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AUDIO FORUMS >> General Discussion and Support >> DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
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Message started by Steve Deckert on 08/12/11 at 06:31:45

Title: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Steve Deckert on 08/12/11 at 06:31:45



More Info:http://www.decware.com/newsite/zenfest2011.html


Title: What Are Details on 2011 DECFEST?
Post by Rivieraranch on 08/11/11 at 23:28:12

Just wondering what the dates are, etc., and what to expect from this year's meet.

Title: Re: What Are Details on 2011 DECFEST?
Post by opnly_bafld on 08/12/11 at 03:24:26

"Oct 7 ~ 9"
"Decfest is always the first weekend of October, Fri, Sat, Sun."

Found in this thread page 2:
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1306324417/15

Lin

Title: Re: What Are Details on 2011 DECFEST?
Post by ZYGI on 08/12/11 at 03:24:37

RR,

In Steve's last post  Oct 7-9  I guess the biggest things will be the FRX driver and the new DNA horn and a lot of fun to be had by all.

It would be great if you could make it.....If you fly into Peoria I'll make sure you get a ride to the fest.

ZYGI

Title: Re: What Are Details on 2011 DECFEST?
Post by ZYGI on 08/12/11 at 03:26:04

Lin,

Looks like you beat me to it. Are you going to be there again this year?

ZYGI

Title: Re: What Are Details on 2011 DECFEST?
Post by opnly_bafld on 08/12/11 at 03:38:01

Hi ZYGI,

Yes sir!
I don't get too many opportunities to hang out, talk and listen to music with a bunch of audio geeks. 8-)

Lin :)

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Steve Deckert on 08/12/11 at 17:08:16

Hi everyone!

As you can see, I've spliced two threads together here and we'll make this the official Decware Zen Fest thread.   AKA ZenFest, DecFest.

Last year we had about 75 people attend and all three days went smooth as glass and the sound was also great the whole time.  (Father Murphy must have had another event to attend)

This year should also be pretty cool!  Our staff has grown and we're adding more space to our building so we can build more amplifiers.



It won't be done, but we've gotten a good start on it.



As far as what to expect this year - really great sound!  

New stuff that will be here this year include both speakers and electronics.   For speakers we have Bob's new desktop speakers, called the Trapeziums (traps for short), and the new DNA Horn.  If anyone has similar small horn speakers they would like to bring for comparison, I highly encourage it!   Also in the category of speakers, we will be demoing the new FRX drivers in the Zen Open Baffles.

Electronics will be the new Zen ULTRA 6 channel tube preamp.  One of things I will be doing possibly all three evenings as soon as it gets dark, is demoing the ULTRA in it's full glory on some short movie clips and music videos in a 100% tube 5.1 channel system with HD projector.  This will be a great break after a day of swapping gear around, and set the stage for another evening of serious listening afterwards.  

I'll probably also set up my vinyl rig this year and we can all get in the groove!

Also, a surprise (there always is one) is that I've spent all year developing a TUBE SUBWOOFER AMPLIFIER of which there is a desperate need for.  This will be here in it's pre-production prototype form sounding rather amazing too.

Also this year, we have a Karma catalyst named Nee'ko - a Zen Cat, who we've added to the family!
He is a Bengal breed which is a domesticated Asian Leopard.  With the personality of a Dog, fascination with water, and a love for people, he is sure to be almost as interesting as the audio gear.  With a pelt rather than fir, people with allergies to cats (like me) have nothing to fear.

http://youtu.be/-nYYTlNh10M  Youtube video of the cat!

I'm toying around with a few more possible things that if I can pull off, I'll report here.

-Steve

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Donnie on 08/13/11 at 03:14:52

Seeing that the Zen fest was on my birthday weekend, I told my wife that I either wanted a Omega Speedmaster watch or to be able to go to the fest. She told me to have a good time at the fest. So if you see a red Jeep, don't shoot.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Steve Deckert on 08/13/11 at 05:06:59

Cool, and happy birthday!  I'll make sure you don't regret it!

Also, for those who have never been here, I added a new post here with a bunch of pics of our most recent listening room...

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1313205191/0#3

-Steve

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Steve Deckert on 08/14/11 at 02:08:58

GREAT NEWS

Looks like I will be able to broadcast this years fest LIVE in 1080p High Definition Audio and Video!

http://www.decware.com/newsite/zenfest2011.html

I'll be running a test feed on and off between now and then...  got the video set up and working, so now it's on to setting up the hi-def recording process for the audio feed.

Steve

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Donnie on 08/14/11 at 02:55:34

I guess I will have to lose some weight so I will look good to everyone that will be watching the video feed. "Is it time for my closeup, Mr. Deckert?"

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Rollin on 08/14/11 at 03:09:34

WARNING: Thread Highjack ;-)

Very cool cat. Your play area inspired my wife to build one downstairs.

