Production News Headlines
Proteus meets Hercules in New York’s Central Park
USA – At the end of its regular season of Shakespeare in the Park, New York’s Public Theater stages an open-air production at Central Park’s 1,800-seat open-air Delacorte Theater. This past season, the glorious story of Hercules was presented, a theatrical pageant brought to life by some 200 performers with an enchanting lighting design by Tony-award winning lighting designer Tyler Micoleau. The designer turned to Elation Professional’s multi-use Proteus Hybrid luminaire to provide visual impact in the outdoor environment.
Micoleau had worked on two Shakespeare shows in Central Park earlier in the summer, but it was a very different plot he knew he needed for Hercules. “The musical Hercules, in a theatre as large as the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, required (pun intended) very muscular lighting approaches,” he comments. “The Elation Proteus Hybrid provided just that muscle. In two-degree beam mode, the Proteus fixtures gave me the powerful concentrated beams I needed to create beam architecture above the stage and the five 28-foot Grecian columns of the set. We were bouncing light off of the clouds passing by; it was crazy. We joked that we needed to alert air-traffic control to warn passing helicopters and small planes.”
Alex Brandt, lighting supervisor at The Public, worked with Micoleau on what gear to use on the production. He states, “Because it’s The Public Works show and it’s such a short run, we don’t have a huge budget to add in new fixtures. Set designer Dane Laffrey had produced renderings that included finger-like air effect elements from upstage that Director Lear deBessonet liked the look of. We wanted to make that happen but none of the equipment we had in the Park could accomplish that as we didn’t have weatherproof gear and really didn’t want to put fixtures in bubbles, which is an eye sore. Tyler and I knew that we needed to find a bright instrument that was IP65 rated with enough of a zoom to really get those columns of light coming up from behind the stage.”
Consequently, Micoleau and Brandt demoed the Proteus Hybrid one mid-summer night in Central Park after one of the Shakespeare productions. “I spoke with John Dunn [Elation national sales manager] about what we could try out to have more IP-rated fixtures for this coming summer, so it was a good opportunity to try the Proteus out,” Brandt said. “We looked at it against a bunch of different units from various companies and liked what we saw.”
Micoleau chose the Proteus and placed seven of the IP65 arc-source units atop a goalpost for light architecture above and behind the Delacorte stage. Used throughout the show, the multi-functional beam/spot/wash units with 23,000 lumens of power and zoomable in all modes fulfilled several roles: beam and air effects from upstage, character highlights (costume design by Andrea Hood,) and backlight wash when actors entered the stage from upstage stairs. The Proteus fixtures were supplied through Christie Lites, who served as The Public’s intelligent lighting vendor for the summer.
Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation’s first non-profit theatres, The Public show each summer at the Delacorte Theater includes a handful of equity actors who perform alongside amateurs from different community groups, a deliberate blurring of the line between professional artists and community members. The enthusiastic, feel-good Hercules received rave reviews and the Delacorte Theater was packed during its 31 August to 8 September run. Assistant lighting supervisor Michael Bateman served as production electrician on the show.
photos: Joan Marcus
17th February 2020
Robe Moves on Teatro Colsubsidio Bogota
Colombia – Teatro Colsubsidio Roberto Arias Perez is a 1,000-seater venue opened in 1981 in central Bogota, Colombia’s vibrant capital city, that has established itself at the centre of quality live entertainment, culture and performing arts. It’s renowned for high production values and imaginative shows offering a lively mix of concerts, musicals and classical performances.
The theatre has recently purchased its first Robe moving lights: ten Pointes and ten Spiiders. Added to the house lighting rig, these have already started making a huge difference to how shows can be lit and presented.
The theatre is owned by a large commercial enterprise and independently run, and the new Robes were part of a general lighting upgrade that is ongoing to improve the technology and the levels of production on offer.
The upgrade also includes several LED fixtures, and before these new fixtures, they had six older moving lights from another brand, which were removed as soon as the Pointes and Spiiders arrived.
“We specifically wanted lights that would be ideal for lighting the concerts and musical theatre shows,” explained the venue’s head of lighting, Alfonso Ramos, who has been working there since 1982.
“So, we asked the opinions of various lighting designers who we know and work with on incoming shows about what they thought were the best options. Soon enough a pattern started emerging, and that was that many of them were recommending Robe.”
As well as overseeing his busy department, Alfonso also lights any productions that don’t have an LD, so he had a vested interest in having versatile and multi-purpose fixtures in the house.
Teatro Colsubsidio stages around ten to 12 shows per average month, although some shows might run several weeks as a season, other weeks they will have three or four completely different ones.
“When I was using the conventional rig, all I could essentially do with the lighting was create a bit of atmosphere, and for concerts and musicals now, you need to do a whole lot more than that,” Alfonso stated. “So now I can still do all that ‘base’ work, and then add several layers of lighting and effects over the top. Using these fixtures, I can create a complete show with lots of drama and increased dynamic for both audiences and performers.”
He and his team are very pleased with the results!
The very first LD to use the venue’s new Robes was Humberto Hernandez from AHH, a busy and influential lighting designer working in Colombia and internationally. He has been a big Robe fan for some time and always specifies Robe for his shows when possible.
He came into Teatro Colsubsidio earlier in the year to light a Disney-approved production of Beauty & The Beast, and Robe’s local distributor AV Com Colombia pulled out all the stops to get the lights delivered in time.
Humberto was also one of the influencers who recommended Robe as a good choice for the lighting department’s investment. He himself lights two or three shows a year there and is “very happy” that Robe is now available. He commented with a smile that he’d like to see them add some MegaPointes!
For him, Spiiders are “very flexible and useful for so many things like building atmosphere and throwing in effects,” and the Pointes are super-fast and an “excellent” option for use as a beam and a spotlight and well as for numerous effects.
His next show in there is the tango opera “Maria de Buenos Aires” and he will also be lighting a Christmas show that premieres in November.
Alfonso also mentioned that another benefit of the new moving lights is that they can turn shows around much quicker and more efficiently as it’s seriously reduced the amount of time consumed with focusing and gelling the previously primarily generic rig.
photos: Claudio Pierri, courtesy Misi Producciones & Disney Theatrical Group
17th February 2020
Renowned Opera Singer Maria Callas Returns to the Stage for Innovative Hologram Tour
Worldwide – For Callas in Concert, beloved opera singer Maria Callas was brought back to the stage via hologram, 40 years after her passing. A live orchestra accompanied digital remastered recordings of Callas for the production, which presented FOH and recording engineer Howard 'Howie' Lindeman with a unique challenge. Since the show was focused around the visual of Callas on stage, and the hologram system used to project her image, Lindeman needed to find a low-profile microphone that would not be obtrusive on stage, while still providing the highest audio quality for the live orchestral instruments.
Lindemanturned to the 4099 Instrument Microphone from DPA Microphones because of its sound, lightweight design and compact size of the instrument mic clips. In all, Lindeman and his team deployed a total of 27 x 4099 instrument microphones (with mic clips) for the 14 violins, six violas, five cellos and two upright basses that were used for the concert.
“The major challenge on this project was the real estate that mic stands take up on a stage,” says Lindeman. “DPA’s 4099 not only alleviated that problem, but also allowed a close-mic recording. Instead of area miking with several large condenser mics, and fighting potential feedback, the 4099s allowed us to mic up all of the string players and really showcased the talent of each musician.”
Produced by BASE Hologram, the tour launched in California before heading to Mexico and South America, and then returned to the United States ahead of its European leg. DPA was brought into the production through Sound Image, a leading provider of sound reinforcement services for the music industry.
“The 4099s were an effective tool in amplifying the sounds of the string section,” adds FOH technician and A2, Harrison Ruhl. “The 4099s sounded transparent and allowed Howie to make the entire orchestra sound incredible with minimal EQ and the appropriate high-pass filtering. The basses and cellos sounded full and present. The mic handled the low-end content incredibly well, and its low profile made attachment very easy without hindering the player.”
A long-time user of DPA mics, Lindeman continues to be impressed with the results he gets. “Regarding the audio quality of the DPA mics, the answer is simple – flawless,” he says. “The 4099 is the ideal live mic solution for any string player. The 4099s deliver a sound that is as close to flat as you can get with little high-pass filtering. As expected, they worked wonderfully well on this unique and creative project. I do prefer and, when I can, demand DPA.”
Since implementation of the 4099 instrument mic for Callas in Concert, DPA has released a new, upgraded instrument microphone, the 4099 CORE instrument microphone that adds another layer of sound quality. The CORE by DPA technology brings more clarity and details to music across the entire dynamic range.
17th February 2020
Robe Adds Magic to Severina Tour
The Balkans – Croatian singer-songwriter and actress Severina wowed the crowds at four major arena concerts in the Balkans this autumn: at Split and Zagreb in Croatia, Belgrade in Serbia and culminating at the Dvorana Stožice in Ljubljana, Slovenia, which were lit by Slovenian LD Crt Birsa who added over 150 Robe moving lights to the lighting design for the three concerts in Croatia and Slovenia.
Crt, whose work is well known internationally (2CELLOS are among his other current clients) was to light these four special shows for the superstar. Talks originally started back in April 2019 when Severina invited him, set designer Greta Godnic and show director Nejc Levstik to submit ideas. They asked Den Barca of ThenVision to join the creative team and work on the video design and visuals.
“It was a complicated design and set-up,” commented Crt, who was delighted when his initial lighting scheme proposal was accepted. “We had a good brief from the artist about what she wanted to achieve when onstage, which assisted all of us to create a clear and distinctive performance environment.”
