Production News

Production News Headlines

Adamson & CMI Help Monitor City to Cover the Big Stages

21/09/2018

Artiste Picasso for Trevor Hoffman Pitcher’s Mound Spotlight at Petco Park

21/09/2018

John Matkovic Sets Stage for Ian Moss with Chauvet Professional

21/09/2018

AVER Productions Adds EAW RADIUS to Inventory

21/09/2018

Tomorrowland gets Hyperreal with L-ISA

21/09/2018

Meyer Sound Expands Presence at Telluride Film Festival

20/09/2018

Creative Rental Solutions Creates Surreal Looks for Hype-O-Dream Festival with Chauvet Professional

20/09/2018

CTS Installs New Test System at Christie Lites UK

20/09/2018

Audient: Creating Sound for SEGA Published Two Point Hospital

18/09/2018

Goodman Audio Services Expands with EAW Adaptive

17/09/2018

Britannia Row Productions and Clair Global Invest In Yamaha RIVAGE Mixing Systems

17/09/2018

Clair Brothers is Exclusive Choice by VTècnics and Prase Media Technologies for Best Ever Sound at elrow Show

17/09/2018

Philips Strand Lighting gives winning movie performance with #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm

14/09/2018

Adlib Supplies AV Solution to IBF2018

14/09/2018

Robe Spiiders Step Up for Halsey Tour

14/09/2018

SSL System T Has Next Generation Audio Success at the European Championships

14/09/2018

White Light’s Data Strategy QC-Check operational and integrated with inspHire

14/09/2018

Veteran Front of House Engineer Keith Windhorst Takes Musical Journey with Legendary Rock Band

14/09/2018

GLP KNV Provides an Emotional Baptism for AIDAnova

13/09/2018

Painting Rubens with Light

13/09/2018

Belmont Students Gain Insight into Industry with Bandit Lites

13/09/2018

DMB Taps Pent-Up Demand on Jam-Packed Summer Tour with Meyer Sound Leo Family

13/09/2018

Adlib’s Busy Summer with Outline Newton

13/09/2018

Simon Horn Adapts Anastacia Tour Rig with ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium

13/09/2018

LichtWerk Amplifies Havelfest with Alcons

13/09/2018

Adamson & CMI Help Monitor City to Cover the Big Stages

Adamson & CMI Help Monitor City to Cover the Big Stages

Australia – Melbourne production and install company Monitor City has joined the Adamson Network with a major investment in a new E-Series and S-Series audio system. Sourced through CMI Music and Audio, Adamson’s exclusive Australian distributor, the new package allows Monitor City to cover most venues across Australia while also offering the flexibility to break into smaller or distributed systems as required.

Monitor City Co-Founders Adrian Barnard and Matt Dufty, who each boast over 30 years of experience in professional audio, carefully evaluated all the major players in the PA market before deciding on Adamson for their purchase.

"We looked at factors such as the speed of deployment, the logic of the system, its capabilities, and sonic performance," Dufty relates. "Adamson stood out as the best choice. It's rider friendly and acceptable to touring professionals, and there's a growing Adamson Network globally. This system will cover our festival work in the upcoming summer months, and can then be split into multiple systems. It fits well with the way we do things, and will definitely help us.”

Monitor City’s Adamson system is built around the flagship E-Series and comprises a complement of E12 three-way, full-range line array enclosures and E119 subwoofers. Rounding out the package are the compact S10 two-way, full range line array enclosures. Adamson’s touring E-Racks, each equipped with three Lab.gruppen PLM+ series amplifiers featuring Lake processing and Dante audio networking functionality drive the system.

Barnard and Dufty founded Monitor City in 2006. The company now services a broad range of clients, from major festivals like Falls Music & Arts and the Unify Gathering to local government, corporate, and theatre applications. "Our company culture is one in which everyone is involved and contributes," says Dufty. "We care that when you're at a gig, it sounds fantastic. Anything less than that is not good enough."

CMI Music and Audio is committed to supporting Monitor City throughout the life of their investment. “We’re very excited by Monitor City's decision to choose Adamson, making them the first Australian-owned production company to join the rapidly-growing E-Series global touring family," remarks CMI’s Lee Stevens.

"It's been great working with Lee Stevens and the CMI Audio team on this purchase," Dufty concludes. "They've provided really good support and are very responsive, which is essential when a business is making a decision on capital expenditure this large. It's vitally important when working on this scale that you've got excellent support from both the distributor and manufacturer. This is just the beginning of a long-term investment, and I know that CMI Audio and Adamson will work with us every step of the way."

In picture: Monitor City's Matt Dufty and Adrian Barnard

21st September 2018

Artiste Picasso for Trevor Hoffman Pitcher’s Mound Spotlight at Petco Park

Artiste Picasso for Trevor Hoffman Pitcher’s Mound Spotlight at Petco Park

USA – On July 29th, San Diego Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman was inducted into Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame as one of the most dominant closers of all time. The celebration continued a few weeks later at the Padres’ home field, Petco Park, when the star pitcher was honoured after a game with a pitcher’s mound spotlight courtesy of the Padres, Meeting Services, Inc. and Elation Artiste Picasso LED moving heads.

Meeting Services, Inc. (MSI) handled the AV work at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Trevor Hoffman in Cooperstown, New York, and then returned to San Diego for the special event celebrating Hoffman’s return to San Diego, part of a four-day long celebration at Petco Park that also included the unveiling of a Trevor Hoffman statue.

Lighting designer Leonard Delgado and the team at MSI were contracted to spotlight the famed pitcher for a final ten-second solo spot salute from the pitcher’s mound in which every light in the park would be off. “They initially wanted me to use two user-operated followspots on him to pick him up on the pitcher’s mound,” Delgado explains, “but for many reasons I wanted to use Elation Artiste Picassos instead. The followspots would have blocked sight lines and in the back of my mind I knew the Artiste Picasso had the power to do it even though I was told that with a throw of 350 feet I was pushing the limits of the fixture. But I really wanted to see what the fixture could do!”

Delgado had used the Artiste Picasso on a previous project and was confident that the fixture’s 23,000 lumens of power and 620W LED engine could do the job. One of the biggest issues he faced however was where to place the fixtures. Coincidentally, he happened to be attending a Padres game at Petco Park when he found out about the project. “I got off my phone and immediately began to look around. I quickly identified three upper level camera well positions that would be ideal,” he said. “One was behind home plate and there was one each along the first base and third base lines.” Although MSI had worked other events at Petco Park in which they had placed lights in the upper deck, for those events the stadium’s highest seating area was always void of people. For the Trevor Hoffman celebration however the upper deck was teaming with fans.

Delgado’s challenge therefore was to avoid blocking sight lines while keeping cabling to a minimum. His solution was to mount the Artiste Picassos on a 2ft truss to keep the fixtures out of the line of sight to the field. The designer was able to avoid cable ramps by running DMX behind seats and taped along staircases. Further, because the camera wells are essentially long lens camera positions with an AV patch and power outlets, he was able to plug fixtures directly into nearby outlets and run the fixtures at 120 Volts. After several trial runs, four Artiste Picassos worked from the front light camera well located behind home plate with two Picassos each at the first and third base position camera wells.

Before the big moment came and to help build anticipation, a ten-second countdown appeared on the outfield LED wall. At five seconds the stadium lights dimmed to 50% and at zero the entire stadium blacked out. The eight Artiste Picassos then went into action, casting their full power 350 feet as Hoffman ran out onto the mound. The San Diego fans naturally went wild as the pitcher saluted the crowd, says Delgado, who ran the Picassos at full intensity, zoomed at 7% with the iris brought in to about 40%.

After the ten-second spotlight the Picasso’s went to black and a fireworks show began along with video highlights from the right-hander’s career. It was a moving tribute to a star pitcher that was shared by the entire city of San Diego. It was also a satisfying moment for Delgado himself. “My ten seconds of fame!” he joked afterwards.

Artiste Picasso for Trevor Hoffman Pitcher’s Mound Spotlight at Petco ParkArtiste Picasso for Trevor Hoffman Pitcher’s Mound Spotlight at Petco Park

21st September 2018

John Matkovic Sets Stage for Ian Moss with Chauvet Professional

John Matkovic Sets Stage for Ian Moss with Chauvet Professional

Australia – “Music is the space between the notes,” wrote Claude Debussy. The great French composer would most likely have been very pleased with John Matkovic’s lighting design for a recent concert by Australian rock legend Ian Moss at the Griffith Regional Theatre. Adopting a “less is more” approach to lighting the singer/guitarist’s acoustic show, Matkovic relied on subtle colour washes to support the artist on stage.

This is not to suggest that his show was bereft of texture and colour. Far from it; utilising a collection of Chauvet Professional Rogue fixtures supplied by Showtools International, Matkovic employed a combination of background beams, washes, gobos and out of focus prisms along with some haze to reflect the moods of the music in a subtle, but powerful fashion.

Matkovic deployed eight Rogue R1 Spot fixtures, four evenly spaced on his most upstage bar and four on his most downstage bar. The four upstage fixtures were tilted at a 45-degree angle to emphasise their beams and gobos when backlighting the artist. The four downstage units were called upon to wash the stage backdrop. Additionally, he had Rogue R2 Wash fixtures flown in midstage and upstage positions for down lighting and back lighting.

“There was a large backdrop with Ian’s name and the title of his current album release,” said Matkovic. “I didn’t want to wash in open white since it was so large on stage, and it had to complement what I was doing lighting Ian. I had four of my R1 Spots to cover the backdrop with single and dual coloured prisms and blew it out of focus to the larger side. This allowed me to cover the backdrop without any hard edges and it gave me great colour saturation. The colour intensity was actually too bright for this type of show, so I ran the R1 Spots at about 30-percent. The split colours also created a subtle sense of depth and contrast, which made the backdrop more evocative and interesting.”

Given that the Ian Moss concert was largely a solo show, Matkovic had to focus his lighting tightly to create a sense of intimacy on the spacious and relatively empty stage. “I was able to keep the area tight by using the R2 Washes’ zoom to a minimum,” he said.

The rich colours of the zoomed in washes conveyed varying emotions to suit different songs. “I complemented some of Ian’s songs with colour, like using reds and ambers for ‘Flame Trees,’ blues, greens and ambers for ‘Bow River,’ and purples and open white for ‘Saturday Night as examples,’” said Matkovic. “I also reflected the music by the rate of colour changing and through gobos. You don’t need to light the whole stage to engage the audience in this type of show. In the end if you reflect the music and create a supportive and interesting backdrop, your lighting was a success.”

