Production News Headlines
Johanna Town Creates Lighting Design for New Opera, A King’s Ransom, with Chauvet Professional Maverick
On the road with Nashville in Concert
UK – Adlib helped bring all the drama, excitement and glamour of the massively popular CMT TV series Nashville to the stage as ‘Nashville in Concert’ returned to the UK for a second run of sold out arena shows following the success of last year’s tour.
The Liverpool-based production specialist was asked to provide full production (lighting, audio and video) after making a great impression in 2017 on the production crew from Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
Adlib this year provided the key disciplines of lighting and sound plus the IMAG video package. Having one production supplier simplified logistics and administration, and enabled Adlib to offer both excellent continuity of service and a cost efficient deal.
The format was as before, a fabulously tight house band supporting a selection of cast from the series including Jonathan Jackson, Chris Carmack, Clare Bowen, Charles Esten and Sam Palladio. They played a vibrant set of new and favourite songs from the latest series together with their own original material and, as always, a few surprises!
Adlib’s Dave Eldridge co-ordinated all the lighting and video elements. This year, Adlib was also asked to create a production lighting design after receiving a brief from the production team led by Betsega and Mike.
They wanted something that was fresh and different from last year, but that also related to the overall Nashville concept, so Dave and Adlib LD Tom Webber, who programmed lights and operated the show on the road, used the striking “Nashville in Concert” backdrop as a starting point.
Dave and Tom were keen to combine a theatrical feel with a sense of spectacle as well as a touch of television.
The fixed backline in place each night offered a great opportunity to use the spare floor space in and around it for lighting fixtures, which added depth and dimension to the performance space.
The structural aesthetics were based on three straight trusses overhead and a classic combination of spot and wash moving lights, for which Martin MAC Viper Washes and Profiles were selected, with 18 and 21 respectively of each type on the flown rig.
On the floor were six more Viper Profiles on raised podiums to elevate them slightly above the backline for impact and to blast through for eye-catching silhouette effects. These were joined by eight MAC Quantum LED washes on the deck dotted in between the backline kit.
Eight Robe picklePATTs on stands were positioned behind the Viper Profiles on the podiums adding a dynamic aspect to the overall look which also tied in well with the backdrop, bringing a nice tungsten-style effect to the stage. A splash of retro in a contemporary setting as well as looking fantastic in the ‘back-of-camera’ shots.
A combination of 2-lite Elation CuePIX WW blinders and Chauvet Strike 4 LED blinders were dotted around the rig.
With such a diverse range of songs and atmospheres to be created, ranging from bouncy up-tempo pop numbers to soulful blues to delicate ballads, they “really needed a full and flexible range of attractive static looks plus all those huge high-impact beamy effects that really animate the stage,” explained Dave.
The backdrop itself was up and down-lit with a total of 18 Chauvet COLORado Batten 72s which gave it definition overlooking the whole stage.
Tom chose a grandMA2 light console on which to programme and run lighting.
The IMAG video package comprised four Sony HXC-100 cameras, two positioned at FOH for the long and overall stage shots, and one hand-held onstage to capture the action close up. The fourth was a static non-operated camera on stage, deployed behind the piano and used for contrasting cutaways.
The camera feeds were sent to one of Adlib’s Blackmagic 2ME vision mixers being operated by Iain Christie. He cut the mix and sent it to the two 20 x 11ft. 3-inch Stumpfl side screens, each of which received images from a pair of double stacked Panasonic PT-DZ21K 20,000 lumen machines.
The results were really eye-catching, and the styling of the show received lots of positive feedback.
Adlib’s crew chief Kevin Byatt tied all the production elements together, taking an overview of the lighting and video systems. Charlie Rushton, Ash Dawson, Mark Taylor and Rob Bickerstaff were all the lighting and video technicians for the tour.
Dave Eldridge said: “It has been great to be involved in both the lighting and video elements as our team has had the opportunity to offer a cohesive result.”
Following the great success of last year’s sound, Adlib again supplied an L-Acoustics system, which in a typical format comprised 16 K2 loudspeakers with 15 Kara for the side hangs, supplied with all necessary rigging.
These were complemented by 16 ground-stacked KS28 subs, eight a side running in cardioid mode, plus some Kara and Arcs for infill and lip-fills.
Processing utilised a standard Adlib Lake rack loaded with two LM 44s, two LM 26s in conjunction with the L-Acoustics Network Manager which controlled the LA12X amps.
George Puttock was the Adlib systems engineer, working alongside Hassane Es Siahi and Mike Thorpe, and together they looked after Nashville’s own engineers Jayme Braun (FOH) and Josh White (monitors) and ensured that all of their sonic requirements were met.
For the six musicians in the band, the five backing vocalists and the cast and soloists, they used a mix of Shure PSM1000 IEMs and ten D&B M2 wedges for monitors. Adlib also supplied a full complement of mics.
The Nashville engineers both specified Avid Venue consoles, and George ran the whole system via AES with full redundancy.
Hassane commented that Josh was “an amazing engineer with great communication skills” and that he really enjoyed the experience of working with him and the rest of their team, “They are very talented and also very down-to-earth considering they work for some of the biggest country stars in the world! Fabulous people to work, spend time and do business with.”
Phil Kielty client manager stated: “Having Betsega Bekele back again overseeing the tour and Mike Sponarski as production manager, meant we could almost carry on from where we left off last time. The atmosphere behind the scenes is really great and every one of us loves working on the tour. Having to supply the IMAG on the tour this time, was a challenge but a happy one, as the show looked incredible.”
photo: Steve Sroka
21st May 2018
NEXT-proaudio reinforces Hardwell and W&W in CreamFields
China – A large number of top international DJs, such as Hardwell, W&W, Slander, NGHTMRE, Brohug, Kill The Buzz, Maurice West etc., took to the stage at the Creamfields Festival 2018 in Changsha, China. Creamfields Tour Changsha took place at the International Convention and Exhibition Center in Changsha on 1st May.
Creamfields Festival is one of the world's leading dance music festival series from the UK. Boasting of more than 20 years history, it has travelled across 22 countries. In early 2018, from its landing in China, Creamfields become extremely famous in the Chinese market.
Real Music Acoustics, the local distributor for NEXT-proaudio, technically supported the festival.
The FOH complete system comprised 24 LA212x and 24 LAs418. The entire setup was powered and managed via LA Powersoft touring racks with X8 Amplifiers.
“The main system, NEXT LA212x, delivered a premium sound at Creamfields 2018 Changsha to all spectators allowing everyone to had a perfect music experience” said Mr Richie Wang, Real Music´s CEO.
21st May 2018
All Aboard with Claypaky at Eurovision Song Contest 2018
Portugal – The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), hosted at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal, saw the latest range of Claypaky and ADB lighting fixtures dominate the beautifully evocative, multi-dimensional, theatrical and camera-pleasing lighting design by award-winning lighting designer and director of photography (DoP) Jerry Appelt.
A statement against the often flattening over-use of video in entertainment presentations, Appelt’s design is one of the biggest lighting set-ups in Eurovision history. Appelt employed over 2,000 lighting fixtures, 750 of which were Claypaky Arc and LED moving heads and 100 of which were the ADB asymmetric cyc LED fixture, ADB Klemantis. All lighting was supplied to ESC by Ampco Flashlight and Pixellight.
Appelt, lighting his fourth ESC, worked in close creative collaboration with set designer Florian Wieder to deliver a stunning, multi-faceted stage canvas that beautifully echoed Portugal’s nautical heritage, while offering a remarkable level of visual versatility. In addition, the design directly addressed the comments from last year’s winner, Salvador Sobral, who said: “Music is not fireworks, music is a feeling, so let’s try to change this and bring music back!”
Appelt’s shrewd positioning and programming of the Claypaky arsenal enhanced, defined and shaped the various layers and areas of the set to deliver a striking succession of evocative and sculptural lighting looks. This, combined with carefully choreographed moving trusses and beat-perfect camera work, ensured each country’s story was told with a refreshing depth and sensitivity.
With a mission to revive the physicality, emotion, meaning and intimacy of ESC with lighting, Appelt demanded a versatile workhorse fixture that would offer maximum choice: “I was looking to create dimension, not just from my fixture positioning but also from the feature set of each fixture itself. I also wanted consistency of output and colour across every part of the stage, so I chose to use a number of the multi-purpose fixtures from the Claypaky range, primarily the Claypaky Scenius Unico, the new Claypaky Hepikos and the Claypaky Mythos 2.”
Making its ESC debut this year, Appelt used the Hepikos to project dramatic aerial beams and stunning colour effects from the huge arching trusses above the stage, bringing another layer of drama to the wider camera shots. Appelt discusses: “The Hepikos is a super-bright beam-wash fixture that produces piercing, intense beams. It’s a hybrid fixture, which gives me equally effective ‘beam’ and ‘wash’ lights in one fixture. Its primary use was to frame the huge curved trusses above the stage with aerial beams. In addition, I used the interchangeable rotating prism to break the light beam up into several dynamic projections, bringing further dimension to the overall picture.”
ESC head of production Ola Melzig adds: “The Hepikos’ offers top-notch performance and unswerving colour matching with the other products we are using from the Claypaky range. All the fixtures are camera friendly and their relative compact size and low operating power consumption keeps costs down. This is crucial on a show that can run lighting for up to 18 hours a day, every day, for over a month of rehearsals and broadcasts.”
Also debuting on ESC was the Claypaky Axcor 900 range of LED fixtures: “I’m using these fixtures for the all-important performer key light and as a supplement to the followspots,” continues Appelt. “The Axcor 900 is ideal as a key light, but it is also an additional tool in my creative arsenal as the ability to project and shape the beam means I can use the fixtures for other purposes as well.”
