Production News Headlines
Illumination specialist LED Creative supports Projection Artworks on a festive installation project at Luton Airport
Christie Lites North America Invests in Kinesys
USA – Christie Lites, one of the largest, busiest and most well-respected lighting production and rental operations in North America, has made a major commitment to Kinesys automation, with the purchase of Elevation Liftket 500kg chain hoists as their flagship automation products going forward (both 200V and 400V systems) for North America and Europe.
The initial investment has also included Kinesys LibraCELL load monitoring and Mentor 4 E-Stop aggregators to provide a full Kinesys safety architecture as well as the powerful and flexible Kinesys Vector control.
This will be available to clients worldwide throughout all of Christie’s 13 shops.
The move coincides with the appointment of Mark ‘The Drifter’ Desloges to head up Christie’s new automated motion control and rigging division, established to co-ordinate this specialist area of technical production.
CEO, Huntly Christie commented: “Drifter; I can’t think of a better person to head up this whole complicated mess! We searched long and far to find the right candidate and ended up recruiting him in a Halifax bar. Canada’s east coast produces hard-working, weather-worn, tough guys and Mark is no exception. What some Canadians lack in brains they more than make up for in work ethic. We are thrilled to have him on our team!”
Christie Lites is known for setting industry trends; however, this commitment was very much client and design led, combined with an eye for the future.
Christie has been following the Kinesys brand for some time, and the North American kit follows an initial purchase by Christie UK earlier in the year. This newest stock is already designated to be used on several high-profile world tours which will be starting in 2019.
Drifter’s serendipitous appointment brings a vast amount of Kinesys experience into the equation. His successful and substantial career as a production rigger and touring technician includes running his own company offering Kinesys products across North America.
He’s worked hands-on as both an automation operator and a system owner, using anything from a single hoist for tiny corporate events, to massive systems of 100+ intelligent hoists on major tours with critical lifts and flying artists.
Immediately prior to this exciting new appointment, he was working for some time as a Christie project manager for Kinesys related shows.
Drifter has long been a fan of Kinesys. Having been the person in charge of assembling the systems and pressing the ‘go’ button in front of tens of thousands of people, he has “great confidence in what can be accomplished using this innovative brand. I know when I send out Kinesys kit, that it will survive the rigours of the road, be highly reliable and dependable and, above all, a safe and rock-solid option”.
In his opinion: “Kinesys is a world class manufacturer providing levels of service and excellence unmatched in our industry.”
Another major consideration for Huntly Christie and the team when choosing Kinesys was that it fits the Christie Lites desire for modularity.
The components are relatively straightforward and break down into easy-to-process sections explained Drifter. “An automated chain hoist is a very tangible item for a production to understand, and this helps us to provide efficient and cost-effective automation solutions.”
Consistency is one of Christie’s core values - offering the same outstanding service and quality control company and territory-wide, wherever the gear is supplied.
Drifter observes that the trend for automation and its integration into show and event designs as a visual concept – along with lighting, video, scenic and SFX – is becoming ever more popular as the kit becomes more affordable and accessible. “Gone are the days when it’s a custom piece of rigging. What we can now offer is a safe, affordable off-the-shelf motion element, in a practical, accessible and usable package,” he confirms.
Extensive specialist Kinesys training will be implemented for all Christie crew working on the systems.
Drifter will be based in Toronto, Canada, and will spend his time between Christie’s facility there and, primarily, their Orlando hub, the home of Christie Lites Enterprises and where much of the Kinesys kit will be stationed when not on the road.
David Bond of Kinesys USA commented: “Huntly Christie is very discerning when it comes to choosing the brands and product types his company carries. We are very proud to be his chosen automation manufacturer and envisage a prosperous relationship with his company. Drifter’s energy and experience, along with the Christie Lites sales team, will help drive our products to the current Christie Lites market and beyond, further increasing our presence in both the North American and European regions.”
In picture: Howard Morrison, Mark 'Drifter' Delogues, Timorthy Anthonippillai, Kennox Hylton and Javon Myers; Loyd Bryan Tampengco (front).
22nd January 2019
Robe Shakes Shoulders with Arsenal
Belgium – Lighting designer Wouter Verbeke chose Robe fixtures to be at the core of his cool and interesting lighting design for a high impact gig by Belgian band Arsenal at Antwerp’s famous Lotto Arena.
With their roots in electric dance, the band now embrace a lively mix of genres from African and Latin American rhythms to pop, hip hop, and indie rock. They are midway through a campaign for their sixth studio album, The Rush of Shaking Shoulders which was launched earlier in the year with a gig in Antwerp’s Old Post Office venue.
Wouter had used Robe on that occasion too, and for many other shows in between, so it was a natural choice for this show, with lighting equipment supplied by rental specialist Splendit.
The Robe count included 28 MegaPointes, 24 Spikies, 28 Spiiders, 22 LEDBeam 150s and eight Pointes.
The starting point for the lighting was that band leader Hendrik Willemyns wanted a sun which rose at the start of the show, playing a strong visual role throughout their performance and then descending towards the end. The latest single is set in Africa, and so they wanted to accentuate the idea of the big skies, dramatic sunrises and awesome sunsets that characterise different countries across continent.
The other element was that Hendrik loves trees, plants and greenery, so as with the album launch, the stage set was provided by the installation of a forest of lush foliage and exotic plants.
The four-metre diameter ‘sun’ was created using LED screen panels attached to a circular truss and artist Akiko Nakayama created all the content through “Alive Painting”, a technique not dissimilar to the liquid oil artists of the 1960s that she’s developed, which depicts the resonance between shapes and textures using different liquids and paints each with unique characteristics.
Wouter and the band have worked with Akiko before on key gigs, and prior to this show they discussed the colour themes and lighting for different songs so she could co-ordinate. Her workspace was set up at FOH and the results were fed via an overhead camera system to the screen. This beautifully organic approach to video was something refreshing and different.
Wouter wanted some small, lightweight punchy beamy lights around the sun, and 24 Spikies provided a perfect solution. The intensity of their beams was really impressive in the cavernous roof of the Lotto Arena.
In addition to this, Wouter wanted lights all around the stage from every angle. The Splendit crew installed a curved truss immediately above the tree line that formed an arch circumnavigating the band, which was rigged with 20 MegaPointes.
These were used prominently throughout the show for effects, beams, spots and all the other numerous looks that they “are brilliant at creating”, as Wouter said, adding that MegaPointes are his favourite fixture right now.
He first used them a year ago, shortly after the product was launched and has specified them on almost every project since.
In addition to these MegaPointes on the arch, all the other major effects lighting was positioned on the floor and side-stage in front of the trees.
The frontlight was provided by 16 Spiiders on the front truss and eight Pointes on the front truss which were used for gobo work onto the trees and other funky bits, plus another eight Spiiders on the floor.
Wouter reckons the Spiider is a brilliant wash light and he used the flower effect on the floor-based units which worked a treat, while he also capitalised on the fatness and quality of the beams on the Spiiders rigged overhead.
He thinks MegaPointes and Spiiders are a perfect compliment to one another and make great base elements for any lighting rig.
The 22 LEDBeam 150s were behind the trees, where they worked hard to blast through the dense foliage producing decorative and atmospheric effects, especially when the sun was up. Wouter loves the fact that they are small, easy to use and have a great zoom.
Wouter programmed and ran the show on a ChamSys console. He did some pre-vis, but basically, they had only one programming day beforehand at Splendid with only part of the set – and no trees – in place. The first time he saw the stage with all the trees in situ was on the day of the show (the foliage arrived in five climate-controlled trucks) and only then could he assess what did and didn’t work!
The band didn’t decide on the set list until the evening of the gig, so that meant he needed to be prepared for some improvisation. It was an “exciting but stressful” way to work he stated.
Luckily experience and creativity enabled him to produce a fabulous show with lots of stylistic diversity to match the breadth and dynamics of the music, and without damaging the plants by over-lighting!
Other lighting on the rig included some other profile moving fixtures, LED blinders, LED PARs focused on the trees, and a quantity of floods.
Splendit supplied all the lighting equipment, video and crew as well as – via Gravity Design – the automation which lifted the sun up and down, operated by Rik Uyttersprot.
The sold-out gig was a huge success.
photos: Louise Stickland
22nd January 2019
MLA Tames Complexity of 40th Anniversary War of the Worlds Tour
UK - Celebrating its 40th anniversary tour at the end of last year, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds showed it has lost none of its momentum or ability to thrill.
The production is constructed around its iconic, three-tonne 35ft tall Martian Fighting Machine, which fires real flames, against the backdrop of a captivating 100ft wide animation wall. And there are many other special effects besides.
From a musical perspective, the 36-piece ULLAdubULLA strings performed alongside the nine-piece Black Smoke Band (which included many musicians from the original tour in 2006). Now on its seventh tour of duty, the production has been played out on its last three outings through Martin Audio’s award-winning MLA PA and sounded as fresh as ever.
As for the cast, Liam Neeson retained his role (in 3D holography) as The Journalist, and was joined for this tour by Jason Donovan, reprising the role of Parson Nathaniel, alongside Carrie Hope Fletcher as Beth, his wife. Adam Garcia debuted as The Artilleryman, Newton Faulkner performed The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist, Inglorious front man Nathan James played The Voice of Humanity, with Anna-Marie Wayne back as Carrie, The Journalist’s Fiancée.
