Archives for October 1996

Beatles Anthology 3 Features Alternate Mixes of Classic Tracks

Hollywood, CA. Capitol Records today releases “The Beatles Anthology 3,” the third and final chapter from the predictably successful Anthology collection. This 2-1/2 hour installment contains first takes, out-takes and never-before-heard recordings made by the band from 1968-1970.

Highlights of the anthology, especially for those of us interested in production technique, are stripped down versions of classics recordings such as “Helter Skelter,” “Come Together” and “Hey Jude.”

Also expected to attract lots of attention this time around are acoustic demos for The White Album, recorded in George Harrison’s home.

Warner, Atlantic, Polygram Cut Staff as Music Sales Slow

Los Angeles, CA. Warner Bros. Records (Time Warner) announced on the weekend that it is cutting staff at its black music division by 35 percent. Last week, PolyGram NV said it would lay off 400 staff and restructure its music operations to reflect declining music sales. And earlier in the month, Time Warner’s Atlantic Group cut more than 60 jobs and dropped a number of artists from its roster.

It’s all a sign of the times, as sales of music products decline throughout the world, across all categories. Other major record labels and distributors, including Sony, BMG, EMI and MCA have been reporting record rates of returns from retailers, and unusually high inventories in recent months. Record store closures and bankruptcies have also been making news.

The decline is expected to continue, even though general consumer spending is increasing in a strengthening economy. Many in the retail music industry say that consumers have finished replacing their record collections with compact discs.

Aura/Linaeum 360-Degree Dispersion Tweeter Drives High-End Toshiba Digital Surround Speaker System

El Segundo, CA. Aura Systems Inc. has announced that Toshiba is incorporating speaker technologies developed by Aura Systems’ wholly-owned subsidiary Linaeum into the Toshiba SSP2000 home theater speaker system.

The SSP2000 is the first complete home speaker system designed expressly to reproduce DVD audio with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. It is a six-piece system (five surround channels plus sub) built with Linaeum’s 360-degree dispersion tweeter and innovative new enclosure technologies.

“Toshiba selected our patented Linaeum True Line Source tweeter because it can be configured for a true 360-degree dispersion pattern ideal for use in a Surround Sound format,” stated Harry Kurtzman, President and CEO of Aura Systems. “The True Line Source speaker also uses a novel design which offers many advantages over conventional tweeters, including high efficiency, wider frequency response, freedom from resonances and break-up modes, and superb resolution and transient response.”

Pacific Research & Engineering To Introduce Mid-Range Broadcast Console

San Diego, CA. Pacific Research & Engineering today announced the roll out of AirWave™, their first on-air broadcast console targeted specifically to medium- and smaller-market stations.

The AirWave console is expected to hit the market in January 1997. It will be available in two models, each priced for the budgets of stations in middle to smaller markets.

Jack Williams, CEO of PR&E, touted engineering and manufacturing innovations as the keys to producing a high-quality broadcast solution while keeping it affordable for the nearly 4,000 radio stations in ADI’s 31-260.

“Our engineers have gone to great lengths to develop AirWave to the benchmark PR&E quality and reliability standards found in our high-end consoles,” commented Williams. “Fewer bells and whistles on this console, but standard features include all the technological essentials to provide operators with the flexibility and confidence to produce quality broadcasts day in and day out,” he added.

The console features welded steel construction which renders structural strength and stability for long-term usage. The steel mainframe completely encloses the electronics, providing shielding from radio frequency interference.

Much like its high-end console cousins, AirWave comes as a mainframe with a channel configuration determined by the customer. AirWave is a low-profile console designed for tabletop or inset mounting. Accessory blank panel positions give operators console customization advantages.

Other standard features include a unique preamplifier module containing five high-performance microphone preamplifiers with phantom power, balanced patch points, a stereo program-1 / program-2 / monaural output module, a dual remote line selector module, and a timer control module. AirWave also provides monitor facilities for control room, studio, co-host and guest headphone systems; four illuminated Sifam meters; assignable A/B input control logic; built-in cue-speaker and operator’s room headphone amplifier; and built-in studio talk-back microphone.

PR&E has also announced financial results for the third quarter of its fiscal year, which ended September 30. Revenue for the third quarter was $2.3 million (U.S.), up 51.9 percent over the same quarter last year. Net income after taxes was $65,000 (U.S.).

Williams attributed the sales increase to the recent approval of the telecommunications reform bill. “Radio stations and their ownership groups had placed equipment purchases on hold while this bill was being developed. With the approval of the bill allowing for multiple station ownership, we’ve seen an increase in demand for our equipment from new second-tier clients, and we’ve positioned ourselves to meet that demand and continue to grow.”

In addition to the AirWave console, the company has said that it will introduce a line of modular, ready-to-assemble studio furniture in early 1997.

Avid Technology Reports 3rd Quarter Loss, Appoints New Marketing V-P

Tewksbury, MA. Avid Technology Inc. has reported financial results for the third quarter of its fiscal year, ended September 30, 1996. For the third consecutive quarter, Avid recorded a net loss on its operations.

The loss amounted to $6.75 million (U.S.), against reported revenues of $114.7 million. This loss included one-time charges of $8.8 million associated with the decision not to release the Avid Media Spectrum product line.

“Our priorities remain the same as they have been for the past two quarters,” commented William J. Miller, Avid’s Chairman and CEO. “We are focused on generating cash flow, returning to profitability and developing and selling innovative products that meet the needs of our customers. We have instituted several companywide programs designed to improve our operating efficiency and we are scrutinizing all aspects of our business to achieve progress toward these goals.”

Two weeks ago, Avid announced the appointment of Clifford A. Jenks to the newly-created position of V-P, Worldwide Sales and Marketing.

Jenks was most recently COO of Zenith Data Systems. Prior to that, he was Apple Computer’s V-P of Sales and Marketing Support, where he was responsible for U.S. sales operations, marketing, channel finance and administration.

Avid Technologies is the parent company of Digidesign Inc., which manufactures the popular ProTools series of digital audio workstations.