Production News

Production News Headlines

Zero 88 FLX S24 Console Delivers Intuitive and Nimble Lighting Control to LightsOn

08/12/2021

Vari-Lite VL800 luminaires create Chris Stapleton’s stunning wall of light

08/12/2021

Yamaha RIVAGE PM7 is the Perfect Fit for Foals’ Nigel Pepper

08/12/2021

Klaus Suppan Calls on Chauvet Professional Maverick Silens 2 Profile for Faust at Goetheanum Stage

08/12/2021

3 Doors Down chooses DirectOut PRODIGY Series for “The Better Life – 20th Anniversary” Tour

08/12/2021

Alabama Invests in 1,000sqm of Absen Transparent LED

08/12/2021

disguise powers unique xR experience for AT&T’s 5G courtside concert series in the NBA conference finals

08/12/2021

Hippotizer Boreal+ gets the mercury rising for Queen Relived

08/12/2021

Roundtable Post is Set for the Future with Xytech’s MediaPulse

08/12/2021

Digital Projection Brings Bygone Era of Japan Back to Life

07/12/2021

Ayrton MagicDot SX knocks them for SIX on Broadway

07/12/2021

Tim Minchin Mixes WPS and WPL PA Arrays on Back … Encore Tour

07/12/2021

More Robe in the House at Vejle Musikteater

06/12/2021

Roosevelt Dsouza Creates Flow of Fresh Looks for Sonu Nigam’s Three-Hour UK Shows with Chauvet Professional

06/12/2021

Claypaky illuminates the Nitto ATP Tennis Finals and Davis Cup with a mix of white light and spectacular special effects

06/12/2021

SLF Group and Black Out Lighting Utilise Showtec and Infinity Products for Medammecour Draait Door 2021

03/12/2021

Robe helps Redefine the Look for Idols SA

03/12/2021

Live Company Invests in More Astera with New AX9s

03/12/2021

Chauvet Professional Helps Frank Appletans and SSL Rent Light Live Music’s Return to Muziekodroom

03/12/2021

Ayrton Dominos Impress at Les Francos de Montréal and the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

03/12/2021

Vista by Chroma-Q Delivers Beautiful Results for Cliff Richard: The Great 80 Tour

03/12/2021

Vari-Lite VL10 luminaires shine brightly on Marc Anthony’s Pa’lla Voy Tour

03/12/2021

A giant leap of faith for the I’m a Celebrity contestants as they face The Plank challenge – designed and rigged by Unusual

03/12/2021

Creative Goes Big with Close to 100 Chauvet Professional fixtures for Jurasic Fight Night

02/12/2021

Parvaaz Roar Back into Action With Allen & Heath on the Full Circle Tour

02/12/2021

Zero 88 FLX S24 Console Delivers Intuitive and Nimble Lighting Control to LightsOn

Zero 88 FLX S24 Console Delivers Intuitive and Nimble Lighting Control to LightsOn

Poland – LightsOn, a lighting design and rental company based in Warsaw, Poland, relies on an FLX S24 lighting console from Zero 88, a brand of Signify, to run a full schedule of spectacular event lighting.

LightsOn owner, Lukasz Brylski, and his team supply creative light shows for bands, DJs, smaller concerts, cultural and corporate events, weddings, and parties, with a constantly busy schedule of three or four events per week. They are fully booked with shows and events for the rest of the year, as the industry recovers from the pandemic shut down. A typical lighting set up will feature around 20 fixtures, including moving lights and LED sources, all run on the Zero 88 FLX S24.

Lukasz likes many FLX S24 features, starting with its ease of use and logicality. “I can design and plan the show, then set up the console exactly as I like,” he stated. One of the many FLX S24 features he finds most helpful is the multi-touch interface, which means he can react immediately and spontaneously to the action happening onstage, matching it with appropriate lighting looks and effects.

Lukasz has found Zero 88’s prolific online training and tips videos “extremely helpful” in assisting the learning process and enabling him to maximize his new creative tool. “Good support is essential, and I think this content shows a great professional commitment by Zero 88,” he added.

Furthermore, he believes having the FLX S24 onboard has allowed him to be more creative in his work and, consequently, even grow his business. His crew also enjoys running shows with the console.

Before starting LightsOn, Lukasz worked as a technician and lighting programmer / operator for an events company and had used many other control consoles, none of which had met his expectations. He started LightsOn three years ago and spent a year scouting around for the best control desk for his requirements. Zero 88 was recommended by several industry colleagues and influencers including sales specialist LFX Agency, from which he purchased the console that has proved “a perfect solution.”

Lukasz loves producing imaginative light shows and seeing how people react to the drama and excitement that can be created with good and imaginative lighting, especially when working together with music. He enjoys seeing people have fun. “I love the job and I like being in control, so the FLX S24 gives me lots of opportunities for this and is one of the best investments I have made to date!”

photos: Lukasz Brylski

Zero 88 FLX S24 Console Delivers Intuitive and Nimble Lighting Control to LightsOn Zero 88 FLX S24 Console Delivers Intuitive and Nimble Lighting Control to LightsOn

8th December 2021

Vari-Lite VL800 luminaires create Chris Stapleton’s stunning wall of light

Vari-Lite VL800 luminaires create Chris Stapleton’s stunning wall of light
Vari-Lite VL800 luminaires create Chris Stapleton’s stunning wall of light

USA – Country music legend Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show is back with a stunning stage design featuring 400 VL800 EVENTPAR luminaires from Vari-Lite, a Signify entertainment lighting brand, supplied by concert touring specialists Premier Global Production.

Taking conceptual direction from Stapleton himself, creative director Becky Fluke and lighting designer Calvin ‘Mac’ Mosier created film-like lighting, centered around a wall of light, which comprises 388 VL800 EVENTPAR RGBA and 12 VL800 EVENTPAR WW. The LED-powered luminaires, which offer classic styling, colour and output, impressed from the outset. Mac, who has previously worked with Prince, Tina Turner, Madonna, Lady Gaga and James Taylor, explains: “When I first saw the VL800 back in 2019, I thought it was great, so I got one and showed it to Chris and Becky and they both loved it, particularly the colours it produces. Soon after that, Chris came up with the wall of light idea.”

The show design, which uses lighting and video in the most integrated way Mac has experienced over his 45-year career, features live video content played on the 12ft high x 56ft wide screen that spans the top of the stage. Using layering and some creative camera work, Fluke is able use the screen as an extension of the wall of light. Fluke comments: “The way the video wall sits on top, it really needed to marry nicely. We're shooting the VL800s as a layer on the video wall, as we wanted it to really feel cohesive in that way. Certain cameras are just pointed at lights, so it feels like an extension of the lighting rig.” This is made possible by the VL800 EVENTPAR’s adjustable frequency, which can be set to exceed camera frame rates.

Support for the production has been plentiful from both Vari-Lite and Premier Global Production, as Mac explains: “When we started back up, Vari-Lite sent a tech to Premier Global and updated all the hardware and software, they’ve been really supportive. Similarly, with Premier Global, whatever you need, you get it. They give us such personal attention and take care of us.”

Premier Global Productions’ vice president of sales James Vollhoffer says: “It’s a pleasure to supply this show and we appreciate the mutual respect and support we have with Vari-Lite. When Covid hit, we all worked together to stay on track for when touring restarted and it was worthwhile. The show looks great, Mac's a very talented designer. The VL800 brings that retro par can look but with modern technology. It's a noteworthy product, we're seeing plenty of interest in it.”

The All-American Road Show continues through the remainder of 2021 and into next year, winding up at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on 23 July, 2022.

photos: Andy Barron and Becky Fluke
Vari-Lite VL800 luminaires create Chris Stapleton’s stunning wall of lightVari-Lite VL800 luminaires create Chris Stapleton’s stunning wall of light

8th December 2021

Yamaha RIVAGE PM7 is the Perfect Fit for Foals’ Nigel Pepper

Yamaha RIVAGE PM7 is the Perfect Fit for Foals’ Nigel Pepper
Yamaha RIVAGE PM7 is the Perfect Fit for Foals’ Nigel Pepper

Changing audio mixing systems is a big decision for live engineers. It can be fraught with difficulty, especially if the specifications don't match the hands-on experience. But, as Foals front of house engineer Nigel Pepper discovered, Yamaha’s RIVAGE PM series completely lives up to its promise.

Between April and August, Foals played a number of festival shows, which saw Nigel using a Yamaha RIVAGE PM7 digital mixing system for the first time. Supplied by Adlib, the experience was so positive that he has already specified it for the band’s 2022 UK and European shows.

“I had reached the point where I was ready to change from the system I was using,” he says. “On paper the RIVAGE PM series seemed attractive and the specifications would fit my workflow. I tried different systems, which included using RIVAGE PM7 in rehearsals, and quickly found it was the one for me. It really fitted the way my brain works.”

Nigel was introduced to Yamaha’s Tom Rundle, who visited Foals production rehearsals and talked Nigel through the system.

“I wanted to really see what I could get from it and make sure I wasn’t missing anything,” says Nigel. “I cut my teeth on analogue and have quite an old-school approach. Yamaha has carried the ethos of analogue over to its digital systems very well and have laid out the RIVAGE PM7 very intuitively. It felt comfortable straight away, I liked the tactile input, the fact that I could put my hand on the controls I needed without thinking about it and being able to use my ears to make decisions, not being blinded by what’s on the screens.”

The immediacy of the hands-on experience is important for a band like Foals, where no two shows are ever the same.

“They are quite tricky to mix. They play a bit like a punk band, reacting to the vibe of the gig,” says Nigel. “The custom layers function really helps with this, letting me populate fader banks with just what I need to mix the show. There’s no need to scroll through banks, there’s nothing buried in menus. It means I can have my hands on the faders, looking at the stage, throughout the show.”

With his roots in analogue complementing the Foals sound, Nigel has continued using outboard processing, but this has been reduced since he started using the Yamaha system. “The inclusion of the Bricasti reverb and the Eventide processing is fantastic,” he says. “I still use some outboard dynamics processing and have been impressed with how the signal path remains constant. If you use outboard with other digital systems it can affect the sound, but RIVAGE PM maintains the gain structure and signal flow. It’s a very clean insert path.

“I also really like the A and B choices for dynamics and EQ. I use a lot of scene automation, so having two different gate settings for a louder or quieter song is very useful.”