As with ESC 2017 in Kyiv, Appelt’s main workhorse fixture is the Claypaky Scenius Unico: “I look for workhorse fixtures that can perform the role of two, maybe even three different types of fixture, without compromising colour, output, mechanical precision or effects,” stresses Appelt. “The Scenius Unico is one of my favourite solutions because of its reliability and versatility; it can be a spot, a wash or a beam light. It’s also high output and relatively compact in size and weight which makes it ideal when we need to use so many fixtures.”
Over 12,000 people enjoyed three spectacular live broadcasts from Lisbon’s Altice Arena, while over 200 million viewers tuned in on television on Final night with many more millions watching online. The final 26 acts put on a remarkable show for both the live audience and the cameras, but it was Israel’s Netta Barzilai who was the ultimate winner with her catchy pop anthem, Toy.
21st May 2018
Herrick Goldman Lights Off-Broadway Hit “Puffs” in Elation Lighting
USA – “Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic,” is a hilarious off-Broadway show playing at New World Stages beneath an all-LED Elation lighting rig. The play portrays a certain famous wizard school from the perspective of the slightly nerdy and not-so-famous house called Puffs. Described as ‘a play for anyone who has never been destined to save the world,’ Puffs are the outsiders of the magic school who disheartenedly observe as a certain boy wizard repeatedly saves the day. Written by Matt Cox and produced by Tilted Windmills Theatricals, the play is directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker with lighting design by Herrick Goldman.
The third iteration of the show opened at New World Stages in Manhattan last summer, where it’s still running. “Puffs” came to New World Stages from the Elektra Theater but was originally staged at the Peoples Improv Theater, a basement locale that gave the play a “downtown sensibility” according to Goldman. He and set designer Madeleine Bundy sought to keep that feel at New World Stages while upping the production value, a parity the LD describes as “a balance between the old and new stage.” At New World Stages, Goldman has an automated rig of Elation LED luminaires to work with, a setup of Satura Spot CMY Pro LED moving heads, SixPar 300 LED Par lights, Colour 5 Profile LED ellipsoidal spots, Colour Chorus 24 LED battens and Fuze Wash Z350 PAR moving heads, along with some conventional fixtures.
The play demands your full attention as scenes shift rapidly with characters constantly moving in and out of four doors on stage. “There are dozens of moods throughout the play,” Goldman explains, “with lots of action, lots of movement and special effects. The lighting has to keep up and the automated gear allows us to do that. It’s a busy show and the equipment works hard.”
The up-tempo nature of the show plays well to the strengths of an automated light. Ten Satura Spot CMY Pro LED luminaires with its 320W LED engine, zoom, colours and graphics do a lot of the heavy lifting, according to the LD. “The Satura Spots drive all the isolation looks on the small stage,” Goldman explains. “We use them to zoom in and establish location but as one scene happens on one side of the stage a different scene will then play out on the other side. The fixture has to adjust to the change of scene, which it does well.”
Colour plays an important role in the play and a variety of shades are used throughout. The Colour 5 Profile ellipsoidal spot with its 180W five-colour LED engine and the SixPar 300 units with its six-colour LED engine are used for face light, front light and also a UV look. Goldman says the SixPar units are “like a Swiss army knife,” adding that he uses them for “everything from warm face colour to crazy rock & roll looks.” Mounted above each of the four doors is a Colour Chorus 24 RGBA batten, which the designer uses subtly to paint the doors in saturated shades. Borders were made for each batten to better hide them from the audience and indeed they are impossible to see.
Goldman says the Fuze Wash Z350 PAR moving head has been a pleasant surprise. “It’s a beautiful soft light and I like its homogenised beam. With the non-pixel look face, it’s like looking into an old Fresnel or PAR light. It’s pretty from the audience’s viewpoint. We use them to backlight during the whole show and when we zoom them out wide, they cover the entire stage but still have a lot of intensity.” The RGBW colour mixing fixtures operate with top hats to better control the light spread.
“Puffs” has been playing at New World Stages for nearly ten months and because the rig is laden with LED lights, Goldman says that maintenance has been limited. David Carpenter of Tilted Windmills Theatricals, producers of the show, has also been pleased with the rig, commenting, “One of the joys of the Puffs journey has been adding new members to our family at every stage. When we transferred to New World Stages, we had the challenge of how to provide the level of magic that we needed to give our audiences an amazing experience. Elation stepped up to the plate and has been a fantastic partner to work with by providing solutions to our problems at the budget that we had to work with. It’s been a great experience and I can’t wait to work with them again.”
The new look at a familiar adventure from the perspective of the underdog has clearly found a receptive audience and the play routinely sells out. It’s even scheduled to open in Australia at the end of May. “The play is much more than a comedy,” Goldman concludes. “It’s really a play about friendship, about support and being there for one another and is surprisingly touching. It is also ridiculously funny.”
photos: Hunter Canning
21st May 2018
MegaPointes on Top in Hong Kong and Macau
China – Top One Design Engineering in Hong Kong and Macau has invested in Robe MegaPointes and LEDBeam 150s.
It’s the first Robe purchase for the company founded in 2012 by Kurt So to further the cause of bringing world class lighting and event design – with an emphasis on creativity and innovation – to a diversity of sectors in the region including live and corporate events.
Top One is also the first Hong Kong rental company to have these latest Robe luminaires in stock: 24 MegaPointes and 60 LEDBeam 150s, and that is because Kurt likes to offer the latest trending products in the rapidly changing world of entertainment technology.
Kurt and technical director Sam Hui had been keeping an eye on both of these Robe products for some time, they explained, and were “blown away“ with the first demonstration which was organised by Raymond Wong from Robe‘s HK distributors, Arc Source.
“The MegaPointe has far superior functions in both quantity and quality when compared to other lights in a similar class,” says Kurt, highlighting the animation wheel and prisms in particular.
However it was the incredibly light 26kg weight of the fixture which made this purchase a “no-brainer” for the company to service their busy raft of work.
The LEDBeam 150 was also chosen as ideal for its small size and footprint together with “a seriously powerful punch and its superior colour performance and mixing”.
Almost immediately the lights were delivered, they went straight out on The GREAT Festival of Innovation, staged at the Asia Society Centre in Admiralty, in the explosives store of the old Victoria Barracks to be precise, a carefully restored heritage site now transformed into a buzzing cultural, artistic and intellectual hub for the city.
The MegaPointes and LEDBeam 150s were used in four main areas at The GREAT Festival: ten LEDBeam 150s lifted the light levels along the red carpet and reception areas, 12 Mega Pointes and six LEDBeam150s lit the main stage, six MegaPointes and six LEDBeam150s were deployed in the Landscape Theatre cocktail area, and six MegaPointes and ten LEDBeam150s lit foliage and other areas of the rooftop terrace.
They were in action again recently in MacPherson Stadium for the MacPherson Festival x Siu Fay ‘Love for the Entire Life’ concert featuring Patrick Lui and other special guests. Lighting designer MaKaWai Mamui of AriesFlare Studio positioned 13 MegaPointes and 26 LEDBeam 150s on the trusses, and another nine MegaPointes on the floor, all of which provided some stunning looks and effects.
Kurt, Sam and the Top One team are all ecstatic with the purchase. “The lighting scheme for The GREAT Festival looked really amazing using these fixtures,” declared Sam.
Talking more generally about Robe as a brand, Kurt comments: “We feel that Robe has a lot of heart, and we really respect that the products are all made in-house and that so much time and effort goes into maintaining the quality standards.”
Top One Design Engineering is one of the busiest lighting design and supply companies in Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific region. With over 25 years of combined experience in the events industry, they bring huge knowledge as well as a fresh and invigorating approach to lighting and visual concepts, producing bespoke lighting designs and solutions for a lively mix of events.
photos: KRIZ2 and Rennee
18th May 2018
ArKaos Provides Speedy Solution for Autosport Show
UK – Lighting designer Nathan Wan created a high impact design for the Live Action Arena at the 2018 Autosports International show, staged at the NEC, Birmingham, where a one-hour special presentation showcased some of the fastest and craziest performance cars on the planet! This delighted petrol-heads and speed junkies of all persuasions who packed out the massive grandstand six times a day for the duration of the expo.
Nathan has worked on the show previously, and this year wanted to introduce some new visual dimensions to the mix utilising pixel-mappable fixtures, which he drove using ArKaos’s powerful MediaMaster 5 control solution with Kling-Net protocol.
Kling-Net is now embedded in a number of pixel-based fixtures including Robe’s popular Spiider LED wash beams, allowing the distribution of real-time video data.
The quick and easy implementation of Kling-Net enabled Nathan to drive the 36 Spiiders on the rig, plus 70 metres of Chauvet COLORband Pix LED battens with assorted video content that he had compiled and selected for the event.
The Spiiders were rigged on top of six five-metre high scenic L-shaped Singapore F1 night-race style gantries that reached nine metres over the track. These were introduced last year for the first time and were a big hit, so building on this experience, Nathan wanted totally different and more beautifully fluid kinetic effects that capitalised on the mapping capability of the fixtures. With this in mind, he chose to rig each gantry with six Spiiders.
Nathan ran the fixtures in the minimum 27-channel mode to create some fabulous ‘eye-candy’ so all the heavy processing and math involved in colour blending, etc was done simply and just by MediaMaster 5 on his MacBook Pro, rather than by running the lights in 123-channel mode and programming them via the lighting console.
The COLORband Pix were positioned in a long 70 metre / 840 pixel row with gaps in between the units, curving around the low wall on the far side of the track away from the grandstand. Once again, with graphic content fed into these units via Kling-Net from the laptop, a serious amount of programming time was saved.
In a scenario like this where time is tight, the Kling-Net option “is extremely helpful for creating complex and interesting looking effects” confirms Nathan.
