Category Archives: News

Firehouse Productions Tours with Tears for Fears

A recent article in Pro-Sound Magazine noted that Firehouse Productions was called upon by sound engineer George Squires as he embarked on the recent Tears for Fears Tour in the United States and Europe.

Reprinted here from Click here for original article.

Tears For Fears Squires A New PM10 On Tour

George Squires with his Yamaha PM10 digital audio console.

New York, NY (December 7, 2017)—Eighties pop stalwarts Tears For Fears have a new greatest-hits set out, Rule The World, and a UK arena tour lined up for the spring, building on the momentum of a 29-city US tour they ran through with Hall & Oates this past summer. For all those shows, the band has monitor engineer George Squires on tap, and for the summer journey, he in turn brought along a Yamaha PM10 digital audio console, provided by Firehouse Productions.

Squiers took on the PM10 to ensure he kept moving forward, he said. “Boredom was starting to set in, and I needed a change in my life,” said Squiers. “I was very accustomed to using Yamaha products for so many years, back to the analog days, and the consoles were always consistent and reliable. I think for me, the decision to try out the PM10 was the Yamaha collaboration with Rupert Neve Designs that was very attractive…. The SILK function inspired me and the fact that it was signed off by Rupert Neve himself, added to the smile on my face.”

Squiers notes that along with the SILK function, he likes the fact that all of the Rupert Neve Designs-inspired Dynamics are standard on the PM10: “No need for a Waves rack next to my console, plug-ins, or USB sticks; I have access to amazing Dynamics onboard, and no extra gear rental fees. The on-board effects are fantastic as well.”

Firehouse Productions

Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA)

Firehouse Productions Sets Live Sound Ablaze with Dante Audio-over-IP Networking

Live sound production company also discovers newfound flexibility, scalability and efficiency using Dante for concerts, TV broadcasts and corporate events

PORTLAND, OR,  – As a sound production company specializing in live events, Firehouse Productions is regularly entrusted with the design, operation and management of complex audio network infrastructures for concerts, TV shows and special events. As more venues and facilities gradually transition from legacy analog systems to the network, Firehouse Productions has found significant value in the excellent sound quality, quick deployment and low total cost of ownership of Audinate’s Dante audio-over-IP networking.

Over the years, the fast-growing company—with offices and warehouses in New York and Las Vegas—has provided sound production systems and support services to major rock concert tours by Coldplay, Radiohead, Hall & Oates, Florence and The Machine, Tears for Fears, Nine Inch Nails, Lorde, Peter Gabriel, Sting and David Gray, among other A-listers. Their technicians are also integrally involved with sound production for special live events, such as the 2017 International Indian Film Festival, which was held in mid-July at the MetLife Stadium as well as live events for corporations including Macy’s, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Biogen and Wyndham.

In television, the company has played a key role in producing audio for live broadcasts, such as The Tony Awards, NBC’s The Wiz and Peter Pan, The Daily Show, In Performance at the White House, the iHeart Music Festival and Global Citizen Festival.

“Whether they take place in a stadium or a studio, these events all have one thing in common—they are live. There are no do-overs to get them right,” said Luis Espinal, Senior RF/PL Technician for Firehouse Productions. “As we move toward more networked architectures, Dante brings the reliability, routing flexibility and capacity we need to do it right the first time.”

In essence, Firehouse Productions’ mission is to pick up sound from “Point A” to deliver it to “Point B.” But considering how complex and multi-layered today’s audio network architecture has become—encompassing microphones, intercoms, stage monitors, front of house mixing, PA systems, broadcast trucks and more—Espinal found it challenging to deal with the growing array of snakes and cables, connectors, amp racks, audio protocols and other systems that have to interface together.

“Given the complexity of today’s networked live sound infrastructures, it’s not enough to just bring in trusted brands of legacy audio gear,” said Espinal. “If the third-party audio devices don’t network together seamlessly, with uncompromised quality, low latency and spot-on timing, even the slightest glitch could detract from the viewer experience. Dante solves these problems, and now serves as the backbone of our service. With Dante, we can customize networks of third-party audio gear to meet the demands of even the most ambitious live events.”

