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Top 50 Products 2017

AMPLIFICATION TOPOLOGY

First proposed in 1958, Class D amplifiers started gaining increased popularity and acceptance in the early 21st century, with this technology ruling since over a decade, overriding the demand for bulky & energy inefficient linear amps. In this article LT COL JASBIR SINGH KABERWAL, (Retd) SC hints at a futuristic emerging trend which may see a comeback of linear audio with advancements in technology offering sonic quality and advancement in size and energy efficiency to the next level... read more on Page 24

Top end LASERS missing from Rental Portfolios

India has been witness to some astonishing laser light extravaganzas at EDM events in the recent past, however a survey done by PALM technology indicates that as a general rule, lasers are missing in action and top quality brands are not afforded by event and rental companies. Though lasers are missing in action in show business, there is a huge opportunity and potential for renting lasers given that laser use is still in its nascent stage. Smita Rai reports on the ground reality... read more on Page 40

AUDIOVISUAL-PROJECTION INTEGRATION

In the last couple of years, jaw-dropping visual experiences at live entertainment events and venues, courtesy 3D projection mapping, motion graphics and augmented reality have made their presence felt in India. Tailor-made three-dimensional projection mappings have altered sound stages, building facades and architecture and even human figures in real time, creating interplay between real and virtual space with the help of cutting-edge technology. The PALM Conference and Seminar 2017 witnessed Technical Evangelist – VIJAY SABHLOK, touch upon the topic of Multi-Imaging using different technologies. Conference delegates got an opportunity to learn about the tools and techniques of creating Multi-Sensational Events and Installations, while also getting insight into new interactive technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. PALM technology presents highlights of this session. The PALM Conference & Seminar session can be viewed on the PALM expo YouTube channel.... read more on Page 42

Bringing Life through Lights

Highly experienced lighting designer Roosevelt D’Souza is rarely restricted in his art. Best known for his work on Music Concerts and festivals, Roosevelt is actually a full service special event lighting professional, also specializing in designing & executing light effects for theatre production, brand launches, music concerts & festivals, fashion shows, film shoots, award ceremonies & ambience lighting. In this interview, he talks to PALM technology about his journey to becoming the “Master of Special Event Lighting.”.... read more on Page 66

AV Today’s Trend in Hospitality

As AV sets new standards beyond traditional applications, ICT-AV-Security-Consultant - Mr. A.R. Chandrashekhar, touches on the topic of the latest trends in AV installations for the Hospitality segment with LED screens, displays and interactive video now contributing to the overall interior design of the hotel... read more on Page 84

Playboy Delhi gets a taste of TW Audio

After a high magnitude success with its first superclub in Mumbai, the city of glamour, the Playboy club is now rocking the country’s capital, New Delhi. The city’s party animals got a major reason to rejoice with the opening.... read more on Page 88

Sumi Baptist Church integration scales heights

Painted in blue and white, the Sumi Baptist Church - Zuneheboto is situated in Nagaland, bordering onto China, and is 212km from Dimapur Airport. Situated on the highest point in...read more on Page 30

The Big Stage by AKhil Varma – Project Head, PALM Expo

More than 50% of India’s population is below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. It is expected...read more on Page 84

Justin Bieber Sound Reinforcement

The Justin Bieber Concert motivated our editorial team to learn, how it is going to be done. The sheer capacity of deployment and state of the art delivery would mean the audio system engineering would have been ingenious and display of the classic Indian Jugaad, which in this instance would need to be disapproved. PALM technology met Warren D’Souza who presented with complete confidence planning, design, technique and expertise in setting up a world-class professional turnkey audio system. This issue being a LIVE Issue and stage sound being all about alignments and calibration, Warren’s role as a Systems Engineer, for the show has been highlighted. His acumen together with Co-Systems Engineer Sunil Karanjikar’s expertise has ensured smooth execution of the massive project. Somya Kedia reports.read more on Page 36

The TOP 10 EVENT COMPANIES

The Event Management industry has grown exponentially over the last decade with a host of varied events encompassing festivals, concerts, conference, corporate events and even marathons. This issue being the “Live” issue, we highlight the top 10 Event companies conceptualizing and executing the biggest live entertainment shows in the country. We have left out some of the bigger event companies whose focus is more into corporate or sports events and have highliighted only the ones organising the live entertainment and music events.read more on Page 50

The Fountainhead of superlative experiences

In a career spanning nearly 22 years, the quality of Neale’s wins have been exceptional. With the vision of building brands he creates delightful experiences with events. In an exclusive with PALM technology, Neale talks about his journey and work and truly believes that the core essence lies in valuing the right talent! Smita Rai and Somya Kedia report. read more on Page 60

Top 35 Rental Companies

PALM Technology has done a crucial exercise of surveying the market for identifying these top 35 audio/video/lighting rental companies who are investing into product and inventory and offering the latest technology thereby driving the market and rental business with sizable inventory. This is not an audited list and is intended as a guide. read more on Page 76

People at PALM

PALM 2017 engages expertise of eminent personalities who have accomplished knowledge in their field of activity. Their valuable involvement in PALM, act as a driving force towards PALM’s intellect and dynamism which leads Indian entertainment professional landscape to a higher paradigm. read more on Page 88

Articles

Top FOH Engineers in India

There are the mixing masters behind the audio console who strengthen the core essence of live performances. Showcasing aptitude to blend instruments with vocals and attain a flawlessly balance sound, Front of House engineers are effective and confident technical experts who know every inch of the gear. read more on Page 46...

Going Live with Sunil Karanjikar

Sunil Karanjikar has worn many a hats in his career as a Live Sound FOH engineer. He reveals his aces and talks about the secrets and tricks to his success, his journey, along with the key challenges he faces during the course. “Live sound does not have an ‘Undo’ Button” he shares in his insights with PALM Technology magazine.read more on Page 54...

Live Bands - Musical Escape

Commercial music in India has been mostly synonymous with film soundtracks. The fact however is that the music scene in India is constantly evolving and is only going to get bigger with more and more stage acts from independent music bands energizing the business, and by Indian music we also mean languages other than Hindi. In this feature we catch the action on stage from 10 Top live bands who have managed to post a huge-win. The bands have gained a lot of stage attention giving impetus to the entire business in India. read more on Page 64

GOING BIG WITH PLAYBOY

The Playboy Club founded by media baron Hugh Hefner, first opened its doors in the 1960s in downtown Chicago and instantly became successful as a read more on Page 22

DJs Scratching on Favourites

2017 is set to be another fun-filled action-packed year in clubland! Somya Kedia tracks the trend and highlights the toolkit of some of the top DJs in the country.read more on Page 32

Global Citizen Festival India

Looked up to as a beacon of hope, Global Citizen Festival India held in Mumbai on 19 November, 2016 proved to be a monumental day as India asserted its solidarity with the world in fighting extreme poverty. read more on Page 44

Electric Daisy Carnival debuts in India

Originating in Las Vegas Nevada, the Electric Daisy Carnival over the years has asserted itself as a hub for EDM fans across the globe, as a result of its fantastic on-stage music programming, enchanting stage designs, read more on Page 46

Product Specialists Driven by Passion

A professionally qualified sound engineer from SAE in Chennai, Tuhin is also a sought after DJ who has immense experience of playing at various clubs. A sharp understanding of the technical aspects behind sound production and immense knowledge of equipment, gained him the position of a product specialist for Pioneer DJ India and his areas of expertise lies in club equipment, samplers and remix stations. read more on Page 48