With RIVAGE PM7 assured of its place on Foals 2022 shows, Nigel will be making even fuller use of the onboard processing by the time the shows come round.

“I’m getting my head around the Rupert Neve Designs SILK red and blue processing,” he says. “To be honest I wasn’t sure at first if it would make a big difference, but I love the way it adds subtlety and drama at the same time. I’m still working on finding how much I will be using it, but I’m sure it will be another way that the system improves the experience of mixing Foals live.”

8th December 2021

Klaus Suppan Calls on Chauvet Professional Maverick Silens 2 Profile for Faust at Goetheanum Stage

Klaus Suppan Calls on Chauvet Professional Maverick Silens 2 Profile for Faust at Goetheanum Stage

Switzerland – “We can always redeem the person who aspires and strives,” Goethe wrote. And indeed, at the end of the great poet and playwright’s masterpiece Faust, the protagonist is saved from eternal damnation near the very end of his life through perseverance and determination.

In the interim, Faust is taken on a hallucinatory journey by the devil Mephistopheles, through witches’ caves and dark magic rituals, descending from good to evil before being saved by intervening angels. Conveying the rich kaleidoscope of meanings and imagery in this metaphysical odyssey at a production of the classic at the Goetheanum School of Spiritual Science is a nuanced and colourful Klaus Suppan lighting design.

In creating his evocative looks for the nine-hour show, Suppan drew on the color rendering and performance features of seven Chauvet Professional Maverick Silens 2 Profile fixtures that were recently added to the theatre’s lighting system.

With the new staging of Faust characterised by a simple stage design with clear, minimal lines; light was consciously selected as the main tool with which to draw emphasis upon various scenic elements. Because the stage design only suggests the respective situations and locations, Suppan deftly used light to outline entities of shape and form, a technique that was greatly aided by the framing-shutter mode of his profile fixtures.

"My professional colleagues and the directors of this Faust production were totally enthusiastic about the creative possibilities provided by the Mavericks," commented Suppan. "Not only did we have the framing shutter, gobo wheels and frost to create myriad effects in support of numerous atmospheres, we also relied on the clean dimming behaviour in the lower range between zero and ten per cent to give us the classic theatrical look and feel that is often lacking with LED fixtures."

Another key consideration within the theatre of the Goetheanum involved acoustics, given that the actors have no kind of acoustic reinforcement such as microphones or amplification when on stage. With a stage area of 12 x 12m and a distance between the first row of the audience and the stage measuring approximately 8m, it was necessary to keep background noise and fan noise from electrical equipment to a minimum. Since the Maverick is 100% convection cooled, Suppan was able to ensure that the focus was kept solely on the actors on stage with no auditory distractions.

As colour perception was both a well-known obsession for Goethe and a recurring scientific theme within Faust, it was particularly important for the directors of Faust to incorporate an element of colour play within the scenography. Thanks to the variable CMY + CTO colour mixing system of the Maverick fixtures, Suppan was able to engender multi-layered looks where many different layers of yellow, green, blue and red were needed to enhance moments of inner scientific and spiritual conflict with Faust's character.

"The use of colours played a big conceptual role in the play, which is why a very good TM30 value was just as important for us as the noise factor," continued Suppan. "The stage looked rather inconspicuous in white light, but when a little coloured light was added, the scenography came to life, absorbing the colours intensely."

Given that all of the moving heads were positioned on above stage trussing from a height of over 10m, the intensity of the 560W Mavericks proved more than capable of creating powerful looks despite the relatively difficult staging conditions within the turn of the century theatre auditorium. What's more, the 10:1 zoom range allowed Suppen and his team to light up large surfaces as well as create tightly focused spots, thus enhancing lighting possibilities in all aspects.

Bathing the stage in rich colors one moment, before creating subtle but moving tightly focused looks the next, Suppan’s lighting design managed to be both expansive and introspective, the perfect complement for a play that recounts a fantastical journey while delving deeply into the most profound issues of good and evil.

photos: Lucia Hunziker

Klaus Suppan Calls on Chauvet Professional Maverick Silens 2 Profile for Faust at Goetheanum StageKlaus Suppan Calls on Chauvet Professional Maverick Silens 2 Profile for Faust at Goetheanum Stage

8th December 2021

3 Doors Down chooses DirectOut PRODIGY Series for “The Better Life – 20th Anniversary” Tour

3 Doors Down chooses DirectOut PRODIGY Series for “The Better Life – 20th Anniversary” Tour

USA – With the eagerly anticipated return of the touring industry, North Carolina-based Special Event Services seized the opportunity to once again deploy their new d&b audiotechnik KSL rig on the recently completed 20th Anniversary 3 Doors Down Tour. They also called upon industry veteran Michael Mordente as their audio crew chief and system technician to co-ordinate the effort and to introduce them to DirectOut’s PRODIGY Series, specified for the tour.

The PRODIGY.MC was deployed in tandem with the stage box as a modular converter to manage critical aspects of the I/O topology and redundant signal distribution on stage and to FOH,” said Mordente. “That means media, format, and sample rate conversion for interconnect between our pair of Yamaha PM10s on stage and FOH, and for the main support act Seether’s DiGiCo SD9 at FOH and Avid Profile monitor desk. The PRODIGY.MP with its powerful FPGA and DSP was used as the main system drive at FOH, with the comprehensive and extremely potent globcon software platform controlling it all,” he added.

A redundant 96kHz MADI stream was the primary digital audio format with both AES3, and Analog as back-up sources, along with a Dante network “standing by” as yet an additional layer of redundancy.

Even the DJ feed from the stage was managed and controlled by the PRODIGY’s enabling it to be fully isolated from the consoles and completely under the control of DirectOut’s devices.

Curtis Flatt, FOH engineer for 3 Doors Down, was thrilled to have the PRODIGY.MP and PRODIGY.MC working together to drive the complex, yet comprehensive KSL system. “With DirectOut, I was able to have everything I needed in one unit - EQ, control, multiple redundancies, no added coloration, headroom for days, integrated input/output for system measurement and optimisation software, along with the ability to integrate multiple consoles and that's just scratching the surface! What it truly gave me was the sonic palette I needed to create a mix and not worry about it adding its own colourations,” said Flatt.

I can also speak for my colleague Michael Baker, FOH engineer for Seether, who was very pleased with the system headroom, ease of integration and seamless interconnectivity between the Yamaha and Avid Dante-based consoles and the DiGiCo MADI-based desk,” he added.

Production manager and monitor engineer Warren Cracknell was extremely enthusiastic about having the PRODIGY’s on his tour and specifically requested them while enlisting Mike Mordente as the audio crew chief and system technician. “I had heard so much about the PRODIGY Series from my colleagues in the industry and really wanted to get them on this tour”, he said. “I am so glad Mike was available and able to join the tour. The PRODIGY’s made a world of difference and took everything to the next level sonically. I will be requesting them for all my tours going forward,” he added.

In picture: Warren Cracknell – production manager and monitor engineer, Michael Baker – FOH for Seether, Michael Mordente and Curtis Flatt – FOH 3 Doors Down.

 

photo: Matt Bender

8th December 2021

Alabama Invests in 1,000sqm of Absen Transparent LED

Alabama Invests in 1,000sqm of Absen Transparent LED
Alabama Invests in 1,000sqm of Absen Transparent LED

Germany – Following eight years of successful collaboration, Absen and French rental stager Alabama have reached a new level in their distribution partnership by agreeing on the sale of 2,000 panels (totalling over 1,000sqm) of Absen Lyra (LR) Series of transparent LED, effectively making Alabama the go-to company for this sought-after product type across its home continent.

This new inventory will be used alongside the 800sqm of Absen LED products already owned by Alabama, which includes Polaris 2.5mm indoor rental LED and Altair Series AT5 Pro mobile indoor / outdoor products.

All in all, this means that the Novelty Magnum Dushow Group – Alabama’s parent company – now owns over 5,000sqm of LED available for rental.

“Transparent LED has been around for years, but it’s not always been the most practical product type for a number of logistical reasons,” said Christian Czimny, industry product director at Absen. “With Lyra, we’ve created a product that has excellent definition and endless creative possibilities, all in a package that can be rigged by one technician.”

The IP65 rated Absen Lyra boasts a 3.9mm horizontal pixel pitch (7.8mm vertical) and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Each panel measure 1000mm x 500mm. Existing Absen customers will also benefit from the same stacking system already found on Absen’s rental staging range of products, including the award winning Polaris. With a weight of only 12kg per square metre, Absen Lyra is three times lighter than traditional LED panels with similar resolutions.

Despite being 50% transparent, the Lyra Series’ black PCB boards produce stark contrast – 4,000 nits outdoor – making them equally as useful as traditional LED in terms of performance, while the refresh rate is >3840Hz, which makes Lyra equally suitable for broadcast and live streamed gigs and events. Lyra panels can be angled from -15˚ to +15˚ in order to create curved displays.

Maintenance is also extremely easy and fast, a vital advantage for any rental stager. The Lyra LED panels themselves can be changed from the back in less than 10 seconds without switching off the whole screen.

The new Lyra Series was designed as a joint effort between Absen and Alabama: “Absen is constantly listening to the market,” confirmed Czimny. “We believe this is the only way to create the very best products, and strategic partners like Alabama are a vital source of information and collaboration in this process.”

Alabama also worked closely with Absen’s engineering team to develop an extremely light and robust plastic-based flight case for the product, which can be stacked in threes to save space in trucks, warehouses, and venues; all while saving money for the client.

“Productions are extremely excited about this new inventory, as it has great transparency, great resolution, and great weight,” said Alabama’s technical director Joël May. “On top of logistical and performance advantages, it affords lots of creative opportunities, like the ability to mix reality with an image.

“Scenographers will inevitably need some time to reach the full potential that this transparent LED product brings, but once they do, the possibilities are extremely exciting; so exciting, in fact, that we already have up to 90 per cent of our new transparent LED stock due to be on the road until Summer 2022.”

8th December 2021

disguise powers unique xR experience for AT&T’s 5G courtside concert series in the NBA conference finals

disguise powers unique xR experience for AT&T’s 5G courtside concert series in the NBA conference finals

USA – xR specialist All of it Now (AOIN) used disguise gx2cs to immerse viewers of the NBA Conference Finals in an extended reality (xR) concert experience custom-designed to reflect the unique style of each of the four performing artists.

