting that the original room has generated hundreds and hundreds of hit records. “The most mindboggling aspect is that these are high school kids. I was in high school in 1966; if you wanted to work for Columbia Records, you had to get an engineering degree from Rutgers University. I was very impressed that the school system would have something this elaborate.”

Jeff DelBello, also based in New Jersey, supplied a portion of the studio equipment and all of the wiring and integration work through his two companies, DB Sound Design and DB Sound Store. “It was such a treat to deal with two guys, Ron and Tony, that really know what they’re doing. I’d be halfway through an explanation and Ron would say, ‘I’ve got it, I know what you’re talking about.’ We were speaking the same language,” says DelBello.

“We put in a nice bit of outboard gear, like a Bricasti reverb, some Tube-Tech equipment,” he continues. “Ron asked for some oddball things, like a Lexicon 200, which I’m still looking for.” Saint Germain also recommended Modern Audio Design MAD- Max near field monitors, which he betatested for the company and uses in his home-based studio. “The speakers are quite amazing. They sound really great,” says DelBello. “We also put in a new ear system, the [Hear Technologies] Hear Back Pro. It was my first install for that,” he says. The monitor system can be fed analog from the API desk or digitally from the Pro Tools rig.

Saint Germain took Trevor Campbell, who heads the school’s Audio Production Program, on a tour of studios and mixing consoles, including the Clive Davis school at NYU Tisch, which has an API Vision. “They needed something simple enough that you don’t need a computer to make it work,” he says. “Old school.”

The live room, which can accommodate anything from a small jazz combo to a 60-piece orchestra, can also seat an audience of 250 on three sides of the room and is equipped with three stereo sets of JBL SRX835 three-way monitor speakers. The two original Power Station iso booths are replicated in the control room area rather than the tracking room, but at twice the size, reports Saint Germain.
“At lunchtime, there will be instruments set up, and kids will be invited to come in and jam. At the same time, all the mics will be in place, so those in the recording school will be learning how to record—every day,” says Saint Germain.

“I explained to them that this must be a hands-on situation. That is how you learn to record.”

API - apiaudio.com
db Sound Design - dbsounddesign.com 
Modern Audio Design - modernaudiodesign.com 

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ProSound News - Rock 'n' Roll High School

 

 

ProSound News - Gigantic

Innovation Hits The Floor at Gigantic

Posted on May 5, 2017
By Steve Harvey 

(http://tw(hitttepr:./c/womww/P (http://dev.prosoundnetwor
PtoSound News Magazine

Gigantic's dual-operator Avid S6 console disappears below floor level when not in use.

Gigantic1


New York, NY (May 5, 2017)—Boutique audio post production facility Gigantic Studios, located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, recently added a dual-purpose room equipped for both sound mixing, including Dolby Atmos work, and color correction. “My main excitement about the room and its innovation is that the floor slides away and reveals a pit,” says facility co-founder Tom Paul, a two-time Emmy-winning re-recording mixer and sound designer. Paul partnered with Gigantic Pictures’ CEO Brian Devine, the owner and visionary behind the facility, in 2006.

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Video URL::  https://www.facebook.com/ProSoundNews/videos/10155095268260977/

Paul’s innovation was to have the dual-operator Avid S6 console disappear below floor level, optionally giving a color correction artist an unobstructed view of the screen or enabling extra seating to be brought in for screenings. Paul and Devine collaborated on the project with Dennis Darcy and his logistics coordinator, Pawel Szarejko, of Dennis Darcy Construction Group (DDCG), and Jeff DelBello, of design, installation and sales company dB Sound Design. The team came up with the idea of mounting the two S6s on an Autoquip scissor lift table, which is more typically used for motorcycles. The consoles, modified with removable meter displays, are on rails and can be spread outwards once the lift is raised, creating a central producer’s desk.

The floor below where the mixer more typically sits pushes back to provide standing room. “I can dance around,” says Paul. “I’m over at the music, then back at the dialog, then diving for the reverb. It brings a whole new element of physicality and body involvement to the mixing, which is energizing.” The adjustable lift can also accommodate mixers of different heights, he notes.

DDCG built Gigantic’s original facilities, which opened in 2006 and comprise two mix rooms, several edit suites and an ADR/Foley studio, plus a machine room and offices. Gigantic shares a kitchen, conference room and a lounge—and clients— with entertainment law firm Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers.

DelBello installed 16 channels of Crown-powered JBL 9000 Series speakers: three on the side walls, four on the ceiling and two at the back. “Pawel, who was integral in getting the lift together, came up with a custom plate to put behind the 9300 speakers. We wanted to mount them flat to the wall. It was a great solution,” says DelBello.

The LCR mains and subs are from Grimani Systems. “Tony Grimani has been a friend for a long time. He designed the acoustics of four rooms that I’ve built over the years,” says Paul.
Formerly with Lucasfilm and co-author of the THX spec, Grimani now has a high-end home theater consulting and manufacturing business. “He helped me figure out some of the isolation and construction of this room.”

Paul installed Grimani Systems Alpha LCR speakers for a fraction of the six-figure retail cost. “Tony said, ‘I want to sell you, for pennies on the dollar, my hand-built prototypes.’ We also have his 18-inch subwoofers in the four corners. There’s a special phase relationship, so you get very smooth bass response throughout the room.”
Unusually for a mix stage, says Paul, the room is bass managed. “Tony thinks outside the box. It sounds amazing, and super accurate.”
To handle monitor configuration switching and level control, DelBello installed a BSS Soundweb London system, programming the software with assistance from Chris Neylan, chief engineer at Soundtrack New York, (coincidentally, DelBello’s former job). “Chris was a big help. He did a lot of these rooms at Soundtrack,” says DelBello, who also consulted with Avid applications specialist Robert Miller on the project.