Crt and Greta have worked on several other projects together and always present their imaginative lighting and set concepts as one fluid visual entity. After the very first sketches, a diamond shape emerged which everyone liked, and this became a geometric framework from which the set and lighting design developed.
Crt has worked with Robe products for several years and will specify the brand as his first choice of moving light whenever possible.
The lighting rental vendor for the four shows was the IVAS Group from Zagreb, Croatia, a company that has invested steadily in Robe in recent years via Croatian distributor, Sali Trade.
The Robe count for these shows was 34 MegaPointes, 18 BMFL Spots, 18 Pointes, 24 Spiiders, 44 LEDWash 600s and 24 CycFX 8s.
Twenty-two of the MegaPointes were positioned on the main rig – ‘the Diamond’ – with 12 rigged on a ‘chandelier’ flown on variable speed chain hoists that was an integral part of the diamond and moved up and down during the show.
Twelve of the BMFL Spots were also on the Diamond rig, with the other six downstage on the floor. Ideally, Crt would have liked to use MegaPointes for all positions, but not enough units were available for all the shows.
Mega Pointes and BMFLs were his main hard-edged workhorses, chosen for their potency and reliability. “The venues are all big, so we needed something with a good punch,” Crt commented.
He is not a big fan of gobos, but the occasional and distinctive MegaPointe and BMFL gobo looks did creep in during some of the slower numbers and ballads for which they were highly effective.
Crt loves the way Spiiders, MegaPointes and BMFLs all work so well and consistently together to produce “so much ‘eye-candy’ that’s perfectly matched in colours and quality of light.”
The 24 Spiiders also flown on the Diamond provided the main stage washes, working in conjunction with 35 of the LEDWash 600s which were the main key lighting for the musicians and performers. Crt needed A LOT of lights to cover the large stage and to help create the very intense colour looks he wanted.
He also likes the option of using the pixel ring effects on the Spiiders.
A further three LEDWash 600s were used as back light for a classic VW Beetle which was pushed on stage for one section of the show, while the remaining six LEDWash 600s were rigged on two ‘between screen’ towers left and right of the main LED screen. These provided coverage for the strings section of the orchestra and were in action particularly during the second half of the show when the LED screen lifted to reveal the orchestra behind.
The 18 Pointes were positioned behind the side LED screens on three trusses hung one above the other for maximum depth and used for blast-through effects.
Crt admits that he added these Pointes to the rig as a test. The LED was a 70% transparent mesh, and the Pointes behind added another dimension completely to the show’s visual layers.
“In all honesty, we did not know how this would work out until the first setup at production rehearsals, so it was a bit of a gamble, but once they were fired-up for the first time, the Pointes brought that nice element of visual surprise that we’d all imagined!”
Finally, 12 of the CycFX 8s were used to outline the chandelier with the other 12 distributed on the two between-LED-screen towers, and also above the side video screens. The CycFX 8s were all run in single-pixel mode on which Crt commented: “they were great for this task in combination with all the other lights.”
In addition to all the Robes, he utilised two other types of LED wash, some beam movers and a set of 3x3 pixel ‘matrix’ moving heads which were in the centre of the Diamond.
All of these were programmed and run by Crt using his own ChamSys MQ80 console and PC Wing for backup.
On to challenges and time was high on the list. They needed to create special video content and ensure that this, lighting, automation, staging and choreography all worked seamlessly in a modern theatrical performance scenario.
The show was divided into four sections, each painstakingly thought-through, meticulously rehearsed beforehand and slickly presented, all of which involved huge preparation.
Custom video content was commissioned and pre-recorded, and for the live show camera and content mix, Den Baruca was given clear instructions about the look, direction, and colours to assimilate with the other production elements.
Numerous automation cues also needed a careful integration into the action-packed show which started with a ‘fake’ Severina coming onto main stage and then vanishing through a hole upstage while the real superstar emerged on the B-stage at FOH on an elevator platform.
The main LED screen went up and down twice, the first time revealing the string orchestra on a balcony which was part of the staging, and the second time to allow the car to be pushed forward over a gap in the stage from which it and 30 performers emerged.
A ‘magic cube’ set element consisting of a square truss clad with mesh LED with Severina and dancers inside flew in for the song “Fatamorgana”. They were moodily lit with ambient light from the mesh.
The chandelier lowered for two songs and tilted towards the audience, and a seven-metre long table was also flown in and out for two numbers, so it was very busy!
All this was perfected in five days of production rehearsals in Split before the first show with all departments working furiously to achieve that desired coherent visual look and flowing show choreography.
Some parts of the show had no video, just lighting, and in other parts video was used as a lighting effect, strobing and blinding the audience and creating dramatic silhouettes of the performers.
“Everyone was fantastic to work with and I hope there will be the chance of doing it all again in the future,” concluded Crt, mentioning in particular Lovro Ivas, Damir Sabo and Niksa Medirazza from IVAS and the “awesome” lighting crew with some of the most experienced freelancers in Croatia, led by Josip Knezevic and Dario Katacic.
Once again he enjoyed the dynamics and creativity of working closely with set and stage designer Greta Godnic whose insight “brought so many more alternative lighting, video and show direction ideas to the party.”
photos: Jani Ugrin
14th February 2020
Ayrton Diablo Shines for NFL Honors Broadcast
USA – When the ninth Annual NFL Honors was held the day before Super Bowl LIV, lighting designer Jon Kusner selected a complement of Ayrton Diablo LED profile luminaires from PRG to supplement the house lights.
The awards presentation by the National Football League honoured players from the 2019 season. It was hosted by Steve Harvey and pre-recorded for same-day broadcast on FOX. The venue for the show was the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.
The Diablo fixtures were the first Ayrton luminaires to be used by Kusner, a member of the Los Angeles lighting design co-op, 22 Degrees. Kusner mounted 14 Diablo on the balcony rail to backlight the audience and act as a stage wash when crowds filled the set and follow-spot traffic was compromised.
“The balcony rail typically holds conventional fixtures,” he notes. “The lights we chose had to have a smaller footprint; they couldn’t be over-scale and become an eyesore in the rest of the space.”
Diablo proved to be a perfect fit. “They were the only smaller-scaled instrument with framing shutters to control layering for consistent coverage and to control spill,” Kusner explains. “The Diablos also have an even field and consistent colour temperature.”
The lighting designer was “pleasantly surprised by the intensity of the Diablos based on their scale. Often, smaller lights lose performance but that’s not the case with Diablo. They fit a niche as small, bright, shuttered lights, the perfect tool when you need that combination of features.”
14th February 2020
L&DB Stylises Village Outlet Event with Chauvet Professional
France – Stylish fashion should always be showcased in an elegant setting, even when it is offered at an attractively discounted price. Such was the guiding philosophy of The Village Outlet when it opened in this area of green rolling hills about 40 minutes outside Lyon.
Bargains certainly abound at this contemporary outdoor shopping centre, with deep discounts on luxury and premium brands beckoning from its over 100 stores. But there is not whiff of the frantic bazaar atmosphere to be detected anywhere within its sleekly contoured grounds with their winding paths, hedge sculptures, and expansive, glimmering reflective pond with fountain.
The style and panache that has made The Village Outlet so popular throughout the Isère department was on full display at a recent celebratory event at the centre. Adding colour and glamour to the occasion was a lively L&DB lighting design that featured Chauvet Professional Maverick MK2 Wash fixtures and Geyser P7 atmospherics.
“Our goal was to blanket the area in color to support the spirit of the event,” said Romain Plantier, CEO of L&DB. “The Maverick MK2 Wash excelled in this regard. We also relied on its zoom feature to tighten the beam and create dramatic effects against the fog from the two Geyser P7 units we had on site. The powerful jet and the colourisation of the smoke that we got from the Geysers provided a striking effect.”
L&DB used six Maverick MK2 Wash fixtures at The Village Outlet. Four of these units were placed on an elevated counter and used for general stage washing, while two were positioned on the ground and relied on to create aerial washes. The output from the Maverick’s 12 x 40W OSRAM RGBW LEDs provided a level of intensity that played off very well against the fog from the Geyser units.
The versatility of the Maverick MK2 Wash also enhanced the impact of The Village Outlet lighting display. “Having a multitude of macros on the MK2 Washes for effects allows you to do both wash and effect with this machine,” said Plantier. “Because the beam can be very tight with a nice power, the MK2 Wash can be placed right next to a beam moving head. This creates excellent possibilities.”
At the conclusion of The Village Outlet event, L&DB received widespread praise for its lighting design. It was, said Plantier “a show filled with effect, dynamics and beautiful colour.” In that regard, the light show fit beautifully into the fashion philosophy that has made this unique centre a favourite among stylish shoppers.
14th February 2020
dLive and ME Slip Into ‘Kinky Boots’ at Teatro Astral
Argentina – The Teatro Astral in Buenos Aires, relies upon an Allen & Heath dLive digital mixing system for the launch of the iconic Broadway musical, Kinky Boots, which saw its opening night in January.
The large-capacity venue accommodates up to 1,200 people and has become a home to various productions, events, conferences, congresses, seminars and exhibitions. With the theatre not having its own in-house system, the venue turns to audio rental company BR Sound S.R.L to help host its events, and with the latest Kinky Boots production being scheduled for multiple times a week over the next two years and featuring a large crew of on-stage actors and musicians, the engineers needed a large format desk that significantly expanded the theatre’s capabilities in terms of channel counts, processing power, speed and flexibility.
Lead engineer, Santiago Rivero (BR Sound), explains: “We needed a flexible, compact and powerful mixer, with an affordable price. We immediately thought of A&H mixers, because we are former GLD users and have always loved the sound.”
