FINALLY…….A Worthy Replacement Set of Headphones…….

For Decades, myself and just about every Audio Engineer I know or have ever run across has been using the Sony MDR-7506 Studio Monitor Headphones……they always had a good flat frequency response, folded up nicely and were fairly portable, and had decent isolation and a nice affordable $99 price tag…….but in the last many years, the quality of the build of these tried and true headphones has really went down hill……the black ear cushion foam covering always flakes off all over your face if you are not clean shaven, and worse yet, if you remove the headphones from one side quickly, the entire ear cushion comes off the far side of the headphones and then is a HUGE pain in the ass to get it back on…….and once you do they will never stay on again for very long ever again……..thus I have been on a search for a worthy replacement for a set of headphones that has all, if not more, of the features that I am all of us Audio People always liked about our old trusted Sony Headphones with none of the pitfalls that they now seem to have (Shame on you SONY)……

For more than a year I looked and sampled and tried several Brands and types of Headphones, and NONE of them passed my tests and abuse and Criteria……..

BUT……then recently, I think I finally found the Worthy Replacement for the Old Sony Standby’s……

THEY ARE…….The HEIL Sound Pro Set 3 Headphones……

The HEIL Pro Set 3 features high quality 40 mm neodymium magnets and voice coils, lightweight, ergonomically designed cushioned headband adjustable for maximum comfort while significantly reducing outside noise. Supplied with three detachable cables. 1.8 M flexible straight cable. 1.8 M straight cord with mating iPhone/iPod compatible 3.5mm plug. 3 M coil cord – all twist lock terminating in a 1/8″ (3.5 mm) professional gold plated screw-on 1/4″ (6.3mm) adapter.

HEIL PRO SET 3 Features:

  • 10 Hz. – 22 kHz extended frequency response for exceptional clear, balanced sound reproduction
  • Convenient folding construction for compact transport and storage
  • Ergonomic design with soft, adjustable cushioned headband.
  • Serious acoustical outside noise reduction
  • Mid size design with internal steel headband
  • Soft padded, replaceable ear cushions
  • Three twist lock detachable cables
  • Gold-plated stereo and screw-on 1/4″ adapter

HEIL PRO SET 3 Specifications:

  • Driver Diameter: 40 mm
  • Rare Earth Neodymium magnets
  • Aluminum Inlay Ear Cup
  • Sensitivity: 102 dB
  • Extended Frequency Response: 10 Hz-22 kHz
  • Maximum Input Power: 1,000 mW at 1 kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms

All for $109.00

You can find out more about them and find a dealer where you can pick up a pair at the Heil Sound Website at http://www.heilsound.com/pro/products/ps3/#1

AND THE BEST PART……..They do NOT have that Stupid Low End OOMPH internal Boost that so many of those “So Called” quality headphones out there these days have……like the completely stupid and over priced BEATS by Dr. Dre piles of Crap Headphones do…….

Doing the hurry up and wait…..

It’s Wednesday, and I am back in Houston after spending most of last week in Austin, TX at the TAF&E convention doing monitors for all the showcase acts (10 acts to be exact) on a 24 channel Presonus Studiolive digital console with my iPad….I must say it worked really well….. Ate some great food while I was there too….but today I find myself sitting presently on a cold cement bench outside of the Houston, TX House of Blues with my iPhone where I am doing the hurry up and wait for the load-in with SKYROCKET…. We are here on the main stage tonight for a private party and then back here Friday and Saturday as well…..I arrived early with the hopes of getting my hands on the Soundcraft Vi6 digital console at FOH a little early….but alas I am the first one here……….guess I will just have to chill until the scheduled 3PM load-in…..

WORDS TO LIVE BY…….

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

“.. almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

STEVE JOBS, 2005

Steve Jobs gave these quotes I have posted above several years ago at a college graduation speech he made…….In my opinion, they are easily some of the most profound, honest, important and enlightening words ever spoken by just about anyone….

Sent from my iPad 2….

Blake Norris
Houston, Texas

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BLAKEWORLD on the IPad and IPad2….!!!

If you happen to be one of those cool individuals that happens to own an IPad or one of the lucky few like myself that was fortunate enough to get your hands on an IPad 2, then you should check out the new HTML 5 design of my BLAKEWORLD Blog by viewing it with your IPad tablet……it is super cool looking on the IPad thanks to the new HTML 5 code from my sites host at wordpress.com…….it gives it a magazine/Flipbook feel and look……..it gives it a completely different look and feel from when you look at the site on you normal PC or MAC browser…….rlit’s the BOMB…….