AT&T, the Official 5G Wireless Network Partner of the NBA and presenting partner of the NBA Conference Finals, offered a unique connected music experience with its 5G Courtside Concert Series. The four-part series, starring hip-hop legends 2 Chainz and Big Sean, two-time Grammy-nominated Cordae, and rising star CHIKA featured groundbreaking xR visuals on completely virtual stages. Portions of the performances aired on TNT and ESPN’s broadcast coverage of the NBA Conference Finals, and full performances were released online following the telecasts.

To bring this unique broadcast to life, AOIN teamed with sports marketing and talent management company Wasserman Media Group, xR stage and equipment provider PRG Production Studios, and Unreal Engine and Notch content specialists Flight School Studio. The concept was to create discrete environments for each artist that matched their aesthetics and performance styles. Interactive elements engaged with the artists and DMX components enabled the lighting to respond to different movements included in the performances. Each musical experience functioned much like an in-person show with an added virtual layer on top.

xR was the logical choice for the project, not only due to Covid-19 health concerns but also as a way to avoid the heavy cost and time involved in building out the unique physical environments for each artist, not to mention coordinating between busy schedules of each artist.

To achieve the custom virtual environments, AOIN marshalled four disguise gx 2c media servers to be used in PRG’s xR studio. Content from Unreal Engine and Notch was rendered on ROE Black Onyx and Black Marble LED video displays to form the visual backdrops for the artists’ virtual environments.

stYpe Follower was also deployed during the xR production to track the artist’s movements and change the xR content in response. This meant integrating tracking data in post. Raw stYpe camera tracking simply wouldn’t work so disguise developed a timecode recorder to allow real-time data to be sent from Follower to the media servers to facilitate xR calibration and recording with extra coefficients.

disguise also provided Notch support enabling AOIN to use just one system for Unreal Engine content rendering and Notch rendering with no additional dongles. Using the compressed workflow of Unreal Engine through the gx 2cs with Notch helped maintain creative continuity and produce a more cohesive look.

“The new timecode functionality is the best example of the unique capabilities that disguise can provide, while being able to integrate both Notch and Unreal into a xR project is another very unique thing that disguise allows us to do,” says Berto Mora, Producer at AOIN. “I don't think that there are many other platforms that could support both content streams as seamlessly as disguise did. That kind of support in creating a custom tool for a project or in developing an existing tool for a specific use case is a really good example of how disguise is a unique partner.”

A key new feature for AOIN was the exposed parameters feature included within disguise RenderStream, which helped them control interactive graphics and the system directly from the timeline. Additionally, the ability to expose positional properties to enable objects within the scene so they could switch maps from the project’s timeline in the disguise Designer software gave AOIN even more new control capabilities.

Everyone was very excited to work with xR technology and happy with the results, Mora reports. “For the artists to see that they can interact with the stages was really promising to them to the point where some said they would want to use this in their live shows, that’s pretty incredible!” he declares.

AOIN had worked with all the project partners before. According to Danny Firpo, xR project manager for AOIN.

“We had that kind of trust and collaborative loop. Flight School understands content production as well as post-production pipelines, that’s incredibly valuable. And the Wasserman team knows when to be hands-on and when to be hands-off and to let their creative partners do what they do best, which is great. I think they are all pretty happy where we ended up,” says Firpo.

Firpo is a big believer in xR and has seen how far the technology has come: “Today, you now have people that don't even know about xR, and can get the documentation and figure it out. Whereas in the past, this kind of workflow was completely unchartered. So I just think that overall, the technology has improved and it's something we feel confident in and are offering it more and more to our clients.”

disguise powers unique xR experience for AT&T’s 5G courtside concert series in the NBA conference finalsdisguise powers unique xR experience for AT&T’s 5G courtside concert series in the NBA conference finals

8th December 2021

Hippotizer Boreal+ gets the mercury rising for Queen Relived

Hippotizer Boreal+ gets the mercury rising for Queen Relived
Hippotizer Boreal+ gets the mercury rising for Queen Relived

Czechia – Formidable Queen frontman Freddie Mercury took to the stage in the form of tribute performer Michael Kluch and his band in September, for a huge concert at Prague’s 18,000-capacity O2 Arena. The group, named Queenie, played the ‘Queen Relived’ show with a rock & roll lighting design and a mix of pre-made and live feed visuals driven by Hippotizer Boreal+ and Karst+ media servers.

The three-nighter, big budget production took more than a year to plan and programme, with the staging and tech taking 16 trucks to transport. Renowned show designer and creative Martin Hruška staged an impressive display of pyrotechnics and lighting pizazz, backed by a huge upstage LED screen. The visuals depicted images of Mercury, played by Kluch, on stage. Lighting designer Lukáš Patzenhauer was in charge of the visuals, controlling the Hippotizer Boreal+ and Karst+ media servers via his ChamSys MagicQ MQ500M console.

“I fell in love with Hippotizer,” says Patzenhauer, who has worked with some of Czechia’s biggest music and TV stars. “It’s such a user-friendly platform, enabling me to harness the power of VideoMapper, effects and masks to create incredible visuals via DMX control from my desk, matching the colours often to complement my lighting design. The Timeline feature in Hippotizer V4 allowed me to playback the show simply, despite a complex array of visuals and effects.”

The Hippotizer media servers were supplied to the production by Prague-based distributor LightNeq, and their Hippotizer specialist Karel Bartak, who assisted Patzenhauer during show setup and programming.

Show designer Martin Hruška, who designed the visuals continues: “Some of the video content was created in other programs, such as Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects and others. Some songs were manufactured in the form of livecam and colour corrections and effects adjusted within Hippotizer.

“Hippotizer gave us reliability, speed and great synchronisation with the lighting. It’s a really great product.”

The production team were also supported by Green Hippo’s central Europe sales manager Evzen Zomer. “The team were really impressed by the Boreal+ and Karst+ media servers and ZooKeeper,” says Zomer. “Both Martin Hruška and Lukáš Patzenhauer used many of Hippotizer V4’s powerful features, including a creative use of LED blocks using VideoMapper which optimised output use, reducing the number of LED processors needed to drive the content to the screens, which looked fantastic.”

The three-nights of shows, which had been delayed due to the pandemic, rocked the O2 Arena with the buzz and drama of Queen’s music and performance, reinterpreted by Queenie for the Queen Relived show. On the back of its success in Prague, the show is now gearing up for international dates.

photos: Queen Relived / Petr Klapper

www.green-hippo.com

Hippotizer Boreal+ gets the mercury rising for Queen RelivedHippotizer Boreal+ gets the mercury rising for Queen Relived

8th December 2021

Roundtable Post is Set for the Future with Xytech’s MediaPulse

Roundtable Post is Set for the Future with Xytech’s MediaPulse

UK – When Ben Coulson, managing director of Roundtable Post knew it was time to source a professional solution to manage the company’s expanding resources he turned to Xytech’s MediaPulse resource management software. Established in 2008, Roundtable Post, an independent post production facility, solidified its name in the genre of high-end documentary with acclaimed productions such as Finding Jack Charlton, Last Man Standing and Andy Murray: Resurfacing under its belt.

“With our business growing, it was on my mind to find a fully scaleable resource management solution to help us avoid bottlenecks of information arising from an increase in assets and staff,” said Coulson.

MediaPulse was recommended by a number of producers at Roundtable with positive past experience and found it to be the industry’s most user-friendly option.

“The feedback from my team was a great starting point. I had researched various options, but their enthusiasm for MediaPulse made me look closely to understand what the system could offer. It ticked all our boxes in providing operational mastery and financial controls,” Coulson explained.

“When I started the company, it was just me with an occasional assistant offering two offline suits to the people who needed support with their post production edits,” reminisced Coulson.

Now, Coulson has a business partner and a 25-strong team of permanent staff plus ad-hoc freelance support, necessitating extra layers of management and planning. “Before MediaPulse, we used a rather rudimentary scheduling software, but it’s unwieldy,” he explained. “The MediaPulse system will be able to address a full spectrum of challenges the team currently faces. From flexible resource scheduling to asset management, effective quoting to billing, we’re looking forward to getting the most out of MediaPulse’s functionality to help us streamline our internal processes.”

Coulson also plans to replace the company’s archaic log system with the ease and efficiency of MediaPulse. “Logging things in and out is still a very manual process for us. MediaPulse will make things more accurate, and we’ll be able to track our resources better,” he added.

With around one million pounds spent on upgrading facilities, investing in different areas and increasing its capabilities, Roundtable recently doubled its capacity.

“That’s why a good quality resource management system is imperative,” Coulson noted. “I have really enjoyed the support I’ve experienced from Xytech, and I know the time will come when my team will look back and say, ‘How did we manage without a system like this?’”

Roundtable Post recently hired post producer Amy Gilkerson to be the MediaPulse super user and help roll out the system across the company.

“I am very excited to help implement MediaPulse here at Roundtable Post,” Gilkerson said. “Having used MediaPulse numerous times throughout my career, I believe it to be the most well-rounded software in terms of media asset management, scheduling, billing and invoicing. As we are going through an exciting time of team growth and business development, MediaPulse is a perfect system that will not only help streamline our internal workflows but also support us with improving the business significantly as we set our course for the future.”

“Managing internal processes such as scheduling, resource management and billing is very time consuming, especially when multiple assets and stakeholders are involved,” concluded Aurore Gilewicz, account manager at Xytech.

“At Xytech, our MediaPulse solution is completely configurable and we look at an individual client’s needs to create a custom fit product to address their unique workflows. This allows customers like Roundtable to automate their operational processes, making them more efficient. We are excited to work with Roundtable to deliver an integrated cloud-based solution as an essential part of their internal infrastructure and support the team with future expansion and business growth.”

 

 

 

 

8th December 2021

Digital Projection Brings Bygone Era of Japan Back to Life

Digital Projection Brings Bygone Era of Japan Back to Life
Digital Projection Brings Bygone Era of Japan Back to Life

UK – Danny Rose Studio, the collective behind the current Spirit of Japan art exhibition at the Kadokawa Culture Museum, has deployed more than 30 Digital Projection E-Vision Laser 10K projectors to illuminate the floors, ceilings and walls of this spectacular venue.