Facilitated by Allen & Heath’s Argentinian distributor, ARS Technologies, the full setup features a dLive C3500 surface, which uses around 80 input channels and more than 100 scene changes during the show, paired with a CDM48 MixRack, which is fitted with a Dante card for multitrack recording and playback.
Rivero concludes: “dLive is just the best fit for the show. From the amazing graphic interface, to the large number of customisable options and knobs, dLive can be used in a number of ways and it allows operators with different workflows to get to grips with it incredibly easily. Also, as we need to use various third-party software during the show, thanks to the optional networking cards, dLive can easily integrate and work with everything we could need!”
14th February 2020
White Light Supplies Leopoldstadt in the West End
UK – White Light has supplied the lighting equipment for Leopoldstadt, which opened recently at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s West End.
Written by legendary playwright Tom Stoppard, Leopoldstadt tells the story of three generations of the same Jewish family living in early 20th century Vienna. It is directed by Patrick Marber and features a lighting design by the Olivier Award-winning Neil Austin. Neil comments: “Leopoldstadt is a truly exceptional play which encapsulates the experience of the Austrian Jews through one family’s journey.”
Beginning in the period of cultural and scientific explosion in Vienna at the turn of the century, it spans a near 60-year period ending in 1955. To achieve the passing of time it’s an abstract set of gauzes and items of furniture, which represent the one room through the years.
As such, Neil’s brief on the piece was to dress the set in a way which would guide the audience through the different time periods. He explains: “It was a question of looking at how the lighting could suggest the various changes in time-period as Austria’s political landscape transforms through the piece. At the start, it highlights the opulence of the early 20th century, then moves into the post First World War period of the 1920s, before heading into the late 30s when Vienna was under Nazi control, before finally ending in 1955 when the room has become a 'de-nazified' office. I needed to allow the lighting to capture the emotional temperature of the story.”
The emotion captured in the piece was also another huge influence on Neil’s design. He explains: “Tom Stoppard has described this as his most personal play yet and there are some truly beautiful moments packed with raw emotion. As such I knew that my fixtures needed to be quiet to ensure each of these points in the play had moments to breathe and could be underpinned by silence.”
Knowing what he had to achieve, Neil approached WL to supply him with the fixtures he required. He explains: “For this rig, I drew on a mix of ETC Revolutions, Vari*Lite VL1000AS ERS, ETC Source Four Series 2 Lustrs, Bambino 5kW Fresnels and standard Source Fours. The Vari*Lite VL1000AS ERS were used on booms in the wing, emulating the daylight through windows, and were brilliant playing to their natural colour temperature advantages. The 5kWs played a similar role as they were used to recreate sunlight. The Lustrs were used as general work-horse units while the Revolutions were used as specials.”
Whilst there was a very limited set in the play, Neil’s design had to contend with the gauzes that were on stage. He explains: “In order to light the rear gauze and gauze legs, I asked for troughs to be buried in the raked stage which then housed a range of Chroma-Q Color Force 72 LED battens. These battens were used to skim up the gauzes to establish the difference between when they were lit in different colours and when they weren’t. In the final scene of the play the gauzes are unlit for the first time and so the stage appears to be a black void.”
Leopoldstadt runs until 16th May 2020.
Neil concludes: “It’s been a privilege lighting such a beautiful and poignant piece of theatre. I am really grateful to my brilliant team which include Production LX Martin Chisnall, programmer Tom Mulliner and production manager Paul Hennessey. As ever, thanks once again to WL for supplying me with the fixtures I needed and for their great support.”
photos: Marc Brenner
13th February 2020
Quantum upgrade for Czech legends’ anniversary tour
Czech Republic – Kabát is a nationally renowned classic rock band, which has been hugely popular since the 1980s. Its tenth anniversary stadium tour was the most prosperous in Czech music history, and the band represented the Czech Republic at the country's first entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. The latest anniversary tour visited stadiums and venues across the country over a three-week period.
The band is managed by Prague-based production company, the Pink Panther Agency, which also takes care of a number of other Czech artists. Its touring division recently expanded its hire stock with the addition of the Quantum 7. Purchased through DiGiCo’s distributor, Pro Music, the company was experiencing demand for a top-flight mixing console to cater for pro tours passing through Central Europe, and the quantity of stadium venues in the region.
“In previous years, I employed a DiGiCo SD5 console, which was a great console and I was very happy with it, but Pink Panther’s new investment presented us with an amazing opportunity to work with the Quantum 7 for Kabát’s anniversary tour,” explains FOH engineer, Marian Starý. “DiGiCo is my preferred mixer brand ever since the launch of D1 14 years ago, and I currently own several smaller format SD11 and SD9 consoles for rehearsals and on the fly gigs.”
Technically, Kabát has a traditional rock set up of around 40 outputs, with four PA outputs and 24 /IOs for dynamic and FX processors. Starý employs an SD Rack and SD-MiNi Rack, with the whole system connected over an Optocore optical network fibre loop. Complementing the FOH system, the tour also carried a SD5 console with SD Rack to manage monitors, and a combined L-Acoustics K2 and KARA line array speaker system.
“I prefer to work with DiGiCo consoles for a very simple reason: they have incredible sound, great design features, and a user-friendly interface. I feel really lucky to use gear of this calibre,” comments monitor engineer, Alexandr Langr.
“With the Quantum 7, I enjoy my job even more,” concludes Starý. “Quantum offers tremendous processing power, amazing warm sound, slick design and plenty of connectivity options. What I particularly love about this touring system is the new Stadius 32-bit, 96kHz sample rate mic pre-amp card, which is fitted in the SD Rack; it takes everything to the next level!”
13th February 2020
Winter Jam 2020 Rocks with Bandit Lites Lighting System
USA – Bandit Lites is thrilled to once again provide the lighting for the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, Christian music’s largest annual tour. According to Pollstar, attendance often outpaces any other tour’s attendance during the year’s first quarter. The evening of live concerts by top Christian artists includes a roster of Passion, Crowder, Austin French, Andy Mineo, Hillsong Young & Free, Building 429, Red, Louis Giglio, Newsong and more.
After a few years with an in-the-round design, the tour returned to an end stage arena design, allowing the space for a large upstage LED wall. Due to an 8mm blow through LED panel, production designer Jerry Holcomb was able to place Elation Paladins behind the wall.
“With the tour having several more worship-oriented bands, we knew we needed a lot of upstage light looks punching through the bands,” Holcomb explained.
To accomplish this, Martin MAC III Profiles are placed on the upstage end while the trusses are loaded with Elation COLORado Solo Battens, and low side truss on the both sides continue the low upstage lighting looks.
“We are using a large amount of the Solo Battens, and Bandit worked out a way that they can stay on the truss during transport which saves a lot of set up time,” Holcomb said.
Bandit Lites supplied more than 130 fixtures for Winter Jam, including Robe BMFL Spots, Chauvet Maverick MK3 Spots, Chauvet COLORado Solo Battens, Elation CuePix WW2 Blinders, Elation Paladins and Martin MAC III Profiles.
“The fixture I'm the most impressed with are the MK3's,” shared Lighting Director Kurtis Wheat. “I picked them kind of "sight unseen" because I needed something new that could do everything I needed it to do. It did everything and more. It's an extremely impressive and versatile fixture that I think will be a workhorse for a long time.”
Kurtis also chose Robe BMFL for the tour’s Follow Me system, with most of those travelling in the Bandit provided Tyler truss and four on pipes upstage.
“Each year I look forward to seeing the direction the Winter Jam lighting design will take,” said Bandit Lites business development officer, Brent Barrett. “Working with Jerry and Kurtis is always an adventure that includes creativity, honesty, realism with a good amount of humour sprinkled in! I know that each design will be a new concept and not simply a recycle of the previous year. Jerry and Kurtis have both become friends that go well beyond business associates; I am very appreciative that Bandit is allowed the opportunity to be a part of the Winter Jam Production family!”
Bandit’s crew is comprised of Nikki Dotson, Darryl Newcombe and Cody Cheatham, and Holcomb offered that calling them a great crew would be an “understatement.”
“Bandit shows up completely prepped and ready,” praised Holcomb. “Load in and load out of even the first rehearsal days went as smooth as could be.”
“Bandit always has their stuff together,” finished Wheat. “It is one thing that I know we don't ever have to worry about it. If I ever have an issue with the rig, I just have to mention it once and it's taken care of before I can even finish my thought. The crew is always on top of their game and it leaves me feeling confident every single show.”
13th February 2020
Gabriel Paul Provides Supporting Looks for Alex Mofa Gang with Chauvet Professional
Germany – Former Stooges bass player Mike Watt once famously declared that “punk is not really a style of music; it’s more like a state of mind." His words aptly describe the world of the Alex Mofa Gang. Even three successful studio albums haven’t dimmed the street-borne punk fervor of these hard-driving Berlin rockers. This was plain to hear (and see) on the thunderous 15 leg German tour they just completed in support of their latest LP “Ende Offen.”
Backing up the band’s music note for passionate note was an intense Gabriel Paul designed light show that featured a collection of 22 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by PM Group.
Working and touring together with the Alex Mofa Gang band members, Paul developed a staunchly defiant lighting concept, that focused virtually all of its energy on backlighting the quintet on stage. Illuminating the band from this angle, without the reassurance of front light and top light, evoked an arresting sense of uncertainty.
Key to helping Paul accomplish this were the four Rogue R2 Wash and two Rogue R1 Wash fixtures in his rig. “The Rogue R1 and R2 Wash fixtures were instrumental in creating the overall look and feel of the band's visual concept," said Paul. "I was able to use the zoom feature to create almost beam-like effects from behind the band, which gave visual presence and purpose."