The Live Arena is in a very similar setting each year, so it’s important to keep the space evolving and looking fresh and different for regular fans. They all enjoy the thrill of the race, the action and the exhilaration of high octane-driving and performance cars, so getting an equally stimulating light show in this demanding environment is the creative ‘bottom line’.
Nathan is now regularly using Kling-Net in his designs which have included a new Robe product video which was launched at Prolight+Sound 2018, Frankfurt. At that exhibition on the booth itself, he used Kling-Net extensively to programme pixel mapped products for “Cirque Robe” a highly anticipated and unique live performance spectacular.
He also used it to drive fixtures on the Anolis booth at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2018 in Amsterdam, and to run lighting recently for a corporate event and product presentation in Hawaii.
The trend for lighting manufacturers to embed Kling-Net into a wide range of pixel products is expected to continue growing and ArKaos is dedicated to providing lighting and visual designers, programmers and operators with innovative and dynamic tools.
18th May 2018
Ayrton’s new Ghibli LED spot luminaires join Kieran Healy’s lighting rig for “American Idol”
USA – After 15 seasons on FOX, American Idol moved to ABC this year where the show’s long-time lighting designer, Kieran Healy, added 50 Ghibli fixtures, Ayrton’s first LED spot luminaire with a factory-equipped framing system, to the rig. ACT Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton lighting in North America.
“This year’s design for the American Idol studio shows has a moving ceiling with eight different panels,” says Healy. “I don’t have fixed lighting positions to key the judges since the ceiling can be in many different positions. I was looking for a new moving head spot fixture with an even field to put in the rig so I could take any pair of lights and key the judges from any angle.”
Healy opted for 50 Ghibli fixtures, five of which are dedicated to keying and backlighting the judges while the balance serve as performance lighting. The fixtures were provided by PRG.
Ghibli delivers a light output of 23,000 lumens in a highly compact format. Its proprietary optical system produces an extremely uniform fat beam with no hotspot. hibli’s selection of gobos and colours was made in collaboration with lighting designers to meet the needs of the entertainment industry.
ACT Lighting arranged a demo of the new Ghibli and other moving head spots for Healy at Volt Lighting. “LED spotlights are really just coming up to speed,” Healy notes. “Ghibli immediately struck me as a great instrument. The output, even field, colour rendition and framing shutters were all important to me. It stood out amongst the other lights.”
Given the Ghibli’s many attributes: “The main thing for me was the evenness of the field,” he says. “You need that for key lighting faces on TV, especially three judges. The colour rendition was important too: we’re using 4700º Kelvin as our key colour temperature. I love how once we set one Ghibli fixture to that temperature we’re able to copy it to all the other units. That’s an incredibly time-saving feature. You don’t want have to set 50 units individually.”
Healy also likes that “the framing shutters help contain any spill around the subjects,” and he enjoys the Ghibli’s “colour, gobos and speed of movement” as theatrical lighting.
Healy uses other Ayrton fixtures on American Idol as well. “The upstage vertical screen splits four ways horizontally and vertically to expose three different light walls when the screens are in different positions,” he explains. “Ayrton MagicBlade and MagicPanel fixtures, hung vertically, are revealed to create beam effects and eye-candy for various numbers.”
Healy has had an enviable career in lighting design. He was lighting designer for The Who at the age of 22 and soon counted The Rolling Stones, Genesis and ELO among his touring clients. Since he left the nomadic life for television, Healy has been nominated for 16 Emmy Awards taking one home in 2009 for American Idol. He served as a Television Academy Governor representing the Lighting, Camera and Technical Arts Peer Group from 2012-2017.
So it’s high praise indeed when Healy calls the Ghibli “definitely a go-to light” in his lighting kit from now on. “It’s not just a theatrical luminaire,” he says. “It’s a moving spot head that’s able to key light people. And the reliability of the LED engine is very important, knowing you’ll get exactly the same white light out of each unit.”
Healy’s team on American Idol includes programmer Harry Sangmeister and lighting director Don Winters.
photos: ABC/ Eric McCandless
18th May 2018
Chauvet Professional Supports Diverse Performances at Anderson President’s Gala
USA – The term “president’s gala” may conjure up images of staid speeches and a formal dance, but nothing could be further from reality at Anderson University’s South Carolina School of the Arts. The culmination of the academic year at this renowned art institution, its President’s Gala, is a rousing evening of musical diversity that moves seamlessly from West African drumming and dancing, to orchestral and choir compositions, to show tunes.
Providing a visual backdrop for this far-ranging event, which took place at the school’s Rainey Fine Arts Center on 21st April, was a richly textured and flexible lighting/video design by ACS Sound and Lighting that featured a collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures and LED video tiles.
“Jay Pitts, the new producer of the President’s Gala, brought our company on board to help enhance this event with extra artistic flair that could support its diverse performances, while making it camera friendly for television,” said Denise Simpson of ACS Sound and Lighting. “We’ve worked with Jay on many events in the past and we understand his vision. I was the lighting designer and board operator for the event, working closely with Chris Hansen the director, Andrew Allday the video designer and Daniel Fisher the video director.”
Key to the flexible lighting design at the President’s Gala were the 16 Ovation E-910FC colour mixing ellipsoidal fixtures with HD 19° tubes that were flown on the FOH truss. Used as the main stage wash, as well as for band specials, these RGBA-lime fixtures made it easy to change the mood on stage to reflect different musical styles by shifting colour palettes.
“The E-910FCs provided a very nice, solid wash with a nice colour temperature that reflected very well on camera,” said Simpson. “I have a fondness for the consistency and smoothness of the Ovation line of fixtures and the crispness of the HD lens tubes.”
Adding colour and depth to the proscenium stage and enhancing visuals for the television camera were the rig’s COLORado fixtures. The ACS team deployed 16 COLORado 1-Tri Tours to the light the proscenium wall and an additional 24 units to complement the architecture of the room and add depth and fullness to audience camera shots.
The ACS design also included four COLORado 1-Quad IP fixtures on the first electric, eight on the FOH truss and four on dance booms, which were positioned downstage left and right.
“A challenge we faced in this project was dealing with the height of the borders,” said Simpson. “This house has dead hung borders and had a very limited fly space, so this meant that the fixtures were really no more than 14’-18’ off of the deck. Not to mention we also provided risers that were 18”. At times, we had 100+ performers on stage, so this made stage washes a little more challenging because of the lack of fly height. It also somewhat limited me on flyouts into the audience, and vanity things of that nature. The even output of the COLORados helped us meet this challenge. To compensate for the lack of height and depth, I also added a few extra fixtures to get the coverage that I needed.”
Pulling the design together by providing a colourful and thematic framework was an LED video wall flanked by two video columns, all made with 91 PVP X6IP tiles. The wall and columns were used to enhance the graphical backdrop for the performances and add texture, depth and motion to the stage.
“The video screen not only contributed to the artistic imagery, it also helped to open up the set by breaking up the darkness of the stage drapery,” said Simpson. “Andrew Allday’s use of colour on the columns and animated content on the wall really added a nice glimmer and gleam to the show without taking away from the performers.
“All of us involved in this event shared a primary goal of creating something that complemented the performers on stage and brought the vision of the director and producer to life,” continued Simpson. “Secondly, we wanted to provide dramatic enhancement, yet not take away from the performers on stage as it is their time to shine. Thirdly, we wanted to be sure all of this translates to video for broadcast and preservation.”
Based on the looks of the President’s Gala, the design team succeeded in meeting all three of these goals. On its website, Anderson University describes this free event as a “gift to the community.” The wonderfully diverse entertainment made it just that, and the stunning looks created by the design team ensured that this gift was beautifully wrapped.
18th May 2018
Koji Kikkawa Arena Show Brought to Life with GLP’s JDC1
Japan – One of Japan’s most popular singer songwriters, Koji Kikkawa, added real dynamics to his recent Live is Life arena show at the 8,000-capacity Musashino Forest Sport Plaza with the aid of 23 JDC1 hybrid strobes from GLP.
Specified by lighting and set designer, Makoto Shimizu – who was also performance director – these were programmed in full 68-DMX channel mode to achieve full impact.
The entire stage concept was put together between himself and Koji Kikkawa. “He likes stereo architecture so we assembled mainly curved trusses,” explained Shimizu. “Also, using the lights we designed the back lighting truss to resemble a weapon attack by the Mazinger Z [from the Japanese animé super robot manga series], with the JDC1 featuring prominently.”
Makoto said he had been aware of the power of GLP products for some time. “We had a tour last year, using the X4 Bars,” he said. “Because of the passion of Fourleaf [GLP’s Japanese distributor], we decided to purchase the JDC1. We saw the demo fixture during the performance by [Japanese mascot character] Funassyi last summer, and used two [GLP] GT1 and JDC1.”
GLP Asia’s Michael Münz and Søren Storm had also paid regular visits to Fourleaf, as well as major lighting company, Lighting Big1, who supplied the fixtures for this show. “They are one of the biggest rental companies in Japan and long time GLP customer,” said Münz. “They have been using the impression range since early on and currently have a large stock of the X4, X4 Bars and now the JDC1.”
At the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza the hybrid strobes were used mainly as audience blinders but also doubling as wash and truss lighting use as well.
Explaining this deployment, Makoto said: “JDC1 is brighter than other existing LED strobes so we can use them as a wash light as well. I like the beam light [function] as well as the wash light so I am happy to have powerful fixtures such as this at our disposal. With 68 channels we were able to achieve fabulous effects and various colours.” He said it had been well worth the intensive programming required and as for the fixtures themselves, they functioned flawlessly, he said.
In closing, Michael Münz said: “I think this long time experience and close relationship with our customers and LDs is one reason for GLP being such a strong brand in Japan. We have been doing extremely well here for many years.”
But the final word came from Makoto Shimizu. “I am just this person in the east who can do this type of crazy work including set design, lighting design, programming, system plan, lighting plot and direction. I don’t think anyone does that! This show used around 900 fixtures and 7800 DMX channels, and they were controlled by one board so it was really hard to program everything. But I was really satisfied and the result was just as I had hoped.
