Tech Bulletin – Aug. 02, 2011
by Chas Gerber

Hi everyone, check out the latest article in ProSound News about the Primerica show at the Georgia Dome. Read More—>

Tech Bulletin – Dec. 30, 2006
by Chas Gerber

Hi everyone. Many of you have read the other e mails that I’ve written on the subject. I’ve been following the sound trade magazines about this particular piece of legislation called “The Communications, Consumer Choice and Broadband Deployment Bill”. This bill will potentially wipeout the RF spectrum in which we use our wireless mics. With this most recent article, we have finally heard from all the major manufactures of RF mics. In the attached article from ProSound News of Nov. 2006, Uwe Sattler from Sennheiser states: “This ruling will all but make it impossible to provide the current audio production practices and standards for a large variety of events: program production for film, theater, television, sports events, news coverage and gathering, political conventions, CORPORATE MEETINGS, public meetings, worship services, general entertainment and concerts, to name just a few.”

One other manufacturer is somewhat less gloomy, but all agree that we will be able to use way fewer RF devices for our shows in the future then we do now. God knows what the Broadway shows are going to do! 30 mics is nothing to them!

Here are some things I’ve done to try to keep up: changing my inventory to incude the new Shure UHF R Series mics, which are a bit more flexible in terms of freq. selection. Probably the most important thing I did was to purchase this great RF freq. coordinating software from Jason Eskew at Professional Wireless Systems. This allows you to coordinate your RF mics based on your exact location via zip code. It so easy to use even a producer could do it!!

Tech Bulletin – July 27, 2006
by Chas Gerber

Happy summer time everyone…Here at Gerber Acoustic Systems we have added some new staff…His name is Lazslo Gerber and he is a manager of Human Resources. This appointment moves Zoltan, our other Hungarian Vizsla, up to the role of Vice President of Human Resources.

Some other news: We are now a Shure dealer, and I have started to change over our wireless mic systems to the new Shure UHF R series mics. Besides sounding better than previous models, due to an improved compandor, these mics can be used in Florida, the dreaded Dallas, and Vegas, as well as many points in between.

Here’s an interesting new development in the world of loudspeakers: A Korean guy named Koh Seok-keun has finally perfected a thin sheet of plastic (polyvinylide fluoride) that has piezoelectric properties. What’s that? I’m sure many of you may know that quartz crystals have electrical properties: run an electrical current through them and they’ll twist. Squeeze them and they’ll produce an electrical discharge.

Koh has been able to create this thin film that, when you apply an electrical audio signal to it, produces sound. This is significant in so many ways: the stuff can be shaped as you want it to. So , make a front projection screen out of it, and the screen is the speaker. Make scenery out of it, and the decorative flat or, column, or lighting sconce, orrow boat on stage is the speaker. By shaping it in certain ways the coverage pattern can be manipulated. This is possible because no magnetic motor is necessary, like ordinary speakers. The vibrating diaphragm itself is the transducing element, NOT a coil of wire glued to an aluminum tube, which is glued to a paper cone, which is glued to a rubber ring, which is glued to a steel frame.

Therefore, the distortion should be extremely low, certainly as low as the ribbon speakers I use today, and far lower than traditional performance loudspeakers found in most sound systems.

Personally, I would love to lose about 4000 lbs. of speakers from my truck, and just unroll a few thin plastic panels from a case, hang them like banners, and hit the pool.

Have a safe summer,
Lazslo is named after Hungarian composer Lazslo Borody.

Tech Bulletin – June 3, 2006
by Chas Gerber

Hi Everybody. This is the first in a haphazard series of technical info notes, and updates about goings on at Gerber Acoustic Systems, and some info on tech trends in the live sound industry.

First of all…we have acquired some new gear to strengthen our capabilities: for our large system we have added 16 channels of Sabine GraphiQ2 digital equalizers, and moved the 8 channels of Ashly Protea parametric EQ to our second system. The Sabines are unique in that they offer 12 bands of parametric EQ AND 31 bands of graphic EQ, plus delay and compression on each channel. This is hugely powerful. And they can be configured to both do individual speaker correction, then do overall system tonal sweetening, by using the link table in creative ways. And they sound really good also.

Our most recent acquisition is a Crest HPW 32+4 stereo mixing console. With ten aux sends, 8 groups, plus left, right, mono, and 2 x 2 ch. alternate outputs, plus 2 matrix outputs, there is plenty of output routing capability. The really unique thing about this mixer is the built in 8 channels of automixing! The automix channels are switchable in and out of automix mode, and each of these channels has a built-in compressor. The perfect solution for panel discussions, and the sound engineer doesn’t have to divert his gaze from the mixer control surface to check on his outboard automixer. We’ll be using this mixer on both large and small systems probably.

We also purchased a special 2-channel director’s headset—production in the left ear, cameras in the right ear, and program audio adjustable volume in both ears. Some directors think this is cool.

Now is a slow time of year for us (unfortunately), so we’re doing our refurbishing and clean-up chores.

I’ve attached an extremely important article on the dismal future for wireless mics, mainly due to digital TV, and the proliferation of all these little wireless personal devices…This article is from MIX magazine’s most recent issue. About a decade ago, I published an email regarding this exact subject to a few sound guys and AV acquaintances. Shure and Sony got wind of it. Sony sent lawyers with a cease and desist order, and Shure told me why technically they thought they could get around it for a while. Sony is no longer a real player in the wireless mic arena, and Shure has become the major player in the meeting and entertainment market.

This upcoming (we still have a few years) complete lack of bandwidth for wireless audio will severely restrict and challenge us to create different kinds of meetings. It may not be possible to have 16 wireless mics, and 8 channels of wireless com anymore. There have been some attempts to make 2.4 Ghz. mic systems (Sabine), but they have not quite worked out all the bugs on that yet.

I strongly urge you all to read this article.

And lastly, some sadness for my wife and I–our 18 year old dog Boomer, passed away last week from cancer. He was a gift to us, and he gave his all for us.

Thanks, Chas