Production News

Production News Headlines

Westlife brings its 'Twenty Tour' to Dubai's Coca Cola Arena with a little support from Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC

19/09/2019

Justin Kitchenman Evokes Summer on Luke Bryan Sunset Repeat Tour with Chauvet Professional

19/09/2019

Vari-Lite’s VL2600 Spot luminaires shine for RTL’s Télévie

19/09/2019

WPL Fires Deep into Spectacular Leeds Castle Amphitheatre

19/09/2019

Adamson & Sound.com Support A.R. Rahman’s Huge Homecoming Show

18/09/2019

Martin Thomas Balances Looks for The Alan Parsons Project with Chauvet Professional Maverick

18/09/2019

Bandit Lites and Mark Carver Light 2019 Black Music Honors

17/09/2019

Claypaky Lighting Fixtures Support Aerosmith’s Hit Las Vegas Residency at the Park Theater

17/09/2019

Prolite Colourises Jennifer Lopez Egypt Show with Chauvet Professional

16/09/2019

High End Systems Debuts TurboRay at Edinburgh Festival

16/09/2019

HELi Showequipment GmbH Chooses GLP's impression S350 Series

16/09/2019

Robe for Sziget 2019 Main Stage

13/09/2019

Clifford Spulock and Chauvet Professional Move to Emotional Rhythms of The Wedding Singer

13/09/2019

Trondheim Rocks Again with Alcons

13/09/2019

Creamfields Has Landmark Weekend as Britannia Row Supplies Three of the Festival’s Stages

13/09/2019

We Out Here Festival Kicks Off with dLive and SQ

13/09/2019

Brompton Technology assures image perfection on Bon Jovi This House is Not For Sale tour

13/09/2019

L-Acoustics L-ISA Has Broadway Bounty Hunter Surrounded

13/09/2019

Elation IP65 lighting for Montana’s inaugural Peak to Sky festival

13/09/2019

ProLights Sunblasts raise the roof with UK Rapper ‘Stormzy’

13/09/2019

Zero 88 Gets Behind the Fringe

12/09/2019

Bandit Lites Brings the Lights to Toby Keith’s That’s Country Bro! Tour

12/09/2019

Hawthorn Supports Magic Mike Live as it Heads to Berlin

12/09/2019

RG Jones Record Another Henley Success with MLA

12/09/2019

CPL Ramps It Up for 2019 Camper Calling Festival

11/09/2019

Westlife brings its 'Twenty Tour' to Dubai's Coca Cola Arena with a little support from Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC

Westlife brings its \'Twenty Tour\' to Dubai\'s Coca Cola Arena with a little support from Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC

UAE – The new Coca Cola Arena in Dubai was packed out last month as thousands of Westlife fans relived their youth at the band's 'Twenty Tour'. Taking a walk down memory lane, the boy band performed hits from the past twenty years to the 17,000-capacity venue, with Unusual Rigging and Engineering LLC providing the house rigging points for the production.

Unusual Rigging is sole house rigging service supplier for the installation of all rigging points at the Coca-Cola Arena. One of the main talking points of the venue is its rigging system and unique roof structure. All rigging is done from a raised catwalk; it has shallow braids and is easy to access. With a distance of 24m from the catwalk to the floor and 26m to the I-beam, this covers most height requirements of touring shows. The arena also boasts 90 tonnes over the stage, 60 tonnes for the middle and 40 at the far end, all of which can be hung individually, giving the roof a total weight load of 190 tonnes.

Unusual Rigging’s Alex Taylor worked closely with the production manager on the Westlife gig and explained: "The brief from the client was to install a total of 68 rigging points with the rigging plot broken down into 12 points for PA, 12 points for Video, 34 points for LX and ten points for drape truss. There was a large video screen up stage centre with two smaller screens down stage left and right, as well as two LX towers stage left and stage right of the main screen. We also needed to install six runs of LX truss to light up the stage and the audience."

Alex and the Unusual Rigging team installed a total of 68 motors. He continued: "Because of the versatility of the CCA roof rigging beams, you can put a rigging point more or less anywhere for each different show. We ended up installing 25 dead hangs and 43 bridles, with the majority of the bridles being installed under the catwalks."

While the Coca Cola Arena is a brand new venue with a state-of-the-art rigging system, the production still managed to throw some challenges at the rigging team. "We had to make sure that all of the video points were in line with each other, explained Alex. "We did this by putting some of the bridles on a slight angle to one another in the roof, but at the same time keeping the motor in its correct position. Ensuring that the PA points were in the correct position to avoid delays when it came to hanging the PA was also vital."

Unusual Rigging has already been involved with The 1975 and Maroon 5 gigs which have marked the opening of the new arena. Adam concluded: "The design for the rigging elements in the CCA has been thought about in the design process. It has six main catwalks running down the full length of the building with interconnecting smaller cat walks between them. This makes accessing the rigging beams simple and therefore installing the equipment needed for each show is easy. All the equipment is brand new and a pleasure to use and we look forward to the line up of shows we'll be working on at the arena."

19th September 2019

Unusual

Justin Kitchenman Evokes Summer on Luke Bryan Sunset Repeat Tour with Chauvet Professional

Justin Kitchenman Evokes Summer on Luke Bryan Sunset Repeat Tour with Chauvet Professional
Justin Kitchenman Evokes Summer on Luke Bryan Sunset Repeat Tour with Chauvet Professional

 

USA– Officially, summer ends in the northern hemisphere on 23 September with the autumn equinox, but don’t tell that to the thousands of people in cities like Indianapolis and Detroit who will be packing venues to catch the final dates on superstar Luke Bryan’s Sunset Repeat Tour this autumn. Joined by friends Cole Swindell, Jon Langston, and DJ ROCK, the CMA Award winning artist has been giving fans a taste of starry night sing-alongs on the lake since he kicked off the tour on 31 May. The flip of a calendar page isn’t about to change that.

Contributing to the good time atmosphere on stage, as Bryan and company move exuberantly through their 23-song set, is a dynamic, 28-universe Justin Kitchenman-designed video and light show that features Chauvet Professional Maverick and ÉPIX fixtures supplied by Elite Multimedia of Nashville.

Displaying the free-flowing energy of a beach party where everyone is invited, Bryan’s performance gleefully pulls in a diverse mix of music that includes his popular country hits like “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” (from which the tour got its name), as well as renditions of crowd-pleasers like Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

Kitchenman’s diverse design moves seamlessly with the many moods of the music, drenching the stage in deep blues for songs like “Move,” and turning up the intensity levels for spitfire tunes like “Kick The Dust Up.” A large vertical video wall over the set, flanked by two equally impressive square walls, creates an evocative environment on stage by displaying a wide range of images that include 'neon' cowboys, clear blue skies, and red sunsets.

Working in unison with the video walls are 16 Maverick MK Pyxis fixtures that are arranged four apiece on vertical light ladders. Drawing on the continuous 360° pan and tilt movement of the beam/wash effect, Kitchenman creates a variety of multi-dimensional patterns on stage.

Kitchenman also relies on the outer ring of nine zoomable RGBW LEDs in the MK Pyxis to conjure up a continuous flow of eye candy effects. At times, the looks from the Maverick units seem almost to grow out of the videos because of the way they mirror the colours and patterns displayed on the walls.

“The Pyxis works beautifully with the video elements of the show,” said Kitchenman. “This fixture has so many visual capabilities that allow it to go from a fast-punchy beam, to a soft ambient wash, or any matter of combinations. We set up the Pyxis in line with the video walls so we could extend their visual impact.

“This tour is very evocative,” continued Kitchenman. “It conveys a strong sense of summer and outdoor living. The video elements play a big role in setting this mood, and the Pyxis really are helping us add another dimension to the video imagery.”

Also setting a tone on stage by outlining its form and focusing attention to its center are the pixel mapped EPIX Strip fixtures in Kitchenman’s rig. “We use the ÉPIX Strips on our lighting pods to outline the top and bottom chords of the truss,” he said. “The strips play an important role, as the pods are on automated winches. Having the ability to outline the shape of the pods with the ÉPIX really defines their movement and position from song to song.”

The reference point that this definition provides the audience with is especially important given the array of looks that run through Kitchenman’s show. Like his client’s music, his visuals are richly varied and ready to surprise and engage at every turn.

photos: Todd Kaplan

Justin Kitchenman Evokes Summer on Luke Bryan Sunset Repeat Tour with Chauvet ProfessionalJustin Kitchenman Evokes Summer on Luke Bryan Sunset Repeat Tour with Chauvet Professional

19th September 2019

Vari-Lite’s VL2600 Spot luminaires shine for RTL’s Télévie

 Vari-Lite’s VL2600 Spot luminaires shine for RTL’s Télévie

Belgium – Filipe Dos Santos, director of photography at RTL Belgium, called on the high-performance features of the VL2600 Spot luminaire from Vari-Lite, a Signify entertainment lighting brand, in his design for Belgium’s annual charity television broadcast, Télévie.

Produced by RTL-TVI, Télévie raises funds to help fight cancer and leukaemia in adults and children, so the creation of vibrant, sumptuous television images which both enhance the on stage entertainment and engage the audience to the full is a key requirement.

With its wide and deep studio stage hosting a broad range of live entertainment, the show makes serious demands on lighting. It requires lighting capable of filling the space with a quality of light, a variety of looks and effects, and the textural depth needed to create beautiful television pictures for various acts, over a long period.

“A television production has two challenges for lighting: the functional and the decorative,” said Dos Santos. “That is, what is technically good for the camera and what is pleasing and entertaining for the television audience.”

He added, “I was looking for luminaires that could produce a powerful, quality white light, that could open wide. I needed projectors, wash effects and bright beams to carve large volumes of space and give depth to the image.”

To achieve this, Dos Santos included 24 VL2600 Spot fixtures in his rig. “I chose them for their great openness and incredible focus, plus their gobos and their beautiful mixed and fixed colours,” he said. “The finesse of the optics and the variety of gobos, in particular the classic dotted gobo and the flower patterns, were what especially appealed to me effects-wise.

“The VL2600 is the masterpiece of the effects: it allows me to regulate the occupation of the space and to spatialise the show. They offer reliability and a unique signature of their own.”

As well as providing depth and texture, the VL2600 provides benefits for the camera, thanks to its light output and variable color temperature. “In television, we must always measure the levels and the white balance and the CRI,” said Dos Santos. “The VL2600 corresponds to what we expect, so we can very quickly calibrate it correctly with the other visual elements in the show.”