During his research, DelBello concluded that NTP Technology’s DAD AX32 was the optimum interface solution for the room. The DAD unit is fitted with a Dante card, feeding up to 64 channels to the BSS box, which in turn feeds the Crown amps over the BLU Link digital audio bus. “The only time the signal leaves the digital realm is when it’s converted in the amplifiers,” says DelBello.
“You can put two Pro Tools (http://www.av-iq.com/avcat/ctl1642/index.cfm?manufacturer=avid-technology&product=pro-tools) systems into one DAD box. There’s a software monitoring program within the DAD that synchronizes to the S6 and it controls all the monitoring. And it’s got a matrix built in,” DelBello reports.

“I started talking to everybody and Robert said Avid is now licensing DAD. That was a confirmation that made me feel good,” he says. Avid is now selling the AX32 as the MTRX.

“We put in a DCI-compliant Barco, so it’s one of the few rooms where you can screen a final DCP and accurately judge color and sound,” says Paul. “Normally you have to apologize for one or the other.”
Although Paul has yet to do a Dolby Atmos mix in the room, he says, “I’m emboldened by the fact that the consumer market really seems to have embraced it. I was also encouraged to go that way because of Avid’s commitment to the format.” Paul has signed up to beta test new immersive features in Pro Tools, he says.

Paul, whose resume includes films such as The Big Sick, Cartel Land and The Wolfpack, would also like to attract some A-list TV business into the dual-operator room, which offers plenty of space for clients, including a custom 14-foot-wide desk. “New York is exciting right now; there’s a lot of good work happening, and we wanted to build a state-of-the-art room so we couldinvite that in. I’m so, so proud of this room.”

Avid - avid.com (http://avid.com)
Grimani Systems - grimanisystems.com 
dB Sound Design - dbsounddesign.com 

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ProSound News - Gigantic

 

 

ProSound News - Bowery Ballroom

Refitting New York's Bowery Ballroom

Posted on Mar 15, 2017
By Clive Young

ProSound News Magazine

Installing a new d&b audiotechnik PA at New York’s famed Bowery Ballroom were (l-r): Christopher Kulesa, application support, d&b audiotechnik; Kenny Lienhardt, house engineer; Michael Winsch, co-owner, Bowery Ballroom; and Jeff Del Bello of dB Sound Design.

Bowery1


NEW YORK, NY—Almost from the day it opened—June 3, 1998—The Bowery Ballroom in New York City has been a buzz- making venue. A prime showcase venue for record labels showcasing their hip new bands, the 575-capacity venue has also hosted memorable shows by Metallica, R.E.M., Nine Inch Nails, John Cougar Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age, Crowded House, Courtney Love and many more. Throughout all those concerts, however, there was one constant—the PA, which was finally taken out of commission last summer after 18 years of hard service.

“It was EAW KF650s—two on each side, and the trio in the center was KF695s,” recalled Kenny Lienhardt, house engineer since opening night. “All Crown amps. Three double-18s under the stage across the bottom, which worked out great. This room sounded so good with the wood floor and another level underneath—it would just translate under your feet, like everybody had a personal sub; it was great. The neighbors are killin’ me, man.

The neighborhood around the venue has changed dramatically since the Ballroom first opened in 1998. Back then, the area was rough and tumble, with no one around to complain if things got a little loud, but these days, there’s a new 25-story hotel behind the venue, plus AirBnB apartments, pricy eateries and others who now have to be taken into consideration.

With the changing neighborhood requiring a more prudently applied PA, it was time to update the system and take advantage of improvements in live sound over the last two decades. Some aspects would stay, like the analog Midas Heritage 3000 console at the FOH position, but the PA would be replaced by a modern d&b audiotechnik rig that would be carefully focused on the audience. The new installation would also provide an opportunity to finally implement a true LCR system, something the owners had wanted since first opening.

With aid from d&b audiotechnik in the form of Education Training/Application Support specialist Christopher Kulesa, Winsch, Lienhardt and Jeff Del Bello of dB Sound Design, the new system’s designer/installer, took down the old EAW rig in a day and had d&b boxes flown within two days. “Sad taking those speakers down; it was a lot nicer putting these up though,” cracked Winsch.
The new LCR system sports V7P over V10P elements left and right, with the 70 degree cabinets on the top and 110 degree cabinets on the bottom, while the center hang sports two V10Ps. Down below, Y10s are used for front fill coverage. Powering all that are three d80 amplifiers.

Providing low end is a horizontal array of V subs; Kulesa explained, “That way, we can not only get pattern control forward and backward from the cardioid behavior of the cabinets, but also, because of the horizontal dispersion, we can control where the low frequency energy goes, so that it focuses on the audience and minimizes energy on the walls. That keeps it from being muddy and prevents the build up of nodes, potentially.”

Much of the quick turn-around (two loose days of tuning followed before the venue reopened) came down to preparation. “It was great, with Jeff sending me the Array-Calc file,” said Kulesa. “I could look at it and the photos of available rigging points and say, ‘These are the things you’re going to run into; try doing this, and you’ll have to prep some stuff on the ground.’”

Del Bello added, “What Christopher said, it was pretty spot on. We got the right angles, hoisted them up and attached them. In terms of size, the speakers are smaller, but in terms of power—and it’s clean power—it’s like night and day. A whole different thing. I think the issue will be putting an upper limit on the system.”

Bowery Ballroom - Boweryballroom.com 

d&b audiotechnik - dbaudio.com 

dB SoundDesign - dbsounddesign.com

This article first appeared in the March 2017 issue of Pro Sound News as "Bringing The Bowery Ballroom Up to Date.

Copyright © 2017 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470

ProSound News - Bowery Ballroom

 

 

 

 

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