Production News Headlines
Southern Hemisphere first as L-ISA hyperreal technology is used for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert live performance
Chameleon Touring Systems Balances Old and New at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week with Chauvet Professional
UK’s first deployment of L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound delivers dazzling experience for alt-J fans at the Royal Albert Hall
Philips Vari-Lite VLZ Profiles keep it cool and beautiful for Gary Numan’s Savage tour
UK – Signify has announced that its Philips Vari-Lite VLZ Profile LED luminaires were chosen to meet some specific stage lighting demands on the recent Savage tour by British electronic music pioneer, Gary Numan.
For special tour dates, including a showcase performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Numan and his band were joined on stage by an orchestra and choir. In response to this, the visual design, by Luke Edwards of Cue Design, successfully referenced the post-apocalyptic theme of the Savage album, while combining softer theatrical touches to complement the orchestra’s presence, both on the stage and in the music.
“To light the orchestra, we needed fixtures with a really nice light quality,” said Edwards, “but with so many tunable instruments on the stage we also needed lights that wouldn’t throw out lots of heat. The VLZ Profile was a great option: the optics are beautiful, the colours and the colour temperature are beautiful, and it keeps the orchestra members and their instruments cool.”
Placed on high side-trusses at each side of stage, the VLZ Profiles gave side-light, colour and texture for the orchestra and choir in the upstage area, as well as for Numan and the band downstage. “Mostly, we’re using the gobos and prisms to put textured light on the orchestra, to light them in an interesting way,” said Edwards. “But I’m also using the VLZs a lot in open colour, just frosting it slightly to soften the light and get everyone lit really beautifully.”
In covering such a broad stage area, Edwards was aided by the powerful output of the VLZ Profile as well as its wide zoom range. “Being able to light that big a surface area with a minimum amount of fixtures, with that zoom range, is a big plus,” he said. “I can point them forward and have these tight beams coming from the side trusses, or they can go extremely wide. They’re amazing fixtures to have on the show.”
11th December 2018
Robe Has a Good Laugh with Anders Matthesen
Denmark - Eleven trucks of production equipment is a lot for one stand-up comedian, but delivering the nuances of live comedy in an arena format is a fine art which needs a delicate balance of style and production values. For Denmark’s leading comedian, Anders 'Anden' (the Duck) Matthesen, this happened to be a 25th anniversary tour, so he wanted to make a big impact.
Peter Fisker has been Matthesen’s lighting designer since 2006 and in that time, the funny-man known for his multiple crazy, off-beat and appealing characters - has toured regularly as well as producing movies, DVDs and books. This particular tour was shorter than usual – the seven shows were played in Denmark’s two largest arenas (five in the Royal Arena in Copenhagen and two in the Jyske Bank Boxen Arena in Herning) reaching around 86,000 fans!
Peter proudly took up some of that truck-space with Robe moving lights, specifying 26 MegaPointes, 33 BMFL Spots and another three BMFL Spots utilised as a RoboSpot followspotting system complete with one MotionCamera and one BaseStation.
These were delivered, together with rest of the lighting equipment, by Copenhagen-based rental specialist, Comtech.
Arena comedy has some very specific lighting requirements. The artist must be well and clearly lit for both camera and stage, for audiences at the back watching on the IMAG screens as well as those closer to the action.
The facial expressions as he delivers his punch lines are mission-critical to the whole audience experience and their full appreciation of the humour.
There is also the need – albeit in a vast arena – to create the ambience of intimacy, so Matthesen can feel he’s right close up and personal to every person in the room, as if he were performing in an atmospheric smoky, pokey little club; a task in which lighting also plays a huge role.
Then there was Matthesen’s own brief for this tour which was to make the show big and bold, Las Vegas style, to capture the 25th anniversary spirit, and it was this that Peter took as his creative starting point.
“We had actually been talking about doing this show for around ten years,” explained Peter. Normally on tour they will play venue capacities of between 1,000 and 3,000.
Set designer Palle Christensen produced a design based on a clean modern look, with two large IMAG screens left and right, a series of multi-level risers, a semi-transparent cloth backdrop which included a massive scenic duck-shaped flat outlined in LED to reinforce the nick-name! There was a long winding runway out into the audience which enabled him to get in amongst a vast amount of the audience.
Before the start of the tour, there was a month-long rehearsal period, and this is where most of the lighting cues evolved, just as the show, the material, the sketches and several songs developed. It included one side-splitting skit where Matthesen is ‘controlling’ the lighting rig from his cell phone!
“It was a very organic process as opposed to something that you could dry visualise,” stated Peter, who also enjoyed the improvisational nature of the work.
He needed a lot of LED wash light for the base colours, and BMFL Spots were selected as the show’s profile fixture for their power, functionality and 'big eye' of a front lens. While there was haze and smoke at strategic moments, for most of the show he needed the beams to be potent enough without any atmospheric enhancement.
Having already seen the RoboSpot in action on some touring productions, right from the start Peter decided to use it on this tour, adding three more BMFL Spots as his back followspots, which were operated via one RoboSpot BaseStation positioned backstage.
This gave him the option of picking any of the three BMFL RoboSpots best positioned to highlight Matthesen according to where he was on the stage or runway. They worked in conjunction with two manually operated Robert Juliat Lancelot 4kWs in the FOH positions.
Utilising a RoboSpot system meant that the camera shots picking up Matthesen and pointing down the catwalk towards the stage always had clean, clear views without followspot chairs and operators dangling down in the sightlines.
They also helped him cover the many different stage positions used by Matthesen during the show. Peter operated the intensity from his ChamSys lighting control console while the RoboSpot operator took care of the pan, tilt, zoom and focus.
It also meant that the onstage spots blended exceptionally well with all the BMFLs on the rig, helping to create a more integrated bigger picture, and it was that bigger picture that was constantly in Peter’s thoughts when lighting the show.
The MegaPointes he describes as his “new best friend”; five were rigged on vertical trusses just behind each of the screens, so they appeared from behind, blasting across the stage creating structural patterns. At times they moved out and skimmed across the audience.
“They are so intense and powerful, and I love the variance in beam angle, from the very narrow to the super wide – either looking equally good – as well as the small size, which is just fantastic,” he enthused.
Another four were under each screen, creating excellent ACL style looks with six on the floor upstage and two at the centre entranceway mid-way along the on stage staircase.
Also on the rig were 48 2-lite blinders dotted around and on top of the drapes to add to the excitement and pump up the action during the songs which featured an array of Matthesen’s zany alter-egos. Three Svobodas were used for the opening sequence as Matthesen entered dressed as a king.
The Duck’s LED outline added another 487 four-channel RGBW LED fixtures and 1948 DMX channels to the MQ500 lighting desk and looked super cool!
Peter is a freelance LD based in Aarhus and he’s been using Robe products for the last year on the road with Eurodance band Aqua (of phenomenal 1997 hit “Barbie Girl” fame). Also in the last year he’s visited the Robe factory in Valašské Meziříčí where he was impressed with the detail and value of how each product is hand crafted and finished.
“You can really feel the love that goes into the making of all of those fixtures,” he concluded.
photos: Louise Stickland
11th December 2018
Lenny Sasso Looks to Future on Jacob Sartorius Tour with Chauvet Professional
USA – With its intersecting patterns of light wrapping around a diamond-shaped configuration of risers, and cool colour schemes, the stage on Jacob Sartorius’ current tour evokes images of cyberspace. It is a fitting impression, since this Top 40 teenage artist catapulted to fame on the internet in 2016, when he was the nineth most frequently searched musical artist.
Lenny Sasso, who lit Sartorius’ first headlining shows two years ago, came up with the futuristic concept for the singer’s 2018 tour. Helping him in this endeavour was a collection of Chauvet Professional Épix Strip Tour and Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures, supplied by Squeek Lights.
Sasso arranged the linear fixtures in a matrix-like formation, filling the upstage area with light while creating a mesmerising high-tech look. “I knew that I wanted to wrap the band in Épix Strips,” said Sasso. “It was just something that I kind of dreamt up. After several different designs, this was the one I landed on. It all revolved around the placement of the risers in that diamond style, which was something that we had done on Jacob’s original tours. Wrapping the fixtures around the upstage side of the risers pulled it all together.
A total of 32 Épix Strip Tour fixtures was used in the wrap-around design. Hung on eight 10ft vertical pipes and 12 8ft horizontal pipes, the Épix units displayed light as well as video content run from a laptop with Resolume software.
Also arranged on the pipe structure were eight Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures, each with five individually controlled moving heads. Drawing on the versatility of this fixture, Sasso added a myriad of “futuristic vibe looks” to his upstage display.
“Because of the layout of the FX-Bs and how their light criss-crosses, they give us a lot of geometric patterns. They also make the room look larger, regardless of how I arrange them,” said Sasso. “We got some nice ‘spaceship’ looking positions that I loved from the FX-B fixtures.