Untranslated, the title of the Spirit of Japan exhibition reads Ukiyo-e Theatre – the ‘ukiyo-e’ are small art pieces created in Japan from the 17th–19th century which depicted daily life as it was. These pieces gained much popularity when circulated among the Western world, forging an impressionist art movement. Colourful fans, glowing lanterns, cherry blossoms rocking in the wind: the nostalgia of the past has been given a new lease of life in the Spirit of Japan exhibition, which will be immersing visitors into Japan’s colourful history as it continues into next spring.

Danny Rose Studio previously produced an exhibition in France, entitled Dreamed Japan – Images of the Floating World, which attracted over two million visitors, and in light of its popularity the tour was reimagined for Spirit of Japan.

Employing advanced video projection technologies, Danny Rose Studio creates environments that are fully immersive and often surreal. Creators from a variety of fields, including digital artists, programmers and musicians, work to combine historic artwork, in this case from 19th-century Japan – with contemporary technologies and narratives to create an entirely new type of large-scale visual/spatial installation.

To achieve something of this magnitude for Spirit of Japan, the venue was divided into three major areas to receive 360 degrees edge blending projection across all the surfaces. Ground projection and cylinder projection mapping throughout also help create a fully immersive experience with 360-degree visuals.

Alongside Digital Projection laser technology, a VNS GeoBox video wall controller was chosen to control the edge-blending output from multiple projectors, coupled with a BrightSign media player to deliver the video content.

Aaron Hsu at Digital Projection Japan says having so many projectors in one room creates a unique set of challenges: “Because of the exhibition hall’s ceiling height limitation, the ground projection required more projectors to successfully display the entire image; we needed a creative solution to achieve this. Whereas traditionally you would point projectors downwards to the floor, we actually pointed them up but used the UST periscope lens, thus giving us the extra height and coverage.” Using too many projectors on the floor would have caused light scatter and have an adverse effect on the image quality on the walls, so this solution of using UST lenses achieved optimal performance for all canvases.

The compact, E-Vision laser was an obvious choice, as it’s able to compete with high levels of ambient light, delivering 10,500 lumens from a solid-state laser light source.

For an exhibition of this scale, it was important to choose technology that was flexible and reliable. Digital Projection’s E-Vision Laser 10K projectors provide a stable and predictable light source for up to 20,000 hours and offer built in edge-blending capabilities, ensuring a seamless image is created from multiple projectors.

Mark Wadsworth at Digital Projection is thrilled that the company’s products were chosen in a project of this importance: “For an exhibition of this scale and complexity, it’s imperative that technology suits the end goal,” he says. “This art exhibition requires 360-degree visuals, which involves a huge amount of edge blending without compromising on the quality of the image. The exhibition looks incredible, we are really proud to be a part of such a visually impressive project, it just goes to show what the E-Vision lasers are capable of.”

Digital Projection Brings Bygone Era of Japan Back to LifeDigital Projection Brings Bygone Era of Japan Back to Life

7th December 2021

Ayrton MagicDot SX knocks them for SIX on Broadway

Ayrton MagicDot SX knocks them for SIX on Broadway

USA – Lighting designer Tim Deiling used 35 Ayrton MagicDot SX fixtures to help construct the visual narrative for the Broadway production of SIX The Musical when it transferred from London’s West End in October.

Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’s multi award-winning musical follows the story of Henry VIII’s six wives, expanding on each of their stories and translating their historic power struggles into a modern day pop contest which breathes dynamic new life into the story.

Tim Deiling’s associate lighting designer, Tim Reed, tells more: “The show takes place on a standing set with no set moves throughout. Instead, we chose to use a rock concert style of lighting with lots of beam looks at all times to determine the visual architecture of the show and to identify and delineate the Queens and their individual looks.

“The MagicDots were an important part of this process, providing striking mid-air effects as well as enabling us to open up the room when all the Queens are present, carve the performance space into different areas, or give each Queen a definitive look. Jane Seymour, for example, is lit in mainly in white using MagicDots with which we are able to create a very ‘closed down’ state, using the architecture of the lighting to really pull the eye towards her.”

The MagicDot SX fixtures are sited on upstage towers where their compact form proved a real advantage: “The towers are narrow with not much real estate, so a big part of the decision process was the size of the MagicDot SX and how they fitted into the set,” says Reed. “Also, I’d used them before on several shows and they are the most reliable fixture I know for their continuous rotation and their constant ability to return to a specific position. I would definitely recommend Ayrton for that!”

“Originally the MagicDot SX came to be on SIX because it was an offering from Stage Electrics, our supplier in the UK,” states Tim Deiling. “But I now can’t imagine doing the show without them. They are so small and easy to hide in the set, however, they are so bright, so fast, and so punchy that they can really dominate a scene. You can mix them in with much larger fixtures and not know the difference.”

“Because we were using them to create great beams and effects rather than lighting the performers themselves, it was really nice to have continuous rotation and a few other effects that we don’t normally use,” continues Tim Reed. “We also took advantage of the SX model’s zoom feature, zooming them out to light the towers and give them a glow, and really frame the trussing.

“They behaved fantastically, they are super quick and they gave us the beams we want.”

SIX The Musical continues its run on Broadway and in the West End, and is currently touring the UK, with a US tour scheduled to start in spring 2022.

photo: Joan Marcus

7th December 2021

Tim Minchin Mixes WPS and WPL PA Arrays on Back … Encore Tour

Tim Minchin Mixes WPS and WPL PA Arrays on Back … Encore Tour
Tim Minchin Mixes WPS and WPL PA Arrays on Back … Encore Tour

UK – With his inimitable repertoire of eclectic music blended with high-brow comedy, Tim Minchin’s UK tour, which began back in 2019, resumed after lockdown with a further eight-week stint. Imaginatively titled Back … Encore, this took him through a number of sold-out UK theatre shows, interspersed with a handful of arena dates.

The Australian was supported on stage by a seven-piece band: three brass players, bass, guitar, drums and percussion. Masterminding the sound production was Martin Audio’s rental partner, Capital Sound, with the highly experienced Dave Roden mixing once again to his favoured Wavefront Precision WPS.

Capital drew on their inventory of 32 WPS line array enclosures but purchased six additional multi-channel, Dante-supporting iKON amplifiers for the tour, enabling the system to be driven in the optimum one-box resolution.

Explaining the need for the expanded WPS inventory this time around, Capital account manager, Martin Connolly, said that the additional elements had provided Dave Roden with increased horsepower when matching to the main hangs and outfills.

“The WPS system is perfectly matched for Minchin,” he said. “It was so successful last time and so Dave [Roden] requested it again.” Crucially, the restricted loading points at some theatres became another defining factor.

However, WPS was supplemented at the three larger capacity arenas – Nottingham Motorpoint, Leeds First Direct and Cardiff Motorpoint – where Martin Audio’s larger WPL took over main duties, moving the WPS out wide to function as side hangs.

Providing low frequency extension were stacks of Martin Audio SX218 subwoofers varying between six and 16, depending on venue size, along with a combination of DD6 and XD12, which have become standard fare for near-fill support. The XD12s were deployed as outfills on the lip of the stage at the extreme left and right with six DD6 set across the front.

However, there was always the opportunity for a little experimentation. System technician Nick Boulton, who had occupied the same role for Tim Minchin’s 2019 shows, took the opportunity to test drive Martin Audio’s new TORUS constant curvature array on a number of dates.

Martin Audio product support engineer Nigel Meddemmen takes up the story. “Nick was keen to try this in place of the XD12s and so Martin Audio provided a pair of flight-cased T1230s, principally for use at Nottingham and Cardiff Motorpoint Arenas.”

But Boulton saw further potential. “Initially we put them side by side with our existing XD12 infills, and straight out of the box were blown away by the fidelity of them. They required very little EQ to match tonality with our hangs of WPL and WPS.

“Personally, I was also very impressed with the consistent coverage and pattern control. The rigging and cabinet feel high quality, and there are a bunch of cool features, such as the identifying LED, and NL4 pin swap switch, which make things a lot simpler.

“Consequently, we ended up putting them into every show between Hammersmith and Cardiff and had we had access to more, I'd certainly have used them!”

Dave Roden and Nick Boulton were supported by fellow Capital crew members, Adam Wells (monitor technician) and Oz Bagnall (monitor engineer). Production manager was Ashley Newsome, working for promoter, Phil McIntyre Entertainments.

Summing up, Martin Connolly said the tour had been an unqualified success; not only for the warmth with which Tim Minchin’s show had been received, but the quality of the production. “He is an excellent showman, and running the PA at a comfortable level, between 98db-100db, the sound was extremely clean and the intelligibility high.”

photos: Andrew Benge

Tim Minchin Mixes WPS and WPL PA Arrays on Back … Encore TourTim Minchin Mixes WPS and WPL PA Arrays on Back … Encore Tour

7th December 2021

More Robe in the House at Vejle Musikteater

More Robe in the House at Vejle Musikteater

Denmark – Vejle Musikteater, one of the busiest and liveliest multi-purpose live performance venues in Jutland, Denmark, reopens fully after the pandemic period, complete with a new Robe ESPRITE house lighting package comprising 32 ESPRITES in total.

Sixteen of these have been added as front lighting to the existing over-stage rig of 16 in the Main Hall. Head of lighting Rasmus Wiberg explained that during the Covid closure they used the time constructively to activate various renovations and changes needed in the venue, including the complete removal of the advanced lighting bridge (the one nearest the stage) above the auditorium to fit in a new PA system.

This also seemed an ideal opportunity to replace the old discharge profiles with new LED moving lights for greater versatility. Having had a great experience with the first batch of 16 ESPRITES and the 100 plus other Robe moving lights in the venue, more ESPRITES was a “logical” choice, stated Rasmus.

They also needed a bright fixture as the FOH lighting position is now on another catwalk 20 metres out from the stage and higher into the auditorium ceiling, so the throw distances are substantially longer.

Many features on the ESPRITE impressed Rasmus and his team including the shuttering, the EMS stabilisation, the colours and of course, Robe’s revolutionary TE LED Transferable Engine technology, an intelligent, powerful, and eco-friendly lighting solution enabling different engines: high powered, high CRI, ‘tungsten’, etc, to be used in the same fixtures.

