Originally posted on YamahaProAudio.com

Yamaha Professional Audio announces an important new addition to the RIVAGE professional audio lineup: the RIVAGE PM7Digital Mixing System. The core of the RIVAGE PM7 system includes the CSD-R7 Digital Mixing Console, TWINLANe-based RPio622 and RPio222 I/O Racks , and Dante based Rio3224-D2 and Rio1608-D2 I/O Racks.

The CSD-R7 Digital Mixing Console is the central component of the RIVAGE PM7 system, positioned directly below the current RIVAGE PM10 Digital Mixing System. With an emphasis of preserving workflow, the CSD-R7 is the same size as the RIVAGE PM10 system CS-R10 control surface but with the DSP engine built into the console offering enhanced portability and system flexibility while maintaining high operability. The panel layout of the RIVAGE PM7 is the same as the flagship RIVAGE PM10, delivering the same user experience. With 120 input channels, 60 mix buses, 24 matrices, and a comprehensive selection of 48 top-quality plug-ins, the PM7 provides mixing capacity that is comparable to the RIVAGE PM10 (the latter has 144 input channels, 72 mix buses, 36 matrices, and 50 plug-ins). A Dual Console function also allows the CSD-R7 to be connected to one of the RIVAGE PM10 system control surfaces (CS-R10 or CS-R10-S). A CS-R10-S, for example, can be used at front of house, for monitors, or as a sidecar expansion console for the CSD-R7, depending on space and system scale requirements.

The CSD-R7 Digital Mixing Console offers connectivity with two types of audio networks, allowing either or both to be used for connection and control of I/O Rack units. The dedicated TWINLANe network uses optical cable to handle up 400 channels of audio. Combinations of the RPio622 and/or RPio222 I/O racks and HY256-TL or HY256-TL-SMF audio interface cards allow input via Hybrid Microphone Preamplifiers with analog input stages that take the Yamaha “natural sound” concept to new heights, as well as digital sections with immaculate VCM technology models of Rupert Neve Designs transformer and SILK processing circuitry that offer outstanding musicality and dimension. The system can be equipped with the Dante audio network from Audinate, similar to CL and QL Series digital consoles as well as a range of other Yamaha pro audio products. Rio3224-D2 and Rio1608-D2 I/O Racks, will be released simultaneously as RIVAGE PM7 system components, and the HY144-D Dante audio interface card can be combined to provide natural sound input at full RIVAGE PM series quality allowing the on-stage sound to be cleanly captured and shaped as required by the engineer.

“RIVAGE PM10 already has made a deep impression on professional sound engineers who praise it for its incredible sound quality and quick workflow,” states Marc Lopez, director of marketing, Yamaha Commercial Audio products, Yamaha Professional Audio division. “Our goal with RIVAGE PM7 is to offer the same user experience provided by our flagship RIVAGE PM10 system to a wider range of customers.”

In addition to the new components, Version 2.0 of the RIVAGE PM series firmware will include a number of new features such as 5.1 surround and mix minus capability for broadcast applications, Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5045 Primary Source Enhancer, the Dual Console function, DSP mirroring (RIVAGE PM10 only), and more.

5.1 surround panning and monitoring are provided for broadcast applications, and two surround buses are available for efficient international feed production. A broadcast Mix Minus function is provided too, allowing an identified source to be removed from a specified remote feed with just a few simple steps. The easy-operation Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5045 effectively suppresses background noise at microphone inputs for enhanced clarity while significantly increasing the feedback margin, making it a valuable tool for live sound in houses of worship, stadiums, halls, and other environments where feedback and unwanted background sounds can be problem.

DSP Mirroring is a RIVAGE PM10-only function that allows two DSP-R10 DSP engines to be used for failsafe redundancy. If a problem occurs in the main DSP-R10 unit, the second DSP-R10 can take over without disrupting the program.

