Tube Microphone Preamp Channel Strip
October 10, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – HARMAN’s dbx today announced the introduction of its model 676 Tube Mic Pre Channel Strip, a vacuum tube-based microphone preamplifier that offers a host of flexible sound-tailoring options to deliver extraordinary audio quality in recording and live sound applications.
The dbx 676 employs a high-gain, Class A tube preamp section based around a 12AU7 vacuum tube that can be adjusted to be clean and pure-sounding or dirty and full of harmonic character. The 676 incorporates the Compressor/Limiter design from the highly sought-after dbx 162SL and a 3-band parametric EQ, enabling exacting control of dynamics and tonal balance.
“We created the dbx 676 to be nothing less than the ultimate mic preamp,” said Jason Kunz, Market Manager, Portable PA and Recording & Broadcast at HARMAN Signal Processing. “Whether you need a preamp that provides pristine, rich sound quality and tube warmth, want to add some edge and personality to vocals and instruments or are seeking to improve the sound of your recording or live rig, the dbx 676 is the ideal tool for taking your sound to the highest level.”
The dbx 676 offers ¼-inch and XLR inputs and outputs, a front-panel instrument input and a side chain insert. An optional digital output card is available. The 676 allows for precise tailoring of input and output levels which can be monitored by its large multi-function VU meter.
The compressor/limiter section provides extremely flexible control of dynamics including threshold, attack, gain and release, auto attack and release, hard and soft knee compression, dbx-exclusive AutoVelocity™ manual and OverEasy® modes and PeakStop™ limiting algorithm and many additional functions. The 676’s 3-band parametric EQ allows adjustment of level and bandwidth at frequencies that have been carefully chosen for maximum musical effectiveness.
Although comprehensive in its capabilities the dbx 676 is designed for ease of use, with its vintage-style controls and VU metering. The 676 features military-grade build for total reliability and mounts in a 2U rack space.
The dbx 676 Tube Mic Pre Channel Strip will be available in January 2015 at a U.S. street price of $999.95.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.3 billion for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014.
Advanced Feedback Suppression® Processor with Full LCD Display
June 18, 2014
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – HARMAN’s dbx today announced the introduction of its AFS2 Advanced Feedback Suppression Processor, designed to completely eliminate feedback from a PA system. The AFS2 is ideal for bands, DJs, live sound and fixed installation applications and offers a host of upgraded features including a Wizard auto-setup function, a completely re-designed Advanced Feedback Suppression module, and a large LCD display.
Successor to the popular AFS224, the AFS2 provides state-of-the-art feedback elimination, yet is simple to use, thanks to its one-button Wizard function that automates key setup parameters and walks the user through the configuration process. The AFS2 offers a full LCD display and 24 LED meters per channel for setup and monitoring. The AFS2 can be added to a system in minutes, thanks to its easy rear-panel connectivity and its optimized front panel .
The AFS2’s all-new DSP module takes dbx Advanced Feedback Suppression (AFS™) to an entirely new level. This new module provides for faster and more focused filter sets in both fixed and live mode. While 10- and 12-filter feedback-elimination processors are commonplace, the dedicated processor in the AFS2 provides up to 24 programmable filters per channel with filter Qs up to 1/80 of an octave. This level of extreme precision, previously available only in high-end processors, enables the AFS2 to zero in on the exact frequencies needed to attenuate feedback. The AFS2 offers application-specific filter types including Speech and Music Low, Medium and High.
The AFS2 offers selectable Live and Fixed (installed sound) filter modes, selectable filter lift times, live filter lift and more, all of which are available via the intuitive front panel user interface. The AFS2 can be used in either stereo or dual independent channel mode. It includes XLR and TRS inputs and outputs and a USB jack to enable firmware updates when they become available.
“Getting rid of feedback can be one of the most difficult and insidious things to deal with when setting up a PA system, especially for bands and performers who have to carry their own PA and may be musicians first and sound engineers second,” said Jason Kunz, Market Manager, Portable PA and Recording & Broadcast at HARMAN Signal Processing. “The AFS2 is simple to use, yet powerful and flexible enough for elaborate large-scale live sound systems and fixed installations.”
The dbx AFS2 Advanced Feedback Suppression Processor will be available in July 2014 at a suggested retail price of $499.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.
Complete Loudspeaker Management System
April 16, 2014
dbx DriveRack PA2 Loudspeaker Management System Makes A Night and Day Difference for Live Sound Engineer Whitney Day
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Audio engineer Whitney Day is an independent audio professional who has worked with many of the larger companies in Las Vegas, in venues such as the Smith Center for the Performing Arts and for productions including The Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray, The Lion King, Cirque du Soleil, Mannheim Steamroller and many others. Production managers know they can rely on Day to deliver superb live sound with exceptionally clear, detailed and well-balanced mixes and Day is always on the lookout for tools to deliver better sound – like HARMAN’s dbx DriveRack PA2 Loudspeaker Management System.