John Matkovic Sets Stage for Ian Moss with Chauvet ProfessionalJohn Matkovic Sets Stage for Ian Moss with Chauvet Professional

21st September 2018

AVER Productions Adds EAW RADIUS to Inventory

AVER Productions Adds EAW RADIUS to Inventory

USA – Miami-based AVER Productions has invested in an Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) RADIUS sound reinforcement system to further its business. AVER Productions is a full-service event production company that provides to-of-the-line audio, video, lighting, staging, and special effects equipment throughout the country and the Caribbean Islands.

“We create experiential events for corporations, designed to advertise or market products,” explains Eddie Bernal, owner of AVER Productions. “The RADIUS system has been in use since it arrived. It was deployed on a five-stop Jack Daniels marketing tour and is currently in use with the Starz hit television series Power and EFFEN Vodka tour, bringing the show’s TRUTH Nightclub to warehouses all over the country.”

For the pop-up EFFEN Vodka events, the AVER team transforms empty warehouses into the show’s Power nightclub. Customers are invited to experience the same atmosphere they would on the set of the popular television series.

“RADIUS plays a big role in the tour. We needed a strong nightclub sound for the event,” adds Bernal. “The nightclub is created the same in each location, making system setup identical every time. It adds the perfect touch to the nightclub environment.”

AVER added 16 RSX208L line array enclosures and 12 RSX218 dual 18-inch subwoofers to its inventory. The RSX208L is a three-way, self-powered loudspeaker designed to streamline set-up and deliver maximum results. The array features OptiLogic, providing automatic array self-detection and instant optimization including air loss compensation and more.

The powerful RSX218 subwoofer offers push-button cardioid operation for added sonic control, ideal for applications like the POWER nightclub. On-board electronics (1400W maximum) and ultra-wide ports drastically reduce low-frequency turbulence.

The EAWmosaic app provides total system optimisation from anywhere in the venue, plus intuitive room design and prediction in a single, comprehensive application.

“The EAWmosaic software is extremely easy to use. I’m not an audio engineer and I learned how it worked in ten minutes,” Bernal says. “Once you understand it, there is so much you can do. It makes even the inexperienced feel like they know what they’re doing, and the sound is exceptional. I am incredibly impressed. The system is equally adaptable for big and small events. It is a terrific addition to our inventory.”

21st September 2018

Tomorrowland gets Hyperreal with L-ISA

Tomorrowland gets Hyperreal with L-ISA
Tomorrowland gets Hyperreal with L-ISA

Belgium – Tomorrowland, held over two scorching weekends this July in the Belgian town of Boom, is one of the world’s foremost music festivals. Its organisers, We Are One World are always on the hunt for imaginative ways to unite hundreds of thousands of fans from around the globe at this unique event. This year, Tomorrowland revealed the brand-new Atmosphere Stage, a futuristic tent where L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound delivered deeply vibrant beats as festival goers bathed in stunning visuals for a completely unprecedented musical experience.

L-Acoustics has a rich history with Tomorrowland, and has collaborated with the festival alongside Noizboyz, designers of Tomorrowland audio systems, since 2011. This year was no different, with over 600 L-Acoustics cabinets supplied by Phlippo Productions deployed on six stages, including the massive 115m wide Story of Planaxis Main Stage, across the vast festival site.

With the Atmosphere Stage, We Are One World set out to elevate the concert experience with a festival tent stage like no other. Recognising the impact of L-ISA in creating powerful shared connections between artists and audiences, Tomorrowland worked with L-Acoustics and Noizboyz to make it a reality.

“When discussions began about creating an L-ISA area at Tomorrowland,” says Noizboyz Pieter Doms, “we were instantly excited to explore this cutting-edge technology with them, to learn new techniques and new ways of experiencing music.”

Described by EDM.com, as ‘breath-taking and perfectly made for techno’, Atmosphere was housed in a huge, 32-metre high tent suspended from a gigantic, custom-built crane. With an all-star line-up including Adam Beyer, Eric Prydz, Sasha, Boris Brejcha, Sven Väth, Nina Kraviz and Richie Hawtin, a ceiling glittering with thousands of lights, a 2km long video net containing 120,000 LEDs stretched around its circumference, and a mammoth 20.1 L-ISA design, Tomorrowland was about to deliver a full-on, mind-blowing, 360-degree dance experience.

To accommodate the production team’s wish for the LED wall to be the visual focal point of the Atmosphere Stage, the L-ISA configuration comprised 18 arrays of four Kara each, stacked on a truss above the screen and filling 270 degrees of a carefully configured circle. An additional flown system of eight K1 per side, plus 24 KS28 subs completed the 360° panorama and provided the full on, low-end kick that is the hallmark of EDM.

This highly flexible and modular configuration allowed for delivery of both conventional stereo and immersive content. The K1 system provided left/right delivery with L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound adding extra detail, dynamics and effects to the mix. Multichannel content was specifically created for the L-ISA system by Jelle Neijs and Bart Revier of 3AM Media for Dutch company Q-Dance, who have hosted stages at Tomorrowland since 2005.

“This content took full advantage of the L-ISA 20.1 surround system,” explains Sherif El Barbari, director of L-ISA Labs. “Further effects were achieved in real time by Thomas van Hoepen from Noizboyz, using Q-LAB OSC capabilities to fire cues from the built-in L-ISA snapshot engine for automated dynamic positioning and panning.”

"We create a lot of custom music for festivals to expand the experience of the visitors,” says Revier. “We felt like kids in an undiscovered world with endless possibilities when we created the custom-made audio for L-ISA at Tomorrowland’s Atmosphere Stage. The collaboration with L-ISA takes the Tomorrowland experience a step further; together with L-Acoustics we discovered new ways to give the visitors a sound experience they’ve never heard before."

“L-ISA works incredibly well with the selection of music curated for The Atmosphere Stage and it was great to be able to play around with the technology during instrumental sections,” adds Joost Machiels, business development manager for Phlippo Productions. “At Phlippo, we are convinced that L-ISA gives added value and, as more specific content is prepared for it, it will continue to gain traction. I think there is a lot more to discover and that’s really exciting.”

“The L-ISA system was a huge success,” Doms concludes. “The smiles on the faces of the festival’s organisers said everything. Mission accomplished!”

21st September 2018

Meyer Sound Expands Presence at Telluride Film Festival

Meyer Sound Expands Presence at Telluride Film Festival
Meyer Sound Expands Presence at Telluride Film Festival

USA – Meyer Sound and the Telluride Film Festival have announced a decade-long partnership agreement which outlines a fourfold expansion of theatres equipped with 100% Meyer Sound cinema systems. For this year’s festival, held over Labor Day weekend, the Galaxy Theatre joined the flagship Werner Herzog Theatre as a second venue to offer complete, premium Meyer Sound systems. In addition, the Palm Theatre and the Nugget Theatre will be fully furnished with Meyer Sound systems in the coming years as part of the continuing collaboration.

“Even though many of our theatres are temporary venues for film, we are committed to offering our audience a world class experience,” comments Telluride Film Festival executive director Julie Huntsinger. “By partnering with Meyer Sound, we can be assured of benefiting not only from the world’s finest cinema loudspeakers but also the on-site technical expertise to make sure each system is fine-tuned for optimum performance in its acoustical environment.”

For each festival run, Telluride’s middle school gymnasium is transformed into a first-class cinema with special acoustical treatments and finishing design touches inspired by pioneering French film maker Georges Meliés. The Meyer Sound cinema audio system comprises Acheron 100 coupled with Acheron LF systems for the screen channels, HMS-12 surround loudspeakers, and X-800C subwoofers for the LFE channels. Processing for drive and optimisation is, appropriately, supplied by a Galaxy 816 network platform. For film introductions and panel discussions, the venue has a separate PA system with UPQ-1P loudspeakers and a 750-LFC low frequency control element.

“Telluride continues to gain wider recognition as one of the world’s leading showcases of new and noteworthy cinema,” says Miles Rogers, Meyer Sound’s business development manager, cinema and content creation markets. “Great films deserve sound to match, and we’re proud to be playing an important role in making sure every film’s sound is heard exactly as its creators intended.”

The Galaxy joins the Werner Herzog Theatre, where the Meyer Sound complement is anchored by the same trio of Acheron screen loudspeaker systems plus 22 HMS-12 cinema surrounds, ten X-800C subwoofers and three Galileo 616 processors.

Although the Werner Herzog Theatre’s building serves as Telluride’s community ice rink outside the festival season, it nonetheless offers a first-class experience for filmgoers. “Watching movies at Werner Herzog is a wonderful sensory experience: great picture, great sound!” says renowned film critic and historian Leonard Maltin.

Slated for a complete Meyer Sound upgrade in the coming years are the Nugget Theatre, a smaller year-round venue housed in the historic First National Bank building, and the Michael D. Palm Theatre, a 587-seat performing arts venue located on the campus of Telluride High School. The Palm Theatre already is equipped with a compact Meyer Sound line array system which is used regularly for the venue’s wide range of live music performances and community events.

The Telluride Film Festival was established in 1974 and is held annually over the Labor Day holiday. In a departure from typical film festival procedures, neither the films nor the special guests are announced prior to the festival weekend. Films featured in either the Galaxy or Herzog this year, with celebrities on hand for the screenings noted, included: “The Old Man and the Gun” (Sissy Spacek, Robert Redford and Casey Affleck with director David Lowery); “White Boy Rick” (Matthew McConaughey with director Yann Demange); “Destroyer” (Nicole Kidman with director Karyn Kusama); “Front Runner” (Hugh Jackman with writer/director Jason Reitman); “The Favourite” (Emma Stone with director Yorgos Lanthimos); and “Meeting Gorbachov” (theatre namesake director Werner Herzog).