While the rich colours of the Rogue R1 and R2 Wash units accentuated the dramatic punk sound of the band’s performance, the two Maverick MK2 Spot and two Rogue R3 Spot fixtures in Paul’s rig helped him endow the stage with a greater sense of depth. Drawing on the intensity and gobo capabilities of these fixtures, he peppered the stage with dramatic patterns that reflected the music.
Paul relied on four Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures with their five independently moving heads and infinite pan and tilt motions to conjure up a steady stream of new looks throughout the concert. “The FX-Bs were a late addition to my rig, but they worked wonders in terms of adding variety to a show,” he said. "Although they were not on all the time, they performed an absolutely crucial role in whipping up audience excitement at key points during the band's set. Really, they were my ‘secret weapon,’ as I was able to turn up the intensity for the audience as the show went on, creating the impression of having a much bigger rig on stage.”
"For me as a lighting designer, the challenge was to ensure that the same visual punch could be delivered in each venue, which was somewhat of a challenge in some of the smaller venues with their small stages," continued Paul. “The compact footprint of all the Chauvet fixtures enabled me to be flexible with my design and ensured that the light show always supported the music, much to the satisfaction of the band and audiences."
Crucial for any punk rockers is the band’s logo backdrop. To illuminate his client’s cyclorama, complete with its Alex Mofa Gang motif, Paul used eight COLORdash Batten-Quad 6 fixtures. Thanks to the wide-angle wash effect of the six individually controllable quad coloured RGBA LEDs, he was able to bathe the backdrop with saturated colours for additional visual variations.
Lit this way, the backdrop served as a symbol of the Alex Mofa Gang. Like a flag it stood out defiantly, blending in with all of the other sights and sounds that the band and its lighting designer treated fans to on this Ende Offen tour.
13th February 2020
Richard Martin Lighting Helping to Make a Difference
UK – The Make a Difference Trust has awarded grants and funded projects all over the world and once again, Richard Martin Lighting was more than happy to help raise awareness and funds by supplying the lighting for the yearly ‘West End Christmas’ event. The Stage Bar 54, Mac 500 and Mac 600 really lit up the event and helped make it an unforgettable evening!
Melanie Tranter, the Chair of The Make a Difference Trust said: “We are only able to raise the funds we do because of you, the incredible theatre community who work so hard and give so generously of your time to make our events possible. Every time I attend one of our events, I am truly humbled to be amongst some of the most generous, talented and inspiring people I have ever met. Thank you seems inadequate for all you do. Because of you, we are transforming the lives of whole communities.
I am proud and honoured to be a small part of the charity that’s brings together the theatre community in such a positive way. On behalf of the board of trustees, everyone at MAD and everyone who has and will benefit from our work, Thank You.”
13th February 2020
Innovative Show Design’s Elation rig at 2019 College Football Awards on ESPN
USA – On December 12, college football’s most talented student-athletes were recognised at the 2019 Home Depot College Football Awards presented live on ESPN from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. Justin Garrone and production design firm Innovative Show Design (ISD) have been involved in the show since 2012 and again produced outstanding visuals for the 2019 edition, employing a set-up that featured 90% Elation Professional products.
This was Innovative Show Design’s eighth year doing the College Football Awards and fifth year since it moved to the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. ISD served as a one-stop-shop for ESPN for the production, handling every aspect of the show from the first truck’s arrival to the last truck’s departure. Not only did they create and manage all lighting, scenic and graphics, ISD handled complete fabrication and installation of the set and was also responsible for all logistics involved with the production inclusive of project management.
Asked by ESPN to update the design and modernise it scenically, as well as help with the reverse shots into the audience, ISD changed the sets configuration, and added 36 linear light boxes to accommodate the request. “As the years have progressed, one of the things I always enjoy is that this event is a type of one-off but because we do it every year we have the ability to go back and improve on it for the following year,” stated Justin Garrone of Innovative Show Design. Lighting supply for the event was by CYM Lighting Services of Thousand Palms, CA, a full service lighting production company that ISD has worked with for years.
The Awards show took place in a long yet narrow windowed room in the Hall of Fame, a turfed area scaled to nearly the size of half a football field and used by visitors to throw and kick footballs. It is a space Garonne says was never designed for a large amount of production but ISD and CYM found creative ways to hang fixtures and relied on multi-use lighting fixtures like the Elation Rayzor 760 wash LED luminaire.
“The most important task for the rig was to be functional and flexible for multi-point / multi source TV light,” he says. “Secondly, fixtures were strategically placed throughout the rig and venue to add beauty and sparkle to the camera shots enhancing the award show feel. All these lights played together to transform the cues to take on school colours for the winner cues. Lastly, we enhanced and illuminated the natural architecture of the venue to give it vibrancy as well as make it look larger on screen.”
With the scenic change came a lighting change and this is when Garrone says he took the opportunity to incorporate the Rayzor 760. “Kevin Swank with CYM Lighting believed in the Rayzor 760 and purchased 50 of the fixtures to add to his inventory,” he explains. “He convinced me that these lights would be a great addition to the College Football Award rig and I’m sure glad I listened to him! I streamlined the rig and reduced the amount of fixture types because I was confident the Rayzor could take on the multiple roles necessary of the light. These roles consisted of beauty lights to beam effects to lens effects and audience front and back light.”
ISD created custom 'sparkle' effects using the Rayzor 760’s SparkLED technology, a unique twinkle effect of 28 x 2W white LEDs inside the fixture’s lenses that give designers a fresh way of creating layers of effect on stage. Garrone comments: “I was extremely impressed how we could add these effects on top of the primary duties of the light. The SparkLED effects added to the celebration of the win cues and added to the beauty of the camera shots when you could see the lens of the Rayzor 760 on camera.”
Lining the tunnel entrance and main staircase of the stage, the Rayzor 760s projected a team colour with the sparkle effect rotating around the fixtures. Garrone also created custom pixel chases for the team wins. “I was extremely impressed with the brightness of the individual 60 Watt RGBW pixels. At 30 plus feet from the ground we were able to read saturate colour on the audience during the team win cues.”
Garrone says that with the amount of options the Rayzor 760 provides, it felt like the 58 fixtures in the plot were multiplied by three. “We could use them as a broad even wash light, a narrow and bright beam light and or a direct lens effect light with individual pixel control. Depending on the camera shot, we could always add the SparkLED on top of whatever mode we were using the fixture in and the effect would read on camera. Now the rig has been multiplied by six! With this amount of options, I was able to minimise quantity of fixtures to accommodate the budget but still provide the lighting systems necessary for an award show look.”
The Rayzor 760s were just one of several Elation lights utilised in the design. Used for main key lights both front and back, audience specials, as well as main key lights for talent stand-ups were Elation Satura Profile LED movers while Platinum Beam 5R Extreme moving heads provided beam lights for air effects and team win ballyhoos. Elation’s tiny ACL 360i single beam effect lights were incorporated as background beauty lights with SixPar 100 LED Par lights used for architectural lighting highlights. CuePix Panels were used to cap the end of trusses that were in camera shots. A large 60’ wide x 19.7’ tall LED wall covering the room’s glass windows was made up of 261 Elation EVLED 1024 SMD 20mm blow-through LED panels.
One of the challenges faced, says Garrone, was increased production needs coupled with shrinking budgets. “This is where employing Elation is the right choice,” he says. “The quality of the lights coupled with the price point allows us to constantly raise the bar of the lighting design and meet but more often exceed the needs of the shows. This provides support to our budgets, allowing them to continue to be as competitive as possible for our clients.”
When Garrone first designed lighting for the College Football Awards years ago, he says most of the lights were from other manufacturers. But as the years passed and lighting vendor CYM Lighting invested more in Elation gear he had the possibility to get more fixtures for the dollar. “Over the past five years it has been more and more Elation until this year I suddenly realised that we’re now at about 90% Elation,” the LD says, adding that he appreciates the diverse fixture options within Elation’s catalogue. “When designing the lighting for the production, it is always nice and convenient to go to one manufacturer and choose a fixture to employ to handle the job.” Summing up an event he truly enjoys, Garrone concludes: “It’s really a week of hype and fun to be a part of. It’s one of my favourite shows throughout the year.”
Garrone would like to take the opportunity to bring attention to Kevin and Colleen Swank of CYM Lighting. Not only are they truly dedicated to all ISD projects, they also share the same dedication to the AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC) charity event, whose aim is to reduce new HIV infections and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS. “From 31st May to 6th June, they both will be riding their bikes with their Desert Roadrunners team 545 miles on a life-changing ride, not race, from San Francisco to Los Angeles to support and raise awareness to end the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and honour those who have passed from AIDS-related causes.”
12th February 2020
Chauvet Professional Helps Kansas City Live! Celebrate Super Bowl Win
USA – Everyone in Kansas City will remember precisely where they were, and what they were doing, at that exact time. It was then that the game clock at Miami Garden’s Hard Rock Stadium struck zero, making it official that the Kansas City Chiefs had won their first Super Bowl in half a century.
In the heart of downtown, at the iconic Kansas City Live! Block, a deliriously happy group of 10,000 fans soaked up the moment in a sea of wild cheers and streams of confetti, accented by brilliant displays of light and coloured fog created with Chauvet Professional fixtures and atmospherics.
Jason Bradley, the director of entertainment and production at the Kansas City Power and Light District, that houses over a dozen restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, recalls the unforgettable experience. “It was something special to be a part of,” he said. “Adam, Pete and Taylor from Harvest Productions, my technical staff for the event, put in some very long hours to make this vision a reality.”
