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Monthly Archives: July 2011

  • New Delivery rates for EAV Pro Audio

    EAV Pro Audio are now happy to tell our customers we are giving you FREE delivery on all orders over £149 Currently this offer is only open to mainland UK customers and people that do not live in what we (or rather our Couriers) deem as Remote areas. If you are unsure as to whether this includes yourself, just pop your postcode into the basket page on our site and it will calculate the delivery charge for you. Alternatively, see if your postcode is listed below Our couriers deem the following postcodes as 'Remote' - HS,IV,ZE, BT, KA25,KA26,KA27,KA28,KW,PA20,PA21,PA22,PA23,PA24,PA25, PA26,PA27,PA28,PA29,PA30,PA31,PA32,PA33,PA34,PA35,PA36,PA37,PA38,PA39,PA40, PA41,PA42,PA43,PA44,PA45,PA46,PA47,PA48,PA49,PA60,PA61,PA62,PA63,PA64,PA65, PA66,PA67,PA68,PA69,PA70,PA71,PA72,PA73,PA74,PA75,PA76,PA77,PA78,PH,PO30, PO31,PO32,PO33,PO34,PO35,PO36,PO37,PO38,PO39,PO40,PO41 EAV Pro Audio also reserve the right to add a delivery cost to any orders of any location (even if the website indicates FREE delivery) if it is of unusual physical size or a large quantity of items that may need a special delivery such as a pallet. We will of course contact you if this is the case and no money will be taken from your card until you have agreed. Happy shopping :)

  • New Broadcast Section on EAV

    We have just added a 'Broadcast Microphones' section to our website. Although it is just a small section at the moment we aim to fill it up with loads of mics that are designed for the Broadcast sector. Currently we have some great Rode Microphones and Audio Technica Microphones that are perfect for the Broadcast world. Some, like the Rode VideoMic Pro is great for amateurs that want to dip there toe in the Broadcast world. Take a look and see.