“Indian DJs are tech savvy” - Reji, Director, PALM DJ Championship

Growing DJ Industry

DJ industry is expanding exponentially and the growth rate has been phenomenal. Talking about the industry expansion, Reji observes that as the industry continues to evolve, the demands for technology, equipments, expertise and specific services have also witnessed a

read more on Page 60

I-Kandy gets K-Rigged

I-Kandy nightclub at Le Meridian hotel in Gurgaon was recently in need of an upgrade for its indoor sound system. Located at the Sector 26, Le Meridian Gurgaon, I-Kandy oozes sophistication. The luxurious pool club and European styled designed lounge boasts 2 bars across a sparkling 85 feet swimming pool...

read more on Page 32

Sound Design for Night Clubs and RestoBars

The focus of Milind’s presentation was ‘Sound Design for Nightclubs and Restobars: A field view’, wherein he spoke about the technicalities of sound engineering to formulate a great night club or a restaurant bar. Milind who is an Electronics Engineer from the CCSRR-Mumbai University, has invested years into sound engineering, setting up different clubs and bars. He has to his credit venues such as Triology - Mumbai, F Bar Mumbai & Chennai, Privy @ Le Meridian Delhi, Club Nyex, Goa, The Good Wife – Mumbai and many more...

read more on Page 58

AG Acoustics strikes the right chord with KV2 Audio’s ES Series

Conveniently located in the Outer Circle, near KG Marg, New Delhi is a new café in town - FLYP@MTV. Viacom18 Consumer Products - the consumer products arm of Viacom18 has extended Viacom’s flagship property “MTV”, to an on-ground experience by introducing this unique ‘MTV-style’ hangout in association with Funbars Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.

read more on Page 62

11 Questions with Eric Loader

Director of Sales, Elation Professional Lighting, Inc.
From having established Light Force, Towards 2000’s import / distribution, to growing sales for American DJ’s moving light products, to pushing sales at Martin Professional for 12 years and eventually heading up sales at Elation Lighting, Eric Loader’s long history in the lighting industry and passion for lighting has seen Elation slowly creating its own identity, away from ADJ in the last couple of years. Here Loader talks about his three decade journey, Elation products and his perception of the lighting industry vis-à-vis technology, trends and the Indian market.

 

1. Tell us about your three decade journey in the lighting industry? What have been some of the highs and lows?

Well, it’s certainly been a fantastic journey all along the way for me and I am very fortunate to be where I am today. Beginning in the industry as a DJ, I found myself attracted to lighting more than sound from the beginning. While I appreciate a great sounding system, the lighting “makes or breaks” an event or venue’s success. From concerts to nightclubs, I always found myself “looking up” at the lighting in the rig. Moving lights were just coming into existence when I started back then and computer-controlled or automated lighting quickly got my attention. Even during my first jobs doing lighting for Pegasus Productions or Towards 2000, I used to stay late after work and on the weekends to play in the showroom and programs lights. I enjoyed getting hands on by installing and building up productions but since I was studying business marketing in school, I quickly got more into the sales / distribution side of the business during my second year of college. Like any business or career, it’s the relationships you develop and hold on to which measure your success. The lows are when you move on from working with colleagues to accept new opportunities. But knowing you will always be friends gives some solace. Having worked on the manufacturing side for some of the largest companies in the industry (American DJ, Martin Professional and now Elation Professional) the one thing you can always count on is change and progress. You have to always keep moving forward but respect where you have been along the way.


2. After nearly 30 years what excites you about lighting technology and the lighting industry today?

Technology is moving very fast. Although it’s been 30 years, the time has flown by as new products come out year after year that push the technology envelope. The merging of lighting and video has also been a great achievement and the immersion of audiences into the stage or venue design has come a long way. Ultimately, seeing what the products can do at an event you attend and how they can enhance the experience is what I enjoy the most. Hearing the crowd go “WOW” when a specific lighting cue is executed, or seeing the lights make people rise out of their seats or onto the dancefloor, gives me a great rush!

3. What were the main factors that helped Elation develop international identity, recognition and respect?

Having the right team of people with the vision and dedication towards our goal of offering the best performance / quality / value ratio in the professional lighting markets has been the key. At the end of the day, you have to offer a good product and some innovation to set yourself apart from the rest. We take a lot of input from the market, talking to lighting designers and business owners on what their needs are and how we can help them achieve their vision on projects or build on their success.

4. What according to you was the first lighting innovation that identified Elation lighting as a major brand? And in which year did Elation launch this innovation?

It actually started before I got to Elation with the Design Spot 250 in 2005. It was one of the first “pro” grade moving heads at an affordable price with all the features LD’s wanted and they quickly made their way into rental companies and installations around the world. Elation was also one of the first entertainment lighting companies to use LEDs in traditional theatrical PAR design with our Opti RGB Par unit in 2006.

5. How much is Elation Lighting invested into Research & Development?

We have a dedicated team working on sourcing the latest key component technology in optics, lighting sources and electronics. With our engineering staff located here at our World Headquarter in Los Angeles, California, as well as key members at our office in Europe, we work with key component manufacturing partners around the world to bring the best quality components into our product designs. Combined with our product marketing team that takes feedback and industry knowledge from many sources, our product pipeline is planned anywhere from 12-36 months ahead. A lot of new technologies we use come from other industries, military or the consumer market that pays for a lot of the big R&D costs to make new technology available to our small entertainment industry. Most of the key improvements and big developments in recent years has been around LED and HID lamp technology. In the big picture, we work in a very small industry compared to consumer or military technologies.

6. From your vantage position, what do you think is going to be the next biggest innovation in lighting after LED?

Laser phosphor engines seem to be what is driving development in other industries – when you look at auto headlights and video projectors. I think this technology, which offers improved efficacy and performance, will make its way into our industry. We have already been working with this technology for the past 12 months and are very close to putting a product out on the market that uses it.

7. Is demand for lighting in entertainment more challenging in the US and Europe, than in countries like India or China?

The demands are certainly higher today mainly because of the budgets on projects in the US and Europe which seems to drive a lot of the new product development. As the budgets for projects grow in India and China, so will the demand for the latest technology and solutions.

8. Is there any Chinese lighting brand that has reached European or American levels in terms of quality? If yes, which is that brand.

Yes, sure – in fact, some of those “brands” have been building OEM for many EU/US brands for years. Our products are made in China but designed in California so, at the end of the day, it comes down to the product’s design, specification, quality control, support and service you get from your brand supplier, regardless of where the products are made. Elation prides itself and builds into our products an extra level of quality to ensure long term performance. Many China brands can make their products cheaper by changing features or key components or using sub-par raw materials to meet their market price. Because we offer a 2-year warranty on our products – we cannot lower our quality standards, just to meet a market “price point”. As you know, there are many iPhone clones in China but like Apple (another successful California-based company) the engineering and quality control that goes into their products is second to none and Elation is working towards this goal as well.

9. What is your perception of the global market for professional lighting products and how do you think India fits into this global scenario?

India has an amazing market and appreciation for live events and experiences. Elation has enjoyed continuous success with our products in India thanks to our innovation and value. Elation, which started in the US 25 years ago, has steadily grown into a global brand expanding our success in the US to Europe the past 10 years and now to other parts of the world. As we expand around the globe with strong local partners, our model proves to continue to work in other countries. We recently opened a facility in Mexico and have enjoyed quick and rapid growth. With our strong distribution partner in India, I am sure we can continue this growth there.

10. Tell us about your engagement with the Indian market and what strategies is Elation adopting to market or further popularize the Elation brand in India?