“Rupert Neve and I and the rest of the team at Rupert Neve Designs are incredibly proud and pleased with the results that Yamaha has achieved with both the Silk and 5045 emulations,” states Josh Thomas, general manager at Rupert Neve Designs. “It’s uncanny how close they are, and add an amazing power and flexibility to the already formidable Yamaha Mixer lineup.”

The RIVAGE PM7 and V2.0 firmware are scheduled for release soon.

2018 marks the 45th year that TC Furlong Inc. has been providing Better Audio By Design. As a part of our year-long celebration of those 45 years, we are re-sharing this article from our 40th anniversary.

Some things have changed at TC Furlong Inc. since 2013 – several new faces and lots of new items in our rental inventory to name a few – but our fundamental commitments have remained the same. We have the same continuing expertise in the live sound reinforcement industry, synergy between our four operating areas (sales, rentals, live events, and services), and commitment to direct personal engagement with our clients. We deliver on this commitment through quality assurance, expert dedicated employees, our warranty support advantage program, and 24-7 emergency audio support. All of these fundamentals are part of our dedication to quality and ethics in the live sound industry. 

This article originally appeared in Live Sound International and was written by Kevin Young. You can download the PDF version here.


TCAnniv01Based just north of Chicago in Lake Forest, IL, TC Furlong Inc. is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, marking the occasion in various ways that all relate to the company’s long-time slogan: “Better Audio By Design.”  Although they serve clients throughout the U.S. and occasionally Canada, the primary focus remains on regional business, founder and president TC Furlong emphasizes.

“We think renting locally and regionally is still a good thing because of our ability to provide high level service, particularly if someone needs something last minute,” he states.  “It’s about respect.  You respect your client by giving them good service and being responsive.  That’s why we have a rule that everyone gets called back in five minutes, no matter what.

“And because the curtain doesn’t come up during regular business hours, we have a 24/7 Emergency Audio Response (EAR) service,” he continues.  “It doesn’t matter what day of the year it is, we’ll dispatch somebody to help.  There are always opportunities to offer better service and always a better way to do something and we’re always digging in to find a better way to do audio.”

In fact, finding a better way to do things has long been a preoccupation for Furlong, one that informed his passion for both music and audio from the outset.

A Good Experience

Born in Cincinnati, Furlong moved to Illinois at age nine—about the time he first picked up the guitar.  “I never really studied formally, but I was always learning how to play better.”  His initial experiments with loudspeakers were also somewhat informal.  “In fifth grade I was taking radios apart, putting the speakers in different enclosures and experimenting with every kind of loudspeaker I could.  I’d seen The Beatles on TV and got into music, but I was always fascinated with loudspeakers, because that’s the link between performer and audience.”

At a time when live concert audio was a blend of musician’s amplifiers and acoustic drums, supplemented by reinforcement of vocals and quieter instruments, he adds: “How to get that blend and provide the audience with a good experience really intrigued me.”

That led him to indulge his twin passions in equal measure.  In 1973, at age 18, Furlong rented an industrial space in Highland Park, IL and started Steamer Sound.  Around the same time, he adds, he fell in love with the steel guitar.  “During the day I’d run the business and build speakers. At night, I’d gig. I worked a lot,” he notes, laughing, “but it allowed me to understand the artist’s side of the equation and fold that into what the company provided.”

TCAnniv02Originally, Steamer Sound was purely a manufacturer that built and sold loudspeakers integrated with protective road cases called Steamer Cabinets.  The chief designer was Tom Danley, Furlong says. “I always mention Tom because he’s gone on to great notoriety and still lives a few miles from me.”

Originally, he hadn’t intended to offer rentals, but soon began to do so in order to meet client demand.  “But quantity wasn’t our focus – we’d build a certain number of speaker boxes in order to be able to supply local events and concerts.  Providing quality gear and having quality people work with us was the most important thing.”