With the hometown Chiefs trailing 20 to 10 at the start of the final quarter, it looked as if the anticipated celebration at Kansas City Live! might never take place. But Bradley and his design team never lost faith. When the Chiefs capped off their remarkable fourth quarter comeback with a victory, they were ready to unleash their visual extravaganza.
“Our guys were well prepared,” said Bradley. “We had a great cue made for the win to highlight the victory. Pounds and pounds of confetti were shot off. This is where the punch of the R2X beams got to shine, lighting up the confetti, the crowd, the venue and everything else in brilliant colour. We also knew Fox Sports was going to come back to us for their live shot after the win, so we used our Strike 4 fixtures to illuminate the crowd for the cameras.”
The watch party’s main stage rig at Kansas City Live! featured 12 Maverick MK2 Spot, 12 Rogue R2X Beam, eight COLORado Solo Batten 4, and four Strike 4 fixtures flown on upstage truss; and six Rogue R3 Wash units on the downstage truss, as well as four Vesuvio RGB LED foggers and four Rogue R2X Beams on the deck. Bradley and his team also had ten Rogue R3 Wash and ten Rogue R2X Beam fixtures flown over the crowd on 50-foot truss structures.
“We had 70 Chauvet Professional fixtures for the watch party,” said Bradley. “On top of that, we had hundreds of Chauvet Professional fixtures inside the different venues at the Kansas City Power & Light District. We covered the area with red and gold for the Kansas City Chiefs, and also used some of our Rogues to project the team’s gobos up on the roof.”
The fixtures that Kansas City Live! rolled out for the Super Bowl Watch Party represented only a portion of the lighting arsenal that Bradley and his team work with during the course of the year at their versatile and multi-faceted venue.
“We actually would have more fixtures than this out for our concert season,” he said. “We feature a wide array of music outside from country to EDM, so I try to design a lighting system that once deployed, can mostly stay in the same configuration and be adaptable for all guest LDs and tours. The MK2 spots on the up and midstage are great; and country artist love them for the more classical use of a spot fixture.”
To light EDM acts, Bradley relies on its Rogue R2X Beam fixtures. “These are great fixtures for EDM shows, because they offer that extra eye candy,” he said. “You also can’t beat the Strike 4s when it comes to a great audience blinder. New to the rig for this season will be 24 COLORado Solo Batten 4s. We will be using these more as eye candy and audience blinders/strobes, as they will be faced to orient the crowd. Also, we have added six MK2 Spot Profiles to the downstage.
“Out over the crowd, we have added two 50-foot trusses that will contain Rogue R3 Wash and RH1 Hybrid fixtures,” continued Bradley. “We’ll also have R3X units will be replacing all stage wash fixtures. We have a 40-foot 3mm LED wall upstage, and we need all the punch we can get from our stage fixtures to help cut through their light.”
Bradley notes that he and his team have great plans for their expanded rig. But on this early February night, they, like the rest of Kansas City, weren’t thinking about the future. They focused instead on celebrating a very special moment.
12th February 2020
White Light Supplies Lighting for Holes UK Tour
UK – White Light has supplied the lighting equipment for Holes which is currently touring venues across the UK.
Presented by The Children’s Theatre Partnership, Holes is the creative new stage show based on the multi-award winning novel and Hollywood blockbuster. Adapted for the stage by the novel’s author Louis Sachar, the piece is set in a labour camp where a boy, Stanley, has to dig the same sized hole every day while a tyrannical warden looks on. The show features a lighting design by Prema Mehta and an associate lighting design by Guy Jones.
Guy comments: “I have dual roles on this production as associate lighting designer to Prema as well as production electrician, with my overall brief being to recreate the original lighting design in a touring format. Many of the tour moves are in and up in a day so one central aim has been to replicate the looks while ensuring the rig would be quick to install. Making a consistent standard achievable for every tour move was my main focus with regards to designing the rig itself. Another big consideration was that the entire show must tour in one trailer, so any toured LX had to occupy as little space as possible.”
As the play is set in the Texan desert, this played a huge part in Prema’s design. Guy explains: “In terms of feel, Prema’s design uses strong colours on the cyc, with the heat of the desert being introduced with warm backlight. There are also many specials used for puppets and other specific whilst side light is also used a lot. I started with the kit list that Prema had used for the original Nottingham Playhouse production and worked closely with WL’s senior account handler Jedd Hamilton to find fixtures that would be more suited to a touring production.”
Vari-Lite VL1000/1100 AS and TS units featured strongly in the original rig and this was something that Guy chose to keep in the touring rig. He explains: “Whilst they are not the most modern units, I am personally very fond of the contrast between the AS and TS sources and they work to great effect in many moments of this production. For the cyc lighting, simple yet strong colours were required but I was also keen to keep weight and rigging time to a minimum. As such, Jedd suggested the Showline SL400 RGBW Battens which worked perfectly as they were very easy to rig and provided the exact colour palette needed.
He continues: “For LED wash lights, we settled on a combination of ROBE 1200 and 800 LEDWash units. Once again, these are lightweight and provide all the colours required for the show, particularly strong blue hues working very well as well as being able to achieve the straw like colours and other lighter shades also required. Four ColourSource Units are used for gobo effects on the cyc and these work well, proving enough output and suitable colour rendering for the purpose. The sidelight is achieved with standard fixed angle Source Fours and the rest of the rig comes from venue stocks of Fresnels in the overheads and Profiles front of house. For spot effects and practicals, we have used birdies, Source Four Mini Profiles, LOOK Solutions Unique 2.1 Haze machines, along with a SHoW Baby 6 Wireless DMX system.”
Holes has now opened and will tour venues across the UK until 30th May 2020.
Guy concludes: “I am extremely pleased with how the show looks and the touring rig is compact and effective. I always enjoy working with Jedd who’s extremely helpful in finding what fits the brief and budget from WL’s hire stock.”
photos: Manuel Harlan
12th February 2020
Quantum synergy and touring theatre sound with DiGiCo and Autograph
UK – DiGiCo’s status as the ‘go-to’ choice of digital audio mixing platform for theatrical applications is well-known. The company’s near-total domination of not only London’s West End and Broadway, but also theatres all over the world, is a result of long collaboration with leading practitioners of the art and a willingness to develop (and keep developing) products dedicated to that purpose.
Perhaps less well known is their equally widespread use in touring theatre, where the same advantages to sound designers and operators are just as applicable.
“As one of the earliest adopters of DiGiCo consoles for use in theatre, we’ve been happy to contribute to their development and continue to be so,” comments Autograph’s Duncan Bell. “From as far back his first meeting with them in 2002, Andrew [Bruce, Autograph’s founder] has been particularly closely involved in the development of the ‘T’ theatre-specific application software. His contribution, and that of numerous other theatre sound designers, means that DiGiCo is the established Gold Standard in theatre globally, and in fact most of the sound designs we see are based on the capabilities and workflow of T-equipped DiGiCo consoles.”
“A factor that works particularly well for us as owners of an extensive DiGiCo inventory is the return on investment from their products,” Bell continues. “Largely this is because of its policy of continuously updating software and developing new engines for existing hardware platforms. The new Quantum engine is a perfect example; in 2004 the very first DiGiCo console we supplied into the West End was a D5T for Les Miserables, which was subsequently upgraded to an SD7T during the last audio refit in 2011.
“The show’s London home since 2004, the Queens Theatre, has just undergone a major refurbishment and reopened with the new production as the newly-named Sondheim Theatre. The refit included a new sound system, at the heart of which is a new Quantum7T, the same interface, similar hardware but in fact a vastly more powerful and flexible mixing system.”
At the time of writing (early 2020) Autograph is providing audio infrastructures for no less than 13 touring productions, all but one equipped with a DiGiCo console running the T software (the odd one being an SD8), while its events division is a regular user of both SD12s and SD11s.
Autograph is also presently deploying a further 27 DiGiCo consoles (principally SD7Ts and SD10Ts) in non-touring theatre productions in the UK and Europe.
Of Autograph’s current stock of 24 SD7T consoles, so far five have either been upgraded or supplied new with the Quantum engine. In addition to a backup console kept at Autograph’s London HQ, these Quantum7Ts are currently deployed on Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre, the aforementioned Les Miserables at the Sondheim and the RSC’s 2019-20 Season at The Barbican, with the remaining system presently being prepped for the forthcoming Phantom of the Opera Tour which opens in February.
“It is testament to DiGiCo that I don’t have to talk to them very often,” concludes Rob Tory, Autograph’s head of technical support. “We own 51 consoles across the range, which equates to around 400 shows a week and just over 21,000 shows a year. The time and effort that DiGiCo has put into making its systems reliable is amazing and, from my point of view, much appreciated.”
12th February 2020
Robe Helps Crystallise New Škoda Octavia Launch
Czech Republic – Lighting designer Michael Kuehbandner worked closely with creative director Achim John from Jack Morton Worldwide and the show direction team from Quinton’s Concept to deliver a spectacular visual extravaganza for the VIP launch of the new fourth-generation Škoda Octavia car at the Prague National Gallery’s Trade Fair Palace.
Assisting Michael were over 180 Robe moving lights, a mix of MegaPointes, Spiiders, LEDWash 1200s and DL4S Profiles.
The eye-catching event was production was designed and produced by marketing and communications agency Fischer Appelt in collaboration with leading global brand experience specialist, Jack Morton Worldwide.
Michael was working directly for ad-hoc engineering, Germany-based interdisciplinary events and technical specialist, who were responsible for coordinating the full technical production and implementation led by Maik Ragheb as technical director.
