Production News Headlines
PRG XL Video Supports Mike Oates’ Design for C2C: Country to Country
UK – Since 2013, an array of country music’s biggest stars have been visiting the UK and Ireland as part of C2C: Country to Country, a festival of country music devised by AEG (The O2) and SJM Concerts in collaboration with the Country Music Association.
The show began at The O2 in London, and has since added shows in Glasgow and Dublin, as well as visiting Scandinavia in 2015 and 2016.
Show and lighting designer, Mike Oates and his partner Ryan Hopkins have worked with the festival since it began. For the 2017 festival at The O2 they created a sophisticated design featuring shaped video screens, curved trusses, and a bright versatile lighting package.
Mike comments: “The design comes together after a series of meetings with Ross Hanley from SJM Concerts. Ross has ideas of what they would like to include in the design and look of the event, and we then go away and develop those ideas into several options.
“It’s great working with a client who wants to be actively involved in the design of look of the show. SJM want to offer the customers a fresh look every time. It’s so easy to do four straight trusses and a slab of LED upstage, but I think offering a unique look to a festival makes it more exciting for not just the audience but the incoming lighting designers and video directors.”
To form the basis of the design, PRG XL Video supplied both the house rigging at The O2 as well as the production rigging. Additionally the company provided rigging in the main entrance foyer of the venue for two huge 15-metre drop banners. This was overseen by Account Manager, Ade Stead, with Jay Call as the Crew Chief for the production rigging on site.
The rigging design incorporated a series of curves with the flown rig using hinged sections to build the curves.
PRG XL Video’s senior account manager, Paul McCauley worked with Mike Oates to supply the video set-up for the show. On stage a vertically flown 8m diameter circular truss masked the centre section of the upstage LED screen, and circular and straight trussing sections were combined to create flag shapes on either side of the centre circle, creating a distinctive look for the show which mimicked the C2C logo. Mike explained: “We had been playing around with different looks involving the logo for some time. We’re really pleased with the result.
Behind the shaped truss a 20 metre wide by seven metre high LED screen, masked to fit the shaped truss, displayed a combination of the performers own content, and IMAG. To provide the IMAG footage, PRG XL supplied a Grass Valley Karrera-based PPU, and eight camera package. Two Sony HXC-100s were positioned at front of house, two were on dollies for the pit and B-stage. Two Robocams and two HDiye minicams onstage completed the package and provided close-ups of the performers.
The masked screen set up was produced using a Barco e2 system paired with Barco’s EC200 controller, programmed by PRG XL’s in-house media server technician Erica Frost. As part of the service to each of the visiting performers who brought their own content, Erica was able to format their content on site to fit the specially shaped screen.
PRG XL’s account manager, Gordon Torrington worked with Mike Oates design to fulfil the lighting specification. A variety of lighting fixtures were flown from the main rig as well as arranged around the shaped screen. Mike Oates chose to use the new Icon EDGE around the flag sections of the screen. He comments: “I was really impressed with the Icon BEAM last year, so I was more than happy to use the new Icon EDGE this year, which I must say is a brilliant light.”
Martin Atomic strobes and GLP impression X4S fixtures were flown around the circle at the centre of the screen, and the main overhead rig featured PRG Best Boy HP Spots, VL 3500 washes, and blinders to light up the audience. Luke Jackson was lighting crew chief for the festival, supported by Will Gallegos, and Matt Morris. There was a total of seven crew working over the weekend. Jon Trincas used a grandMA2 full size to operate the show.
The PRG team set up a WYSIWYG suite on site which allowed LDs to prepare and customise their designs as they arrived. Mike explains: “We have four mainstage artists per day. All of which would arrive at the O2 10.00 hrs overnight from C2C Glasgow. With the WYSIWYG we could offer LDs sufficient preparation time both in reality and virtual world.”
A secondary B stage was added to the design, and Mike explains the benefits of using two stages for the festival: “The B stage is to bring the action more to the D end of the arena. Being sat in the gods at The O2 you are so far away, so the B stage brings those audience members much closer to the action. It also allows us to run acts back to back whilst giving the A stage team time to turn around artists.”
To give the audience around the huge arena a close-up view of the artists, IMAG projection screens were used; one screen either side of the main stage, and a further screen above the B stage.
