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British voiceover artist Ben Wake is wowed by his Studiobricks VO booth!

Ben Wake voiceover - Studiobricks booth

British voiceover artist Ben Wake is wowed by his Studiobricks VO booth!

Recently nominated for 4 awards at the One Voice Awards 2020 including UK Male Voice Over Artist of the Year, Ben’s career has gone from strength to strength. Having a good recording space is essential to his work, so he made the decision to invest in a Studiobricks Voiceover booth - and was delighted with the results: "All I can say is WOW!! I invested in the Studiobricks One Plus VO Edition having seen it at the One Voice Conference in London, as a Voice Actor my recording space is integral to my job and this does not disappoint."

Ben was impressed with the design of the booth: “The engineering involved in the construction is incredibly clever and the design makes assembly pretty easy.”

Ben delivers a whole range of voiceover work from serious narrations to TV and radio commercials and infomercials. Ben’s VO booth and equipment needs to be the right quality to support Ben’s versatile range of styles. The Studiobricks booth does just this: “The booth looks incredible and it sounds even better.” Ben added: “Absolutely faultless service from both Black Cat Acoustics and Studiobricks meant it was built, shipped and received in an incredibly short time especially considering the current global climate. I love it and clients think it sounds great, really couldn’t be happier.”

About the Studiobricks VO Edition

The STUDIOBRICKS sound-isolation cabin is designed to be incredibly fast and easy to install, without compromising the booth’s excellent sound-isolating properties.

Superb sound isolation is achieved from the high performance acoustic materials in the patented panels which simply slot together. The modular, interlocking panel design makes virtually any size of room possible.

The Studiobricks VO Edition combines the benefits of the Studiobricks booth with professional VO equipment – making it ideal for voiceover artists and podcasters who need to record studio-standard material at home.

Further information and contacts:

Studiobricks UK - brought to you by Black Cat Music
Tel: 01892 619719

Ben Wake Voiceover
Tel: +44 (0) 7903235300
ben@benwakevoiceover.com
www.benwakevoiceover.com

The importance of Music Posture Chairs

The importance of music posture chairs for music practice

Medical experts and academic research attest to the fact that music-making is strenuous physical activity.

Without proper body support and appropriate equipment, musicians can suffer overuse injuries that inhibit learning and diminish performance. The pain and distractions caused by such discomfort can lead to disruptive behavior in younger music students. For older musicians, such irritations may discourage or prevent further music participation.

Why are proper music chairs important?

If a musician is sitting on an uncomfortable, poor-quality chair, they are going to be unhappy, playing in pain, and playing poorly. Eventually over time it could predispose them to injury. The right chair helps musicians fine-tune their instrument to sound the best and perform better.

For more information on the importance of good posture for musicians, please refer to the Wenger White Paper on music posture chairs: https://www.wengercorp.com/Lit/Wenger%20Nota%20White%20Paper.pdf

UK Voiceover Artist Verity Panter gives her Studiobricks VO booth 5 Stars!

UK voiceover artist Verity Panter opted for a Studiobricks VO booth, and is absolutely delighted with the results: “What a fantastic booth! I love the quality and went for the full VO version which is very comfortable, plenty of room to work.”

For Verity, combining her considerable talent and experience as a voiceover artist with state-of-the-art equipment was key to success in the voiceover industry. Whether inviting the listener to climb inside a warm, silky narrative or communicating important information with her crisp, clear received pronunciation, for Verity it was crucial to be able to deliver a high quality professional performance every time: “My clients love the sound isolation, both when they dial in or I send them a file. It offers great consistency for longer projects too.”

For this reason she chose the Studiobricks VO edition booth, which takes the already excellent sound-isolating properties of Studiobricks and adds the functionality demanded by busy voice-over artists and podcasters.

For Verity, the ability to install the booth herself in a matter of hours was a key selling point: “I made the decision to put it together with my neighbour, it was very straight forward and only took a couple of hours, you need to be strong though! “My Studio Bricks booth is perfect for me in rented accommodation as I can take it with me when I move house and it leaves no damage. 5 stars!”


About the Studiobricks VO Edition

The STUDIOBRICKS sound-isolation cabin is designed to be incredibly fast and easy to install, without compromising the booth’s excellent sound-isolating properties.

Superb sound isolation is achieved from the high performance acoustic materials in the patented panels which simply slot together. The modular, interlocking panel design makes virtually any size of room possible.

The Studiobricks VO Edition combines the benefits of the Studiobricks booth with professional VO equipment – making it ideal for voiceover artists and podcasters who need to record studio-standard material at home.

Further information and contacts:

Studiobricks UK Tel: 01892 619719
Web: www.acousticabins.com

Verity Panter Voiceover Tel: 0771 253 1360
Web: myvoice@veritypanter.com

We're Delighted to Introduce Our New Maestro Conductor Chairs

Now there is no excuse for ignoring the Conductor!