The DriveRack PA2 enables a loudspeaker system to be quickly and accurately optimized for the best-possible sound quality. The PA2 is ideal for bands, musicians and artists who carry their own PA and for a wide range of installed sound applications. The DriveRack PA2 makes it easier than ever to set up a system and control it on the fly via a mobile device or laptop.
“As a live audio mixing engineer, DSP and loudspeaker EQ are fundamentally important tools for me and I’ve always been impressed with the digital signal processing in HARMAN products,” Day stated. “I’m constantly looking for new ways to achieve better sound and when the PA2 was introduced, I felt it was something that would help me do my job in smaller to medium-size shows.”
The dbx PA2 offers a host of loudspeaker tuning and system optimization features, including a new Wizard setup utility, AutoEQ™ room EQ, Advanced Feedback Suppresion (AFS™) and more. The PA2 provides dbx compression, graphic and parametric EQ, speaker delay, dbx’s exclusive Subharmonic Synthesis for enhanced low-frequency response, a built in loudspeaker crossover (for full-range, 2-way and 3-way systems) and additional features to get the most from any speaker system it’s used with, in any room.
“The PA2 is exactly what I was looking for,” Day said. He found it simple to set up and use without reading the manual. The wireless control of the PA2 gives him the freedom to make adjustments while walking around a venue and listening to the loudspeakers from various locations, which Day finds a major advantage in making sure every listener in every seat enjoys the best-possible sound.
Day is particularly impressed with the natural, transparent EQ of the PA2. “Sometimes even on the best consoles when you engage the EQ you might notice a change in the character of the sound but can’t really put your finger on what it is. On the worst consoles it puts a mask over the sound. It’s like covering the speakers with a bed sheet. When I take the EQ in and out on the PA2 it’s flawless – I don’t hear any change in sonic character.”
The PA2 does its sonic job with precision. On a lot of even highly touted digital consoles, if Day thinks he needs a 2dB cut he’ll make a 5dB cut and slide the fader back and forth until he hears what he wants. “With the PA2, 99 percent of the time the EQ adjustment is exactly what I think it should be. If I want to make a 1dB cut, I hear a 1dB cut. For the PA2’s price point I was amazed – that’s a very good EQ.”
I find that with some gear, applying EQ can be extremely destructive to the signal and really mess up the phase relationships between frequencies. That’s simply not an issue with the PA2. I’m really stunned at how good the unit is, and the fact that it’s this good at its price point.”
“We designed the unit with the goal of bringing the highest levels of audio quality and control to smaller venues and live events and having an audio engineer of Whitney’s caliber talk about the precision of the PA2 is the best compliment we can receive,” stated Jason Kunz, Market Manager, Portable PA and Recording & Broadcast for HARMAN Signal Processing.
Complete Loudspeaker Management System
February 19, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – HARMAN’s dbx is now shipping its DriveRackPA2 Loudspeaker Management System, which enables a loudspeaker system to be quickly and accurately optimized for the best-possible sound quality. The PA2 is ideal for bands, musicians and artists who carry their own PA and for a wide range of installed sound applications. The DriveRack PA2 makes it easier than ever to set up a system and control it on the fly using via an Android®, iOS®, Mac®, or Windows® mobile device or laptop.
The original DriveRack PA revolutionized audio for bands around the world by providing all of the processing they needed between their mixer and amplifiers to optimize and protect their loudspeakers. The DriveRack PA2 takes all of this functionality to an entirely new level, at a price point that offers outstanding value. A brand new Wizard allows for faster and easier set-up, new AutoEQ™ provides professional touring-quality room EQ and incredibly accurate Advanced Feedback Suppression (AFS™) ensures freedom from feedback in any room.
The DriveRack PA2 can be set up and operated from a compatible tablet or smartphone via Ethernet using the free dbx PA2 Control App, available at www.dbxpro.com, the iTunes® Store and Google Play. Users have access to a host of configuration menus and on their mobile device or laptop, with full-color graphical displays that give ready visual indications of the parameters being adjusted. The DriveRack PA2 can also be operated via its front-panel controls and display.
The DriveRack PA2 provides a comprehensive suite of system tuning and optimization tools. Its improved AutoEQ enables automatic and precise equalization of the loudspeakers to the venue in which they’re installed to achieve smoother, more accurate in-room frequency response. A new AFS Advanced Feedback Suppression feature automatically finds and dials out any problematic feedback-producing frequencies.
The PA2 offers numerous additional system-tuning and sonic optimization capabilities, including dbx compression, graphic and 8-band parametric EQ, a new input delay module for delaying the front of house system to the backline, dbx’s exclusive Subharmonic Synthesis for enhanced low-frequency response, a built-in loudspeaker crossover (for full-range, 2-way and 3-way systems), limiting, loudspeaker time alignment and many additional features.
“Setting up a PA can be one of the most challenging aspects of ilve performing, especially for local and semi-pro musicians who have to do it themselves, but the DriveRack PA2 makes the process fast, accurate and stress-free,” said Noel Larson, Director of Marketing, HARMAN Signal Processing. “Getting great live sound is now as easy as reaching for your phone or laptop.”