Mike Oates sums up: “A key part of realising our design was the synergy with which the PRG XL Video lighting, rigging and video teams worked. They really pulled together to make it all happen.”
Gordon Torrington comments: “It was great working with Mike and Ryan, and with Ross Hanley of SJM Concerts. The C2C show at The O2 grows every year, and is hugely popular. The design for this year’s show was the best yet, and the capacity audiences had a real visual treat to accompany the music from some of Country’s biggest artists.”
photos: William Gallegos
24th April 2017
Maestra London Invests
UK – Award-winning event design and technical production company Maestra Group has made some substantial new investments at its London branch for lighting, audio and video ahead of a busy summer season. This follows a round of recent purchases by Maestra Dubai.
Keeping true to its core values to work with only premium brands in both Europe and the Middle East, the new kit includes Robe, ETC, Avolites, Prolyte, ChamSys control, d&b audio, Christie, Sony and Analog Way.
Maestra London’s MD Justin Hammond expressed: “After an exceptional first year of trading, it was time for new equipment in all departments, particularly lighting due to the demands of both UK based projects as well as lots of international work.”
All the new kit has been specified and selected to ensure that Maestra London clients continue to benefit from the latest and most appropriate technologies for their projects, together with the friendly, efficient service, expertise and imagination that defines the brand.
The very latest moving light technology from Robe will join the rental stock, with the LEDBeam 150, just launched earlier this month at Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt, plus the new Robe Spiider LED wash beams, together with the best-selling Robe Pointe, an excellent multi-purpose choice. Large quantities of additional conventional ETC Source Four have also joined the lighting inventory.
When it came to lighting control, flexibility, power and user-friendliness were key issues, so the Maestra team decided on new Avolites Tiger Touch II and ChamSys MQ80 consoles. These and an Avo Power Cube distro/dimmer combo were all also chosen for their reliability and great track record.
New LiteDeck staging is now available, and selections of new Prolyte trussing bolsters are now stocked in the rigging department.
Christie 14K projectors boost Maestra’s projection capabilities. These were selected for their clarity and also to match the recent purchases of the same machines by Maestra Dubai. This keeps it straightforward for both companies to share equipment during busy periods.
The video department has the latest Analog Way Ascender switcher in the new Ascender 48 complete with expansion module, and also one of the new NeXtage 08s, which join the existing range of Pulse2 PLS350s switchers.
More MacBook Pros join the stock of playback options, plus a whole range of cabling and other general video distribution infrastructure including scalers and converters.
Maestra Dubai has just invested in 100 square metres of its own 3.9mm flex:led LED screen, a product specially developed for the company which will also be available for use by Maestra London in Europe.
On the audio front, Maestra continues its commitment to d&b by increasing the stock of E5, T10 and Y7P loudspeakers and Y-SUBS, Sennheiser and LSP500 wireless speakers in a mix of black and white finishes to fit different environments. New d&b M4 monitor wedges and D20 amplifiers also made up the order.
Another Yamaha QL1 console and RioRack have been added for audio control, and new Pioneer DJ kit features CDJ-2000 Nexus 2 decks and DJM-900 mixers.
Additional new sound peripherals also include a range of Sennheiser 2000 radio mics and EM2050 dual channel receivers, Audio Technica lectern mics, DPA headset mics and more, with a full mic stands package.
Some of this will be in use at upcoming Maestra projects which will include the Cannes Film Festival, a large UK conference for Reply Exchange in Liverpool Street, London, and a worldwide touring conference for a large international corporate client.
In picture: Some of the Maestra London Team with elements of their new equipment.
24th April 2017
Polish Metal Legends on Tour With Dlive
Poland – Polish heavy metal giant, Hunter, has been touring the country carrying a dLive S Class digital mixing system by Allen & Heath.
Formed more than 30 years ago, Hunter is still writing and producing music, and regularly touring. The band’s sound engineer, Marcin "Marcel" Płoński, first tried out dLive last summer, and one of the earliest outings with the system was at the renowned Jarocin rock festival. When the band embarked on a new tour, Marcel decided to carry a Dante-enabled S3000 Surface with DM32 MixRack, supplied by Konsbud Audio. The system has completed over 30 dates since touring commenced last November.