The zoom range was also a factor as they needed a beam that remained sharp across the longer distances.

“Like all Robe fixtures, the ESPRITES have been super reliable and worked brilliantly for our needs,” commented Rasmus, who had not worked with Robe products before taking up his post at the Musikteater, where the original Robe LEDWash 600s and MMX Spots purchased over ten years ago are also still going, although no longer used every day!

Vejle Musikteater is known nationally and internationally for its excellent and constantly updated production facilities and dedication to producing the very best and most ambitious shows. Artists and crews alike love working there and there are many loyal supporters and patrons from around the region.

Other Robe fixtures in the main hall include Spiider wash beams, LEDWash 600s, Tetra2 moving LED battens and PixelPATTs, with Spikies in the small hall and the static ParFects in the foyer.

grandMA3 light consoles are used for control.

In standard non-Covid years, Vejle Musikteater stages well over 200 shows a year, some with their own LDs and creative team, while others rely on Rasmus and his talented and dedicated in-house crew to ensure they look great with an excellent light show.

After re-opening in August with an outdoor stage and performances, following Denmark’s ‘Freedom Day’ in September they are now returning to a full capacity program action-packed in both halls until January 2022, as well as shoehorning many postponed shows!

photos: Louise Stickland

www.robe.cz

6th December 2021

Robe Lighting

Roosevelt Dsouza Creates Flow of Fresh Looks for Sonu Nigam’s Three-Hour UK Shows with Chauvet Professional

Roosevelt Dsouza Creates Flow of Fresh Looks for Sonu Nigam’s Three-Hour UK Shows with Chauvet Professional
Roosevelt Dsouza Creates Flow of Fresh Looks for Sonu Nigam’s Three-Hour UK Shows with Chauvet Professional

UK – For loyal Sonu Nigam fans, and there are legions of them throughout the world, his performances never seem to be long enough. It’s easy to see why too. Striking a magical balance between softness and resonance, the Indian playback singer’s voice is the kind that makes time melt away. Then there is the broad range of his repertoire in multiple languages that surprises and delights at every turn during a performance.

The full scope of the India-born star’s talent was on full display this November at his UK shows at SSE Arena Wembley and Resorts World Arena in Manchester. On stage for over three hours at each venue, Sonu Nigam performed 37 songs and medleys that included his own compositions as well as songs from his heroes, the legendary singers Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar.

Reflecting the vibrancy and versatility of the multi-faceted performance was a Roosevelt Dsouza-designed light show that featured Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by DMX Productions.

Flowing as smoothly as Sonu Nigam’s vocals, the lighting followed the singer through every twist and turn of his performance, peaking at intense moments, then becoming gentle for softer songs, all while never repeating a look. This was no small accomplishment, given the all-encompassing nature of the multi-award winnings star’s work.

Helping Dsouza accomplish this feat were the 16 Rogue R3 Beams in his touring kit. Arranged in four vertical columns that bordered the video wall panels, the 300W moving fixtures provide Dsouza with plenty of firepower (208,000 lux at 15 metres) to direct beams across the stage. Throughout the concert, he reconfigured the shape, direction, and colour of those beams to create a continuous flow of new looks.

“The beam shaper feature of the Rogue R3 was fantastic,” he said. “At some points in the show when you could see the beams open up, it was really impactful.

In addition to creating myriad patters over and on the stage, the Rogue R3 Beams were used to highlight Sonu Nigam and different members of his band. The fixtures were also used to create a variety of aerial effects.

A key to engaging the audience at the show was the crowd lighting from the kit’s 20 Strike 1 fixtures, which were arranged on truss. “I never worked with these fixtures before and I was blown away by their output,” said Dsouza. “I used theme to create this beautiful warm white light throughout Wembley. They covered the entire arena very impressively.

Later when the concert ended, the STRIKE fixtures along with the house lights were turned up to guide the sell-out crowd out of the arena. They were buzzing about the show they just saw, happy as could be, spending three hours, and enjoying every minute of it.

Roosevelt Dsouza Creates Flow of Fresh Looks for Sonu Nigam’s Three-Hour UK Shows with Chauvet ProfessionalRoosevelt Dsouza Creates Flow of Fresh Looks for Sonu Nigam’s Three-Hour UK Shows with Chauvet Professional

6th December 2021

Claypaky illuminates the Nitto ATP Tennis Finals and Davis Cup with a mix of white light and spectacular special effects

Claypaky illuminates the Nitto ATP Tennis Finals and Davis Cup with a mix of white light and spectacular special effects
Claypaky illuminates the Nitto ATP Tennis Finals and Davis Cup with a mix of white light and spectacular special effects

Italy – How many of you would have bet that one day a tennis tournament would also turn into a light show? It is hard to imagine, for people who see tennis as closely linked to tradition.

Yet, for some years now, even tennis has succumbed to the charm of technology, and we are not just talking about the hawk's eye that determines whether the ball is in or out or on the line with infallible precision. Since the Next Gen Finals in 2017, the ATP Tour has gradually included more show-like elements in its tournaments, right up to the Nitto ATP Finals this November 2021. What was held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin could also be defined as a true light show.

We spoke about it with the lighting designers Marco Piva and Marco De Nardi: "Using moving head lights to add spectacle to matches in which the eight top tennis players in the world faced each other was an enormous challenge. On the one hand, there is the appeal of implementing a completely new idea, but on the other, there is the fear that something might go wrong, or not be appreciated by the champions themselves on the court.”

Moreover, the initial requirements were very stringent. The entire 23x45 metre court had to be covered with even lighting of at least 2200 lux all over, and light had to be ensured on the centre of the court from the ground up to at least 12 metres above it.

I looked at several options from various lighting manufacturers, and eventually opted for a mix of Claypaky fixtures. Over 300 luminaires in all, including Arolla Profile HPs, B-EYE K20s, Midi-Bs, Mythos 2s and Axcor Profile 600s.”

The main light needed was of course the white light for illuminating the court. There was no room for error. Tennis players can be disturbed extremely easily, and a poorly placed or underperforming light could have created problems.

For this reason, the 120 Claypaky Arolla Profile HP moving heads not only provided 3400 lux of uniform light, well above the minimum requirements but also perfectly replaced the light normally provided by fixed units. Moreover, they afforded the lighting designers a number of spectacular lighting options that could not have been achieved otherwise.

For example, the Arolla's precise framing system allowed them to pick out the lines that mark out the court. This effect was used when the players were not on the court, before the match and during breaks in play, to create a spectacular three-dimensional effect. It looked almost as if the court was taking flight!

A total of 132 Claypaky MIDI-Bs, 46 Claypaky B-EYE K-20s and 46 Claypaky Mythos 2s were used on the audience, as the two LDs explained: “During play, the audience was bathed in a fixed blue light, which is the ATP's colour. When the players changed ends, the blue changed to electric blue and the lights moved: the effect on the audience simulated something similar to waves of light. To do this I used B-EYE and Midi-B units as the colour base, and Mythos gobos to create synchronised movements over the entire stadium. The absolutely most dynamic moments were when the players entered the court and were welcomed like true stars, and during the prize ceremony. Lastly, I picked out the players' seats and the logos on the nets with white light using Axcor Profile 600s.”

The exceptional thing about this rig," continued De Nardi and Piva, "is that we met all the lighting requirements using moving heads designed for the entertainment industry. We used them both as key lights to illuminate the matches and as show lights on the audience and the court itself, without using a single traditional light. The experiment was a success. We received a lot of praise and appreciation, and all the lights on the court turned out to be very reliable, despite being used intensively for over twenty hours a day.”

All the Claypaky fixtures were left hanging and were used to illuminate Italy's Davis Cup matches, which also took place at the Pala Alpitour from 25 November. The lighting concept was very similar to the one used for the ATP finals, with one important difference: the colour the audience was bathed in was green, not blue, as the organisers requested. “The trend," concluded De Nardi, "is to use technology to bring the show-like elements in tennis up to the level of other sports, as already occurs for example, in basketball, Formula 1 and even some football stadiums.”

The rental company Audiolux, based in Zelo Buon Persico near Lodi, provided all the lights at the Pala Alpitour for the Nitto ATP Finals and the Davis Cup.

Alberico D'Amato, Claypaky sales director, said: "tennis has always been a great passion of mine, and our being chosen to light two of the biggest tennis events in the world filled me with joy. We will work further along this path to ensure that sport and entertainment become an ever more inseparable combination.”

www.claypaky.com

6th December 2021

Claypaky

SLF Group and Black Out Lighting Utilise Showtec and Infinity Products for Medammecour Draait Door 2021

SLF Group and Black Out Lighting Utilise Showtec and Infinity Products for Medammecour Draait Door 2021
SLF Group and Black Out Lighting Utilise Showtec and Infinity Products for Medammecour Draait Door 2021

The Netherlands – SLF Group and Black Out Lighting used Showtec and Infinity lighting solutions to create an incredible spectacle at Medammecour Draait Door. To complement the Medammecour's fantastic regular cast, over a hundred Infinity, Showtec, and Showgear products were used throughout the week of performances.

As the Carnival season rolls around each year, the province of Limburg readies itself for some entertaining, festive, and spectacular performances. One such recent tradition is the Medammecour, a travelling tour of Carnivalesque musical performances. In a typical year, the Medammecour tours from town to town, putting on performances across Limburg.

On 14 to 21 of October 2021, Medammecour Draait Door was held in the Rodahal in Kerkrade, allowing social distancing restrictions to be observed while accommodating up to 300 spectators per evening. The event featured many of the regular cast and performances that have contributed to the success of the Medammecour in recent years.

A major bonus of hosting the performances in one venue is the truly spectacular lighting setup. SLF Group supplied all the materials and ensured smooth production of the event, while Black Out Lighting provided the light design and programming. Elevating the performance to the next level, Medammecour Draait Door featured an extensive range of products from both Showtec and Infinity.

From Showtec, an abundance of lighting solutions was on display. To provide a variety of effects, Medammecour Draait Door deployed 20 Showtec Phantom 12R Hybrids. The versatile new hybrid moving head is the latest addition to the Phantom series, capable of performing as a beam, spot or wash. An additional 28 Showtec Spectral M1500 Zoom Q4 MKII were also in full force, with the seven 20W RGBW LED Spot to Wash PAR combining majestically with the Phantom 12Rs.