“We have another Koji Kikkawa concert at Nippon Budokan next February and I am sure to be using JDC1 again.”
photos: Shinji Hosono
18th May 2018
VER showcases the Minuit Une M-Carré at its brand new North London demonstration studio
UK – As part of a programme of upgrades being carried out at its North London hub, VER has opened the doors to its newly constructed lighting show space and pre-visualisation suites, located directly adjacent to the company’s vast equipment store.
Aimed at providing production crews with convenient, hands on access to the entire VER product range, the new demonstration space is available to lighting directors, designers, gaffers and crews from all areas of the live event, broadcast and media production community.
To help launch the new show space the company is running a series of open-house events featuring a variety of automated fixtures and lighting effects from a number of leading manufacturers, including the Minuit Une M-Carré, an innovative new approach to scenographic illumination and effects that will change the way you look at light, exclusively available to rent from VER.
Speaking about the new studio, VER’s director of lighting, Europe, David March, says: “We’re delighted to be launching our new show space. The facility allows us to provide crews with hands on testing of both the VER and Aurora product range plus detailed demonstrations of exciting new luminaires, cutting edge technology and immersive effects such as the M-Carré.”
The on-going investment in the VER UK operation also includes the newly built pre-visualisation suites, created specifically to provide lighting designers with the opportunity to plot and showcase installations. David continues: “Our new pre-viz suites are a fantastic resource; the chance to build and visualise lighting plots can prove invaluable, particularly in helping create accurate equipment lists, which can potentially result in on-set savings of both time and resources.”
17th May 2018
Halestorm Rocks New Rig From Bandit Lites
USA – Grammy-Award winning Halestorm is back on the road with a new lighting package from Bandit Lites and launching into summer with their epic, hard rock sound, featuring the outstanding vocals of Lzzy Hale, drummer and percussionist Arejay Hale, guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith.
Bandit Lites supplied nearly 150 fixtures included Ayrton MagicDot R, GLP impression X4s, Robe Halos, Claypaky B-Eye K20, Chauvet Nexus 4x4, Chauvet FX-B, Martin MAC Viper Profiles, Sun Strips, Martin Atomic 3000 LED, Elation Color Chorus 48 with Base Haze, a grandMA2 full-size for control along with a MA Lighting eight-port node.
When lighting designer Craig Richter began the planning this year’s tour cycle with the band, they communicated their desire to step up the production. To bring about this escalation, Richter opted for custom carts that hold nearly all the fixtures and raise up to fourteen feet high.
“The MagicDots and X4s's are mounted to a grid in rows of four that crank up out of a custom set cart; three rows per cart,” Richter explained. “In between those fixtures are the Robe Halos; I originally wanted them to go around the MagicDot fixtures, but unfortunately the size of the fixture did not allow that to happen, so I had some custom brackets made for them from Gallagher Staging in Nashville that allowed me to put a half coupler on them and mount them to the grid.”
In addition to the carts, Nexus 4x4s provide uplight, with four under a grated drum riser and two under two grated ego risers. Claypaky B-EYEs are placed on either side of the stage as side light, while the Color Chorus 48s are used as drape lights.
With so many elements to pull from during the performance, Richter skilfully adds the fixtures at intervals as the show progresses, making each addition as effective as possible.
“The band has a lot of great songs and I want them to all be as impactful as possible, so it was hard to not show all the tricks right out of the gate,” Richter said.
“Craig’s lighting design for this year’s tour is absolutely magnificent,” said Bandit’s chief business officer, Brent Barrett. “This rig assists in taking Halestorm’s production to a new level; the fixture loaded lighting carts provide a variety of look opportunities while simultaneously being practical logistically. Add to that the fact his timing as the board op is impeccable and his use of colour is impressive.”
Richter credits Bandit Lites attention to detail, sharing that project manager Matt King assisted in taking Richter’s idea out of his head and putting it on paper, making it come to life.
“Once again Bandit Lites has come through for us and made the planning and realisation of our new rig a reality,” said tour manager Michael Mahar. “It’s always a pleasure working with the team there, and with the help of Matt King and Brent Barrett getting our logistical and creative goals accomplished was a piece of cake. Can’t say enough about these guys!”
“Brent Barrett is always great to deal with,” Richter added saying, “he never tells us no and is willing to roll with the punches and do what we need to whenever a speed bump arises.”
To help curb the potential speed bumps, Bandit offered its massive Venue One rehearsal space, allowing both Richter time to set up the entire rig and program lighting, while the band was able to utilise the space for rehearsal, meaning everything was show ready for night one on the road.
“This is a production we are so proud to be a part of,” finished Barrett. “Michael Mahar is a true professional and I appreciate both his attention to detail and his straight-shooting personality; having the opportunity to do business with him is an absolute pleasure.”
17th May 2018
Juan Ocampo Creates Rogue Looks For Zion & Lennox at Rosemont
USA – Creative passion doesn’t fade, it just keeps burning more brightly with every passing mile for Reggaeton legends Zion & Lennox. After 18 years of touring and a fistful of Top Ten hits, the Puerto Rican duo still exhibit the raw hungry power that has made them a defining force in their musical genre. This fervor was on full display in their recent hit music video Mi Tesoro, recorded with Nicky Jam. It was also very much in evidence on a cloudy Sunday night, 22nd April, when they rocked the sold-out 4,400-seat Rosemont Theatre outside Chicago.
Supporting the duo’s high-energy performance was a plethora of aerial effects, stage sweeps, blinders and intense audience lighting created by Juan Ocampo of High Frequency Productions (Gurnee, IL). Using a collection of Rogue and Strike fixtures from Chauvet Professional, Ocampo’s rig featured 28 Rogue R2 Wash fixtures, 16 Rogue RH1 Hybrids and four Strike 4 multi-formatted blinders, along with 16 Chauvet DJ Intimidator Hybrid 140SR units, all supplied by High Frequency Productions.
“This project came to us just two weeks before the show date,” said Ocampo. “The V5 Group out of Chicago reached out to us about the show and put us in contact with the tour manager, Giovanni Ortiz. He sent us their touring stage design and told us to replicate it as close as possible. When we mentioned that we would be using Chauvet Professional fixtures, he immediately approved, no questions asked.”
Following this plot and making a few tweaks along the way, Ocampo created a richly textured, multi-layered matrix of light that added a much-needed sense of depth to the 60’ wide Rosemont Theatre stage. This dimensionality engendered a sense of intimacy on stage, which reinforced the strong connection that Zion & Lennox have with their fans.
Set against this background, the saturated colors from the Rogues energised the visual panorama on stage. “The Rogues have great vivid colors that stand out,” said Ocampo. “With their fast pan/tilt movements, our LD for the show, Glenn Ottenbacher, had no trouble snapping them into position.”
Ocampo’s design called for 16 Rogue R2 Wash fixtures to be flown on downstage truss for stage wash and crowd specials. A collection of four Rogue R2 Wash units was flown on the upstage batten directly in front of the LED video wall, used primarily for backlighting the performers. Another six Rogue R2 Washes were flown, along with eight Rogue RH1 Hybrid units and four Intimidator Hybrid 140SR units, on mid-stage truss, and were used for downlighting, crossing beam patterns and intense specials.
“There were also eight RH1 Hybrids, eight 140SRs and six more R2 washes on the stage decks as part of the floor package,” said Ocampo. “We placed the RH1s on road cases behind the musicians directly under the 43’ LED wall. The combination and placement of all these fixtures created the visual effects that the TM was looking for during the show. Zion & Lennox’s surreal effects that were displayed on the video wall were heavily complemented by the lighting. We had to ensure that the LED visuals and lighting worked in harmony together to create the total immersive experience.”
Completing the rig were the Strike 4 fixtures that were flown on downstage truss. The warm white fixtures had no trouble filling the spacious theatre with their glow.
“The crowd came looking to connect to Zion & Lennox, and hopefully our lighting contributed to making that happen,” said Ocampo. “The entire team of Glenn Ottenbacher, Garrett Vanderveen, Sabrina Seaman and Nick Manchenn deserves a big shout-out. In the end, our lighting helped give these very gifted artists a platform to showcase their talents.”
17th May 2018
Robe MegaPointes are a Credit to Isracard Event
Israel – Light architects Cochavi & Klein produced another of their show-stopping lighting designs for a huge event staged in Pavilion 2, Tel Aviv, Israel’s biggest venue. They were working for production company MPLive who delivered the event for financial services giant, Isracard.
The format was a gala dinner for around 2,500 people, a live show featuring a star-studded line-up of popular Israeli talent onstage including Infected Mushroom and others, culminating in a party. Eran Klein operated the lights working closely with stage designer Omer Israeli, Cochavi & Klein’s project manager Dor Aichner and video designer Rubi Saati of Studio Vega.
Omer and Eran chose Robe moving lights to deliver serious impact and effects, with 12 Mega Pointes which are being used live for the first time in Israel, plus 30 Pointes, six Spiiders, eight BMFL Blades, eight BMFL Spots and three Patt 2013s on the rig.
Cochavi & Klein was asked on-board on the strength of their impressive portfolio and reputation for bringing fresh creativity and innovation to visual stage and performance concepts. MPLive approached them after consulting with the event’s technical producer, Itamar Bar Shavit.
The vast Pavilion 2 venue is 120 metres long, 60 metres wide and has a 19 metre throw distance from the roof – great news for LDs, but also meaning that only the most powerful fixtures will make an impact. This was reason number one for Omer and Eran’s choice of Robe.
The stage was set up along the long side of the room to help make the space more intimate, with the furthest away tables on raised platforms for improved site lines from the far reaches.
