And now for something really, really different -

When you think of audio gear, pro audio installation probably comes to mind.  Theaters, churches, concert venues, board rooms – it’s what we all do as audio professionals.  But what about different applications?  What about those odd little jobs that we don’t normally consider?

I had the privilege to visit the Central Iowa Ghost Society (CIGS) this weekend with Bart Towler from Eatgafftape LLC for their 3rd Anniversary gathering and training seminar.  CIGS is a paranormal investigation team who investigates various sites all around the Midwest.  

CIGS logoParanormal investigation is one of those odd applications.  We watch them on tv while they use handheld recorders and wireless camera systems but many of us don’t consider that in addition to the teams who investigate inside the locations, there’s a second, unseen team outside the location who busily monitors events and communicates with the team inside.  

Audio training with CIGS and Bart Towler

Audio training with CIGS and Bart Towler

As an AV installer, think about the audio requirements for a full orchestra.  This is the scale paranormal investigators are operating on.  And just as each instrument in an orchestra is integral, each microphone used by paranormal teams is as well.  Every mic counts.  If a mic is down, the chance is missed to gather scientific evidence.  

Paranormal investigators use gear from a standard vocal mic to high end shotgun mics, consoles, extensive cabling, wireless audio and video gear, cameras, road cases, IEM’s and editing software. The AV equipment requirements are astronomical for groups of amateur paranormal hobbyists and junkies. 

Not only do they require gear for field work but in order to analyze evidence, they also require full-scale AV lab set-ups.

The CIGS Ghost Lab

The CIGS Ghost Lab

As an avid paranormal junkie and as your friendly inside Administrative Sales rep at Avlex for the last 13 years, I was stunned by the AV requirements of CIGS.  ”Stunned” doesn’t quite cover it, to be honest and candid with our readers.  

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More of the CIGS lab after the video training portion of their seminar.  All of this is used in the field – imagine tear-down at 6am.

Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, you have to admit these groups are serious and passionate about what they do.  CIGS and other teams like them aren’t who we think of when we consider who buys and uses AV gear.  And not only do they use it, they use a lot of it.  

What’s even more impressive than their requirements for scientific paranormal research? They tweak and tailor their gear to suit their needs. They invent gear that those of us inside the industry would never have even thought of.  Many of us could learn a thing or two from visiting one of these groups and spending time with them.  I would highly recommend contacting a local group in your area and paying them a visit.  Not only will you brush up on your knowledge base as an audio professional but you’ll meet some awesome people who want to learn and succeed.

Want to be even more impressed?  CIGS is cross-training their team members on all of their gear.  Audio is being learned by their video crew, video is being learned by their audio crew, their EVP specialists are learning both audio and video and they’re all learning load-in and load-out.  

CIGS and amateur groups like them have little to no corporate sponsorship.  Their accumulation of knowledge is gained by trial and error or talking with other groups.  The accumulation of gear is through personal funds or creative fundraising.  Imagine you and twenty (or fewer) of your friends financing enough AV gear for a mega-church-sized holiday production with a choir and a band, then teaching yourselves how to use all of it.  These groups do this every day and combined with the availability of affordable pro-quality gear and the internet, more and more of them are learning to successfully use it.  

I had a fantastic time with CIGS.  I don’t think they considered that they would be teaching me when they invited us up to help them learn about AV gear.  I wish them much luck when they kick off their fundraising drive and on their future investigations!  I can only hope they invite me to tag along!  I can hold a boom arm, guys – I promise I won’t get in your way!               

 

E201U USB Mic Review

E201U

 

Neufutur recently reviewed our E201U USB mic!

“In the era when anyone can create a podcast about any subject no matter how esoteric or narrow it might be, having a set up that provides clarity and crispness to their vocals is absolutely essential. So many podcasts that we have subscribed to at NeuFutur to are sunk by the fact that they use an iPhone or other cheap recording device for their show. For the most clear and precise vocals, what they need is the E201U, a USB condenser microphone by Superlux.

This means that the vocals that are crafted are able to be heard without distortion; they are loud enough for a wide variety of purposes. It is a challenge for individuals to run into any sort of problems with this microphone. There is little in the way of difficulty that is present when one decides to put the E201U condenser microphone into commission; just simply plug it in to an open USB port. From there, recording using your favorite software is a breeze and one is left with radio station quality sound. With one having more than a passing interest in a podcast, especially for those that are looking to move into paid streaming options or picking up advertisers for their show, going and having something that will record you in a fashion that puts you at the highest echelons of content producers should be a no brainer. By going and including Superlux’s E201U USB condenser microphone into the mix, the overall quality at which one operates their show is increased considerably. For more information how about the entirety of the company’s product line take a trip to their website; a full description of their offerings discusses the relevant information along with availability in the countries in which they are distributed.

Rating 9.5 / 10″

Thanks Neufutur!  If you’d like to read the full review, check it out here!  

Winter NAMM Approaches!

Here at Avlex HQ in rainy Kansas City, Missouri, we’re readying the show shipment for Winter NAMM in Anaheim!  It’s on pallets, wrapped and ready to go!

Show Shipment 1

 

We’re hoping the Missing Show Shipment Debacle of 2015 doesn’t repeat itself this year – we have exciting new product to show including the new MIPRO ACT 2400-Series of digital wireless!  We’ve just received our show stock for NAMM from MIPRO and we’re sure that everyone will love this new series of wireless for its features as well as its retail-ready packaging.

Retail-ready packaging!