Star Dimensions has been distributing Elation products in India for the past 5 years. Despite lots of “china brand” competition, our sales continue to grow as customers realize the added cost for Elation quality, pays off for them in the long term. While our products are still typically 25-30% less than the other top Western brands, we are still often 25-50% more than China brands because of the features and quality we build into our products. So this takes time to prove to the market that the extra investment in Elation will bring a better ROI to the consumers.

11. In India, in which segment (fixed install, rental etc.) do you see most potential for Elation lighting?

So far, it’s been in rental / production, where we have seen the most success. Rental companies appreciate our quality and ROI they get with our products and because lighting designers specify the Elation product on riders, they are able to give them what they want when they travel to India.

11 Questions with John Meyer---------------------July August 2017 Issue!

Founder and CEO, Meyer Sound

As John and Helen Meyer celebrate 50 years together and 50 years of innovative audio solutions, PALM technology catches up with John Meyer. The Founder of the Berkeley based pro-audio manufacturer fields 11 questions on his perceptions about speaker system designing, overcoming challenges, current global market scenario for pro-audio and his expectation for Meyer Sound for the next five years.

 

1. What is your approach to designing a speaker system?

I think that sound quality is a given so what needs to be done is to figure out how to configure systems so they’re practical to use for different types of environments. When I start on a design I always pay attention to the space they’ll be used in and also how they interact with each other. Meeting the specifications in small and large numbers is essential.



2. You have contributed directly to a long list of breakthrough developments that have earned the company 100 US and international patents as well as numerous industry awards. But which of the Meyer speakers would you say is your favorite and why?

It’s very difficult to choose a favorite. So many of our products have been inspired by the artists who work closely with us. I think our small mm4xp is an example of a product that was inspired by the artist, Bill Fontana, to use in the light rail system in Lyon, France for both music and announcing. We developed the mm4 specifically to fit within the tight spaces in the stations. The product has evolved into the mm4xp and mm4xpd which is a directional, powered version. I’m also pleased with our evolution of line arrays because they have shown exceptional versatility and sound fidelity. I think the Leopard system is a real milestone in this technology.

3. The UPA-1, has been one of your top selling products. What do you think made it such a big success?

The UPA-1 was aimed specifically to be powerful and small to fit easily into Broadway show sets. It was a huge advance at the time and it was ten db more powerful than anything on the market. We later made it self-powered which increased its versatility and ease of use.

4. Looking back over your long and illustrious career, what do you think has been the highlight of your career?

I’m very proud of the company that I’ve built and the dedicated team that also believes that innovation is an ongoing effort.

5. You are a renowned inventor, but you are also a businessman per se. How do you balance both? Is it a challenge? As in, being an inventor is it important to give priority to design over financial gains or vice-versa?

I think it’s important to recognize that you may have strong strengths in one area and weaknesses in others so inventing and developing are obviously my strong points. However I seek help and expertise in other areas of the business.

6. Your wife Helen is also your business partner. What is her role in the company and what aspects does she look into?

Helen maintains the relationships which include sales, marketing, admin, operations and all the things that make the company run. The two of us work closely together on all strategic aspects of the company but we have a division of labor since I handle all of the engineering and visionary work. We are supported by an incredible team of people in all areas of our business.

7. How do you think the live-sound and install industry has changed globally in the past decade?

The industry has changed from supporting bands directly which was originally supported by record sales to the bands making their money on touring itself. Originally the tours were a promotion for records but records sales have dropped with the start of the internet and iTunes etc. So the tours have to make money on their own. So speed and set up time, the amount of equipment and cost of fuel all have affected the way tours are run these days and everything must be done more quickly and more cost effectively. The install market has been more stable and it’s a growing market for us.

8. Today, Line arrays have become a norm for live sound reinforcement. What do you think is the single most important factor that has led to this wide scale adoption? And what do you think comes next?

I think line arrays have been around since the 1940’s and the “grateful dead” used them in their ‘wall of sound’ so each musician could have his own line array because they only take up vertical space. This helped in all kinds of shows - touring and Broadway - because space is always at a premium. I think we’ll see more and more multi-channel and multi-spacial sound systems, more immersive systems so that every single performer can have the sound originating from where he or she is even when they move around.

9. What is your perception of the global market for pro-audio products and how does India fit into this global scenario?

I think that concerts will continue to grow and my understanding is that India has more concerts every day than the rest of the world combined. So the market in India is huge.

10. Tell us a little bit about your engagement with the Indian market and what does Meyer have in store for India in the near future?

We’re going to continue to work in India because everyone loves music and Indian musical instruments have a huge range of complicated sounds. There’s a spirit and energy in India that is special and exciting and we want to help support it. We recently added Sandeep Braganza as sales manager for the region as part of our commitment to this thriving market.

11. What is your vision for Meyer Sound for the next five years?

We expect the company to continue growing, innovating and expanding into our core markets as well as into new, interesting sound adventures.

11 Questions with Roland Stenz & Kerstin Mischke May June 2017 Issue!

CEO of Eve Audio and Kerstin Mischke, Sales and Marketing Director of Eve Audio

Sales and Marketing Director of Eve Audio, field 11 questions on the birth and growth of the young Berlin-based professional studio monitor manufacturing company, while providing insight into the design philosophy and R&D process of the new monitors and Eve Audio‘s presence in the Indian market.

 


1. What were the deciding factors that made you break away from Adam and set up your own professional company for monitor speakers?

I was one of two founders/shareholders and CEO of ADAM Audio from inception in 1999 till 2010. In this time, we established a very successful brand. After a while different opinions about products and how to bring the company into the future showed up and we decided to go separate ways. With EVE Audio, I could realize my own ideas. A complete range of studio monitors and subwoofers could be delivered already in spring 2012. Working in my own company allows me to follow my long-time experience in pro audio business since 1983.

2. Since its inception, what has been Eve’s core management and production philosophy?

There are two sides important. The main questions are what the internal and external effect of my own work should be. Generally, I don’t want to act against people. I need to be welcome in my own company. A very friendly working climate is essential for good results. Of course, the respect is offered also to our customers and partners. Related to our products I would say – a speaker is a technical product which can be defined in technical parameters like frequency response, distortion etc. But immediately when music starts to play, a speaker changes to a very emotional product. I like it very much during listening sessions to talk also about music, artists and the process of recording.

3.How much would you say you employ “state-of-the art design” in the Eve brand of products?

EVE Audio products are developed to get best possible information about your music. This is not easy to archive because every speaker is used in different rooms. It is very important to have the complete product carefully designed. To say it is a good sounding speaker because of the used tweeter etc. is not helpful. To find a very good balance between all technical parameters is most important. EVE Audio is established as a very serious player in the world. This results in a very successful growth over the years. All different types of speakers have the same balanced sound. From my opinion, it does not make an real sense to develop speakers which are designed for a special type of music only. To have very good designed speakers in combination with best customer support (social media, print media, web, education …) has built this “state-of-the-art design”. The complete package of a company must be right – from products to customer support.

4. If you have to name one single differentiated technology in Eve Audio monitor speakers that distinguishes it from other monitor speakers, what would it be?

I don’t really like this view to products. But our self-developed air motion transformers offer the next level in high frequency resolution. Unfortunately, a single part in high quality doesn’t mean so much for a final product quality. I spend a lot of time to combine all parts of a speaker in the best way. EVE Audio has all needed tools like a huge anechoic chamber and a huge echo chamber. This allows to measure all needed parameters of a studio monitor. We can measure frequency response, energy response, distortion and others. Not all manufacturers have these rooms. Beside these technical parameters, we spend a lot of time with listening music to balance the sound carefully to the best result.