19th September 2019

WPL Fires Deep into Spectacular Leeds Castle Amphitheatre

WPL Fires Deep into Spectacular Leeds Castle Amphitheatre
WPL Fires Deep into Spectacular Leeds Castle Amphitheatre

UK – Leeds Castle in Kent recently played host to the spectacular open-air Leeds Castle Classical Summer Concert in celebration of its 900-year milestone. This gave around 11,000 concert-goers the opportunity to witness the world premiere of the fanfare, A Tribute to Leeds Castle, composed by Tom Hodge, performed by the Band of the Royal Marines and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and conducted by John Rigby.

Set in this picturesque location, with its natural amphitheatre and the beautiful castle as the backdrop, the visitor experience of this stunning setting was augmented by the clarity, coherence and even distribution of the sound, delivered by the advanced Martin Audio Wavefront Precision Longbow (WPL). This was supplied, optimised and controlled by RG Jones Sound Engineering.

The scaleable resolution of WPL offers greatly improved coverage consistency and control compared to a standard line array and provides a flexible pathway to advanced array control.

Working for concert organisers Heritage Events, the sound production company, under project manager and FOH engineer Ben Milton, had to contend with a site that was both deep and wide (180m x 200m), with a steep incline. But he knew the WPL would mitigate many of the idiosyncrasies and even out the 180° sound dispersion required to cover the audience area.

Programming the optimisation for depth in the dedicated DISPLAY software, Milton said: “We produced a very even tone, deploying a system optimisation at 3dB drop between the auditorium boundary and the downstage edge. This produced a totally even coverage throughout.”

To achieve this they deployed 16 WPL elements per side for the main hangs, with eight Wavefront Precision Compact (WPC) for the outfills, 12 WPL for the Hill Fill (the single auditorium right delay position) and four-a-side Wavefront Precision Mini (WPM) for the infills. In addition, four tiny Martin Audio DD6s were spread across the front for near-fill coverage and six-a-side Martin Audio SXH218 subwoofers provided low-end extension in a non-cardioid configuration.

Said RG Jones director, Andrew Williamson: “Having worked for many years on the Leeds Castle site, as soon as we heard the WPL at demonstration we knew it would be perfect for this event.”

In summary, Ben Milton stated: “The PA system sounded fantastic. WPL is every bit as accurate as its big brother, the MLA. I thought the low end and mids were particularly coherent and offered even greater headroom.”

Event director Richard Millward added: “I have had the privilege of working with RG Jones for many years and there was certainly an appreciable difference to the quality of the sound reproduction this year; this was noticeable across the site, which is a difficult thing to achieve. We have been working together with RG Jones on this event for many years; long may that continue, with their WPL.”

WPL Fires Deep into Spectacular Leeds Castle AmphitheatreWPL Fires Deep into Spectacular Leeds Castle Amphitheatre

19th September 2019

Adamson & Sound.com Support A.R. Rahman’s Huge Homecoming Show

Adamson & Sound.com Support A.R. Rahman’s Huge Homecoming Show

India – Grammy and Oscar winner A.R. Rahman drew a massive crowd in mid-August 2019 for a special concert in his home city of Chennai, India. Once again, the artist, widely known as the Mozart of Madras, relied on Mumbai’s Sound.com to supply and support the live audio system for the show, which this year was built around Adamson Systems Engineering’s heralded E-Series.

“A.R. Rahman has been a client of Sound.com for the past eight years,” begins Sound.com founder and managing director Warren D’souza. “When we completely replaced all of our tour sound products with Adamson systems earlier this year, we knew we could offer the best possible solution to our high-end clients like Mr. Rahman. This was our first major outing with our new inventory and I think it proved beyond doubt that we made a wise investment.”

The system deployed at the YMCA College of Physical Education grounds for the show included main left and right arrays of 15 E15 three-way, true line source enclosures over three E12 three-way, full-range enclosures per side in front of nine flown E119 subwoofers in FBF cardioid configurations. An additional 15 E119s were ground-stacked on each side of the stage for more low-frequency support while eight S10 two-way, full-range cabinets handled front-fill duties.

The single delay ring included left, centre, and right arrays, with nine standard S10s on the left hang, 12 on the right, and a complement of 16 narrow-dispersion S10ns for the centre. D’souza notes the unorthodox configuration was due to the uneven and asymmetrical layout of the audience area, and adds that in previous years, they required an additional delay ring to properly cover the site; however, the power and clarity of the Adamson solution negated the additional reinforcement.

“I’ve been a fan of Adamson systems since mixing on the E15s a few years back in Canada. Ever since then, I’ve been waiting to get to work with an E-Series PA in India,” shares Fali Damania, A.R. Rahman’s FOH engineer. “The deployment for this show was excellent. My mixes translated exactly as I prepped them in the studio and in production rehearsals. I was amazed by the power, clarity, and representation of the entire spectrum, and not once did I feel like I was running out of headroom.”

Sound.com also had Adamson products covering the stage. While Rahman and his band are all on in-ear monitors, some like to split the mix at certain parts of the show. As such, two flown arrays comprised of five ultra-compact S7 two-way, full-range cabinets under a single S118 subwoofer were deployed as stage fills, with an additional S118 serving as a drum sub. As well, 14 M15 stage monitors were strewn across the deck, including two specifically for A.R. Rahman himself.

The decorated Indian film composer, record producer, musician, and singer has sold hundreds of millions of records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. He has won 25 Filmfare awards, four National Film Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, two Grammys, and two Academy Awards over the course of his decades-long career.

Since its inception, Sound.com has evolved from being just a sound rental company to re-defining the idea of delivering an experience of “great sound.” With a combination of the best technologies, processes, and a professional approach, the company is committed to serving clients and audiences with incredible experiences on major tours, festivals, and more.

The company sourced its new Adamson inventory from the Canadian manufacturer’s Indian distributor, Sonotone, in January 2019.
“Investing in Adamson has been a game-changer across the board for Sound.com, from its outstanding acoustic capabilities and amazing sound quality to ease of rigging and the sheer ability to put a lot of boxes in the air to achieve the long throw we need,” says D’souza in closing. “Everyone who hears the system becomes an instant fan: engineers, production teams, promoters, artists, and of course, the fans on the ground, as we learned getting to support the legendary A.R. Rahman in his hometown of Chennai.”

18th September 2019

Martin Thomas Balances Looks for The Alan Parsons Project with Chauvet Professional Maverick

Martin Thomas Balances Looks for The Alan Parsons Project with Chauvet Professional Maverick
Martin Thomas Balances Looks for The Alan Parsons Project with Chauvet Professional Maverick

Belgium – The word “individual” comes up often when Martin Thomas talks about lighting his long-time client Alan Parsons. It isn’t necessarily Parsons himself that the Tucson, Arizona-based LD is referring to, but each of the musicians that make up the pioneering Grammy winner’s band.

“The music of The Alan Parsons Project has always been founded on a variety of musicians based on their individual strong suits and the live show is no different,” said Thomas. “All members have specific harmony parts in the music and lead vocals shift throughout the show. Because everyone sings, key light and backlight for all musicians is critical. So, layers and atmospheric architecture make up most of the production with several negative space moments in the performance.”

At the last stop of the band’s European tour at the iconic Ancienne Belgique in downtown Brussels this August, Thomas was faced with a challenge when he had two electrics to work with instead of three. He nevertheless was able to achieve the layered looks his design called for, thanks to a collection of Chauvet Professional Maverick fixtures supplied by Coruna Sound & Light.

“On this tour, my design is based on having three overhead electrics, FOH truss and a floor package,” said Thomas. “At this particular venue we had only two overhead electrics, making layering the focus that much more critical, as there are eight active artists on stage at any given time.”

The 28 Maverick MK1 Hybrid fixtures in Thomas’ rig were instrumental in helping him maintain the focused layers of light needed to accentuate each performer on stage. He positioned eight of the hybrid fixtures on the first overhead electric, 12 on the second, and had eight units upstage to use as backlights on the musicians.

“In essence the MK1 Hybrids were used to define the band and space,” said Thomas. “The fixture was muscular enough to cut through the wash looks in both Spot and Beam mode with or without gobos and colour, as well as in all aspects of zoom. Many of the looks in this tour’s show transitioned from a hard edge spot to a soft flood, and even to a sharp beam on occasion. Never once were the MK1s ‘lost’ in the look.”

Also adding dimensionality to the stage were the rig’s 28 Maverick MK2 Wash fixtures. Thomas hung 12 of the RGBW LED wash lights on the first overhead electric, and eight on the second. He also positioned six of the fixtures on stands located on the upstage side of the band risers, and had two units dedicated to uplighting the drums and keyboards.

“Traditionally, I use the lights in those areas to create a soft flood to make sure I have all the musicians in some layer of illumination,” said Thomas. “However, I found the Zoom on the MK2 Wash gave me the flexibility to add and subtract negative space smoothly in the overall foundation wash of the stage. This gave me the opportunity to create more varied looks.”

Speaking of those looks, Thomas discussed how they’ve gone through various iterations over the years without ever losing their focus on the individual band members. “Since I began working for Alan, the designs have ranged from radically asymmetrical, to 80s era Rock Show with banks of lighting and articulated trussing, similar to the big PAR can shows that were the rage when I started,” he said. “Having the features of moving lights takes that to a modern level. Alan’s music ranges from emotional ballads such as ‘Time,’ to heavy rockers, such as ‘Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether’.”

Colour played a key role in the shaping the emotional tone of Thomas’ light show. “The replication of saturated gel colours has always been the foundation of my shows for Alan, “he said. “I use lighter pastel colours and corrected white to create striking architecture through the atmosphere. Saturated red songs like ‘Psychobabble,’ or deep violet songs like ‘Old and Wise,’ give me the base to enhance the artists on stage with contrasting, yet complementary colours. This makes the show interesting to watch for the audience during the two- hour performance.”

Like the creation of The Alan Parsons Project’s captivating live performance, the immersive light show that supported the tour in Europe was the result of group of talented individuals coming together. “Our touring crew is small, but top-notch,” said Thomas. “PM and FOH engineer Tyson Leonard worked wonders on the tour, as did Christopher Erickson on monitors, and Grant Goddard, our SM/ backline tech. Credit also goes out to our tour manager Lisa Parsons and assistant TM Tabitha Parsons for keeping the wheels on.”