As the business grew, Furlong remained active as both a musician and audio supplier, but as a member of Chicago based country-rock band Rio Grande and later The Jump in the Saddle Band, became so busy with music that he decided to shut down his commercial space and continue to build custom orders in his basement.  By the late 1970s, however, he abandoned building proprietary gear in favor of offering other manufacturer’s products to clients.  Still, he was able to run the business from his property when not touring with the band, which had a major hit in 1983 with “The Curly Shuffle.”

Natural & Organic

While the band’s international notoriety was relatively short lived, they remain active to this day and Furlong is still in demand as a live and session player.  That said, in 1990 he cut down on touring to start a family with his wife, children’s author Mary Gauthier Furlong. “She’s a musician as well—a wonderful bass player and singer,” Furlong adds, “and we actually met when were hired for the same band.”

He characterizes the company’s growth since as natural and organic.  “Our client list has grown 100 percent by referral.  We’ll do a live rental for somebody, then become their go to sound person.  Then they’ll say, ‘Can you help us find a solution for this?’ and we’ll say, ‘Yes, we’ll do our best’ and grow to meet their needs.”

Expansion of services was often a result of consciously expanding into areas underserved by others.  “Theatre, corporate theatre, wireless microphones, loudspeaker alignment; those things weren’t available in our region,” he notes.  “In 1989 we started getting into wireless microphones in a big way, made a sizable investment and tried to become as expert in that as we could.”

TCAnniv03“Before I arrived,” adds general manager Jeff Cech, “the company was known for expertise in wireless microphones, and renting wireless systems and intercoms was and is a major part of our business, but earlier no one was doing it.”

Growth was further fueled by Furlong’s ability to identify other emerging areas of business and apply the company’s expertise to creating better solutions for those markets specifically.  “When corporations started to embrace audio as part their presentations, we were right there trying to do more elaborate designs than what a lot of A/V companies were doing,” Furlong says.  “After we got into wireless microphones and corporate A/V we noticed there was an unfilled opportunity in Chicago for theatrical sound.  We continue to do a lot of it, but all of these things naturally evolved out of each other.”

The company also began designing and commissioning systems, but the concentration continues to be on special events and maintaining long term, mutually beneficial partnerships.  “We have clients who’ve been with us for 20 to 30 years, and we’ve built those relationships slowly and carefully, by putting our efforts not only into marketing to potential clients but into keeping the clients we have by providing a very high level of service.”

One of the milestones of the late 1990s was the development of a relationship with Meyer Sound that continues going strong to this day.  While the company carries a wide range of other loudspeaker systems, Meyer is the primary brand.  Also during that time, the company began providing audio for television concert broadcasts for shows such as Soundstage on PBS, with Furlong mixing many of those shows.

He says that mixing and system alignment have always been an integral part of his personal contribution to the company’s work.  “Sometimes the equipment is secondary.  Sometimes the live mixer is secondary.  It depends on the client, but often we’d get hired because they wanted me or one of our excellent engineers to mix.”

Growing Capabilities

“Another milestone was TC foreseeing the importance of digital consoles in 2001- 2002,” Cech states.  “We bought early versions of a lot of different mixing consoles from many manufacturers, and developed the expertise in-house to rent, deploy and use them on shows.  Today we have more consoles and more types of consoles than any other provider in the region.”

Cech did freelance work for the company for 15 years and also often rented equipment while managing Northwestern University’s Performing Arts Center before officially coming onboard 2000.  “We call that era ‘the Garage Days’,” Cech says, referencing the warehouse Furlong built on his property that served as the company base through the 1980s and 90s.

With Cech signing on, Furlong was able to concentrate more fully on developing strategic partnerships and indulging his passion for system alignment, which, Cech says, “He has both a love and a gift for.”  The subsequent move to the current facility was a catalyst for further growth, but Furlong’s desire to relocate had other motivations as well.  “I just decided one day, when I saw 14 cars parked in my driveway, that it was time to move,” he says, laughing.

Since, the company has continued to work with long-term clients like Willow Creek Community Church and Northwestern University—for whom they’ve provided audio for commencement ceremonies for 20 years in addition to serving the needs of the university’s athletic, performing arts, radio, television and film departments.