5. Tell us a little about Eve’s R&D process and production facility?

I have mentioned before that EVE Audio has all tools to develop studio monitors on highest level. We control the complete chain from R&D, production and quality control.

During our R&D process all aspects of development are taken care of in-house – including 3d-construction, electronic design and driver construction for woofers and tweeters. Beside electronic measurement systems for amplifiers (frequency response, distortion, power handling, EMC etc) we also have a huge anechoic chamber and an echo chamber. In an echo chamber we can measure acoustical systems without any room effects (reflections from walls, defractions). A massive turntable allows turning also heavy speakers to get results in all needed angles. The total energy emission can be measured in our echo chamber. This information is very helpful because a speaker delivers frequency depending sound to all sides of the speaker cabinet. This has an effect also in a normal room because reflections come back as additional energy to the listening position together with the direct sound of a speaker. We built prototypes here to get best results. When the prototypes full-fill all requests then we shift our work to the suppliers. There is an ongoing quality control for all components there and in addition every speaker is finally tested and adjusted here in-house in Berlin/Germany.

6. Which was the first major studio that you supplied Eve monitors to?

Well, one of the first studios, maybe the first of all, was Pughouse Studio in Melbourne in Australia that bought a pair of SC307. They were so pleased with the sound of a brand they have not heard about before that they send us a very happy user report.

7. Which is the biggest market for Eve Audio worldwide?

At the moment our biggest markets for EVE Audio are China and Japan, but also Germany, Netherlands and Scandinavia are strong markets for EVE.

8. Which product is Eve currently pushing most aggressively in the global pro-audio market?

We consider our desktop loudspeaker SC203 to be a product that deserves more attention and that’s why we are currently pushing it. For its size it’s a very powerful desktop loudspeaker with a tiny footprint and ideal for all workspace applications with limited space. Listeners usually do not expect such little speaker to reproduce such frequency range, especially such low end.

9. And any new product launches planned for the near future?

Sure, there are always plans for future products and the R&D team never sleeps. But it’s too early to reveal any details or release dates.

10. What are your impressions about the Indian market or what are the peculiarities of the Indian market and which are some of the studios in India where Eve monitors have been installed?

The Indian market is very crowed and the local brands are naturally very strong. For us as a foreign brand, it takes some efforts to bring people´s attention to EVE. The key for that is to create an on-going visibility by being present in trade shows or doing demos. Because we feel EVE is still not as visible in India as it is in other countries we also did a road show last year and travelled together with our Indian distributor Modi Digital to Chennai to conduct EVE seminars. The purpose was to push EVE further into the Indian market and share first-hand information. Our impression is that Indian people are very open-minded, curious to learn more and attended the seminars nicely.

Some of our projects include:

Eve Audio SC205 - Rohan Puntambekar(Music Composer, Music Producer, Programmer, Sound Engineer and also the proprietor of Seven Sounds Productions); Eve Audio SC305 - (Northpole Magicworks Studio, which produces music for movies and television commercials); Eve Audio SC307 - Bodhi Sound Studio (Satish Chakraborthy); Eve Audio SC407 - Raghav Sachars Studio(Need Studio Name) (Indian singer, composer, Music Director and a Multi-Instrumentalist); Eve Audio SC305 - Shadab Rahims Home Studio (songs final mixing and mastering - Dangal, songs final mixing - Dear Zindagi); Eve Audio SC203 - Abhijit Tenny Roy (Director at Junk ‘n Genius Studios (J’nG); Eve Audio SC203 - Vishwas Nicholas (CEO/Founder/Owner at Nicholas International ProductionZz); Eve Audio SC203 - Sunny Sanour ( Indian composer, Music Producer, Sound Engineer and Playback Singer); Eve AudioSC305 - Nitish Kumar (Mixing engineer, Sound engneer for A. R. rahman); Eve Audio SC407 - Luke Ashirwad (Mix engineer); Eve Audio SC205 - Sanket Kale (Music Programmer); Eve Audio SC205 - Nishant (Music Programmer); Eve-audio SC407, SCS307, SC307, SC305, TS112, TS110 - Knack Studios; Eve-audio SC205 - YuVan (Music Director); Eve-audio SC407 - Sai Thaman (Music Director)

11. What are your short and long-term goals for the India market?

The short-term goal is to increase brand awareness and brand visibility, to bring more EVE´s into the eyes of potential customers and let people constantly know about EVE Audio. The long-term goal in India and worldwide generally is to be recognized as one of the major brands in the monitor market.

11 Questions with Wilfried Ehrenholz ------------- March April 2017 Issue!

Founder & Chairman, Dynaudio Group

Wilfried Ehrenholz talks about his journey, and the Dynaudio success and gives technical suggestions. He sees a huge production of films in India and believes that Dynaudio will be a bigger part of this in future.

 

1. The moment of epiphany that prompted the birth of Dynaudio?

Since I’ve been a kid, I have always been excited about music and all kinds of technology. I started playing musical instruments very early on in life and spent all my pocket money on audio equipment, looking for the best sound quality. When I was about 22 years, I learnt that time domain, phase and transient response is extremely important for a speaker system. At that time, nobody cared about this aspect. All speakers were optimized only in frequency response. This has been my initial motivation to start a new company.




2. The highlight of your career of almost four decades?

My ambition has always been quality, regardless of the cost. I did not expect too much business and I had envisioned it to be a small specialized audio company. But over time Dynaudio became one of the most important players in the Hifi business and beside Hifi products we established the company in professional and automotive as well. The fact that a brand that lays complete emphasis and focus on Quality can become so successful has been a great experience.

3.Your definition of a “good design” in studio monitors?

A studio monitor is a working tool. It shall enable us to make recording as perfect as possible. Therefore a monitor should have as less as possible its own character. At Dynaudio we follow or believe: Just reproduce the truth.

4. Many a times, mix and mastering engineers require a pretty flat and accurate frequency response in their monitors, whereas artists prefer some color to their sound. Have Dynaudio products been able to balance these two diverse needs?

We at Dynaudio have clear guidelines as described above. We believe in our motto that “The reproduction of music should be a real as possible.” If a speaker has certain coloration to it then you will never know how well it will balance the sound with the speakers that the listeners use in their homes.

A monitor with its own characteristic will make it difficult to control the final mixing.

5. With regards to the design parameters in studio monitoring, has anything changed in the last decade?

We had in the Pro world in the 90s, many big studios with huge main monitors. Mixing consoles and the whole setup has been very expensive and only big players could afford with it, but this has now changed totally. With hard disk recording, you can create a nice production with a PC and some affordable software. Today we have many small studios and many musicians make their own recordings. This has changed the monitor market as well. We at Dynaudio today sell mainly small monitors instead of big systems.

6. Has the size of the studio impacted the models that are popular or successful from Dynaudio?

Yes, I have mentioned this change already. When we came out with our small BM5 monitor it was a great success and has maybe influenced the market trend as well.

7. What new innovation in the last decade has impacted studio monitoring performance and features?

When we started in studio business, most of the speakers were passive speakers, but today nearly all speakers are active. That’s a great development because in active speakers, especially DSP based systems we can control many more parameters than in the old analog world. The challenge is to understand the “Know-How” to use DSP in the right way. 15 years ago, the Dynaudio AIR System had been the first totally digital based networking monitor and for many years there was no alternative to this solution. Today all our speakers are based on this long experience. Working in the digital domain has enabled us to reach new levels of performance.