With the European tour concluded, Thomas is looking forward to the upcoming 2020 tour in support of 40th Anniversary of the Alan Parsons Project release of “The Turn of A Friendly Card.” When that tour happens, it’s safe to assume that both the music and the lighting that supports it, will be the result of multiple talents coming together as one.
photos: Simon Lowery

Martin Thomas Balances Looks for The Alan Parsons Project with Chauvet Professional MaverickMartin Thomas Balances Looks for The Alan Parsons Project with Chauvet Professional Maverick

18th September 2019

Bandit Lites and Mark Carver Light 2019 Black Music Honors

USA – Bandit Lites was proud to once again provide the lighting package for the fourth annual 2019 Black Music Honors, where Xscape, Freddie Jackson, Arrested Development, Tamia and Yolanda Adams were honoured for their contributions to African American culture and American music.

Held on 5 September at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and produced by Central City Productions, the television special was hosted by Rickey Smiley and LeToya Luckett and featured performances by Jagged Edge, Jekalyn Carr, Tevin Campbell, Kelly Price, Naughty By Nature, Le'Andria Johnson, Tony Terry, Travis Greene, 702, Smokie Norful, Jade Novah, Dee-1, June's Diary, Mali Music, Mumu Fresh, Major, Keke Wyatt, Jessie Woo, Leon Timbo and Avery Wilson.

Veteran lighting designer Mark Carver illuminated the two-hour affair and utilized the gear to provide a stylised, contemporary look.

Bandit Lites supplied nearly 200 fixtures for the event including High End Systems SolaFrame 3000s for stage texture and primary back lighting, Chauvet Rogue Hybrids for beam graphics, Claypaky B-EYE K20s for color toning and eye candy and Elation ACL 360i fixtures for eye candy looks around the LED screens. Two grand MA 2 Full consoles provided control.

Due to the scale of the event and the large number of varying musical performances, preparation was key in making the most of the limited amount of time in the actual performance hall, an aspect that Bandit Lites excels in.

“Having a pre-prepped lighting system is key so we can get the system in place and begin programming as soon as possible,” explained Carver. “I try to do as much pre-production as possible by listening to the music and determining the color palette beforehand. Once on site, I work in concert with the lighting programmer Kyle Lovan and the content programmer Tony Fransen to shape the style and mood of each song.”

“Working with Mark is always a pleasure and it was he who first introduced Bandit to Central City Productions many years ago,” said Bandit Lites vice president Mike Golden. “As is the case with him, Mark knew exactly what he needed to get the job done and because we do many events in the Cobb Energy Center, our crew and project manager Gene Brian encountered no hiccups from load in through load out.”

“Mike Golden did an excellent job in helping to get the most out the lighting package with what the budget would allow,” finished Carver. “Project manager Gene Brian provided great direction and support in supplying a well-prepped, built to spec system. On site, Bandit technicians Ryan Johnson and Joey DiLeo did a great job in getting the system up and kept it running one hundred percent during the event.”

17th September 2019

Claypaky Lighting Fixtures Support Aerosmith’s Hit Las Vegas Residency at the Park Theater

Claypaky Lighting Fixtures Support Aerosmith’s Hit Las Vegas Residency at the Park Theater
Claypaky Lighting Fixtures Support Aerosmith’s Hit Las Vegas Residency at the Park Theater

USA – Aerosmith has launched its “Deuces Are Wild” residency at the Park Theater at MGM in Las Vegas with a multi-sensory experience that’s playing to sold-out houses. The show features Claypaky Mythos 2 and Sharpy Wash lighting fixtures provided by PRG.

The band, which has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, added more dates to its residency at the 5,200-seat Park Theater due to extraordinary demand. Aerosmith will now play dates through June 2020.

“We wanted to do a Vegas version of a rock ’n roll show – Aerosmith’s legacy show tweaked and polished a bit for Vegas,” says Nick Whitehouse, co-founder of New York City’s Fireplay, which handled the lighting design, production design and SFX design for the show.

“The stage at the Park is 120 feet wide, and we wanted to use the full space,” he explains. “During the show there are people on stage who paid for the VIP experience. There’s a massive automated band logo and band name with wings that open on stage. A lift raises the band and puts them at the base of the letter ‘A’ to start the show. A big screen upstage and a see-through widescreen downstage also put Aerosmith in the middle of the video content.”

Complementing all the dynamic visuals is what Whitehouse calls “a big, old-school light show.” He selected 100 Claypaky Mythos 2 fixtures and mounted them “everywhere – on ladders flanking each side of the stage, in the logo, on the deck, pushing out over the crowd. The Mythos deliver the big, wide rock & roll beams we wanted as well as act as washes and spots – the only real hybrid fixture that can do that.”

He also chose 60 Sharpy Wash 330s for the ladders and a catwalk that drops in near the end of the show. “With the Sharpy Washes it’s easy to emulate the old-school PAR can look and get different focus positions and colours,” Whitehouse notes.

“Everything looks fantastic! ‘Deuces Are Wild’ is a big rock show tailored for Vegas,” he declares.

www.claypaky.com

Claypaky Lighting Fixtures Support Aerosmith’s Hit Las Vegas Residency at the Park TheaterClaypaky Lighting Fixtures Support Aerosmith’s Hit Las Vegas Residency at the Park Theater

17th September 2019

Claypaky

Prolite Colourises Jennifer Lopez Egypt Show with Chauvet Professional

Prolite Colourises Jennifer Lopez Egypt Show with Chauvet Professional
Prolite Colourises Jennifer Lopez Egypt Show with Chauvet Professional

Egypt – “Bedazzling!” The word cropped up often when the press described the outfits Jennifer Lopez wore during her first-ever Egyptian concert in August. Stopping in the beautiful Mediterranean coast city of New Alamein as part of her “It’s My Party” tour to celebrate her 50th birthday, the star did indeed bedazzle her audience with a dynamic performance, and a glittering array of outfits that ranged from a romantic red top and skirt, to an all-gold ensemble, to a neon green body suit.

However, the chic attire worn by Lopez wasn’t the only source of brilliant color enlivening the stage. Also dazzling was the deeply saturated hues from 60 Chauvet Professional Rogue R3 Wash fixtures supplied by Prolite.

“Rabih Mokbel, one of the most prominent concert organisers in Egypt, retained Prolite to provide the rig for this event because of our reputation,” said Baher George, general manager of Prolite. “We recommended the Rogue fixtures for this project because of their output and colour and Mr. Mokbel and the LD agreed. “Ahmed Aziz did a magnificent job bringing the fixtures into Egypt so we could use them for this show.”

LD Shaheem Litchmore flew the Rogue R3 Wash fixtures on midstage truss, and positioned them on stage right and stage left truss ladders. From these positions, the fixtures covered the stage with smooth fields of radiant colours. Hitting the stage from different angles, the Rogue lights created a sense of depth and texture that accented the evocative movements of Lopez and her dancers.

Drawing on the 12° to 49° zoom range of the Rogue R3 Wash, Litchmore was able to effect dramatic changes in coverage areas. This allowed him to create close intimate lighting in mellow hues for the star’s more reflective songs, then spread out to create a panorama of light for the bigger and bolder dance numbers.

Along with the flexible Rogue R3 Wash, the hard work of the production crew helped make the lighting a success. “Everyone contributed to the great outcome,” said Baher George. “My partner Maged Fikry, and all of the Prolite team members like Maged Safwat for stage lighting, Hesham Safwat for venue lighting, Mena Makram on the consoles and LED screens, and Ali Saber, head of the technical crew, all deserve a lot of credit.”

When the concert was over, the Jennifer Lopez crew praised the show’s production. “The reaction of the J Lo people was very rewarding to us,” said Baher George. “This was a big event in Egypt, and our crew showed what they’re capable of doing, so did our Rogue lights!”

16th September 2019

High End Systems Debuts TurboRay at Edinburgh Festival

High End Systems Debuts TurboRay at Edinburgh Festival
High End Systems Debuts TurboRay at Edinburgh Festival

UK – High End Systems lighting gear illuminated Leith Theatre for the duration of the recent Edinburgh International Festival. The fully LED rig comprised a selection of Sola Series fixtures, but the real highlight was High End’s latest innovation – TurboRay – which made its international debut at the event.

In his role as lighting designer for Leith Theatre’s contemporary music programme for the 2019 festival, Grant Anderson facilitated the lighting needs for a diverse roster that included poetry, rapping and alternative rock. He designed a rig that offered flexibility and a multitude of possible looks for the featured artists including Jarvis Cocker, Teenage Fanclub and Neneh Cherry.

“It’s been great fun having access to the world’s first TurboRay fixtures,” Anderson exclaims. “I put eight of them on one truss and positioned it so the audience could see the face of the units. The diffusion offers striking dynamic effects, you really see that lens shift. You can also get a very tight beam and create impressive shapes through the air and on the floor, you can open them up and get a textured look.”

“What’s brilliant about the High End Systems range is that it’s cohesive,” Anderson says. “All the fixtures offer beautiful dimming and the colour rendering is really effective. I also absolutely love the gradual diffusion, so you don’t just get a clunk in of a diffusion like you do with a lot of products. I often use a sharp gobo and slowly drop that in across 30 seconds of a song, it looks gorgeous, people really like it.”

Additionally, Anderson positioned a SolaSpot 3000 upstage centre to create a striking effect. “The huge zoom ratio on it means it can look like a tight back followspot, but then on zooming out you almost cover the whole stage from one source,” he explains. “The audience immediately react by taking out their phones because it’s such a fantastic look."

Leith Theatre also provided the backdrop for an exclusive showcase event hosted by High End Systems and local dealer Black Light. The event saw a packed-out reception of industry professionals in attendance to catch a glimpse of the highly anticipated TurboRay.

High End Systems Debuts TurboRay at Edinburgh FestivalHigh End Systems Debuts TurboRay at Edinburgh Festival

16th September 2019

HELi Showequipment GmbH Chooses GLP's impression S350 Series

HELi Showequipment GmbH Chooses GLP\'s impression S350 Series

Germany – Dry hire specialists, HELi Showequipment GmbH supply technology for events of all types and sizes. The company, based in Bodenheim near Mainz, continually invests in new equipment from leading brand manufacturers, as well as offering full service back-up.