The Octavia is considered the 'heart and engine' of Škoda and is the top-volume benchmark model for the iconic Czech brand which is now part of the Volkswagen Motor Group. 2020 marks the 60th anniversary of the first Octavia being produced.
The ethos of the Octavia 4 is “crystalline, sculptured and timeless” an elegant design embodying the practical, comfortable, economical, and sustainable spirit of Škoda.
The six-minute reveal show reflected these core values and starred three new Octavias, one of which emerged from a crystal-shaped set piece that split apart.
Two of the cars were driven along a ‘crystalline light tunnel’ created by Michael using the MegaPointes and Spiiders to the sounds of “Opus Octavia” a specially composed piece by Jazz musician Jesse Milliner, performed by the Prague Philharmonie (Pražská komorní filharmonie) orchestra and the Time for Three string trio.
Two cars were parked up on turntables on stage, with the third positioned in front of the ‘open’ crystal, also on a rotating podium. They revolved gracefully in all their glory to the hugely impressed guests, plus tens of thousands of fans following the live video stream.
The ‘crystalline light tunnel’ was approximately 25 metres long and in the centre of an overall performance space 60 metres long by 25 metres wide which also included all the tiered guest seating and platforms for the amassed global press and media.
The walls at the back of the seating tribunes were clad with projection screen surface, and there was a large LED surface at the back of the presentation stage which flew up to reveal the orchestra. This LED screen also tracked sideways to make room for the cars when they were driven onstage.
A network of trussing trimmed at nine metres above the performance area was installed in the roof to provide the lighting positions, and the key areas that Michael needed to light were the crystal set piece, the light tunnel and the reveal stage.
The crystal was lit with around 12 of the MegaPointes and 12 of the Spiiders.
The MegaPointes’ two prisms and animation wheel helped Michael create the specific crystalline ‘sharded’ look that the client wanted for this stunning creation.
The other 52 MegaPointes and 82 Spiiders were mainly distributed on the trusses above the crystalline runway.
The MegaPointes were used to produce a variety of intense beam looks required to make the crystalline light tunnel a dynamic environment and a dramatic visual centrepiece of the reveal sequence. They were also used in conjunction with 16 specially adapted moving mirror devices installed around the space and some static mirror panels along the floor of the runway.
These acted as bounce surfaces to bend, reflect, and refract the light coming from the MegaPointes in multiple directions, creating dazzling sparkling and shimmering effects evoking the 'clean crystalline' look at the essence of the presentation aesthetic.
The Spiiders were also used as beams; the nice, fat high-quality light output was ideal for the job.
Michael researched thoroughly before finding the optimum mirror devices that would act exactly the way he wanted, and he conducted a test setup at Robe Germany in Munich to determine the best gobo / prism combinations and measure the output at various distances.
“The MegaPointe was a clear winner to its effects and the beautiful white light colour of the discharge lamp,” he commented.
The Spiider also proved its flexibility with Michael utilizing it for powerful beams as well as with the flower effect from the 60W central LED for softer more ephemeral looks.
They also served as classic wash lights to evenly illuminate the cars along the light tunnel and onstage. “The Spiider is a very versatile tool,” he stated.
The ten DL4S Profiles were rigged above the stage and used to illuminate the various speakers during the presentation section of the event, and the 24 LEDWash 1200s, a long-time favourite in the world of automotive lighting, were used to highlight the cars on the revolves.
All the Robes, plus another 400 odd fixtures: some other LED washes, over 200 LED spots, LED floods, LED flood strobes and some small tungsten Fresnels were used in the show space and the reception / feeder room, car display and after-show areas.
They were controlled by two grandMA2s. The show console was programmed by Markus Axmann and run to timecode, while the second console ran all the periphery area lighting and was operated by Marek Papke.
The event’s lighting equipment was co-ordinated by AVE-PRO, the set was built by Nuessli and the architectural event space designers were Formkontor.
Michael has been using Robe products in his work for about four years. He thinks they are manufacturing some very innovative products and is further convinced of the “quality and passion” synonymous with the brand since recently visiting Robe’s HQ in the east of the Czech Republic.
This show followed Michael’s previous work for Škoda in 2017. Based in Munich, he works extensively across multiple sectors including live music, television, theatre, and others. A specialist area of his is lighting for the automotive sector, where he’s designed shows for Audi’s CLT and launch events; and been a creative lighting designer, associate lighting designer, lighting director and operator worldwide for car shows, press conferences, launch events, group nights, etc., mostly for the VW Group, BMW and Mercedes.
photos: ŠKODA AUTO a.s.
11th February 2020
Adlib Makes Major Investment in JBL’s New Generation VTX A-Series
UK - Adlib has announced a major investment in Harman JBL Professional VTX A-Series new generation touring line array, nearly two decades after becoming an early adopter of the then pioneering JBL VerTec system.
The addition of a scaleable, arena-sized system was confirmed by Adlib director and client manager, Dave Jones, and Joe East, business development manager of Sound Technology Ltd, the UK and Ireland Harman Professional Solutions distributor.
The system itself comprises 48 VTX A12 dual-12” line-array elements, 16 VTX A8 dual-8” compact line-array elements, 24 VTX S28 dual-18" subwoofers and eight VTX B18 single-18" subwoofers.
Powering these will be Harman Crown VRack complete touring amp rack solution: ten racks loaded with three Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD amplifiers, and four racks housing three Crown I-Tech12000HD amplifiers.
Jones said the re-investment in JBL had been: “Merely a matter of time; we have always wanted to offer our clients a choice of systems and it is great to have JBL back as an option.” But it had been the substantial upgrade in technology, packaging and vastly improved software and rigging, that became the deal maker.
Tracing the journey, he said, “We have a long history of working with Harman products such as Soundcraft, BSS and Martin Lighting, and we have been having this particular conversation for years.”
Having been impressed with the VTX V-Series at a demo in Belgium when it was launched in 2012, Sound Technology, along with Harman EMEA application team manager, Ed Jackson, had always kept in touch with Adlib as the technology had developed. Subsequently, a demo of the new VTX A-Series A8 and A12 system was conducted at Adlib’s premises in Liverpool last year.
“We had used the VTX V-Series system a number of times over the years, so were familiar with the platform,” Jones confirmed. “But the platform has now moved forward considerably in terms of the mechanical aspect, while the entire rigging system is far advanced from where it was previously, and the software has come on in leaps and bounds. On top of that it is a compact and light weight system and there is very little you need to do with it out of the box.”
However, there were other compelling reasons for the purchase, he said. “We were starting to hear ever more positive things about the A-Series. Asking around at NAMM this year, the number of people talking about it really helped to cement the deal,” he confirmed.
“We believe the A-Series will attract a different client base and will entice more international acts. In fact we are already in discussion with a number of tours and looking forward to deploying the system on festival stages over the summer.”
Finally, Dave Jones emphasised that the purchasing decision had been influenced by the positive feedback from last year’s demo and the support of their pool of sound engineers. “We have scheduled training dates in the next month to ensure that our engineers are confident to support the product in the field.”
At the same time he paid credit to Sound Technology’s Joe East for his influence in the sale.
Commenting on the acquisition, East said, “Adlib’s decision to buy into the JBL VTX A-Series platform represents a significant milestone for the UK rental market and is further demonstration of the system’s rapidly increasing popularity across the globe. We’re over the moon to welcome our good friends at Adlib back into the JBL family.”
And the final word came from Ed Jackson: “Adlib have always prided themselves on their very high standards, and their decision to invest in JBL VTX A-Series as a tool to carry on that excellent work is an indication of the quality of the system,” he remarked. “We’re very proud to be associated with such a skilled team and look forward to working with them.”
In picture: Adlib’s Phil Stoker, Carl Billington, Leah Coyle, Dave Jones and Richy Nicholson with their new JBL VTX A-Series system.
11th February 2020
Young Life Conference Shines with Bandit Lites and Lumina Design
USA –Young Life, a non-profit organisation aimed at encouraging adolescents to seek and grow a relationship with Jesus Christ, recently held its YL2020 conference with a lighting package supplied by Bandit Lites. The event, held every four years, took place at Disney’s Coronado Resort 5-10 January, and more than 5500 people gathered to worship, learn, and celebrate the group’s 80-year old mission.
“Ethan Pagliaro initiated the lighting equipment and design in August 2019, reaching out about working with Access Audio and Lumina Design for the Young Life 2020 conference,” said Bandit Lites client representative Shawn Lear. “Bandit Lites has partnered with both firms throughout the years on CHIC and other events. With months leading up to the event, we were able to work with the designers to come up with solutions that achieved the design and big looks needed for the venue space.”
Lumina Design worked with production manager Ethan Pagliaro to bring a 360-degree stage and maximum trim height of 25 feet to its maximum potential.
“The producers wanted the room to come alive for every guest regardless of their seating; for everyone to feel fully involved in the entire experience,” explained Matt Brewer of Lumina Design. “To help fulfill that vision, we placed a large amount of emphasis on lighting around the perimeter of the room and along truss fingers that jutted out into the space from stage.”
Key lighting was a specific concern of the conference’s producers, with discussions beginning at the initial design meetings. Lumina Design remained dedicated in their efforts to deliver an exceptional package to the Young Life team. By choosing Bandit Lites, the world’s elite leader in lighting to execute that package, the result was a remarkable system that stood out to the producers and those in attendance.
“Thankfully on the first night of the event, one of the same producers came up to Daniel Smallbone, the LD, and thanked him for taking it so seriously,” said Brewer. “We had delivered what they were hoping for! From there, the instruction was to build a fun, lively experience for every unique performance.”
