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Lawo Press
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Lawo designs and manufactures pioneering network, control, audio and video technology for broadcast and post production, as well as live performance and theatrical applications. Products include control and monitoring systems, digital audio mixing consoles, routers, video processing tools as well as solutions for IP-based A/V infrastructures and routing systems.

Lawo’s sapphire compact mixing desk now shipping

Lawo’s sapphire compact mixing desk – a new, small mixing surface with either eight or twelve motorised faders – is now shipping to clients worldwide.

Autogain, a feature of the sapphire compact mixing desk, is optimal for multiple-mic talk shows and news programmes. Autogain optimises the range of all active microphone preamps, turning microphone chaos into a smooth, even mix of voices.

In addition, Automix is a DSP algorithm which gives presenters the power to create radio shows virtually hands-free. Automix works by riding the gain of any combination of mono and stereo input signals to produce error-free mixes.

Another feature present in sapphire compact is a unique “layering’ capability, which enables the console to manage a live broadcast while, at the same time, performing alternate tasks such as voice tracking, phone call editing, and even light production.

Sapphire compact is available in both desktop and flush-mount styles. A 1RU mixing engine includes a full suite of signal processing functions, along with analogue and digital I/O, plus AoIP and baseband connections.

Sapphire compact comes with VisTool screen building application software, designed to create custom status displays, tablet and touchscreen based button panels and even mixing console controllers. VisTool also serves to capture and manage snapshots and offers rights management functionality. The new 5.0 version adds GUI elements including the ability to place web page objects on custom panels. It also provides integration to more devices via the Ember+ control protocol while a new logic engine enables rules-based decisions and actions.

For information on LAWO distributers in Africa, visit the LAWO website.

QVC gets an audio upgrade with Lawo

Lawo announced that QVC, Inc. has taken delivery of four Lawo mc² series audio consoles and a Nova73 HD central router for their broadcast facilities at its corporate headquarters in West Chester, PA. The mc²56 MKII consoles are being installed in three different control rooms as well as a main theatre and will be interconnected through redundant Lawo Nova73s to provide a completely flexible networked solution interfacing with 10 studio areas. The project was handled by Lawo’s North American office in Toronto, Canada.

“As one of the world’s largest producers of live programming, TV continues to be our most powerful platform to share with our customers why we’re passionate about our products,’ said Joe Micucci, vice president, broadcast operations at QVC. “This new system from Lawo enables us to seamlessly provide fun and engaging programming 24 hours per day, 364 days per year to an audience of 106 million viewers across the U.S.’

“QVC came to us with a primary goal of ensuring true 24/7 year-round operation due to their unique structure of addressing multiple time zones with live programming,” explains Lawo president Herbert Lemcke. “They required robust and redundant operation with the ability to quickly scale. In addition to outstanding audio quality and proven reliability, Lawo is also providing QVC a fully redundant and integrated audio networking solution with flexibility to access any I/O and drive any production studio from any audio control room.’

Bexel to deploy Lawo’s audio- and video-over-IP networking technology

At various international sports events in Russia and Brazil this year, broadcast services provider Bexel will deploy Lawo’s audio- and video-over-IP networking technology.

In 2013, Bexel, Lawo’s North America team and Lawo’s rental company ABS (Audio Broadcast Services) designed and approved a flexible fly pack solution for sports production. One month after Bexel’s new systems were utilised at the US Open, where the company was tasked with supporting CBS international broadcast feeds, Bexel’s fly packs were used for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf for TNT originating in Bermuda.

Says Johnny Pastor, Bexel project manager: “Bexel’s Lawo-equipped fly packs are designed specifically for events where the infrastructure does not allow for large OB vans or to provide optimised production facilities.

“The smooth transition between New York and Bermuda venues was made possible due to Lawo’s ability to intertie multiple audio sources and formats, including both baseband as well as audio- and video-over-IP, across a common network platform utilising both MADI and RAVENNA solutions for multi-channel interconnectivity,’ he continues.

The solutions for the US Open and the PGA Grand Slam included a pair of 48-fader Lawo mc256 MKII consoles and a number of DALLIS (Digital, Analog, Line Level Interface System) frames, with the analog I/O linked to the console’s HD Core using RAVENNA over a single CAT5 cable. Moreover, two V_pro8 units, Lawo’s latest video product, were used for the embedding of the SDI audio streams into the broadcast feeds.