Black Cat Music is delighted to introduce the Maestro Conductor’s Chair.  This elevated chair affords the conductor better visibility for the orchestra, and is fully adjustable in height and inclination.

With its adjustable seat and backrest, the Maestro Conductor’s Chair is exceptionally comfortable.  The footrest helps to give the Conductor extra support.

Height can be adjusted from 64 to 90cm, giving ultimate flexibility.

The five-foot base ensures that the chair is extremely stable.

With its elevated height, combined with superb adjustability and stability, the Maestro Conductor’s Chair will ensure the Conductor is visible to every orchestra-member throughout rehearsals and performances. 

Auditorio de Tenerife are Delighted with Their New Wenger Diva shell

Auditorio de Tenerife

The Auditorio de Tenerife is delighted with its new Wenger Diva acoustic shell

Auditorio de Tenerife - Wenger Diva full-stage acoustic shell ©Auditorio de Tenerife/Miguel Barreto

In September 2019 Black Cat Music supplied a Wenger Diva full-stage acoustic shell to the Auditorio de Tenerife. The shell, installed with the help of Wenger’s specialist installation team, has absolutely delighted the Auditorio, making a significant improvement both in terms of acoustics and in terms of operational processes.

Jorge Cabrera, technical production head of Auditorio de Tenerife, states that “the new Wenger Diva Acoustic Shell means for our venue one important improvement in terms of an acoustic performance, amazing esthetic and optimal stage operational working processes."

He also praises that the shell is “highly flexible, with its 8 possible specific configurations, from a piano soloist or a chamber orchestra to full orchestras & full choral formations”. “We have reduced 30% the setting up time, and obtained maximun optimization of storaging areas, and operational spaces”, he states.

Alice Dagger, Managing Director of Black Cat Music & Acoustics, reports: “We are thrilled with the success of this project, and so pleased that the shell has made a significant improvement to the acoustics and really sped up the operational processes for the Auditorio de Tenerife.”

©Auditorio de Tenerife/Efrain Pinto/JR Oller

Black Cat Music is proud to be Master Distributor for Wenger in Europe and Russia. Wenger is unchallenged as the world’s largest manufacturer of fully-guaranteed staging and music performance equipment in the world.

Diva gives a stunning backdrop that is audibly magnificent and its mobile architecture gives the appearance of a beautiful, permanent wall in a smart system that's extremely mobile and compact for tight storage. From its elegant design to its remarkable impact on acoustics, Diva takes sound artistry to a new level of excellence. It is, without doubt, the most advanced full-stage acoustical shell of its kind.

Diva’s composite-panel construction provides superior acoustical performance and Diva's ability to produce custom aesthetics at a lower cost is a Wenger exclusive. Engineered and built to the highest possible standard, the all-aluminium frame provides exclusive advantages, including longer-lasting rigidity and easy operation. Diva also gives you unique advantages of the Air Transporter, which allows one person to move Diva towers on a cushion of air.

  • Modular design for ensembles to full orchestras
  • Ideal for medium and large theatres, particularly those requiring high-end aesthetic coordination
  • Rich full-stage acoustics for improved sound projection
  • Safe, fast and easy set-up with a small crew and exclusive Air Transporter
  • Built-in levelling pads
  • Tower and ceiling panel framework constructed of aluminium
  • Overhead panels raise and lower with theatre's rigging and can be flown in fly tower when not in use

Auditorio de Tenerife - installation of Wenger Diva shell ©Auditorio de Tenerife/Miguel Barreto

Photograph copyrights:

©Auditorio de Tenerife/Miguel Barreto For the building images: ©Auditorio de Tenerife/Efrain Pinto or ©Auditorio de Tenerife/JR Oller

Former Fender manager joins Black Cat Music & Acoustics

In June, Black Cat Music welcomed Nik Williams to the team. Formally a sales and product manager for Fender, Nik, a keen drummer, started his career as a percussion sales specialist for Yamaha.

“It is with great pleasure we welcome Nik” said Black Cat’s managing director Alice Dagger, “he brings fifteen years of experience in the world of music with two of its biggest brands”.

Nik too is excited. “Working at Black Cat has expanded my knowledge beyond instruments into accessories, furniture and acoustics whilst keeping me within the music industry, which I love.”

Nik looks forward to continuing and building relationships with Black Cat’s distributors and end users throughout Europe “Already Black Cat has a reputation for supplying excellent quality products combined with the personal touch” said Nik “already I feel like part of the Black Cat family” he added.    

The Importance of Ergonomic Chairs in Music

How You Sit Affects How You Play

Becoming a successful musician is challenging enough, with the countless hours of practice, rehearsals and live performances adding significant stress on your body.