20th September 2018

Creative Rental Solutions Creates Surreal Looks for Hype-O-Dream Festival with Chauvet Professional

Creative Rental Solutions Creates Surreal Looks for Hype-O-Dream Festival with Chauvet Professional
Creative Rental Solutions Creates Surreal Looks for Hype-O-Dream Festival with Chauvet Professional

Belgium – Although originally disregarded by critics as another flash-in-the-pan post-war artistic movement, surrealism is perhaps the only early 20th century 'ism' to have made a continuing and lasting impression upon art, music and culture. The organisers of the EDM festival Hype-O-Dream appreciate the strong link between the escapist elements of surrealism, which promised to free one’s mind from the weight of daily routine. With this in mind, they built this year’s incarnation of their festival around a surrealism-inspired main stage to bring an element of the extraordinary to complement their world-class EDM line-up, which included acts such as Jauz, Showtek and Henri PFR.

Having worked with the festival for the previous five years, the task of crafting the appropriate visual support fell once again to Belgian rental house Creative Rental Solutions, which specified 62 Chauvet Strike P38, 68 COLORdash PAR H12IP, 30 Rogue RH1 Hybrid and 24 Rogue R2 Wash fixtures to craft dream-like visuals for festival-goers.

With the surrealist stage scenery consisting of various islands appearing to be floating within the structure of the stage, Thomas Vandekerkhove and his team decided upon positioning the fixtures in such a way so as to outline the contours of the vast structure, which extended at various parts up to 20 metres high. One of the central tools to achieve this outlining effect were the 90W warm white Strike P38 blinder and wash fixtures.

“The P38s were ideal for highlighting the different sections of the stage structure,” commented Vandekerkhove. “Thanks to their huge output and blinding effects, we were also able to utilise these fixtures extensively within the sets to provide energy and atmosphere.”

To provide a number of cutting looks on stage, Vandekerkhove utilised the varied beam, and spot effects of the Rogue Hybrid fixtures, which were positioned among the various island structures within the stage.

“The Hybrids are perfect for festivals because of their output and versatility,” continued Vandekerkhove. “The output was even great during the day, where we could use the gobos in combination with prism effects to elicit a dreamier surreal atmosphere on stage.”

Providing further highlighting of the surreal islands were a host of Rogue R2 Wash fixtures. Thanks to the 19-pixel mappable (15 W) RGBW Quad-LEDs and 12° to 49° zoom, Vandekerkhove and his team also had the tools to underline the surrealist theme once more by positioning each fixture above the islands to provide elaborate wash lighting effects.

“We created a fantastic array of linear wash effects on top of the islands, which was accentuated by the Rogue’s zoom feature,” continued Vandekerkhove. “I also programmed some effects in snap on the ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 console, which enabled me to fade in the wash fixtures when everything else went dark, which created such an amazing spectacle by night!”

Filling the rest of the vast stage with pockets of colored wash effects, Vandekerkhove and his team utilised the saturated colour effects of the COLORdash fixtures.

“The sheer volume of fixtures resulted in amazing looks on the stage,” concluded Vandekerkhove. “The depth of the colour of the COLORdash resulted in an almost 3D effect, which really brought the stage to life while creating a surreal dream-like effect.”

Thanks in part to Creative Rental Solutions’ innovative design, Hype-O-Dream was able to ensure that surrealism has a continuing relevance within popular culture almost a century after coming to being.

photos: SWD Photography

Creative Rental Solutions Creates Surreal Looks for Hype-O-Dream Festival with Chauvet ProfessionalCreative Rental Solutions Creates Surreal Looks for Hype-O-Dream Festival with Chauvet Professional

20th September 2018

CTS Installs New Test System at Christie Lites UK

CTS Installs New Test System at Christie Lites UK

UK – Combined Test Solutions, UK provider of cable harness test equipment, high voltage test equipment and functional test equipment has supplied a customised electrical cable test solution to Christie Lites, one of the world’s foremost theatre and stage lighting companies.

Legislation requires that all cables must be tested regularly to ensure equipment and operator safety. One of the applicable standards: BS EN 62638 / IEC 62638, mandates recurrent test regimes as well as test after repair and modification of electrical equipment. CTS developed a customised test system to meet and exceed these test standards for the Christie Lites UK-based operation.

The Cirris EasyTouch test system is employed as the test engine in the test bench. Using a four-wire (Kelvin) measurement, the quality and performance of all heavy mains power cables is ensured; a standard two-wire continuity test is insufficient for the testing of large power mains cables. EasyTouch delivers precision measurements to guarantee the safe operation of all related theatre, stage and film set lighting and equipment. The system also provides high-voltage insulation resistance testing at up to 1500VDC /1000VAC. This test screens out damaged insulation as well as proving conductor integrity. It’s a critical tool for finding faults in power cables and ensuring operator safety.

Fundamental to Christie Lites’ selection of test system were the essential attributes of a reliable and easy-to-use system. Unrivalled full technical support was also a major factor in the purchasing decision. As the long term official UK distributor for Cirris products, CTS boasts almost 30 years’ experience gained in electrical cable/harness test using automated systems across all industry sectors and provides a wide range of services and support options to assist customers in achieving peak system performance and reliability, process effectiveness, and operational efficiency.

Christie Lites provides the finest lighting equipment and services to an extensive client base including theatre and productions, concerts, trade shows, television and film, architectural, industrial and display installations, and special events.

20th September 2018

Audient: Creating Sound for SEGA Published Two Point Hospital

Audient: Creating Sound for SEGA Published Two Point Hospital

UKCo-owners of Cedar Studios, Tom Puttick and Phil French – with the help of their Audient ASP880 eight channel mic pre – were responsible for the sound design for Two Point Hospital, the simulation game created by Two Point Studios and published by SEGA, which was released this autumn. “Anything you hear has gone through us in some way,” they tell us, explaining their part in the process. Set in the 2D world of Two Point County, players are tasked with building a healthcare empire: building hospitals, teaching healthcare staff and curing a constantly growing number of illnesses.

Two Point Hospital is the brainchild of the same designers who created the 90s' cult classic PC game, Theme Hospital and aficionados will recognise that same whimsy running through this latest edition. Nothing takes itself too seriously; light-headed patients present with a giant light bulb instead of a head and Mock Star sufferers believe themselves to be great rock stars. With a distinctive, quirky British humour throughout, diseases are cured in different ways, from seeing a psychiatrist to the less conventional option of being put through a machine.

It was only when the boys saw these machines that the game designers had imagined, that they realised the extent of the work needed to bring them to life with bespoke, cartoon-style sounds. “There’s a machine called Chromotherapy,” explains Tom, which is the cure for patients diagnosed with Grey Anatomy that have lost their colour. “It spins paint colours around and sprays paint on them,” he says. That sound effect was created – and ably demonstrated by Phil – with a bunch of straws, a thick yogurt drink and an umbrella.

It wasn’t just a question of inventing sounds for fictitious machines however; Tom and Phil were tasked with creating all the sound for the entire game. “It was quite a weird process. We had to watch the animation, look at everything that could make a sound and think about what we could use to make that sound!” says Phil. Everything from the user interface (UI) and the characters’ various exclamations, to the ambient noises and Tannoy announcements, the county radio station and its playful adverts to the background music, it all came out of Cedar Studios.

For the music, the brief provided by Two Point Studios gave them the artistic freedom to produce what they described as “elevator music with a jukebox feel.” Phil describes their songwriting process. “We’d start with a guitar or piano riff, put it into DAW and then start adding percussion elements,” explaining that as well as using samples, they recorded a lot of their own sounds for the music in the studio. “I made my own instrument out of PVC bathroom pipes,” he adds, demonstrating how he plays it with flip-flops, and still not sure what to call it.

The ASP880 has been great for when we recorded the polypipes [working title] instrument!” laughs Phil. “Having the option to record close mic top, close mic bottom, overheads and a stereo pair of room mics with two channels to spare was something I think people take for granted in big studios. With new technology and everything being 'in the box', I see a lot of composers/producers just having a two channel interface in their home studios. The ASP880 made it really easy for me turn my two channel set-up into a ten channel set-up with a tiny adat cable; as easy as that!”

Part of their original pitch was that they would create all the different sound effects themselves. “With the ambients, we recorded trees here in Guildford,” says Tom. Going further afield, they also captured some babbling river sounds in Scotland and waves on a beach late at night in Spain. They even popped into Surrey Hospital to get some authentic background mumble, quickly relocating after mistakenly wandering into the gynaecology ward with their location microphones!

In picture: Tom Puttick and Phil French at Cedar Studios.

Audient: Creating Sound for SEGA Published Two Point HospitalAudient: Creating Sound for SEGA Published Two Point Hospital

18th September 2018

Goodman Audio Services Expands with EAW Adaptive

Goodman Audio Services Expands with EAW Adaptive

USA – For more than 25 years, Santa Fe Springs, California-based Goodman Audio Services has provided corporate event audio for a client list that includes William Morris Endeavor (WME), Guess, DreamWorks Animation, 20th Century Fox, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and video game developer Blizzard Entertainment. The company recently joined Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) Adaptive network with the purchase of an Adaptive line array system.

“The addition of the Anna line array is important because it provides us with technology that allows us a lot of flexibility,” explains Goodman Audio Services owner Trace Goodman. “When you are working on large corporate events where visual impact is as important as sound, it’s terrific to have a product that you can hang straight – and out of the way – while still placing the high-quality sound where it is needed. That’s exactly what Anna brings to the table.”

Goodman Audio Services has been a long-time supporter of EAW with hundreds of EAW boxes in their inventory. Goodman notes that the sound quality and durability of EAW systems has kept them a staple in his business.

“We recently used 52 Anna modules and 12 Otto subs for an eGames sporting event at the Barclay Center,” he adds. “We put together a left-right system with three delay arrays that blanketed the space in even coverage – while still being powerful and intelligible. This is a perfect example of what the system is capable of.”

“Corporate events are getting more and more sophisticated with greater audio demands,” Goodman concludes. “The Anna system is flexible enough for anything I can think of. It’s a tool in our arsenal that will allow us to grow and meet the demands of our clients for years to come.”

In picture: Goodman Audio Services owner Trace Goodman with his new EAW Adaptive rig made up of Anna modules and Otto subwoofers.

17th September 2018

Britannia Row Productions and Clair Global Invest In Yamaha RIVAGE Mixing Systems

Britannia Row Productions and Clair Global Invest In Yamaha RIVAGE Mixing Systems

UK & USA – The success of Yamaha’s RIVAGE family of digital mixing systems continues, with two of the best known names in live music production – Britannia Row Productions and Clair Global – respectively investing in pairs of RIVAGE PM7 and PM10 digital mixing systems.