“dLive is very easy to manage, and the surface is very clear and logical, allowing you to arrange functions for quick access to suit the individual. The most important feature of the system for me is undoubtedly the parallel compression, of which I am very fond, as well as the new Dyn8. The simple virtual sound check is another great feature," says Marcel.
24th April 2017
L-Acoustics is the Intelligent Sound Choice for Intellasound
USA – For the past 20 years, Verona, Wisconsin-based Intellasound Productions has been providing comprehensive live event production services for countless artists and corporate clients throughout the Midwest and beyond. Following an expansion project that grew its shop by 50% last year, the company has also now grown its audio equipment inventory and stepped up its production levels with a new loudspeaker package from L-Acoustics.
Intellasound’s initial investment as a new L-Acoustics rental network member comprises 24 K2 and 12 Kara enclosures, 18 KS28 subs, five LA-RAK II racks loaded with a collective total of 16 LA12X AVB-ready amplified controllers, and an assortment of rigging hardware to allow the systems to be flown and stacked in a variety of set-ups. Kerry Miller at Clearwing Productions in Milwaukee facilitated the sale of the package.
For Intellasound’s co-founders, president David Maier and vice president Tim Woodworth, the SR company’s new association as part of the French loudspeaker manufacturer’s rental network has been a long time in the making. “I remember the first time that I heard V-DOSC when it was out with Tom Petty in probably 2001,” Woodworth recalls. “It was such a smooth, crisp, clean and natural sound that was very unique for the time. So when we were looking to make a sizeable investment for our own rental inventory last year, we obviously wanted to find a system that would give us a good ROI for as long as possible. L-Acoustics’ proven history, with V-DOSC still being on riders after more than 20 years, assured us that L-Acoustics would be the right fit for us.”
Providing live event production services for everything from musical acts at festivals and theatres to corporate and political events, the Intellasound team notes that all clients seem to agree on one thing: L-Acoustics. “In our world, we need to keep up with rider demands, and L-Acoustics products are always on the top of those lists,” he continues. “What the K2 system offers us is the opportunity to make the next step up in live production. It is widely acceptable to all riders, very natural sounding, has adjustable horizontal directivity, a lot of output and a very low weight. K2 has only been out for a few years, and with the addition of the new KS28 subs and LA12X amps, we knew that this was the right time to jump on board.
“Other aspects, such as box weight, were also a factor for us. During the warmer months we are out with our Stageline mobile stages and weight is always a concern with those. And, of course, another great factor was the availability of other companies in our area having the same product for cross-rental opportunities and regional support.”
One of the most recent productions to benefit from Intellasound’s new L-Acoustics system was an April tour stop by Grammy Award-winning trumpet player Chris Botti at the University of Dubuque’s Heritage Center, where the musician was joined by the Columbus Symphony.
“As one would expect, this was a highly dynamic show with both very quiet and loud passages, and it was extremely important that people in the front didn’t think it was too loud during the loud songs, and that the last row could hear the quiet songs,” Woodworth describes. “The K2 performed flawlessly and did everything that we wanted it to. There was very little difference from the front row to the very last row, so every ticket purchaser had the same experience during the event.”
Intellasound’s new Kara enclosures have been equally well received, he reports. “We have had the Karas on multiple events and every engineer that has walked in has been excited to see them; they are small in size but still have that signature L-Acoustics sound that a lot of engineers are expecting.”
Woodworth adds that the sound quality and system efficiency are two things that all of Intellasound’s engineers and clients particularly appreciate about the new rig. “K2 and Kara create such a transparent, clean, crisp sound that is so effortless for the system, and our clients have immediately noticed the difference from the first moments of starting a song to tune the PA, which clearly tells me we’ve made the right choice.”
24th April 2017
LED Lights UK Badminton
UK - High quality and successful delivery is a standard at SLX which is why many of its customers keep returning to the company time and time again. Never resting on its laurels, SLX work closely with customers to ensure projects are never taken for granted or ever considered as just "repeat business".
The Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships 2017 at the Barclaycard International Arena, Birmingham is no different with SLX ensuring the latest, reliable and relevant equipment is deployed to guarantee success.
This year SLX supplied Badminton England with a multi-purpose lighting solution entirely comprised of LED sources. Satisfying the high demands of international competition standard conformity (specific light levels from Badminton world federation), slow motion 'hawkeye' systems, broadcast level requirements, and the very important seated audience live shows is a challenge that SLX and its team excelled at.