HELi is currently expanding its inventory of LED moving lights with a three digit quantity of impression S350 Spot and Wash from GLP and is thus opting for white light solutions of the highest quality.

“While we already have sufficient quantities of the powerful, larger moving lights, it was the smaller, more compact fixtures that interested us,” explained CEO Uwe Heinrich. “The S350 series struck me immediately because it is designed to be very compact, in keeping with the GLP design ethic of having no bulky base. Also, the important electronic shutter capability on both the Spot and Wash is impressive. We recently serviced a trade show with over 100 of these devices and did not have a single failure. They are completely reliable. In addition the devices, despite their relatively small size, have a high output. Basically, I see GLP’s S350 series being deployed in all kinds of indoor events, but specifically TV and theatre. And even in clubs and at concerts, be they rock & roll or electro, the devices are highly relevant.”

The impression S350 Spot version incorporates a 6000 Kelvin white high-power LED engine that achieves an excellent colour rendering index (CRI) of over 90. A precisely co-ordinated, highly efficient optical system are further impressive features. This combination guarantees optimal imaging properties, perfect sharpness, uniform light distribution and a high output of up to 8,900 lumens.

The impression S350 has an internal framing module, in which each shutter can be inserted over the beam at an angle of ±30°, and in the position from 0-100%. The entire shutter unit can also be rotated by ±45°. The motorised zoom ranges from 8-42°. Its CMY colour mixing system and an additional colour wheel with fixed colours and correction filters, make the S350 a particularly interesting proposition for TV and theatre applications.

The S350 Wash houses the same 350W white light LED engine used in the impression S350 Spot. The Wash light also has excellent colour rendering properties, with a colour temperature of 6,000 Kelvin, with a CRI greater than 90, and TM-30 and TLCI values of 95+. The impression S350 Wash uses an optical system with Fresnel front lens and a zoom range of 8-50°, with beam control starting at the four-blade framing system.

www.glp.de

16th September 2019

GLP

Robe for Sziget 2019 Main Stage

Robe for Sziget 2019 Main Stage
Robe for Sziget 2019 Main Stage

Hungary – “The power of our diversity unites us,” screamed the headers emblazoning the Main Stage at Budapest’s fabulous Sziget Festival, which saw another amazing lineup including Martin Garrix, The 1975, Florence + The Machine, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran among many others thrilling up to 80,000 fans a day for seven days, there and across the other performance stages and activities all over this beautiful island site.

Hungary’s magnificent capital again hosted this most-chilled, friendly and dynamic European music festival where the infrastructure is skillfully and seamlessly blended into the natural environment.

Robe moving lights on the Main Stage helped keep pace with the demands of an eclectic mix of music and creative presentations, each 'wowing' in their own ways.

The base Main Stage production / house rig was designed by Mark Kontra from rental company Colossal, who have supplied lighting for this stage of the event for the last several years. Mark headed up a lighting crew of 18, working day and night shifts to ensure that the overnight changeovers happened smoothly, as all the headliners brought in their own productions which had to be integrated ‘underneath’.

The production lighting incorporated 172 Robe lighting fixtures which were a mix of BMFLs, Pointes and ColorStrobes.

It was designed to be practical, bearing in mind the amount of own kit coming in, offering all the breadth, fluidity and capabilities of a properly thought-through house lighting rig.

“We needed a powerful reliable rig with the flexibility to support all their designs, and obviously a premium brand that all these top-level designers find acceptable,” explained Mark, adding that Robe ticked all the boxes for the best quality, highest impact and smallest footprint fixtures available.

The house rig was located on four straight overhead trusses.

For the size of the Sziget main stage, they chose the power and intensity of BMFLs. With 72 on the rig: 40 BMFL Spots and 32 BMFL Wash XFs there was plenty of latitude, and these were joined by 64 Pointes and 56 Robe LED ColorStrobes, together with some Moles.

Colossal services numerous festivals with lighting each summer,including the Main Stages for Balaton Sound and Volt festivals, and their default profile and spot fixture for all of them this year was the BMFL Spot.

They also supplied five of the incoming specials packages for main stage artists which included 52 MegaPointes, and for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s performance and 48 miniPointes made an outstanding impact as the floor package beam lights. These were also all chosen for their high reliability and output.

The Main Stage rig runs pretty much 24-7, from when the daytime show program starts to the early morning dawns when the next night’s headliners finish their overnight programming sessions.

The site is also very dusty, accentuated this year by the super-hot and dry weather experienced by much of central Europe. “We have no time to repair any kit while the event is on, so tough fixtures and reliability was an absolute key,” underlines Mark.

Apart from everyone being happy to accept the Robes, they have not had a single break-down of Pointes or ColorStrobes in the last four years.

“The ColorStrobes have been excellent as well, they have worked 100 per cent of the time,” stated Mark, who thinks that the BMFL Spot is the “best profile type product on the market right now.”

He has been working for Colossal – which has a large stock of Robe moving lights – for around ten years, and on Sziget for the same length of time, initially as a freelancer and then for the company as lighting crew chief, and in that time he’s become a big fan of Robe generally.

“The MegaPointe is the first ‘hybrid’ luminaire that actually works equally as well in all its different modes and has a good enough zoom range and frost filters to make it a viable keylight,” he commented, adding that he’s also started seeing a lot of tours coming through utilising Robe’s RoboSpot remote followspot systems.

He feels that Robe has grown and gained a lot of respect over the last six or seven years, attaining a position where most lighting professionals are happy to work with the brand and its products. In Hungary, there’s been a significant increase in the amount of Robe available on the market due to the efforts and hard work of distributor, AVL Trade.

The house console at Sziget Main Stage was a grandMA2 full size, and FOH lighting was looked after by Attila Lenzser and Aron Kovacs, with Aron operating for any artists who didn’t arrive with their own.

The challenges of covering the event were mainly logistical, being able to accommodate large and sometimes very detailed and specific specials packages in a short time window.

The 1975 brought in some elegant and distinctive video and LED elements, Martin Garrix had his cool-looking ‘Anima’ lighting and video set which is designed by his LD Gabe Fraboni, and the Foo Fighters won the competition for the most trucks of production, rocking up to the Main Stage with ten artics!

The Martin Garrix rig was the same system that has been touring with them all year, and this included 110 Spikies and six SuperSpikies which are built into touring frames, together with transparent LED screen making up the signature Garrix ‘plus’ sign which sits upstage of his DJ booth. These are all being supplied by Belgian rental company Splendid in collaboration with Unlimited productions who designed and fabricated the frames.

Gabe was there operating at the festival and had plenty of new lighting tricks to show off since the tour had started back in January, still finding new ways of using the Spikies together with fresh video content for their 30-date euro summer festival tour. This also includes regular Thursday nights at Ushuaia in Ibiza, where the house rig is co-ordinated by Hi Scream and also has Robe Spiiders, MegaPointes and Spikies.

Gabe is a big Robe fan and was delighted to be working a Robe ‘top rig’ to compliment Garrix’s truly jaw-dropping high-energy performance at the Festival. He comments that Mark and the Colossal crew were “Fantastic! We could not have asked for more, Sziget was a great all-round experience for us.”

photos: Louise Stickland

www.robe.cz

Robe for Sziget 2019 Main StageRobe for Sziget 2019 Main Stage

13th September 2019

Robe Lighting

Clifford Spulock and Chauvet Professional Move to Emotional Rhythms of The Wedding Singer

Clifford Spulock and Chauvet Professional Move to Emotional Rhythms of The Wedding Singer

USA – “The most effective moments in theatre are those that appeal to basic and commonplace emotions,” wrote Clayton Hamilton in his seminal “Theory of Theatre.” Although the legendary, critic, narrator and author died in 1946, six decades before the Wedding Singer debuted on Broadway, he likely would have been impressed by the simple, unbridled power of the Mathew Sklar-Chad Beguelin musical, based on the film of the same name.

From its very opening, which thrusts the audience into the middle of a spirited wedding party, the Tony-nominated musical serves up an unabashedly heartfelt flurry of emotions as it follows the story of wanna be rock star Robbie Hart as he loses and then finds love. It is a basic tale that resonates with virtually anyone and in the retelling of it this summer at Boca Raton’s Olympic Heights Performing Arts Center, Clifford Spulock added to its impact with a vividly expressive lighting design that featured Chauvet Professional fixtures.

“There are a lot of different emotions that go on in this show,” said Spulock. “It starts out with a massive party at a wedding. I light this with huge bump changes and big hits that play off the music. Light from my fixtures cut through the haze into the audience at this point to create a very immersive, energetic opening that encourages the audience to get up and dance to the music.”

Of course, this ebullient mood crashes dramatically when Robbie is left at the alter by his fiancée.  Spulock’s lighting reflects this depressive mood with deep, dark colours and unsettling shadows.

“The lighting really follows Robbie on his emotional journey,” said Spulock. “There is a song he sings at another wedding called “Casualty of Love” where he calls out “freaks” of the wedding who will never feel true love, and have felt heart break like him. The lighting is full of saturated green and reds while the “freaks” dance out to the metal song aka the Michael Jackson “Thriller” dance, so we have a lot of fun with the lights.”

Among the lights that Spulock had fun with were two Rogue R1X Spot fixtures that were positioned on the apron electric. Filling a variety of roles in the lighting design, the 170W LED fixtures were used for front light specials as well as to illuminate the Mylar drop during party scenes. Drawing on their dual gobo wheels and 16° beam angle, Spulock also relied on the Rogue units for gobo breakups on stage, as well as for aerial effects.

Also key to Spulock’s design were the 12 COLORado Batten 144 Tour fixtures. These RGBWA linear lights were used to wash the stage in a range of colours to reflect the emotional peaks and valleys of Robbie’s journey. Half of the batten units were positioned on the stage apron, three stage left and three stage right, while the remainder were placed one apiece on three scaffolding positions.

“We had great results with the COLORados shooting up on each actor during the “Saturday Night in the City” scene,” said Spulock. “The COLORados are a very versatile batten. There is a covered pit in this venue, so the lighting points were not designed for an apron of this size. We met this challenge very successfully and got the coverage we needed by using box booms – along with the help of the COLORados and my intern Michael Patella.”

With its unabashed emotional flavour, The Wedding Singer was “a pure pleasure to light,” according to Spulock. The part that stands out especially for him was during the song “If I Told You.”