“I generally try to keep everything as symmetrical as possible when I design,” said Sasso. “Usually, I don’t use too many positions. For me, it’s mostly a straight design with a couple of X positions, an audience blind, a fly out, and maybe a centre position, that’s basically it. I had never used the FX-Bs in this type of configuration before, so it was cool figuring out what worked. Again, I don’t like things having too much of a ‘closed off’ feel to them, so I try to make the FX-Bs throw light as wide as possible.”
Adding extra colour and depth to Sasso’s light show, as well as aerial effects, are six Rogue R1 Wash fixtures arranged across the deck near the risers. “We get great colours out of the wash fixtures,” said Sasso. “With Jacob, I definitely tend to lean more towards cool colours. Recently I’ve tried to keep a very pastel colour feel going in his shows, but I’ll also do some looks that are specific to certain sections of songs that’ll completely flip the texture of the vibe. For example, with his song ‘Hit Me Back,’ I keep the look very natural with a blues and purple feel, but when the song hits the bridge everything flips to a very stereotypical red, gold, green reggae feel. It comes way out of left field and takes the audience completely by surprise, which of course is my goal.”
Sasso credits his lighting director Sam Parker with adjusting his rig for different venues so it retains its look and feel. “Sam has been operating for me on the run, and has crushed it,” he said. “I owe Sam and the people at Squeek Lights a big thank-you. I believe that when you’re working with pop music you really need to keep everything super clean and new looking. With this show we tried to do something that we’ve never seen or done before and I feel that this is what we accomplished.”
photos: Dallas Bowshier
11th December 2018
DiGiCo Desks Shine on Mike Shinoda’s Solo Tour
USA – One thing that pretty much any experienced touring mix engineer can agree on is that you always pad your input/output number request to a certain degree because rare is the tour where those needs will not increase as the tour progresses. So it might seem odd that when the current Post Traumatic solo tour by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda got started, mix engineers Mike Fanuele and Kevin 'Tater' McCarthy were sharing a single DiGiCo SD12 mix surface.
After that first show, the SD12 was shipped off for the tour’s Asian and European legs, and McCarthy, who has been associated with Shinoda for more than a decade, specified a pair of DiGiCo's ultra portable SD11i desks for the promo tour that preceded the Asian dates. He says he’s fielded more than one question about why he made that choice.
“A lot of people have asked me why I choose the SD11i,” he reports. “Originally, it was just Mike Shinoda and no other band members. The band and additional crew where added after all of the gear had shipped to Hong Kong for the Asian and European tours. After a few shows, I was comfortable with the all the new inputs and with the 12-fader format, so I decided to keep it. It never came off that table rack. I just popped the lid every day and was ready to go.”
Fanuele is on his first outing with Shinoda after working with a wide variety of artists ranging from Meghan Trainor and Fifth Harmony to The Chainsmokers and Garbage. “Mike began this tour cycle on stage by himself playing keys, synth, drum pads, and triggering samples from a Maschine. For the first show, he actually performed on a satellite stage near FOH, where Tater and I both mixed off of the same SD12 console. I took the left side of the desk and fed my mix into an LM44 and then out to the PA, and Tater took the right side of the console, where he mixed Mike's IEMs. It was a unique experience, but the flexibility of the surface proved perfect for the task, and we were both able to manipulate the workflow to match our needs off of one console.”
After Shinoda added drummer Dan Mayo and multi-instrumentalist Matt Harris, the input count went way up. “It kind of skyrocketed,” McCarthy recalls. “We were utilizing approximately 52 inputs between both desks running in an optical loop. So we had one SD-Rack located in monitor world, which was loaded with seven Stadius 32-bit mic pre-amp cards, five Stadius 32-bit DAC cards, and one AES card. On my end of the snake, there were eight stereo mixes feeding Shure PSM1000s for three band members, guests, and techs. There were also three additional mixes of conventional speakers: two DAS Road 12A wedges for guests and two DAS Event 121As for stage subs.”
Fanuele moved between a few different DiGiCo surfaces over the course of the tour, which just finished a US leg before heading back to Europe for additional dates. He manned an SD12 for the first Asian leg, moving to an SD10 for the US leg. “Both Tater and I were very impressed with the power, flexibility, and performance of the SD11i. But as the tour continued to evolve, I needed additional faders and moved to an SD12 at FOH for the Asian and European legs of the tour. I quickly fell in love with the surface. It is extremely comfortable to work on, and when considering size versus surface flexibility, I think the SD12 is a complete home-run. Again, we were playing venue sizes from clubs to smaller arenas to stadium festival gigs, and the size of the SD12 fit into all of those situations.”
The FOH engineer reports that McCarthy was in control of the Stadius 32-bit mic pre’s, while he controlled the AES output card and the Stadius 32-bit DAC cards, which were included to provide flexibility in distributing the house mix to PAs from the stage when needed. McCarthy says he loves what some might see as a side benefit of having all of the audio on a loop: that loop can contain more than just audio. “Mike and I could communicate between ourselves by sending text messages directly from the consoles.”
“Overall, I think the flexibility of the surface and the sonic detail of the pre’s and outs made DiGiCo’s SD-Range the obvious choice for the tour,” says Fanuele. “The initial promotional portion of the tour had us mixing everything from in-store performances to stadium festival gigs. The SD11i allowed me to fit in all spaces, whether that meant squeezing into a busy FOH area for a festival or if I found myself in the middle of a display rack for CDs. I was able to keep the consistency of the mix that Mike was looking for in all situations.”
11th December 2018
Showtec Singapore Invests in Claypaky’s Latest Fixtures
Singapore – Lighting solutions expert Showtec has made a major investment in Claypaky Scenius Unico and Mythos 2 fixtures to serve its extensive South East Asia markets.
The company, which provides industry-leading lighting to entertainment, corporate and exhibition events, now has 100 Scenius Unico and 50 Mythos 2 in stock. It is based in its Singapore HQ and has regional offices in Malaysia, China, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand.
Showtec’s director of sales, Vincent Tan, says: “We are always looking to invest in the most innovative products on the market and Claypaky is ahead of the curve, producing world-class quality fixtures with distinctive features that are exciting for our market.
“The South East Asia live entertainment and events scene is growing rapidly and there is a hunger for the latest technology to achieve stunning and dynamic effects. That’s why we invested in so many Scenius Unico and Mythos 2 fixtures.
“The Scenius Unico is a fantastic multifunctional light; the fact that it can be used as both an excellent wash and a powerful spotlight makes it perfect for so many applications and therefore a wide range of clients.”
Both the Mythos 2 and Scenius Unico have a large electronic zoom range, 4-50˚ on the Mythos 2 and 5-55˚ on the Scenius Unico. In addition, the Mythos2 also has a fixed ‘pipe beam’ mode of 2.5˚. Both fixtures feature cutting-edge CMY colour systems. The Mythos 2 offers 14 colour filters on three wheels alongside two CTO filters, while the Scenius Unico has a wheel with seven colour filters, and linear CTO.
“We work closely with many lighting designers and we listen to what they want in terms of new kit,” Tan continues. “We are confident that our Claypaky investment will fulfil their requirements. In fact, a large number of both the Scenius Unico and the Mythos 2 went out almost immediately on [Cantopop superstars] Alan Tam & Sam Hui’s ‘Happy Together Classic Express’ world tour, which kicked off in Singapore.
“We’re excited about seeing them go out on many more large-scale concerts and events in the coming months.”
11th December 2018
HSL Group Invests in 100 Chauvet Professional Maverick MK3 Wash Fixtures
UK – For HSL Group Holdings, feedback has come quickly on its recently-acquired Maverick MK3 Wash fixtures from Chauvet Professional. HSL made the decision to add 100 of the moving RGBW LED lights to its inventory at the LDI Show in October. By the start of the holiday season, the company, which is one of the leading suppliers of design, technology, crew and production services to the entertainment industry, already had the fixture out on three of its 2018-19 pantomimes, at the 2018 Liverpool Horse Show, and on the Arena Cross Tour.
“The immediate response has been very positive,” said Simon Stuart, managing director of HSL Group Holdings Ltd. “We’ve even had a certain renowned theatre LD comment that he didn’t want any other fixture except this in the future!”
This reaction comes as no surprise to Stuart and the HSL team that researched the new Maverick fixture. “We spent a great deal of time chatting with some of our strategic partners in the USA, and with various LDs,” he said. “Everyone was extremely positive about Chauvet and this fixture. We needed more large LED washes, and it became clear that the MK3 has all the bells and whistles. It’s extremely bright, is pixel mappable, has a great zoom, and its colour mixing is excellent.”
Looking beyond the specific features of the Maverick MK3 Wash, Stuart is confident that Chauvet’s philosophy meshes nicely with the principles that have guided HSL Group Holdings to success.
“We like to offer our clients the best, most creative and flexible options,” he said. “From a commercial perspective, when we commit to acquiring a large number of units like this, we need to ensure that we get an efficient ROI. We also need to know that the quality of the product is exceptional, and that it has a reasonable longevity. I have personally spent several enjoyable evenings with Albert Chauvet and his team. They have the same values that are at the essence of HSL, so I feel really positive about developing relationships, both in the UK and USA.”