8. Do you think studio monitoring is shifting to the headphone?

I’m not the real specialist in the studio world, but from my point of view, headphones can help to optimize the recording but should not be the only listening tool. In the real world, maybe more music is heard with headphones (or earplugs in terrible quality) than with real speakers.

9. Your favourite model in Dynaudio?

This depends totally on the setup, room size, studio or listening room, acoustics etc. All Dynaudio speakers have the same characteristic (which is no characteristic), so you can enjoy music even with the smallest model impressively.

10. The most common monitoring mistake people make?

Too many productions are made to please a certain taste or a bad quality setup, like in a car for instance or with poor earplugs. Fortunately, we have many excellent recordings as well.

11. How do you perceive the Indian market in terms of taste, color and spice (in sound)?

I know that there is a huge production of music and films in India and Dynaudio will be a bigger part of this in the future because we are improving our effort to cover this market. I’m not concerned about the taste because the neutral Dynaudio reproduction fits all markets in the same way.

11 Questions with Wolfgang Fraissinet ------January February 2017 Issue!

Global President of Neumann GmbH

Global President of Neumann GmbH - Wolfgang Fraissinet has worked for Neumann since more than two decades and in this 11 Questions section he talks about his journey in the pro audio industry with Neumann, the company’s focus on the revolutionary AMBEO technology and his observations of the Indian studios and technicians.

 

1. For decades, Neumann has been a standard-setting, leading manufacturer of studio microphones. What is the main philosophy behind the decades of success?

I think one of the main philosophies of Neumann has not changed over the 88 years of Neumann history and that is to capture sound sources – be it the human voice or be it a musical instrument or anything else, in the most natural way possible. We don’t want to colour or add anything to what has been recorded; we want to keep the sound as natural as it is. Neumann’s sound philosophy has also been to be always state-ofthe- art in audio engineering.






2. What according to you are the three main milestones in terms of product development in the almost 90 year history of Neumann?

The first milestone in the history of the company, I would say is that, Neumann was responsible for the first industrially manufactured studio condenser microphone in the world. The first studio condenser microphone which had been produced in an industrial manner, not made just piece by piece, but in serial production, was started by Neumann. Since the 1930s Neumann started manufacturing disc cutting blade systems with which vinyl discs are made and that was another milestone in Neumann’s history. The third milestone was making mixing consoles and today in the microphone industry Neumann is again the leading manufacturer for digital microphones. I think digital technology in the microphone industry is led and mentored by Neumann to a certain extent and that is a position which we are trying to keep for ourselves.

3.Tell us a little about yourself. Since how many years have you been with Sennheisher?

I’m longer with Neumann than I am with Sennheisher. I started with Neumann 26 years ago in 1990 and since 1991 we belong to the Sennheisher family. My time with Neumann encompasses 26 years in various management positions. I’m now the President of Neumann since 2000. Before that I was working for Zeiss. I was there for seven years. Then I was working in public relations for a German newspaper for a while and I was also four years in an international advertising agency handling only premium brands of premium manufacturers, which brings me back to Neumann because that’s where I was introduced to Neumann which was already a premium brand in the audio industry and I knew how to do marketing for a company like this. Ever since then I’m with Neumann.

4. Which of the Neumann studio microphones would you say is your favorite and why?

There is no one favorite microphone. I’m producing music myself and there is a difference whether I need a microphone for a violin or for a piano or for a female voice with higher frequencies or for men’s voice with different frequency range. It also depends on whether I record something outside on the street or here in a closed environment. Having said that, one of the most favorite microphones is of course the U 87, but it’s not the only one. I also personally like very much the M 149 tube and the D-01 which is the first digital microphone with 15 different polar patterns and with a lot of other additional functions.

5. Neumann’s studio mics have always been popular for their superior quality. But would you say that quality has improved even more after the move to Sennheisher?

No I would not say it has improved, because Neumann used to be a leading edge manufacturer in the microphone industry long before Sennheisher was part of the Neumann history, and Neumann achieved this level of acknowledgment and this level of engineering and audio quality long before Sennheisher came in. Sennheisher however played a big role to maintain this position in the last 25years through its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. This helps a lot because we have specially dedicated Neumann production facilities within the Sennheisher factory with really state-of-the-art modern technology. The synergy between Neumann and Sennheisher being in one big organisation is a big plus.

6. Neumann even ventured into the field of mixing desks; why was that stopped and how is the studio monitors segment doing for the company?

We stopped manufacturing mixing desks in 1993-1994, because by then the studio landscape in the audio industry had changed. Pre-fabricated serial products had become the preferred choice rather than customized mixing consoles. But we have maintained the service for all the consoles that we had delivered, for example, the Berlin Philemon house and other concert houses and broadcasting stations.

The studio monitors segment is something which we have been doing since a little more than six years now and that has proven to become a very successful addition to Neumann’s audio business. Neumann was earlier known to make very good microphone transducers which convert the natural sound signal into an electronic signal. So for obvious reasons it was also possible for us to easily take care of the other side of the signal processing chain and convert an electronic signal into natural sound again. So what we did was to use up all the knowledge that we have of Neumann’s history as a manufacturer for microphones, mixing consoles, disc cutting blade systems and many other things and use it to our advantage into studio monitor engineering. At the same time we took the studio monitor line from an older German manufacturer called Klein & Hummel, which was a brand that sold studio monitors until 10 years ago. When Sennheisher took it over, we reengineered the products using Neumann sound philosophy (that we talked about earlier) and today we are very successful. This segment gives a lot of work to a lot of people in the company and there are thousands of studios in the world which are using our studio monitors now, which includes India too.

7. What is your vision for Neumann as a company for the next five years?

I think from a professional audio engineering point of view we will see many more surround sound productions in the near future. Audio has evolved from mono in the1950s to the world of stereo in the1960s-1970s, and then came the Quadraphonic sound and a lot of other different technologies where people wanted to use more speakers for proper spatial representation of sound. Since quite recently, surround sound recordings and surround sound images, especially in the movie industry, has become popular. The future will be that of three dimensional images with the sound travelling exactly the way you see that three dimensional picture, and this requires a lot of audio engineering so that people hear a natural sound, though its created artificially. Neumann and Sennheisher are creating a lot of new product solutions and new audio solutions which come under one name called AMBEO, which means ambience + stereo. This AMBEO technology is going to become a huge part of our audio engineering in the next five years for Neumann as well as for Sennheisher. So there will be a lot of other products like virtual reality microphones, which will be the new standard in 3D audio capture, lifting VR audio production to a new professional level.

8. Is there a demand for digital mics in music recording studios across the globe or is there a resistance to switch from analog mics to digital mics?

Yes there is a demand, especially, in newer parts of the audio industry. I know that there is a hesitation from many engineers for using digital microphones. Many sound engineers, have been raised and trained with analog microphones and they are used to the analog world. But at the same time the audio industry is changing from just recording for CDs, DVDs and blue ray discs to recording for video games for example. Recording for video games would mean you need to create libraries of sound which do not exist, for example sound of two space ships crashing in the orbit into each other. In reality there is no sound because there is no air, but we need to create that sound and that is a challenge to do because it needs very unusual amounts of high frequencies when you have metal crushing into each other. There is also a lot of necessity to record sounds without self-noise distortion from the electronics. So the choice is between no self-noise with digital microphones or 15 db self-noise with analog microphones. This is the big difference when choosing microphones in audio production for video games and for movies etc.

9. Tell us a little bit about your engagement with the Indian market and have you enjoyed it?

Last time I was here was six years ago and in the last six years a lot has changed for the positive. I see people being very open to new technology. Today I see people producing content that is more modern rather than just doing traditional things which have been always done. I see there are new studios coming up and I see that people are talking about their work. They are very national minded with everything they do and that is also what Neumann does since 88 years. We are an international supplier of audio gear for the recording industry and India has become more and more important and a major part of Neumann world services.