In terms of production, the inordinate amount of inventory provided by sound, lighting, video, pyro and stage / motion control suppliers will have presented a logistical nightmare for production manager Steve Nolan and his team. Fortunately, sound rental company RG Jones have wide experience of this production, and FOH engineer Simon Honywill was on his fifth tour of duty, having first piloted the mix back in 2009.
Having again selected MLA as his PA of choice, Simon Honywill was eager to extol its unique virtues. “I wouldn't do this show with any other PA,” he stated unequivocally. “In fact I couldn’t do the show. One of the crucial elements is the narration and if the intelligibility is compromised people complain, as it’s an iconic part of the production. On top of that MLA just sounds awesome.”
Some arenas seem determined to challenge this, often arced with glazed VIP boxes at the horseshoe end. Simon Honywill acknowledges that this will generate unwanted reflections. “With music you can often get away with it but it would destroy the intelligibility of the narration [with a conventional PA]. Fortunately, we can mitigate it by using the ‘Hard Avoid’ setting [in the Martin Audio Display software]. In Nottingham Arena, for instance, it made a massive difference, and enabled us to focus the acoustic energy very effectively and reduce unwanted reflections for a large portion of the audience. It’s an absolutely invaluable technology.” Liverpool Echo was another venue where system engineer Steve Carr, assisted by Matt Sussex, needed to ‘Hard Avoid’ the concrete wall which runs around the arena between the lower and upper seating tiers.
The design of the Martin Audio system had been slightly modified from the 2014 production, minor changes to the front fills, a bit more ordnance in the PA deptartment and the fact that the hangs were pushed further upstage to preserve sightlines meant that bespoke measurements had to be undertaken to ensure accuracy of the optimisation.
At the 20,000-plus capacity venues production fielded 20 MLA elements per side, with 16 MLA Compact providing outfills. To compensate for the slightly odd position of the main hangs, eight MLA Mini elements on each stage wing were focused at the front to keep the energy level off the stage, driven by Martin Audio multi-channel iKON amplifiers, which provided an elegant solution. Martin Audio DD12s covered the extremities of stage left and right front rows to maintain coverage consistency, while
under the stage and at the base of the thrust were 16 MLX subs in a spaced arc array.
Towards the rear of the auditorium, there were two surround positions, each comprising eight W8LM Mini line arrays each side.
Simon Honywill was piloting his mix on a DiGiCo SD7 with Fader Expansion. With three fully loaded 56-input racks his input count is 168 channels. As well as the band and 36 piece string section, themselves occupying the majority of two SD racks, the high input count was made up from surround FX, playback and the six guest artists, each wearing a main and spare RF pack. The playback machines also generated time-code, which played a crucial part in enabling both Simon Honywill and monitor engineer Becky Pell to mix the complex soundscape, while Nathan Kennedy supervised RF and radio mics.
But the quality of the narration – every word of Liam Neeson’s commentary highly intelligible – meant it was never fighting through the context of a loud rock theatre show. That every word was crystal clear was due in no small part to MLA, and Steve Carr’s programming expertise.
Because the PA was unusually set 2.5 metres upstage of the downstage edge, precision with optimisation was vital. “If I were to apply an existing measurement incorrectly, I could end up covering the front edge of the stage with PA. So I have arrived at each venue well ahead of the crew, and there have been a lot of benefits to that.
“The vital thing is that the whole stage is pre-rigged on the arena floor and once the lighting rig goes up and the whole monitor riser wheels into position. I’ll generate my optimisation file for EQ and angles, load it into VU-NET [Martin Audio’s control software], and tune and time align each array.”
But even then he needs to remain alert. “There have been times when I’ve done optimisations in the morning and then production have said ‘we need to trim the PA 50cm higher’ and I’ve needed to re-optimise it.” The speed that this can be accomplished in a time-critical environment is a measure of Martin Audio’s advanced technology and ability to adapt on the fly.
Finally, new tour packaging implemented by RG Jones has made trucking and load-ins more space and time efficient.
But the last word comes from Simon Honywill, who has worked the arena circuit regularly over several decades. “It was the first time I had done NEC in a long time and I’d forgotten how good it could be. MLA sounded amazing, every little nuance, pan and grace note were there, everywhere.”
21st January 2019
Elation Lights Atreyu “In Our Wake” 2018 Winter Tour
USA – California metalcore band Atreyu released their seventh album “In Our Wake” in October then promptly hit the road on a 27-date US winter tour to promote it. Lighting designer on the outing was Megan Alksninis who had a large Elation floor package supplied by JDI Productions at her disposal.
“A big part of the physical design came from drummer and vocalist Brandon Saller,” explains Alksninis, who also programmed the lighting and served as lighting operator on tour. “He had a clear vision on how the stage was going to be set up. Once the design was set it was a full collaboration to create the final show design. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had designing a show.”
Atreyu’s fast-paced music drives the lighting and the design throughout the show, says Alksninis, with a mix of strobes, subtle colour chases and even a mirror ball or two. The lighting package consisted of 30 compact ACL 360i and 6 DARTZ 360 LED moving heads along with eight Cuepix Blinder WW2s and four Protron 3K Color strobes.
“Metal can easily get stuck with a lot of strobes and little front light,” Alksninis says. “I tried to find the balance between having that but also allowing the audience to see and participate with the band. The chorus almost always had a unique colour chase and occasionally blinders.”
A total of six pipes surrounded the stage with lighting working off the set each show depending on the stage size. From the back of the drum riser the pipes were positioned as a V with three on each side of the stage. The pipes held different configurations of lights but all had at least one type of each fixture.
Each pipe held five of the super small ACL 360i units grouped together mid pipe with a DARTZ 360 mounted on top. The designer comments, “The large amount of small beams fit any stage. Having a full LED rig was important to me because it meant the package would be cohesive between any colour chases. The Dartz and 360i’s worked perfectly together. The DARTZ were used differently in each song, for example beams zoomed in/out, with gobos, or with prisms. For a small LED light they really out shine almost every other light.”
Alksninis says she was able to create unique looks with the variety of Elation lights she was carrying. “My favourite was using gobos in the DARTZ to sweep over the crowd. The Protron colour strobes also worked incredibly well as wash lights,” she said, adding that it only took four to enclose the stage in colour.
The designer scattered the Cuepix Blinders across the pipes as a traditional blinder effect. “Atreyu involves the crowd and talks before certain songs so it was important to have a great crowd light,” she said. “It was also fun to make dimmer chases with them for a certain part of the show.”
This was JDI Productions’ and Alksninis’s first time working with Atreyu, a collaboration that left the designer appreciative of the opportunity. “I want to thank everyone in Atreyu for trusting me and welcoming me into their family, my JDI team for teaching me and always having my back, and Elation for the support and recognition,” she concludes.
photos: Jenn Curtis Photography
21st January 2019
Light Fantastic Production Services at the QIPCO British Champions Day, Ascot
UK – Billed as the glorious finale to the Flat Season, QIPCO British Champions Day brings together leading jockeys, horses, trainers and owners from Europe and beyond for one of the most prestigious fixtures in the UK sporting calendar.
As a grand finale to the proceedings, the 2018 event closed with a suitably grand after party for over 5,000 guests. The event was staged within a giant Igloo domed roof structure provided by Fews Marquees which was built on the lawn directly adjacent to the main grandstand at Ascot Racecourse. The party featured performances from House of Angels, Ella Eyre and culminated in an epic DJ set from Jax Jones.
Working on behalf of clients Generate Events, Light Fantastic provided full technical support to the show, including lighting, audio, video, staging and rigging along with design and fabrication of a host of bespoke scenic elements.
Andrew Maxted, project manager at LFPS remarked: “Our clients presented us with a really exciting brief for the event, which included a giant ‘boom box’ as the central theme. With this in mind, we created a high impact stage and lighting design to look like a huge ‘retro portable stereo’ incorporating all the old-school controls you’d expect, plus the all-important client branding.”
The team installed a number of overhead trusses to support all production elements including lighting, audio, LED wall and scenic elements. Lighting trusses housed a mixture of the company’s ROBE MegaPointe, LEDBeam 150 and LEDWash 600 fixtures, plus Claypaky Stormy Strobes for added sparkle. A pair of grandMA2 consoles provided primary and back-up control of the lighting system, operating on an ArtNet network to handle the show’s data requirements.
For the stage itself, LFPS designed and printed the giant ‘boom box’ elements which flanked a central six by three metre LED wall that handled video playback throughout the show. Audio was covered by two main hangs of d&b V series line array paired with a DiGicO SD10 console for front of house and an SD12 console for monitors.
Commenting on the production, Matt Hudson, MD Generate Events concluded: “The After Party was a fitting. finale to a truly remarkable QIPCO British Champions Day 2018. From the initial meeting Light Fantastic understood Generate Events’ vision for the party and worked tirelessly with us to create and deliver a standout event. The structure, production and event design was unlike anything staged at a UK racecourse before. In racing parlance; the stakes were high but with Light Fantastic on board we knew we’d backed a winner, so were confident of the end result.”
21st January 2019
L-Acoustics K1 Scores at the Canadian Football League Grey Cup Game
Canada – The Canadian Football League’s 2018 season concluded on Sunday, 25 November when the Calgary Stampeders defeated the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 in the 106th Grey Cup, held in Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.