New OB truck equipped with Lawo

The high definition (HD) outside broadcast vehicles of Germany’s rt1.tv are capable of transmitting and receiving via the DVB-S2 EBU standard and offer a high-quality video and audio control room for multi-camera productions. The most recent member of the fleet is the HD OB unit HD-DSNG 6, equipped with a Lawo mc²56 as the central mixing console for the sound mix.

This 8+2 camera HD OB van, used mainly for sports and comedy productions as well as for 5.1 productions, was designed by German system integrator Wellen+Nothen. With a length of 9.45 m the 18 ton vehicle is of compact dimensions based on the Mercedes Benz Axor 1829. All broadcast relevant components are safeguarded by an uninterruptable power supply (UPS).

Lawo’s mc²56 was selected as the mixing console, as it provides – despite its small footprint – the complete feature set and the full performance supplied by all Lawo mc² production consoles. The 16+16 frame mixing console was of optimal dimensions to be integrated into the OB van. It provides 32 faders and two DSP boards with 96 DSP channels which, after the regularly scheduled upgrade, are now capable of 192 DSP channels. The router offers a maximum capacity of 8,192 x 8,192 crosspoints. Three DALLIS frames are available plus Dolby en- and decoder (571 und 572) and a Virtual Studio Manager (VSM) controller.

“Lawo mixing consoles work extremely reliable and provide best user guidance on the operating console. They give the users the freedom to react fast and flexibly on the most diverse formats. This security and flexibility is particularly important in OB truck operation.
Furthermore, with its compact built, the Lawo mc²56 console is predestinated for use in OB vans,’ explains Wellen+Nothen’s audio engineer Holger Lentge.

It is possible to integrate a Riedel talkback system via MADI – thus the Riedel Artist system can be optimally implemented. On board, there are seven working places: audio control room, video control room, uplink, video processing, VTR suite, scheduling, and also the editorial suite.

Lawo integrates Innovason brand in its portfolio

In the wake of a lengthy restructuring process, the French company Innovason SAS has been dissolved. The Innovason brand has been saved by Lawo AG which now owns all the product and trademark rights.

The move, which follows Lawo’s acquisition of the majority shareholding back in April 2008, marks the end of a juridical process which resulted in the liquidation of Innovason SAS on 2nd November 2011. The Innovason brand will henceforth be managed from Lawo’s HQ in Rastatt, Germany.

According to Marcel Babazadeh, Innovason international sales director, the move is 100% positive for the brand and its customers. “It’s the best of both worlds,’ he remarked. “Now that the Innovason products have become part of the range offered by Lawo in Rastatt, it means that the continuity of the brand is guaranteed. At the same time it benefits from everything that Lawo has to offer with it’s more than 40 years of experience in professional audio technology.’

“Furthermore, Lawo is committed to maintaining the heritage and history of Innovason,’ continued Babazadeh. “Our focus for the future is on the continued development of the Eclipse platform. The difference is that we will be able to pursue this development with more resources available to us than ever before, which is fantastic news. It is the ideal climate in which to nurture and perpetuate the pioneering spirit that has characterised Innovason products since the beginning.’

A number of former Innovason key employees will take over responsibility within the new structure at Lawo including the “father’ of Eclipse, Herve de Caro, now product manager for Eclipse; Nicolas Gozdowski who will continue in his role as service engineer; Benoit Quiniou in R&D; and of course Marcel Babazadeh who remains the international sales director.

Lawo CEO, Philipp Lawo, is pleased to have secured the future of the Innovason brand by bringing it fully into the Lawo operation. “I have believed in the brand from the beginning,’ he declared. “I admire innovation – which has always been a driving force for the development of Innovason products. However, despite Lawo’s intervention in 2008, the company was still not able to realise its full potential. Now that the brand is fully integrated into the Lawo structure, I am confident that together we can achieve success. I’m also delighted to welcome the new colleagues on board, all now key members of the Lawo team responsible for Innovason. It is the end of an era for Innovason in its former structure, but the dawning of a new chapter of innovations. We’re all looking forward to a new and promising future in the live sound market together.’

MTV adds to its Lawo arsenal

MTV Networks (MTVN) has taken delivery of a new Lawo mc²66 MKII production console for deployment in its newest remote truck named Nereus. The new truck—scheduled to be placed into service during Q4, 2011—will be based out of the company’s Nashville headquarters.

The new mc²66 MKII represents the third Lawo console in MTVN’s production arsenal.