Check it out at:

https://blakeworld.wordpress.com/#!/cover

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Soundbridge???……..YEAH……SOUNDBRIDGE….!!!!!

After decades of live shows, tours, and using various speaker manufacturers various speaker designs from JBL Vertec to Turbosound….VDOSC to D&B, and just about everything in between and on either side, I of course have my favorites, and obviously systems that I am not a big fan of…….but recently back here in Texas, I have found some new speaker boxes that have really impressed me as of late…….they are from a Texas company called Soundbridge……..I first ran into them while freelancing for Tom Bohacek, Scott Powers, and Jade Fontenot at Bayou City Sound here in Houston, TX……

They are the Soundbridge Xyon-7208XY Compact Line Array boxes and the Soundbridge Quad-7218SWX sub boxes.

The top Compact Line Array boxes (Xyon-7208XY) are similar in size and weight to the Adamson
YT10 boxes…….I first used them in Port Arthur, TX at the city’s pre Mardi GRAS Gala about 4 weeks ago…….the 6 boxes per side were flown inside the city’s convention center…..a big room that holds about 5000……they were smooth and crisp sounding and filled the room nicely……very impressive…….

But, it was the bottom end that completely blew me away……the Soundbridge Quad-7218SWX sub boxes were unbelievable…….there were only two boxes per side (four 18’s per side) and not since the old Turbosound Flashlight 21″ subs have so few boxes pushed so much air……simply incredible……tight, punchy, and whammo……a big bottom end that makes that kick drum hit you hard right in the breast plate……bottom end you can feel as well as hear…….just what I like……..

Then, last week in Austin, TX at SXSW 2011 (the South by Southwest Music Festival), I ran into more of the same Soundbridge system boxes on a big outdoor parking lot stage and they sounded great…….(pics below)…….

Hopefully I will have some more chances to use this Soundbridge system and learn more about it……I urge you to got to the Soundbridge website and check them out……

http://www.soundbridge.com/index.html

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SXSW 2011 DAY FIVE RECAP

Day five here in Austin, TX at SXSW 2011 was actually a pretty dull day at our venue…….of the bands really did anything for me…….rather lackluster……lots of tecno pop…….YAWN…….but we ended the night with a band called THE BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB that was really cool…….earlier in the evening though I was able to break away for several hours of the Digidesign guys took over at the monitor desk and I wondered over to The Continental Club on South Congress and caught THE FLESHTONES……..they are one of those bands I was very into in my college days……it was great seeing them live and band was tight and polished and the old hits brought a ton of memories from my days in Lawrence, KS…….

I also around some time to get away and catch some of the Kansas Jayhawks Basketball tournament game and the Hawks got it done and moved onto the second round……GO JAYHAWKS…….

I also spent some time with several of the Fender Guitar reps and got a cool new t-shirt from them…….

I also found a big outdoor stage with a huge Soundbridge Line Array on it off of west 5th street…….talked to the local sound company and they let me check out their Soundbridge Slice powered Monitor wedges and Drum Fill…….pretty cool……

I fear I am running out of steam and we still have day 6 (the final day of the festival tomorrow) on
Saturday and the load out of the gear on Sunday morning and then the long drive home……

I am gonna need serious sleep next week…….

More tomorrow……

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SXSW 2011 DAY FOUR (ST. PATRICK’S DAY)

Day four yesterday here in Austin, TX brought, the packed festival, and St. Patrick’s Day, and the start of the NCAA Basketball tourney and brought a whole new meaning to the phrase “March Madness”……how about starting the morning with green bloody mary’s laced with Texas salsa…??

At the venue we started the live music with 6th streets morning show at 10:30 AM with a band called THE FEATURES…….they were incredible…….so it was gonna be a good day I just knew after such a strong performance to start the day off……the third act of the morning was also really strong….JIMI’S PARADE…….check these bands out online….just remember they are all from the UK…….BUT the best act of the day happened around 7:00 PM last night with DINOSAUR PILEUP…….a heavy guitar driven power pop trio with great vocal harmonies and rippin guitar and pounding bass and creative pop hooks……they had stage presence and lots of energy…..it was like Nirvana from England….it was really cool and the crowd ate it up…….