Omer’s idea was to have a futuristic ‘digital city’ stage design, complete with video skyline comprising ten different height and width towers, each part-filled with video panels for a more random appearance. To complement this, the lighting needed to be amplified to fill the vast areas, reaching out and ensuring that guests felt the energy and a connection to the stage action rather than sitting isolated in a cavernous room.
Upstage and downstage trusses were rigged above the stage, primarily to light the bands.
A major special feature was a spectacular 60 metre long S-shaped gold chandelier, a piece of light art central to lighting the environment and constructed from two ten-metre diameter half-circles connected by a 30 metre run of straight truss, populated with a run of gold tubes and XXL squirrel-cage bulbs.
The eight BMFL Spots were used upstage at the back for beam work and effects behind the bands, with the eight BMFL Blades downstage providing tight and accurate keylighting utilising the shutters.
The Spiiders were positioned for doing cross and side lighting onstage from the two most downstage ‘city’ towers.
Pointes were rigged on top of the ‘city’ towers, with the MegaPointes deployed in a line behind the musicians.
The Pointes and MegaPointes were the workhorse fixtures of the show.
They created all the bold, raucous, ‘in-the-face’ looks, huge dynamic scenes and fluid movements filling the air with a lively mix of aerial effects and beamy 'wow factors', often receiving audible gasps from the audience as the light show ramped up.
The MegaPointes created great ambience and atmosphere for the different acts appearing on stage, they brought added depth and dimension and they were so bright, reports Eran, that they had to tweak the intensity down!
These were the first and, at the time, the only MegaPointes in Israel, so Eran fully enjoyed being the first LD to be able to give them a serious road test. They were positioned at three different heights to add maximum drama to the performance space and were also the only lights on the stage deck, facilitating multiple bold, beautiful looks that ensured each of the different artists stood out.
Eran took a little while to get used to the sheer scope of functionality available with the MegaPointes, but once a bit familiar with the fixtures, he really optimised!
“I think it’s the first ‘hybrid’ fixture with no compromise in any of the three modes (spot, beam and wash)” he stated, adding: “The spot capabilities of the MegaPointe are finally what all designers have been anticipating. It’s like the hybrid concept has suddenly jumped into HD!”
After this initial show experience, he’s thoroughly looking forward to using and exploring MegaPointes in much more depth.
Other lighting fixtures included sun strips, strobes, magic blades, and blinders. Lighting, sound and rigging for the event was supplied by one of the leading Israeli rental companies, Simul Argaman.
The biggest challenge from a lighting perspective was in delivering an interesting contemporary design that was larger than life to fill the space, yet cosy and glamorous enough to make a 250 table gala dinner feel comfortable for the guests.
With only 24 hours in which to get in and set up, everyone in all departments had to work super-fast and as a tight team on site.
Eran, Omer and Rubi worked hard on bringing the ‘future city’ concept to life on stage, and when it came to the show, both Eran and Rubi’s experience of improvisational operating shone through with lighting and video. They actually had a lot of fun in co-ordinating and energising this for the bands and ensuring the music was vibrantly showcased by the technology.
“It’s a great way to work,” enthused Eran, “we follow each other on-the-fly with colours, intensity, shapes, speed, etc. It’s all about bringing the right vibes into the space.”
Assisting in that vibe engineering were technical producer Itamar Bar Shavit and lighting crew chief Haim Makim.
LED screens were supplied by ScreenLED, staging by Irgunei Bamot and the bespoke chandelier was constructed by Sami Chandelier to Omer & Eran’s specification.
photos: Tomer Foltyn
16th May 2018
Johanna Town Creates Lighting Design for New Opera, A King’s Ransom, with Chauvet Professional Maverick
UK – A recent theatre project involving 160 primary school children is convincingly demonstrating the power of the arts to inspire young people to greater learning. Into Opera are on a mission to get more people into opera, and their children’s opera and education project offers children a unique introduction to the art form of opera and all that it encompasses. At the heart of this imaginative project lies A King's Ransom, a children's opera written by classical composer Patrick Hawes. Supporting this reimagined tale of Robin Hood is a subtle, yet powerful, lighting design by Johanna Town that features a collection of Maverick and Rogue moving fixtures from Chauvet Professional. Plans are now afoot to develop A King’s Ransom into a national education project, hoping to engage and inspire more children up and down the country, due to the success of its recent premiere.
The set, designed by Michael Pavelka, consisted primarily of a single cloth representing the giant oak tree in Sherwood Forest. Town's challenge was to invoke night and day in the depths of a forest through intricate changes in lighting. The 28 Maverick fixtures in her rig were key to helping her create this effect. She had six Maverick MK2 Spot, six Maverick MK1 Hybrid and 16 Maverick MK2 Wash units on upstage, FOH and side-stage truss.
"I needed lighting tools that could create the strong imagery of the forest all around, as well as give me flexible and optimum coverage of the staging area," said Town. "The Maverick Spots were used to help create the feeling of the forest over the whole stage for the village scenes.”
Drawing on the dual six-position rotating slot and lock gobo wheels of each Maverick fixture, Town was able to create a myriad of patterned and textured light effects that evoked images of Sherwood Forest. “The Mavericks enabled me to create creepy, eerie and busy forest looks to great effect,” commented Town. “What’s more, I loved the great light output and versatility of the Hybrid fixtures. Not only were they very bright, they also allowed me to go from beam to wash with some nice gobo effects.”
Stage director Genevieve Raghu wanted to immerse the audience in the forest world from the moment they arrived in the auditorium with storytelling taking place on stage, around the audience, in the centre aisle and on the balconies. Town’s design made the audience feel part of the action, while also highlighting the children on stage. Interestingly, the Maverick Spots were also used as Front of House washes to bring out the faces and the colour matching from warm to cool.
"It was really important for the lighting to take the audience through the locations using colour, and at the same time be clearly defining the time of day as the opera travelled through 48 hours," continued Town. “In this respect, really flexible colour changes were another major advantage of the Mavericks, which allowed me to shift between states of colour as the different groups took over the space.”
The zooming features and fast pan and tilt movements of the Maverick fixtures in her rig helped Town evoke sudden mood changes in the opera. She was also able to use the strobing effects to convey powerful, uncertain emotions when a tree is cut down and crashes to the ground.
Supporting the Maverick fixtures were eight Rogue R2 Wash units. “I chose to have both Maverick and Rogue Washes on the rig, as I really wanted to see how they compared with one another,” commented Town. “Both units worked well together, with both units responding well with perfect colour matching and mixing."
Thanks to her well-balanced design, Town was able to reduce the overall quantity of lighting, whilst simultaneously providing illumination for all the various scenes depicting a wide range of drama, atmospheres and emotions within the show. As a result, A King’s Ransom has proved as theatrical as it is inspiring, and succeeded in making opera accessible to a new generation of UK school children.
16th May 2018
Alcons Audio Delivers Super Sound At Super Bowl LII Events
USA – Every year Super Bowl, the annual climax of the NFL American football season, makes global headlines, both about the game itself and the legendary half-time entertainment. National and international broadcasters also cover many of the lead-up events throughout the preceding week. For Super Bowl LII, Alcons Audio delivered a winning solution for celebrated events on both sides of the Atlantic.
Super Bowl LII took place at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Philadelphia Eagles beat the reigning champions New England Patriots. For the week before the game, the ballroom at the Minneapolis Hilton hotel hosted a range of events which generated huge US media interest. An audio system that could deliver speech and music of equal high quality over a large area was vital – just the task for the Alcons LR7 pro-ribbon micro line-array.
Packed with reporters, one of the highest profile events was the announcement of Justin Timberlake as the Super Bowl half-time entertainment. With the eyes and ears of the world on the announcement, press conference and Q&A with Timberlake, the sound had to be flawless.
Global production company Freeman AV delivers most of the sound and video requirements for Super Bowl. Despite the company’s huge inventory of audio systems, Martin Reeves, the technical audio lead who works closely with Freeman AV’s director of client solutions, Warren Cruickshank, always insists on Alcons.
“The Minneapolis Hilton was a challenging space that we had to cover with even, quality sound for a range of very high-profile events,” says Martin. “Horizontally it was around 150ft wide by 200ft deep, but with the added difficulty of a low ceiling that we needed to prevent audio reflections from. In addition, with three tiers of broadcast camera risers, we had to maintain sightlines, so the system needed to be both compact and highly directional.”
The Alcons system comprised six flown LR7 and one ground-stacked BF181 compact subwoofer per side, plus SR9 ultra-compact in-fill monitors for frontfill, QR24 modular line-source array columns for outfill and VR8 compact versatile monitors providing foldback.
“It was a very small package for a very big room, yet the fidelity, clarity and throw were exceptional,” he continues. “It was a difficult and high-pressure production, both because of Super Bowl’s profile and with media crews from all over the world.
“Everything has to be fantastic, which is why I specify Alcons pro-ribbon systems. I know they will always deliver a superb result.”
Meanwhile in Europe, Austrian private broadcaster PULS 4 hosted what it called ‘Europe’s biggest Super Bowl Party’ for 4000 fans at the Albert Schultz ice rink in Vienna. Supported by ils medientechnik GmbH, Alcons distributor Pro Performance Wolfgang Sauter provided 54 LR18 compact mid-sized line array modules, with 12 BC543 very high output cardioid subwoofers. Including VR8 and VR12 versatile monitors with BQ211 compact high output subs, the Austrian system was powered by 24 Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers.
Back in the US, Alcons Audio North American sales manager David Rahn notes: “We have worked with Warren, Martin and the Super Bowl team several times and the result is always the same – incredibly satisfied clients and operators. The LR7 is becoming a really popular and flexible tool for the corporate AV market. It works seamlessly with complex video and lighting installations and delivers incredible coverage and intelligibility from a very compact enclosure.