Albert Chauvet, CEO of Chauvet, shares this enthusiasm. “HSL has built a successful business and established a sterling reputation by following the same core beliefs that have always guided Chauvet,” he said. “Having an industry leader like HSL show this level of confidence in the Maverick MK3 Wash means a great deal to me and our team members who have worked to develop this product. We’re looking forward to moving ahead with HSL in the future.”
10th December 2018
Restored Frankfurt Old Town Opens with Drone and Proteus Show
Germany – Prior to 1944, Frankfurt had one of the most beautiful and largest medieval half-timbered old towns in Germany. Recently restored to its former beauty, the architectural treasure was opened in September with a cultural program that included a unique night time drone show supported by lighting effects from Elation Proteus Hybrid moving head fixtures.
The highlight of the three-day celebration was a spectacular production in which drones drew constellations of light in the Frankfurt sky accompanied by a visually stunning light show over the river Main. bright! GmbH was responsible for the concept and technical implementation of the production, as well as the programming of the drone show. Michael Giegerich, one of the managing directors of bright! GmbH and project manager for the constellations, developed the show concept along with lighting director Daniel Gündner. Both worked under the artistic direction of Atelier Markgraph.
It quickly became clear to those involved that the project required weather-proof lighting fixtures. "We were looking for an IP floodlight that combines the best possible beam characteristics with the simplest, most robust design," explains Thomas Giegerich, managing director of bright! "Having worked with A&O Technology and Jerry Appelt on the 2017/18 New Year's Eve show in Dubai, where hundreds of Elation Proteus Hybrids were used, we were very familiar with these moving lights and knew we could use them.”
The Proteus light show was designed to support the drone show over the Main as an additional visual effect yet not steal the show. Thomas Giegerich comments: "Of course the beams were not allowed to overwhelm the drone show. Rather, it was about creating an additional layer of light in the space to provide the actors – the drones – with an appropriate stage."
The bright! team placed 88 Proteus Hybrids as powerful beam elements on both sides of the river, 44 per bank, with 14 v 15W LED pars placed at ground level to act as backlight. "The Proteus Hybrid was fully convincing. Its enormous output paired with its robustness makes it the ideal choice for any demanding outdoor event," Thomas Giegerich concludes.
Photos: Ralph Larmann
10th December 2018
Outline’s Superfly Goes Stateside with TAPFS
USA – Continuing their 30th anniversary tour with a summer run of shows across the USA, The Australian Pink Floyd (with Trevor Gilligan at FOH) took Outline’s new Superfly system with them when they crossed the pond.
Paul Timmins, head of operations and sales at their long-standing audio supplier Capital Sound Hire said: “Outline’s Superfly cabinet is the gem of the family, it’s so compact and light (just 38kg per cabinet) that it’s a system you can offer to those tours that really do mix it up from clubs to arenas.
“The Australian Pink Floyd are a regular client of ours who do exactly that and when we needed to look at new system options for their European spring tour, knowing what was coming from Outline, we talked with Trevor who had previously used the Butterfly system some ten years earlier and he was happy to go for it. It wasn’t long before the engineer, production manager and band were commenting on everything from its audio quality to packaging and weight advantages.
“This led to another win for all when it was established that the full flown arena system comprising main hangs of Superfly, side hangs of Mantas 28, complete with all the Powersoft X8 amplification would save a whole truck for the summer tour in North America. At short notice it was decided to airfreight the flown rig and amplification to California to combine with the existing supplier’s control and sub package for the tour that followed. It’s a new one for us to airfreight the speaker system and pick up control locally but that says a lot about the gem that is Superfly.”
Trevor Gilligan commented: “Not much to add really, the system was perfect for our amphitheatre shows in the US, it was very solid and filled every space easily.”
10th December 2018
Robe _CONNECTIONS_ for VodafoneZiggo
The Netherlands – VodafoneZiggo’s new head office in the Netherlands has just opened, right in the heart of the development that is transforming Utrecht’s west side, uniting 1,400 employees in this state-of-the-art location. The area, which includes the Hoog Catharijne shopping complex and the city’s Central Station, one of the busiest in the country, is currently undergoing extensive urban expansion, redevelopment and modernisation.
VodafoneZiggo wanted to create a big impact to celebrate the move, so Olaf van den Berg and Bas Frenkel Frank from live event and activation agency Hadimassa Brand Support teamed up with lighting designer Sander den Otter from T-MINUS Design and stage designer Bart van Rooy of BigVis and technical producers Neoc to create and direct a jaw-droppingly spectacular light sculpture, _CONNECTIONS_. This celebrated the key strategic move by VodafoneZiggo to the aorta of the Amsterdam Maastricht corridor
Sander utilised 91 Robe MegaPointe multi-purpose moving lights to realise this light sculpture artwork.
The team surveyed the proposed site, a square connecting the Central Station to the Hoog Catharijne and the historic heart of the city a short walk beyond, which is a constantly busy, bustling thoroughfare filled with commuters, shoppers and visitors.
A large permanent sculptural piece resides there, occupying much of the space, and the team felt that integrating this existing environment with _CONNECTIONS_ as a temporary artwork, would represent a perfect harmonisation between the extensively revamped Hoog Catharijne and the adjacent Central Station.
They also felt the style of the light art would emphasise the importance of the new VodafoneZiggo HQ as a place dedicated to innovation, connectivity and the future enhancement of the city’s business activities and communities.
Sander knew immediately that he wanted to use a small compact light source with high output and a good narrow beam to have maximum effect in this high ambient light space, and MegaPointes were his first choice.
He has used the fixtures extensively in his show and festival lighting designs.
Thirteen MegaPointes were positioned on each of the towers which were 20 metres apart from one another and the fixtures threw light and dancing beams all over the space.
They were fitted on to custom hanging bracketry which was designed and fabricated by Neoc, together with bespoke rain covers to protect the fixtures from the elements. All these special accessories were spray-painted white, and even the cable trays were specially fashioned to ensure that the installation was neat and in keeping with the style of the original structure; so much so that it almost looked like a fixed installation.
The biggest challenge in realising the work was in dealing with the day-to-day public functionality and freneticism of the location which had to be worked around. Sander commented that: “Nic Zinnemers from Neoc and his team did a great job on this front.”
While the site presented the greatest challenges, Sander also enjoyed the fact that it was in a galvanising and unusual location in which to work, and that once completed and up-and-running, so many people passing through took time to stop, appreciate and comment on the light show.
Sander programmed the show on a Hog 4 console, and it ran to timecode three times every hour from 6 to 10pm, for seven days in total. A special music track was written and produced for _CONNECTIONS_ by leading DJ Fedde Le Grand, who was also present and performed live on the opening night.
The MegaPointes were supplied by RentAll.
photos: BigVix and NicoAlsemgeest
7th December 2018
Volt Lites Adds Ayrton Ghibli and Mistral-TC Fixtures to Growing Inventory
USA – Volt Lites, Inc. of Burbank, California has taken delivery of a complement of Ayrton Ghibli and Mistral-TC fixtures, expanding its lighting roster with its first-ever Ayrton purchases. Ayrton is exclusively distributed in North America by ACT Lighting, Inc.
Helmed by co-founders Harrison Lippman and Matthew Shimamoto, Volt Lites is a lighting production shop for the greater LA rental community and a wider national clientele.
Ghibli is Ayrton’s first LED spot luminaire with a factory-equipped framing system. 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 hot spot. Ghibli’s selection of gobos and colours was made in collaboration with lighting designers to meet the needs of the entertainment industry.
Mistral-TC is a new versatile and fully-equipped LED spot luminaire designed for applications requiring perfect colour reproduction. The ultra-compact fixture has an entirely new LED module using a monochromatic light source calibrated at 7,000K with a native colour rendering index greater than 90 and extremely high TM30 readings, which enables Mistral-TC to produce more than 14,000 lumens. Its optics achieve an extremely uniform flat beam that can render images perfectly in all conditions and at any beam angle.
“Both the Ghibli and Mistral-TC are exquisite LED profiles that hit all the marks and complement each other,” says Lippman. “The Ayrton line has really impressed us, and we’re excited to get the new fixtures into our clients’ hands: Volt Lites is one of the first companies to offer Mistral-TC in the US. The fact that ACT Lighting added Ayrton to their line card means we’ve been able to add Ayrton fixtures to our inventory.”
Shimamoto sees Ghibli as: “A new workhorse for our growing line of spot and profile fixtures. The Ghibli produces bright vivid colours, has a flat, even field for key light and razor sharp optics for mid-air projection. This allows for the light to play a variety of roles. I also love how quiet they are for our more sensitive environments.”
The Ghibli’s factory-equipped framing system is another plus, according to Lippman. “Clients have come to expect shuttering capabilities, and it’s very challenging when a fixture does not offer framing shutters.”
He finds Mistral-TC to be “a superior, compact LED profile with a very similar range of functions as its big brother, the Ghibli. I like the form factor, the output and the light quality as well as its close-to-silent operation.”
“They are the perfect solution for our clients’ needs when a small, light-weight, high-output fixture body is required,” adds Shimamoto.