It's for this exact reason that you need every bit of help you can get, and an often overlooked but very important aspect of becoming a quality musician is having the right equipment.

And no, we're not talking about buying the best or most expensive guitar or piano, but rather more fundamental than that...the chair that you perform on.

As a musician, you don't sit in an office all day. Your chair is your office. And the more comfortable you are in your office, the better your output.

For this reason, getting an ergonomic chair is essential for all musicians, both amateur and professional. It is designed to improve your posture, and better posture has all sorts of advantages.

Most importantly, it allows you to better control your instrument, which leads to better sound quality. The rationale is easy to follow- a guitarist who is sitting on an uncomfortable chair may naturally slouch to adjust, and that leads to neck, shoulder and back injuries as the body tries to adjust.

That in turn can lead to lower concentration levels, and a higher likelihood of making mistakes.

Better posture also means your chest area is less compressed, which allows for more comfortable breathing, particularly for musicians whose instruments require bursts of energy.

Take drummers for example- less air into lungs means faster fatigue which can affect timing and consistency within the core of the total musical performance.

The same applies to someone in the brass section who relies on a consistent airflow to get the best sound, or for a pianist whose shoulders and neck will take the brunt of poor posture.

Getting your seating right with an ergonomic chair may not be top of mind for an aspiring young musician, but it will certainly give them a better chance of fulfilling their ambitions.

For the best guidance and advice on selecting the right chair for your instrument, contact one of our friendly staff.

Rack n’Roll – Bilton Grange’s pupils enjoy their new instrument storage

Established in 1873, Bilton Grange is a leading boarding and day preparatory school for children aged 3-13, based just outside Rugby in 90 acres of stunning Warwickshire parkland.

Music is considered central to the character of the school with all pupils given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument from Year 1. “We teach mainly folk and classical” said Mark Penrose, Bilton Grange’s Director of Performing Arts “through a sequential aural Kodály-inspired programme.”

Bilton Grange’s commitment extends to nine individual teaching rooms and six other spaces for teaching larger groups and ensemble rehearsals. Last summer the school purchased new storage equipment from Black Cat Music & Acoustics including a Folio Cabinet and Cello, Violin and Guitar racks.

Mr Penrose stated, “The storage racks are used every day, particularly the violin and cello ones, and they have made the department look neater and more purposeful. Even the students were excited when they arrived commenting much neater everything looks! We are really pleased with the outcome and Black Cat Music’s customer service was excellent!”.

Links

You can read more about Bilton Grange’s music department here

Click here to view Black Cat Music’s range of instrument and music storage

Photo credit: Bilton Grange

A theatrical and international end to Black Cat’s busy conference season

At the beginning of June, Black Cat Music & Acoustics ended a busy run of five shows and conferences in four weeks at Alexandra Palace for the Association of British Theatre Technicians’ 2019 Theatre Show.

The busy Theatre Show included a symposium, organised by Black Cat alongside our friends from Wenger Corporation in America, titled “Future trends in design, technology and safety” and included presentations by Tom Stickland from the Theatres Trust and international safety inspector Oliver Leigers from Germany.

The show capped off a busy four weeks which included the One Voice Conference, the UK's largest voiceover event, held in London, the Music Teacher’s Association/MMA Conference at Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire, the biennial Musikschulkongress in Berlin and the popular Independent Schools’ Bursars Association Conference in Manchester.

Speaking after the ABTT show and symposium, Black Cat’s Managing Director, Alice Dagger said “what a great way to end such a busy month! The symposium brought together experts from America and Europe to talk about theatre related topics such as virtual acoustics, mobile staging and systems integration.”

The Black Cat team will not be resting for long, four more conferences in the UK and Europe are planned in the Autumn.

Meet the team… again, and again, and again…

In a period of just over two weeks starting from the beginning of May, the Black Cat Music & Acoustics teams will be busy attending no less than four separate events in the UK and Germany. First will be the One Voice Conference, the UK's largest voiceover event, in London between the 9th and 12th May.

There the team will once again be demonstrating a working, self-install, voiceover booth following the success of last year’s conference where the booth saw use by an artist to record an urgent job for the US in the middle of the busy conference! Popular UK voiceover artist Peter “X-factor and Britain’s Got Talent” Dixon recorded a short video of the booth you can see here.

The following week between the 17th and 19th May, one team from Black Cat will be exhibiting at the Music Teacher’s Association/MMA Conference at Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire whilst another will head to Berlin for the biennial Musikschulkongress.

Hot on the heels of this busy weekend will be the fourth event where Black Cat will be in Manchester at the ever-popular Independent Schools’ Bursars Association Conference on the 21st and 22nd May. This conference attracts over 400 delegates and 140 exhibitors and is always a busy but fun event.

If you're attending one of these events, please stop by to say "hello"!