Offering advanced redundancy for failsafe operation, mc² bay server technology, a new control system on the MKII router, real-time DSP data transfer within the HD core, and extended frame modularity among its numerous features, the mc²66 MKII is designed to provide mix engineers with the most state-of-the-art and secure mixing system for demanding projects. The console slated for deployment in MTVN’s new truck is configured with 40 main faders, 8 Extra Faders, and 8 center section faders, plus five DSP cards.

Noteworthy in this configuration is the inclusion of Lawo’s recently introduced Extra Faders feature, which includes a “Short Fader Control’ panel that replaces the Screen Control Module typically found in the console’s Central Control section. This new arrangement provides more faders in the first row and less administrative buttons—facilitating greater control over crucial mix elements assigned to this area. The Extra Faders layout also provides a new user panel—identified as Screen Control—that provides for a variety of essential functions requiring dedicated hardware buttons.

Equally notable, MTVN’s purchase will incorporate Lawo’s Plug-in Host (LPH) server. Designed as a dedicated environment for VST-type audio processing plug-ins, the server facilitates seamless integration with the company’s mc² series consoles while providing greater flexibility in the use and routing of processed signals—all while freeing the host recording platform from the system overhead typically associated with numerous plug-in processors.

Senior Audio Operations Engineer Marc Repp mixes numerous projects for MTV Networks and serves as an assistant mix engineer when guest engineers mix in the company’s trucks. Repp was actively involved in the decision to purchase and deploy the new mc²66 MKII in Nereus. He discussed the considerations that led to the company’s purchase.

“This new truck was designed primarily for projects where the use of a separate audio mix truck is just not feasible,’ explained Repp. “With a Control Room designed by Acoustic Design Consultant Russ Berger, the truck features a bass trap to help ensure the best possible acoustic environment. As such, this is a very music-oriented audio production environment.’

“With the new mc²66 MKII being MTVN’s third production console,’ Repp continued, “we’ve had ample opportunity to evaluate not just the consoles, but the service and support behind them. All these factors led to the acquisition of this new console. Like all Lawo consoles, we find the mc²66 MKII easy to use, it sounds great, and the Plug-in server does a terrific job of integrating DSP plug-ins into the system. This particular aspect of Lawo’s overall design is really important to guest engineers, as it enables them to bring whatever DSP processing they’re accustomed to using when they mix in the truck.’

George Epley, Vice President of Technical Operations for MTV Networks, offered this thought on the company’s recent Lawo purchase. “We had a clear set of expectations when we started the console evaluation process,’ says Epley. “We have a very unique operation and our technical requirements are quite demanding. Lawo was among the few companies that were able to supply us with the level of technology we required, and from the very start of our relationship, the company has been great to deal with. Every issue or concern we’ve encountered has been addressed expediently. When you factor in the responsive service and support the company provides, this becomes a very reassuring purchase that inspires confidence for the mission critical applications typical of our projects.”

Lawo’s a step ahead

B & I Engineering will demo the new sapphire digital audio mixing console from Lawo at the Mediatech Africa exhibition.

Described by Lawo as “a step ahead”, the sapphire mixing console for on-air and production applications combines the best of both worlds. The console not only incorporates proven cutting-edge technology but also features an eye-catching new design.

The advantage of sapphire is that while technicians will be convinced by the possibility of various upgrades, maximum flexibility and sophisticated functionality, broadcasters will be continually impressed by the modern control surface, which makes working with the new sapphire fun. In addition, the sapphire offers everything expected from a powerful mixing console: top quality, intuitive user guidance and clever solutions, all of which guarantee even greater working efficiency.

The sapphire delivers advanced networking features that allow for studio connectivity and studio arbitration in a remarkably seamless way. Logic states can be exchanged throughout the network, sources can be shared, and intercom functionality is included right into the system making an additional system unnecessary.

Individual requirements will determine which sapphire configuration is the right one for you. All that is needed to start broadcasting is a central module, a channel module and a couple of interfaces. However, the sapphire is also able to meet more demanding needs — with the addition of more channel modules, a sapphire can be transformed into a true production mixing console placing up to 60 motor faders at your finger tips. Or the extended channel strips or even the optional overbridge can be chosen to offer more ease of use and the best possible workflow in daily productions.

B & I stand number: E7

Plain sailing with Lawo

Broadcast dry hire and systems rental specialist Presteigne Charter has ordered three mc²56 digital audio consoles and a Nova29 router from Lawo, for one of the most
glamorous sporting events in the world – the inaugural America’s Cup World Series
2011-2012, a global programme of regattas designed to bring the sport of high-
performance sailing to a wider audience ahead of the legendary America’s Cup itself.