  • Induction Loops and Infrared Systems - Who, What, Where

    EAV Pro Audio have recently set up a 'Hearing assisted audio' section on our website that consists of hearing loop systems and Infrared systems. This little guide helps you understand what these things are, how should have one, how they work and techniques for getting the best out of your hearing assisted audio systems. Our sister company, Acoustic Arrangements, have been installing Loop and Infrared systems into churches for over 15 years, if you have questions regarding them, please give us a call on 0845 125 9409 TYPES OF HEARING SYSTEMS What are induction loop and infrared systems? Hard-of-hearing people find it difficult to hear in larger venues because of poor room acoustics. The problem is made worse by the distance that sound has to travel before it reaches the audience, background noise and competing sounds. Induction loops and infrared systems reduce background noise so that sound can be heard more clearly. How do they work? Induction loops and infrared systems replace the sound path between the sound source and the hard-of-hearing person with either an inductive (magnetic) or infrared signal that is not affected by acoustics or other sounds. The hard-of-hearing person uses a receiver that converts the signal back to sound. With loop systems, this is usually their own hearing aid (only those with a ‘T’ position). Infrared systems use special receivers to convert the signal back to sound. Both systems enable users to hear from anywhere covered by the system. The sound that people hear without a receiver is unaffected. What is an induction loop? An induction loop is a cable that encloses the audience area. It is connected to a loop amplifier that gets its signal from a microphone placed in front of the person speaking or via a direct connection from a sound system, or other sound source. The resulting electric current in the loop produces a magnetic field corresponding to the speaker’s voice. Anyone within the area of the loop who is wearing a hearing aid switched to the 'T' setting, or a loop listening aid, can pick up this field. Users may need to adjust their own hearing aids for volume. The loop wire usually runs around the edges of a room so that it serves the entire audience area. Sometimes, however, it only encloses a particular seating area. It can also be routed over doors and arches. This doesn’t affect how the loop works. Loops consist of ordinary insulated cable, but the gauge must be chosen with care. The cable is normally run around the edges of the room – usually a single turn is used, but some systems may need two or more turns of cable to generate sufficient magnetic field or to match the amplifier’s characteristics. Tricky loop design situations External factors may affect how well a loop works. These could be such things as metal work, pillars and pipes and high ambient RFI (see below). Think about these when you begin to plan – sometimes they may influence whether or not you install a loop at all. Some problems however may not arise until after the loop has been installed. Interference from other circuits (RFI) Even if the loop itself works properly, hearing aid users may hear magnetic interference from electrical equipment and wiring, such as fluorescent lights, light dimming systems or power cables. This interference is picked up directly by their hearing aids. You can usually identify sources of interference using a portable field strength meter, hearing aid or loop listener. If it can’t be prevented or reduced, assess the interference to see if it will be acceptable to people using the loop. Interference from other electrical equipment is a common reason for people not getting the intended benefit from a loop system – so pay close attention to this point. Overspill Loop systems are designed for users within the area of the loop, but there is always some overspill, as walls, ceilings and floors do not block magnetic fields. This means hearing aid users outside the looped room may be able to overhear conversations if their hearing aids are switched to 'T'. The magnetic field may also overspill into adjoining rooms and rooms directly above and below. You should think carefully about this if you are fitting more than one loop area. If this could be a problem, you could consider an infrared system instead. Interference to other circuits In some circumstances, an induction loop may cause interference in other parts of a sound system, instrument pick-ups or video systems. This can happen if the loop cable runs close to other signal cables that are especially vulnerable to this kind of interference. Carefully routing the cables may prevent this problem, but ground loop isolation is sometimes required and can be expensive. Metal in buildings This can have an unpredictable effect on loop systems. The loop may produce a weaker inductive signal than expected if the metalwork in the area of the loop is substantial, and the signal strength may vary from seat to seat in the listening area. Regular checks Ideally, you should use a field strength meter with headphone output to check the system. This lets you check both magnetic field strength and quality of signal. You should test the loop regularly and adjust as necessary – how often will depend on your venue. What is an infrared system? Infrared systems can provide high-quality sound and are available in stereo (or dual mono) versions. They use invisible infrared light to carry sound to portable receivers. The complete system consists of infrared 'radiators', that gets its signal from a microphone placed in front of the person speaking or via a direct connection from a sound system, or other sound source, personal IR receivers are then used for the user. Radiators cast infrared light over the listening area, rather like floodlights. You may need one or more infrared radiators, depending on the size of the venue. The quality of sound received by the user is of a much higher standard than that of induction loop systems. Using receivers Anyone using the receiver can sit anywhere in the area covered by the radiators. The infrared light produced by the radiators usually reflects off walls and surfaces in and around the coverage area. So sound should be received anywhere in the covered area, but some wall coverings absorb infrared light, meaning that the receivers will only work when they are pointed towards the radiators. The most widely-used kind of infrared receiver is a ‘stethoset’ which is worn without a hearing aid but you can also get a ‘neck loop’ receiver that can be used by someone wearing a hearing aid, set to 'T'. Most venues keep both types of receiver and keep the batteries in the receivers fully charged. The ear tips of a stethoset must be cleaned or replaced after use. Interference Infrared systems are not prone to interference unless the receivers are in direct sunlight. The radiators do not transmit outside the room they are used in, so several systems can be used at the same time in rooms next to each other. For this reason, they are also suitable for confidential meetings. Infrared systems eliminates problems encountered by use of induction loops on instruments, audio signal cables, video and VGA cables. How much do induction loop and infrared systems cost? A DIY loop in a small meeting room can cost a few hundred pounds. A professionally installed loop in a big venue can cost several thousand pounds. Infrared systems tend to be more expensive than loops because you need a stock of receivers. Some organizations install cheaper systems designed for domestic use in their smaller rooms, but check first that this sort of system is suitable and that it meets health and safety requirements. Helping your customers get the most from your system Microphone technique The quality of the signal your system produces can only be as good as the signal it receives. Loop and infrared systems do not improve signal quality – they simply reproduce what is fed into them. It is easy to get a clear signal when someone speaks directly into a microphone. The further the sound has to travel to reach the microphone, the poorer the sound quality, particularly if you have poor room acoustics or background noise. Place the microphone as close as possible to the person speaking. This is fairly easy if speakers remain in the same spot. It becomes more difficult when speakers sit in different positions or move around. If this is the case, you will need to choose the correct type of microphone and plan where you place it. Operating the system You can leave some infrared or induction loop systems on all the time. Otherwise you will need to turn your system on each time. Even with lots of microphones, or other audio sources such as tape or CD recorders, the controls on the mixing console are usually set up and fixed. You will need someone to operate the mixing console if the system is part of a larger sound system. What is the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA)? The DDA aims to stop discrimination against disabled people, including deaf and hard of hearing people, in the workplace, in education and when accessing goods and services. Goods and service providers include theatres, cinemas, places of worship, conference halls, banks, courts and tribunals, supermarkets, airports, shopping centers and bus and train stations. The Act says that service providers may not discriminate against a deaf or hard of hearing person by refusing to provide a service or offering a service of a lower standard or on less favorable terms, on the grounds of their hearing loss. Service providers must make reasonable provision and adjustments to the way in which they provide goods or services to enable deaf and hard of hearing people access to them. If it is not reasonable to provide a permanent loop or infrared system, then the service provider should provide a temporary system. If you already provide an induction loop or infrared system, you are required by law to make sure that the system is properly maintained and that staff are aware of it and know how to use it. This applies to temporary and permanent systems. You must also make sure that additional equipment, like neck loop receivers or loop listeners, are maintained and tested, and that you have a reasonable number. You should make sure that you display signs telling customers that a loop or infrared system is available.