Our Talie doing some serious listening today:


Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Lon on 08/14/11 at 03:37:00

Cute! I miss my cats! (They've passed on).

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Steve Deckert on 08/15/11 at 05:16:14

http://www.decware.com/newsite/zenfest2011.html



OK,  I'll record in 1080p, but I just figured out how much bandwidth that is with 100 people watching and the cost....   whew.   Adjusting down to 720p for the video... saw no change on the display.

Tonight I'm testing the initial audio feed setup.   Damn firewire cables... let's see... how many different firewire cables are there now???  Too damn many, of course I have to order the right one so we're using the IMAC sound card for now.   I've got the audio set for 320kps AAC similar to itunes, and I have to say there's some really good things happening with the sound feed.  By the time the fest happens it will be worth recording.

Based on my first experience a couple years ago with the live broadcast, I found that recording the room vs the speakers was surprisingly the secret.   Hanging the microphones 9 feet off the floor in a stereo pair at a 50 degree spread just above the typical speaker location on one end of the room allows you to clearly hear everything including people talking anywhere in the room.  The microphones are gained up as high as they will go, perhaps 4 times hotter than you could do on stage.  It truly is a recording of the room and everything in it.

The highs are rather incredible as is the entire frequency balance.   I wonder if it would sound this good in the listening chair if I hung the chair 9 feet off the floor from a 17 foot cathedral ceiling?

I'm listening to the live broadcast as I write this post and interestingly.... the difference in recording quality (and venue) from one song to another is amplified.  Or perhaps "simplified" is a better term for it.  It's incredibly easy to hear the difference in recording quality compared to in the sweet spot down in the room... not that it isn't easy there too, just exaggerated on the broadcast.  Ideal.

Gotta admit... I'm really enjoying this... and on a mac sound card no less.  I'm going to be using a firewire mixing console set up at 32 bit 192khz and then we'll down-sample it to 48khz for the broadcast.  The broadcast I'm listening to now is averaging 342 kps, and it will likely end up being higher.   I'll evaluate several bit rates before the fest and see where the point of diminishing returns is.

I'll be using closed back headphones for the mixing... that means I will be adjusting the mix for this type of phone.  Open back phones will sound slightly leaner that it actually was.

Ahh, the real test... classical - nice.  Yes, this is going to work very well. Tonight I have the Zen TORII playing on the DNA horns...   I'll be testing different speakers - all of them on this configuration to be sure there are no problems with mix.

I'm listening to my itunes library in random play - and String Cheese just came on - a live recording...  and I just realized it's hard to believe the sound I'm hearing in these headphones is all coming from a pair of 5 inch full-range crossover-less drivers... in the DNA horns.  I just doesn't sound like anything is missing.  I sounds like I'm listening to the live concert... the bass is frikin perfect...  amazing!    This is going to be fun...  



 

=Steve

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Steve Deckert on 08/15/11 at 06:03:03

The play area... for the cat (see youtube video) !   Wow, it inspired your wife to do one downstairs!  That's cool.   I started looking at cat trees on the internet after seeing a selection a over priced crap at the pet smart.   I mean give me a break - several hundred dollars for a 6 foot cat tree made from cardboard with rope glued to it?

I had a branch growing from the tree in front of the shop that was starting to scratch the roof, so I cut it off the tree and size it to fit between the floor and the ceiling, then wedged it in there.  

Regrettably now when I take the Bengal cat out for walks by trees it climbs them like a squirrel.  This can be a real problem with a leash on.  The other day he did that and was 25 feet (the length of the leash) up in the tree and getting ready to hang himself on a branch by going on the wrong side...  I was actually able to talk him down - this would never happen with a regular domestic cat... trust me I've had regular cats my whole adult life...  Bengals are too cool to believe!  This cat has already added several years to my life.



Here he is at 6 months sitting on my lap, crammed between by belly and my desk.  He follows me everywhere I go.  He starts his day by jumping in the shower and watching the water.  I make sure he gets wet, and he actually likes it!  What a trip.


Steve


Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Steve Deckert on 08/15/11 at 06:19:17

Woops,  still listening to the live broadcast test...  Pink Floyd just came on....  I can see Tomorrow is going to be rough... should have been out of here hours ago.  Well I guess you know it's good when you can't stop listening.   I've been watching the bandwidth for the past couple hours, even though I'm the only one listening to it, I may be able to set up a test like this every night around 10pm CST for a few hours.  This would get people who can't attend the fest a chance to dial in the feed and their headphones so when the fest starts everything will be on auto pilot.

Steve


Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by stevef on 08/16/11 at 04:21:20

Can't wait for the fest.  Julie & I look forward to some great listening, getting together with old friends, and meeting new ones.