At the heart of Firehouse Productions’ Dante networking solution are several Yamaha mixing consoles, including the MP10, CL5 and Q1; a Lab.gruppen Lake LM44 digital audio system processor; and several Focusrite RedNet I/O interfaces for conversions between Dante and MADI or AES10 environments. All Dante audio traffic, data, control and other functions are natively supported over a Cisco SG550X-24P Layer 3 Switch configured within multiple VLANs. Espinal also points to the value of Dante Virtual Soundcard to record and process multichannel audio from laptops.

“For a very advanced show, we need an integrated solution that’s manageable from end to end from a single interface,” Espinal said. “Dante is the only solution I’ve found that makes it easy to integrate so many third-party audio devices together. At every event, we can count on Dante to save us hours of work that were previously spent running cables and setting up patch panels. It’s smart enough to acknowledge devices or systems as they’re added to the network, and to automatically failover to the redundant path when a technical issue arises that could derail the show.”

Because Dante is an Ethernet-based, bi-directional network solution, it’s easy and logical to set-up a number of signal paths compared to the traditional method of running and patching cables between various points. “Scalability is important to us because we serve projects from simple to elaborate,” Espinal said. “It’s also very flexible to modify the signal routing without having to physically move or rearrange any components, all of which yields considerable savings of time and labor, especially on complex, high-profile events.

“Dante is not just a great solution for concerts, or corporate events, or broadcasting,” Espinal concluded. “It’s a global solution that can be easily adapted to the project’s unique technical requirements, with remarkably fast set-up times, low latency and clean sound quality.”

Original article appeared on 

JBL by HARMAN Delivers Pristine Live Sound at the 2016 Tony Awards

Courtesy of JBL Professional

NEW YORK CITY— Firehouse Productions deployed a JBL by HARMAN VT4886 system to provide the highest quality live sound at the 2016 Tony Awards. The 70th annual Tony Awards was broadcasted live from the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City, and Firehouse Productions selected the VT4886 for its ability to deliver exceptional sound quality with an extremely compact footprint.

Firehouse Productions deployed a JBL by HARMAN VT4886 systemto provide the highest quality live sound at the 2016 Tony Awards. The 70 annual Tony Awards was broadcasted live from the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City, and Firehouse Productions selected the VT4886 for its ability to deliver exceptional sound quality with an extremely compact footprint.

“The JBL VT4886 offers an incredible amount of power and control in a very small package, and I’ve had excellent results with it on numerous live shows,” said Mark Dittmar, Lead Design and Integration Engineer at Firehouse Productions. “At the Beacon Theatre, which is an extremely small venue, size and taking up less space are very important. JBL VT4886 is a spectacular-sounding speaker in a very small package, which is a great combination for a show like the Tony Awards.”

The 2016 Tony Awards ceremony featured energetic performances from the hottest shows on Broadway, including “Hamilton,” “School of Rock,” “She Loves Me” and more. With up to 30 lavalier mics on the stage simultaneously, it was important to manage gain before feedback and make sure the live sound stayed out of the on-air mix. It was equally important to deliver excellent dialogue intelligibility. Finally, it was important for the arrays to take up minimal space and be hidden from the camera sightlines during the broadcast.

“On a television show, we have to keep the PA hidden, but we also need great intelligibility,” said Dittmar. “The VT4886 arrays worked really well and allowed us to place the PA in a space that other arrays wouldn’t fit.”

The subcompact JBL VT4886 features a true 3-way system that is unique to the subcompact category, offering exceptional sound quality and the highest SPL output in its class. The VT4886 also features a low-frequency diffraction absorber that eliminates cavity resonance and cabinet edge diffraction effects, which provided Firehouse with extra control over feedback.

The VT4886 is designed to deliver high-quality reinforcement of music and speech in a wide variety of applications, including concert audio and corporate AV presentations of all types.

Firehouse Productions Invests Big in JBL VTX V25-II Line Array Elements from HARMAN Professional Solutions

Courtesy of JBL Professional

JBL VTX V25-II system with upgraded waveguide helps world-class live sound company deliver best of quality and clarity for high-profile events

NEW YORK––In a move to enhance its already stellar reputation and to support business growth, Firehouse Productions recently added 96 JBL VTX V25-II line array elements, 96 JBL VTX V20 line array elements, and 24 Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers to its inventory. Firehouse Productions now has a total of 140 V25-II elements between their New York and Las Vegas offices.

Recognized as one of the most progressive and successful live sound production companies in the business, Firehouse Productions has long relied on JBL by HARMAN loudspeakers to produce events, like the NBA All-Star Game and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The company recently deployed the new JBL VTX system at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, iHeartRadio Country Festival in Austin and the BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta.