In the early afternoon I found some free time to retreat to a nearby sports bar to eat lunch and catch some the days basketball games…….some good games and a few cool upsets………the only thing that sucked was somehow I managed to find quite possibly the worst nachos in Austin……Champions Sports Bar at the Downtown Marriott……BAD FOOD……

By the time the evening was about half over, the crowds on then street were huge and the St. Patrick’s Day mayhem was in full effect…….the street smelled like sweat, vomit, hot stale beer, and hot food all at the same time……reminded me of Mardi Gras……only with lots more music and less parades…….

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SXSW 2011 DAY THREE

Day three at SXSW 2011 (Wednesday) was the first really long day…….showed up at the venue (Latitude 30) at 10AM as the first band was scheduled to kick off at 12 Noon……..but first, yesterday (Tuesday), the hands down winner of the best band award at out venue was a group called PULLED APART BY HORSES…….fantastic…….look them up online……..OMD……not so great…….YAWN………Anyway…..day three highlights……4 bands…….then the old Crown amp running the drum fill let go and smoked one of the drivers in the drum box……..no one even flinched……Turbosound and their reps had left us a couple of powered boxes so we hooked this up to mix 7 and off we went like nothing had happened……then muffins and coffee……..then four more bands in the afternoon…….then blackened chicken sandwich and fries…….then 5 more bands in the evening…….the crowds on 6th street and at most of the venues including ours have quadrupled in size since Monday and are now spilling out onto the now closed off streets…….no place to park and lacking public transportation…..lots of walking about…….also lots of swag……yesterday, it was British Music Embassy t-shirts and today Digidesign Venue t-shirts…….but the favorite shirt on the streets that most of the women seem to be wearing simply says, “I am on a drug, and it’s called Charlie Sheen”……NICE……..all the bands were really good on this day but none of them really blew my skirt up you might say……..we will have to see what tomorrow will bring……..tomorrow is going to be nuts…….SXSW 2011, St. Patrick’s Day, and the start of the NCAA March Madness Basketball all on the same day…….OUCH…….is gonna be a full day…..especially since we have a breakfast show that starts in our venue at 10:30 AM with for bands……..so Thursday…..10:30 AM to 2AM……so roughly an 18 hour day, 16 basketball games to watch, 13 bands to mix/babysit at out venue, probably a thousand or so others bands to try and see at other venues, and a keg of green beer……WHEW…..it’s gonna be a full day tomorrow…….but first a lap dance from a 5 foot tall, 98 pound, mostly unclothed Asian hard body female and one more beer before heading back to the hotel to rest up for tomorrow…… Life is good…….Rock and Roll…….

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SXSW 2011 DAY TWO

So…..day two here in Austin, TX got underway with me headed to Lowe’s Hardware Store for an 8′ 2X4 and 4 ratchet straps in order to put a downward tilt on the top boxes of the Turbosound speaker system……and since the boxes are a bit top heavy, of course I decided that they needed to be strapped down to avoid any disasters that might occur…….chopped the 8 foot long 2X4 into foot long audio logs, shoved them under the backs ends of the top Turbosound boxes and then strapped the top boxes to the subs and was good to go……..Monday night (day one) was all acoustic acts at the meet and greet, but I knew we were gonna get finally all cranked up Tuesday night and I was going to be ready for whatever no matter what…….the first act Tuesday was BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT……really cool British Techno Pop……slot of keyboards but really interesting…..reminded me slot of Thomas Dolby…….but the second act was a guitar driven really loud act……and that’s when the first issue of the week reared it ugly head…..the old club Latitude 30’s power was just not up to the task…..and when we loaded in last Sunday and I looked at the power situation, I do remember telling myself that it might be an issue……another one of those moments when, I told you so just doesn’t quite say it…….and of course I am usually “that guy”…… And sure enough when the band cranked up during the second song, circuit number 4 to the stage power in the building tripped…….so I fought my way through the ultra packed house of people, found the breaker box and reset it……..FOH backed down the volume and the load on the buildings lacking power and we continued until the break before the next band when I re-routed some of the power to any additional power circuits I could find in the club…….after I did that, we cranked the rig back up to full tilt and we were good to go……no more issues and the rest of the night of British acts went off without a hitch………we rocked the house from 8PM until 2AM and then called it a night…….

Pictures I have taken from the first two days of SXSW 2011 can be seen here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/116756449881218244535/SXSW2011

ENJOY…….more tomorrow on day three to come……..

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