Britannia Row has invested in two RIVAGE PM7s, one of which has been installed at the monitor position in London’s iconic Roundhouse venue, with the other scheduled to join it at front of house in the coming months.

“In our view too many house systems remain the same for years, so we regularly update all aspects of the Roundhouse system. Keeping the system current keeps the venue current,” says Britannia Row’s Mike Lowe. “We know there will be bands coming in in the autumn and early 2019 who want us to supply PM7s. It also benefits the large amount of engineers that work in the Roundhouse every year to have hands-on experience with the most contemporary systems. All-in-all, this was the right time to make the investment.”

Britannia Row Productions is committed to providing artists and engineers with the best equipment, so the company has always had Yamaha digital consoles of all sizes in its inventory. It has chosen to put a PM7 on monitors in the Roundhouse because many monitor engineers are familiar with the ubiquitous Yamaha PM5D.

“The investment in Yamaha products has always been good for us and, in our opinion, RIVAGE PM7 and PM10 are the best sounding consoles that the company has produced to date. We have always enjoyed the legendary reliability, consistency and have a good relationship with Yamaha, so adding RIVAGE PM7 was not a difficult decision,” says Mike.

“The Roundhouse hosts a high number of corporate shows throughout the year, so the Dan Dugan auto mixing is obviously a very useful facility, as is the great I/O capability, the Rupert Neve Designs preamps and Dante networking. To the venue it will bring a console that is new and exciting while, to the productions, it will also have the comfort factor that, although it is new, it is a Yamaha!”

Meanwhile, Clair Global has added two RIVAGE PM10 systems to its inventory. The system is popular with engineers in the US and the new investment will help to ensure that the company’s clients can tour with exactly the same systems in Europe and the UK that they are using Stateside.

“We are very pleased that both Britannia Row Productions and Clair Global have invested in the Yamaha RIVAGE family,” says Alex Warren, Yamaha Commercial Audio sales manager for UK and RoI. “RIVAGE is quickly becoming a new byword for excellence in large format digital mixing systems, so it is fitting that it has been embraced by such high profile names as well as a venue as legendary as the Roundhouse.”

In picture: Britannia Row Productions and Clair Global staff with the Yamaha RIVAGE PM7 and PM10 systems - Chris Lamb, Keith Cunningham, Jerry Wing, Mike Lowe, Lez Dwight, Nicola Amoruso and Marcel van Limbeek.

17th September 2018

Clair Brothers is Exclusive Choice by VTècnics and Prase Media Technologies for Best Ever Sound at elrow Show

Clair Brothers is Exclusive Choice by VTècnics and Prase Media Technologies for Best Ever Sound at elrow Show
Clair Brothers is Exclusive Choice by VTècnics and Prase Media Technologies for Best Ever Sound at elrow Show

Spain – What began in 2010 as a small party thrown by the Arnau family in Barcelona for an extended group of close friends has blossomed into what is today a global phenomenon. The original vision was to create a place where adults could play around in a dreamland where space aliens and Elvis are welcome, and anything goes, surrounded by vivid and surreal performances, all while listening to quality, bass-heavy dance music. Its booming popularity led to the event becoming an outdoor festival that now touches six continents with over 250 elrow events in more than fifty cities.

And so, it was this year, the eighth anniversary of the Barcelona elrow show, that Clair Brothers’ distributor and rental partner in Spain, VTècnics built upon a powerful new trend of collaboration (an idea born from Davide Buonasorte, sales and marketing manager at Prase Media Technologies – the Clair Brothers partner in Italy) between European Clair Brothers partners. Explains, Josep Maria-Serra, production manager at VTècnics, “Our first collaboration was with Audio Concept, the Clair Brothers distributor in France, working on Aquelarre de Cervera here in Spain using their Clair Brothers i212 System. It was an excellent collaboration and it was from that experience that we also realised the importance of international collaboration with southern European countries. So, in early June of 2018, we again collaborated with Audio Concept from France on the Kalikenyo Rock Festival held in Juneda, Spain, which went over beautifully. And so, this year, when VTècnics had the opportunity to work the eighth anniversary elrow show, we knew that we needed the Clair Brothers C12 system for this event. We needed more speakers than we had available, and we bought more but the shipment had yet to arrive by sea. As it turned out, we needed to look no further than Prase Media Technologies for this high-demand product. They had the C12 system and were more than willing to collaborate on elrow with us. The bottom line is it’s highly beneficial to collaborate to achieve the best sound, using the correct equipment, for a specific job or event.”

At the elrow show, it was Emanuele “Lele” Luongo, sound engineer for Prase Media Technologies, working hand-in-hand with Francesc Güell, sound engineer for VTècnics, that configured the sound system. Mr. Güell has been doing sound engineering for the Elrow family since the show’s beginnings and felt it was important this year to improve the event’s sound system. He knew Clair Brothers speakers were the best choice to make the improvements and that using the highly-respected American brand would give elrow an additional selling point when promoting this huge, three stage, live performance party.

The P.A. used on all three stages was the Clair Brothers C12 system, with four units on the Main Stage (rear) VIP Zone. On the Terraza Stage the teams employed twelve C12 units for the P.A., 13 Clair Brothers CS218 subs, and for set monitoring, two C12s and four Clair Brothers iS218 subs. For amplification and processing, seventeen Clair Brothers/Lab.gruppen CB-PLM-20K44 units were used in tandem with one Clair Brothers/Lab.gruppen CB-LM44. The Ker Beach Stage was equipped with eight C12s for the P.A. with six iS218. Set monitors consisted of two Clair Brothers kiTCurve12+ units, two kiTSub+ units and one CB-LM26. On the Ker Stage, amplification and processing was provided by one Clair Brothers/Lab.gruppen CB-PLM-20K44 and three Clair Brothers/Lab.gruppen CB-PLM-12K44s. It has been widely recognised by everyone involved that, logistically, this combination of equipment and the execution of the event in total worked with the precision of a Swiss watch.

When asked why this specific gear was the best choice for such a large EDM/DJ production, Serra explains, “The last system used for elrow was a system with lots of bass but not much clarity in the mid and high frequencies. The C12 possesses a bright and clear sound all its own, while the iS218 is very potent and effective with bass frequencies, which makes them perfect for this kind of production. Mr. Güell has worked with all kinds of professional sound systems for lots of DJ Festivals and he has no doubt that Clair Brothers offers the best sound.” This opinion was supported by performers at the event, where many of the DJs admitted the Clair Brothers monitors were the best they’ve ever worked with.

All in all, the unique and growing trend toward collaboration between European partners of Clair Brothers is bearing fruit, resulting in huge live events that sound better than ever before. This bodes well for the future of live production in this part of the world. Show promoters from elrow welcome Clair Brothers, saying, “You will now be our P.A. system for all our parties in Barcelona!”

17th September 2018

Philips Strand Lighting gives winning movie performance with #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm

Philips Strand Lighting gives winning movie performance with #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm
Philips Strand Lighting gives winning movie performance with #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm

Namibia – Signify has announced that its Philips Strand Lighting studio and location fixtures have delivered practical and performance benefits to the production of an independent Namibian film, the working title of which is #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm.

A range of Philips Strand Lighting’s latest LED instruments were supplied to Collective Productions for the filming of the compelling crime thriller by DWR Distribution, Signify’s Entertainment Lighting sales partner in South Africa. The equipment included Studio Panel MkII, 150S and 300S Softlights, and LEDhead Daylight fixtures.

During principal photography in July and August, gaffer Hein van Zijl and assistant Tangi Kamukwatange used the fixtures in a range of locations, including close interiors and challenging exterior settings, from riverbeds to roadsides. Throughout the shoot they appreciated the equipment’s portability, well-engineered accessories, selectable colour temperature presets and high quality light output.

Van Zijl praised the Studio Panel MkII for its compact portability and high quality 5600K colour temperature light output, while of the LEDhead, he said: “The LEDhead unit is useful for interior, or for close-up exterior photography. Its onboard dimmers are user-friendly and its three colour temperature options cover our most commonly-used balances. It’s compact, with really good packaging for travel, and the accessories are great – compact, sturdy stands, and excellent diffuser filters and barndoors which slide in in seconds.”

The softlight fixtures he also praised, saying “The 150S and the 300S both give a really good 5600K light, and are easily portable for their output. The 150S is useful as a soft fill for indoor scenes or closer outdoor set-ups, while the bigger 300S is an excellent fill or key light for even the biggest set-ups, indoors or out, day or night. The menu is really accessible with great features, and the barndoor system is of excellent quality, helping us to reliably shape and guide the light where we need it.”

#LANDoftheBRAVEfilm, written and directed by Tim Huebschle and produced by David Benade, is due for release in 2019.

photos: Collective Productions

Philips Strand Lighting gives winning movie performance with #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm Philips Strand Lighting gives winning movie performance with #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm

14th September 2018

Adlib Supplies AV Solution to IBF2018

Adlib Supplies AV Solution to IBF2018

UK – Adlib was delighted to win the contract to provide a full audio-visual solution for the 2018 International Business Festival (IBF), staged at the Exhibition Centre, Liverpool throughout June

It’s the third biennial IBF event in which the company has been integrally involved, and the brief from client Liverpool Vision included installing full technical infrastructure for various environments and event meeting spaces that were utilised throughout the Festival.

The scope of the work was twofold. Firstly, it was imperative to accommodate any anomaly on any stage at any time whilst also confining the audio from each space to within its allotted territory. Secondly, they wanted to put some atmosphere into a business festival without it being intrusive.

IBF2018 focused on different business genres each week, showcasing products and unique opportunities to meet business owners, investors and entrepreneurs from over 90 countries via a series of events, workshops and panel debates with industry leaders, distributors and deal-makers. It is a lively and imaginative forum for exploring ideas, and one where innovation, curiosity and creativity can lead to smarter commercial activity.

Adlib had to provide systems and technicians to cater for five diverse environments: the Futures main conference, the very popular Knowledge Hub stage, the Next Generation zone plus the lounge and entrance areas.

To achieve all of this smoothly, thorough and meticulous preparation was key. Adlib’s team had to be ready for any eventuality, from bizarre and off-beat presentation requirements to specific headset mic requests.

With many events taking place simultaneously in one open space, super-tight zone control was crucial to the audio design, so limiting and focusing dispersion from the different areas was a massive consideration.

