Bluegrass UndergroundWhile the Tennessee weather reports made unwelcome reading during February, the temperature was rising in the Cumberland Caverns, a series of underground caves more than 300 feet below the earth’s surface where Bluegrass Underground was being filmed.

To get to the concerts, tour guides led patrons through the cave and down the 333 feet to the cave past underground waterfalls, water pools and stalactites.

AidaWhile not convinced by other aspects of the production, the Telegraph newspaper found praise for Isabella Bywater’s set design at London’s current production of Verdi’s Aida. It even made mention of Bobby Aitken’s sound design, declaring the amplification ‘properly unobtrusive’.

A look behind the scenes reveals the full extent of the technology and ingenuity so simply dismissed – and uncovers the secret of the sound localisation.

Prime FocusI visited a new postproduction house in London’s Soho a few years back. Along with vast attention to equipment and interior design, it came complete with a backstory involving a crashed spaceship and technology from another world. It was pretty amazing.

But there was something deeply troubling about the gauze covering the monitor speakers – it helped with the story but it wasn’t going to do anything for the sound…

MonkMusicIt became clear during 2011 that there was a resurgence in big room recording studios. Defying expectation, the kind of studio that had most readily been undermined by the falling cost of equipment and the project rooms that followed was making a comeback.

The trend continues in the early months of 2012, first with Village Studios in China, and now with MonkMusic in New York.

Kilden

Norway’s new Konserthuset Kilden (Kilden Performing Arts Centre) is being billed as one of the largest and most technologically sophisticated arts venues in Scandinavia. Equipping the four halls on the 15,000-sq-m was a demanding job, and one that fell to territorial distributor. LydRommet.

The centre provides the home for the Agder Regional Theater, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and Opera Sør – the regional opera company.

Village StudiosThree years in the making, a new studio represents the future of China’s recording industry – and a bold move in a superstar’s long-term career plan.

Designed by Walters-Storyk Design Group, the Village Studios project is a good reflection of the interaction of company’s international offices. ‘It is interesting to note that neither distance nor language presented insurmountable barriers to our collaboration,’ WSDG principal John Storyk observes.

HakaIn 2011, I made a radio documentary for the BBC called The Sound of Sport. Although this was a radio piece, most of what it concerned itself with was television sports sound.

We think of the dominant sound of sports broadcasts as the commentator, but this is really about all the other sounds – the sounds underneath the commentary, the sounds of the event itself, and how they get onto your TV.

Chad LoughrigeThe Audient ASP8024 mixing desk being installed at Ohio’s Capital University is the centrepiece of its Music Technology Area studio. This console was chosen to assist the teaching of signal flow to music technology students of all levels – and the route to its selection is as educational as the reasons behind it.

Chad Loughrige, Head of the Music Technology Area and specifier of the desk explains…

Thompson Studios‘The location we discovered has all the attributes for a successful studio,’ says producer/engineer Louis Benedetti of his two-year search for the ideal New York City studio location.

That location is a former bank building on one of Soho’s chicest streets, where his collaboration with an NY contractor has produced resulted an ingeniously designed studio. It came at a cost – and with unanticipated isolation issues...

Slidell City CouncilAn industrial crossroads on the north shore of Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain, Slidell has weathered its share of storms – but nothing like the devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

For a community that is still in recovery, the completion of the US$5.4m Slidell City Council and Administrative Center is both a return to its past running and a sign of good things to come...

For four months during the summer show season, London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre becomes one of the city’s largest venues, selling out its 1,200-plus capacity each night.

This year’s programme included Lord of the Flies, Beggar’s Opera (with a children’s version of Pericles running concurrently during the day), and the Gershwin musical Crazy for You. And an audio innovation...

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