Steve

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Rollin on 08/16/11 at 05:13:10

My wife wears the tool belt in the family and here is what she threw together next to the stairs (sorry about the poor quality cell-phone photo). Talie also likes to take walks and water, but I'm so jealous as she will not really snuggle. Not a tree climber and that might because she is a Savannah, but a runt so full grown now with the long legs, but not the huge size of some of them. If she liked car rides better I might consider bringing her if we came down for the fest.


Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by will on 08/16/11 at 08:05:01

Great to see your beautiful cats. Our two old girls both died last year and we imagine being free to travel now, but don't seem to go anywhere. Hmmmm.

The video feeds sound great Steve. I look forward to them!

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Rollin on 08/17/11 at 06:25:45

Been trying to catch a live broadcast test - any sort of sked?
Starting to seriously consider a father/son road trip as my birthday gift since close to it at the end of Sept. Is the guitar amp pictured on the home page slide show available to try out?
When do you get going on Friday? Is Saturday the big day of listening to various set ups or all three days?

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by mac5u on 08/22/11 at 02:06:41

Is the Decware Zen Fest more like a G2G where folks just show up and hang for a day or more and listen to music and check out the Decware (and maybe other equipment others have brought) or is it more like a one-manufacturer audio show with gear either for sale or offered at show prices for later delivery?  

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by ZYGI on 08/22/11 at 03:25:36

Mac5u

Its just a g2g....period.  Other equipment is there as well. We all just hang out, chat all night, and have fun.

About the only thing we all try to do as a group is Sunday morning breakfast.

ZYGI

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by ZYGI on 08/22/11 at 03:52:26

Hey Rollin,

Friday, people start rolling in late afternoon sometimes not until around 7 or so. Then things start a little slow as I assume everyone new is a little shy at first. Around 9-10 things get going good, for a few hours anyway, then it tends to slow up a bit.

Saturday, things start out sometimes with a few of us all going out to breakfast and it stays going strong until after midnight or so. All day long people try different combos, music and the like.

Sunday, the slowest day as most have to head home, but before they all head out we try to get out to breakfast as a group, which is usually a blast.

Try to come, I'd love to meet you in person,
Bob

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by pattana083 on 08/22/11 at 09:30:55

GREAT......

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Steve Deckert on 08/23/11 at 15:48:42

I'll be doing more fine tuning of the live broadcast this weekend.  Still waiting for my cable so the SQ will be better when that gets here.  I have a 5 minute sample up now.  

Steve

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011 SAMPLE FEED
Post by Steve Deckert on 08/27/11 at 06:52:26

OK,  I had a listening appointment today and about half way through it I had the realization that I should be recording it for this weekend's demo.... so I did.  (actually I already was at the hand of motion activated video and forgot). 

You can use this as a medium resolution example of the feed.  If my cable ever arrives we'll kick up the audio to HD.

Enjoy....


http://decware.com/newsite/zenfest2011.html


Steve

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Donnie on 09/07/11 at 01:05:00

For shits and giggles I just played the test feed through my ZDAC into my Torii. Pretty damn cool, I can tell the differences between  different speakers. I could hear the sounds of work being done in the other room and at one time the sound of a fly farting!

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Randy in Caintuck on 09/09/11 at 15:42:24

Looking forward to seeing everyone in October .....

I should be there on Friday and Saturday.

Everyone have a safe trip,

Randy

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by ZYGI on 09/10/11 at 02:24:52

Randy, It will be good to see you again as well. Is Dave and Geoff coming too?

See you in October.....

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Randy in Caintuck on 09/12/11 at 15:13:00

Howdy Bob,

Unfortunately, it looks like I will be traveling solo this year .....

It seems that everyone else has a full schedule around this time of year .....

Looking forward to seeing you,

Randy

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Young_SC on 09/13/11 at 11:16:08

In relation to the video that's posted for the listening room setup, plus the video to demo the open baffle speakers...........
I love the recording of Chris Issak's Dancin'.  Does anybody know which version this is?  The standard version such as on his original album aren't as good as the acoustic, and I'm keen to work out which album has that song on it.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Steve Deckert on 09/14/11 at 01:35:34

I believe that came off this album



-Steve

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Steve Deckert on 09/14/11 at 01:39:22


Quote:
Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Reply #29 - Yesterday at 9:13am    Howdy Bob,

Unfortunately, it looks like I will be traveling solo this year .....

It seems that everyone else has a full schedule around this time of year .....  

Looking forward to seeing you,

Randy


Hey Randy,

You won't be alone for long... someone dropped off a happy little zen amp for you today that looks like it will be making the return trip home with you!

Steve

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Donnie on 09/15/11 at 01:49:38

Allright, I just used up the last of my vacation days to be able to go to Zen Fest this year. Be prepared to entertain me.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Randy in Caintuck on 09/15/11 at 18:49:24


Quote:
Hey Randy,

You won't be alone for long... someone dropped off a happy little zen amp for you today that looks like it will be making the return trip home with you!