Reducing overall power consumption by 70%, the LED rig proved its green credentials on the five courts over the six days of competition. In all 108 fixtures were used including intelligent wash and profile fixtures and a range of high power floods. Reduction of heat was another consideration making for a much friendlier playing environment, with air management systems barred from use due to the potential effects on gameplay.
SLX lighting designer Matt Mawdsley was very impressed with the LED rig, achieving a uniform 1800 lux of high quality light across all the playing surfaces which was well received by players and broadcasters alike.
24th April 2017
Adamson S10 Hits the Right Notes with Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Performance of Hit Musical Chess
UK – A cutting edge Adamson S10 line array system supplied by pro audio specialists, The Warehouse Sound Services Ltd, hit all the right notes during a sell-out run of the smash-hit 1980s musical, Chess, at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre last month.
Students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) achieved critical acclaim after staging the West End and Broadway hit show in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The Warehouse, alongside the RCS’s sound designer, Calum Paterson and lecturer in sound, Gavin Jenkinson, developed a complex sound design for the show.
The Edinburgh run was the first time the musical theatre show had transferred from the Conservatoire’s New Athenaeum Theatre to the professional stage. It also allowed music and production students to transfer their skills to the professional stage for the first time.
The production was staged by the creative team behind the Conservatoire’s critically acclaimed productions of Cabaret and West Side Story and brought together technicians, artists, musicians and performers from across the RCS.
Professor Andrew Panton, artistic director of musical theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, commented: “Chess is by far the most technically ambitious production we’ve ever tackled and, once again, the process has been special because of the student, staff and guest creative team collaboration.”
The Warehouse has worked with the RCS for over a decade installing sound solutions for many of its live theatre and music shows. The Warehouse is the sole UK distributor for Adamson and has invested heavily in the brand believing it to provide the ultimate solution for theatres and touring shows. The Warehouse believed that Adamson would be the perfect sound solution for the run of Chess at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre.
The layout of the 2,000 capacity auditorium was the main audio challenge as the sloped stalls seating and two levels of sloped balcony seating, which wrap around all three walls. This requires a lot of vertical coverage, as sound designer Calum Paterson wanted to reach every level with the main hangs.
In order to ensure even coverage for every seat in the house, 24 Adamson S10 line array sound speakers where flown left and right of the stage. A total of 8 S119 subwoofers were also utilised to reinforce low end all powered with Lab Gruppen PLM20K44 amplifiers. A Digico SD10 mixing console was used on front of house with 24 ways Shure UHF-R radio mics for the cast and a mix of AKG, Shure, Sennheiser and DPA microphones for the 27 members of the orchestra.
Calum Paterson, sound designer for the RCS, commented: “With a 2000 seat auditorium in mind, I needed a system that would not only provide excellent coverage but one that would provide the level of performance required for modern musical theatre.
“After hearing the Adamson S10 Line Array combined with the S119 Subwoofer, I was convinced that this was the system for this show. It gave us the clarity and detail that we needed while also being able to blow our audience away. The power from the S119 Sub is nothing short of incredible and when you combine eight of them in a sub-array along the front of a stage, they really pack a punch. Exactly what we needed!
“The most impressive feature of the S10 Line Array is the clarity you receive, even at high levels, couple that with the 110 Degree horizontal coverage, it meant every seat was covered, providing an outstanding stereo image for the show.”
Derek Blair, director of the Warehouse, added: “The Adamson S10 line array system performed extremely well so much so that for the first time under balcony delay loudspeakers where not required to cover the rear stalls as the throw and coverage was so good. A few of our industry colleagues who went to see the show have contacted us since to say how well they thought the Adamson S10 performed in this situation.”
The Conservatoire, which was founded in 1847 as the Glasgow Educational Association was named as one of the world’s top three performing arts education institutions and the number one higher education institution in Scotland for graduate employability.
Gavin Jenkinson, lecturer in sound technology at the RSC, who oversaw the sound on the show said: “As line-array quality is very important, we were entering into slightly uncharted waters for us, by considering the Adamson S10 array for Chess The Musical, in the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. I had heard the system in use at an outdoor classical music concert in 2016, and had no doubt in its output and clarity.