Both fixtures have already been in demand by Volt Lite customers. “The Ghiblis are very popular for film, commercials and live television while the Mistral-TCs are starting to go out on all types of live events and corporate projects,” Lippman reports.
7th December 2018
Southern Hemisphere first as L-ISA hyperreal technology is used for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert live performance
Australia – This November, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with CineConcerts and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, performed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, South Australia. It was the first ever use of L-Acoustics L-ISA Hyperreal Sound in the southern hemisphere and took audiences even deeper into the magical world while the symphony orchestra performed the entire score live to picture.
L-ISA was deployed by leading Australian technical production company Novatech, which has been using L-Acoustic systems for events of all sizes and scope around Australia, from music festivals to live concerts and corporate events, for over a decade. A keen innovator and early adopter of creative event technology, the company has always endeavoured to improve the experience for guests and artists alike and has invested heavily into new technology over the years.
When L-ISA was released, Novatech looked for opportunities to use the ground-breaking technology in Australia. The search quickly focused onto one of its long-time partners, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, which has gained a reputation for outstanding contribution to the world of music and, with the nature of the entertainment perfectly matching the application of L-ISA, was a natural fit.
“With L-Acoustics being the backbone of our audio inventory, we were excited by the introduction of L-ISA and were keen to bring it to Australia for a live performance,” remarks Novatech’s production manager, James Sacca. “It seemed fitting to partner with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for this Southern Hemisphere first. As always, L-Acoustics was professional to deal with and extremely supportive as we planned this technically complex event.”
The L-ISA set up included 126 input channels and 96 L-ISA objects and used an L-ISA Wide design solution, deploying a total of 84 L-Acoustics Kara cabinets in seven hangs of 12 Kara, each spaced above the performing zone to provide source separation and localization, two extension speaker groups of 12 Kiva II and two flown subwoofer arrays of four SB28 in and end fire configuration in the centre.
The monitor system comprised ten X15 HiQ cabinets and eight X8. Control was via a DiGiCo SD10 mixing console at front of house and an AVID S6L at monitors, connected via three Optocore optical loops.
Charles Gagnon, who mixed the show, made adjustments to the soundscape using the L-ISA Controller software to address the processor and create the soundscape for static information such as object panning, source width, distance, etc., based on input channels bussed from the SD10.
“I have long been a fan of so-called surround sound and immersive audio,” says Gagnon. “I’ve done numerous recordings and broadcasts in ‘traditional’ 5.0/5.1 surround and have been involved in experimental immersive audio projects going back to the early 2000s. Advances in processing power and algorithms now make object-based systems practical so I am intrigued, but not surprised, about the emergence of these systems in the competitive live sound market.”
Gagnon found the L-ISA Controller software intuitive, with a well-designed GUI that made it easy for him to quickly make broad adjustments to the soundscape.
“I was pleased with the result, especially with dialogue clarity and localization, and overall clarity and coherence of the soundstage,” he says. “It was a great experience and I would most definitely like to use it again.”
“Novatech works closely with us as our technology partner to bring the sounds of the orchestra to audiences both small and large,” comments Vince Ciccarello, CEO of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. “We were thrilled and excited to learn of the new L-ISA technology that would more faithfully engage our artists with the audience and are proud to be a part of this collaboration with Novatech and L-Acoustics.”
“As we roll out our L-ISA technology, we look to trusted partners around the globe who have the drive and creative vision to innovate alongside us,” concludes L-Acoustics regional sales manager, Tim McCall. “Novatech has a history of always embracing new technologies to bring a little extra to its shows. Combining this passion and experience with a full symphony orchestra and L-ISA Hyperreal Sound brought a more natural and vibrant experience to the audiences of Australia for the first time. Congratulations Adelaide, you’ve made history!”
7th December 2018
Chameleon Touring Systems Balances Old and New at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week with Chauvet Professional
Australia – Completed in 1862, Queensland’s stately Old Government House doesn’t exactly conjure up images of trendy fashions. But the neoclassical building, with its sandstone façade and architectural flourishes, provided a dramatic backdrop for the sleek luxury cars and chic couture from hot designers like Camilla, Ginger & Smart, Dion Lee and Alice McCall that took centre stage during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
Tying the stunning 19th and 21st century visuals together into a beautifully balanced panorama was a colourful and adroitly crafted lighting design by Tim Allder of Chameleon Systems that featured 110 Chauvet Professional COLORdash Par H12IP fixtures, supplied by Showtools International.
To light the runways that ran on three sides of the iconic building, Allder had his COLORdash fixtures positioned on top of ground support vertical towers. Each tower had a four-metre pipe on top that held five of the RGBAW+UV LED wash lights.
“We relied on the COLORdash fixtures to set the mood on the walk-in, as well as to light the building’s columns,” said Allder. “The building provided an excellent backdrop for the catwalk with lots of depth for us to play with, and the colours from the COLORdash really helped us accentuate these architectural features.”
The colour rendering capabilities of the COLORdash fixtures were also essential to highlighting the models and their outfits. “We used the fixtures to create hot, cold and medium skin tones that enhanced what the models were wearing during each segment,” said Allder. “For the brighter designs we had warmer colours and then pale blue-lavenders for the cooler apparel.”
Having the lights positioned high atop towers, out of sightlines to the catwalk, was essential to maintaining the clean, elegant look of the fashion show. However, it also made it more challenging to control lighting and maintain smooth, even fields without spillage.
“Our biggest challenge in a project like this is to keep the levels and colour tones even along the entire catwalk, even with the limited number of locations we had to work from,” said Allder. “Happily, we were able to do this with no difficulty, all while give the building an amazing look with colours. Plus, we got no complaints from photographers about light levels. Graham ‘DB’ Jelly, my co-designer and operator, deserves a lot of credit for making this work.”
Given that this was an outdoor event, Allder and Jelly also appreciated the IP65 rating of the COLORdash fixtures. “Our weather was fine, but we want to go with a fixture that is IP65 rated and reliable when we’re outdoors,” said Allder. “The lights are not the stars of an event like this, but everyone is depending on lighting to create the kind of atmosphere that makes the event a success.”
7th December 2018
Rope Assemblies builds bridges with Castleford Heritage Trust in time for beer festival
Sitting on the banks of the River Aire, Queen's Mill was once thought to be the largest stone grinding mill in the world. According to the West Yorkshire Archaeological Society there has been a working mill by the River Aire as far back as Roman times. During medieval times the mills were used mainly for milling wheat, and they continue to do so.
Now looked after by the Castleford Heritage Trust, visitors are invited to explore the mill during special open days throughout the year where members from the trust will be on hand to share the history of the mill and answer any questions. It is also used as a venue for local events.
One such event, the Castleford Beer Festival took place last month, a community event drawing in the crowds with musical art, food and of course beer. However James Knowles, project manager at Castleford Heritage Trust explained: "The venue was all ready for the festival which was set to attract over 1,000 visitors. However, we had an issue with the function room: it only has one emergency escape and so we had to install a bridge so that, should visitors be required to leave the building in an emergency, they could do so safely. Without the bridge, we would not have been able to use the room."
Thanks to a recommendation from a rigging company working on the project, James got in touch with Linda Martin at Rope Assemblies who, along with Joanne in the sales team, advised on the right product for the job and sent out some samples. She explained: "For a job like this we recommended 5mm stainless steel assemblies, with M10 Swage Studs on either side. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing but it is hard wearing and a better solution than galvanised items as it stands up to the elements much better. James was delighted with the samples and so placed an order for over 107 metres."
Just last month the Rope Assemblies' sales team received a special commendation at the LEEA Awards for their customer service and Linda receiving a 'Manager of the Year' commendation, both for 'setting an exemplary standard within the lifting industry', and James can see why.
"Rope Assemblies were amazing at turning around our request and delivering the order in a matter of days. The wires are great; rated to 300kg each, they're more than adequate to act as a safety barrier underneath the handrail to ensure that no one could fall through the structure," James said.
He concluded: "The Rope Assemblies team were brilliant to work with; if you're ever unsure about something, they explain it all in layman's terms how it all works and advise on everything from the diameter of the wires your require to how you'd terminate it. Time and cost were an issue on this project and they came up with an effective solution that meant we met our extremely tight budget and to deadline, making our first large event a resounding success."
In picture: Site contractor Colin Wilson, contractor Paul Ellis and volunteer John Bell.
6th December 2018
Making it Big for Prodigy
UK – Sonic and visual mayhem on a big scale to match the big beat anarchy and sounds of the Prodigy, the UK’s favourite genre defying electro anarchists who could just as easily impress an auditorium of metalheads as they could a warehouse of crazy ravers: that was the goal for lighting designer Tim Fawkes!
Tim has worked for Prodigy since 2012 and been their lighting designer for the last year. He’s currently fully embroiled in creating a lighting riot for the current “No Tourists” tour promoting the Prodigy’s seventh album which just dropped and immediately blasted straight to number one, just like the previous six!
HSL is again the lighting supplier, and the band are playing arenas and living up to their reputation for being among the most exciting and full-on live acts on the planet since Liam Howlett, Keith Flint and Maxim first burst onto the scene in 1990.
