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Audio News for December 1, 2015

American Musician Allen Toussaint Dies – As a songwriter, arranger and record producer, he was a most influential figure in New Orleans R&B from the ‘50s to the end of the century. He has been decribed as “one of popular music’s geat backroom figures.”  He played a critical role in countless classic songs which were popularised by other artists.

Onkyo – AV Electronics on a Budget –  Founded in 1946, Onkyo has become known as the firt manufactuerer to release a receiver with Surround EX, the first modular receiver, and the first THX-Certified 5.1-channel HT receiver. Onkyo’s Dolby Atmos makes sound come alive from all directions, including overhead. Directional and localized sounds are built into an audio bed, and using in-ceiling or Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, object-oriented sounds can create a multidimensional sound field. The idea is for the audio bed and mixed object-oriented effects to convincingly simulate the sound you might hear if you were sitting in a movie theater with one of the latest surround sound films. It can attaches the sound to objects on-screen. Atmos at now available in many different home theater systems, and is now available streaming on VUDU. VUDU has a pdf online to let you know what equipment is needed to get Dolby Atmos as well as Dolby Vision.

Pickwick Group Hit by Huge Court Costs – The Pickwick Group, once a major distributor of classical recordings and still a minor player in the field, had been hammered in a dourt defeat over a release of show tunes which were judged to be copyrighted. The damages could be as high is $500,000. The tracks in question were arrangements of renowned songs from musical hits such as Cats, Les Miserables and West Side Story.

Brief Profile of EMI – The UK’s original classical super label was the first to record Sir Edward Elgar among others, and is responsible for the building of Abbey Road Studios. It covered every area of classical music from early choral motets to contemporary orchestral canvasses, and was rivalled in the UK only by Decca. It has a particularly strong line in singers and great conductor-orchestra relationships. Klaus Tennstedt and the London Philharmonic made a string of Mahler recordings that have arguably never been bettered, and EMI signed its biggest classical contract in 1984 with Mariss Jansons and his Oslo Philharmonic. During the 1930s EMI used falling weights in the studio to power the cutting lathes, because it was felt the usual electric motors did not provide a steady speed. A few decades later and EMI as an entity has broken up, with EMI Classics and Virgin Classics both owned by Warner Music, one of the three remaining large music industry companies.

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