Supporting the already impressive arsenal of Showtec lights were four Showtec Followspot LED 120 W, a compact but powerful spotlight that includes a dimmer, iris, and shutter. An additional 16 Showtec Expression 33000s also featured at Medammecour Draait Door, a wash light from our discontinued Expression range which has demonstrated remarkable longevity.

SLF Group provided 16 Showtec Sunstrip blinders which created a big-stage quality, while a further six festoon cables with lights added a more subtle touch. The cables operated via two Showtec Festoon controllers. The equipment was supported via eight Showgear H-Downriggers.

The intricate light show ran on an Infinity Chimp 300.G2 DMX professional lighting console. Due to the extensive set-up, a variety of Infinity Chimp accessories were deployed alongside the Chimp 300.G2 to extend the maximum possible universes, which included an Infinity Banana Wing, Infinity Peanut Box and a Chimp Dongle for OnPC.

SLF Group and Black Out Lighting Utilise Showtec and Infinity Products for Medammecour Draait Door 2021SLF Group and Black Out Lighting Utilise Showtec and Infinity Products for Medammecour Draait Door 2021

3rd December 2021

Robe helps Redefine the Look for Idols SA

Robe helps Redefine the Look for Idols SA
Robe helps Redefine the Look for Idols SA

South Africa – Idols South Africa 2021 underwent its most substantial visual transformation for a few years with a shift of venue, from the State Theatre in Pretoria to Studio 10 at the Urban Brew complex in Johannesburg. This moment was seized by the show’s long term lighting designer Joshua Cutts of Visual Frontier for a radical re-think, and for the first time in 17 Idols seasons, he presented a lighting co-design created collaboratively with Andre Siebrits, also from Visual Frontier.

The pair relied heavily on Robe moving lights, over 200 were specified on the rig, plus two RoboSpot remote followspotting systems to assist with a fresh new aesthetic that takes the SA edition of the show production to ‘next level’ status.

Due to Covid regulations, a large live audience was still not possible this year, so Josh and Andre embraced this effective restriction by redefining the look and optimising it for the multi-camera direction of Gavin Wratten, who also had some clear ideas about visuality.

Taking a ‘bare stage’ approach was a bold and confident move that utilised lighting plus all the negative spaces in the room to create the drama, depth, and diversity.

“It had to look completely different from anything before but also very contemporary,” explained Josh, “and for this we needed multi-purpose fixtures to be at the core of the rig.”

The backbone of the slick modern lighting look was created with Robe ESPRITES and MegaPointes with 24 of each type.

The rig was enhanced by having the two RoboSpot systems controlling six BMFL WashBeams, also a first for an Idols SA series.

The RoboSpot systems controlled four front and two back BMFL WashBeam luminaires, bringing precise control of key lighting.

“It was a case of the right kit for the right space,” commented Andre, explaining that the clear uncluttered stage area and the way it was lit evoked the huge depth and perspective shots that Gavin wanted.

With a high gloss-black floor and large sections of upstage LED video screen complete with a central entrance – the LED reflections produced great bounce-back along the stage floor – the ESPRITES, MegaPointes and other Robe moving lights were all chosen for their power and flexibility plus other key features like the CMY colour mixing.

Both Josh and Andre use Robe products regularly and enjoy the range and the reliability of the fixtures.

The ESPRITES were rigged above the centre stage area with the MegaPointes arranged in striking horizontal left, right and centre lines running lengthways down the studio, producing a sense of linear elegance and numerous effects as the ‘show workhorses’.

Both fixtures are “light in weight, bright and proved perfect for lighting artists, bands and judges as well as creating big gobo looks, stage washing and those glorious ‘international’ scenes that we wanted as a signature for this season,” elucidated Josh, who has been involved with lighting every Idols SA since the concept started there in 2002!

Having the lines of MegaPointes and the pool of ESPRITES tied into the way the RoboSpot BMFLs were used as they were also a vital part of the lighting and stage geometry.

With all six followspots run from the two BaseStations positioned at FOH near to Andre and Josh, this was an excellent set up for producing more interesting spot lighting effects whilst tying up fewer crew. Using the RoboSpot system also made it practical for the first time ever to have rear followspots on an Idols SA show. “All of this further boosted our adaptability and ability to react at short notice,” observed Josh.

In between the MegaPointes in the studio roof were 24 standard Robe Pointes and joining them on the rig, 24 Spiiders for overhead washes, plus 24 Spikies and 24 LEDBeam 150s for whizzy fun effects and beam looks.

Josh and Andre appreciated the colour matching and “excellent consistency” in colouration that exists between all the different Robe fixtures, which all helped speed up the programming process and is highly effective for television lighting scenarios.

In addition to some the most recent Robe technology on the rig, some favourite ‘legacy fixtures’ included LEDBeam 100s, LEDWash 600s and 800s and even ColorSpot 700s and ColorWash 2500E ATs which are still going strong!

These and all the other lights on the rig were programmed and run on a grandMA3 console.

Challenges as always include creating a series of complex and fabulous light shows for all the artists. They were often dealing with up to 14 songs a week in a tight timeframe due to the show format and schedule and a short amount of onstage time for both artists and the production team.

And while after 17 years Josh isn’t fazed by this as he has the routine down to a very effective process, it still gets the adrenaline rushing every time! He comments that while it’s become quicker in some ways over time, the complexity of what’s now expected in that same short time window has grown massively!

In this context, it was great having Andre working alongside him as co-LD. “Two minds working in unison the way we have are so much better,” he commented, adding that his extensive Idols experience combined with Andre’s fresh eyes on the show made it an “exciting and invigorating” way to work, together with the “fantastic” range of multi-purpose fixtures at their fingertips!

All technical AV equipment was supplied and managed by Dream Sets, co-ordinated for them by Eben Peltz for Idols SA producers SIC Entertainment. The show’s producer was Anneke de Ridder and it was broadcast live each week on the Mzansi Magic network.

The 2021 Idols SA winner was Berenike 'Berry' Trytsman winning the title following weeks of intense competition with over 12 million votes cast.

photos: Duncan Riley

www.robe.cz

Robe helps Redefine the Look for Idols SARobe helps Redefine the Look for Idols SA

3rd December 2021

Robe Lighting

Live Company Invests in More Astera with New AX9s

Live Company Invests in More Astera with New AX9s

Denmark – Technical production and rental specialist Live Company, based in Skovlunde, Copenhagen, continues to invest in Astera wireless LED products at a pace to keep parallel with the “incredible demand” of the Danish market, states owner Peter Clausen.

They were the first rental company in Denmark to invest majorly in Astera, initially with AX1 PixelTubes in 2018, and the latest acquisitions include several sets of Titan Tubes and the newly launched AX9 PowerPAR, a rock-solid, all-purpose everyday LED lighting fixture and one of the three innovative products launched by Astera in 2021.

The AX9s were bought specifically for “Dejlig er Jorden”, an operatic recital tour around Danish churches by an ensemble of opera singers and classical musicians. Lighting designer Súni Joensen specifically wanted powerful, reliable, quick and easy to deploy wireless fixtures and 12 x AX9s did a fantastic job!

“AX9s are excellent front lights,” says Peter, which was another reason for the purchase, together with the good battery life which easily covers the run-time of most events. He mentions that the consistency of the Astera lightsources and colours is impressive across all the product ranges.

Live Company’s Titan Tubes joined the general rental inventory based on the massive success they have experienced with the 100 plus AX1s, as they were keen to have Astera’s most up-to-date wireless Tube technology onboard. They like to be at the forefront of trends “and that’s definitely where Astera is right now,” stated Peter.

The AX1s have been in use constantly, even during the pandemic period, when they were out every week for digital gigs and streamed events, he explained. “We didn’t tail off on the AX1 rental at all.”

Titan Tubes and the AX1s are “simply so versatile,” he comments. They can be used for keylighting, washing objects and areas, sets and décor, for making shapes and pixel-mapped effects for theatre, TV and broadcast applications and live shows and that truly multi-purpose functionality is why they are such “great value”.

He thinks the AsteraApp is great, and so do many of their customers. It makes remote control exceptionally quick and easy without having to set up a console, although also having the DMX control option is a big plus. “You basically have all the options to make your show or project work effectively.”

Looking forward, Peter reveals that they want to be “a fully Astera rental house, offering all of the products: Tubes, PixelBricks, NYX Bulbs, AX3s, AX PARs, etc,” and it looks like they are well on the way to achieving that goal.

When Light Partner became the Danish distributor in 2020, both demand and sales shot up in the country, and now that other rental companies are investing in the brand, cross rentals are a fast-growing aspect of the business.

“For events, wireless lighting / control is the way forward,” Peter concluded!

Live Company was initially founded in 2006 as an audio rental house which then grew and expanded its scope to become a full technical production specialist. Peter joined in 2014 and now owns it, together with Mikkel Bedsted and two other business partners. They are passionate and enthusiastic about the industry and work hard to provide the very best service, technical solutions, and highest production values to clients across multiple genres of live entertainment and events.

In picture: Mikkel Bedsted and Peter Clausen

photo: Louise Stickland

3rd December 2021

Chauvet Professional Helps Frank Appletans and SSL Rent Light Live Music’s Return to Muziekodroom

Chauvet Professional Helps Frank Appletans and SSL Rent Light Live Music’s Return to Muziekodroom
Chauvet Professional Helps Frank Appletans and SSL Rent Light Live Music’s Return to Muziekodroom

Belgium – The sound of growling guitars and drum solos has resonated throughout Muziekodroom ever since the industrial-style venue opened in 2007. That was until the pandemic brought everything to a screeching halt over a year ago.

Happily, now artists are once again performing inside the 850 capacity venue. Before that could happen, however, there was an 'entertainment bridge' that brought music back to this iconic spot in a safe fashion. For weeks prior to opening the doors of their establishment, Muziekodroom management sponsored Het Zomerkwartier a series of outdoor concerts held in front of their still-closed building.

The Muziekodroom turned to their long time trusted resource, SSL Rent to set up the open-air stage for Het Zomerkwartier and provide technical support. Placing an emphasis on flexibility, and wanting to deliver enough lighting output even for shows held before the sun went down, SSL rent and designer Sean Willekens specified a powerful collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures that included 12 Maverick MK2 Spot, 18 Rogue R2 Wash and six Strike P38 fixtures.