The Futures Stage featured a six-metre-wide by three-and-a-half-metre-tall Absen A3 video wall, complete with playback via one of Adlib’s custom QLab / PlaybackPro systems, supported by Panasonic remote controlled cameras.

Crisp, clean high clarity audio was delivered by a flown Coda ViRAY system with Coda TiRAY delays and a DiGiCo SD9 mixing console at the heart of the system.

Twelve generic profile luminaires were used to light the stage and for key lighting for speakers, presenters and guests, while eight new Claypaky Axcor Profile 900 LED moving lights provided atmospherics and many additional subtle visual effects like variations in colouring and texturing.

The Knowledge Hub featured a Panasonic PT-RZ970 projector fitted with an ultra-short throw lens, rear-projecting onto a Stumpfl screen. For the lighting aspect, ARRI 300 Plus and 650 Plus Fresnels on Avenger flag stands brought a flourish of TV studio style, and the PA was a precisely positioned and angled K-array Python passive speaker system, picked for its elegant appearance and sonic clarity.

The Next Generation was a vibrant and animated youth educational area, kitted out with 55” TVs and an Adlib AA81 audio system geared for presenters / speakers and music.

The Connections Lounge and entrance corridor also hosted smaller presentation areas that required background music systems together with some straightforward but versatile moving light treatment which could be varied if needed.

The first item of technology greeting delegates and the public after registration was a ten-metre-wide by three-metre-high curved video wall welcoming everyone to the Festival, which was made up from Adlib’s new Unilumin UpadIIIH5 LED, which looked stunning.

Adlib also provided rigging, motors and trussing, plus lighting, PA and technicians to live event and experiential specialists Innovision, for its ‘Britain is Great’ stand in the expo section of the venue.

Adlib MD Andy Dockerty commented:, “We were very honoured to win this a high-profile contract again. It enabled us to showcase a full portfolio of products, skills and services, from LED walls and projection to PA and lighting, together with set and rigging including motors and trussing. Also, our extremely talented crew of designers, engineers and technicians who set up and ran everything.

“As in most major corporate contracts, it highlighted our ability to understand the client’s requirements and work closely with them to deliver to the exceptional standards of which everyone is truly proud.”

photos: Steve Sroka

Adlib Supplies AV Solution to IBF2018Adlib Supplies AV Solution to IBF2018

14th September 2018

Robe Spiiders Step Up for Halsey Tour

Robe Spiiders Step Up for Halsey Tour
Robe Spiiders Step Up for Halsey Tour

USA - Everyone is talking about Halsey and her “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” world tour. Apart from the critical acclaim and commercial success of her second album and several emanating singles, the reviews keep raving about the creativity, art and attitude of the highly visual young singer / activist’s live performances.

So, it comes as no surprise to discover that Sooner Routhier and Robert Long of SRae Productions are behind the show’s production design as they are known for their imagination and uniquely lateral approach. With Ashley Frangipane (Halsey) herself the show’s creative director, and right at the essence of the presentation, the harmony and aesthetics are truly a special collaboration.

Fifty-four Robe Spiider LED wash beams, a brand-new investment by DCR Nashville, lighting vendors for the US legs of the tour, are a vital part of the lighting rig.

The tour started in autumn 2017, and SRae submitted their initial proposals in May of last year. At the start, Halsey suggested a 'Romeo & Julietesque' romantic look, so original versions of the set were based on this. However, once SRae began to also design promo and award show performances, an alternative approach evolved.

Sooner and Robert both noticed how “incredible” Halsey is at negotiating stars during a show. They felt she needed a unique performance space, so the giant staircase set was born; an elegant and dynamic triple-decker construction, with each level connected by smaller flights of stairs. Upstage of the top stair are two large LED screens.

As it turned out that the artist’s own ideas of how the touring set should start developing from this point were almost identical to their own thoughts!

With her so involved in the creative process: “It was a really pleasant surprise to know we were all on the same page from the off” stated Sooner.

When it came to specifying lighting kit for the tour, lighting director on the road Craig Rutherford - who has worked with Halsey in this role since the latter stages of the 2015-16 ‘Badlands’ tour campaign to promote her ground-breaking debut studio album - suggested Spiiders as they are currently his favorite wash light!

“I'm very much a "right tool for the job" type of person” stated Craig who likes the fact that Spiiders can fill a variety of roles.

The brightness is another big positive for him: “For a mid-sized LED wash light, they pack an impressive punch,” and the flower effect “is a unique look giving us some mileage in the show. The pan and tilt are fast too, but it's the brightness of that beam that really does it for me.”

Twenty-four Spiider are positioned all over the overhead rig on three flown trusses staggered to mirror the shape and depth variations of the large steps on the set below. Four are positioned above the band with another eight behind them for effect.

The balance are on the deck, lining the sides of the steps and stairways, where they can wash across the whole set and side light the artist as well as create some stunning overall pixel effects. The final eight Spiiders are within the B-stage structure at FOH.

All the Spiiders are running in wide mode to enable an array of fluid kinetic pixel effects that are used to accent and highlight some of the intricacies in the music.

As the primary wash light, they are constantly in action. The stair units are utilised for side lighting and effects from the lower cross stage angles, occasionally turning to beam out toward the audience for aerial effects.

The ones in the overhead rig produce multiple looks throughout the show including rings, shapes and other effects, so they're not always being used as a straight wash.

The flower is used sparingly as a unique gobo look to really 'wow' the audience at strategic moments. “We play extensively with the pixel effects, and really maximise the visual variety that can be achieved,” confirmed Craig.

Craig has been using Robe products since their brand profile and presence started to rise in the US, thanks to the hard work of the team at subsidiary Robe North America, and he thinks the company is doing extremely well.

He recalls an encounter at LDI a couple of years back where he was directed to a person on the Robe stand to answer some in-depth technical questions. That person turned out to be Josef Valchar, Robe’s CEO: “Who answered all my questions and was extremely knowledgeable,” explained Craig.

It was a very cool experience to find out the people at the top have as much technical knowledge as their engineers and designers. That sort of technical expertise at the executive level adds immensely to the culture of a company and is very much appreciated by all those of us who do this for a living out on the road.”

Andre Petrus was SRae’s lighting programmer for the tour. He, Sooner and Robert hear and translate music into lighting in a very similar way explained Sooner, so there are an infinite number of musical details that have corresponding lighting cues and effects. “So much so, that all the lighting fixtures tend to look totally different from one song to the next,” she observed.

Andre and Craig also enjoyed a very good working relationship and constantly bounced ideas back and forth during the pre-production period.

Technical production specialist DCR Nashville has been supplying lighting for the tour since April 2018 and are extremely happy with the decision made to buy the Spiiders says general manager John Schirmer.

He has worked with Sooner (who is also based in Nashville) on several previous projects.

Apart from the fact their client SRae thought they were a good investment, John commented: “We’ve learned since then that Spiiders are rock solid, which keeps costs down and profits up through the lifetime of a tour.”

He observed that the fixtures are also a very flexible choice generally for programmers and designers.

DCR Nashville “Believes heavily in Robe as a brand,” added John.

They enjoy a very strong relationship with the sales team at Robe North America, although “Support has been almost non-existent – we’ve not needed it and that is a great thing! As GM not having to contact the manufacturer for support is my favorite part,” he underlined.

DCR Nashville also owns around 100 Robe Spikies which they started purchasing in 2016 for country music singer, songwriter and record producer Bradley Gilbert’s live performances.

photos: Todd Moffses

www.robe.cz

Robe Spiiders Step Up for Halsey TourRobe Spiiders Step Up for Halsey Tour

14th September 2018

Robe Lighting

SSL System T Has Next Generation Audio Success at the European Championships

SSL System T Has Next Generation Audio Success at the European Championships

Germany - Solid State Logic has taken a leading role in successful broadcast trials at the recent European Championships athletics competition in Berlin. The network-native SSL System T broadcast production environment took centre-stage, mixing to both AC-4 and MPEG-H 7.0.4 channel-based formats with object channels, and feeding channel direct outputs for an MPEG-H High Order Ambisonic mix simultaneously. The event was a major step forward for both Next Generation Audio (NGA), and Ultra High Definition (UHD) and High Frame Rate (HFR) video.

The trials covered two track and field events each day for four days. A number of broadcast engineers were invited to take the helm and mix individual events, producing immersive 7.0.4 beds and four object channels: English and French commentary, and English and French audio Ddescription.

Field sources were a combination of the Schoeps ORTF-3D microphone (4.0.4), mh acoustics' 32 element em32 Eigenmike array, plus a variety of spot, crowd, and ambient microphones (both mono and stereo). The SSL System T environment consisted of the new 32-fader S300 control surface and the T25 Tempest audio engine.

To cope with the high channel counts and complex routing requirements, SSL Network I/O was deployed, alongside Dante AoIP I/O from other manufacturers, including Audinate's own Dante Virtual Soundcard. This was all connected to a redundant CoTs network with two Cisco SG500 and two Cisco SG300 switches, providing a 1024 x 1024 audio routing system.

I/O management, creation of logical devices, and network-wide routing were managed directly from the System T S300 GUI. This meant real channel numbers and varying channel orders could be hidden from the operators, who instead simply routed complete 7.1.4 and 4.0.4 logical devices.

SSL's Tom Knowles, product manager – broadcast systems, was present at the trials, guiding engineers on System T and its new immersive features. "The operators coped really well," he notes. "It was gratifying to see them get to grips with the console, the routing, and the NGA features so quickly. We weren't telling people how to mix, we were facilitating their preferences.

"With the mix of sources and formats we were dealing with, the console's 3D panner was essential. It was instrumental in building the ambient beds and moving a big variety of source material in the 3D space without having to use aux channels for height, for example.

"It was a great pleasure collaborating with all the companies involved this event. On the audio side, we worked directly with B-com, Dolby, EBU, Fraunhofer IIS, Junger, and Qualcomm to prove that we are already delivering immersive, next generation audio."

To enable emerging demand for Next Generation Audio, the recently launched version 2 of SSL System T's software-based architecture now incorporates the channel, bus, panning, and monitoring requirements of immersive audio standards, including 3-axis coordinate panning, wider channels and busses, Intelligent downmixing, 12-channel monitoring, and upgraded processing tools.