“At this point, Julia (the ultimate true love of Robbie) is about 20-feet in the air on a large platform, which serves as her ‘bedroom’,” said Spulock. “She is looking out a window, while Robbie is on the street below. I used a simple back and spot light on each actor while the star drop twinkled in the background, and haze filled the air. The lighting worked magically with the powerful voices of the actors and the arrangement of the music. There was power in the simplicity of the scene and it sent chills down your spine.”

Clifford Spulock and Chauvet Professional Move to Emotional Rhythms of The Wedding Singer Clifford Spulock and Chauvet Professional Move to Emotional Rhythms of The Wedding Singer

13th September 2019

Trondheim Rocks Again with Alcons

Trondheim Rocks Again with Alcons
Trondheim Rocks Again with Alcons

Norway – Last year’s debut two-day Trondheim Rocks festival was such a success that this year it added an extra day. Headlined by Def Leppard, KISS and Iggy Pop, Alcons Audio pro-ribbon systems again succeeded in the difficult task of giving 19,000 rock fans the volume and clarity they wanted, while keeping levels outside the arena low enough not to disturb nearby residential buildings.

Held in the grounds of the Norwegian city’s Dahl brewery, a big part of last year’s success was thanks to the Alcons systems used on both the main and second stages. This year, the event’s sound was again supplied by Trondheim Lyd, with the power and coverage of the LR28 pro-ribbon larger format line array modules again meaning that no delays were needed to cover the 109m deep audience arena.

Indeed, last year the system proved so efficient that this time a slightly smaller main stage system was used, comprising 18 flown LR28 per side, 32 BC543 very high output cardioid subwoofers and 40 LR18 compact mid-sized line array modules for inner, outer and sidefills. Six VR12 mid-sized versatile monitors were used for front fill, with the system powered and controlled by 44 Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers.

The secondary stage featured main hangs of 10 LR28 each, with 16 BC543 subs, all powered by 17 Sentinel10s.

As well as the exceptional audio quality produced by the Alcons pro-ribbon drivers, the directivity and all-natural cylindrical wavefront means that the sound pushes through any wind issues and can be very precisely aimed.

“After last year’s great success with the LR28 system, we and the festival management, Trondheim Stage, demanded the same high standard again. It was an obvious choice to use the LR28 for both stages this year,” says Trondheim Lyd audio technician Arnstein Fossvik.

“The LR28 is one of the fastest systems to simulate, rig and optimise. Combined with the exceptional sound quality, coverage consistency and high power, it’s ideal for outdoor rock festivals. The ALControl software also makes it easy to set up and optimise, as well as controlling and monitoring all levels.”

Because the nearest houses are just 20m from the arena, the noise regulations for Trondheim Rocks are strict. However, Alcons pro-ribbon systems meant the Trondheim Lyd team had no problems in complying with them, yet not compromising the audience’s enjoyment.

“We used horizontal sub arrays on both stages and, as the BC543s are self-contained cardioid subs, there was minimal sub-bass leakage outside the audience area. The LR28 cabinets are also extremely directional, making it easier to keep the energy within the festival area,” says Arnstein. “Most of the band engineers had not heard the LR28 system before, but they were all very impressed by the high sound quality.” Arnstein concluded: “With the ample HF headroom available, corrections on the upper-high frequencies to compensate for the wet conditions, maintaining the high-fidelity and the full 1:10 dynamics, was a breeze.”

“As with last year, we wanted the back of the arena to be quieter, so people could talk while enjoying the bands on both stages, but to maintain the same high sound quality and intelligibility,” adds Trondheim Rocks festival producer Espen Hammer. “Like last year, we had a lot of good feedback from both the audience and press regarding the sound and no complaints at all from nearby residents.”

Trondheim Rocks has been one of many highlights in a year full of them for Alcons pro-ribbon systems. The week before the festival, the LR28 system had been used for Sting, earning generous praise, while other live events featuring Alcons systems have included the Milkshake festival in Amsterdam, Off festival in Poland, concerts and tours by Alan Parsons, Brian Ferry, A-Ha, Turbonegro, Luke Elliot, High as a kite, but also Underworld, Barbara Schöneberger and violinist Nigel Kennedy. The diverse range of artists underlines the versatility of the Alcons pro-ribbon sound systems.

13th September 2019

Creamfields Has Landmark Weekend as Britannia Row Supplies Three of the Festival’s Stages

Creamfields Has Landmark Weekend as Britannia Row Supplies Three of the Festival’s Stages
Creamfields Has Landmark Weekend as Britannia Row Supplies Three of the Festival’s Stages

UK - Founded in 1998, Creamfields is arguably the UK’s premier dance music festival. The brainchild of club promoter Cream, the event returned to Daresbury on the British August Bank Holiday weekend with bigger production values – and more flown subs – than ever before.

Led by crew chief Alex Hore and with system designs from Josh Lloyd, Britannia Row provided sound solutions to Arc Stage, Horizon Stage and Stage 4, AKA, the iconic 15,000 capacity Steel Yard (which is so popular, it has become a festival in its own right with events staged in Cream’s home town of Liverpool and in London.

Hore oversaw a 16-strong crew across three stages and worked closely with off site noise management consultants, Vanguardia.

He says: “The design of the systems and the ethos behind them is to provide the best sounding and largest-area-covering audio we can, whilst limiting the potential for any off-site sound problems. Any stage, at any time, can be called on to adjust levels and frequencies to limit potential issues at particular locations off site.

“This relies on the skills of the system technicians and FOH engineers to respond quickly to any changes.”

The Arc and Horizon stages saw L-Acoustics K1 chosen for the main hangs. Arc had K2 on ground fill and delay duties, as well as KS28 for ground subs, ARCS II as ground delays and Kara for front fill. Horizon had a similar rig, with the smaller capacity requiring few boxes. Arc had an SSL L300 rider, whereas Horizon opted for the Midas touch with PRO2Cs at FOH and in the monitor position.

The Steel Yard system deployment had the arsenal of flown subs, utilising K1-SBs in the air, a KS28 sub enclosure – both flown and on the ground – K2 enclosures as main hangs, SB18 for delays, ARCS II as ground fill and front fill via Kara. At FOH, a DiGiCo SD5 and an SD11i on monitors controlled the mixes.

The systems were controlled by Lake LM 44s and Focusrite UFX Interfaces.

Hore continues: “I was particularly happy with the sound at the Steel Yard stage. It benefited from having two sets of delay hangs which meant we were able to get fantastic coverage at the back of the very large structure without having to drive the main system too hard.”

Prior to the festival set-up, advancing included meetings with production management company LarMac, festival promoters Cream, Vanguardia and the other audio rental companies on the other stages. “The entire production team and all of the other audio rental companies worked very well together to maximise the results and minimise any difficulties,” explains Hore. “It was a pleasure to know that we were all pulling in the same direction and were giving each other support to make it all work.”

Creamfields’ production manager, Ian Greenway of LarMac Live, said: “As a show, we’ve made a big effort this year to lessen our off-note noise impact on our neighbours. With more audio suppliers than most festivals, gluing together a single approach across all vendors was critical. Our very long-standing relationship with Brit Row allowed us to have open and honest conversations about what helps and indeed, what doesn’t. The technical expertise of Josh Lloyd, Dave Compton and Alex Hore delivered on site, as we delivered less level off site. Double win.”

Hore, who has freelanced for Britannia Row for over 15 years, concludes: “What impresses me most is the incredible level of time and effort that’s invested in the build-up to any event they do. A large number of people spend a lot of time preparing the ground before a single cable is plugged in, and the attention to detail is amazing. They have some very talented people working there, many of whom have been ‘in the field’ themselves and have a wealth of event experience to call on when working on large scale events like Creamfields.”

13th September 2019

We Out Here Festival Kicks Off with dLive and SQ

We Out Here Festival Kicks Off with dLive and SQ

UK – Allen & Heath mixers tackled FOH and Monitor duties for We Out Here Festival, held for the first time this August and curated by BBC Radio 6 DJ, Gilles Peterson, his Bronswood Recordings label and Worldwide FM. Taking place across four-days in rural Cambridgeshire, the family-friendly festival showcased an eclectic line-up of underground artists and DJs.

Supplied by AV production company A-Live Sound, based in Glasgow, Scotland, five dLive and four SQ systems were chosen to run FOH and monitors across seven stages. Iain Mackie (director at A-Live Sound) comments: “I chose to invest in dLive and SQ as they’re the best sounding consoles on the market right now. With dLive specifically, unlike some other manufacturers, it has endless high-quality plug-ins, especially the Hypabass FX and Dyn8. It’s also incredibly easy for visiting engineers to just rock up and mix the band as the whole system and interface is very intuitive and well laid out.”

The main stage featured two dLive S7000s and two DM64 MixRacks paired with three Dante cards for virtual soundchecks, multi-track recording and channel splits between consoles. “This was my first real gig on the S7000 and while I’m used to running festivals on competitor consoles, this event will be a particular favourite for a long time. dLive is so easy to use, self-explanatory and it sounds really great!” comments Martijn Van Renterghem, chief system designer at A-Live Sound.

Also making full use of dLive’s on-board plug-ins, Van Renterghem adds: “The plug-ins are so good that I don’t think I’ll ever bother plugging in my Waves system again! Being able to add the Dyn8 onto any channel is such a great tool.”

The Lush Life stage – centred around up-and-coming artists – operated two dLive C3500s connected to two DM48 MixRacks, while the rave-haven Rhythm Corner stage adopted a dLive Wings system for FOH and monitors, featuring a C1500 and DM32 MixRack (fitted with a Dante card).

Darren Hutton, sound engineer at A-Live Sound, adds: “dLive’s interface and workflow is really easy to use, intuitive and sounds fantastic! I was really impressed with the reverbs which sounded very natural and authentic, especially when mixing on in-ears. The dLive Director software and additional features such as importing scenes, being able to reset aux mixes and pre-patching show files for visiting engineers were particularly nice to have, as it meant I was spending less time on the desk and scene management and more time focused on dealing with the artists’ needs.”

Hutton continues: “The S7000 is definitely my favourite desk at the moment and I look forward to using it more in the future. Whenever I’ve talked about dLive with other engineers, I’ve only heard positive comments.”

With its compact footprint and rising popularity as the walk-up-and-mix console of choice, Allen & Heath’s SQ series led the charge on FOH and monitors over on the Big Top, Woodland, Forest and Love Dancing stages – the go-to areas for fans of house, electronic, funk and soul. Additionally, four DX168 expanders were split across the stages, providing further remote I/O for the artists, as well as DJ set-ups, changeovers and festival announcements.

