2013
10.24

EDID_No_SignalConnecting a video player to a monitor used to be so easy. Just plug a cable into the player and then into the TV and watch. Now, the digital era has ushered in new requirements that can leave a blank screen or a broken image even when it appears that everything is connected properly. If you’ve decided to upgrade your video system to HD content, be prepared for a few hiccups along the way.

HDMI video signals carry more information than just an image. When you connect a flat panel or projector to a Blu-ray player or a computer, the two are constantly sending data back and forth to each other. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when planning a digital video upgrade.

 

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2013
09.13

2013
07.23

2013
06.05

Panic_Button_LGOn a recent installation at New Hope Church in San Diego, Worship Director Dennis Ormsbee brought up a request for a product that he needed as a worship leader. The need was for a switch box on stage that he could use as a way to communicate with his team through their in-ear monitors. He wanted to use his vocal microphone to communicate setlist changes to the team without addressing the entire congregation. We came across a pretty handy solution and we thought we’d share it. It’s called the Panic Button from ProCo.

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2013
05.07

2013
03.25

STN_prizeCongratulations 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:

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2013
03.20

STN_Convention_Blog_11The 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!

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2013
02.21

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_LGEbtech 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_LGEbtech 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.

Ebtech_HumX_SMEbtech Hum-X
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.

2013
02.05

430057_531277240238351_1146878717_nEvery 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:

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2013
01.08

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:
http://www.alphasoundandlighting.com/ACE-Backstage-Co.-SOFTPOD-Microphone-Softpod.html