Tim went for a massive, wide and epic look for the stage. “I wanted to get away from the postage stamp look of some shows in arenas, where only a tiny part of the actual venue is involved,” he explained. In addition to feeling the energy and atmospherics of the lighting, the band wanted to embrace the whole audience and pull them kicking and screaming into the Prodigy live trip and lighting plays an absolutely instrumental part in this process.
Tim was also involved in drawing up and developing the set design which is based on an idea from the band inspired by the album artwork involving the iconic Routemaster London bus.
In the middle of the stage are two AEC Routemaster front-engined double-decker buses which are six metres high, 2.5 wide and three metres deep.
Built by Brilliant Stages Tim worked alongside Prodigy production manager Tyrone Brunton and Brilliant account handler Bullet to perfect the scenic elements.
As this is a Prodigy show, these are no ordinary London buses, Tim calculated how many lights he could squeeze into the space and filled them with Martin MAC Quantum Washes, Atomic LED strobes and ColorBlock II LED battens to illuminate the scrolling signs on the front, with Cob FC LEDs for the headlights.
The band are not keen on having on-stage video as they feel the concept has been over-worked, but with a definite need for extra on-stage craziness, the buses were a great solution!
‘Brickwork’ panels link the stage to the wings each side, so the space is connected and conjoined rather than having a gap, and these scenic elements, lit with Chauvet SIXPAR 200IPs, also conveniently work as a shield for monitor world and other technical areas.
The zig-zagged trussing over the stage and wings is based on the apex roof architecture of typical London Bus Depots.
The overhead rig is designed to be as much of a retinal onslaught as possible to match the SPLs and intense sub-base characteristic of FOH engineer Jon Burton’s mix.
The four main 20 metre LX trusses above the stage are all lined with Martin Sceptron LED battens and there’s a total of 136 of these on the rig.
The main general lighting fixtures are 58 Robe Pointes – their multi-functionality effectively tripling the available lights on the rig – 62 Atomic LEDs and 32 GLP JDC1 strobes making a total of 98 strobes, 42 x 2-lites, 16 x 4-lites plus the16 x Robe MegaPointes which are on moving pods.
These are joined by 50 MAC Quantum washes and 12 GLP X4s which are on the band’s left and right-side booms, shooting across the stage; Tim sneaked this little theatrical snippet slickly into the bigger picture of industrial strength lighting mayhem.
There are also 33 Robe LEDBeam 100s which follow the curve of the band’s backline risers including the two on/off ramps.
Fourteen Vari*Lite 4000 Spots are divided between the stage, six at the back for silhouetting, and six downstage for key lighting, with the other two at FOH for gobo projections during the intro.
There are six original PixelLine 1044 LED strips in the footlight position along the front lip of the stage – still going strong after many years’ service – and proving virtually indestructible despite being shaken to oblivion every night by the outrageous levels of sub bass!
There are six vertical truss towers upstage which fill the gap between the top trusses really neatly, and for a true Prodigy back wall look, there’s four drop rows off the upstage truss all loaded with Quantum Washes.
The wing trusses are six metres in width and angled to form alternating up and down diamond style lines.
Over the stage there are four four-metre sections of truss each suspended on two 500kg Liftket motors running with Kinesys Elevation 1+ vari-speed units which add some more upstage madness, positioned between LX trusses 3 and 4, operated by Steve Major using a Vector system stationed on stage right, with a spotter positioned on stage left.
These pod trusses are also lined with Sceptrons and each loaded with four Robe MegaPointes, five JDC1 strobes, five old-school PAR CP60s and four active Sunstrips, all adding to the maelstrom of light sources and visual options for Tim’s show, which is full tilt from the first to the last chord of the set.
The set list is always changing every night to keep the returning fans happy, so the pod movements vary each night depending on what’s being played. When in their home (up) position they add to the zig-zagged lines of the roof.
To add another raw touch to the environment, six PATT 2013 big dish reflector lights on drop arms loom over the stage like giant industrial pendants.
As expected, there is some serious atmospherics to ensure that all these lights look super-cool at every touch of the flash-buttons, delivered by five of HSL’s HazeBase Touring smoke machines.
Tim programmed and is running the show on a Whole Hog Full Boar console with another running as hot backup. He runs everything live illustrating his superlative timing and familiarity with the music.
“It’s been a tough one time-wise,” he commented: “But the rig definitely has the ‘bigness’ that I envisioned! I’m working with a fantastic crew from HSL who ensure everything goes up effortlessly each day and Prodigy are a hugely dynamic band for lighting, so I am enjoying evolving the show!”
His fantastic team on the road are crew chief Matt Brown who is joined by Joe Dowling, Stu Wright, Ryan Soave and the aforementioned Steve Major.
The tour is being account managed for HSL by Jordan Hanson assisted by Emma Turner.
Jordan comments: “It’s always a pleasure to work with Tim, Tyrone and the rest of the Prodigy team. I look forward every time the tour comes back around! The design is massive and really suits The Prodigy perfectly. Amazing show and amazing people!”
Building the set each day and working closely with the lighting crew are set carpenters Ray Wheelan and Graham Kersley, and helping to make loads of noise havoc each night are Jon Burton at FOH and Tom Maddox on monitors
photos: Louise Stickland
6th December 2018
Garth Brooks Launches Stadium Tour at Notre Dame with Bandit Lites
USA – Garth Brooks has always loved to push boundaries, break records and most importantly, entertain people. All those elements were on full display at Notre Dame Stadium where the second highest selling recording artist of all time took the stage 20th October for a two-hour performance with a lighting package designed by Dave ‘Gig’ Butzler and provided by long time vendor Bandit Lites. This show served as the inaugural concert held at the facilities and simultaneously kicked off Brooks’ stadium tour.
“Garth, in usual Garth fashion, went where no one has ever been before: the hallowed Notre Dame Stadium; the house that Rockne built,” said Bandit Lites chair and founder, Michael T. Strickland. “This show served as the launch platform for Garth’s new, three year, all stadium tour. Leave it to Garth to do things that the fans love and that no one has done before!”
“Hello, Notre Dame,” Brooks said to the nearly 85,000 fans at the sold-out performance. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. How ya' all doing?”
Brooks took to the 360-degree stage that featured more than 300 lighting fixtures including Robe BMFL and BMFL Wash Beams, Chauvet Rogue Beam R2, GLP X4, VL 6000, VL 3500 Washes, X Bar 20, X Bar 10, Claypaky Spheriscans, Robe Robin 1200 LED, Elation Paladins, Martin Atomic LED Strobes, Phillips Nitro RGBW Strobes, eight Lyican M2 long throw spotlights, and two grandMA 2 Full consoles for a control. The result was a rig that glowed as bright as the star shaped stage even amid the wintry conditions.
Bandit Lites crew consisted of Aaron Swetland, Cody Cheatham, Chuck Hastings, Steve Strickland, Patrick Cowden, Scott Wesson, Scot Sepe and Terese Fensler with considerable additional support coming from Bandit Lites Project Manager Don Lockridge.
The unforgettable performance was recorded and televised on CBS Television 2 December and showcased the magic that millions of people have come to know: there is nothing quite like a Garth Brooks concert. The television special brought together 8.9 million viewers where families witnessed the lights of 80,000 cell phone flashlights swaying in the stillness of the night as everyone sang along to “The River.”
Lighting designer Bob Peterson provided the television lighting design and direction with Bandit Lites supplying over100 additional fixtures including Robe Mega Pointes, Robe BMFLs, Robe Robin 1200 LED Washes and Lycian M2 Spots.
“Since this performance, Garth has sold out the first two stadiums: The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis and State Farm Stadium in Glendale,” concluded Strickland. “The demand for his infectious energy and fantastic show just grows every year. The fans are and always have been his number one focus. Garth delivers in a fashion and with an energy few can match. Bandit is so proud to be part of his family, and I am proud to call Garth a friend. Like everyone else, I always wonder ‘what’s next?’.”
6th December 2018
TiMax immersive audio for roving Fado ensemble in Porto monastery
Portugal – A traditional Portuguese Fado concert held in the cloisters of 17th Century São Bento da Vitoria Monastery provided Francisco Leal, head of sound at Oporto’s Teatro Nacional São Joao, the long-awaited opportunity to get up close with Out Board’s TiMax SoundHub immersive dynamic delay-matrix and further cemented his intent to incorporate leading-edge TiMax immersive spatialisation into the Teatro Nacional’s in-house productions.
Leal explains: “Having followed the developments of the TiMax system for some time and wishing for the system when I met some challenging shows requiring different sound perspectives simultaneously, I finally found the opportunity this year to apply the system in a real context, in a Fado concert where movement throughout the performance is tradition.”
The concert played in the covered, wooden-floored courtyard of the Monastery to a three section, fan-shaped audience position, during an International Music Week event that also doubled as album launch for the band.
The multi-channel speaker system for the event, designed by Francisco Leal in discussion with Out Board’s Dave Haydon, who visited the venue to help fast-track the TiMax set up and programming, featured a rented TiMax SoundHub-S16 processor feeding all speakers separately via analogue outputs, and receiving mic and effects signals via analogue inputs fed from a Midas H2000 console.