While fans in the stands of the largest open-air stadium in Canada (seating capacity of 55,819) saw a great game, they also heard from some fantastic entertainment. Brother and sister country duo The Reklaws got the audience fired up during the pre-kick-off show, and then Canadian songbird and Grammy Award-winner Alessia Cara rocked the half-time show. FM Systems ensured that all sounded fantastic thanks to a uniquely deployed L-Acoustics K1 sound system, loaded on custom-fabricated carts that were brought onto the field for the performances, and then wheeled out during game play.
“The deployment was incredibly smooth,” says Josh Burnett, general manager at FM Systems, the Calgary, Alberta-based rental company and L-Acoustics Certified Provider distributor (CPd) that designed and handled the field and stage sound systems. “We had the aluminium carts custom made to be both strong and light, so we were not limited in terms of the amount of sound we could get on the field. We literally covered the stadium with K1.”
Each of the eight carts were loaded with five K1 enclosures, with a KS28 subwoofer placed vertically next to the K1 stack. These carts were towed into place for the opening and half-time entertainment events, four per side, along the venue’s sidelines. Each cart was connected to one L-Acoustics LA12X-loaded LA-RAK II amplifier rack via a multi-pin connector.
Control and signal distribution were handled at front of house by the L-Acoustics P1 processor, controlled through L-Acoustics Network Manager software. Signal to the amplifier racks was distributed to each side of the field via AVB over fibre. Two Luminex GigaCore10 switches at front-of–house accepted AVB from the P1 processor and sent the audio to two additional GigaCore10 switches on each sideline to drive all of the LA-RAK II. Both the P1 and LA12X accept AVB natively, so there were no extra conversions needed.
One key reason the L-Acoustics system was chosen, along with its sonic qualities, was for reliability in the anticipated intense weather conditions during Canada’s version of the Super Bowl. The temperature at game time was reported to be a 'balmy' 30°F / -1°C. The LA12X amplified controllers were kept running continuously during the entire event, assuring that they were ready to roar for the music performances, and neither the performers nor the amplifiers skipped a beat.
“The K1 system was the perfect solution for a critical game and entertainment event because it met so many of the requirements, including AVB compatibility, real-time monitoring, performance in cold weather, and SPL capability to cover the seating areas consistently,” says Burnett, who was also the system tech on site for FM Systems. “It performed perfectly.”
21st January 2019
Mercedes-Platz in Berlin Opens with Proteus Light Show
Germany – On 13 October, 2018, Mercedes-Platz in Berlin – a new mixed-use area that complements Mercedes-Benz Arena – was ceremoniously opened with a multimedia show that incorporated lighting effects from Elation’s popular IP65-rated Proteus Hybrid luminaires. With its mixture of deluxe cinema, restaurants, hotels, a concert hall and other entertainment offerings, the square is being celebrated as one of the city’s newest hotspots.
General service provider TSE AG was commissioned with implementation of the show with company specialist lighting planner Klaus Graewert relying on more than 30 weatherproof Proteus Hybrid fixtures to generate dynamic lighting effects. Between noon and 6pm, the audience was able to enjoy an extensive stage programme with various live bands, but the highlight of the evening came shortly before 8pm with a multimedia show of lighting, video and sound elements, along with water effects and a pyrotechnic finale.
With 12 Proteus lights positioned on the roof of the Mercedes-Benz Arena and another 20 units distributed across the square, powerful beams of light added to the impressive setting and attracted a lot of attention. "The Proteus Hybrid is great! I've used it many times now,” said LD Chris Moylan. "It's the first truly powerful IP65 beam on the market. The units make it easy for me to realise sensational beam shows in places where I would otherwise spend a lot of effort and would have to install less attractive and above all expensive weather protection devices.”
TSE rented the Proteus fixtures from Motion GmbH in Fürth, who stock a large number of Proteus Hybrids. Sandra Boner and Adrian Carlin handled overall project management for TSE. In addition to Klaus Graewert as lighting designer, Rico Stegemann was involved as a specialist planner for video.
photo: TSE AG
21st January 2019
FloppyFlex on the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Winter Tour
USA – This winter, Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Ghost of Christmas Eve tour celebrated 20 years on the road. Described by the Washington Post as “an arena-rock juggernaut,” the path-breaking band’s blitz tour included 33 states and 106 shows in just 46 days, an achievement by any measure for musicians, machines, and mankind!
The band “churns out a maelstrom of sound every bit as visceral and dazzling as the accompanying light show,” said the Daily Times of Knoxville. The Daily Herald of Salt Lake City, extols the “jaw-dropping display … constantly something captivating to watch.”
Credit for such praise goes to production/lighting designer Bryan Hartley, director of touring and production Elliot Saltzman and the entire TSO production team. The production incorporated 140 total metres of FloppyFlex Digital RGBW LED neon encircling seven, three-metre diameter moving trusses.
“FloppyFlex was the perfect solution,” says Bryan Hartley. “I was looking for a product I could wrap around my seven circular trusses over the stage; I needed a super-bright, neon-looking product that was flexible and reliable. FloppyFlex gave me the precise look I needed for my design. I was very happy with FloppyFlex and received many compliments on the overall look as well as the product.”
“Two complete sets of the ‘pixelated’ digital FloppyFlex were provided,” adds Rusty Wingfield of PRG, “one each for the east and west coast legs of the tour. That’s 280 metres total, all of which we received with connectors pre-installed by TMB, all driven by FloppyDrive Digital portable DMX control drivers.”
PRG is the global partner of choice for the world’s leading entertainment and event producers, designers, and creative talents. They stage some of the most unique, challenging, and ground-breaking projects across a broad range of markets. PRG is on-site, from concept through execution, with creative and cutting-edge production solutions.
FloppyFlex, highest-quality, professional grade, flexible LED neon is the perfect replacement for glass neon: super-bright, easy to use, long lasting, durable and, at 24VDC, safe. Perfect for use indoors, outdoors, and even underwater, FloppyFlex is available in three sizes, in eight standard white colour temperatures ranging from 2100K to 5700K and standard colours of red, green, blue, yellow, orange and amber. Also available are RGB and RGBW colour-changing versions, plus digital RGB and RGBW with DMX multi-pixel control. For even greater application flexibility, new silicone versions, for the most extreme conditions, round up the range. Side-to-side and front-to-back bend options are both available and accessories include a wide range of mounting profiles. TMB complements the FloppyFlex range with a complete selection of FloppyDrives for entertainment production and architectural applications, in truss-mount, rack-mount, DIN-rail, and IP-rated versions.
TMB distributes FloppyFlex LED neon and ProPlex FloppyDrive products worldwide.
18th January 2019
MSL Creates Colorful Backdrop For Event at The Louvre with Chauvet Professional Well Fit
France – Between eight and nine million people walk through the doors of the Musée du Louvre (aka The Louvre) every year, easily making it the most visited museum in the world. Not surprisingly, given the volume of visitors this renowned Parisian venue draws, anyone lighting a private event within its walls has to operate on an extraordinarily tight set-up schedule. This is one reason why Martin Symul and his team at MSL (Sprimont, Belgium) elected to light a recent gala at the home of the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and other great works of art with Chauvet Professional Well Fit uplighting fixtures.
“I know the product quite well,” said Symul. “The Well Fit is interesting because it is an autonomous stand-alone fixture with no ground wiring better for safety, and it does not require much installation time. Doing an event at a venue like this one, you are not given much time for installation. We arrived on the site Tuesday afternoon, only two hours before the arrival of guests.”
Despite the short set-up time, guests who arrived at the event (a 60th anniversary celebration for the DEF Network group of fire prevention companies) were treated to a stunning and stylishly designed setting for their gala. This was evident to them as soon as they entered the reception area via a spiral staircase and encountered a vista of richly saturated blue light from 90 Well Fit fixtures.
“We positioned the Well Fit uplights in the mezzanine and in the reception area to set an elegant mood with uplighting,” said Symul. “The fixtures were static. They did not change colours. We went with a single shade of very attractive blue that matched the client’s logo, and used it to colourise columns and walls throughout the room.”
The Well Fit fixtures did more than set the right mood in the room with their vividly coloured light, they also blended well with the architectural features of the stylish reception area, thanks to their reflective chrome housing. With their eight-hour battery life, the Well Fit units also had no trouble lasting the entire evening, adding a touch of beautiful colour that made this special event at The Louvre more memorable for all who attended.
18th January 2019
ELS Goes Elation for Dylan Scott’s Bayou Stock Charity Show
USA – Country music sensation Dylan Scott recently organised a charity concert for kids in his home town of Sterlington, Louisiana, and used an all Elation lighting rig along with ADJ video panels to light the event. Extreme Lighting & Sound (ELS) of Nashville, Tennessee, supplied the lighting and video gear for the inaugural event.
Bayou Stock, held on 17th November at the Sterlington Sports Complex, featured performances by Mark Chestnut, Morgan Evans, Lainey Wilson and others, not to mention Dylan Scott himself, and raised $30,000 to buy presents for underprivileged kids for Christmas.
ELS was brought in to turnkey the lighting portion of the show, including design and supply of all lighting, which consisted of 17 Platinum HFX hybrid moving heads, eight Colour Chorus 48 LED battens, eight Fuze Wash Z120 LED wash lights, six compact Rayzor 360Z beam moving effects, 15 Cuepix WW2 Blinders, six Protron 3K LED strobes and eight SixPar 200 LED Par lights.
