Pro-Audio, Stage Lighting, and Video Projection Resources
Congratulations to Heather Cruz of Rio Norte Junior High! She is the winner of our STN 2013 Convention Teacher/Chaperone Giveaway! Heather won a pair of Tascam® TH-02 Studio Headphones and an Audio-Technica 99xdB Vocal Mic.
We asked Heather for a little more information about herself and her involvement at the STN Convention this year. Here’s what she said:
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles was overrun with passionate and determined students on March 7-10th. There were groups of teenagers on a mission; equipped with cameras, microphones, lighting equipment, and just about every accessory you could think of. This was ALPHA’s first time attending the Student Television Network Convention, and what an inspiring experience it was!
Unwanted noise in the sound system can drive a person crazy. That annoying hum or interference might be the only thing you hear after awhile. Ebtech makes a few items that can really help clean up your sound.
Ebtech HE-2 Hum Eliminator
The HE-2 Hum Eliminator is designed to eliminate hum from a 60Hz cycle (or an octave of that like 120Hz, or 180Hz). This type of noise in a sound system is generated from a ground loop. The HE-2 will break the ground loop while allowing you to keep all AC grounds in place. This is a much safer option than using a ground lift adapter.
Ebtech LLS-2 Line Level Shifter
The LLS-2 Line Level Shifter is designed to connect two units with mismatched impedance. Devices like mp3 players can suffer from volume loss and ground loops when connected to professional equipment. This little box will take care of all of that by converting between balanced and unbalanced inputs and outputs and eliminating ground loop hum.
The Hum-X is similar to the HE-2, but is used right at the outlet. Instead of using a ground lift adapter you can plug this into the wall and then plug your audio or video equipment into the Hum-X for worry free performance!
Remember that before using these devices, you first want to isolate the noise in the system and determine what type of interference you’re dealing with. A device designed to eliminate a 60Hz cycle hum from electrical interference will be useless if the noise is a result of something else like RF interference on a wireless channel.
Our office in Alabama recently installed a new video system in a facility. After the installation was complete, the new video equipment and wiring introduced hum into the audio recording system. A little Ebtech unit was exactly what was needed to eliminate the 60Hz cycle and ensure that a strong, clean audio signal was reaching the recorder.
Every year in January we attend the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. Walking the trade show floor full of flashing lights and loud noises can make it seem like we work in a very annoying industry, but within the chaos are hidden gems of ingenuity and design. A few hours of searching usually reveals a few new tools to make the lives of anyone working with pro a/v equipment easier. Here are a few of the things we came across this year that are noteworthy:
The Microphone Softpod from ACE Backstage Co., Inc. allows for mounting of up to six ball-type microphones on one stand. It’s a convenient and portable tool for keeping microphones off the floor while minimizing handling noise.
For more information visit the Softpod product page on our website at:
Sticker shock is the first thing everyone gets when looking at LED fixtures for their lighting set-up. Professional LED fixtures definitely don’t come cheap. So what are the real benefits and what is there to know about incorporating LED fixtures into your lighting set-up?
Here’s a quick rundown of the basic pros and cons we’ve found with LED stage lighting.
One or two people on your shopping list are probably looking for a good pair of headphones. There are so many headphone companies on the market, it can be hard to know what to get. Before you shell out all of your money for a pair of the latest trend, don’t forget to look at the home of the most critical listeners, the PRO-AUDIO industry.
What type of media will be displayed?
Knowing if the displayed images will be computer generated for slideshow presentations, live video camera feeds, or video playback from a Blu-Ray™ player/DVD player is important. A projector should suit both the current needs and anticipate the display needs for the next couple of years.
The resolutions and display formats of various types of media can be very different. It’s important to consider whether the displayed content will be consistently in a 4:3 format, or in a widescreen 16:9 or 16:10 format? Will the images or video feeds be in a standard resolution or are they in HD (high-definition)? If they’re in HD are they at 720p or 1080p? Selecting a projector to match the displayed media will result in a clear image that everyone will enjoy.
Keep in mind that there will be compromises if the displayed images vary and are delivered from multiple sources. A switcher/scaler like the VP-728 from Kramer can help to re-size images from various input devices to maintain consistency.
Schools and theatre groups can have the hardest time using and maintaining wireless equipment for children.
• The boom on an earset or headset mic sticks out way past a child’s mouth.
• Mics get swapped between performers backstage without the knowledge of the sound person.
• Let’s face it, the locking mechanism that attaches a microphone to a bodypack is just an ignored obstacle between costume changes and isn’t used until well after a few good tugs on the wire doesn’t disconnect it.