Bandit Lites supplied more than 230 fixtures for the conference, including Martin MAC Viper Profiles, Chauvet Rogue R2X, Ayrton Ghibli, GLP X4 fixtures and two grandMA 2 Full consoles for control.
“Due to the low trim and only 8.5’ between the stage floor and the video wall above, it was imperative that we had a profile fixture equipped with framing shutters,” Brewer said, noting that the low trim affected key lighting and audience lighting. “Shawn Lear, our Bandit representative, was able to make available the Ayrton Ghibli, which worked superbly. We were very pleased with what the Ghibli’s provided, whether for keynote speakers, performers, or even the Lion King performance troupe who popped over from Disney.”
“Daniel and Matt are exceptional in their understanding of the lighting palette,” said Lear. “With an array of fixture automation features and intensity, Lumina Design achieved the client’s expectation in creating a warm, interactive space for the audience.”
Lear also suggested Bandit’s newly acquired Chauvet R2X washes. Over one hundred were placed round the room, and their output and canvas of color delivered exceptional looks.
“Ethan Pagliaro’s big picture management and communication once again made our part of Young Life 2020 a breeze,” said Lear. “We followed his lead and organization of how to prepare our equipment for specific room deployment and storage. Ethan’s schedules are so detailed for each department and person; the minutiae in anyone’s one day goes without question. Bandit is proud to be included with the integrity and character that Access Audio and Lumina Design bring to these events.”
“Shawn Lear is always a pleasure to work with,” Brewer concluded. “Bandit’s project manager Gene Brian is a master at taking the design and ensuring everything functions as needed. The on-hand crew, led by Chris Noll, came in and executed the load-in in less than five hours, which made the producers and PM very happy.”
11th February 2020
Scotland’s first Ayrton Perseo fixtures featured in itison’s major new event series
UK – Ayrton’s new IP65-rated Perseo LED profile fixtures saw their first Scottish engagements when they were specified by lighting designer, Grant Anderson, for two major outdoor winter events in Glasgow, created and produced by online marketing and events company, itison.
The first in a series of major events from itison, the spectacular GlasGLOW, returned at Halloween to Glasgow Botanic Gardens for the second year running, drawing over 100,000 visitors over its two-and-a-half week run (25 October – 10 November 2019). This exciting sound and light extravaganza took visitors through the Gardens on a 60-minute, 2km interactive trail of light, through nine differently themed worlds that delighted with fresh surprises at every turn.
Twelve Ayrton Perseo fixtures were employed to dramatic effect by Anderson in three of these worlds: Arcade, The Dragon’s Lair and Area G12, with a further eight units of Ayrton’s unique MagicPanel-FX adorning The Party Palace within the Botanic Gardens’ giant glasshouse.
In the Arcade zone, Anderson used the Perseo gobo palette to texture the grass and create disco effects in the ‘Beat the Boss’ arena: a fun, interactive dance area where children tried to out-dance ‘The Boss’.
The Dragon’s Lair was an eerie wooded area in which three giant ‘dragon’s eggs’ were suspended from the branches of the trees. More Perseo units were deployed at ground-level to project fast-rotating gobos into the branches for an atmospheric textural effect through the trees.
For Area G12 – masquerading as a UFO crash-landing site within the Botanic Gardens, Anderson used Perseo’s linear gobos in a low sweeping pan through tall grass to add alien atmosphere and a sense of emergency. “We had a lot of positive feedback from the audience, especially from this area,” says Anderson. “They loved the idea of the shadow play created as people walked through lines formed by the gobos which was very effective across the grass.”
Anderson specified the Perseo units with itison’s major new event series in mind after trialling them in a shoot-out organised with Ayrton’s exclusive UK distributor, Ambersphere, during the Edinburgh Festival in August. “I needed something that could withstand three months of Scottish winter weather,” says Anderson, “but when I saw what Perseo was capable of, it was a stand-out winner. With other exterior IP-rated fixtures I have used, there is always a compromise. Usually they are not as bright, or the colour mixing is not as nice, or they are slower, but Perseo is different from anything else with no compromise in performance despite its weather resistance. It is effectively a Ghibli but waterproof! This meant I was able to specify them purely from the design point of view, with the IP-rating being almost a bonus.”
The Perseo units were provided by the project’s lighting supplier, Hawthorn, sourced from Edinburgh’s Blue Parrot, and employed again for the second event at Christmas and New Year: itison presents Elfingrove at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Running for a month from 5 December 2019 to 5 January 2020, itison presents Elfingrove was inspired by the films A Night at the Museum and Elf and offered a festive, night-time tour of Scotland’s best-loved museum in the form of an interactive audio and light journey through the galleries as never seen before.
Inside, crowds filtered past animated dinosaurs, elves, a suspended spitfire shot through with projection mapping and lighting effects, to the Main Hall decked out as Santa’s mission control.
Outside, the façade of the beautiful Spanish baroque-style building was illuminated brilliantly and attracted over 185,000 people in total. Twelve Perseo fixtures were rigged on trusses on the lawns outside the front and rear of the building. From here custom gobos with retro snowflakes and snow were projected on both sides of the museum to create dynamic ten-minute sequences which entertained all evening, while a single Perseo was dedicated to a custom Elfingrove gobo mapped over the existing Kelvingrove sign. The lighting even got special mention in Scotland’s Sunday Post newspaper which stated: “From the outside, the museum does look absolutely stunning with an incredible light show illuminating the building in Christmassy colours.” (Sunday Post, 7 December 2019).
“We are really happy with the solid performance the Perseo units have given,” says Anderson. “The team and I have loved working with them. It’s great to have, essentially, an indoor fixture outside, with no need for a dome or any compromise on features or performance.
“Ayrton has packed everything into Perseo, made it as functional and as good as possible, small enough for indoors and weatherproof enough for outdoors. It is an industry standard moving light spot, that just happens to be IP65-rated with no compromises.”
11th February 2020
Clifford Spulock Lights Two Worlds in Man of la Mancha with Chauvet Professional
USA – Imagination sets us free. The wisdom of this adage is brought vividly to life in the Mitch Lee and Joe Darion classic Man of la Mancha. Inspired by Don Quixote, the multi-Tony Award winning musical stands as a monument to the soaring power of the human spirit to shine in even the darkest of times, as its characters, prisoners of the Spanish Inquisition, transcend their dire circumstances through the uplifting tales of Miguel de Cervantes’ fabled knight.
In a recent production of the musical by the MNM Theatre Company at the Raymond F. Kravis Center, the 'real' world occupied by the prisoners in their bleak Spanish dungeon, and their 'imaginary' one, alive with Don Quixote’s flowering dreams, were both brought vividly to life by a deeply moving Clifford Spulock lighting design that featured Chauvet Professional fixtures.
Positioning two Rogue R1X Spots on the house box booms and four Rogue RH1 Hybrids on upstage truss, Spulock built a variety of looks for the show. “I wanted the lighting to evoke myriad emotions from the audience,” said Spulock. “The setting of the play is already dark, so I wanted a clear delineation between the prison and Cervantes’ ‘story within the story’ to draw the audience into this imaginary world, which seems bright and happy, but slowly becomes more sombre and complex as the emotional state of the characters is revealed.”
The iris edge function of the Rogue R1X fixtures created precise specials for the actors and doubled as a powerful spotlight substitute to add extra punch to the dance and musical numbers, as well as the dramatic soliloquies. Drawing on these features of the Rogue units, Spulock created stunning tonal shifts of amber to evoke a candle-like atmosphere throughout the prison scenes.
Spulock also relied on the Rogue R1X Washes and the RH1 Hybrids to establish visual cues, with colour, light, isolation and shadows, which helped to highlight the drama unfolding onstage and draw the audience into the story on a more visceral level. At key points in the play, he used break-up gobos to accent the stage with flickering shadows, adding to the overall sense of despair.
“I really wanted to use colour and effects to establish the two different worlds within the show,” said Spulock. “My ambers, darkness and gobo breakups made the audience feel as if they were suffering with the prisoners in the dungeon; then bright, vivid colours transported them into the imaginary world of the Cervantes story.”
The sheer scope of the production was a major factor when determining the fixtures for the job. Spulock not only had to have two fully different lighting plots for both worlds, he also had to deal with a large set that scaled the entire height of the proscenium and spanned the full width of the stage.
Spulock used the built-in gobo wheels of the RH1 Hybrids and overlapped the fixtures’ six and eight facet prisms to achieve full stage gobo breakup washes that highlighted the massive set. He also established bright and even back light on the actors during the more powerful moments of the play by using the hybrids’ wash/frost function.
“Scenic designer Dustin Hamilton had a great vision for the overall design,” said Spulock. “Everything he added worked with the lighting, from a large metal door with a hallway to grates in front and on the back wall that looked like different cells of the prison, to the sconces on the wall, and the large chandelier hanging above the set. I was able to add some fun elements to those different areas to bring the dimension of the show to a whole other level. Collaborating with him was definitely a highlight for me. Together, we brought two different realities to life.”
11th February 2020
Proteus protection on wet Muse stadium shows
Europe – Because one never knows what Mother Nature has in store, playing outdoor stadium dates, no matter what time of year, is always a bit nerve-racking for concert touring technical and design personnel. On English rock band Muse’s acclaimed 2019 “Simulation Theory” world tour however, some of that angst was eased by Elation Proteus Hybrid IP65 moving heads that were impervious to the wet European summer.
Designing lighting for the tour, which started early in 2019 and wrapped in October, was Sooner Routhier, her first lighting design for the band and her first experience using Proteus fixtures. She commented: “We needed a strong IP65 rated fixture for the rainy, European, outdoor stadiums. They had to be a punchy hybrid beam to reach the high levels in the stadiums. We also needed a fixture that could handle all the intricacies of Muse’s music. This was my first experience with Proteus and they were the perfect fixture for our needs.”