The main PA comprised four Meyer UPA1’s as front and rear left and right pairs, with six Roland SRS120 speakers in pairs as left and right side surrounds for each seating section. Four Meyer UPM1Ps were positioned on the stage as frontfills, with an additional flown cabinet for overhead effects, plus some Meyer subs positioned left and right of the stage.
The tradition of Fado is that the musicians change positions during songs, so TiMax Cues were implemented to create localisations for each movement, as well as to produce an overall immersive spatial environment for the band’s standard stage format with the singer up front.
The other positionings for the four-piece band saw the two guitarists – standard acoustic and a large mandolin-style Portuguese guitar – move to sit in the chairs by the left and right PA stacks; or the Portuguese guitar player seated behind the band with the acoustic guitar sat far right, under an arch away from the rest of the band.
For one song the young singer walked from a first-floor rear right balcony to a front-right balcony, with TiMax panning him automatically with a matching spatial reverb. Other TiMax cues received sound effects from QLab, such as dockside soundscapes, whirling seagulls, a cityscape with a tram, and fireworks, all of which were spatially distributed or immersively panned around the room using MIDI triggers.
Having waited so long to exercise TiMax in a real scenario, Leal was overjoyed with the sonic experience TiMax created: “The result was astonishing, creating a solid, three-dimensional sense of instruments in the locations, the etymology of where the word stereophony derives! TiMax added massively to the scenes, the soundscapes and the effects, bringing these sounds to credible new life in the space.
“The possibilities the system allows are part of a dream of mine. Not only on live shows but for sound installations in exhibitions as well. A big thank you goes to Out Board, and to Dave Haydon, for your endless help and availability, joining me in this experience.”
5th December 2018
Erik Parker Adds New Twist to Dave Koz Christmas Tour with Chauvet Professional
USA – Platinum selling recording artist and nine-time Grammy nominee Dave Koz has been doing coast-to-coast Christmas tours every holiday season since 1997. Each year, the irrepressible jazz saxophonist manages to bring a new and compelling sense of vitality to his show by serving up an ever-changing mix of traditional and contemporary sounds performed in the smooth, affable style that has earned him a global following.
Erik Parker of CLLD, LLC has followed the same philosophy since he began lighting the popular tour in 2016, changing up his rig every year to make his show look as fresh and exciting as a surprise gift on Christmas morning. Helping him in the 2018 edition of the Christmas tour, which began on 23 November and runs through 23 December, are 18 new Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures, supplied by Bandit Lites.
“Our goal every year is to provide a fresh look while remaining true to the overall image of the show, which revolves around class, style, warm holiday feelings, and great music,” said Parker. “This year, we added the Rogue R1 FX-Bs to lend a whole new twist to the stage.”
The Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures in Parker’s rig are hung on an upstage grid between the top of the band and the bottom of the flown lighting truss. This grid is made up of six tormentors, with three fixtures on each. From this position, the linear RGBW LED units, each with five independently controlled moving heads, add a greater sense of depth to the stage while also providing a wide range of special effects.
“What is cool is being able to give big solid beams of light, while also creating some twirly-bird effects,” said Parker. “The bright output of the fixtures also adds to the festive spirit of the show.”
Transported by trailer to 26 different venues in a one-month period, Parker’s rig not only has to be rugged, but also flexible, since it has to adapt to different stage configurations. “Our tour lighting director Terese and tour tech Breanna have been great at setting up the rig quickly and efficiently every show,” said Parker. “The flexible nature of our rig is extremely important during setup, because we encounter a lot of different stages.”
Flexibility is also important during each show, as the lighting design has to reflect the many different moods of the music created by Koz and his guest stars. “There is such a great mixture of music on this tour,” said Parker. “Our lighting is right there to support it. This may mean bringing all attention to a small section of the stage for a piano duet between one of Dave’s guests, Keiko Matsui, and special guest Sheléa. It may also mean creating subtle looks for another guest, Jonathan Butler, as he gives his emotional rendition of O Holy Night. Or it may mean creating big rock looks for a third guest Mindi Abair’s All I Got For Christmas Was The Blues. Then there are the sophisticated looks we create for Dave’s hit Together Again. Variety gives this show vitality, both in terms of music and light.”
5th December 2018
UK’s first deployment of L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound delivers dazzling experience for alt-J fans at the Royal Albert Hall
UK – Having already made history as the first band to use L-Acoustics L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology at their ground-breaking concert at Forest Hills Stadium in New York earlier this year, UK indie rockers alt-J recently clocked up another first. This time it was on home ground at London’s Royal Albert Hall (RAH). For the final two dates of their world tour in support of their 2017 album Relaxer and its more recent counterpart REDUXER, the UK’s first ever deployment of the fully immersive revolutionary audio system brought more fans closer than ever to the band’s combination of ethereal harmonies and striking sound effects, which lend themselves perfectly to this 360-degree audio experience.
alt-J’s front of house engineer Lance Reynolds appreciates that the band’s music includes “a lot of interesting sonic nuggets and sound effects,” and that L-ISA has allowed him to bring these to the fore in his 360° mix. This, in turn, allows the audience to truly appreciate the difference in comparison to conventional stereo live sound reinforcement and “feel completely immersed in alt-J’s music.”
For audience members surveyed after the show, it was mission accomplished. “Spectacular, perfect, mesmerising, powerful, and involving,” were just some of the adjectives that came to mind amongst spectators to describe their experience. One concert-goer summed up his delight as: “By far the best sound of any gig I’ve ever been to. Unforgettable.” Another enthused: “It couldn’t have been better.”
Music critics in attendance were similarly enthralled. The Evening Standard, who gave the show an exceptional five-star rating, reported that L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound “literally caused heads to turn when the synth pulse of ‘Hunger Of The Pine’ began to blip across the space.” The Telegraph further noted that the enveloping sounds of a children’s choir as the song ‘Pleader’ reached its crescendo were “astonishing” and concluded that “such ideas need to be embraced. This is progress.”
For the L-ISA system at the RAH, alt-J’s long-time production supplier Rat Sound deployed three central hangs of 12 K2 with three Kara down each, flanked by two hangs of 16 Kara either side of the K2 hangs to create the Scene system. Two hangs of four KS28 were flown behind the K2 hangs. Two hangs of 12 Kara formed an extension system and two hangs of ten Kara provided sidefill coverage. Two ARCS II, left and right, sat on the stage lip, with two ARCS Wide centre stage for frontfill and three X8 per side for stalls fill. Four SB18 were positioned below the front of the stage for low end frontfill.
The surround system comprised ten Syva positioned around the top of the Gallery (Level 5), plus ten X12 evenly distributed around the bottom of the Rausing Circle acting as a delay ring for the main Syva surrounds.
The audience was on its feet for much of the show, confirming that the band’s adoption of L-ISA helped bring this world tour to a vibrant finale.
“Touring is becoming a more and more important part of what you do as a band, so it’s exciting to think when you are writing a song how you can make it sound as amazing as possible live,” says alt-J’s Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards/vocals). “And now that we know what can be done [with L-ISA], it will be in our minds, for sure.”
photos: Jan Bruhnke and Richard Gray
5th December 2018
Nothing But Thieves Return Home for End of Year Run
UK – Accompanied by an Allen & Heath dLive mixing system, English rockers Nothing But Thieves finally return to the UK, bringing their mammoth year-long world tour to an end.
SSE Audio – one of the largest rental stockists of Allen & Heath products in the UK – supplied the full audio set-up, which includes a dLive S7000 and DM64 MixRack fitted with Dante for multitrack recording and virtual soundcheck on FOH and a dLive S5000 with a DM64 MixRack on monitors.
Gary Curtis, FOH engineer and long-time user of Allen & Heath products, comments: “I first came across dLive at SXSW several years ago and I instantly found it very user-friendly, great sounding and very quick to assign layers, but the flexibility of the system is what really drew me in.” He continues: “Now I’ll use dLive at every opportunity I have – for this tour, I even convinced our monitor engineer (David) to move away from the ‘Dark Side’ and join the dLive team!”
“I was really apprehensive of using dLive at first but as soon as I had spent a few hours familiarising myself with the console, I just fell in love,” explains monitor engineer David Ruffle. “It was so fast, easy and perfect for what I needed to do with the in-ears – in terms of stage times, etc – and it really does do everything I could want or need. Now I don’t want to take anything else out! I’ll stay with it for as long as I can!”
Both engineers also use a range of the dLive’s built-in effects and DEEP processing suite, including the 16T, the Mighty compressor, the PeakLimiter76 and Dyn8. Ruffle comments: “In terms of processing and onboard effects, we use all of it! I’m using at least one of every compressor in the console and having the option to stick them on every channel is great. I use the 16T on my snare and bass groups and the Dyn8’s multi-band compressor and dynamic EQ on vocals, it kills it, it’s just incredible.”