“In closing, we at Alcons Audio would like to thank Warren, Martin and the entire team at Freeman AV for choosing Alcons for their most critical events. Despite the demanding requirements of such an important client and event, it is always a pleasure to work with the incredible team that Freeman brings together for the Super Bowl.”
16th May 2018
Capital Deploy New Martin Audio Solutions for Michael Mcintyre
UK – Stand-up comedy, for all its apparent simplicity in projecting the spoken word to large theatre audiences, can be anything but straightforward. The real challenge is to deliver an intimacy through coverage consistency and intelligibility because if the audience misses one word, the joke's not funny.
Martin Audio loudspeaker arrays have proved their worth time and again, reinforcing a multiplicity of Tier A stand-ups, none more so than Michael McIntyre. In 2015 they successfully deployed an MLA loudspeaker array via their rental partners Capital Sound for the artist’s Happy & Glorious tour, and they have repeated the formula for the current Big World Tour. With the exception of play-in/play-out music, this is 100% spoken word.
Rigged at the 15,800-capacity Birmingham Arena was the larger of two scalable Martin Audio PA rigs from the MLA series. This comprised 14 MLA and two MLD Downfill elements per side, with 12 MLA Compact providing outfills from each stage wing. Providing necessary LF extension were six of Martin Audio’s new SX218 subwoofers, in two ground-stacked blocks of three, while eight of Martin Audio’s tiny but potent stand-mounted DD6, were able to set an even coverage pattern across the first four rows. According to Donovan, this is largely due to their use of differential dispersion technology. In large arenas such as Birmingham three blocks of six W8LM Mini Line Array handle delayed sound at the rear.
Down at the stage, a pair of DD12 are tilted on Martin Audio yokes to deliver the sound at face height providing a constant point-to-point reference to McIntyre’s many excursions back and forth across the stage.
In fact, along with the newly-purchased SX218, of which this was one of their first deployments, the use of DD12’s as monitors suggested by both Carr and Donovan, has been a master stroke.
As Carr explained: “When I first met Michael he said how important foldback was; he likes to hear himself loud and clear, so he doesn't need to push his voice and we decided that DD12 as low-level side fills would be ideal.” Toby Donovan added, “Previously we had flown speakers for monitors but there was a desire to lose these because they looked untidy, and if you fly them too high they are not really functional. The DD12s sound so good and the dispersion is perfect. There is no problem with gain before feedback wherever he is, including lying on his back leaning over the edge of the stage. The speakers are always in the same place with every show so he gets consistency.”
Although this is the sound team’s first tour with McIntyre each has vast experience at amplifying stand-ups, and in working with production manager, Neil McDonald (Katherine Jenkins in the case of Steve Carr) and so it was a natural fit. Coupled with this Donovan has all the presets for the arena circuit stored in the Martin Audio software. He also has alternative presets to ensure the sound remains fully optimised depending on whether the entire venue is sold out or specific balcony areas have been screened off. The fact that coverage can be fine-tuned electronically in-situ to cope with changing conditions and last-minute changes, without the need to re-rig, remains a key benefit of the MLA system.
“The real challenge with stand-up,” says Donovan, “is that we have to spend more time trying to avoid unwanted reflections whereas music shows can be more forgiving. Fortunately, we can comfortably deal with issues like slapback in the software. We can also minimise reflections by attenuating the signal and compensating with the delays for those at the back.”
As for the new subs he says: “They are new out of the box, and because this is a brand new design they look smart and not too obtrusive.”
Carr only requires a 16-channel DiGiCo SD11 for his house mix, and also provides the monitor mix from FOH. In summary he said: “My approach was to make sure audiences hear Michael the way they would on telly. The room plays a big part in this, but I didn't want to start hacking out frequencies because of the room.
“MLA delivers a linear response and is perfect, while the DISPLAY software ensures we avoid any reflective surfaces. As for the DD12 monitors, Michael said these have made a massive difference.”
Assisting Carr and Donovan in Capital’s sound crew were Finbarr Neenan (PA technician) and David Preston (delay technician).
15th May 2018
HSL Makes Massive Technology Investment
UK – Keeping up with a hectic workload being experienced across all companies, Blackburn-based lighting and video rental specialist the HSL Group has again increased its investment spend to keep up to speed with the newest technologies. This will help service ongoing and upcoming projects across all sectors: rental and staging, theatre, television, sporting events and concert touring.
“The rapid pace at which the technology is changing and the fact we want to keep ahead of the game is driving this, together with an increase in demand. It’s vital that we can continue offering our clients the very best options for all of their shows, events and creative projects,” commented HSL’s Simon Stuart.
Fixtures like the Robe MegaPointe and the Martin MAC Encore have really made their mark, together with products from GLP, SGM and Vari*lite. Other top brands on the recent HSL shopping list have included Claypaky and Solaris. These choices have been influenced by specific LD requests as well as what the HSL management team considers are the best and most practical solutions for the company.
Martin purchases have included MAC Encore Performances, in both warm and cool white versions, which have been busy on a variety of theatre and performing arts shows, including Macbeth at the National Theatre. Many of these versatile luminaires also serviced multiple productions during HSL’s bumper 2017-18 panto season, with 31 different shows up and down the country!
Simon stated: “Even with all the recent changes in the Martin infrastructure, it’s great to still receive excellent customer support and see first-hand that the products are still in high demand, which is exactly what you want to underline a serious investment like this.”
In addition to the Encore Performances – with more on the cards soon – HSL has bought substantial quantities of MAC Quantum Washes, Axioms and Auras, and added a ‘shed pile’ of Rush PAR RGBW Zooms to the inventory for the first time.
Multifunctional is trending, and Robe’s MegaPointe is very much the fixture of the moment, so it was a ‘no-brainer’ to invest in these which have been purchased across the HSL Group for immediate use by HSL out of Blackburn and Southampton based rental operation, GLS.
More Robe PixelPATTs have been sourced as they are a firm favourite among the television LDs with whom HSL regularly works, as well as for dance events and concert tours.
More Vari*Lite 6Ks have been bought, on top of the 100 plus that are out on Depeche Mode’s ‘Global Spirit’ tour, for which HSL is the worldwide lighting contractor.
Also from Philips’ Showline range, over 50 SL LEDSPOT 300s join HSL’s stock together with another 50 SL HYDRUS 350s, which are another hybrid beam, spot and wash fixture which have been very well received.
From GLP, the numbers of Impression X4 Bar 10 and X4 Bar 20s have been boosted. These high performance batten fixtures have proved popular for a diversity of applications.
GLS has led the way with buying more JDC1 strobes, a unique unit with a traditional single tube element with a clear, bright white output combined with a full face surround of 1,320 RGB LEDs. And just not getting enough strobes, HSL has added substantial quantities of Solaris Flare Q+s to the stock in Blackburn.
With this and another substantial investment in concert touring LED screen with all the necessary peripherals, it’s been a bumper few months!
HSL’s new flightcase making company PackItRackItStackIt has had to up its ante to deal with the sheer volume of new kit arriving and needing to be made road-ready, so a new CNC machine has been installed to meet the demands for quality cases.
Commenting on this new company, Simon enthuses: “It makes complete sense for us to have our own case company. We can produce cool, inventive and bespoke creations when needed as well as all the standard ranges. While they are full on right now with all our own projects, we are planning to broaden the scope and open up other commercial opportunities.”
Simon is looking forward to a busy rest of the year, so we can watch this space for more exciting and interesting news from the HSL Group very soon.
In picture: Jo Sunners, Joy Brown, Paige Stuart and Emma Turner of HSL with some of the new MegaPointes and Encores.
15th May 2018
Bandit Brings the Lights to the Americana Spring Celebration at Blackberry Farm
USA – Blackberry Farm, the deluxe resort nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, was host to the 8th annual Americana Spring Celebration 12th April to 15th April. The weekend event benefited the not-for-profit artist advocacy group, Americana Music Association, and featured performances by award winning singer-songwriter Brandy Clark, Americana Artist of the Year Nominee Todd Snider, and GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Tift Merritt. Bandit Lites provided the lighting package for the three different concerts that took place in three different locations on the expansive grounds.
This year’s celebration made use of Blackberry Farm’s Barn, the new event centre Bramble Hall and the outdoor amphitheatre at Bramble Hall. Bandit Lites supplied nearly two hundred fixtures for the concerts, including GLP X4 Atoms, Chauvet Freedom Par Quad 4 and Freedom Par Quad 4 IP Rated, Chauvet Color Dashes and Chauvet EZ Washes, paying special attention to provide gear that could be utilised by for all concerts but in unique and versatile ways.
With the space at Blackberry Farm already known world over as the paragon of attention to detail and incredible aesthetics, Bandit Lites team of production director Allison Burchett, general manager Giff Swart and lighting director Alex Becker worked with executive director of the Americana Music Association Jed Hilly and crafted a design that would act as suitable concert lighting, all the while accounting for the fact the same space would then be used for wine tastings or cooking demonstrations.
GLP Atoms supplied stage wash with Chauvet Freedom Pars with Gantoms as back and side light. One evening featured Chauvet Freedom Pars behind the stage with another night using them around the room itself, along with highlighting the venue’s concert posters or auction items.
“We've worked with Jed now for about six years, and it's so great that he gets such talented artists to keep coming every year,” said Burchett. “The artists are just as diverse as the music, as we've had everyone from Sheryl Crow to Keb Mo to John Prine at Americana at Blackberry.
It’s an event I look forward to every year and we’re so happy to help the Americana Music Association as they work behind the scenes within the music industry to foster an environment for growth.”
15th May 2018
Swedish House Mafia’s Ultra Success, with GLP and Andy Hurst
USA – When Swedish House Mafia (SHM) decided to reform after five years, providing the Ultra Music Festival in Miami with its surprise headline act, production designer Andy Hurst was brought in to design the extravaganza.