“After more than a year of quarantine, freedom was finally back in sight and not a moment too soon: everyone was hungry for parties and live music,” said Willekens. "Thanks to the flexibility of our rig, we were able to achieve a wide range of looks with a comparatively narrow selection of fixtures to give a festival feeling to our shows. We also needed to be versatile enough to reflect the personalities and music of the different bands who performed here, a diverse group that included Bazart, The Subs, 2MANDYDJS, Zwangere Guy and Charlotte de Witte take to the stage.

To craft a number of varied looks on stage ranging from saturated coloured wash to tight pin spot spots, Willekens positioned the Maverick MK2 Spot and MK2 Wash fixtures from centrally located above-stage trussing. Thanks to the 13º – 37º zoom range of the Maverick MK2 Spot units, the SSL Rent crew were able to award an element of theatricality and depth to the performers on stage by placing emphasis on individual musicians whilst being able to give the impression of movement with mid-air aerials.

The wash fixtures also allowed Willekens to douse the stage in a rich array of supporting colours, whilst creating a visual counterpoint to the spot units. Complementing the backdrop of wash illumination were the roster of Strike P38 warm white fixtures. These were often used to introduce punchy and energetic bursts of light to penetrate through the blanket of wash effects.

Saying that he was “very proud of the end results” created with his outdoor rig, Willekens believes Het Zomerkwartier was a great way to reintroduce live music to Muziekodroom as Belgium eased out of the lockdown. In a sense, it was like a snack served before the main meal was offered. If that be the case, it was a visually very tasty snack indeed.

photos: Joke Hendrix

Chauvet Professional Helps Frank Appletans and SSL Rent Light Live Music’s Return to MuziekodroomChauvet Professional Helps Frank Appletans and SSL Rent Light Live Music’s Return to Muziekodroom

3rd December 2021

Ayrton Dominos Impress at Les Francos de Montréal and the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Ayrton Dominos Impress at Les Francos de Montréal and the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
Ayrton Dominos Impress at Les Francos de Montréal and the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Canada – Twelve Ayrton Domino-S fixtures, part of Ayrton’s IP65 multi-function luminaire family designed for intensive outdoor use, played a variety of roles at Les Francos de Montréal and the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, staged back to back in September this year due to COVID-19.

Les Francos de Montréal is a large annual pop music and performance festival featuring French-language performers from around the world. It has been held for more than 20 years. The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal holds the 2004 Guinness World Record as the world’s largest jazz festival; every year it features about 3,000 artists in more than 650 concerts and welcomes two million plus visitors. This year’s 41st edition was reduced in size due to the coronavirus pandemic with all shows taking place outdoors. Both events were centred around downtown Montréal’s Quartier des Spectacles.

Solotech in Montréal provided the Domino-S fixtures, which combine extraordinary light power with a full feature set in an IP65-rated, minimalist-designed fixture that can resist hot or cold temperatures, wind, rain, hail, salt, fog, sand and dust. Solotech supplied all the lighting, video and audio gear for both festivals.

Nicolas Labbé, senior technical specialist, business development at Solotech and a lighting designer himself, had seen and tested the Dominos and knew they would fill the bill for Les Francos and the jazz festival. “I was really impressed by what they could bring to the festivals: their intensity and resolution, the richness of the colours, no hot spots at all, and no need for weatherproofing covers that destroy the look.”

Bruno Rafie, lighting designer for both events, hung the Dominos 35 feet in the air on giant, arm-like mega-structures positioned on the street during the festivals. The multi-functional Dominos served as house lights and texture for the public entering the entertainment area, provided illumination for TV reverse shots, and acted as architectural lighting on the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, whose façade was to the right of the public.

Rafie, who has designed the festivals for the last ten years at the Quartier des Spectacles site and who has an even longer history with the festivals, typically needed 64 LED PARs to light the plaza. In addition, for the winter festival Montréal en Lumière he’d used moving lights on the structures but had to enclose them in housings to weatherproof them. “Now, I only needed 12 Dominos, which made for a big saving of time, energy, trussing, cabling and focus,” he says. “They were easy to set up and program, much more versatile and no more installing ugly domes to protect them from the weather!”

The time-saving element of the Dominos was especially important this year when time constraints came into play. “We had only 48 hours for the install, including the stage, compared to the week we usually have,” notes Dan Meier, technical coordinator for both festivals. “I was really happy with the Domino solution. They were easier and quicker to install and program: It only took us three-and-half to four hours to install them instead of a whole day. Different colours and looks were programmed, but there was no need to refocus.”

The Dominos furnished top light and texture for the public entering the entertainment area to see performances at both festivals. During shows the Dominos projected colour and gobos onto the museum and its 35 recessed columns to match the on-stage colours of the performances for a very “immersive look,” Rafie explains.

“The Dominos opened very wide for a top light on the big audience and gave us never-seen-before gobo effects plus animation wheel gobos,” he reports. “They also had a nice CTO and had no problems when it rained a lot for several days. I was happy that the festivals showcased what Domino can do.”

Meier recalls one performance that featured people on bikes with Bluetooth speakers riding among the audience. “The moving lights patterned the places where the bikers were,” he says. “The Dominos were much more flexible fixtures for everyone. I was also impressed by their power, even though the Dominos were so high up, they were powerful enough for really nice effects. I think they’re a really good solution for everybody.”

For his part, Rafie is eager to use Domino again and has other applications for the fixture in mind. “I can’t wait to use them as stage lights next,” he says, “especially in the front lights position where they are more exposed to different weather conditions.”

Solotech’s Labbé looks forward to putting the Dominos to the test when temperatures really plunge in Montréal. “We have the winter festivals and the Montréal en Lumière celebration of lights coming up next year,” he notes. Below zero temperatures don’t stop festivities for hardy Montrealers.

ACT Entertainment is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton products in North America.

3rd December 2021

Vista by Chroma-Q Delivers Beautiful Results for Cliff Richard: The Great 80 Tour

Vista by Chroma-Q Delivers Beautiful Results for Cliff Richard: The Great 80 Tour
Vista by Chroma-Q Delivers Beautiful Results for Cliff Richard: The Great 80 Tour

UK – Lighting designer, Derek Jones delivers beautiful looks with Vista 3 by Chroma-Q lighting and media control for British music icon, Sir Cliff Richard’s The Great 80 Tour.

With over 60 years in the music industry, Cliff Richard decided to mark his 80th birthday in a memorable way, with a UK tour. Despite being slightly delayed due to Covid, The Great 80 Tour went ahead in October 2021, delighting fans around the country.

Having provided the lighting for Cliff Richard on a number of previous occasions, Derek knew that Cliff loves a big light show, whilst at the same time wanting the ability to create an intimate stage, when the song requires. A big clean, bright and adaptable lighting rig is what was required to achieve this.

Derek, a long time Vista user and supporter, utilised both the Vista EX and Vista MV lighting and media control surfaces, to bring his lighting design to life.

Speaking about why Vista 3 is his go-to for lighting control, Derek commented: “For me portability is key. I travel around a lot, so to have my own console that can go with me in the car or on a plane is a real bonus. The whole control system can fit into a Peli case and weighs under 30kg. Incredibly portable but not short on power! Vista is also quick to set up but more importantly, easy to use. It has plenty of features that out performs many of the competitors’ offerings.”

Derek continues: “When I’m running a show, I want it to be an easy occasion. I don’t like to be moving around the console too much during the performance, why would you? I therefore make great use of Vista’s snapshot feature. Snapshots can provide everything I need for a particular song at the touch of a button. For example, button assignments, playback states and window layouts.

“Editing cues and working with very precise timings is also the easiest thing ever, utilising Vista’s Timeline and Live Edit features. Select your lights and tell Vista the creative stage look you would like to achieve. Powerful and simple!

“Finally, I find Vista to be very responsive. It just works, no waiting! The tracking backup set up is a good example of this, plug in the spare, click 'sync show' and you’re done!”

The Vista by Chroma-Q control solution was supplied by leading entertainment technology provider and Vista by Chroma-Q’s exclusive UK distributor, A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET).

“The service from the Vista team is, in my opinion: 'The very best!'. They are always on hand to answer both big and small queries and always respond quickly and efficiently. Jack, AC-ET’s Vista by Chroma-Q’s product manager, is a top man: polite, insightful and knowledgeable,” concluded Derek.

photos: Haley Jones

www.vistabychromaq.com

3rd December 2021

Chroma-Q

Vari-Lite VL10 luminaires shine brightly on Marc Anthony’s Pa’lla Voy Tour

Vari-Lite VL10 luminaires shine brightly on Marc Anthony’s Pa’lla Voy Tour
Vari-Lite VL10 luminaires shine brightly on Marc Anthony’s Pa’lla Voy Tour

USA – Multi-award winning Latin music star, Marc Anthony, has returned to the stage with his Pa’lla Voy tour, taking in 26-dates across North America with an arsenal of VL10 BEAMWASH luminaires from Vari-Lite, a Signify entertainment lighting brand. The VL10 delivers speed, versatility and an impressive 28,000 lumens to lighting designer Travis Shirley’s bold stage design.

Shirley developed his concept around six vertical lighting arrays that provide the tools necessary to create effective and functional stage focuses. “When the drawings of the show were completed, it was time to start discussing fixture choices. Good friend and production guru Roly Garbalosa mentioned to me that our preferred vendor ProColor was looking at purchasing the new VL10s and asked me to take a look at them. How does the saying go? It was love at first sight,” said Travis Shirley.

The tour, which kicked off at San Antonio’s 18,500-capacity AT&T Center on 27 August, celebrates 2019 album Opus and Anthony’s three-decade career. It has sold out arenas across the US, with fans eager to see him play live for the first time since early-2020. The three-time Grammy Award and six-time Latin Grammy Award winner’s compositions vary from slow and heart wrenching to fast and flamboyant, moving fans to tears in one moment and lifting them to their feet the next. Therefore, the show design had to be both engaging and extremely dynamic.

“I wanted to create a production that could not only accommodate his talented band, but also offer the flares of Latin salsa,” reveals Shirley. “I knew that we needed some sort of modern, yet classic, approach to an orchestra set up, thus the multi-tiered stage design. From there I looked at unique and creative ways to not only light the talent, but also provide the audience with lighting design appropriate for the genre.”