14th September 2018

White Light’s Data Strategy QC-Check operational and integrated with inspHire

White Light’s Data Strategy QC-Check operational and integrated with inspHire

UK – Data Strategy has reported that the first QC-Check workstation delivered to White Light Ltd (WL), incorporating the Out Board PAT-4 tester, is now fully employed in testing distros, power cables and electrical appliances. Furthermore, integration with inspHire, WL’s comprehensive rental software, has been completed providing a live update of the hire stock’s status. The deal between White Light and Data Strategy was announced earlier this year.

Delivered in June, White Light received the first Data Strategy ‘660’ QC-Check workstation, incorporating the new configuration built for Data Strategy by long-standing partner, Datchet-based SES. The single bay ‘660’ is named for its width and provides significantly more room for test connectors whilst retaining the mobility of a 19” rack format. When Power-Check (the QC-Check distro testing module) is added to the package the 660 workstation provides the ideal solution to a hire company’s power department test requirements.

A second notable announcement is the availability of an update for the QC-Check application that adds a significant new feature, multiple ‘inspection sets’. This enhancement to the EUT (Equipment Under Test) test definitions allows QC-Check to intelligently schedule the testing of equipment by defining additional sets of inspection parameters. Additional inspection sets can be added to an existing test definition to provide a different set of inspection requirements with different periods of occurrence.

An EUT, for example, might require an electrical inspection on every hire but has the additional requirement of an annual service or calibration. QC-Check keeps track of the EUT’s inspection requirements and flags the user when a test is due. Combined with QC-Check’s built-in reporting facilities, a predictive report can be run to determine what needs testing and when; this allows intelligent scheduling of the appliance test resources while ensuring equipment is always fit for hire.

In picture: WL's operational business systems manager Jamie Wells and quality manager Paul Talbot, with the fully integrated 660 QC-Check workstation.

14th September 2018

Veteran Front of House Engineer Keith Windhorst Takes Musical Journey with Legendary Rock Band

Veteran Front of House Engineer Keith Windhorst Takes Musical Journey with Legendary Rock Band
Veteran Front of House Engineer Keith Windhorst Takes Musical Journey with Legendary Rock Band

USA – As the iconic drummer for the legendary rock band Journey, Steve Smith’s drum kit is almost as impressive as his percussion playing skills. With a large number of microphones needed in a small space, the monumental task of capturing the clear, pristine sound of each drum, cymbal and chime is left in the capable hands of veteran FOH engineer Keith 'Meaux' Windhorst. To overcome the amplification challenges associated with such a massive drum kit, Meaux relies on a selection of mics from DPA Microphones.

Although Meaux has spent over 35 years in the business, his decision to switch to DPA is a relatively new one. “We finished touring in August of last year and during our break, Gabriel Antonini from DPA approached Steve about the possibility of using DPA mics,” says Meaux. “I knew of DPA’s reputation from industry friends, but I was fine with the drum sound we already had so I hadn’t thought about changing microphones on Steve’s drum kit. Gabriel sent me a box of mics which I agreed to try out when we had time. One afternoon we we pulled the mics off the kit and replaced them with the DPA mics. Steve played and I recorded and when we listened back, they sounded really good. I thought they were a step up and the rest is history.”

For Smith’s kit, Meaux utilizes six DPA d:vote 4099 instrument microphones for all of the toms and d:dicate 2011 twin diaphragm cardioid microphones on all three snare drums and on the bottom of the base snare.

“We have a lot of mics in a very tight space,” adds Meaux. “Our drum kit is on a ten-foot riser and when you go into big arenas, you deal with different reflections and different sounds. As far as the mics go, the d:vote 4099s and d:dicate 2011Cs sound great and are isolating. For example, sometimes you need a specific mic to hear a specific drum while four other drums are within a three-foot proximity, and the DPA mics are really able to isolate that one drum sound.”

According to Meaux, the DPA mics deliver a true representation of “what goes in, comes out” where other companies often build a predetermined EQ curve into the element of the microphone, which does not help the sound. Additionally, Meaux recognises that you don’t have to gain DPA mics up wide to get the level you want out of them. “It’s just very natural,” says Meaux. “They are a good representation of proper audio. My ear for standard EQ is quite consistent. If you boost the frequency on it or if you cut the frequency with these mics, they’re very reactive to that specific EQ pattern.”

In addition to the pristine sound Meaux gets from the drums themselves, he also likes the look of the associated accessories. “I love the DPA hardware,” says Meaux. “I like how easy it is to conform the hardware to each drum and that it is not visually distracting.”

In the process of switching over the drum mics to DPA, Antonini also sent Meaux a d:fine 4088 directional headset microphone for keyboard player Jonathan Cain. “The previous headset we had on Jonathan sounded okay, but it was big and bulky,” adds Meaux. “It was kind of an eye sore and Jonathan didn’t like the way it felt on him. We tried the d:fine 4088 mic during rehearsals in a studio and it sounded great. It was less intrusive for him, but I didn’t want to completely sign off on that until we had a chance to try it out in an arena. When you get into an arena you have all those speakers in the air, and reflections from the big room. I wanted to make sure that the mic was going to get me the gain that I needed and sound correct without any feedback. It passed the test! It looked great, sounded great and it was comfortable for Jonathan to wear, which is all you can ask for in a microphone.”

14th September 2018

GLP KNV Provides an Emotional Baptism for AIDAnova

GLP KNV Provides an Emotional Baptism for AIDAnova
GLP KNV Provides an Emotional Baptism for AIDAnova

Germany – As part of a spectacular and very emotional staged event at the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg, the first LPG-powered cruise ship, the AIDAnova, received its formal baptism. At the same time, this marked the world premiere of the full production version of GLP’s new KNV system.

At first only heartbeats were heard, then powerful lasers drew the contours of the gigantic ship into the pitch-black night. Light and lasers combined to slowly bring the 337m long and 70m high ship to life. The backbone of the imposing, and slowly revealing staging, which culminated in a golden firework display, was formed by a matrix consisting of 300 GLP KNV modules. These had been placed at irregular intervals on the balcony railings of AIDAnova.

The Berlin artist collective phase7, based around director Sven Sören Beyer, had already inspired the general public and professionals alike with their staging of the AIDAprima’s baptism two years ago. For AIDAnova the task was now to create a completely new concept in co-operation with East End Communications and Vivica Seybold of AIDA Cruises together with Jasper Poensgen from Jasper Poensgen Projects. After initial ideas had been developed jointly by the two Opus award winners, Sven Sören Beyer and lighting designer Björn Hermann, they began their search for innovative technology.

When GLP key account manager Oliver Schwendke introduced us to the first KNV prototypes at the beginning of the year, this new GLP product immediately hit a nerve, without us knowing what we intended to do," Björn Hermann recalls. “We were looking for something like this. We had a vision that would match the sublime, friendly character of the nocturnal golden-glittering Eiffel Tower; people all over the world love that special, magical sparkle that emanates from it, and we wanted to showcase that same wow factor to the AIDA family."

The new modular KNV LED systems combine strobe, blinder and pixel block functions. Each module has 25 pixels, each consisting of a high power LED in white and surrounded by a ring of 16 RGB LEDs. The white LED offers maximum brightness and effect, while the ring is available for creative effects and backlighting. In total, every KNV module reaches a massive output of 50,000lm. Two powerful FX engines ensure easy and safe control, while the individual control of the pixels is via 202 16-bit channels per module.

KNV modules are available in two basic forms. At the launch of the AIDAnova, only the cube-shaped KNV variant was used. The second basic form, the KNV Arc, has the shape of an eighth-circle and can (like the cubes) be connected seamlessly with other modules to allow unlimited combinations. The modules can thus be used as a single device or be connected to large related shapes, structures, such as wavy lines or giant matrices.

In the great final melodrama of the ship’s inauguration, the golden glittering KNV matrix merged with the golden rain of the fireworks and the reflections of the harbour basin to create a unique and unforgettable picture. "I have never seen such a bright and powerful LED fixture," emphasised Sven Sören Beyer: "Moreover, the KNV modules proved to be very flexible in the number of expressive possibilities. KNV is not only a powerful stroboscope, but a really creative tool.”

The christening of the AIDAnova was the first use of the production version of KNV, after successfully being field tested in advance, both at the Eurovision Song Contest and the Nature One Festival.

Most of the KNV modules used in Papenburg came from the dry-hire portfolio of Motion GmbH, and are therefore now available on the German rental market.

photos: Manfred Vogel

www.glp.de

13th September 2018

GLP

Painting Rubens with Light

Painting Rubens with Light
Painting Rubens with Light

Belgium – Creative design practice Painting with Light presented a stunning lighting and video design together with bespoke video content for “Rubens the Musical”, a production of spectacular proportions staged by Historalia on a series of pontoons floating in the moat of the magnificent (old) Westerlo Castle in Belgium.

The magical setting was fitting for the show, which featured Rubens, master painter of the Flemish Baroque movement, as the central character in a unique performance that ran for two and a half weeks, proving so popular that more shows were added.

Painting with Light also supplied the lighting and video control package, including one of their new disguise servers to run the impressive 50-metre-wide canvas that formed a dramatic backdrop to the stage.

Painting with Light’s Luc Peumans created the lighting design in close collaboration with Paco Mispelters, who also worked as the lighting director on site, while Arthur Claesen worked with set designer Marnik Baert to create the intricate video content, all of it derived from and inspired by Rubens’ original art.

This digital scenery set the atmosphere, scenes and locations underpinning the narrative as well as defining the whole visual aesthetic.

Luc and Paco took the video images of Rubens’ art, which is known for their colour, sensuality and fluidity, as the starting point for the lighting, together with the direction of Luc Stevens.

A tensile roof was erected to protect the stage from rain, however this didn’t offer up any flying facilities, so all the lighting positions were rigged onto the upstage scaffolding structure supporting the set and video elements, resulting in a heavily backlit show.

The front lighting positions were facilitated by the tent structure covering the audience seating tribune and by a scaffolding tower with a trim of 13 metres.

With such a large stage and performance space, it was essential to have a lot of general lighting, and the principal characters were highlighted by followspots.

The main moving lights used were Robe, with 16 BMFL Blades for front lighting and to illuminate a pathway immediately in front of the stage, where some of the action also took place. The Painting with Light team made use of the power and accurate shuttering of these to create precision keylighting looks.