Already the show designer for Axwell and Ingrosso, two of the band members, he immediately turned to GLP’s LED catalogue, procuring 60 JDC1 hybrid strobe and 96 impression X4 Bar 20 from PRG in Las Vegas, knowing that SHM would be the closing act. “As the festival main stage design was changed one month before the show we had to work quickly to get a new SHM design signed off and ready in time,” he explained.
His main challenge was to interface with the existing house rig, supplied by AG Light and Sound. “We had to have our entire system set in 35 minutes. In that time we had to fly our back wall, set our custom DJ riser and roll in our lighting, laser and pyro package.”
Hurst is no stranger to GLP’s advanced solutions, having specified their products for many years on other acts with whom he has worked regularly, such as Prodigy and Faithless.
“I had seen the JDC1 at LDI and was impressed with the brightness and ability to provide lots of different effects,” he said. “We ran them in full 68-channel mode using all the attributes.
“The strobe effects were used to drive beats and nuances within the tracks, which they did perfectly.”
The Bars were used in a giant wall of light behind the artists on the 20ft x 20ft x 16ft truss cube platform and also for a light wall on the DJ booth, where they were also used in full DMX mode.
Andy Hurst had the opportunity to pre-programme the show at DMD Studios, with GLP supporting this by providing some fixtures to check programming in real life, along with the full size virtual rig that was created in the studio. “Having the fixtures when programming is always essential for me – as good as pre vis is, you can’t beat the real thing.”
And with more than 150 GLP elements joining lighting, laser, flying set pieces and pyro, it is no surprise that Andy Hurst was able to confirm that “the show was very well received and the guys loved it.”
14th May 2018
Ganesha Producciones Joins Spiiders Web
Mexico – Ganesha Producciones is one of the latest rental and production companies in Mexico to invest in Robe Spiider LED wash beams, which were recently delivered by distributor SHOWCO and much anticipated by owner Gerardo Hernández and his team.
The company was founded in 1996 by Gerardo and is based in central Mexico City. They are involved in technical production for many prestigious cultural events including government organised and sponsored shows and expositions, and also supply lighting, video and sound to corporates, music concerts and other shows. The company also has an architectural lighting division.
Gerardo has kept Ganesha tightly focused on its core business. There are currently 20 full- time employees and they work with up to 80 regular freelance designers and technicians during the busy periods.
The Robe Ganesha story started around ten years ago at Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt, when Gerardo turned up at the stand and purchased four MediaSpinner 50 ATs! He waited until the last day of the show and, when the stand was de-rigged, packed them up in his luggage! After a brief European tour as part of his excess baggage he took them back to Mexico!
Since then, they have earned their keep multiple times over.
They were the first media spinners in Mexico. There was – and still is – nothing quite like this ingenious invention, and all four media spinners are working hard to this day.
Gerardo has always been impressed with Robe and their products and he’s seen the brand steadily grow and gain traction in Mexico. When SHOWCO became the distributor early in 2017, the time was right for him to invest in Robe moving lights.
He has been a loyal SHOWCO client for some time and commented: “We needed an LED wash light and apart from the fact that the Spiider is the best one available at the moment, we really wanted the superlative service I know we could rely on from SHOWCO.”
As well as owning the company, he’s fully hands-on, and keeps a keen eye on all the projects and productions.
“The Spiiders really are a next generation of LED wash moving light. The intensity is fantastic, it can be a wash or a beam light, the central LED is a fresh and interesting effect and the ring control and individually mappable LEDs add even more options. So that gives it a lot more value than a fixture that does just one thing!”
He speaks from good experience as the company has had direct experience with several other types of moving lights over the years including competitor brands.
The 24 new Ganesha Spiiders went straight to work on several cultural shows and concerts where they have immediately been impressing their clients and crews alike.
They lit a production for the famous Ballet Folklórico de México, an acclaimed Mexican folkloric ballet ensemble based in Mexico City, where they provided elegant and rich stage coverage, and by complete contrast, they shone through at a concert by reggaeton star, J Balvin.
Gerardo says Ganesha is still trying to reach new and untapped markets, and they feel having a brand like Robe on-board is a key tool to being able to generate more business. With this in mind, they organised a big event in their showroom to demonstrate the Spiiders, which was attended by other rental companies amongst others: “I am more than happy to engage in cross rental business,” he commented.
They invited a lot of producers, lighting, visual and scenic designers, venue operators and others to show off the new lights. “It’s generated a lot of interest and we definitely expect some direct results,” he reported.
Pleased with the Spiiders and the scope and breadth of the current range of Robe products, Gerardo already has his eyes on the brand new MegaPointe – but they are planning to go a lot further than that; he states that they intend to change their entire current rental stock to Robe.
“I like the brightness, the quality of the light, the colours and the smooth mixing, the small size of the fixture and of course the reliability. I like all of it.”
With SHOWCO in place as the distributor, Gerardo feels that all the stars and planets are aligned to make a major commitment to Robe.
In picture: Luis Rosales (SHOWCO), Carla Hernández (financial administrator), Gerardo Hernández (owner / founder / general manger) and Gerardo Pineda (project manager) all from Ganesha Producciones, with SHOWCO’s Mario Vazquez.
14th May 2018
Avolites is top of its game at Las Vegas annual 21st D.I.C.E Awards
USA – A complete Avolites light and video integration system featuring the brand's latest Arena lighting console and two Ai R4 Media servers, was used to drive the lighting and video content for the 21st annual D.I.C.E Awards, held at the Mandalay Bay hotel, Las Vegas.
The D.I.C.E (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Awards celebrates the latest innovations in interactive entertainment in the video gaming industry. For its 2018 edition, the event's long-term lighting designer Joshua Schultz worked alongside Andre Huff, director of Limelite Design, which was tasked to deliver a light and video presentation within a set design of clean, structural lines to accompany the Awards ceremony.
"Chris Wu from Hatch, one of the Awards' production partners, let me run with the design this year," says Schultz. "I took a lot of my inspiration from the intro video to the Awards, which had a 'Tron' feel to it. I came up with a straight-line, hard-angle type design to make the stage and Awards' space look clean and coordinated."
Schultz used Martin Sceptron 10 LED video fixtures to create the direct geometry of his design making the best of the space's hard-edged architecture. Huff mapped a series of complementary colour palettes across three on-stage, cut-out screens. The screens framed three smaller screens that displayed live and pre-recorded Awards footage, including a live feed from the stage, live game-play footage and pre-recorded nomination content.
"I relied heavily on the Ai v10.1 software's output configuration page to map the screens," says Huff. "The concept of the show was to make the set a large projection surface for the Awards. So, the night before the show the set company came in and covered the whole set with projection material. I had to then map the set and leave cut-outs for the rear projection screens that were in the set."
To achieve seamless integration between light and video for the Awards, Schultz and Huff networked two Titan Net Processors (TNPs) with the two Ai R8 media servers using Titan Net. They then controlled the entire setup from an Avolites Arena console via Art-Net with a second Arena serving as backup.
"We were running around 45 universes on the Awards this year," says Schultz. "The TNPs allowed us to take a load off the console and put it onto the processors. Using Ai and Titan alongside each other meant that integration across the whole system was easier."
The rest of the D.I.C.E creative and technical team consisted of Alex Parayuelos who was the event's Crew Chief, Patrick Hartung who was System Tech and Lonnie Johnson who was the Projectionist for the Awards.
"I would like to thank PRG Los Angeles and Jon Morrell for all the lighting and video gear and their continued support," says Schultz. "As well as Brad White and Kade Behm from Group One for all their help."
Schultz has been an Avolites user for several years, and previously used a Sapphire Touch console for the 2017 D.I.C.E Awards. "Avolites provide me with support day or night," he says. "They continue to push their software to new heights, meaning it is always exciting to use their platform and to check out their new features."
The D.I.C.E Awards held its 21st Awards ceremony at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Thursday 22nd February. The Awards is produced by The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the interactive arts.
14th May 2018
Hawthorn Invests in Latest Barco UDX-4K32 Laser Projectors
UK – Full technical service provider Hawthorn has added Barco’s UDX-4K32 large-venue laser projector to its already extensive inventory of high-end projectors. Representing an investment of over £500,000, the company has added to its fleet six of the units, the flagship of Barco’s UDX laser projector platform.
Launched last year, the UDX-4K32 provides 31,000 lumens of light output, 4K resolution, and the specification and performance of high-end laser projection in a compact and easily-transportable chassis. By featuring Constant Light Output (CLO) functionality, the UDX-4K32 also guarantees peace of mind by providing constant brightness and colour reproduction over time. On top of that, the UDX platform offers the widest colour spectrum in the industry. Without compromising on brightness, the UDX colour quality matches the renowned Xenon quality and outperforms the Rec. 709 colour space.
Talking about why the company chose to invest in Barco’s latest laser projector offering, David Barton, Hawthorn’s group head of video, said: “Our head office in Leicestershire was lucky enough to feature on the UDX demonstration tour when the range was first announced so I was able to experience the projector first hand. I was most impressed by the level of power consumption to brightness. Having a full 31,000 lumen output with consumption at less than 16amp is great news for both site installations and running costs, especially as there’s no compromise on colour or brightness.
“Laser projectors are a huge leap forward for the AV industry, both in terms of image quality and usability. Not only does laser projection deliver unparalleled colour reproduction and contrast levels, they are also much quieter and more compact than traditional lamp models.
“We’re committed to providing our clients with the latest equipment and with the Barco UDX-4K32 right at the forefront of laser technology, it was important for us to add it to our inventory.”
Hawthorn has also added a selection of Barco lenses to its stock including the pioneering 0.4 Ultra Short Throw, 1.16 – 1.49 Zoom and 1.5 – 2.0 Zoom lenses.