  • Setting up your graphic equaliser to eliminate feedback

    Setting up your graphic equaliser to eliminate feedback – “Ringing Out” Feedback is one of the most common problems people get when using PA systems. This however, does not need to be the case. With the careful setting up of a graphic equaliser this problem can be greatly reduced if not virtually eliminated. Feedback occurs when amplified sound from a loudspeaker re-enters a microphone and is re-amplified. Feedback occurs at specific frequencies, sometimes referred to as peaks, in a system. A graphic equaliser allows you to cut these specific frequencies and therefore remove the peaks. You’ll notice that most graphic equalisers have either 15 or 31 ‘bands’. These ‘bands’, each with their own slider, control a range of frequencies within the audio spectrum. With a 31 band unit (also referred to as a 1/3 octave EQ), the frequency range of each slider, or band, is smaller which therefore gives more precise control. Ringing out using FLS For simplicity, firstly we’ll discuss how to set your graphic if you have FLS (Feedback Location System). FLS is a great help to the user who is unfamiliar with setting up graphic equalisers. Not only that, it saves time too! Equalisers with FLS have an LED above each band slider. When feedback occurs the light glows above the band at which the system is feeding back. This allows the operator to locate and cut the band quickly and easily. The method outlined below is a relatively simple way of reducing feedback in your system. • Firstly make sure all the sliders on the graphic equaliser are set to the centre position, ie flat. This means that there is neither boost nor cut on any of the bands. • Raise the fader of, for example, your lapel radio mic (lapel radio mics tend to be very prone to feedback) or your vocal mics. Continue doing this until the system starts to feedback, or ‘ring’. Do this carefully so as not to induce more than one or two feedback frequencies at a time. • The FLS light above the band at which the feedback is occurring should now be lit. Cut this band, ie move the slider down from its central position until the feedback is eliminated. • Repeat this process of raising the mic level and cutting the feedback frequencies until the first frequency you cut starts to feedback again. You should stop here because if you continue you will just be cutting the same frequencies and reducing what’s known as headroom. • This process can be repeated with the other mics in your system which are prone to feedback (there is no need to do this for mics of the same type). You should be able to achieve far higher levels with your system without it feeding back after this process is complete. You have successfully rung out your system! Ringing out without using FLS The process for ringing out without the help of FLS is exactly the same as the above, the only difference being you must pinpoint the frequency audibly, this is often difficult even for an experienced ear! A real-time analyser, RTA, can be used to identify frequencies in much the same way as FLS. Automatic Equalisation Products such as the DBX Driverack PA and the Driverack PX will automatically perform real-time analysis at the push of a button Hope this helps a little Jonathan

  • ALTO Audio - New Distributor, New Products

    A couple of months back, Alto Professional was bought by Numark. Normally, this type of thing matters very little to you as a customer and has very little effect on the products available to you, however, in this case it actually means quite a bit. What’s more, it’s all good news. Now I don’t know the in’s and out’s of why they have done this, however, Alto seemed to have ditched their old range of products and brought out a complete new range of gear. EAV Pro Audio have some of these products listed on our site and are very excited about the price points of some of this gear. Take the Alto TS SUB15, it’s a 15” active subwoofer with crossovers, stereo ins and outs, compact wood cabinet and it’s available for just £299. The 18” Alto TS Sub18 is only coming to you at £399. EAV have also put together some full band PA rigs using the new Alto TS115A active PA speaker and the TS112A Active PA speakers. Get two active 15” tops and two active 18” subs for just £1199 in our Alto Truesonic Active PA Bundle 18. Or do you fancy two active 12” tops and two active 15” subs for less than a grand at £999 with our Alto Truesonic Active PA Bundle 15 They also have a new range of mixers that feature Alesis FX and a basic USB interface. The Alto ZMX224 FXU mixing desk is the largest of them with 18 mic inputs, this followed by the ZMX164 FXU Mixing desk with 10 mic inputs and finally the small but mighty ZMX124 FXU with 6 mix inputs. What makes this change of hands even better is that EAV thought ahead and bought a load of stock of the old Alto distributors at clearance prices. This means we can offer you some amazing deals on the now discontinued range of Alto products. Don’t let the ‘D’ word put you off as it is all brand new and boxed and comes with a full warranty. Check our full range of Alto Professional products.