Curtis continues:, “I also use the 16T on snare and bass, as well as the Mighty compressor on my drum crush group, PeakLimiter76 on guitars and again, Dyn8 on vocals. They’re really great!”
The band’s new EP ‘What Did You Think When You Made Me This Way?’ was released mid-October and 2019 will no doubt see them return with even more music, major festival appearances and sold out shows.
5th December 2018
Kimarius Abrahamsen Creates Magic for Award-Winning Cezinando with Ayrton MagicPanel-FX
Norway – Norwegian lighting designer,Kimarius Abrahamsen, chose Ayrton MagicBlade-R and MagicBlade-FX lighting fixtures as the main structural elements of his design for Cezinando’s tour and summer festival appearances this year, helping earn the Norwegian singer, rapper and songwriter his third NRK P3 Gull (Gold) Award as Live Artist of the Year.
The singer, whose latest album, Noen ganger og andre (‘Sometimes and Others’), was the best selling Norwegian-language album of 2017, has previously won Newcomer of the Year 2016 and Song of the Year 2017 in this annual music show and award ceremony which is aimed at young adults and organised by Norway’s NRK television station and P3 radio station. This year marked the sixth NRK P3 Gull Awards which aired on national television on 24 November 2018.
“We want to congratulate Cezinando on his fantastic win and would like to think it might have something to do with his killer concert at Øyafestivalen earlier this summer which had everyone talking,” says Frode Eggum Have of Bary AS, the company responsible for the production design of Cezinando’s show, and the supply of the majority of the technical equipment, including the Ayrton MagicBlade fixtures. The Øyafestivalen festival, which is held over four days in Tøyen Park, Oslo, is one of Norway’s biggest and most important music festivals.
Bary worked closely with Abrahamsen on Cezinando’s Øyafestivalen show, but Abrahamsen’s story with Ayrton MagicBlades began even earlier: “Before Cezinando's summer tour, I really wanted to try out Ayrton's MagicBlades as they seemed like interesting fixtures that could change the whole look of the stage design easily and quickly,” says Abrahamsen. “I really wanted to challenge myself to play with ‘walls of light’ and pixel-mapping in a show. I ended up using twelve Ayrton MagicBlade-R fixtures in Extended Mode on the tour, and immediately fell in love with them!
“For the Øyafestivalen show, I worked closely with Sebastian Ekeberg, Bary’s production designer, to find some fixtures that would complement with our current ground package, and fit into the stage design we had come up with. Weight, size, and output were important factors because of weight-restrictions, and we also wanted to have as many fixtures as possible in our rig, and to be able to play with pixel-mapping.
“It felt like a really natural progression to choose the MagicBlade-FX, as I already had MagicBlade-R in the show and the FX version met all of our requirements: they can be pixel-mapped, they're lightweight, they’re small, the output is great, and the added zoom-feature is amazing and made my ‘walls of light’ concept easier to work with, plus they made the beam look really nice! I also have to admit that the thought of having a whole rig with endless pan and tilt intrigued me a lot!
“We made our choice and used twenty-four MagicBlade-FX in Extended Mode placed in a 6x4 grid in the roof, while still having our twelve MagicBlade-R in the ground package. I was able to create a lot of different shapes, some animations that made it look like the whole rig was moving, introduce a lot of pixel-mapping to create organic-feeling effects, and also use only the central emitter to make the MagicBlade-FX look like a completely different fixture. All these variations enabled me to make really different and unique looks for each song. It felt like I had endless creative possibilities with the fixtures, and I'm pretty sure MagicBlade-FX is my new favourite fixture, as of right now!
“I was actually so impressed with the Ayrton fixtures, that I then tried out six Ayrton Ghibli from Bary as a part of our ground package on our Autumn tour in October and was completely blown away by it!
“Bary delivered a total of 79fixtures to our Øyafestivalen show, and we ended up with 199fixtures, including the house rig, in the final show file, which gave us 7201 parameters to play with. Filip Winter Hartvigsen, who designed the system, seamlessly incorporated my existing ground package into this one-off rig, and made it really easy for me to start programming in the WYSIWYG file that Sebastian Ekeberg had made.
“I want to say a huuuuge thank you to Bary for making this show happen and being so helpful in realising these ideas, as I'd never have been able to do it without them!”
Bary is similarly happy with the outcome: “We would like to give a big thanks to Cezinando and his band, and his management Little Big Sister,” confirms Have. “Kimarius Abrahamsen made everything look great with his lighting design and Sonic City made everything sound smooth with their sound techs. We must not forget our great supplier, Ayrton, who makes the coolest fixtures! And hats off to Bright for a solid technical delivery for the festival and Øyafestivalen for hosting a great festival.”
photos: Christoffer Krook and Michael Ray Vera Cruz Angeles
5th December 2018
GLP impression FR1 provides Eye Candy for the King of Pop
Europe – “When the call came to make a Michael Jackson show, I knew immediately: that's exactly what I wanted,” says lighting designer Marcus Krömer. Not only that, but the LP Thriller by pop legend Michael Jackson was his first self-bought record at the time, and he was always fascinated by the music, the sound and the pioneering shows of the King of Pop.
"Beat it! is a show inspired by the life and career of Michael Jackson, from his first steps with the Jackson 5 until his death,” he said. “The entire production is characterised by great respect for the artist and his work, but at the same time is not a tribute-show. Rather, we wanted to present his show and his music in a modern context, but still remain authentic,” states Krömer, outlining the idea behind the production. Also, the fact that this could not be achieved without a large slice of rock & roll was made clear to the Beat It! team. "Paul Happ, our programmer, and I worked a lot with his music and found so many details and little things that we all wanted to work out,” the designer adds, describing the initial approach to what became a rousing show.
It was also clear that while modern production would not work without the use of LED lights, the result should by no means look like modern lighting technology. "That would have been a break in style and we wanted to stay as authentic as possible. Of course, there are LED walls in the background, some even moving. But in the context of the show, they are deployed to not look like the typical video wall in the stage background. However, from the very beginning there was a wish for some renderings to be projected with some songs and an agreement was made early on between the light and video department."
Similarly, Krömer also used the new GLP impression FR1, with which he explicitly highlights the aforementioned LED walls and the scenery. "We were looking for some eye candy, little eye-catchers that would liven up the set and never let it die. The lamps had to be small, nimble and flexible and that's where the impression FR1 immediately came to mind.”
Krömer had seen the ultra-compact moving lights with the 60 Watt RGBW engine for the first time at GLP’s in-house exhibition, and was immediately convinced: "The FR1 were surprisingly small, compact and really powerful, it was exactly what I needed" he said. Enough power even to be able to assert itself in an environment with much larger spots and washes.
"Everything else on the market in that range today would be twice as big and twice as heavy," notes Krömer. "Plus, it's light and economical with regard to truck space, all characteristics that made the impression FR1 the perfect choice for this job. All I had to do was convince the guys of Feedback Show Systems & Service, the technical service provider of the tour. But that process was fast, not least because of the direct line they have to Oliver Schwendke at GLP,” adds Krömer.
"The guys designed and built a tailor-made adapter plate with a conical projection, so that the compact lamps could be integrated into the set in an instant. Although such details may seem unimportant at first glance, they save precious time during installation and set-up/break-down on tour.”
The lively and energetic tribute to the King of Pop, produced by COFO Entertainment and directed by Andreana Clemenz, lasts a good two hours and is currently touring Germany, Switzerland and Austria until the end of April 2019. "It does not get boring for a moment because there is always something moving, the scenery changes and something always happens somewhere," the designer says.
"The impression FR1’s are somehow always present, they put the icing on the cake or even determine the complete scenery," such as during a fast-paced chase between Michael Jackson and a group of paparazzi. "At first, we wanted to portray the flashlights of the photographer pack with strobes, video and moving lights in the truss, but the effect was not what we had hoped. Then we tried that with the impression FR1 and suddenly the whole scene took on a weird drive and energy, but without killing the audience. Exactly as we had imagined."
But the GLP impression FR1 also works absolutely inconspicuously in a quite different context, namely the lighting of the band. "All-in-all, just two of the 44 impression FR1, mounted 8m high, are sufficient for all musicians to have optimal visibility."
There are many other uses of the impression FR1, and for Krömer, it is obvious: it will soon be more. He is currently planning further shows with the compact LED moving heads, for the year 2019 he is already planning, "with a larger number of units."
5th December 2018
SSL Upgrades the Simple Minds Sound
UK – Legendary British rock band Simple Minds is still thrilling crowds with its unique, larger-than-life sound. The band has been out on an epic world tour, selling out venues wherever it goes and supporting its latest album, Walk Between Worlds. The band's FOH engineer Oliver Gerard and monitor engineer Mike Gibbard, have both chosen SSL Live consoles for the tour.
Even though Simple Minds is touring a new album, it would never neglect the classic songs, and this has probably been one of the biggest challenges for Gerard, Gibbard, and their gear. "I have to cope with music from the late 70s, through the 80s and the 90s rock and roll stadium thing, and on to now," says Gerard. "I try to recreate the true sounds of those moments because everyone knows those songs in certain colours."