Dylan Scott is one of ELS’s main clients, having fabricated and built a floor package for his 2018 tour. “This is actually the last of 114 shows this year that it has been on the road,” states ELS President Austin Grundberg, who designed and programmed the lighting for the Bayou Stock event and ran the show for all of the artists.
Designed as a festival rig, Grundberg says he knew he would be using it for all the bands but also took into account Dylan's floor package, which he also wanted to complement. Pivotal to the design were the Colour Chorus battens, which the designer hung vertically upstage. “They helped fill in any blank space and gave a nice eye candy look during the day when it was harder to see the movers,” he stated.
The hybrid ability of the Platinum HFX effects as a beam, spot and wash made them a versatile choice when a number of acts needed to be lit. “We own a bunch of these fixtures and use them all the time; they are incredible,” Grundberg says. “They have been out on the road with The Mavericks and Lee Ann Womack all year!”
When asked to describe a special look, Grundberg refers to an acoustic set that Dylan performs about halfway into his show where he projects a solid red background across the video wall and then uses one cell in each Cuepix WW2 at about 50%. “It ended up making a really cool moment.”
Product support for ELS is provided by Elation manufacturer rep firm Freed Sales, who Grundberg values as much for the relationship as the product knowledge. “Freed Sales has always been so great to us. We are a smaller company with close to only five years in business and they treat us with the same respect and support as they do the big houses,” he says. “Chuck Dillingham is our main rep there and he is consistently there for us at a moment’s notice. They are a huge reason why we are almost entirely an Elation Professional house. This industry is all about relationships and they have cultivated a great one.”
Grundberg also gives a shout out to his Dad and business partner Glenn Grundberg for his help in fabricating the video set as well as Dylan Scott's production manager/ FOH, Chris Young, who helped design the video wall and created all the video content. With 4,000 people in attendance and $30,000 raised for underprivileged kids for Christmas, Dylan Scott has all the more reason to call Bayou Stock’s first year a big success.
18th January 2019
Lighting NOJO for New Year
USA – Amidst the thousands of celebrations happening world-wide for the 2018-2019 roll over, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) played a very special Great Gatsby themed party in the super-plush lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dallas, which required diligent lighting to produce the correct ambience.
Randy Cline of Time Matters Entertainment, based in Plano just north of Dallas, was the event’s technical producer, coordinating all the staging elements, and working for communications agency Wheelhouse Marketing and PR. He asked lighting designer Eric Wade of Crossfade Design to create a dramatically different lighting scheme to set the scene and a stylish tone for a classy evening of fun and music.
Challenged for power and lighting positions in and around the lobby, powerful LED light sources were the only way to go, so Eric selected Robe LEDBeam 150s and DL7S Profiles as his main fixtures.
This was also a unique presentation in that there was no conventional stage, instead, the 16 NOJO musicians were positioned in the lobby, all on the deck, with a dance floor and a VIP area set up immediately in front of the orchestra, near the bar entrance.
In response, Eric deployed lights wherever he could fit them. Fixtures were ensconced around the floor, on the PA stacks, secreted behind couches, tables, and even around the hotel’s front desk!
“I like to take a truck load of lights and design on-site to cover all bases on these type of shows,” he explained. “I took the ‘Grip Truck Theory’ quite literally and then just had my guys grab what I needed from it to light all the different areas.”
Eric has used Robe Tarrantulas many times, including for the house rig which he designed at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quicken Loans Arena and in fact it’s his favourite LED wash luminaire, but Tarrantulas were far too intense for this application where he needed stealth, subtlety and smallness!
This was his first time using both these types of Robe LED fixtures.
The DL7S Profiles were used to light the lobby celling. Two fixtures covered the entire ceiling evenly and Eric was able to create striking multi-layered patterning and texturing. “It’s a great light,” he said, impressed with the zoom, focus, and gobo selection.
The LEDBeam 150s were: “The perfect fixture for this job, wonderfully small with more than enough horsepower for the size and application. They made a huge impact in the limited available space.” He intimated that he’ll be using them a lot more in the future.
He also used some wireless battery powered LED fixtures and some LED battens, all supplied via Time Matters Entertainment’s dry hire division TMELED.com and controlled from a grandMA2 console.
Endeavouring to maintain an atmosphere of elegance in the marble columned lobby with its intricate deep blue and gold Texas flower petal carpets and other bespoke features while loading in, positioning and rigging fixtures was another galvanising task for Eric and his crew. This included his sons Aaron and Brandon Wade, both Oklahoma University Drama department students who have toured extensively during the summers.
“They have been working with their dad so long that they know my mood and MO exactly, which helped make designing on-the-fly extremely straightforward in this case,” stated Eric.
Eric has always been a big Robe fan, and talking more generally, he commented that being “quite old-school”, he really cares about the service and commitment. He has the utmost respect for ‘his guys’ on the Robe North America team – Craig Burross and Marty Postma – who always ensure that he has everything he needs for shows and are there to support him.
Randy is also sold on Robe. He and business partner Taylor Hobart recently established Time Matters Entertainmnent’s TMELED.com rental shop to service both existing and new accounts due to Randy’s many years working as a show producer and general contractor. This new venture has made some serious investment in Robe including BMFL Blades, LightMaster side mounting kits (to facilitate their use as followspots), RoboSpot BaseStation and MotionCamera systems (for remote follow spot operation), Tarrantulas, MegaPointes, DL7S Profiles, DL4F Washes and LEDbeam150s.
“After much due diligence I came to one conclusion, and that is that Robe’s technology and team are the future and we look forward to a great partnership with John McDowell and the Robe team for many years to come.”
Helping to make this gig rock were NOJO creative director Adonis Rose, Randy’s client Julie Curtis, president of Wheelhouse Marketing and PR, event producer Sarah Campbell, audio designer Keith Kettrey, and our audiovisual partners at Showtech Productions.
photos: Matters Entertainment
17th January 2019
Milton de la Cruz Reflects Colour and Passion of Ensálsate with Chauvet Professional
Colombia – Among the most important things to keep in mind when running a light show, believes Milton de la Cruz, is “to know your key moments.” The Jamundí, Colombia-based LD had more than a few dramatic high points to light in December when working the annual main show of Ensálsate, a Salsa Caleña cabaret with over 80 artists on stage, a live orchestra, 500 stunningly colourful costume changes, and a non-stop flow of breathtaking dance moves.
Helping de la Cruz reflect this choreographed panorama in light at Bogota’s Teatro Colsubsidio was a collection of Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Spot and COLORdash Par-Quad 18 fixtures. “Few things are more important than knowing your show’s peaks,” he said. “I focus very hard on having an appreciation of the key moments and highlighting the stage and the artists during them. Fixtures that are fast and bright like the Rogues and COLORdashes help me be responsive to the key moments.”
Flying six Rogue R2 Spot fixtures on midstage truss, de la Cruz relied on them for downlighting dancers and creating a sense of space on stage. By creating columns of light on stage, he not only was able to highlight individual performers, he also added depth to the stage and established an 'architecture' that accentuated the sensuous movements of the salsa dancers.
The colour-rendering capabilities of the Rogue R2 Spot, which has two colour wheels, split colour capabilities and continuous variable speed scrolling, helped de la Cruz reflect different peaks in the cabaret’s performance. Working in conjunction with washes in the rig, the Rogue fixtures helped transform the entire mood of the stage with colour changes.
Also key to colourising the stage were the 22 COLORdash Par-Quad 18 fixtures in the rig. Flown on midstage and downstage truss, these fixtures were used to set moods and coordinate the stage lighting with the dancers’ colourful costumes. Blue, cyan and orange were the dominant colours used during the performance.
In addition to valuing the COLORdash fixtures for their colors, de la Cruz praised their flexibility. “These are versatile fixtures that helped me respond to different elements of the dance,” he said. “I loved to play with the dimmer and strobe capabilities.”
Ensálsate, which has performances in Cali and Bogota throughout the year, has attracted a wide following all over Colombia. Many of its regional fans journey to the Teatro Colsubsidio for the end-of-year cabaret, expecting to be awed by the dance moves and lighting displays. For Milton de la Cruz and the theatre’s technical team of Carlos Alfonso Ramos and Martin Segura the surprises that delighted audiences were really no surprise, since they studiously prepared for every one of the show’s highlights. That, of course, was a big reason why this show worked so well.
17th January 2019
Limelite Lighting Colours the Ice
UK – Long before the Christmas period up until January 2019 the well known Royal Tunbridge Wells Ice rink in Kent is open for the public. During this time there are all kinds of activities like figure skating presentations, live music, choirs concerts.
Kent-based customer Limelite Lighting has been involved with this event since its start in 2012. This year they have coloured the ice rink and the surroundings 43 Showtec Cameleon Flood 15 Q4s. With their IP65 rating very well equipped to be used outdoors, even under harsh conditions. 15 RGBW four-in-one LEDs make sure that the event remains colourful. Thirteen units of the Showtec Helix S5000 Q4 including the optional 40° beam shapers are in action to light up the surrounding grounds and trees. These units are also rated IP-65 and, as an additional advantage, are equipped with W-DMX by Wireless Solutions. This makes programming and controlling the Helix S5000 Q4-units extremely easy.