  • EAV now dealing with Rode and Presonus

    EAV Pro Audio are proud to now be a Rode Microphones and Presonus Digital Desks and Recording Software dealer. We now have a large range of Rode Microphones available for you to browse and buy from our online store. For many, Rode are the only choice for a studio condenser microphone. The Rode NT1-A has almost become an industry standard condenser mic. Presonus Digital desks are the perfect choice for people wanting the flexibility of a digital desk but with the ease of use feel of an analogue desk. They are both live desks and studio desks as they link with the Presonus Studio One Pro software that allow you to multitrack record and mix at professional levels. For more information on our range of Rode microphones or about any type of dynamic microphone or condenser microphone then please give us a call. The same goes for our new range of Presonus Digital Mixing Desks

  • Home Recordings - Recording an Album

    Last Friday my band released an album of original recordings and the whole recording and mastering process was done in my basic home studio setup in my spare bedroom. I thought I would write a little blog about what was used so you can see that you can get great results from a cheap home studio setup. I’m not going to bore you with mic'ing techniques (will do that in another post) or what we did on each individual track, just simply what equipment was used so you can see that a decent studio recording can be done on a budget. My band is an Acoustic duo and the instruments that were recorded (all at home) and feature on the album are; Vocals, acoustic guitars, banjo, banjolele, ukulele, Cajon drum, Djembe drum, Mandolin, Piano and various percussion instruments. The album was recorded on my desktop computer using Nuendo as the sequencing software. There are many different recording softwares on the market such as Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic, Sonar and Propellerhead's Record. It’s really horse for courses when it comes to software. Most people start on one bit of software and never move because you get used to where everything is. They all offer slightly different things but Nuendo is just what I have used for quite some time. Now the obstacle when recording at home on a computer based recording setup is; How do you get the audio from the instruments and on to the computer? Well, this is where an Audio USB Interface or Audio Firewire Interface comes in. The one I use is the Phonic Helix Board 18 and it does the job perfectly. Essentially it is an input device like a mixer that has USB or Firewire outputs. If you go for a Firewire or USB 2.0 interface (rather than USB 1) then you can stream however many inputs your desk has simultaneously into your computer and it splits them out to individual tracks in your recording software and you can mix them afterwards. Basically, it becomes your computers soundcard. The next step in getting your recording done is choosing which mics you will use. Now I am fortunate to have bagged a Shure KSM44 Studio Condenser microphone at a very special price. Like most people this mic may be a little above your budget for a basic home studio and it would have been way above mine if I hadn’t been offered a very special price direct from Shure (the perks of being a dealer I guess). There are some great studio condenser mics on the market at bargain prices such as the Audio Technica AT2035, The Audio Technica AT2020, The AKG C214, The Rode NT1-A and NT2-A studio Pack. All the above mics will give you a great sound on your recording. Now believe it or not, that one condenser microphone was used to record everything on our album. Seriously, we used it for mic’ing the acoustic instruments, the vocals and even the percussion. The only other mic used was an AKG D112 kick drum microphone on the bottom of the Djembe and inside the sound hole of the Cajon, we still used the condenser mic for the top of those drums. Having a good studio condenser microphone is paramount in home recording. It might also be worth mentioning that i have no vocal booths or isolation areas. everything is recorded sitting in front of the computer. The last major bit of kit you will need are some studio monitors. I have a pair of entry level Genelec monitors that sound great. If the budget is a little low you could look at something like the Wharfedale Diamond 8.2 monitors or the Yamaha MSP5 monitors. Both will do the job and allow you to mix a good mix. Once all the tracks were laid down we mixed the album within Nuendo and most of the effects were the basic ones found within the software. We did use some of the BBE Sonic Maxiser software on various bits but on the whole we didn’t use any expensive plugins. The mastering was done on T-Racks which is another bit of software. The only other bits of kits used were cables, stands and of course a decent set of headphones. I have a pair of the Audio Technica ATH-M40 cans and they work a treat. Now I understand that just having this equipment won’t give you a guaranteed great recording. You obviously have to spend a little time learning your software, experimentation with EQ, effects, mixing and mic placements however, if your persevere with it and keep playing around, you will start to hear those recordings getting better and better. You can hear my album from our bands BandCamp store and judge the quality for yourself. It’s obviously not a £1000 a minute Abbey Road quality but I’m sure you will agree it’s not bad for a home recording. Take a listen here - http://www.barricadesrise.bandcamp.com/ Since recording the album I have started to play with Presonus Studio One recording software which looks set to replace my Nuendo as it is easy to use and has mastering features built in. If you have any questions about home recording or equipment needed for setting up a basic home studio then please give me a call or drop me an email. Bye for now Jonathan EAV Pro Audio

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