Gerard has been working with the band for over ten years, so he has built an extensive range of bespoke effects, particularly reverbs, into a standard rack of outboard to sit alongside his SSL L200. On the other hand, Gibbard who started with the band this year, has recreated most of what he needs inside his SSL L500 console, using up to 11 reverbs at any one time to bring the multi-layered Simple Minds sound to IEMs and wedges.
For both, the sound of SSL Live was the deciding factor. Gerrard: "I have used pretty much all of the digital consoles with Simple Minds. When I had the first demo of the SSL I thought it looked complicated, but I got the opportunity to cover for a friend who was using an L200 with another band. I joined him for a gig to check out how he was mixing the show, and it sounded so good that I decided to give it a go.
"When I started with my own multi-tracks, the first thing I noticed was that I had the analogue feel back again – the elasticity. In the analogue era you could do your first three songs in sound check and when your balance was there, you can do the whole gig. That has never been possible with digital consoles until this one."
Gibbard had unequivocal feedback directly from the band: "Jim came up to me after rehearsals and said: 'I've got the Rolls Royce, haven't I?' and the band's guitarist, Charlie Burchill, came up to me and said he hadn't heard any of this coming through wedges before. So yes, the band's minds have been blown!"
Structurally, both engineers have their own preferences. Gerard says he is quite traditional when it comes to console layout, and though he has been 'seduced by the Stems' he is using traditional auxes for all effects: "It is my first time out with the console, so I've kept the structure close to what I am used to."
Gibbard, however, has made extensive use of Stem Groups to make sure that Jim Kerr's mix is exceptional: "I'm mixing everyone except Jim in the traditional fashion, and with Jim I'm using the console's Stems. With that I can use parallel processing and give him a much more refined, album-sounding mix, rather than a monitor mix, that's probably my favourite thing about the desk – apart from the way it sounds, which is outrageous – but to be able to mix Stem Groups to auxes is unbelievable."
For a band like Simple Minds, the sound is everything. The production on their records throughout their long career has been a large part of the band's uniqueness. For Gerard, committing to a new console means committing to moving over 60 songs to the new technology, so he must be convinced: "Going back to another console that doesn't have the features this desk has would be difficult," he notes. "Even things like the multi-touch screens – now I'm used to it, it's very natural. I don't use the rotary controls any more.
"With the SSL I've never had any of the issues that I’ve had with other digital consoles. It's stable, the EQ is responsive, it's powerful, and it sounds great."
4th December 2018
Capital Sound and MLA Help SSE Arena Make it Through the Night
UK – When Wembley’s SSE Arena opened its doors for the first time to an all-nighter, featuring undisputed champion of drum 'n' bass, Andy C, it presented a number of fresh challenges not previously encountered.
With only the lower bowl area open for the occasion (and the upper tribunes screened off) Capital Sound needed to design their MLA sound system accordingly, while their system tech Ben Turnbull also needed to ensure the minimum of noise escape – as the Wembley area is now densely populated with flats and hotels – to guide the event safely through to dawn.
Promoter and production company Lock ‘N’ Load Events have worked successfully with Capital Sound and Martin Audio’s award-winning MLA many times on EDM type events in recent years, including Alexander Palace.
Said Capital Sound account manager Martin Connolly: “From the public’s perspective we were able to run at good levels, aiming at an average of 102dB(A) but peaking at 106dB(A). We were never asked to turn it up, while off site we were running at well under the threshold.”
To achieve this they fielded 12 MLA elements and two MLD Downfill enclosures on each side of the stage, with side hangs of six outfacing MLA Compact elements on each flank.
Across the front, in a broadside cardioid array for rear rejection, were 16 MLX subwoofers (capable of 150dB peak), keeping any bass well away from the back wall, with eight Martin Audio XD12 spaced along the tops of the subs for nearfield coverage.
Capital also supplied Andy C, who took to the stage around 11pm, with Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS and DJM-900NXS, while FOH and monitor mixers were respectively DiGiCo SD11 and SD9.
The rental company also had a first class technical team on duty. In addition to Ben Turnbull, Marty Beath was crew chief, Sam Cunningham was monitor technician and Andreas Andreou was fourth PA and stage technician.
Ben Turnbull said: “MLA did a great job of reproducing the electronic content evenly throughout the venue at the required high SPL. Its processing capabilities also enabled a 3dB difference of level from front to back. The MLX subs provided excellent low frequency reproduction needed for this genre.”
“The great thing is that we didn't receive any complaints, and for the SSE Arena this now creates the potential for a new midweek revenue stream,” summarised Martin Connolly. In fact the event was so successful that that Andy C took to Facebook to thank the technical teams. ‘Production, visuals and sound were amazing!’ he wrote.
photos: Ben Turnbull
4th December 2018
PR XR 480 BWS Helps Launch India’s First Luxury Liner
India – Angriya, India's first luxury cruise ship, which will sail between Mumbai and Goa, was commissioned at a formal inauguration ceremony in October.
Launched as a joint venture by Mumbai Port Trust and Angriya Sea Eagle Pvt Ltd., the flagging off took place in Mumbai, when PR Lighting customer, Goa-based Reynold Event & Promotions was sub-contracted to provide all the lighting by event management firm Wizcraft.
The company recently purchased 12 of PR Lighting’s XR 480 BWS hybrid moving heads, pressing them straight into action for the occasion. They were used principally to colour wash the ship and provide gobo projections, and were mounted on platforms at dock-side, that lined the front of the ship.
The XR 480 BWS is designed to provide three features in one (beam, wash and spot) from an advanced 480W lamp matched with a superb optical system. And according to Reynold Event & Promotions’ director John Remedios: “We were extremely impressed with the beam quality, effects and gobos.”
The attendees of between 600-800 people were transfixed by the gentle looping of the colour movement throughout the official launch ceremony. “The XR 480 BWS was a big success,” admits John Remedios. “Since this was a dock location surrounded by sea, the light beams could be seen from quite a long distance away. That part of Goa is generally pretty quiet, so everyone knew that something big was happening.”
The order of 12 XR 480 BWS was Reynold’s first from the Chinese manufacturer, but it’s unlikely to be their last. “This event showed us that PR Lighting’s products can stand side by side with the best in the world,” Remedios confirmed. “Hopefully next time we will be talking about a show with 80-100 PR fixtures!”
4th December 2018
Lucid Technologies commemorates World War One Remembrance day
UK – Lucid Technologies recently produced two spectacular displays of stunning illuminations which embellished the exterior of Bradfield’s St Nicolas’s Church, Sheffield, with large-scale animated 3D imagery relating to World War One. The displays were part of the wider ‘Poppy Memorial Trail’ event organised by Pink Dot Inc, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Remembrance Day and which raised funds for Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion as well as St. Nicholas’ church.
Lucid had been recommended to create a projection mapping experience by James Bawn of element 3 Design, who in 2015 had adorned the church with gobo-projected poppies.
From concept stills provided by the creative team of Pink Dot Inc and Element 3, Lucid created animated, real-time 3D imagery in-house, working dedicatedly in Maya, Notch and After Effects over a three-week period. The content was mapped onto the side of the church by three 21K weather-proofed projectors, via Lucid’s Disguise GX2 media server, which also triggered an Avolites Tiger Touch 2, controlling Robe Pointe moving head Lumiere’s positioned in the church’s graveyard. From the moment the church service started, and throughout, the beams stood to attention.
Lucid delivered a breath-taking and deeply personal show for the communities local to the church. Onto the end of the display Lucid was able to composite images of local people who died and survived World War One. The images, along with handwritten quotes supplied by the community, were provided by historians working with the event organisers.
The displays were a huge success. Filmed by BBC Yorkshire for regional news programme BBC Look North, considerable awareness and vital funds were raised.
As Lucid arrived at the picturesque hilltop church for the first meeting, the funds originally raised and donated by companies for the event would not cover equipment costs. Inspired by the beauty of the church with mist rolling through its valley, as well as the energy and enthusiasm of the church project team, Lucid decided to pull out the stops to make the event happen on the scale it was envisioned. As Ashley Ball, Lucid projects director, maintained, “It is not often you get to work at a medieval church in an area of such outstanding natural beauty.”
Though the set-up was not complicated, the project was not without technical challenges. Small footprint technology for the control position was a necessity as it was shared with bell ringers and people changing costumes. Limited power supply also presented some obstacles to overcome.
The biggest technical challenge, however, in an area prone to 85mph gusts of wind, was posed by the weather. Ball explains: “We had to make sure everything was protected with the correct waterproofing and secured from blowing away the wind.” With rigging and scaffolding supplied by HSL, business development manager Jo Sunners, worked with the Lucid team to devise a secure equipment set up which placed projectors efficiently but without intruding upon the graveyard or causing any damage to headstones.
Poppy Memorial Trail organiser, Sue Hague of Pink Dot Inc, said: “Lucid Technologies poured their creativity, technological know-how and sheer dedication into this event. They also donated both time and money into making it happen, without which we would not have realised the event on this scale. We hope the Poppy Memorial Trail will this year be the most successful we’ve seen and have Lucid to thank for their unwavering support.”