Steve


Hi Steve,

Sounds good ..... see you in three weeks .....

Randy

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by ZYGI on 09/15/11 at 20:53:47

Donnie,

 Good your going to make it. It's always entertaining.

Randy,

See you there.....

zygi

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Zenfire on 10/02/11 at 10:01:12

looking forward!

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Pale Rider on 10/02/11 at 23:05:10

Would be cool if someone set up a webcam broadcast of some of the festivities!

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Jon on 10/02/11 at 23:30:19

Pale Rider,

You can watch Zen Fest here: http://www.decware.com/newsite/zenfest2011.html

I will not be able to make it but I will be watching throughout the weekend.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Pale Rider on 10/03/11 at 00:03:31

Thanks Jon! Sweet.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by JasonGmt on 10/06/11 at 05:17:50

what movie format capability do you have there Steve? DVD or Blu Ray also? if there are any movie requests, have a decent selection in either Blu Ray or DVD, could bring something.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by MusicLuvR on 10/06/11 at 19:36:28

I will be there.  Despite being an audiophile since Jr High, this will be the first audio event I've attended.  I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm also looking forward to meeting your Zen Bengal Cat.  I love cats and they love me.  Probably because I let them set all the rules of engagement.  :-)

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by fredhallock on 10/07/11 at 20:17:15


MusicLuvR wrote on 10/06/11 at 19:36:28:
I will be there.  Despite being an audiophile since Jr High, this will be the first audio event I've attended.  I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm also looking forward to meeting your Zen Bengal Cat.  I love cats and they love me.  Probably because I let them set all the rules of engagement.  :-)


Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by fredhallock on 10/07/11 at 20:21:02

I cant get the stream. Anyone else having problems
thanks Fred

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by tomh on 10/08/11 at 00:11:27

I'm not getting it either.  It either loads the demo or nothing at all.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Pale Rider on 10/08/11 at 01:19:59

Nothing here either.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by seank on 10/08/11 at 02:26:05

I'm getting the stream right now.  8:19 CST  near Chicago.

Comcast Cable using WiFi on a MacBook Air.

Sounds good even on the CHEAP Logitech lap desk speakers I'm using.  Must be outstanding recordings.  

I wish someone would shout out which equipment is being used and which recording we are listening to.  But I'm happy just listening  and wishing I was there.  I could use one of those beers right now!




Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Donnie on 10/08/11 at 05:31:52

I just got back from Zen Fest. I had a wonderful time, got to meet some interesting people. I really enjoyed spending quite a bit of time with Zygi. It turns out the Bob and I have a lot in common, his son Mike also stood out as my kind of people.
I just want to give out a big thanks to everyone, I will be back next year.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Lon on 10/08/11 at 14:15:55

Donnie, any insight on your ZDAC-1 problems?  Glad you had a great time.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Donnie on 10/08/11 at 15:19:32

Lon,
Steve thinks that I might have a ground loop problem. I'm going to try changing my power scheme later on today. I'm dragging this morning, getting home late takes a lot out of this old man.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Lon on 10/08/11 at 15:27:59

Cool! Hope it can be corrected.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Turtle812 on 10/09/11 at 20:01:02

I was at Zen Fest and wondered what the awesome guitarist's name was.  What a great player, and Steve's demo was amazing.

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Randy in Caintuck on 10/12/11 at 15:55:22

I have been really busy since I got back home from DecFest 2011, but wanted to take a few minutes to thank the Decware crew for a wonderful time .....

I got to meet some new folks and the food and drink were top shelf.

Audio road trips are a special treat for me and I look forward to the Peoria trip every year.

The 'fest was a big success from my viewpoint.  The sound was better than ever and the acoustic guitar player was amazing.  He made me appreciate that I have a LONG way to go to be considered a good guitarist .....

Looking forward to DecFest 2012 .....

Randy

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Steve Deckert on 10/12/11 at 18:12:11

With regards to the live broadcast, we did have some black out's in certain areas due to server issues from the huge bandwidth that we were sending out.  But I've recorded the entire stream and am broadcasting it still.  This way people can still watch and listen to the fest at their own convenience.

Also the guitar player's name is Michael Fields.

Steve

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Turtle812 on 10/13/11 at 02:04:33

Thanks Steve for a great time again this year. I loved the live vs recorded demo. Your stuff Rocks !  Now if Fed-Ex can find my drivers so that I can finish my pro-12s maybe I will be able to rock on myself.              Bob

Title: Re: DECWARE ZEN FEST 2011
Post by Turtle812 on 10/13/11 at 02:17:51

Steve, I was also wondering if Michael Fields has any recordings for sale. I would love to buy some of his music if it is available. Thanks again for providing us such a great place to come and listen to some fine music through excellent equipment.  

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