11th May 2018
Cankarjev Dom Boosts Robe stock
Slovenia – Cankarjev Dom, Slovenia’s biggest and busiest cultural and congress centre, has added Robe Spiiders, plus more BMFLs Blades and CycFX8s to its already extensive stock of Robe moving lights which also includes Pointes. They now have around 150 units.
The largest of five performance venues in the Cankarjev Dom complex is the 1,650 capacity concert hall and in addition to these are the foyers and two galleries and conference rooms also used for events. It’s both a co-producing and a receiving house staging a wide variety of shows and events all year round, from opera to dance, popular music to choral, orchestra to drama , and everything in between. Some venues and spaces are also hired out for corporate events and conferences.
Each venue has its own lighting rig and all of them need dynamic and flexible lighting to deal with the diverse programming, however some kit is also moved between spaces as and when needed.
Adaptability is why they first started looking at Robe, all the way back in 2002, and the inventory has been built steadily over the years since then via an excellent and long standing relationship with Robe’s Slovenian distributor, MK Light Sound.
This latest investment in BMFL Blades, Robe’s signature high-powered range, was the second for these specific luminaires. It came after the initial batch purchased for the largest Gallus Hall, proved themselves invaluable.
The most recent lighting purchases are part of ongoing investments which ensure that the 70% state funded and 30% self-funded organisation keeps moving with the times and is able to offer its wide roster of shows the best possible production values.
They had been looking at BMFLS for some time explained technical director Karmen Klučar, who has been working there for 25 years in different roles, the last nine in the top slot. Karmen oversees a technical and maintenance department of 75 people.
She recalls that the requirement initially arose for a super-bright fixture with shutters for a production of “Othello” staged in 2016 with lighting designed by Andrej Hadnjak. The time was right to make the first BMFL purchase after comparing BMFL Blades and a competitor product.
"It's hugely powerful and properly multi-functional," says Carmen, "as well as being very easy to use and work. The animation wheels are excellent and the big zoom range is exactly what we needed. For what it does, the size is compact and the weight low."
Essentially it ticked all their boxes. Shutters are a must-have for drama performances and fixtures in the main hall need to be bright to register on the stage from a standard trim height of 10 or 11 metres.
Lighting technician Lovro Jevšek also likes the zoom along with the “fabulous” colour mixing, the animation wheels and the “great” gobos. They are now used on almost every show.
The Cankarjev Dom’s BMFLs and Pointes are packaged into neat four-way dollies so they can be easily moved around to different parts of the complex.
The eight new CycFX 8s were purchased for their brightness, the range of colours that can be created with the RGBW mixing and using the CTO filters.
They are ideal for a multi-purpose performance space like this. “We used them for cyc lights, front lights for which they are a great choice, set illumination and also for effects,” Karmen explained. “There are so many possibilities.”
In 2016, more Pointes were added to the first batch purchased in 2014. Also being a true hybrid, they have been among the most popular fixtures in the building and are constantly in demand.
The ten Spiiders are the first of this particular fixture in the building, and they have already proved their worth in the main auditorium as premium quality rich wash fixtures, with additional effects if needed.
Having committed to one brand of moving light, it has made sense over the years to stay with Robe because everyone is happy, it’s ideal to have a continuity, and also, adds Karmen, with Robe being so strong in the Slovenian rental market, if they need additional fixtures for a specific show, they can usually be sourced quickly and easily.
Across all the venues and galleries, nearly 1,100 cultural events are staged annually at Cankarjev Dom, plus over 1000 congress events, including the Slovene Book Fair which alone spawns about 350 events. Altogether, the combined venues are estimated to attract over 480,000 visitors to the attractive Slovenian capital and it’s a big part of the fabric and society of this vibrant city.
With up to 20 shows a month in peak season on the main stage alone, the pace is hectic. The turnaround times are always pressured with 80 per cent of productions in and out the same day, so reliable moving lights really are essential to meet these schedules and the standards of excellence that Cankarjev Dom is committed to deliver.
In picture: Cankarjev Dom technical director Karmen Klučar and Dean Karov of MK Light Sound.
11th May 2018
Bryce Cherpelis Backs Bonobo’s New Look With Chauvet Professional
USA – Measured in terms of time, Bonobo’s career spans the course of two decades. But looked at in terms of the new ideas that this Grammy-nominated artist has been able to weave into his distinctive brand of electronic music, it can more accurately be described as “limitless.” An early practitioner of Trip Hop, he was among the British DJs that influenced the course of electronic music in the 1990s. Later, he pushed the genre in a new, softer direction by blending his sound with elements of jazz and Hindu music. More recently, Bonobo has been at the forefront of the trend among DJs to work with bands, as he’s done on his tour in support of his Top Ten album Migration.
Backed by his band, Bonobo has created a more atmospheric sound that blends his jagged synths with instrumentation. In keeping with this expanded sound, the visual backdrop at his live shows, which is created with projection video, has become more about storytelling. Supporting this new look at Bonobo’s March 23 appearance at San Francisco’s Midway music hall was an engaging lightshow created by Bryce Cherpelis of 12BC Pro that was anchored by a collection of Chauvet Professional moving fixtures.
“We used lighting to engage the sold-out crowd,” said Cherpelis. “We didn’t surround the artist with a lot of eye candy; the projection video behind him set the tone. What our lights did was support the overall mood that reflected the music and the video images. We put a lot of light on the audience without distracting them. The ceiling at this venue is pretty high. That, along with the output of our Chauvet fixtures, made it relatively easy to cover the entire crowd.”
Cherpelis used two Maverick MK1 Hybrid fixtures, positioned one apiece on vertical truss structures stage left and right, for long throw spot and beam effects. He supported these hybrid units with a pair of 440W LED Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures, which were also positioned on either side of the stage. “The four Mavericks gave us more than enough output to create some interested spot effects over the audience,” he said.
Providing atmospherics were three Amhaze foggers arranged on the stage deck. Also included in Bonobo rig were six Rogue RH1 Hybrid and four Rogue R2 Wash fixtures. These movers were flown on horizontal truss that ran on either side of the audience, starting about 20' from the stage apron. “The Rogues were excellent for lighting the crowd,” said Cherpelis. “Given the nature of this show, we wanted to keep light on stage to a minimum. The zooming features of the Mavericks and Rogues made it easy to get all the audience lighting we needed without having anything spill over onto the stage.
Wanting to keep fixtures away from the stage, Cherpelis had to make adjustments with his wash fixtures. “We had the Rogue R1s mounted at 90° from level,” he said. “This created a bit of a challenge.”
Cherpelis addressed this issue quite easily however, by making an adjustment to the Patch Page of his ChamSys MQ40 console. In the end, he delivered a smooth and seamless light show that touched the crowd on an emotional level, just like Bonobo’s latest brand of engaging music.
11th May 2018
HES SolaHyBeams Provide Three-in-One Lights for G3 World Tour
Worldwide – The G3 2018 world tour needed three different designs for its three distinctive guitarists. Production designer/lighting designer Alastair Watson, who is also the production manager, had a tight budget and a one-truck space constraint. One rig had to do it all. So he specified 16 High End Systems SolaHyBeam 1000s, a hybrid LED fixture offering spot, wash, and animation effects, effectively giving him three lights in one.
He supplemented with more HES products including six HEX LED arrays and two HES Axon media servers for displaying visual content, all controlled with a Full Boar 4 console and wing.
HyBeams and HEX are the “meat and bones” of the rig for this three-and-a-half hour show, Watson says. “Phil Collen of Def Leppard is performing his Delta blues, John Petrucci is doing his prog metal melodic instrumental set, and then Joe Satriani does an hour of his signature instrumental rock. They then come together at the end of the show to do a three-song jam, many times with other guest guitarists that, together, melt the audiences’ faces off!”
Watson could have chosen the SolaHyBeam 2000, which offers a higher intensity in a larger package. But the HyBeam 1000’s compact size allows him to add four extra units on the truss and still fit all the gear into a single truck pack, even in Europe, where trucks are 2.4 metres (eight feet) shorter than in the US. Both version of HyBeams give him his desired colour consistency: “An even white and not 18 shades of white,” he notes. “There is no disparity in colour, the HyBeams are identical out of the box. The bright white LED engine from HES is superior to anything out there – and it’s using a 440 Watt LED source! The fact that they are running on three Amps and are brighter than a VL3K ever was is incredible.”
To achieve the appearance of three separate lighting designs, the LD uses the multi-purpose HyBeam more as a wash light for one band, and primarily as a profile light for another band, while mixing it up for Satriani.
“The 20k lumens per fixture for something of that small size is incredible. I’m talking about a good even field from a 24-foot [7.3-metre] trim height getting a six-foot [1.8-metre] cone on the stage. You don’t lose much output when you put colour or a gobo in there. And with its proper colour flags, the colour blending and movement is seamless. It’s a good strong light with great optics.”
The HEX fixture, with its fan-shaped array of six individually controllable LEDs: “Just blew everybody’s minds,” he says. “It’s a useful piece of kit. I had four in the air in theatres, in a standard 40-50-foot [12-15-metre] proscenium opening, and it was a huge look, because the spread is huge. I like the shape and the imposing look.”
Watson is also comfortable on his Full Boar 4 with playback wing. “It’s a good rock and roll desk,” he says. “I can walk into any house rig and grab whatever is in there, slam it into my show on the Hog 4 and in 20 minutes I can have a show. That saves me a lot of work, especially as a production manager and a lighting designer.”
Lighting director Josh Boyne runs the lights for Collen and Petrucci, and Watson runs the show for Joe and the jam.
Felix Lighting is handling the US tour, which kicked off in January. PRG will supply G3’s European dates in spring/summer with a few changes: Guitarist Uli Jon Roth of Electric Sun replaces Phil Collen for spring dates, and lighting director Neil Smith takes over for Josh Boyne.
G3 is expected to tour throughout 2018.
photos: Nathan Hall