10. What is your observation about the Indian studios?

I have seen young composers today in studios and I have been to some recording studios today like YRF studios. During my time there, I was explaining why I’m here and why I think Indian musicians, composer and recording engineers are so important to us as a company and to me specially because I’m also producing music myself. So I’m not only delivering mics and speakers to the market, I’m an actual user and a colleague of these people in the studio. We were discussing about different recording techniques and the perception of sound and the difference between the technical aspects and creative aspects of audio recording, when a young female talent who was rehearsing in the studio and watching us from the window and listening to our conversation (as she had the headphones on) came over and conveyed her interest to participate in the discussion. So that was good to know that even the talent in India is interested in the technical aspects of recording.

11. Any message for your customers in India?

“Keep on going the way India is going right now.” I’m not just here to tell your readers or the people here what I know and what should be done. I’m here to learn from the people of India how your audio engineers produce music; so I’m here in your country to see it from that perspective. Whatever I can learn here from the people I have been meeting helps us to be a better supplier for the Indian market and to serve you for your own recording work. I’m not here to be the teacher but to represent the manufacturer who listens to the customer and supplies what is needed. So I’m here to learn and I’m here to serve at the same time.

11 Questions with Fuat Koro ------------November December 2016 Issue!

Director of Global Sales & Marketing, Bose Professional

PALM technology met up with Fuat Koro - Director of Global Sales & Marketing, Bose Professional and Arun Kumar, Divisional Manager at Bose Professional India, on the sidelines of the demo of the new ShowMatch DeltaQ array loudspeakers in Mumbai. Koro gives a heads up on the technology behind the line array and what customers can expect from this differentiated technology.

 

1. How are Bose ShowMatch DeltaQ array loudspeakers superior or different from traditional line arrays?

There are two key elements of differentiation for ShowMatch DeltaQ: sound quality and flexibility. With respect to sound quality, the area where we really differentiate is the vocal clarity that the product provides. Historically, many loudspeakers have a crossover in the vocal region, which degrades vocal clarity. What we accomplished is keeping that crossover point outside the vocal region, which significantly improves vocal clarity. Another big differentiator in sound quality is the ability to custom shape the array so that it provides seamless coverage throughout the audience listening area. Finally, the output that we get out of ShowMatch is another unique sound quality element. We have two proprietary transducers and compression drivers that are not off-the-shelf transducers, but were designed by Bose engineers. The ShowMatch transducers provide amazing outputs, perhaps not seen from other products in its class.

Of course sound quality is not the only highlight; it’s also about the flexibility of the product, especially as it relates to the DeltaQ technology. DeltaQ allows us to vary the directivity for each box so that we can create a custom array. This is something you don’t see with other arrays in this market space. We refer to it as “next generation array technology” because we are able to customize the directivity to best fit the needs of the application. And last but not least, our engineers spent a lot of time considering this product from a portability standpoint. This is not only a fixed install product - it’s very much available for the portable rental market as well. The major benefit of ShowMatch is that the product can go anywhere, from large 5,000 person concert level installations, all the way down to small auditoriums or corporate AV applications.



2. If you have to name one single component most responsible for vocal clarity in the ShowMatch,w what would it be?

The one single component most responsible for ShowMatch’s vocal clarity is the DeltaQ technology, which enables adjustment of the array directivity to best meet the needs of the application.

3. Who are your main target customers for ShowMatch?

Our customer base for ShowMatch is very diverse because of the flexibility that it offers. The fixed install market that currently works with Bose RoomMatch loudspeakers will continue to be part of our customer base, with a focus on projects such as auditoriums, live music venues, houses of worship, etc. But the introduction of ShowMatch opens a whole new customer base for us as well, because it is also engineered for portability. On the rental side, ShowMatch can work anywhere from tour level applications to corporate AV events and conferences.

4. Would you say that ShowMatch is a new improved version of RoomMatch?

The two products share a similar design philosophy, but there are some nuances that distinguish RoomMatch and ShowMatch, so both will continue to coexist in our line-up of DeltaQ arrays. We see RoomMatch as the best approach for acoustically challenging venues, because the level of customization that it affords is second to none. We have 42 different boxes available to shape a RoomMatch array, as well as many different asymmetrical configurations. Hence, RoomMatch is our best offering from a customization standpoint. Meanwhile, ShowMatch has many advantages in terms of portability, output, and box size that make it a great choice for applications that require more compact array configurations.

5.When will the product start shipping and what would be the price range in INR?

The product will be available in the Indian market beginning in December. We haven’t published the price list yet, but for now we can say that it will be slightly less than RoomMatch.

6. Have you received any feedback from customers or manufacturers who had the opportunity to hear ShowMatch?

Right now we are in the middle of a global rollout, stopping at over twenty cities around the world, so many customers are seeing, experiencing, and hearing the product. By mid-December, we will have had a wide introduction around the world. We have been involved in several organized events with other manufacturers as well, and have a mutual respect with other industry brands. Overall we are hearing that DeltaQ is a differentiated technology that offers something novel. Our customers and consultants have experienced many other products, and are very discerning about what works and what does not work for them. And we are consistently hearing that the DeltaQ technology resonates very strongly with them.

Arun Kumar: We have received feedback from many partners across the world who are using other brands as well – across Europe, US and now in India as well.

7. What is your perception of the Indian market?

The Indian market is one of our focus markets, and a very promising market for several reasons. The first is the increased appreciation for quality sound, which is a huge advantage for us and something that we would like to leverage. Another is the promise we see in the live music industry, which is growing tremendously. Finally, we are also looking at the corporate events market, which is very active in India. For these three reasons, we see a very natural fit between the product that we are introducing and the present market dynamics. Also important to mention is that the product is only half the story: we also have a very strong team presence in India. Bose has been in the Indian market for a very long time. We have a subsidiary with a Bose sales force and field engineering in multiple cities, so it’s a market that we are very familiar with. In that sense, it’s not an emerging market for us, it’s definitely a market that we have been participating in for a very long time.

8. Your take on the tier 2 and tier 3 cities?

Arun Kumar: From our invite list today, I saw representation from all the cities. Obviously there are more people in the Metros, which is representative of the market. But I believe that the quality perception of folks in the Metros or tier 1 cities is no different from the perception in tier 2 cities. For instance, many tier 2 rental companies have top-notch gear - sometimes even better than those in the Metros. This gives me confidence that our customers, whether in Metros or tier 1 or 2 cities, really appreciate the high-quality sound that we can deliver.

9. Do you think that India is a price sensitive market?

India is a price sensitive market of course, but price is only part of the story. We see that our customers are really seeking value. If we can provide a performance level that is commensurate with price, our customers are very receptive to that. We want our products to reflect all of our R&D efforts and new technology developments, and leverage those features to deliver customer value so customers can see that Bose offers premium products.

10. Tell us a little about the R&D process at Bose?

The guiding philosophy at Bose is definitely “better sound through research,” and that is very much present in our pro-audio business. We always play for the long term, so for us it’s not only about next year. If we think we can offer our customers a demonstrable benefit, we are willing to invest in technologies with a much longer time horizon. This is actually the case for the DeltaQ line array technology: Our engineers have been working on this technology for over a decade. But I should also emphasize that it’s not only about technology; without delivering value to the customers, the process would be incomplete. So our R&D process also involves being very much accountable for delivering results based on customer demand for our products.