He states that Vari-Lite has become a regular name on his specifications. “Vari-Lite is one of the longest, most proven lighting brands in the entertainment lighting business, so naturally they make their way onto my spec list very often. The product range is so diverse. I find myself using newer lights like the VL10 for some shows, yet also specifying the classic VL5 for others. Vari-Lite is a staple and I love that there are no surprises with the products. I know what I’m getting every time.”

The award-winning LD, who is known for his innovative approach to lighting and show design, worked closely with Ian Berkman and the programming team at Visual Edge to realise the final design. The result is a captivating spectacle that has thrilled audiences across the US, promising to do the same in Canada and Mexico through December, before culminating at The Forum in Los Angeles a week before Christmas.

photos: Todd Kaplan

Vari-Lite VL10 luminaires shine brightly on Marc Anthony’s Pa’lla Voy TourVari-Lite VL10 luminaires shine brightly on Marc Anthony’s Pa’lla Voy Tour

3rd December 2021

A giant leap of faith for the I’m a Celebrity contestants as they face The Plank challenge – designed and rigged by Unusual

A giant leap of faith for the I’m a Celebrity contestants as they face The Plank challenge – designed and rigged by Unusual
A giant leap of faith for the I’m a Celebrity contestants as they face The Plank challenge – designed and rigged by Unusual

UK – A daredevil walk the plank challenge which kicked off this year’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here on ITV, was designed and rigged by Unusual Rigging. ITV bosses are no strangers to the spectacular feats that Unusual is able to pull off, having contracted director Robin Elias as crew chief on several stunts for various different shows. Robin said: “Pre-pandemic, ITV had brought me on board to work with them on the show in Australia. Then when Covid hit in 2020 and the show hurriedly relocated from Oz to Wales, none of the trials involved any rigging, there simply wasn’t the time to devise them. We fully expected to be back in the jungle in 2021, but because of the continuing pandemic, it was once again re-routed to Wales, and I was retained as a consultant.”

This year’s opening trial, the one which sees the celebrities first enter the camp, was called Walk the Plank. The team on the show had a rough idea of what they wanted to achieve, basing it loosely on a similar trial that had been filmed from the top of a high rise building in Australia some years back. But of course, the landscape of North Wales is somewhat different to Sydney. So, Robin and crew chief Sam Carter, travelled to north Wales to conduct a number of site visits and came up with two locations and two different stunts.

The chosen location was Moel Tryfan, a slate quarry in Gwynedd. One of the biggest challenges faced by Robin and Sam, was how to overcome the complexities of the location, to ensure the trial was safe for the contestants and all those operating it.

He continued: “The trial took place on an unstable cliff edge, so it was essential that we conducted thorough weight load testing near the edge. We also had to undertake some excavation of the site and install ground anchors a long way back from the edge. Being a slate quarry, it’s not really the best rock to build on. However, with numerous ground surveys and lots of work on the site to make it suitable, we were able to create a base for our structure.”

The result was a structure cantilevered over the edge of the cliff that could accommodate the camera crew, hosts Ant and Dec, celebrities and riggers, as well as containing all the systems necessary for the game: a mechanism to keep the plank in place until the quick release button was pressed, a safety system to prevent the celebrity being plunged into the freezing waters below, a system to reset the plank and a system to retrieve the celebrity following the drop as well as all the other necessary safety features. Testing was initially carried out at Unusual’s HQ in Bugbrooke, using weighted bags instead of humans. Further rigorous testing then took place on site “with the added delights of wind, rain, sheep and wild horses,” said Robin.

Broadcast on ITV on Sunday 21st November during the opening show of the season, Walk the Plank was deemed a huge success, both daring and dramatic in typical I’m a Celebrity… fashion, with the impressive rigging structure grabbing the attention of both locals and the national press. “Sam did an amazing job of refining the design and putting all the elements together,” said Robin.

Unfortunately, due to the carnage caused by Storm Arwen, and the cancellation of some shows, the second challenge designed by Unusual is unable to go ahead this series. “All is not lost,” exclaimed Robin. “It’ll be kept on file and used for another series in the future.”

www.unusual.co.uk

A giant leap of faith for the I’m a Celebrity contestants as they face The Plank challenge – designed and rigged by UnusualA giant leap of faith for the I’m a Celebrity contestants as they face The Plank challenge – designed and rigged by Unusual

3rd December 2021

Creative Goes Big with Close to 100 Chauvet Professional fixtures for Jurasic Fight Night

Creative Goes Big with Close to 100 Chauvet Professional fixtures for Jurasic Fight Night
Creative Goes Big with Close to 100 Chauvet Professional fixtures for Jurasic Fight Night

USA – Boxing matches are inherently unpredictable. Some end with a sudden thud mere seconds after they start. Others are boring uninspired 12-round dances. Then there are those that serve up more than their share of dramatic moments. But one thing is certain at every boxing event: a crackling sense of excitement and anticipation fills the air when pugilists enter the arena and walk with handlers to the ring.

Pangea Land of Dinosaurs’ Jurassic Fight Night was no different, even if the combatants approaching the 40-foot by 40-foot boxing ring (the world’s largest) were not typical athletes. Bearing names like “Blue Lighting The Velociraptor” and “Steve The Spine Crusher Spinosaurus”, these boxers were dinosaurs, or more accurately frighteningly realistic replicas of the “terrible lizards.”

Pumping up the crowd as the dinosaur fighters entered the Gilia River Arena during the two-day event was a collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied and installed by Creative BackStage.

“We relied on our moving lights with their rapid pan and tilt motions and bold colours to engage the crowd throughout the three shows that made up the event,” said Creative Back Stage’s John Garberson, who served as the LD of Jurassic Fight Night. “The lights gave the crowd energy without distracting from the show. This was especially true when the dinosaurs made their way to the ring. It was important to start things off on a high note.”

Key to setting this tone were the 16 Rogue R3 Beam fixtures in Garberson’s rig. Working with his programmer Steve Smith, L2 Michael White, and rigger Maxie Kichler, he divided the 300W beams evenly between two large truss structures. The intense output from these fixtures (208,000 lux at 15 metres) filled the arena with light as each match approached, underscoring the air of anticipation.

Garberson also relied on the Rogue R3 Wash’s colour wheel, versatile gobo wheel and 24-facet prism to create dynamic effects, while avoiding repetitive looks. “This is a form of entertainment, so you want to keep things fresh throughout,” he said.

Joining the Rogue R3 Wash in creating the sought after atmosphere at the event were 12 Maverick MK2 Spot, 32 Rogue R2 Wash and 12 Strike 4 fixtures. The Mavericks were used for spot lighting as well as for aerial effects. “Between the MK2 Spots and R32 Washes, we were able to fill the arena with a nice variety of aerials,” said Garberson.

The Strike 4 fixtures were used for audience washing as well as for adrenalin pumping blinder effects at key moments, while the Rogue R2 Wash fixtures produced evocative colours on the ring at its surroundings. The realistic colours created with the Rogue units were critical at this event, since each of the dinosaur suits had cameras built in.

At one time, some 15 different species of dinosaur, including the famed Tyrannosaurus rex roamed in what is now Arizona. Although they’ve been gone for 65 million years, they still have the capacity to fire up the human imagination in myriad ways. One look no further than Jurassic Fight Night for proof.

2nd December 2021

Parvaaz Roar Back into Action With Allen & Heath on the Full Circle Tour

Parvaaz Roar Back into Action With Allen & Heath on the Full Circle Tour

India – Fusing the poetic Urdu and Kashmiri languages with a cinematic soundscape of dreamy indie-rock, Bangalore based four-piece Parvaaz were declared “India’s most exciting band” by Rolling Stone magazine in 2018 after a month-long tour of Canada took their music to an appreciative Western audience.

Fast forward 12 months to late 2019 and the band released their hotly-anticipated fourth album, Kun, and tickets began to sell out for the accompanying promotional tour across India. And then, just as the band were ready to hit the road, Covid reared its head and the band were forced into an involuntary 17-month hiatus. Finally, in late 2021, the band announced their return to the stage with the multi-city Full Circle tour, the first tour of its kind in India since the pandemic began.

Mumbai-based sound engineer Supratik Das has worked with Parvaaz for the last four years as their FOH and monitor engineer, and when the call came for the Full Circle tour he already had a mixer (or three) in mind. And with the help of Sun Infonet, Allen & Heath’s distributor in India, he was able to fulfil his wish. “Depending on the venue, I used a dLive C3500 or C1500 Surface with a CDM48 MixRack, or an Avantis a with GX4816 expander,” explains Das. “While I was slightly more familiar with the dLive than the Avantis, it took me no time to get familiar with the Avantis as well.

“I decided to use Allen & Heath consoles after a hands-on experience a few months ago for a virtual gig in Mumbai. Rohit Reddy [senior product manager at Sun Infonet] was there to guide me through the boards and I found it very interesting how much these desks can do. It was the perfect choice for me keeping in mind the requirements and baggage restrictions. The fact that the console and the stage rack can both fit in the boot of my car is a huge plus.”

With dLive firmware V1.9 released the month before the tour began, Das didn’t hesitate to dive in and utilise some of the new tools on the tour. “Some of the features that I feel gave me an edge are the new RTA features, the two source expanders and all the DEEP compressor emulations,” he says. “They make me feel like I'm sitting in a studio with a whole suite of plug-ins, but with no latency issues. I also really liked the new NEQ12 [12-band parametric EQ] to really deep-dive into the PA EQ because I am not, personally, a fan of using a graphic on the PA. Another great tool is the Dyn8 processor with its four bands of multi-band and four bands of dynamic EQ., this is one of my favourite features.”

By his own admission, Das is an engineer who likes to work quickly and keep things moving, so the customisable workflow options on both desks were welcomed with open arms – and busy fingers! “A common feature that I like across dLive and Avantis is the ability to use SoftKeys ,” he says. “I am a guy who's always figuring out the shortest and easiest way to do things. I have maxed out all the SoftKeys on both the Avantis and dLive and it has made my workflow a lot faster, and the large touch screens on the Avantis are perfect for quick navigation.

“All in all it was great to have the support from the team at Sun Infonet throughout the tour, I definitely had a fantastic experience. I can't wait to use these mixers for even larger shows and bigger stages!”

2nd December 2021