Fitting his mantra to provide complete, appropriate solutions without fail is a commitment to education.  This drives the company to host monthly events aimed at educating clients and potential clients about everything from the operation of digital consoles to RF coordination and system alignment.

It’s a way of giving back, Furlong notes, which is something that also drove his creation of an entirely separate company, TC Furlong Custom, and the development of the TC Furlong Custom Split, a recent product but one he began developing way back when he was building Steamer Cabinets.  “The Split is my effort to give something back to the steel guitar community—a way to get the fantastic sound of tubes from a really lightweight amp.  As musicians get older they don’t want to carry heavy equipment, so if I can provide an amplifier that’s light but still provides big sound, I think I can help people continue to be inspired to make music.  And being able to contribute to a musician being inspired to play—either more often or longer—that’s an honor.”

For Furlong, Cech and the entire company, the most important part of the equation comes back to respect.  “Respect for the music, for the audience, and for musicians.  Most people working here are musicians.  We often say that if you’re not a musician you should start taking lessons if you want to mix live sound.  If you have experience as a musician, you understand the position of the person on stage whether they’re a performer or presenter, and that’s something I think we’re known for.”

“When we meet someone—an artist, a technician or a client—our first question is, ‘How can we help you have a better day?’  It’s been that way from day one.  Anybody can provide equipment; it’s the way you implement that equipment and the attitude you have that makes for a successful event.”

TC Furlong Inc. provides professional audio rentals, sales, live events, and services. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help in any of these departments, you can contact us. We support all purchases of audio equipment with our Warranty Support Advantage. If you have a show-related audio emergency, contact our Emergency Audio Support team.

by Brian Grahn, Sales/Marketing

TC Furlong Inc. has recently made a significant investment to add Shure’s Axient Digital AD series wireless systems into rental stock.  The newest product in Shure’s extensive wireless systems catalog, the Axient Digital series builds on the digital audio transmission found in the ULX-D series, while also incorporating many of the advanced features from the UHF-R and Axient lines.

The Axient Digital series includes one receiver platform and two styles of transmitters: the AD, which shares much of the ULXD feature set, and the ADX, which are more closely related to the capabilities of Axient analog.  One of the main innovations of the Axient Digital series is that all components (transmitters and receivers) operate in a single frequency band that encompasses the entire usable UHF range from 470 to 616 MHz.  From a rental standpoint, this means that every Axient Digital component can be adapted to any location and is easily scalable to any application.

Axient Digital receivers come in dual and quad configurations, and feature true digital diversity per channel, networked control capabilities, and antenna pass through.  Each channel features analog XLR and TRS outputs as well as AES and Dante digital output options.  Network jacks are configurable to work as a network switch or for redundant Dante outputs.  The AD4Q quad receiver also features a Quadversity option where four antennas can be assigned to a single channel for greater coverage and signal quality.

AD transmitters can operate in standard and high-density mode, in which up to 47 channels can fit in a single 6 MHz TV band.  The AD2 handhelds are compatible with all Shure wireless microphone capsules and AD1 bodypacks come with either TA4F or LEMO3 connections.  The form- factor of the AD transmitter series is similar to the ULXD/QLXD series, and all are compatible to work with standard AA batteries or Shure’s rechargeable SB900A solution.

Set to be released in early 2018, the ADX transmitters will feature interference protection, advanced rechargeability and ShowLink remote control for real-time parameter adjustments.  The ADX lineup will also feature a micro-bodypack transmitter and a frequency-diversity handheld that transmits RF signal on two discrete carriers.  Thanks to the designed scalability of the Axient Digital series, all of these transmitters can be integrated directly with the AD4 receivers and can be combined seamlessly into larger systems along with AD series transmitters.