11. What is your perception of the global market for pro-audio products and how does India fit into this global scenario?

It’s a very exciting time for us to be in the global pro audio market. Some segments are growing very fast, especially on the corporate and the enterprise side, while other segments are very steady. Digital networking is also becoming more common in pro audio applications, and the need for premium quality audio is also increasing. If I look at India and how it falls into the overall pro audio market, I see similar trends, so India is not all that different from the rest of the pro-audio market around the world.

11 Questions with Christian Hertel ------September October 2016 Issue!

Co-founder, Inoage GmbH

Acclaimed Madrix’s sole distributor in India - Integrated Systems Solution (IES) is taking entertainment lighting design to a whole new level by using the Madrix software & hardware in the entertainment market ranging from installations in clubs, bars, F.E.C, architectural installation to rental and production markets.

The software solution that has also won the 2013-2014 Live Design award for Product of the Year in the Lighting Software/Control category, is being rapidly adopted for entertainment lighting applications across the globe.

Christian Hertel, Co-founder of Inoage GmbH, the company behind the MADRIX brand and Rasesh Parekh of IES field 11 questions on the product, its place in the Indian market and the trajectory of the global lighting industry.

1. From developing software for prepress, how and why did you move to developing control software for lighting?

CH: September this year, inoage celebrated 15 years. The company started out as a software developer firm with all sorts of different projects and mainly doing consulting work for other companies. But soon, the urge arose within the managing directors to create their own product. At first, the idea was to create a new and innovative control concept for moving heads and scanners, but the mechanical parts proved to be way too slow. And at the time, LEDs were on the rise, which we perceived to be the future; especially since no dedicated control solution was available. The main basis for the new product was the diploma thesis of our Head of R&D, which had ‘music analysis in real time’ as topic. These lessons learned first became a software product called ‘MAD education’ for the education market, but was not commercially viable due to the nature of this market. It then later became the incredible Sound2Light and Music2Light features of the MADRIX software which was aimed at the event and entertainment markets.



2. What are the unique features that won Madrix 3 the Live Design Product of the Year award?

CH: MADRIX 3 was released in July 2013 to bring many enhancements over the previous software generations. MADRIX 1 and MADRIX 2 were dedicated software products exclusively designed for LED lighting control and user friendliness, productivity, as well as ease of use. As such, they introduced a completely new way of thinking. Instead of focusing on DMX channels and faders, MADRIX was all about effects, visuals, shapes, and colors.

When the new software was introduced for the first time at Prolight + Sound in 2005, even professionals only paid attention to the LED show wall and disregarded the concept further by asking who would ever need to control 10 DMX universes? Nowadays, people quickly realize that the required amount of control channels rapidly adds up when controlling even a small matrix of full color RGB LEDs, where conventional control concepts would simply become unmanageable. And this is also where the name basically comes from. It is a combination of ‘music analysis display’ based on the diploma thesis as well as ‘LED matrix’.

There are many, many additions to the new software and the users’ workflow, but above all the main focus of this third generation has always been the introduction of voxel mapping. From the beginning, it was designed to make spectacular 3D projects possible.

This all is possible because the software generates unique effects, visuals, and animations live and in real time. No additional content is required. The built-in effects library already includes a multitude of stock effects that are fully customizable (in speed, color, shape, direction, size, movement, position, brightness, etc.). With MADRIX 3, that is not only true for 2D visuals, but 2D effects extruded to 3D, and real 3D volume content – all created live for the user.

3. Can you highlight the difference between Madrix voxel mapping and conventional 3D mapping solutions?

CH: 3D projection mapping and 3D voxel mapping are fundamentally different. 3D projections or 3D projection mapping will take a 2D video signal and map it onto a surface. This surface may be flat or a physical layout of 2D surface areas in spatial 3D. In this way, the video content (a rotating cube, for example) may look 3D and the surface may be spatial 3D (such as a building), but the content signal will be 2D still.

The MADRIX software provides a leading-edge feature set to fully control real 3D LED matrices. In addition to its pixel mapping and media server capabilities, MADRIX software supports volume rendering (voxel mapping). Pixel mapping refers to 2D and mapping every single pixel/light point of an LED installation. Pixel is short for picture element. Voxel on the other hand is short for volumetric pixel and as such refers to real 3D. Instead of mapping to a 2D surface, MADRIX can map every single point of a 3D object/3D LED installation, which is made out of LED pixels in X, Y, and Z. A real 3D cube, for example, may not only have LEDs on its 6 outer areas, but within its volume as well.

4. In India, in which segment (fixed, rental etc.) do you see most potential for the Madrix software?

CH: India is a large market, LED are now the mainstay of lighting industry, which is just beginning to use Madrix in a big way. Every market segment, entertainment installations ranging from clubs, bars, discotheques, lounges are adopting the new “in thing” with Madrix as their choice of control for LEDs. We see both segments installations as well as rental doing extremely well with Madrix.

5.Can you name some projects that have already used the Madrix software?

RP: Madrix has found its application in numerous clubs in India, Luna nudo, Tryst, Play the lounge (Mumbai), Hollywood (Mohali), Block 22 (Hyderabad) and the list is growing rapidly. But besides these Madrix finds immense popularity in the rental market and applications in every area where individually programmable RGBW LEDs are involved. A large number of rental companies across India use Madrix as their choice of LEDs control.

6. From your vantage position, what do you think is going to be the next biggest “immersive” success story (with or without glasses)? And can we expect the first lighting design console from Madrix soon?

CH: This is not the most exciting answer, but I can neither confirm nor deny. We are simply not discussing any product before it is released to the market. But as the MADRIX software already proves today, a lighting console is definitely not the only way for professional lighting control.

A customer experience that brings it all together will be the next biggest success story. This will not be something that solely focuses on one aspect, but a concept –and truly realizing that concept– that combines light, sound, service, innovative ideas, and much more that encompasses all human senses. There won’t be one product or solution that fits it all, but a combination of specialized tools that meet these diverse requirements each in their own respect.

7. Which is the biggest market for Madrix worldwide? And in which segments do you see major growth for the lighting industry?

CH: MADRIX can be used everywhere where controllable LEDs are used. Due to its state-of-the-art Sound2Light and Music2Light features, clubs, nightclubs, and discotheques are still the biggest market for us. But we are also seeing lots and lots of use cases in architectural projects, on (big) festival stages, in bars and lounges, at events and concerts, in art or interactive installations, and entertainment, commercial or work environments.

We think that the topic ‘LED’ in general is still at the beginning.

All lighting markets are quite different, have different needs, and are currently at different stages. When I look at the most recent projects that have been sent in, festivals, theater, as well as TV productions are beginning to use the potential that LEDs hold. And even if we are only touching the market briefly with lighting enthusiasts that love to use it for personal projects, Christmas lighting, or personal lighting, for example, you could say that the (massive) mainstream market has not even started yet.

8. What are your impressions about the Indian market? Any new exciting lighting projects in India on the horizon?

CH: India is of course already an important and very promising market and we can’t wait to see where it is headed next. What we perceive to be the first 3D project for MADRIX that really started the trend was built in Mumbai in 2011 (Tryst Club). The lighting designers involved there (international, but also national) are still pushing the boundaries today of what is possible. Today with our sole India, distributor IES, we are already seeing a large number of small size projects where Madrix is now a standard.With the envelope being pushed higher, budgets are increasing and soon we will see very high level of projects and Madrix in India.

RP: We are amidst number of projects, as well as the rental sales are booming. Due to client discretion, at this point we cannot reveal the projects, but in due course do check youtube to see some exciting projects and applications of Madrix in India.