Ed Railton, co-owner of Limelite Lighting, had the following to say about the use of the Cameleon Floods and Helix S5000s: "…decided on the Highlite fixtures for the following reasons: well built, very bright, good strong colours, ease of use, cost effective and the Helix units are WDMX and this has really helped on this venue, we will be looking to add more of these fixtures to our hire stock over the coming months, we would fully recommend this products for any rental/hire production company…"
17th January 2019
Illumination specialist LED Creative supports Projection Artworks on a festive installation project at Luton Airport
UK – Housed in the easyJet hangar and featuring a sequence of scintillating visual projections mapped across an easyJet Airbus A320, the magical performance was choreographed to sync with a contemporary reworking of Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Created by a team of ten lighting designers and artists, the spectacle incorporated an array of stunning lighting effects, illuminated props and festive themed scenic elements that included over 1.5 miles of coloured lights used to add colour and sparkle throughout the venue.
Working with Pete Boatfield at Projection Artworks, LED Creative provided a selection of its Sigma Pulse Wands paired with BYTE, the company’s state of the art controller units developed specifically to work in unison with their Sigma product range to allow maximum artistic control with minimum programming time.
Having been allocated just 24 hours to complete the festive transformation, the ‘plug and play’ Sigma system was an ultra-convenient solution for adding dynamic colour and movement to the installation.
Speaking about the project, LED Creative’s Tim Rees said: “It has been a pleasure to have helped create such an incredible live performance. The team have worked their magic over every aspect of the installation and the end result has been simply amazing.”
Staged in front of an invited audience made up of airport staff and their families along with local school children, the festive surprise was billed as 'the world's biggest Christmas lights show on a plane' and forms part of the airport's 80th anniversary celebrations.
17th January 2019
KLANG adds Extra Dimension to Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds
UK – Composer Jeff Wayne’s War of The Worlds, a symphonic, progressive rock retelling of the H.G. Wells Classic, was released in 1978 and has since sold millions of copies around the world. The first album to be recorded on 48 tracks, it featured a number of high profile musicians including Justin Hayward, Phil Lynott, Julie Covington and David Essex, as well as the voice of legendary Welsh actor Richard Burton. Over many years, touring productions of War of the Worlds have received critical acclaim, huge public support and featured notable stars such as Russel Watson, Jason Donovan, Ricky Wilson and Joss Stone, playing principal roles. In 2018 Jeff Wayne took to the podium to conduct the latest version during a tour of UK arenas. Eight singers were accompanied by a nine-piece band and 36-strong orchestra to deliver the spectacular show to sold out audiences across the country.
On the technical side of the production, for this the 40th anniversary of his iconic masterpiece, Jeff Wayne added a new cast member that in his own words added an “extra dimension” to the proceedings. Jeff had been introduced to KLANG, the world’s first truly immersive 3-D in-ear mixing technology, by the show’s highly experienced monitor engineer Becky Pell, who had previously road-tested its qualities on tour with Anastacia.
Becky takes up the story: “I first encountered KLANG when Karrie Keyes of the Soundgirls organisation asked me if I’d write an article about psychoacoustics, culminating in discussing KLANG’s technology and how it can help monitor engineers and musicians. I was keen to be involved and asked the guys at KLANG if I could take a demo unit out on my tour at the time – Anastacia - to have a play around with and get a feel for it. I was really impressed with the product, both with how it sounded and what it let me create and also the fact that the space created allowed me to reduce the central element of a mix – i.e. vocal for a singer or click for a drummer – by as much as 6dB. That’s extremely significant in protecting hearing. What I also liked was the fact that it’s a very natural way to listen. KLANG is based on the science of binaural hearing; that is, how we perceive sounds naturally, so it’s far less fatiguing for the brain and ears to listen to than stereo, which is very unnatural. All of these elements led me to think that KLANG would be perfect for Jeff’s mix.”
Becky approached Jeff prior to the tour and suggested that he listen to the KLANG demo and compare its 3D properties to stereo. He was immediately on board with the idea, recognising that the spatial placement on offer would be of great benefit.
Becky expands on KLANG’s role in War of the Worlds: “War of the Worlds is a lot more involved than your average rock and roll tour, Jeff has created this beautifully produced album and my job is to recreate it as faithfully as possible. When he’s conducting, he wants to hear it in its entirety. It struck me that it’s a lot of information: 168 inputs to get into a stereo mix and I had the idea that KLANG would help me to create space within all of that, to create depth and width and height and just be able to find separation in the midst of all these elements. It’s proved an absolute winner for him.”
The mix for Jeff represents the full range of his creation, with every aspect clearly audible. The KLANG 3D mix allows for the placement of what might be described as ‘awareness’ elements (effects and surround sound) lower down and behind or to the side, whilst the more critical elements he is focused on are placed higher and in front. It is clear that he considers KLANG to be a significant step forward: “When I’m conducting, I’ve got a band on one side and a symphonic string orchestra on the other and with the KLANG system, the placement of those elements is very much as I’m seeing them, rather than just having a good general mix. The result is that it’s very much more alive, more 3D. I have a better balance in my head, so the sound quality is at a completely different level now than previously. I’d like to stay with the KLANG system whenever I’m performing with in-ear monitoring.”
In practical terms, KLANG is a straightforward addition, as Becky confirms: “It’s very user-friendly and takes just a few minutes to get set up. Once it’s patched, I’m basically unaware of it. I have the icon on my computer screen showing where everything is but it doesn’t actually affect the way I mix; it’s just there, set, creating lots of lovely space!”
The application of KLANG to War of the Worlds production perfectly exemplifies the way in which this leading-edge technology can enable the user to enjoy even the most complex mix in exactly the way they would choose, without any compromise. Jeff Wayne has confirmed his intention to continue with KLANG in-ear monitoring, his experience perhaps confirming Becky Pell’s assertion that returning to stereo would be “like flying business class and then going back to economy...” For Becky, a leading audio professional with an enviable list of credits, KLANG is most certainly the future. The last word goes to a man whose vision has been seen and heard by millions for 40 years.
Jeff Wayne sums up: “The system gives me this extra dimension. When I take into account the spatial placement it provides, it’s hard to see why anyone – bands, solo artists with musical accompaniment or any show – wouldn’t want to enjoy the benefits of KLANG.”
17th January 2019
Avolites Tiger Touch II Lights Up Dublin’s New Year Festival
Ireland – Thousands of people witnessed Dublin’s New Year Festival with a light show that illuminated the landmark Custom House and River Liffey. Lighting designer Matthew Kilmurry, of Kilmurry Design, controlled the spectacular effects using two Avolites Tiger Touch II consoles.
More than 40,000 people enjoyed the New Year’s celebrations in Dublin, with millions watching live TV coverage of the ‘Midnight Moment’. This was billed as a ‘dazzling lighting spectacle’ featuring a ‘thrilling choreography of lasers and aqua beams’.
“My brief for the event was to light up the sky and surrounding areas of Custom House Quay in Dublin city centre. The lighting needed to be dynamic, original and totally in-sync with the six-minute music piece that played at midnight,” says Kilmurry. “I pre-programmed to timecode, using Capture and a Tiger Touch II at home before the event; there were about 300 cues in six minutes!
“I was really impressed with the timecode features in Avolites’ Titan operating system; the timecode learning really saved me so much time, and the fact you can run infinite cue lists from the same timecode input. I had around eight cue lists running consecutively and over 300 cues and every time the timecode playback system triggered the show ran absolutely flawlessly.
“The Key Frame Shape generator is also incredibly powerful, especially when you have 80 movers lined up along a river, you can get some really beautiful effects.”
Both Tiger Touch II consoles were supplied by Production Services Ireland, with Ciaran Donnelly serving as project manager. As the site was so large, Kilmurry positioned one Tiger Touch II on each side of the river, networked so they could both be used at the same time, editing and updating palettes.
“We also had a router on each side of the river, enabling me to use the Titan app. This meant that I could walk along the river and see positions from different angles and update the console from the app on my phone,” Kilmurry continues. “To be honest, the job would have been very difficult if it wasn’t for the mobility the app provided.”
Kilmurry’s rig consisted of 80 LightSky AquaBeams, 80 SGM P5 LED, 30 CLF Ares, 60 CLF Yara, 20 Prolights PanoramaIPAB, ten 3k AO Searchlights and 12 4k AO Searchlights.
In the run up to the Midnight Moment, organisers staged a ‘Countdown Concert’ featuring Dublin-based platinum selling artist Gavin James, Ireland’s own Hudson Taylor band, and rockers Inhaler.
Kilmurry also designed the stage lighting for the live music elements of the show, specifying an Avolites Arena console for in-house and band operators to control a rig mainly made up of Robe BFMLs, Pointes and Spiiders, supplied by Just Lite Ireland.
photos: Emma Synott
17th January 2019
S+H Twinkles on TV for Christmas
UK – Ilfracombe-based S+H Technical, specialist for LED visual effects, drapes and starcloths, supplied 550 square metres of its LED starcloth product to help realise designer Joshua Grace’s set for ITV’s Best Christmas Ever.
The show, a one-off Christmas special, was hosted by Alexander Armstrong with a live audience on D Stage at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, and produced by Remarkable, part of the Endemol Shine Group.
Armstrong invited celebrity guests to his winter lodge to discuss their favourite elements of the season, and a member of the audience had the chance to win a ‘Best Christmas Ever’ hamper. A house band played popular Christmas tunes, with some of guests joining in for a sing-along.
Josh wanted a twinkly festive feel for the show and to suit the environment, a cosy fireside chat scenario with a wintry forest scene visible through the windows of the lodge.