With A-Live Sound having made a significant investment in dLive and SQ, both Allen & Heath and its UK distributor, Audio-Technica, attended the event, offering support to the house techs and visiting engineers. Léon Phillips (technical marketing manager, Allen & Heath) adds:, “It’s great to see more Allen & Heath consoles appearing on festival riders each year and to see so many visiting engineers taking to dLive and SQ with total ease. They simply rocked up with their show files and despite never having used these consoles before, they were comfortably set-up and running in a matter of minutes. The feedback from the house engineers was also incredibly positive, with the consoles’ ability to drag and drop layouts on the fly being highly praised.”

We Out Here Festival Kicks Off with dLive and SQWe Out Here Festival Kicks Off with dLive and SQ

13th September 2019

Brompton Technology assures image perfection on Bon Jovi This House is Not For Sale tour

Brompton Technology assures image perfection on Bon Jovi This House is Not For Sale tour

USA - Bon Jovi is out on the 2019 leg of their This House Is Not For Sale tour and it is a visual spectacular. A major part of the impact is achieved via three huge, curved LED screens. Provided by PRG, they deliver high resolution visuals, with perfection of image assured by Brompton Technology’s Tessera SX40 processors.

PRG has worked with Bon Jovi for the past 17 years. The remit for this year’s tour, which takes in some of the world’s best known stadiums including London’s Wembley and Liverpool’s Anfield, was high definition, as PRG vice president sales Mark O’Herlihy explains: “The brief was for everything to be in 4K from start to finish, to shoot the show in 4K and to be able to display true 4k on the screens, which was achieved by using Brompton processors.”

ROE CB8 – a total of 92 panels wide by nine high – with the Brompton R2 receiver cards was deployed, with the two side screens having a resulting resolution of 1768 x 1296 pixels and 3168 x 1296 pixels for the main upstage screen. The SX40 processors were used in conjunction with Brompton’s XD data distribution units, which use a 10G Ethernet-based backbone which bring the significant advantage of reducing the number of home-run connections to the processor.

“Working with these products day in, day out, you constantly get to see how the devices behave, as well as the software,” says PRG LED technician Maarten Deschacht. “The great thing about the Brompton software is that it's very adjustable to your needs; there is a plethora of options to make your screen look exactly the way you want it to. Brompton provides a lot of hotkeys, which really helps with quick actions during shows or rehearsals and means we don’t have to mouse-click through everything.”

Deschacht is particularly keen on the SX40’s front panel buttons, which can be used to trigger a switch to a redundant processor, as well as the ability to customise the freeze button to make it into an internal test pattern button.

“In addition, every processor provides logs to check when issues occur, and that helps tremendously in tracing the roots of those issues,” he notes. “Also, the Tessera control application gives access to certain parameters or presets for all processors at the same time. This is a great feature when you need to dim the entire screen down or change colour temperature, etc.

“Another great feature we use is the specific indicator light settings. Understanding the differences between those lights makes it super easy for us to find breaks in strings of data; that way we can climb up walls without the need for a test pattern to be present on the wall, or without the need to have an extra person on the ground to call them out. It speeds up our teching process tremendously.”

Deschacht also appreciates Brompton’s excellent backup and support. “It’s fantastic,”he says. “The people there are super helpful and, once an issue is resolved, they may check in to make sure it hasn't reoccurred. Brompton offers an ‘urgent’ telephone line, or you can just email their support team, all of which is really easy to find on the new website.

“Their products are well thought out, and they always listen to technicians our thoughts about certain aspects of what they do, from setting everything up to troubleshooting. Working with Brompton makes our lives very easy every day.”

The tour continues in South America in September.

13th September 2019

L-Acoustics L-ISA Has Broadway Bounty Hunter Surrounded

L-Acoustics L-ISA Has Broadway Bounty Hunter Surrounded

USA – After being heard by over six million spectators at more than 1,500 live music performances around the world, L-ISA Sound technology by L-Acoustics recently made its North American musical theatre debut in Broadway Bounty Hunter, a delightfully campy musical comedy from Tony Award nominee Joe Iconis, staged at Manhattan’s Greenwich House Theater.

Starring Orange Is The New Black’s Annie Golden, also well known from her Broadway roles in The Full Monty, Xanadu, and 1977s' original cast of Hair, the musical follows Golden as a down-on-her-luck “woman of a certain age” whose acting career takes an unexpected turn when she is hired to hunt down a dangerous drug lord in the jungles of South America. After selling out its initial world premiere at Barrington Stage Company, the show moved to New York City for a month-long Off-Broadway run starting on 23 July.

The musical’s relocation to the Greenwich Village venue brought the need for a new loudspeaker design and created an opportunity for sound designer Cody Spencer to create a truly panoramic soundscape with L-ISA. “Associate sound designer Stephen Jensen and I were very happy to have the opportunity to use L-ISA on Broadway Bounty Hunter,” he says. “The localisation of the vocals and the fidelity we got from the band when we were able to space different instruments across the panorama of the stage was amazing. It led to crystal clear vocals, a lush and full-sounding band, and the ability to rock out but also pull back and keep the fidelity of the band when needed. The integration was super easy and Jesse Stevens and L-Acoustics provided unending support to make this a very smooth process. L-ISA is a game changer for the musical theatre world.”

With show production handled by Sound Associates and L-ISA tools and support provided by See Factor, Spencer chose a frontal configuration of five L-Acoustics X12 short throw loudspeakers and two SB15m subwoofers to form the base of the 13.1, 360° immersive audio installed at Greenwich House Theater. Nine 5XT loudspeakers were placed around the audience for immersion, while another pair of 5XT served as near proscenium fills, and a series of four X8 served as fill for the venue’s small balcony. To fit snugly into the modest power draw allocated to the audio system, seven LA4X amplified controllers powered all of the loudspeakers in the space.

A total of 64 inputs representing nine actors, five musicians playing nine instruments, reverb engines, and a host of sound effects entered the show’s Yamaha CL3 FOH console, feeding out to the L-ISA Controller that served as the hub for object-based mixing of the 70s' funk-inspired score and sonic backdrop.

“The CL3 generated a MADI signal via an RMio64-D, which fed to a RME MADI router, acting as both a MADI stream switcher and combiner for the L-ISA Controller,” Spencer details. “The direct outs from the CL3 fed this MADI stream, which was split to the main and backup L-ISA Processors. Their individual speaker returns were returned via MADI to the MADI router, which then sent the final MADI signal to the amps. On the conversion side, an RME M-32 converted the MADI stream to analogue outputs to feed the L-Acoustics LA4X amplified controllers.”

He goes on to add that all show control for the production was handled through QLab 3. CL3 and L-ISA cues, sound effects, and even integration of triggers to and from the lighting department were all managed on multiple cue lists in QLab. “And all moves within the L-ISA soundscape were stored in snapshots on the L-ISA Controller and recalled via OSC commands from QLab.”

Broadway Bounty Hunter production manager Erica Blumrosen was thrilled with the results. “L-ISA technology really brought a unique sound experience to our show,” she enthuses. “Because it gives you a true surround sound experience, Cody was able to create sound that moved with the visuals of our projections and with our actors. Our play used the entire space on the stage, with the actors coming in and out of the audience constantly, and L-Acoustics really gave us the ability to match what the audience heard to what they saw in a way that a conventional theatre rig would not have. It was a truly incredible auditory experience that made you feel like you were in the action and encouraged you to dance in your seat to Joe Iconis' incredible music."

Director and choreographer Jennifer Werner shares Blumrosen’s enthusiasm for how Spencer was able to contribute creatively to the production with L-ISA. “Joe’s score is the heart and soul of Broadway Bounty Hunter, and the L-ISA audio design brought that score with our six-piece band fully alive, the music sounded so exciting!” she says. “We were able to achieve that perfect balance of hearing every nuance in the orchestrations in concert with the actors’ soaring vocals.”

“L-Acoustics was able to meet the gamut of audio design needs with a very tricky venue space,” Werner adds. “I was able to have moments where the richness of the R&B/Funk score could really rock out, as well as have more intimately crafted moments of sound in the book scenes. The flexibility of L-ISA technology also gave me the tools to support any storytelling idea, which gave me the ability to create a fully environmental production where the audience was truly immersed in the sound.”

photos: Matthew Murphy

L-Acoustics L-ISA Has Broadway Bounty Hunter SurroundedL-Acoustics L-ISA Has Broadway Bounty Hunter Surrounded

13th September 2019

Elation IP65 lighting for Montana’s inaugural Peak to Sky festival

Elation IP65 lighting for Montana’s inaugural Peak to Sky festival
Elation IP65 lighting for Montana’s inaugural Peak to Sky festival

USA - When an inaugural event has rock icons like Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Duff McKagan (Guns N' Roses), Josh Klinghoffer (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) on the bill, let’s just say it's off to a good start. But lighting worthy of that all-star status needs to be delivered, and in a western environment where harsh weather is to be expected. That was the challenge local event producers Outlaw Partners and lighting suppliers Jereco Studios were up against at the first annual Peak to Sky festival in Montana in early July.

“We knew going in that we would have to put together a package that would be fitting of some of the biggest names in rock & roll,” says Frank Douglas of Bozeman-based Jereco Studios. With at least 75% of the live production done by Jereco Studios during the summer months outdoors, Douglas says that in south-west Montana at least 75% of those shows experience some degree of inclement weather. “From sustained high winds, to hail, to rain, to snow, our most exposed fixtures need to be able to withstand that. Elation has led the way with their large selection of IP-rated fixtures.”

The 4th of July weekend Peak to Sky festival, curated by McCready, featured two days of world-class rock under the striking backdrop of Lone Mountain in Big Sky, Montana. Produced by award-winning media and events company Outlaw Partners, fans witnessed history as multiple 'hall of famers' took to the stage as an ethereal sky and picture-perfect sunset played out in the background. The festival also featured multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Brandi Carlile and Seattle-based female rockers Thunderpussy.