The dbx DriveRack PA2 is currently available at a suggested retail price of $499.95.
Tube Channel Strip w/Digital Out
December 03, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Like many musicians turned recording engineers, Glenn Thomas began learning his craft on his own, long before setting foot in a “real” recording studio. He didn’t have a choice – growing up, the closest city with a professional studio was six hours away. From his early days of bouncing tracks on a cheap four-track cassette recorder, Thomas has progressed to become the owner of Newfoundland, Canada studio, ITuneAudio providing recording and production services for a wide variety of Canadian and US artists. When it comes to running a self-made studio, Thomas knows a key piece of equipment can go a long way – in this case, HARMAN’s dbx 376 Tube Channel Strip with Digital Out.
“When I was a kid I basically started pushing myself, working with four-track equipment until people were comparing my productions to what others were doing on 16 tracks, learning how to play all the instruments myself, touring in bands, moving to Ontario, Canada, you name it,” said Thomas. “Growing up with no one to learn from and having to work and work at everything until I got it right, I’ve always felt I had to be something of an overachiever – and I’m drawn to equipment that’s the same way and gives you more than you might expect.”
I grew up hearing about dbx, Thomas notes that dbx was “a household name” and that pieces like the 160s and 266 compressors and dbx EQs “were everywhere” when he was playing the club scene. “I always knew dbx made good products and when I found out they made tube gear I got really excited, since like many others I’ve always loved what a quality tube preamp can do for the sound of vocals and instruments.”
Fast forward to 2013 and it’s no surprise the dbx 376 has landed at ITuneAudio. In addition to a tube preamp section the 376 offers a three-band parametric EQ, compressor, de-esser, mic and line inputs, selectable digital sampling rates and analog and digital audio outputs. “I use the 376 on every project in one way or another,” says Thomas. On a current project for California Based band “X-Sinner” 7th album he’s running most guitar tracks through the 376. “It works exceptionally well to enhance the sound of a guitar that’s going into an amp simulator in a DAW. It really makes a guitar sound more like it’s being recorded through a real amp.” Thomas likes to apply a -3 to -6dB notch at 1 to 3 kHz to remove some midrange “honk,” a technique that’s helped him achieve a signature guitar sound.
When recording drums, typically a 15-mic setup, Thomas runs a stereo pair of AKG 3000 mics through a dbx dual channel 386. Cranking the mic pre pushes the preamp to “run a little dirty,” which Thomas finds adds to the sonic character. He likes using the 376 either when printing vocals and instruments right to a track, or during mixing when he can tweak the 376’s parameters to bring a track to sit perfectly in a mix. “I even prefer using the dbx 376’s preamp section instead of the built-in preamps in my high end digital interface. Other preamps are too ‘stubborn’ to use, feel too sterile or add colorations I don’t like, whereas the 376 always sounds right.”
“The dbx 376 and the dbx 386 are killer products for the money,” Thomas concludes. “I would never sell these pieces of gear.”
November 20, 2013
HARMAN Professional Enhances Investment in Infrastructure: Begins Construction on New Technology and Signal Processing Business Unit Facility
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In a move to enhance operational efficiency and provide HARMAN Professional staff with world-class resources to better serve its customers, the HARMAN Signal Processing Business Unit today broke ground on a new 50,000-square-foot Technology Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The new building will replace the existing Sandy, Utah operation and will serve as headquarters for more than 160 employees from the BSS Audio, dbx, DigiTech and Lexicon brands, HARMAN Professional’s Systems Development and Integration Group responsible for the development of HiQnet™ networking software development and the HARMAN Corporate Technology Group overseeing company-wide R&D for all brands.
Located in the River Park Business Center in the South Jordan area of Salt Lake City, the new tech center will include specialized centers for research and development, product development, hardware and software engineering, sales and marketing and will also feature a new world-class HARMAN Professional training center.
“Utah has been a hotbed for innovation and technology as well as the home to HARMAN Signal Processing brands for over 30 years and we are proud to say it will continue to be so for years to come. We are building a strong foundation for the future as this new facility represents our commitment to ongoing investments and in our operations and our team,” stated TJ Smith, General Manager, HARMAN Professional Signal Processing Business Unit.
Designed and engineered with input from HARMAN team members from various departments, the building will allow for greater operational collaboration in order to meet the needs of HARMAN customers who are moving to more systems-based solutions.
“We’re envisioning a creative environment optimized for the comfort and productivity of our team members so they can bring their strongest ideas and put forth their best effort in ensuring HARMAN customers around the world receive optimal service and support,” added Smith.
The first stage of occupation for the new facility is slated for December 2013.
Photo left to right Steve Sleater, Facilities Manager, Brian Morgan, Associate Director, Software Engineering, Jackie Riley, Human Resources Manager, TJ Smith, Senior Director, Center of Competency (COC) – SPU Pro Division,
Harold Sullivan, Senior Manager, Engineering Services
More dbx news
Oct 17, 2013
HARMAN International Acquires Duran Audio