The brief was to provide a warm, cosy and festive set for Armstrong to present his evening Christmas fun with a selection of interesting and entertaining guests. The theatrical scenery evoked winter lodge style tones and textures: lots of warm wood and decorated Christmas trees inside juxtaposed against a winter night with frosty trees outside.
The RGB starcloth was a perfect product to enhance and accentuate these atmospheres, and the product was used both as a back layer through the lodge windows, and to wrap around the back of the audience for the reverse camera shots.
“I wanted to make the whole studio, including the audience, twinkly; both like a night sky and like snowfall,” explained Josh. “Utilising the RGB star cloth meant we could have lovely blinking stars visible through the set and around the audience, or the starcloth pixels could be gently animated to look like snowfall.”
He used the starcloth’s ability to change colour to shift the vibe and energy for the music performances.
The show was directed by Simon Staffurth. The series producer was Charlotte Brookes and the executive producer Tamara Gilder.
Josh is a regular client of Terry Murtha and the team at S+H, and he comments that they are always “friendly, smiley, efficient and a pleasure to work with”.
Josh was busy over the festive period; he also designed the set for Help the Animals at Christmas, a star studded three-and-a-half-hour telethon fundraiser for Channel 5 hosted by former Strictly star Susan Calman and Cold Feet actor John Thomson. The show was staged at HQ1 Dock 10 at Media City in Manchester for production company Daisybeck Studios.
Broadcast on 21st December, it was the first ever Channel 5 telethon and helped raise nearly £700,000 for five animal charities to help rescue and rehabilitate needy and abused animals.
Once again Josh called on S+H to provide some specialist cloths for this, in the form of warm white pea-light starcloth used as a 360 degree wrap around the studio.
This Christmas show had a striking graphic logo that Josh and the design team reproduced physically as the scenery comprising a bauble with some animal silhouettes in the centre.
They created multiple cut out baubles to hang around the studio each with various animal profiles within.
A large LED screen was used for video play-ins from the various charities featuring their work including clips of the guest presenters out and about working on the ground with them.
In addition to the hanging baubles, LED wands were dotted around that could be animated to mimic the look of falling snow or candy canes, while the back layer of S+H’s starcloth brought a genuine warm and cosy Christmas feel to the environment.
Josh concludes: “Sometimes you can’t beat a traditional starcloth! It has a really familiar feel and adds a simple old-school twinkle to the studio. It’s also a very cost-effective solution for wrapping the entire studio in something twinkly.”
photos: Endemol Shine and Joshua Grace
16th January 2019
Willie Nelson Tribute Shines with Bandit Lites and Mark Carver
USA – There are legendary performances and there are legendary performers, and every so often, those two things cross for a night of epic music. Bandit Lites had the honour of providing the lighting package for Willie: Life & Songs of an American Outlaw.
Produced by Blackbird Presents and hosted by Ed Helms, the one night only event at Bridgestone Arena featured an all-star line-up of artists honouring the iconic Willie Nelson, including George Strait, Dave Matthews, Lee Ann Womack, Steve Earle, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, Lyle Lovett, Ray Benson, John Mellencamp, Jamey Johnson, The Avett Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, Kris Kristofferson, Norah Jones and the Little Willies, Bobby Bare, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Chris Stapleton, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Sheryl Crow, Eric Church, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss and Sturgill Simpson.
“It is an honour to work with Mark Carver, Robert Rauffer and the staff from Blackbird Presents,” said Bandit Lites Vice President Mike Golden. “We have been working with them to produce these tributes for many years now and I can honestly say each has been nothing but positive.”
“With this design we were trying to give a world renowned artist and his peers a space that they could perform where their individual musical talents would be front and centre,” said lighting designer Mark Carver. “We did not want the lighting and video to overpower the music, but to complement what was on stage.”
Bandit Lites supplied Carver nearly 250 lights for the concert including Claypaky B-EYE K20s, Claypaky Sharpys, Chauvet Rogue RH1 Hybrids, GLP X4S, VL 3500 Spots, Sunstrips STP-10, Bandit’s exclusive GRNLite Moving Washes and Robe PATT 2017 fixtures. A grandMA 2 Full provided control.
“The B-EYES were used for eye candy and toning the band with color, while the RH1 and Sharpys were used for strong beams and gobos to create a strong artistic statement,” explained Carver. “The VL 3500 for band key lighting and edging and the GRNLite washes were my audience light workhorse.”
Balancing dozens of artists, lighting looks for both 18,000 in attendance and millions who will watch at home when A&E airs the concert later this year, while arriving at the arena the day of the show meant pre-show preparation and a strong team were going to be key in the success of the production.
“Bandit’s team, lighting director Brian Jenkins and gaffer George Lunn were very instrumental in this,” said Carver adding, “Pre-viz was also essential in this one as it required creating lighting cues for over 34 songs.”
“Obviously when you take a large TV production in for a one off everything and everyone has to be on their game,” said Golden. “Graham Mellor is the production manager for many of these events and, as always, he had everything under control and planned. We loaded in at 5am and were at trim and ready for Brian Jenkins by noon. We could not do this without the total team effort by these people.”
Bandit’s on-site crew consisted of Patrick Cowden, Andy French, Sam Morgan, Chris Noll, Scot Sepe, Steve Strickland, Ty Veneziano and Justin Wilk.
“Bandit once again met every expectation,” finished Carver. “Mike Golden and project manager Jimmy Hatten delivered a package to spec and well prepped. The on-site techs led by Andy French worked diligently to ensure the package was working and up in a very short period of time with a great professional attitude.”
16th January 2019
IPS Supports Back to Back Film Premieres with Chauvet Professional PVP Panels
UK – At the recent double premiere of the 2018 post-apocalyptic adventure films Mortal Engines and Aquaman in London’s Leicester Square, the red carpet was suitably soaked in a fittingly post-apocalyptic two-day torrential rainstorm.
Fortunately, for film fans who had turned up in droves to take selfies with stars like Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar and Robert Sheehan, the atmosphere on both nights was not dampened in the slightest, thanks in part to a large multimedia installation showing film snippets, custom created content and live action. IPS created the crowd-pleasing video screens with 106 PVP X6IP LED panels from Chauvet Professional.
“The most complicated aspect of this particular project was that there were two different premieres on consecutive days,” explained Ian Brown, project co-ordinator at IPS. “Understandably, the designer and IPS client Limited Edition Event Design wanted to create two completely different looks to ensure there was a different feel to each premiere, while working within the logistical constraints of the site and shows.”
For the first show, the premiere of Aquaman, IPS supplied seven rigging towers, each supporting a 1.5m high by 2.5m wide screen made from X6IP panels. For the next day’s premiere of Mortal Engines, three of the towers were removed and the screens reconfigured so the four remaining towers each supported a 1m wide by 5m high screen, also made from the re-purposed X6IP panels.
“The 6.9mm pixel pitch of the PVP panels provided us with an exceptionally sharp canvas upon which the custom content could be relayed,” said Brown. “The high brightness of the panels shone though the miserable conditions, with the wide viewing angle also ensuring ease of visibility on the square.”
Thanks to their solid aluminium die-cast construction and stainless steel hardware, the PVP panels could be effortlessly taken apart and reconstructed into their new formation on the second day, despite the less than ideal weather conditions.
“The rigging options made it easy to reattach the panels in their new formation to the rigging towers,” said Brown. “This was absolutely imperative for the limited timescale we had to work within.”
Other than the usual logistical issues involved in working in a public area in central London, the obvious challenge posed by the environment was the torrential rain. However, the IP65 rating gave the team at IPS full confidence in the all-weather capabilities of the screen throughout the days.
“As the rain and wind stepped up a notch on the second day, we were able to open the louvres on the screen panels to help reduce the affected wind area on the panels,” concluded Brown. “Thankfully everything worked flawlessly in some of the most unpleasant working conditions imaginable, and once again we were able to satisfy the demands of the client while ensuring a great spectacle for movie fans.”
16th January 2019
Anne-Marie relies on DiGiCo all around the globe
Worldwide – Over the last three years, Anne-Marie's musical evolution has been nothing short of seismic: she has gone from playing to 300 people in a club, to 360,000 people over four days at Wembley Stadium alongside Ed Sheeran. Not bad. In that time, she's also guested on mega hit single, Rockabye, with GRAMMY-winning pop trio, Clean Bandit and her debut studio record, Speak Your Mind, peaked at number three in the UK Albums Chart in 2018. Now, she is touring the album, and both FOH and monitor engineers are working on DiGiCo SD12s, with the consoles supplied by Audiotech UK, which splits audio rental duties with Production North.
Production values at an Anne-Marie show are clearly a far cry now to what they were just a couple of years ago. According to FOH engineer, Ben Dexter, it is down to hard work, raw talent, and determination.
“I have been working with Anne-Marie since her first show back in 2015 in a 300-cap room; when you look at what she achieved this summer [with Ed Sheeran] at Wembley Stadium, you can see that production elements have been growing as her shows have been growing,” he says. “It’s been a very natural and exciting progression to where we are now with all the elements in place. It's been great to be a part of it all from that first show, and see it evolve to where it is today.”
Dexter and monitor engineer, James Kerr, are both SD12 users, they made the switch because, Dexter says: “We outgrew our previous consoles.”