Axient Digital’s wide tuning range and spectrally efficient digital transmission make the series a flexible and easy-to-use tool that is highly capable of handling the ever-changing RF environment. Wireless system rentals from TC Furlong, including Shure’s Axient Digital, comes with our Wireless Advantage: every rental is custom configured, tested as a full system, and provided with a frequency coordination specific to your location and equipment.  For more information about adding Shure’s Axient Digital wireless system to your next rental, please contact our rental team at 847-367-9588 or rentals@tcfurlong.com.

TC Furlong is also a longstanding authorized dealer for all Shure products, as well as other major audio brands.  For questions about purchasing an Axient Digital system , including information about system design and the 600 MHz rebates, contact our sales team at 847-367-9588 or sales@tcfurlong.com .

Thank you to everyone who came out last week to our 7th Annual Digital Console Expo at Chicago’s Moody Church.  The event was our biggest yet with 18 manufacturers and over 170 people gathered together to get hands-on time with the latest in digital console technology.

Attendees included engineers and technicians from large houses of worship, broadcasters, touring acts, sound/AV companies, and performance facilities from around the Chicagoland area, and some that traveled from as far as Minnesota and Ohio, as well as students, church volunteers, integrators and consultants.

This year’s event was expanded to feature manufacturers of cabling, switches and other console accessories to provide attendees with a look at the bigger picture of how digital consoles can be integrated into larger systems.

In addition to the networking opportunities and the unique experience of having factory representatives available to answer questions, there was ample swag and food, and a raffle of great giveaways including headphones and audio interfaces.

As a reminder, TC Furlong is an authorized dealer for all of the manufacturers featured at the expo.  If you need more information, or would like a quote, please contact our Sales Team at sales@tcfurlong.com or 847.367.9588.

We also have many of the brands from the event in our extensive rental inventory.  For more information on adding a digital console to your next show, or any help with your next rental, please contact our Rental Team at rentals@tcfurlong.com or 847.367.9588.

By Oz, Sales & Marketing

The LINA loudspeaker is the newest addition to the LEO family of loudspeakers from Meyer Sound. It is the smallest and lightest of the series. With its companion control element 750-LFC, it brings the inherent linearity, low distortion, and exceptional power-to-size ration of LEO family technology to a wider range of applications and venues.

TC Furlong Inc. recently designed and integrated a LINA loudspeaker system into a leading cultural icon in Chicago. We integrated the LINA system into a theatre that features a dynamic range of performance types, and the adaptability of the LINA system made it a perfect fit.

The LINA loudspeaker takes advantage of the existing MINA footprint, but has new drivers, an updated amplifier, and a signal processing package that, along with improved power supply, enables higher peak output. The improvements also add high-frequency headroom and lower distortion, which allows the LINA to faithfully reproduce audio with tremendous power, superior intelligibility, and extremely low distortion.

Along with the LINA, the 750-LFC low-frequency control element was part of the design of the installed system. The combination of these two loudspeakers helps to extend deep bass in the system, performing down to 36 Hz. The LINA and 750-LFC are driven by the Galileo GALAXY loudspeaker management system.

The recent fine arts integration included twenty-six LINA linear line array loudspeakers, four 750-LFC low-frequency control elements, as well as an array of additional Meyer loudspeakers such as UP-4XPs, UPA-1Ps, UPM-1XPs, and custom rigging structures.

TC Furlong Inc. is a long-time Meyer Sound dealer in the Chicago area, and we have a large inventory of Meyer Sound loudspeakers in our rental inventory. For more information on adding a Meyer Sound to your next rental or show, contact our Rental Team at 847.367.9588 or rentals@tcfurlong.com.

If you have any questions about purchasing a LINA system, or anything from our list of over 100 professional audio manufacturers, contact our Sales Team at 847.367.9588 or sales@tcfurlong.com.


Join us next week at the Copernicus on Tuesday, November 14 to hear a live demonstration of the LINA and 750-LFC loudspeakers! Doors open at 10:00 am with the first demonstration at 11:00 am. Lunch will be served at 12:30 with a second demo at 3:00 pm and ending at 4:30 pm.
There is still time to register to join us for this demo! You can register below!