Retail-ready packaging!

We’ll be in Booth #6810 again!  Stop by and check out our selection of Avlex, MIPRO and Superlux products as well as meet some of our staff!

HMC-631 Review

HMC-631

Our new friends at Neufutur took some time to review our Superlux HMC-631 gaming headphones!

“The Superlux HMC631 Gaming Headset is a solid addition to the inventory of any player that would like a pair of headphones that are comfortable, customizable, and at the head of the class in regards to sound reproduction. The HMC631 headphones are able to playback music from bass-heavy (rap, EDM) to vocal-intricate (opera, country) genres in a compelling fashion. Furthermore, vocals (video game dialogue, phone calls) are clear and crisp without crackling or otherwise sounding muffled. When there are a multitude of voices / atmospheric noises, the HMC631 headset does not shudder from the challenge – everything is sorted out in a more than satisfying way.

The audio quality of the included boom microphone is high, meaning that individuals will easily be able to converse, give directions, or otherwise stay active with friends or family. We were particularly surprised with the build quality of the HMC631 headset, meaning that the product will take bumps and drops admirably. The rugged nature of the HMC631s ensure that one can tote the headset around in a backpack or in a car without the product being any worse for wear.

The comfort of individuals is a prime concern for Superlux/Avlex, and the padded headband makes marathon gaming incredibly easy. The variety of settings that one can orient their HMC631s makes this a must-have for anyone looking to upgrade their battlestation.

The MSRP on the Superlux HMC631 Gaming Headset is around $100; look online to find the best price for these headphones. These would be a perfect holiday or birthday gift for anyone that wishes to be fully immersed into their video game experiences Check out the Superlux website for information about the company’s full array of gaming products, while the Avlex website has a panoply of description about their entire range of audio products.

Rating: 8.4/10″

Thanks Neufutur!  You can read the review here!

TOP-248 & TOP-258 Review

TOP-248

Bart with Eatgafftape, LLC has sent us a review of our Superlux TOP-248 and TOP-258 microphones!  

“The TOP-248 vocal microphone from SUPERLUX is one of those little known gems that everyone should know about and have at least one pair of them in their gig box.

I had the chance to beta test the TOP-248 and TOP-258 on several audio consoles including a Midas M32, Yamaha PM5D and a small 8 channel analog desk from a company called AOLONG.

For speaker configurations I was lucky enough to have access to a JBL VER-TECH rig, NEXO GEO-T system and a Peavey powered speaker system for the testing phase.

In a side by side comparison with the Shure SM-58 and the SM-57 the TOP series microphones held their own and sounded outstanding. The TOP-248 vocal microphone has a very rich natural sound and highlights both male and female vocalists quite well. As an avid user and fan of the SM-58 I was very surprised that the TOP-248 actually out-performed the SM-58. The transition in the vocal frequencies were downright smooth during the test with male and female vocalists. To me the SM-58 seemed a little weak and at times harsh sounding during all three tests.  

Another thing I liked about TOP-248 is the construction. Superlux did not hold back when they designed and built this microphone.  The weight alone lets the user know that they are holding a quality professional microphone. The black metal housing fits nicely in the users hand and gives a very nice non slip surface to grab on to. I will slip in the TOP-248’s whenever I possibly can on a gig from now on. 

The TOP-258 was yet another amazing microphone not only is it a great vocal microphone but as an instrument microphone all I can say is WOW. I put this microphone on a boom stand to mic a Martin 000-15m acoustic guitar.  Immediately I could tell from the look on the client’s face that something was bothering him as he started to play. After about 5 minutes of intense playing he stopped and asked if we can try the same microphone on his Mesa Boogie Mark IIB tube amp for his electric guitar. I put the mic on a short boom facing directly at the cab and mic’ed the outside edge of the speaker approx. 3 inches away.

After testing it on the clean channel and dirty channel of the amp you could tell he was very pleased with the sounds that the TOP-258 helped produce. After doing this test on 3 different audio rigs at 3 different events with the client plus comparing them with the SM-57, we both came away quite happy with the performance of all of the TOP Series microphones. I was happy that I found an affordable microphone that can perform and keep up with the big boys and the client came away happy with 2 microphones that he intends to use on all of his gigs.

In closing, you have to have these in your rig – you will not be disappointed!” 

Thanks for the review, Bart!  We agree with you – the TOP Series belongs in every live sound and recording rig!

IS-103 Intercom System – In stock & shipping now!

IS103
As mentioned in our previous blog entry, the IS-103 Intercom System was on its way!  And now it’s here!  We have limited quantities of these systems in stock now but there are more on the way – we’ll likely see them next week.

These wired intercom systems include everything you need to be up and running for your next live performance.  Give us a call for pricing and availability!

As always, if you need assistance with finding an Avlex retailer or contractor, let us know! 

 

InfoComm 2015 Wrap-up

Infocomm 2015

Infocomm 2015 wrapped up last Friday in Orlando!  We had a great show and we were glad to see everyone who stopped by the booth to check out our products including the new true digital MI-909T/R IEM System.  

In case you missed it, we showed the new Superlux IS-103 Intercom System which we are expecting to arrive in early July!  

IS103

The IS-103 is a one-channel wired intercom system consisting of a power supply, 2 belt packs, a compact main station, a rack mount kit and 3 intercom headsets.  We received a lot of positive response to this system so if you’re in Production or have Production requirements, keep this one in mind!  Give us a call for info – we’ll release a data sheet and pricing soon!

InfoComm 2015 5