The Blades were complimented with seven BMFL WashBeams, effectively the core back- and sidelight fixtures.

The bulk of the stage and set washing was achieved with 30 Robe Spiider LED wash beam luminaires rigged from the set scaffolding, and these also lit across the stage and the band, who were positioned inside the set.

Twenty-four Robe LEDWash 600s were used to pick out the cast and to augment the band, leaving around 100 strategically positioned LED PARs to illuminate the set and stage from the front and side footlights positions.

Two followspots were deployed out front and used to pick up the principals at various times.

Time on site was pressured and, although no-one is complaining about the gloriously sunny and hot summer weather, the lighting department could not realistically work during the day, so programming was completed during a series of overnighters.

Balancing the lighting and video looks and cues and creating sumptuous, animated looks that emphasised a minutiae of detail was a meticulous process undertaken with care and diligence.

As with all Painting with Light projects, the control system of choice was a grandMA2 for lighting, programmed and operated for the run of shows by Painting with Light’s Ivar van Dijk. The console also triggered the video cues stored on the disguise 4x4 pro media server programmed by Dries Mees, as well as varying the intensity of the LED screen.

All the lighting equipment and the audio was supplied by L&L Stage Services and Demon, and the LED screens were from Pixelscreen.

Arthur Claesen, assisted by Wouter Verhulst, specified the impressive 250 square metres of 10mm LED screen which made up such a substantial element of the multi-layered set. With the audience seated 30-40 metres away, 10mm was a good option as super HD was not necessary.

With this huge digital canvas as an integral part of Marnik’s gallery-style set design, the screen layout featured 14 striking columns each seven metres high by two metres wide with a 9-metre-wide by 3.5-metre-high landscape orientated centrepiece LED divided into two.

The full pixel map to which all the content was worked totalled 3552 pixels wide by 672 high, and Arthur optimised all the images in HD to that exact size.

Director Luc Stevens gave him a clear brief once the storyboard was completed, and Arthur then sourced and compiled the content. This was an extraordinary challenge!

Each location in the musical was based on a reference somewhere in Ruben’s work, so when the action took place in, for example, a bar, as Rubens specialised in painting altarpieces, portraits, landscapes and mythological or allegorical subjects, Arthur had to use his imagination and improvisational skills to imagine what a Rubens-painted drinking place would look like!

As an art school graduate, a painter and prolific visual artist in his own right, Arthur’s training and background were a massive asset to the project.

He is familiar with many famous paintings, so this knowledge was incredibly useful and in fact, he relished the task. “It was absolutely the most challenging and the most enjoyable part of the work,” he stated, revealing that the research was painstaking and took him a complete month, with another two weeks for composting images and tweaking.

As a painter, he was able to hit the exact rhythm of the ambience required, although finding high resolution originals of some images was also exacting

Video ran through the entire show apart from a few short moments, so for Painting with Light, being able to deliver the full visual package ensured continuity as well as a coherent and beautifully harmonious visual experience which was a big hit with the producers and the public.

photos: Elke Briers

Painting Rubens with LightPainting Rubens with Light

13th September 2018

Belmont Students Gain Insight into Industry with Bandit Lites

USA – Belmont University recently held its annual Battle of the Belmont Bands, an event that features an entirely student run production. Open to any current, full-time Belmont students, the Battle of the Belmont Bands and Showcase Series works with up-and-coming student talent, both on and off the stage. As a partner in the Showcase Series for well over a decade, Bandit Lites offers insight to students about the mechanics of what it takes to light a production, from planning and preproduction, to load in and load out.

Lucas Boto, Belmont’s Curb College co-ordinator of sound reinforcement and live events noted the value of providing students a professional setting such as Bandit Lites to learn practical skills that bridges educational growth to potential career paths.

“Access to cutting edge equipment is fantastic and appreciated, but without the relational planning process provided by Bandit, students would not have the opportunity to get a real-world experience,” he said. “As a result, our students are able to learn the skills needed to immediately move into a well-paying production job after graduation.”

Belmont student Cameron Scott designed the lighting rig for August 25th Battle of the Belmont Bands and designed a rig that would stand out even in the Nashville summer sunshine and offer enough versatility for the range of acts.

Scott used a variety of movers for his rig, with Bandit Lites supplying Robe Pointes on downstage truss for audience lighting and spinning gobo effects, Elation ACL 360 Bars, Claypaky Sharpys atop vertical trusses for movement, Martin Mac 101s for backlighting and effects along with Bandit’s exclusive GRNLite Moving Washes and Pars for a stage wash. A grandMA2 Ultralite provided control.

“My favourite fixtures on the rig were the ACL 360 Bars which could spin 360 degrees and pan left and right,” Scott said. “I had several positions saved for these on the console so I could push a button and they would spin in unison. One of my favourite things to do was turn the LED bars vertical at the start of a chorus or drop. Any other fixtures were on the stage floor and mostly stayed in a fixed position.”

In addition to access to gear and the shop, Scott also elaborated on how learning to network in a professional environment, from communicating as a team leader to working under pressure as a first-time lighting director.

“I was blown away by how supportive and patient Brent Barrett (business development officer) and Jimmy Hatten (project manager) were with me,” he said. “They enthusiastically answered every question I had, treated me with the upmost respect and kindness even though I was an absolute beginner, and they made the experience extremely gratifying.”

“Bandit has had the honour of being involved with the Belmont Showcase Series since the spring of 2005 where we have watched the series constantly develop and evolve to better meet the needs of the students,” said Barrett. “It is a programme that all of us at Bandit are proud to have the opportunity to be a part of. Our goal is to give the students a real-world experience in our industry; we want the LDs to learn the importance of being flexible in accomplishing their designs and also realise that fixture types and counts are not the only considerations in the hitting the budget number, but also the importance of a professional approach and interaction with the vendor.”

“Several people at Bandit took the time to set up the whole rig in the warehouse so that I could come in to program, which showed that they go above and beyond,” finished Scott. “When show day came around, Bandit’s John Lucksinger and Sam Morgan were equally as supportive, respectful and kind. Things ran very smoothly thanks to their hard work and I could not be more grateful for everyone at Bandit who made it possible.”

Belmont’s dedication to its students is apparent in its efforts to present them with every opportunity to prepare for life outside of school, including supporting programs like the Showcase Series.

“Without the support of industry veteran and dean of the Curb College, Doug Howard, as well as the institutional support from Dr. Fisher (president) and Dr. Burns (provost), we wouldn’t be able to sustain such an immersive and impactful educational programme,” finished Boto. “The support from within Belmont alongside our valued industry partners are what make these student opportunities possible.”

13th September 2018

DMB Taps Pent-Up Demand on Jam-Packed Summer Tour with Meyer Sound Leo Family

DMB Taps Pent-Up Demand on Jam-Packed Summer Tour with Meyer Sound Leo Family
DMB Taps Pent-Up Demand on Jam-Packed Summer Tour with Meyer Sound Leo Family

USA – The Dave Matthews Band didn’t tour in 2017, so this year the legions of loyal fans packed into amphitheatres and festival grounds as the DMB zig-zagged from coast to coast in support of its number-one charting studio album, Come Tomorrow. From Texas in May through the final September shows in California, the tour’s audio production again relied on a Meyer Sound Leo Family system supplied by Martinez, California-based UltraSound.

For more than 22 years, UltraSound and Meyer Sound have been the bedrock of the Dave Matthews Band live production. For Jeff Thomas, the DMB’s FOH engineer for nearly 27 years, this enduring relationship with UltraSound and company co-owner Derek Featherstone (also FOH mixer for The Dead, Dead & Company and related ensembles) helps keep the tours running smoothly.

“Derek has such a well-rounded perspective on everything,” says Thomas. “Being a production manager and mixing engineer as well as a businessman he approaches any situation with a balanced and comprehensive design to it. If there’s anything we want to do audio-wise, he can relate to it in a way that everybody understands, including DMB management, promoters and venues. And I can always rely on him for good advice on the particulars of audio.”

Another well-tested ingredient in the DMB touring recipe is Meyer Sound Leo Family line arrays, the core element of the band’s touring audio production for the past five years.

“One thing I really appreciated about the Meyer Sound rig on this tour was the throw of the Leo arrays,” says the tour’s systems engineer, Tom Lyon, who has been with UltraSound since 2000. “Leo can easily hit the lawns of the amphitheatres without running out of headroom, which means we can mix comfortably loud with plenty of dynamic range still available. The other things about the Leo Family is that all the boxes are incredibly linear, so there is very little difference in tonal response between when the music is loud and soft. We don’t have to rely on compression to prevent the sound from getting harsh when it’s loud.”

For most of the amphitheatre shows the system was configured with main and side hangs of 16-each Leo line array loudspeakers, augmented by two hangs of eight-each 1100-LFC low frequency control elements. Front fills were eight Leopard loudspeakers, with four CQ-2 loudspeakers deployed for miscellaneous fill as needed. System optimisation and drive were supplied by Galileo master processors at FOH and Galileo Callisto array processors at the stage. The artist foldback system included eight MJF-212A stage monitors.

Although his job is FOH engineer, in recent years Jeff Thomas has taken to mixing the DMB’s music on an Avid Profile console at a backstage location with as much acoustic isolation as possible.

“This all started with some of Dave’s acoustic shows, when sometimes the way the audience behaved was at odds with what we were trying to do,” Thomas explains. “Also, venue acoustics are often an issue, and the specific locations where you have to work can be problematic with a lot of variability. I find that if I’m in a remote location I can mix the music to the best of my ability. I can produce a consistently stronger mix for the systems engineer to put out into the room.”

According to Thomas, although he and Lyon are in separate locations, the isolation has actually improved their teamwork. “What I am doing is mixing the music while Tom takes care of adjusting the system to the acoustics of the room. Those are two separate tasks. What I feel is the downfall of the traditional approach is that, if the person mixing the music is constantly subjected to the environment, he is constantly adjusting individual components of the mix to accommodate that environment. If there’s a frequency or tonality that’s a problem in the room, I don’t want to adjust it in my mix. I don’t want to be playing around with the low end on my kick drum while Tom is EQing the subs, or working on the drum overheads while he’s adjusting the high end of the PA. If we do that, we end up chasing each other in circles.”