9. What strategies is IES adopting to market or further popularize the Madrix brand in India ?

RP: We, at IES are investing in Madrix for the Indian market firstly by educating the market, secondly providing design expertise & technical support with training. Madrix is a very exciting product, also evolving rapidly as it keeps pace with technological changes in LED industry. Seminars, workshops and advance 1 on 1 training are provided alongside sales. As the market understands the product, it finds new applications for it.

10. Do you think there is relatively low penetration of LED lights for entertainment in India? Is there still any huge untapped opportunity for LED Lighting in India as far as entertainment lighting applications are concerned?

RP: LED lights penetration is one of the highest growing in the lighting segment in India. With the advent of the LEDs with“SPI” based IC over LEDs “DMX” based IC, the market is ripe for a further boost and what you have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg. With technological advances, cheaper LEDs and a growing expertise....it is all upwards. Creativity finds its own path.

11. Where do you see the lighting design industry heading towards in the next five years?

CH: Whereas the trend towards 3D was clearly visible for me, nowadays a broad variety of trends seems to coexist with no single one in the lead:
• LEDs continue to be the main lighting element, with lasers, effect lights, moving heads, etc. as supplements
• LEDs are increasingly used in moving lights and often pixel mapped as well.As such, pixel mapping (and voxel mapping) is still on the rise and the requirements and demand for adequate control solutions grow. As a consequence, the number of required control channels are steadily increasing • As is the case in other industries, adding interaction to a project is an emerging topic • Apart from the classic fixture designs, such as tiles, tubes, or bars, there are companies that are now heavily innovating and creating not the most universal or flexible fixture at times, but unique designs that are extremely interesting • Downward price trends are making LEDs cheaper than ever and as such more LEDs are used. However, this does not mean that LED screens are the only way that LEDs are used. Many installations still make very creative use of their lighting designs without video screens at all. Lower resolutions are as sought after as are medium or high resolutions.

11 Questions with Roger Drego ----------------July August 2016 Issue!

Managing Director of Electrocraft

In the 70’s, when professional audio was barely heard of in India, Roger Drego popularly known as RD stepped into the world of professional audio. In this interview, the rental Industry veteran and Managing Director of Electrocraft – one of India’s premier rental company, fields 11 Questions on establishing his own assembling unit, the pro audio scene – then and now, the sound rental industry in India and more.

1. What were the deciding factors that made you set up your rental business?

The first deciding factor was the lack of proper audio systems in the industry. When we did small shows earlier, we received a lot of flak from the audiences as the sound was almost unintelligible. During those days, only Ahuja equipment was available in the market, so we decided to step in, and purchase better quality of equipment. Those days Singapore was the only gateway for importing stuff and the duties were very high, so we decided to buy Japanese equipment and that’s how we started and slowly grew the business.

2. Which was the first major gig that you supplied equipment for and what did the sound system inventory for such gigs usually comprise of?

Our first big gig was the Jazz Yatra. The first one was done by a German company and the second yatra was done by us. Some of the first bands that entered India were Osibisa, Boomtown Rats and Wishbone Ash. These bands required a certain standard of equipment which was available only in Europe, so we started importing some of the equipment like mixers and the basics to cater to the needs of these groups.

3. At what point of time did you decide to brand your own products and get into manufacturing and how much would you says you employ state-of-the art design in the RD brand of products?

It’s only four years ago that we started branding our own products. We realized that a lot of professional brands were very expensive (especially after paying the duty), making it tough for people to purchase equipment. So we decided to manufacture our own equipment which was not overly priced. I would say our equipment are mid-priced and cater to the middle segment like night clubs and auditoriums.

I wouldn’t say that we employ state-of-the art design and we are not even attempting to be like the top brands because that requires high-end R&D and we can’t afford to do that as it will ultimately make our products too expensive to sell. That’s a different ball game altogether.

I don’t think anybody in India is really manufacturing per se. We all are assembling, because otherwise it’s not feasible. Ours is a product that we finally came up with by looking at the other products. People want lower priced products that also sound good and that’s what we are aiming at. We are very clear that we want to make products that are affordable and of good quality. If somebody wants to buy an expensive product then they can buy a product which is already available, why will they buy your brand?

4. Your impressions of the pro audio scene - then and now

A big difference! Pro audio scene at that time was only one or two players and today we have hundreds of players in the market. Today India has trade fairs for pro audio, licensing has become easier and even duties have reduced thereby facilitating easy import of equipment. In the early days we had to travel abroad and take a decision on what to buy, but now you just acquire information off the internet, take a decision and approach the company. Today we even have so many majors like Yamaha and Harman based in India.

5.What were the biggest challenges that you faced in the last 4 decades that you have been around in the industry?

In the early days the equipment used did not require very high power from the main supply. As technology advanced the need for higher power became very important and the organizers of the event were never able to understand this new demand. So to get a good power supply or good high power generator became a difficult task. Today we don’t face these problems but we have different challenges like noise pollution and time limits and no open grounds in the cities. Other countries have big venues in non-residential areas but in India it is not so. It has become impossible to do a proper concert, given the required permissions and the pressure that the police are putting on us.

6. Would you say that there is any major differentiation in design in Chinese brands from the American or other first world design styles?

Most Chinese brands are generally copied. Very few Chinese in the sound industries have come up with their own designs. They basically copy the designs of good American and German companies. As the manufacturing cost in China is very low and the raw material is cheap, is the reason why some top companies have manufacturing plants in China. The amount of licensing and red tape that is involved in starting a manufacturing plant in India is not funny, but now that Prime Minister Modi has given a boost to the manufacturing industries through the “Make in India” Program, I hope we can look forward to a brighter future.

7. How come we don’t see much of Japan in the pro audio manufacturing race?

That’s true in a way but some Japanese products and companies are in the fore-front like Yamaha. Yamaha mixers today are among the best in the market. Electronic-wise - the amplifiers and mixers have made their mark. It’s only that the speakers are not as successful and up to the mark.

8. Today there is a growing awareness in the Indian market for quality - is it true or myth?

It is true, but then quality comes with a price tag. Definitely there is a growing interest in getting better sound but they want everything to work in their own budget. In today’s age the money market is so tight that people don’t want to pay the price for the product they actually want. They want quality but don’t want to pay more.

9. Do these high-value products have commensurate designs that justify the value?

Yes. They have spent a lot of money on research. Sometime you come up with the product after couple of years of research which costs a lot of money and that recovery comes only from the high end products. Research plays a very important part in designing quality equipment and the cost is justified as they have to recover the money and time they have spent on extensive research.

10. Over the last few years, the sheer number of concerts and events in India stand as testimony to the fact that there is demand. Doesn’t this increase pressure on inventory which hopefully leads to more players?

Definitely; the number of live events happening all over the country has gone up by 10 times and that’s the reason for so many sound systems coming up. Across India, all major and smaller cities are coming up with the sound system and therefore the competition in price and quality has increased. Mumbai, itself boast of many sound players.

11.Tell us about PALA?

PALA is formed by a group of people who have elected me as the President. The main objective of PALA is to unify the people from the sound industry as we do not have a unified body following one code. The whole idea of PALA is to unify and to sort out the problems regarding noise level and time restrictions etc. and follow one code. Different people in different areas are facing different problems and if we have to address and solve these problems then we have to unify everybody. We have a member base of 400-500 in Mumbai alone and we are happy to see cities like Nashik, Pune, Kolhapur also joining in and we are getting a positive response. We are not differentiating between big and small players. Anybody dealing in sound can be part of PALA.


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