Douglas, who served as lighting designer, programmer and lighting op with lighting design and programming assistance by Lauren Plant, says a wide, symmetrical combination of spots, hybrids, washes, and effect fixtures were chosen to populate a Stageline SL320 mobile stage provided by Rocky Mountain Rigging. The downstage electric housed all Elation IP65 fixtures (eight Proteus Hybrid, eight Proteus Rayzor 760 and 2 DTW Blinder 700IP) with the midstage holding LED moving head effect lights. The upstage electric held eight Elation Rayzor 760s while the upstage deck housed LED moving head effects as well as 12 Elation SixPar300s, 2 DTW Blinder 700IPs, and a pair of ADJ Mega Flash strobes.

The IP65 rating of the Proteus Hybrids and Rayzors, along with the DTW Blinders, were key to their downstage placement and role in the rig. “The new Proteus Rayzor 760s have excellent output and zoom all the way out to 77 degrees for total coverage at any distance, making them an ideal wash fixture in their standard mode,” said Douglas. “I normally like to put spots/hybrids on my upstage electric and deck, but the Proteus Hybrids have proven to be a versatile go-anywhere beast. In beam mode they cut through the sky, giving it that big rock show feel, yet they also thrive in spot mode, and at that distance from the cyc were used for crisp gobo projection and animation.”

The LD says the upstage Rayzor 760s wound up being a perfect choice for mirroring the large LED moving head effect lights. “I ran the upstage Rayzors in pixel mode, which were plotted in 2D to control each cell,” he says, “making for much more pleasing dimmer and colour effects, as well as pixel mapping alongside the LED effect lights in their extended mode.” The potential for rough weather dictated that the Proteus Hybrids work from the downstage truss and not surprisingly the wind kicked up and there was rain on and off throughout the weekend. “Still, all of our Proteus tanks were completely unscathed.”

Useful as a simple wash or speciality effect light, the Rayzor 760 can pan and tilt continuously and along with its patented SparkLED pixel sparkle effect, provides designers ample opportunity to be creative. Douglas describes one of his favorite looks using them. “I was definitely looking forward to utilising the infinite pan and tilt of the Rayzor 760s. My favourite look using that was to write an effect using the infinite tilt and fanning out the offset and rate to achieve a 'spideresque' look of continually cascading light beams. I was able to incorporate the new SparkLEDs just by selecting a bunch of my favourite looks from their built-in macros, then manipulating their rate with a fader. It was nice to know I could still get excellent utility from the SparkLEDs even without needing to run them in the full extended 80 channel mode.” Rounding out the rig were SixPar 300s, which provided upwash onto a cyc, while another pair of DTW Blinders were positioned directly behind Chad Smith and Taylor Hawkins' drum risers to create a silhouette when blacking out the rest of the rig.

Douglas says he has used Elation Platinum Spot and Beam fixtures previously in his career and has always had good experiences using Elation gear. “Elation has been at the forefront of developing LED and weatherproof fixtures, which are the future of entertainment lighting,” he said. “Since we are sticklers for efficiency and robustness, choosing Elation was a no-brainer.”

Douglas ends by saying he feels lucky to work for a company like Jereco, which affords him the opportunity to work with premium equipment and very talented individuals. “Our live production crew is one of the best around and they make my job the best a guy could ask for.” That Jereco crew consists of Jeremiah Slovarp (owner), Stephan Gueguen (technical director/FOH engineer), Matt Grayson (monitor engineer), Garrett Stephens (StageLine technician) and “the most integral piece to our lighting world our L2, Lauren Plant.”

With 5,500 people attending the two-day, sold out event in Big Sky, the inaugural Peak to Sky festival was a big success. After the festival, McCready, who took part in a number of classic jams throughout the festival such as renditions of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion,” David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust,” Prince’s “Purple Rain” and an epic Led Zeppelin medley, said he hopes to make the festival an annual event.

photos: Kene Sperry

Elation IP65 lighting for Montana’s inaugural Peak to Sky festivalElation IP65 lighting for Montana’s inaugural Peak to Sky festival

13th September 2019

Elation

ProLights Sunblasts raise the roof with UK Rapper ‘Stormzy’

ProLights Sunblasts raise the roof with UK Rapper ‘Stormzy’

Poland – This year's Glastonbury headliner, Stormzy amazed audiences at one of Poland’s largest annual music festival, Open’er.

The Open'er Festival is a music festival held in Gdynia on picturesque North coast of Poland. Considered one of the biggest and most popular annual music festivals, Open’er has attracted a host of household names over the years such as The Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, Bruno Mars and Radiohead.

This year proved not to disappoint featuring headline acts such as Kylie Minogue and recent Glastonbury sensation Stormzy. Concept for the main stage was undertaken by native veteran lighting collective Green Beam Design.

The main stage rig, supplied by Transcolor, included a whole host of ProLights Sunblast fixtures. The external design team requested colour strobes on floor to complete the desired ‘colourful punch’ aesthetic and ProLights Sunblast 3000FC were used as they had previously proven their worth as an exceptionally powerful IP65 graphic strobe, blinder and flood.

Designed to deliver staggering light levels, the ProLights Sunblast was the obvious choice for this performance. They have a track record of providing the unbelievable punch that this performance required, but also the flexibility of the 48 individually controllable groups of RGBW LEDs allowing the design team far more creative freedom.

13th September 2019

Zero 88 Gets Behind the Fringe

Zero 88 Gets Behind the Fringe

UK – The Zero 88 team fully embraced the vibe, buzz and excitement of the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival where they were again on the ground with training and technical support for a range of their lighting consoles and control solutions.

They also embraced the sociosphere with the creation of #behindthefringe – a fun and informative forum for anyone into fringe performance and involved with a show using Zero 88 products.

Building on this success, #behindthefringe will be launched as a website later in the year as a hub and platform for comments, experiences and opinions, sharing information and connecting people through various Fringe projects linked via Zero 88.

Over 100 different Zero 88 consoles were in action site-wide at this year’s Edinburgh event, which is the largest arts festival in the world, producing nearly 60,000 new performances in over 300 venues across 25 hectic and vibrant days.

These included an ever-growing number of latest generation Zero 88 FLX lighting desks, and generally around the Fringe, Zero 88 is one of the most popular control solutions for a diversity of productions.

Zero 88’s product manager for entertainment Jon Hole believes that the fringe is a fantastic place to meet and train potential new technicians and users and get them into the Zero groove. In recent years, he and his team have maintained a strong presence through the event, ensuring that anyone using a Zero 88 product has full access to hands-on support.

This year an impressive 89 new Zero 88 lighting desk operators were trained!

It’s paid off as Jon observes that this year, once the training sessions were completed and the shows were programmed, open and running, there was a marked fall in call-outs compared to past years.

Most of the training sessions were for between two and six people, conducted in numerous different locations around the city. “Getting out there and being face-to-face is the best way to achieve this,” stated Jon Hole.

Having built up relationships with so many people: technicians, LDs, suppliers, etc. over the course of several festivals, the concept of #behindthefringe evolved. The team asked people to answer three short questions, their favourite things: in Edinburgh, on the Fringe and about Zero 88. “We wanted to energise people and get them talking,” explains Jon.

This complete with some facts, photographs and other data has started a collage of interaction related to being “behind the scenes”, a lively vox-pop style communication connecting some of the people, personalities, ideas and technical kit making the Fringe happen!

#behindthefringe reflects the international flavour, spirit of adventure, diversity, creativity and innovation that embodies fringe performance globally.

Whist piloted at this year’s Edinburgh event – an ideal testing ground – the huge success and high engagement rates have prompted Zero 88 to take it further which will come with the launch of the web portal.

This isn’t limited to Edinburgh and can also include other arts festivals where there is a Zero 88 community.

Some of the comments include:

Alex, Maria and Rob technicians working in theSpace @ Niddry St (Venue 9): “The Fringe is a time for performers and companies worldwide to show their work in the freest and most welcoming environment possible," says Rob. Alex's favourite Edinburgh thing is "the vibrancy and culture." While Maria, from Argentina, celebrates Zero 88's "great training", with Alex highlighting "the ease of use of the kit and brilliant support". Rob also noticed how "versatile, reliable and easy to use" Zero 88 products are.

For Charlie Park-Long, a technician at the Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14), 2019 was his first Fringe, but he loves "the diversity" of the environment and was thankful for the opportunity to "learn something new" by attending Zero 88 training. The gorgeous, castle-esque "Teviot" building houses half of Gilded Balloon's 18 performance spaces and is hard to miss!

For New York-based Sarah Johnson, lighting designer of the very successful “Monsoon Season” at Underbelly’s Belly Button venue. Edinburgh highlights include Ensign Ewart pub which dates back to 1690 and also walking through the city. She thinks the Fringe is fantastic for connecting “people from all over the world united by their passion for art” and when it comes to Zero 88, she thinks the “customer service and support have been extraordinary.”

Meantime, beyond #behindthefringe, Zero 88 consoles were working hard in many key areas of the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe including The Space UK, which was using FLX for the first time; the assorted and eclectic Underbelly venues and for high profile Assembly and Summerhall productions all of which featured FLX across multiple sites and venues.

www.zero88.co.uk

12th September 2019

Bandit Lites Brings the Lights to Toby Keith’s That’s Country Bro! Tour

USA – Singer, songwriter and entertainer Toby Keith is out on the road for the Toby Keith That's Country Bro! Tour with a lighting package provided by Bandit Lites. The 2015 Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee’s tour precedes the launch of his newest album, Toby Keith Greatest Hits, The Show Dog Years, out 25 October that features such hits like “Red Solo Cup” and “God Love Her” as well as new songs “Don’t Let the Old Man In” and “That’s Country Bro.”

As Keith brings his greatest hits to Americans across the country, venues vary from festivals, fairs, casinos to arenas and amphitheatres, requiring the lighting system to be both adaptable but striking to match the level of energy that Keith’s shows are famous for.

To meet those expectations, lighting designer Eddie Connell employs a resourceful system comprised of carts outfitted with nearly every type of light, providing the consistent looks for the show no matter the location. The custom carts built by Gallagher Staging crank up to 11 feet, giving dynamic looks that both compliment and contrast with the video content.

Bandit Lites provides Elation Paladin IP65, Chauvet Rogue R1 FX-B, Claypaky Sharpys, Robe BMFL, Robe Robin 600 LED Washes, Showline Nitro 510C and two grandMA 2 lite consoles.

“The Chauvet Rogue R1 FX-B are the lights that stand out,” said Connell adding, “they do some really cool things.”