“In preparation for this year’s run of support shows, we needed to find a console that would accommodate our ever-increasing channel count – which is currently at 56 – while also having a fairly small footprint at FOH, where space is always limited, especially for a support band system,” Decter explains. “I looked into a few different manufacturers and set-ups at the time, but kept coming back to DiGiCo, finally settling for two SD12s, sharing an SD Rack. The prevalence of DiGiCo around the globe – and especially in the pop world – was a big factor in my choice. I wanted to feel comfortable and familiar with the range, as I was seeing them nearly everywhere we went. The size, power, flexibility and, of course, the sound of the SD12 with the SD Rack has been great for me.”
Dexter says the con send/receive function has been especially useful on this tour: “During the show, there is some VT audio from a media server located at FOH; instead of running in analogue lines, I just quickly and easily send to monitors using this function. Also, I have had some broadcast sound crews turn up last minute at FOH, and I have been able to offer them, in addition to a left and right from me, our ambient mics that hit the monitor SD12 on local inputs to save rack ports; again, this is via the con send/receive routing.”
Monitor engineer, James Kerr, started working with Anne-Marie in 2016, at Brighton's Great Escape Festival. Although the shows have grown exponentially in size and stature, the production has stayed relatively simple from the outset.
“It was just Ben [Dexter] and myself for the first year or so,” he reveals. “We were looking after everything: from driving the van, to setting backline, and managing the road, before we even got down to doing the task of monitors and FOH! This does help solidify relationships within the touring party, though, and it's vital for me personally as a monitor engineer.”
Although it has all stepped up in the sense that there is now professional tour management, production management, lighting and video teams, Kerr says the stable still feels refreshingly tight-knit.
“Having worked with Anne-Marie for some time, I am able to get her mix dialled in quickly; she has a super-discerning ear, and you have to be on your toes if any queries arise,” Kerr says. “If there are any issues for whatever reason, she responds really well to honesty, and I always explain everything I am doing, and why I’m doing it; that helps get things back on track quickly.”
For Kerr, the biggest advantage in opting for an SD12 over any other console is its workflow.
“I have been a fan of DiGiCo ever since attending some training back in 2012, and after a few one off shows with SD12s at the tail-end of last year, I found I was working very quickly with them,” he says. “The dual screen and channel strip functions are invaluable for me. Currently I run my desk with all inputs on the left hand side of the surface and auxes, matrices, and control groups on the right, with a show layer that includes everything I need direct control of during the show.
“I generally don’t have to leave this layer at all. I utilise the Aux to Faders on-screen panel to free up faders, and the macro buttons are a huge bonus for me; they're well placed and having the ability to label and colour code them means you are never guessing. Here, I have a fairly complex talkback section which enables me to talk to anyone on the show, individually or not – including FOH – with the same microphone, at the touch of a macro.”
Kerr decided early on to utilise snapshots on this campaign.
“Using the power of Snapshot scopes on the SD Range allowed me to start slowly, by just recalling FX changes and mutes. The more confident I got with the show and the desk, the more I began recalling more per song, which allowed me to focus on other parts of the mix. Freeing my hands to ride vocal, ambient, and FX sends has enabled me to create a much more detailed mix. I use a bunch of the internal FX for reverbs and delays, and doubling for guitars and vocal thickening works a treat.”
In terms of standout moments on this tour, both engineers are in agreement that the monumental Ed Sheeran support shows have paved the way to what looks like being an epic 2019 for Anne-Marie.
“The whole year has been insane,” reflects Kerr. “But four sold-out nights at Wembley Stadium, and all of the Irish [Ed Sheeran] shows were just incredible. Also, this year has been our fist proper voyage into touring Asia, Australia, and the US and the fans are all there waiting for Anne-Marie. That is something I have utmost respect for.”
16th January 2019
Marr’s Journey to EartH
UK – Johnny Marr, one of the UK's most prolific songwriters, producers, and collaborators has been on the road again, this time with his fourth solo studio album, Call the Comet. The former founding lead guitarist of The Smiths has forged a shining solo career since his debut album in 2013, bringing his latest UK journey to a stellar conclusion with a sold-out date at EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney), London, which boasts the first permanent installation of L-Acoustics' L-ISA immersive hyperreal sound technology in a European live music venue.
For Marr's front of house engineer, Russ Miller, this was his first date with L-ISA, and his post-show report was glowing: "I was blown away by it," he says. "The separation is unbelievable, without it feeling like it’s separate sources. At sound check our backline techs were amazed, we had people just walking around the venue listening, it sounded the same from front to back and from side to side.”
Miller was contacted prior to the gig by EartH's Alessandro Melchior, sound engineer, and was pleased to have a day in the venue before the show to work with some virtual sound-check material. "You can't be afraid of new technology,” says Miller. “I say just get involved and see what it can do."
L-ISA immersive hyperreal sound technology uses spatial audio processing to position up to 96 sound objects in three dimensions inside a performance space. The EartH L-ISA frontal system comprises five hangs of seven Kara and a central sub system of four KS28 flown in end-fire configuration in front and above the central Kara hang. Ten X8 enclosures are positioned along the stage lip for front fill. Twelve Syva make up the surround system (four per side) mounted along the left, right, and rear walls. An overhead system of eight ceiling-mounted X8 completes the installation.
Miller decided to make the most of L-ISA and move to a more object-based mix for the show: "We’ve got the two-channel show to a point where, input-wise and processing-wise, I have the kick, snare, bass, and lead vocals in the centre of the mix with effects specifically to give the lead vocal more width. I then push the guitars and ‘keyboard’ elements out to the side and use delays within the Haas region to clear space for the central elements. This creates a stereo illusion and gives mono compatibility even when the speaker stacks are a long way apart, you get pseudo stereo without the old ‘disappearing guitar’ problem when a listener is right in front of one side. But switching to L-ISA and not having to jump through hoops to get the separation was amazing. With L-ISA, if you put the vocal in the centre, it’s in the centre and not a phantom centre.”
The Call the Comet tour uses DiGiCo SD11 consoles, sharing SD Rack I/O. In this instance, Miller’s FOH SD11 was connected to EartH’s in-house DiGiCo SD12, giving him more real estate to play with and allowing him to get creative with L-ISA. DiGiCo consoles now have natively integrated L-ISA Source Control functionality, so Miller was able to pan from the console, while Melchior provided support on the L-ISA Controller software.
In addition of taking advantage of L-ISA spatialisation to place sound objects to reflect their actual physical location on stage, Miller decided to make full use of L-ISA's three-dimensional processing for a psychedelic moment in the Marr set. "Johnny has a song on the new album called 'New Dominions', it has a break-down section in the middle that comes down to just bass and drums, and then Johnny comes in and there are delay throws where I change the delay time so that it creates a pitch change. It's an old trick, but it works for this." At EartH, Miller took the stereo delay output and sent it to the house console where they could 'play' the L-ISA pan, width, depth, and elevation parameters. "I said let's go crazy and throw it around – send it over people, to the back, all around," says Miller. "Johnny always said it should be trippy and psychedelic. It worked incredibly well."
At EartH, Miller felt that a significant benefit of L-ISA was the exceptional inherent sound quality achieved with minimal effort: "I often have to work with the bottom end to reduce a problem, so you get used to going into venues and wondering what you will have to deal with for that show," he explains. "Then, when you're faced with a really well set-up system, you have to take a moment and think 'Am I hearing things? I don't have to do anything'.
"EartH was a step on from that. It was balanced, yes, but felt full range. It didn't feel like the subs were tacked on, it felt deeper. There’s articulation down there, so it’s easier to separate bass and kick; you can pinpoint things that you just couldn’t hear before."
In what might have otherwise been a challenging space, multiple discrete physical full range sources create a wide sweet spot, bring clarity to the soundscape, and lift a burden from the drivers.
"After only about four minutes of putting stuff through the PA I realised that this system is a solution to a very old problem,” Miller concludes. “It's a big move into bringing down sound levels so you're not smashing people in the face, but you're still producing something that excites and intoxicates the audience. This technology is amazing, it’s not going away, and it can only become more popular."
photos: Maria Zhytnikova
16th January 2019
dLive “Core of Show” for Gary Numan’s Orchestral Tour
UK – Late 2018 saw the return of electronic pioneer Gary Numan on his epic orchestral tour, featuring six exclusive UK shows, including one at the Royal Albert Hall, accompanied by the 16-piece Skaparis Orchestra and an Allen & Heath dLive system handling monitor world.
dLive’s ability to allow simultaneous connections of multiple control devices, from full console surfaces to PCs, iPads and IP controllers, proved indispensable in facilitating both monitor mixing duties and communications between the engineers and performers. “We chose the Allen & Heath dLive S7000 as our monitor console because it’s great at allowing multiple operators. It’s not just the core of the monitor system, it’s the core of the show,” explains monitor engineer, Mike Glines, “It just handles the communications for everyone!”
AJ Sutherland (monitor system tech for the tour) adds: “We had one MixRack which Mike controlled from the S7000 surface, as well as dLive’s Director software running on a Mac so I could make edits without having to interrupt him on the surface. I also had my own cue mix, so I could line check the orchestra at the same time as the band were checked by Mike.”
Supplied by Adlib, the monitor set-up comprised a dLive S7000 Surface, a DM64 MixRack and a DX32 Expander, allowing for ultimate flexibility and control over the band and orchestra monitor mixes. “Using an iPad along with an Audio Technica headset for my talkback meant I could stand with the conductor and work with the orchestra on their IEM mixes, which was a much better way to interact with them rather than being a disembodied voice in their ears, hidden away in monitor world,” Sutherland continues.