Starting in Cascais, Portugal, in August, the nine-day regatta will feature both fleet and
match racing, and will be televised in HD to millions of fans internationally. Presteigne
Charter will supply the audio production facilities at each location, standardising on the
Lawo mc²56 format, with additional mixing capability in the shape of a crystal on-air
console.

This purchase extends a successful working relationship between Lawo and the
Presteigne Charter Group, which first deployed mc²66 consoles in 2008 for coverage of
the French Open Tennis Championships and subsequently the Olympic Games in Beijing.
These high-profile events underline the flexibility of Lawo design; the low-weight
consoles proved easy to set up in on location control rooms, without any compromise of
the full broadcast performance specification.

Each mc²56 console to be used on the America’s Cup will have 48 faders (16+16+16),
with similar HD cores using up to eight MADI interfaces with a DALLIS stagebox. On
location, the desks will be installed into temporary control rooms, linked via MADI
through a Nova29 MADI router. The Nova29 universal router for the heart of the
broadcast facilities provides the ideal standalone solution, providing the network with
1024×1024 I/O which can be switched transparently.

One of Lawo’s crystal on-air consoles has also been ordered for the task of mixing
multi-lingual commentary, primarily for Internet and large screen coverage.

New Lawo technology for German TV station

BR’s (Bavarian Broadcasting) digital mixing console used in its TV studio since 1994 is to be replaced by cutting-edge Lawo technology, so that current programme highlights can be broadcast in the usual quality without problems.

“We constantly had to repair, improvise, select back-up solutions, or develop special switches, simply because of the age of the equipment, a lack of replacement parts, and the increasing demands placed on studio technology, such as 5.1 surround sound,’ explains Jorg Schiebener, the sound engineer responsible for audio technology at BR’s Unterfohring facility.

BR has four studio areas in Unterfohring, each of 600 square meters, and two control rooms. Duplex operation allows each control room to work with any of the studio areas by simply re-plugging. In addition, there are four post-production areas (two non-linear editing suites, one audio suite, and one linear post-production suite) and a VTR complex.

The audio technology division at Unterfohring decided to carry out the upgrade themselves, as it seemed unreasonable to bring in a third party. “The complexity of our facility requires a lot of insider knowledge, so this project could only be realised through our audio technology division. The upgrade schedule had to be planned at short notice, and with a high degree of flexibility in terms of its duration,’ says Schiebener.

With BR’s FÜ1 HD OB truck already fitted out with Lawo equipment, Lawo was once again chosen for the main audio components. Schiebener comments: “Lawo equipment meets our specific audio and technical requirements, especially with respect to the potential networking of independent studio systems’.
In control rooms 1 and 4, BR relies on Lawo mc²66 consoles with 56 faders (32-8-16) and a HD-Core with 8k router cards. Control room 4 features an additional crystal console. The central router is a Lawo Nova73 HD with nine DALLIS frames. A Sadie multichannel system is directly connected to the consoles via MADI.

The routing setup of Lawo systems can be controlled independently. According to Schiebener this requires both detailed planning and client training using company oriented software, but also provides an understandable and common platform for technical communication between the client and Lawo. The console surface, control room monitoring, as well as a user panel were custom designed.

Lawo gets involved in student TV

German audio mixing console manufacturer Lawo has concluded a cooperative agreement with Stuttgart Media University (Hochschule der Medien or “HdM’), to develop joint projects in TV production.

Now that HdM’s HD TV studio has been fully renovated, students at the university will have the opportunity to work with one of Lawo’s mc²56 consoles; another digital mixing console is already in use in HdM’s recording studio.

“This addition will greatly benefit our potential in the area of television audio,’ comments Axel Hartz, professor of TV technology for HdM’s audio visual media program. Thanks to the new partner, there will also be improved possibilities to cross the bridge from theory to practical experience.

“We believe that a university programme centred around television media should be well founded and run as close to real world applications as possible. We are, of course, extremely lucky that the market leader in audio console manufacture is based in our area,’ explains Hartz.

In addition to training and demonstrations, Lawo has agreed to provide specialists for a “Television Production Studio’ seminar. “This presents a great opportunity for our students to observe and work with professionals,’ concludes Hartz.

For over 30 years, television production has been an integral component in HdM’s audio visual media curriculum. In the past, students and instructors worked in film and video studios. Today, everything revolves around television’s HD future.  Some 240 m² of studio area are available for the digital production of live broadcasts, magazine programmes, or concert recordings, while audio for film production is created in three digital recording studios.

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