Muse travelled the world throughout 2019 in support of their late 2018 “Simulation Theory” release. Sci-fi thematic with 1980s' and video game inspiration, the tour’s artistic direction was by Jesse Lee Stout with lighting playing a major role in the show. Routhier’s stimulating design carried out into the audience via a runway that connected to a B stage that allowed the band to engage with their audience. For the outdoor stadium shows, as well as a pair of London O2 arena video shoots, the immersive visual look was amplified with lines of Proteus Hybrid on both sides of the runway and encircling the B stage.
“Sure, we used them because of their 'badass' IP rating but they were also good at accenting the intricacies of Muse’s music. I think my favourite moment was during the song Thought Contagion, where they were focused on the runway and the B stage to light the zombie dancers in eerie green light. They were also used to create webs of laser-like light above the audience for Act IV - Ultraviolet. Another favourite look is when they formed a pyramid of beams above the B stage,” Routhier said. Worldwide lighting supply for the tour was by US rental company Upstaging.
Routhier and Aaron Luke programmed the show with Luke out on the road handling lighting direction and operation. “The Proteus Hybrids held up outstandingly well,” Luke added. “We had a very wet summer in open stadiums all around Europe, and it was nice not having to worry about those fixtures.” With a reputation for energetic live performances and known as one of the world's major stadium acts, “Simulation Theory” did not disappoint.
photos: Louise Stickland
11th February 2020
Robe T1s for NTS Panopticon Production
UK – The National Theatre of Scotland’s acclaimed production of The Panopticon at The Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, directed by Debbie Hannan and lit by Simon Wilkinson, was the first stage production of Jenni Fagan’s visceral and brutal narrative of life and friendship.
It follows the journey of 15-year-old Anais Hendricks, failed by most adults she has ever met, who ends up in the Panopticon, a young offenders institution. Inside its distinctive circular architecture amidst a regime of control and dehumanisation, residents develop intense bonds.
Simon was asked to work on the show by Debbie Hannan, and decided to try out Robe’s T1 Profile moving light, a flexible and quality multi-functional LED luminaire which has been developed for theatre applications.
One of the challenges of lighting the piece was the imposing geometric set – a series of column-like flats that rotated to offer different structural formats – created by scenic designer Max Johns. These were also a projection surface for video material produced by Lewis den Hertog, providing critical locational information and dramatic digital backdrops.
Simon’s starting point was ensuring that lighting and video worked as fluid dramatic partners in the piece.
The six Robe T1 Profiles were all rigged on FOH booms.
Simon needed a quality fixture with accurate shuttering to keep the light off the projections and they had very limited fit-up time, so a conventional luminaire solution was not feasible. He needed good CRI rendering and skin tones from these luminaires and plenty of punch when needed.
He looked at what was available. He’d seen a T1 Profile demo and he’d used Robe’s DL4S and DL7S Profile fixtures before, so he had some idea of what to expect, but “in some ways this was also an experiment to see exactly what the T1 could achieve.”
The lights were used for key lighting and for shuttered sources picking out the action all over the stage. That was his basic requirement, but once the tech period commenced, he started using several additional T1 features that he’d not necessarily anticipated.
The pace of the show flipped between numerous locations in short, tense scenes with frantic quick changes, an energy that demanded alertness and concentration. The stark reality of the care institution and system was juxtaposed with the fantasy sequences going on in Anais’ head as she imagined herself in another world.
The whole creative team worked hard to develop a perceptive visual dichotomy through which audiences could live and engage in this contrast.
“Overall, I was really impressed with the T1s,” says Simon, “I particularly loved the punchy tungsten style facilitated by the additive colour mixing, and the way the light brought a beautiful glow to the faces.” This was an effect he used consistently throughout on actress Anna Russell Martin who played Anais, the main protagonist.
He also commented that there was easily enough intensity on the T1 to cut through some powerful upper rear lighting fixtures, and at times he even had to turn the output down.
The T1s were supplied to the production by Cambridge-based rental company CEG. Lighting for The Panopticon was programmed by Ben Terry and run on one of the National Theatre of Scotland’s EOS consoles.
The production ran for two weeks at The Traverse where it was extremely well received by public and critics.
On the strength of this first experience with T1s, Simon then specified them for another production, The Season, a musical staged at Northampton Derngate Theatre where they were used for both front and rear lighting.
photos: Mihaela Bodlovic
10th February 2020
Versatile Ayrton Diablo LED profiles keep busy at RTHAV
USA – Cleveland-based RTHAV, a brand company of Rock The House Entertainment Group, Inc., finds its new Ayrton Diablo LED profile luminaires are flying off the shelves. “We got the second shipment of Diablos in the US, and since they arrived last summer they’ve only been in the shop a matter of days,” says Ryan Konikoff, Partner and COO in RTH. “The Diablos are proving to be a multi-purpose fixture for us.”
The two-dozen Diablo RTHAV purchased mark the first investment in Ayrton fixtures for the entertainment and event production company which does around 1,500 events annually, including corporate meetings and conferences, concerts and social engagements.
“We were in the market for 20,000-lumen profiles and saw Diablo with ACT Lighting at the USITT trade show,” Konikoff recalls. “We had some hands-on time with the fixture and thought it was a contender. Later, we did a shoot out and our team voted Diablo the best fixture.”
The RTHAV team liked Diablo’s shuttering capabilities, strong colour quality, speed, and low power consumption. They gave kudos to the four additional gobos and deep frost included with the fixtures, which give more creative options to lighting designers.
What stood out for Konikoff was the fixture’s compact size and light weight. “Our corporate work is mostly in ballrooms where the rigging is restricted and weight is a big issue,” he explains. “We usually need to spend the weight on an LED video wall, not heavy lighting fixtures.”
The first project for the Diablos was a two-month, nationwide dealer tour for Metro by T-Mobile. “It was staged in ballrooms, and the general session room had eight environments each with a different look and feel,” says Konikoff. “The Diablos did a great job lighting the speakers and the presentations recorded for video. They also handled theatrical lighting for entertainment components, like a 20-person drum corps, and for the evening recognition dinners where we needed break ups and table highlights. We had no time to rehang fixtures and couldn’t bring a lot of extra fixtures we weren’t using all the time. The Diablos were able to light the meetings, entertainment and fun dinners and make the ballrooms feel like different spaces. It’s a very versatile fixture for our inventory.”
RTH has also utilised its Diablos for the National Affordable Dental Care Conference in Las Vegas where Konikoff says they proved “nimble enough to adjust to a lot of changes to the lighting plot right up until the show.” The Diablos helped illuminate the large musical Christmas service for Grace Church in Bath, Ohio where the technical director told Konikoff the fixtures “were the best we’ve ever bought. Our rental partners are very excited about them!”
The Diablos gave a unique look to the old warehouse location of a high-profile wedding where their gobos and shuttering turned an unsealed factory floor into “a textured dance floor of light,” according to Konikoff. They played a key role in lighting the fundraising party for Firelands Regional Medical Center’s rehabilitation facility at the Cedar Point Sports Center in Sandusky. On New Year’s Eve the Diablos filled three gigs, including a community party at the Ernst & Young building in Cleveland. “The lights moved quickly among vignettes featuring 15 circus performers and then illuminated the dancing for guests,” says Konikoff.
“All of the projects for the Diablos have had great outcomes,” he reports. “ACT Lighting really held our hand as we decided to get into the Ayrton product line. They’ve educated us about the different fixtures and where we’d be most at home. ACT has also been able to connect us to a rental network where we can get additional Ayrton fixtures for certain projects. ACT is a transparent and very important partner for us.”
10th February 2020
Optical Audio Productions tours DiGiCo SD12 with The Choir of Man
Worldwide – Fresh from the stages of their world tour, including the pre-eminent Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Choir of Man is a feel-good Musical currently on extended tour around Australia. A stage show from the creative minds of Nic Doodson and Andrew Kay, the show combines nine performers and occasional live instruments, along with a technical back-end up to the task of delivering quality audio worthy of international theatre.
Working behind the scenes to help bring The Choir of Man to life is Gideon Cozens, the show’s front of house engineer on behalf of Optical Audio Productions. Gideon says that to help him achieve the workflow and sonic quality required for each performance, he relies on DiGiCo’s SD12 digital mixing console.
DiGiCo’s SD12 console is a multi-application powerhouse designed to provide optimum performance in the engineering and capture of live audio. With its exceptional Super FPGA technology and powerful onboard Core 2 software, the SD12 is capable of unrivalled I/O and control. The console’s wealth of connectivity can be further enhanced with a variety of smart DMI interface options, including MADI-B, MADI-C, Aviom, and Dante.
For this tour, Gideon decided to take an SD12 fitted with a Dante card, and a DiGiCo D2-Rack. Together with a couple of Mac minis, this setup provides a small but powerful system for engineering live audio and delivering playback in a tour-ready package.
From the stage, the SD12 receives inputs from a set of radio mics for the performers, as well as a few FX mics for capturing live tap dancing. Where playback is concerned, the Dante card allows Gideon to stream audio in from both a main and backup Mac mini running sound cue software. The Dante capabilities of the SD12 also mean Gideon does not need any local inputs or external sound cards as part of the setup, which reduces space and clutter significantly. “I love the SD12 as it is compact yet robust, and everything I need on it I can access quickly and easily,” he says.
With the aid of Optical Audio Productions and the power of DiGiCo, The Choir of Man has become a hit of the international music and theatre scene, appearing at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and running a sell-out season at the Sydney Opera House.