Additionally, an IP-8 remote controller was added to the mix, allowing for further ease of control over mixes, Sutherland adds: “I used the IP-8 controller to PFL channels and mixes, route my talkback, investigate any faulty inputs and mute them while I did so. With so many inputs and outputs for Mike to deal with, I ended up being more hands on than a system tech usually would be but the dLive system really made my life as a system tech so much easier and allowed the two of us to work together so efficiently.”
Glines adds: “There’ve been times on the tour where I’ve thought ‘wouldn’t it be great if I could do something really niche or unusual’ and low and behold; I’ve found a way to be able to do that on the dLive, in a user-friendly way.”
The post-apocalyptic-style tour further promotes Numan’s 18th solo studio album, ‘Savage: Songs From a Broken World’.
16th January 2019
Community IV6 Loaded Christmas Tree Sounds Great for 25 Nights of Northern Lights Festival
USA – BayPort Credit Union’s 25 Nights of Northern Lights is an annual holiday event held from the 1st to the 25th of December in the city centre at Oyster Point in Newport News, Virginia. Situated by the lakeside with its 400-foot fountain, a 50-foot tall pixel-mapped Christmas tree forms the focal point of the festival which includes seasonal events, vendors and street performers as well as a light show that is tied to the tree and includes elements surrounding the fountain.
The sound system for the 2018 festival was designed and supplied by Washington Professional, a full service AV systems integration specialist. Designed by Austin Wydrzynski of Washington Professional, with installation by RWS Entertainment, the loudspeaker system was installed inside the Christmas tree to provide sound reinforcement for the synchronised light show.
The system designed by Wydrzynski employed Community’s new IV6 weather-resistant modular vertical arrays. The system had two arrays, each comprising four IV6-1122 wide-dispersion 12-inch two-way array elements and two IV6-118S 18-inch subwoofers.
Wydrzynski explained: “I chose these cabinets for their natural voicing. I spoke with Perry D'Angelo from Community’s rep company, SKMac, when these boxes were first announced. I then had the opportunity to hear them at InfoComm in Vegas this summer and have been very impressed ever since. In addition, their weather rating and price point were essential to this project. Right out of the box, with the FIR filters for Q-Sys provided by Community’s TAG Team (Technical Applications Group), these boxes sounded great!”
Wydrzynski continued: “We used QSC Core 110F DSP and CXD4.5 amplifiers. The source content was provided by the S4 Show HQ, which is the system that drove the pixel mapping for the tree itself.”
With a successful festival completed, Wydrzynski concluded: “The client was very satisfied. They were concerned at first as they know the highly reflective area has been a challenge in the past. I worked with the city staff to ensure they were completely happy with the coverage and overall sonic quality of the system.”
15th January 2019
Robe Helps Paint the Town Orange
Columbia – Arbol Naranja (Orange Tree) is an event organiser and creative agency that more recently also became an equipment rental company called Circuito Naranja, initially to service its own shows and clients, then expanding into a proactive new division of the business.
Members of the team are young, ambitious and passionate about their work which is primarily music orientated, and the new rental element has also become a bit of a disruptor on the lively Bogota event production scene!
The rental side of the business is managed by Luis Burgos, also one of the owners and founders of Arbol Naranja, which kicked off in 2006. Their two main areas of business are complete event organisation and equipment rental, and there are currently 70 full time staff working across two nearby sites in the Chapinero area of Bogota, servicing around 200 events a year of different sizes and complexities, from small corporates to large scale festivals.
On the festival front, this includes Colombia’s biggest and best known, Estéreo Picnic, on which they provide and co-ordinate the full technical event production and the rental company services one of the principal stages with equipment.
The company has recently invested in 24 Robe Spiiders delivered by Colombian distributor AVCom Colombia, also based in Bogota. These are their first Robe purchases and their first of a fully professional moving light product.
The rental side of the operation started off as an audio focused company, offering premium brands like L-Acoustics, which grew and expanded steadily. It then reached the stage where it made commercial sense to start offering lighting and video in house as part of a comprehensive production package.
Rather than cross renting Luis explains, and being sound engineers and not initially familiar with lighting, they took a slightly unorthodox and pragmatic approach of purchasing low cost unbranded moving lights, with the intention of learning the basics about the kit without having spent a fortune or commit to a brand at such an early stage.
He and Ricardo Castellanos – who also runs a rental company with his brother Joan Manuel Castellanos – after a while started having reliability and other issues with these first moving lights. At that point, and with some real practical experience of moving lights under their belts, they were ready to commit ‘professional’ level kit.
They looked at various options and chose Robe.
“We noticed that over the last year, Spiiders have become very popular and they are constantly listed on the band riders and equipment specs we deal with in our role as event production managers,” noted Luis.
They looked long and hard at how Robe was positioning itself in the market and concluded it was the route to take: “We reckon Robe is one of the best investments you could make right now.”
Ricardo likes the overall quality of the Spiiders, the effects and the different modes which make it multi-functional a lot more than just a ‘standard’ wash beam fixture. “It’s an extremely useful fixture, great colours, very reliable and the size is small and compact. The crew also love them because they are so light and easy to handle.”
They also mention that the service from AV Com is “amazing”, which is big part of any decision to start a relationship with a new brand: “We believe this is the start of a very positive pattern of investment,” says Luis.
The first shows for the new Spiiders included “El Día De Rock” (a Day of Rock) dedicated to the erupting and highly active Colombian rock scene, staged at the North Autopista Events Center in Bogota, and very recently, “I Love Bogota”, a reggaeton and urban music adventure fused with fashion and staged at the Green Forest venue in Chia, just north of Bogota.
Everyone has been delighted with the performance of the Spiiders, and Luis, Ricardo and the team at Abrol Naranja are looking at MegaPointes, BMFLs and some others next!
In picture: Guillermo Traverso (Robe regional sales manager for Latin America), Harry von den Stemmen (Robe sales director), Riccardo Castellenos, Tony the American Blue Bully, Luis Burgos (co-owner of Arbol Naranja, manager of rental company Circuito Naranja and Tony’s master), Juan Camilo Triana (technical Sales AV Com Colombia) and Camilo Aranguren (MD AV Com Colombia).
15th January 2019
Audiolux stocks up with 100 Claypaky Axcor Profile 600s
Italy – Audiolux is one of the first Italian rental companies to stock up with a large number of Axcor Profile 600s. Claypaky has recently launched this LED spot profiler on the market and it has been an immediate great success among industry professionals and workers.
The Lodi-based company has purchased 100 standard version Axcor Profile 600 units, in order to add a successful reliable light to their stock for use in the numerous shows and theatrical, musical and television events it is involved in.
Ettore dell'Orti, owner of Audiolux, told us that a lot of thought went into choosing the Axcor Profile 600. He analysed and discussed it with his employees right down to the last detail. "We set up our showroom with all the most competitive models on the medium-high power LED spotlight market. After that, we invited the biggest names in Italian lighting design in the theatre, television and concert businesses to drop in over the course of two weeks, including Marco Filibeck, Aldo Solbiati, Ivan Pierri, Franco Fratus, Valerio Tiberi, Massimo Pascucci, Daniele Savi, Franco Busi, Marco De Nardi, Marco Piva, Steve Gray and many others."
"We did some very in-depth testing with each of these professionals and compared all the models offered by the various manufacturers. In the end, figures in hand, we chose the ones that turned out to provide the best compromise between performance, light quality, reliability and value for money. The Axcor Profile 600s scored very high values in all parameters. They did not really show any weaknesses at all.
The light source the Axcor Profile 600 fits is based on a 500W white LED engine. The wide zoom range from 5.3° to 47.2° (1:9 ratio) means the light can be used in a versatile way in every situation, including those for which a narrow angle is best. Its luminous efficiency is one of the highest recorded among lights in the same power category, and if necessary it can be boosted by about 25% thanks to boost mode. This also makes the Axcor Profile 600 an excellent unit for touring.
The completeness of its colour section, the possibility of using it as a wash light, its great wealth of visual effects, its award-winning, patented Claypaky framing system, implemented with technological devices that enhance its precision and versatility, all make the Axcor Profile 600 an essential benchmark for every modern entertainment use.
Audiolux recently supplied twenty-four of the new Axcor Profile 600s to the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. They were used in the musical West Side Story, produced by Federico Bellone. Valerio Tiberi, the lighting director, told us: "I am very satisfied with the overall performance of the Axcor Profile 600s. The contrast between light and dark prevailed at the end of the First Act thanks to the position of the units, and the angles, but above all thanks to the power of the white light from the Profile 600s, which proved to be a successful fundamental feature."
Other Axcor Profile 600s are currently on tour with Audiolux in Roberto Bolle's extraordinary show. Yet more will soon be supplied to the Teatro alla Scala in Milan to illuminate the 2018/2019 theatre season. Audiolux's flexible organisation can satisfy any request, from large prestigious theatrical events and musical tours to small local events.
Ettore dell'Orti, owner of the company, said: "Our idea when we founded Audiolux was to base our company on the wealth of knowledge we had gained in the entertainment sector. We follow television and theatre productions, trade fairs, concerts, conventions and parties, and pay great attention to every stage of design, technical implementation and assistance with specialized technicians and advanced equipment. We work hard, and only make big purchases if we are 100% convinced that we are getting the best product on the market."