When he’s backstage listening on his Sensaphonics IEMs, Thomas has to have full confidence not only in his systems tech but also in the consistency and control of the system that is carrying his mix to the audience.

“There’s no doubt that the Meyer Leo Family is a wonderful option,” he says. “One of the biggest advantages is the uniform control of all frequencies. When you get to the edge of the pattern, all the frequencies behave in the same way, it’s very consistent. We don’t have a problem of rogue frequencies leaking out beyond the others.”

Thomas also cites the system’s advantageous front-to-back ratio. “I really noticed how little information is coming out the back of the Leo loudspeakers. We can EQ the audience side of the system to sound good, but then if there are problems with sound coming off the back and going into the microphones on stage, I would have to address those in my mix and that in turn can generate problems out front. But with the Leo Family we can EQ them for out front and we don’t have issues behind them.”

The Dave Matthews Band Come Tomorrow summer tour stopped at 40 cities in North America, with strong pent-up demand prompting two shows in six cities plus the traditional triple-header at The Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington State over Labor Day weekend. The Meyer Sound UltraSound touring system was used for all shows except for two festival appearances, although one festival (in Ottawa) deployed a similar Meyer Sound Leo Family system from a local provider.

DMB Taps Pent-Up Demand on Jam-Packed Summer Tour with Meyer Sound Leo FamilyDMB Taps Pent-Up Demand on Jam-Packed Summer Tour with Meyer Sound Leo Family

13th September 2018

Adlib’s Busy Summer with Outline Newton

Adlib’s Busy Summer with Outline Newton
Adlib’s Busy Summer with Outline Newton

UK – Merseyside-based Adlib Audio handled an extraordinarily busy festival programme through the long, hot summer of 2018. As early-adopters of Outline’s remarkable new processor, the variety and sheer volume of their workload provided an ideal platform to road-test their new Newton units – and road-test them they surely did.

Adlib’s Senior Engineer Ian Nelson takes up the story: “For this summer’s festival commitments we’ve effectively used our Newton units in one of two ways, either as a festival console matrix system or as a full system controller. For the former, a single Newton device was configured as a central hub, bringing together the outputs of our dual house consoles (running as an A/B system to facilitate band changeovers) plus multiple guest consoles and our small ‘VT’ desk that deals with VT, DJs and announcements.

“The two house consoles are configured to provide PA left, right and sub on both analogue and AES with the VT console sending L&R on AES into the system. We allowed for two guest consoles to be connected at any one time and these could send us anything from L+R to L+R+Sub+Fill, also on both analogue and AES.

“We also used a MADI A-D/D-A converter to expand the analogue input capability of the system, which provided an additional 16 analogue inputs, eight AES and eight analogue outputs, connected to the Newton via co-ax. Our matrix was then set up to handle all 16 inputs from the various console sources, routed as appropriate to a total of 14 outputs for all zones of the main PA plus broadcast and record feeds.

“This se-tup was used very successfully at BBC Radio 1 Biggest Weekend Scotland, in Glasgow at the TRNSMT Festival, the Rewind Festivals Scotland, north and south respectively, both Reading and Leeds Festivals and the Greenman Festival.”

Ian continues: “In the second scenario, we used our Newton as a full system controller. I prototyped our first Newton Control Rack and this was given a run out at the Liverpool International Beatles Convention, used to process the PA system supplied for the Bootleg Beatles at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

“At this show it was used to drive the entire PA and was also integrated into our measurement systems to provide analysis feeds to SMAART etc. Control over the Newton was via a MacBook Air connected to a wireless access point via Cisco network switches.

“This set-up was slightly simpler in that we needed only 13 of the 16 available inputs for main and support outputs plus VT, SMAART reference (via Dante) and a pair of inputs for music playback. These were then matrix-mixed within Newton to feed 13 outputs which drove the main and side PA hangs, subs, fills, the SMAART reference feed to a laptop plus L&R sends to record and the VIP area.”

Feedback from visiting engineers and system techs has been both plentiful and encouraging as Ian also reports: “For a lot of these guys it was the first time they’d seen a Newton in use, but even so we had a lot of really positive comments, for example, 'Using the Newton has made the whole headache of getting multiple guest consoles into the system a complete breeze.' Another remarked: 'ASRC on every matrix input, love it, no clocking headaches any more!', while another said: 'So many input options means we can accommodate virtually anything that is thrown at us'.

“Yet another commented: 'It’s so easy to use. I was a little nervous having never used it in anger but the intuitive control software meant that I was up and running in minutes,' but perhaps my favourite was: 'It’s quite a thing!'.”

Ian has the final word: “In summary, our Newtons have had a good workout this summer in a few different scenarios and so far we are very happy. There is still some development work to do on the control side of things but the relationship we have developed with Outline is fantastic and we have also been beta testing the new releases of software prior to distribution, so all is looking rosy.”

13th September 2018

Simon Horn Adapts Anastacia Tour Rig with ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium

Simon Horn Adapts Anastacia Tour Rig with ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium
Simon Horn Adapts Anastacia Tour Rig with ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium

UK – Lighting designers draw their inspiration from a variety of sources. Sometimes it may be the artwork on a client’s album. At others, the spark comes from the lyrics of a hit song. Simon Horn’s captivating design for Anastacia’s Evolution Tour grew out of the name of the tour itself, as is evidenced by the DNA-shaped double helix set pieces that run across the back of the stage.

Like the evolutionary process, Horn’s design has been marvellously adaptive, allowing him to maintain the look of his show as the tour moves through a wide variety of venues, often incorporating house lights into its rig. Key to this flexibility has been his ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium console.

“We started as a full production tour at theatres and small arena venues, then went to a mix of shows, including multi-band festivals this summer, often working with locally supplied rigs,” said Horn of Purple Lighting (West Sussex). “My MQ500 has been invaluable in terms of making our show very adaptive, without losing its core identity. We always have the DNA-shaped set pieces on the rear of the set flanked in pixel LED tape with two cell blinders mounted to the back.”

Horn credits the easy morphing and cloning features of the MagicQ MQ500 Stadium with helping him adapt his 22-universe show to different venues. “The quick and easy morphing and cloning are an absolute godsend,” he said. “Being able to expand palettes, when being presented with a fixture with extra attributes that I don’t already have programmed in existing palettes and cues, is a massive time-saver. I can use the expand palette feature to push new attributes added to a palette to all cues in the show file that have used said palette. For example, when moving to a fixture with a second prism controlled by a second channel, it would normally be ignored in cues even when recorded to my prism palette. However, after completing the expand palette process, this is instantly rectified.

“The same goes for when having only recorded RGB values on an LED fixture in my show,” continued Horn. “If I want to use the amber chip on a new fixture after morphing, as only RGB values were present in the cues, it will only look to reference the RGB values stored in the referenced palette. However, by adding the amber attribute values to a palette and then hitting expand, the amber chip will now be used wherever that palette has been used.

“The MQ500 also makes it easy to morph from a mega point to a normal point, even with effects that previously referenced CMY values, it is very quick and easy to edit colour FX to snap rather than fade between colours and easily change the colour palettes being used by the FX rather than re-recording the FX,” continued Horn. “Even on the fly when I miss something, I can quickly jump in and edit the cue, then just as easy view the upcoming cues and edit them without affecting the current output.”


As flexible as it is adaptive, Horn’s light show covers a wide range of moods and looks, from dance solos, to soft theatrical moments, to heavy rock with punchy beams, to fun colourful pop.

“Anastacia describes her show as ‘Sprock – Soul Pop and Rock, so I created a show that defines all these elements,” said Horn. “The DNA towers work well as a backdrop, allowing me to deliver some very vivid looks as well as a starry sky effect for a slow ballad. Those towers go everywhere with us. I designed them so they can be split easily and taken on checked baggage.
These took some serious pixel mapping, but I’m in love with the outcome.”

The DNA towers and the ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium both come into play to add a dramatic finish to Anastacia’s show when the star performs a beefed-up dance version of her Top Ten hit “I’m Outta Love.” During the chorus of this song, Horn “turns the DNA towers into UV meters” by utilising the ChamSys Audio Input Interface. “This allows me to overlay a spectrum analyser in the pixel mapper,” he explained. “A bit cheesy perhaps, but it looks and works a treat for that particular moment!”

Simon Horn Adapts Anastacia Tour Rig with ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 StadiumSimon Horn Adapts Anastacia Tour Rig with ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium

13th September 2018

LichtWerk Amplifies Havelfest with Alcons

LichtWerk Amplifies Havelfest with Alcons

Germany – The Havel Festival has a long tradition in Brandenburg an der Havel. For over 40 years, it attracts in the summer – now around 200,000 – visitors. In 2018, the Havel Festival included a total of five stages. LichtWerk Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH, one of Berlin's leading companies for the planning and technical implementation of professional events, has been managing the event for a number of years, with a brief break in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, the company was responsible for the lighting, as well as the sound system and public address system of the Stadtwerke-Bühne am Heineufer. For the first time LichtWerk relied on Alcons Audio.

The main PAs used were 24 of the compact medium-sized Alcons LR18 pro-ribbon line-array systems and 12 Alcons BF362 18" subwoofers for bass support. Twelve of the smaller Alcons LR14 pro-ribbon line-array systems acted as in-fills, two of the versatile Alcons VR12 pro-ribbon monitor systems as out-fills. The system was powered by eight Sentinel10, Alcons’ proprietary 4-channel amplified loudspeaker controller.

The three-day programme on the Stadtwerke-Bühne had it all: the spectrum ranged from headliners like Yvonne Catterfeld and Johannes Oerding to the dance and gala band "Lounge Society", to folk music with Stefanie Hertel. The final concert was contested by the Brandenburger Symphoniker.

Clemens Decking of LichtWerk usually took care of the mix of the shows. Together with René Hartmann, he had set up and tuned the sound system. Since another festival stage was only 180 metres away, it was not to be affected by noise. "So, the request was a lot of pressure in front of the stage, but not too far," laughs Decking.

A task that the Alcons system evidently had coped effortlessly with: "The system transported an impressive 102dB at a distance of about 30 metres absolutely clear and powerful, without the ears hurting. And the next stage was completely undisturbed. The engineer of Johannes Oerding was obviously having fun, he was the one who absolutely wanted to hear the system. Despite the enormous musical bandwidth, the system always looked good and delivered a very clear and transparent sound," concludes Decking.

13th September 2018