“The lighting requirements for Toby Keith have morphed through the years as he and his production team have streamlined and adjusted their plan of touring,” explained Bandit Lites vice president Mike Golden. “They began utilising custom lighting carts as a backbone of their lighting production a few years ago in order to conform to the various venues they plan. This year, Eddie and Production Manager Tommy Benton collaborated on a new pod design which houses an assortment of high-powered fixtures to augment to the locally provided rig each day. Eddie and Bandit technician Carter Hopkins then spend a bulk of their afternoon cloning the house system together with the pod system to give Toby a very consistent show each day.”

“As always, Bandit is a joy to work with,” shared Connell whose history with Bandit Lites spans nearly two decades. “No issues at all. The crew has been awesome! Nikki Dotson, Carter Hopkins and Jessie Hochinyavong are a joy to work with.”

The Toby Keith That's Country Bro! Tour continues into fall of 2019.

12th September 2019

Hawthorn Supports Magic Mike Live as it Heads to Berlin

Hawthorn Supports Magic Mike Live as it Heads to Berlin

Germany – After taking Las Vegas and London by storm, Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike Live will now thrill audiences in Berlin, Germany. Inspired by the hit Magic Mike film franchise, the latest production will open at the newly remodelled Club Theater at Potsdamer Platz in November this year. Having supported the London show since its opening last year, full service technical production company Hawthorn has been chosen to supply lighting equipment to the new Berlin production.

Conceived and co-directed by Tatum, Magic Mike Live is a large-scale, live production show featuring a group of extraordinary artists who perform an immersive 360-degree dance and acrobatic spectacular.

With a rig almost double the size of the West End production, 500 fixtures to be precise, Hawthorn is supplying lighting equipment to the specification of renowned theatre lighting designer Philip Gladwell. This includes a staggering 68 Robe Spiiders, 86 Martin Rush Par Zoom 2s, 62 GLP X4 Bar 10s and 28 Martin MAC Encore Performance CLDs, just to name a few.

As with the Vegas and London productions, audiences of Magic Mike Live Berlin can expect a lighting design more akin to a music video than a traditional theatre production. Packed full of 'in-your-face' visuals and effects, the punchy rig also features Robe Mega Pointe, Super Spikie and LEDbeam 150 fixtures. The impressive set up will all be controlled using two Gio @5 consoles.

Talking about using Hawthorn once again, Gladwell said: “We are really pleased that Hawthorn is looking after all of our lighting needs for the Berlin production of Magic Mike Live after they did such a great job for us in London. I know we will be really well supported by their team.”

Mark Burnett, business development manager at Hawthorn, said: “We’re very excited to be working with the Magic Mike Live team once again to support the show as it opens in Berlin. It’s always a pleasure to work with Phil and his team and having supported the London production, it’s an honour to be chosen once again to supply lighting equipment in Berlin. We can’t wait to see our kit in action when the show opens in November.”

photo: Cole Walliser

www.hawthorn.biz  

12th September 2019

Hawthorn

RG Jones Record Another Henley Success with MLA

RG Jones Record Another Henley Success with MLA
RG Jones Record Another Henley Success with MLA

UK – RG Jones Sound Engineering has been servicing the Henley Festival for an incredible 37 years, and with the aid of Martin Audio’s award-winning MLA family (and other components in the market leading portfolio) they are able to keep the tech sounding fresh, and therefore meet the requirements of both production manager, John Harris, and technical manager / head of sound, Jim Lambert.

The centrepiece of this traditional black tie event, spread over five days, is the notorious Floating Stage, once again set up and managed by Simon Honywill. This is where MLA really comes into its own.

“The Floating Stage arena is always a challenge for the audio department being very short front to back but extremely wide,” explains Jim Lambert.

“It is important for the Festival that the general admission audience who are not sitting in the main arena still receive a good quality audio experience despite not having a direct view of the stage. However, this can cause issues keeping off site noise levels to reasonable levels.”

Although the festival was again blessed with great weather, the very still evenings had the adverse effect of higher than normal offsite amplified noise levels, Lambert continues. “The MLA technology allows us to very simply set the coverage area which this year proved invaluable and allowed us to remain within the Festival’s licence despite still achieving indoor type levels within the coverage areas set.”

MLA Compact was not only used for the main PA hangs on the Floating Stage but also outfills, along with the MLA Mini for infills. RG Jones have retained the same curved MLX sub bass arrangement that they know will deliver such a smooth response in the far reaches of the main stage arena. Meanwhile, the delays this year were changed to Martin Audio CDD12s, which according to Simon Honywill: “Worked excellently as their unique dispersion characteristics allow for very even coverage from one box to another when used as a laterally distributed delay system.”

He added: “The Floating Stage rig is a little unconventional in its configuration, with the out-hangs being bigger than the front facing left and right, but such is the shape of the audience area it makes perfect sense. MLA Mini was given a chance to show it can deliver as the main coverage for the expensive seats directly in front and up close to the stage. The Tom Odell show was particularly high energy and MLA Mini handled this with ease and fidelity.”

Meanwhile, additional fills were covered by the differential dispersion technology of Martin Audio’s DD12 and DD6.

In addition to the main stage, RG Jones also equipped the Bedouin Bar and The Jazz Club with MLA Mini, the latter this year featuring BBC Introducing acts. In addition, The Comedy Salon and Riverside Restaurant also boasted Martin Audio rigs, while in addition RG Jones provided the site-wide announcement system.

This backdrop provided an ideal setting for this year’s headliners (and their sound engineers) who in addition to Tom Odell included Boy George, Jessie J and Bjorn Again. MLA Compact once again proved a popular choice.

Also demonstrating the versatility of the sound system was the classical performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Pete Harrison with Aled Jones (presenter), Francesca Chiejina (soprano), Rosemary Clifford (mezzo-soprano), Johanna Röhrig (violin) and Oliver Poole (piano).

Personnel on duty were Matt Sussex (head of design / crew chief), Simon Honywill (Floating Stage FOH and MLA technician), Matt Manasse (Floating Stage monitors), Mark Widdowson (Floating Stage patch), Sam Liddiard (Salon Comedy Club), Olly Wicks ( Jazz Club), Dan Langridge (Bedouin Lounge Bar) and Liam Kean (Riverside Restaurant).

Summing up, Jim Lambert said: “2019 was once again a great Festival and we are already looking forward to next year by the River.”

But the final word came from production manager, John Harris. "Henley without RG Jones would be like Summer without Pimms. Our relationship with the company grows stronger ever year as they strive with us for excellence across the festival."

RG Jones Record Another Henley Success with MLARG Jones Record Another Henley Success with MLA

12th September 2019

CPL Ramps It Up for 2019 Camper Calling Festival

CPL Ramps It Up for 2019 Camper Calling Festival
CPL Ramps It Up for 2019 Camper Calling Festival

UK – Celebrating its fourth very successful year, the UK’s Camper Calling music festival organisers Jazz Events upped the ante and invested in more production to ensure that loyal fans of this fun-filled, family-friendly event enjoyed a diversity of entertainment to the full, in the beautiful grounds of Ragley Hall estate in Warwickshire over the late summer bank holiday weekend.

CPL was delighted to be back as video supplier to the main Lakeside Stage. CPL has been involved since the first one in 2016 and this time added LED IMAG side screens to their package for the first time. The line-up included Skunk Anansie, The Fratellis, Ash, The Feeling, Craig Charles, Sleeper, Tony Christie, Artful Dodger and many more.

The stage, one of Star Live’s mobile structures, was bigger this year, around 15 metres wide, and the two IMAG screens were rigged either side, each measuring six metres wide by 3.6 metres high and made up from CPL’s Roe CB5 LED product in Air Frames.

On stage, more CB5 was set up as a 2.4-metre wide by 4.8-metre deep centre screen flanked by four different length columns with drops of 4.2 and 3.6 metres. The interesting and gently asymmetric look was designed by CPL’s events director Lee Gruszeckyj to break up the stage, and to ensure that all the acts could benefit from having video even when playing in the daylight.

All the screens were processed by Brompton Tessera SX40s for full redundancy.

A d3 4x4 media server was supplied to feed the onstage screen elements, and CPL produced and composited all the content.

Considerable energy went into contacting all the artists and their tour managers in advance to get hold of content. Where there was no specific content available to show or play out during their set, CPL made utilised their logos and branding plus other material and added that into the overall show track that was produced for each day.

Some arrived on the day with new content that then had to be quickly programmed and integrated into the CPL system, but the idea was to ensure that everyone had something individual, different and distinctive, and the system was built to be as flexible as possible to incorporate potential up-to-the-minute changes!

With ten or 11 bands a day starting at midday and finishing around 10.30pm each night, this also ensured that the audience didn’t see any repetitions!

The IMAG screens were used for public announcements and for roving audience camera pick-ups during the changeovers, a go-to crowd-pleaser that helped get everyone excited and feel more involved.

CPL’s control and command position was established in a Portacabin backstage, from where Lee directed the camera mix. He worked with four crew on the show days and an extra five for the in / out.

Also feeding into the Barco E2 system used for screen management were four cameras.

Two Sony HXC-100s, one with a Canon CJ12 lens was stationed in the pit for close-ups, and the other was located back at the FOH position, fitted with an HJ40 lens for overall shots and some zoom-ins.

Two of CPL’s Agile remote cameras were positioned on stage, one fixed on the stage left structural leg truss, and the other on a movable stand. This often sat behind the drum kit to capture a nice full reverse shot of the crowd from stage, but this was variable depending on the act and their backline set-up.

Overall, the video added great dynamics and depth to the stage and the onstage video design made sure there was always something filling the back-of-camera shots.

All the artists enjoyed having a creative video element, and for some early in the bill ones, it was actually the first time they had enjoyed a full-on video production.

“We all really enjoyed being back for another year,” stated Lee, “there is a fantastic atmosphere, and it’s great to work with a client committed to investing in and delivering proper production values and a great guest experience.”

He’s seen the event grow from 3,000 capacity over two days in 2016 to the 18,000 three-day extravaganza that it is now.

On site they worked with the crew from Urban Audio who supplied sound and lighting and production manager Warren ‘Waz’ Fisher. Everyone enjoyed the fantastic surroundings and sizzling sunny Bank Holiday Weekend weather which smashed the existing UK records for high temperatures!

photos: Charlie O’Beirne @Lukonic

www.cpl.tech

CPL Ramps It Up for 2019 Camper Calling FestivalCPL Ramps It Up for 2019 Camper Calling Festival

11th September 2019

CPL