“We started working with a JBL VerTec 4889 rig almost 15 years ago and it became an important foundation of our business,” said Mark Dittmar, Lead Design & Integration Engineer, Firehouse Productions. “When we heard a demonstration of the VTX V25-II, we were blown away by the sound quality. It’s the most accurate loudspeaker I’ve ever heard.”

The VTX V25-II is a full size 3-way high-directivity line array element that includes a new 4th generation waveguide for improved long throw performance and wavefront control. The system’s revolutionary D2 Dual Diaphragm Dual Voice Coil Compression Driver dramatically improves the sound and performance of high frequencies, providing an extreme output advantage over conventional systems with significantly higher array power, reduced distortion, double the number of voice coils and more than double the power handling. This results in a dramatic increase in pure high frequency sound pressure levels in the same physical footprint with a 30-percent reduction in weight. The V25‐II waveguide provides better acoustic loading conditions for the D2 driver, resulting in 10 dB higher sensitivity above 10 kHz.

“JBL has been producing top-quality products for seven decades, and the VTX V25-II is another amazing step forward,” said Dittmar. “The dB increase makes an enormous difference. The great sound quality and coverage we can now achieve in an arena or stadium really gives the big spaces an intimate feel.”

Firehouse Productions Purchases96 L-Acoustics K2 Enclosures

Courtesy of Sharon Paquette Lose via FOHOnline

Firehouse Productions’ 96 new L-Acoustics K2 enclosures stacked four-high on K2-Chariots

RED HOOK, NY – Firehouse Productions recently added 96 new L-Acoustics K2 enclosures to its inventory along with 36 LA8 amplified controllers housed in a dozen LA-RAK touring racks. Shared between Firehouse’s Red Hook, NY headquarters and the company’s five-year-old Las Vegas location, the K2 loudspeakers are already scheduled to be part of the L-Acoustics systems that will accompany Radiohead at Madison Square Garden. They’ll also support tours this year for Florence + The Machine and the “Rock, Paper, Scissors” double-bill of Peter Gabriel and Sting.

Having toured with many of music’s most innovative, genre-defying artists—Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and The Cure, just to name a few—TEC and Emmy Award-winning sound reinforcement provider Firehouse Productions is widely celebrated for its ability to help artists translate the complex creativity and sonic fidelity of their recordings to the live stage.

For many years, Firehouse has chosen to deploy L-Acoustics loudspeaker systems, especially K1 in recent years. Now, the company has deepened its commitment to the manufacturer with its recent February purchase of 96 K2 enclosures in addition to 36 LA8 amplified controllers housed in a dozen LA-RAK touring racks.

According to Firehouse Productions Director of Touring Chris Russo, the K2 acquisition will enable even more flexible system designs. “The K2 can certainly be configured into their own system designs, and they’re great-sounding speakers on their own, but they also add lots of new possibilities when used with our other L-Acoustics speakers,” he says. “Sonically, they’re a perfect match with the K1 speakers we already use”—that’s because the K2 is modeled on the K1 system design and rescaled into a 12-inch, compact and flexible format—“and a lot lighter, plus have total rigging compatibility with K1 and K1-SB.

“They’re also the perfect bridge between the K1 and Kara speakers we deploy. For situations where K1 is too large, K2 becomes the main speaker with Kara as fills, which is a very rigging-point-friendly solution for mid-sized venues. And for designs that K1 is perfect for, K2 acts as the right-sized support speaker delivering incredible uniformity with its bigger brother. In both situations, K2’s Wavefront Sculpture (WST) and Panflex technologies allow us to precisely control both the vertical and horizontal directivity for maximum performance and coverage with minimum noise pollution.”

The new inventory at the Las Vegas office will also help support Firehouse Productions’ corporate and entertainment clients on the West Coast. Recent projects serviced there with L-Acoustics systems have included corporate events for Apple, Google, Melaleuca and VMware, with K1 also being deployed on December’s 2015 Jingle Ball Tour featuring Demi Lovato, The Weeknd and Fall Out Boy, among other artists.

“With K2 in both our Las Vegas and New York inventories, we now have truly national coverage with L-Acoustics, and that’s going to help us and our clients tremendously from a logistics point of view,” says Russo. “Great coverage and great sound!”