“However, I knew using line-array in a theatre could present its challenges. With 24 Cast on Radio mics, 27 in the Orchestra, all close-miked, VT and Qlab, it was a busy show, requiring attention to detail.
“The support given by The Warehouse was excellent from initial discussion to final installation. And during the sound-checks, it became very apparent that this system would deliver Chess to the audience, with ease!”
24th April 2017
PRG XL Have a Wild Party at The Other Palace, with Lighting Designer Richard Howell and Production Manager Stuart Tucker
UK – PRG XL Video recently supported lighting designer Richard Howell and production manager Stuart Tucker, for the opening show at the newly renamed and renovated London theatre, The Other Palace. PRG XL Video account manager John Pauls worked closely with Richard, Stuart and production electrician Neil Foster to supply the lighting for The Wild Party during a seven week run in central London, between February and April.
The Wild Party is a musical theatre production adapted from a book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C Wolfe, with music and lyrics by LaChiusa, based on Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 narrative poem of the same name. The show premiered off-Broadway in 2000, before this 2017 revival at London’s newest producing theatre. The Wild Party is a frenzied celebration of twenties indulgence and debauchery, interwoven with a honey-like jazz score with an infectious ability to get under the skin, even without any memorable, individual numbers. The storyline revolves around the central character, Queenie, an ageless cabaret showgirl, and her toxic marriage to vaudeville clown, Burrs. In an attempt to revitalise their tired marriage, Burrs throws Queenie a wild party – an all-night encounter fuelled by intoxicating substances, which strains the relationships and sanity of guests and hosts alike. Henry Hitchings of the Evening Standard summed up The Wild Party as: “Gin, sin, skin and fun.”
Richard Howell discussed the initial brief of how to light the show, and how the creative team worked together to stage The Wild Party: “It was great to be teamed up with director/choreographer Drew McOnie and designer Soutra Gilmour, who I had worked with on a number of previous projects, including Jekyll and Hyde at the Old Vic. The theming of the design is well defined, being very warm and subtle for the majority of the time, with the flexibility to be harsh, exposed and even briefly unbearable when the occasion calls for it. The lighting moods follow the narrative arc of the action on stage; during the happy and seductive moments, the lighting is a very warm, tungsten look, then as the relationships between the characters begin to fall apart, it becomes brighter and more intrusive as the tensions reach boiling point.”
Richard discussed his use of tungsten fixtures, and the passion he and Soutra shared to achieve the tungsten filament lamp look, which reflected both the theme and period of The Wild Party: “I used Martin Mac TW1s a lot, as a tungsten moving light fixture they suited the brief perfectly and are a very versatile light for theatre. The rich, warm colour of the TW1 is second to none and irreplaceable for this particular project. We also had several Martin Mac Vipers, which I used for adding colour when needed, but also filtered to mimic the filament look. One light I was very keen to include in the rig was the ETC Source Four Lustr2s, it’s a phenomenal piece of kit, and the only LED fixture that would have worked as part of our design, due to the ability to colour match it with its traditional, tungsten cousin.”
Richard continued: “Underneath the eight-piece band was a canopied space, through which the actors entered and exited the stage at certain points; we covered the back wall of this space with three rows of five ETC Source Four Pars, which sat at a very low intensity for most of the show, casting a seductive glow across the stage, but were cranked up rapidly when the need to make the lighting bright and intrusive was called upon. Being aimed directly at the audience, the effect of doing this was brutal, and in complete contrast to the subtleties of the rest of the show. We did initially discuss having the entire wall made up of smaller filament lamps, but that would have been less practical to achieve and too indulgent for the budget we were working with.” What’s on Stage’s Holly Williams described The Wild Party as being: “…beautifully lit by Richard Howell, combining stagey limelight with woozy party atmospherics.”
In addition to the headline lighting products, Richard also made use of festoon lighting arranged on a circular piece of set around the entrance/exit, numerous pendent lights which hung down at random points, and Birdies as footlights around the edge of the stage. Production electrician Neil Foster commented: “The Wild Party was in essence a perfectly normal small theatre fit-up, both Richard and PRG XL Video worked with the limited space and resources available to develop a rig suitable for a complicated musical with lots of different looks, scene changes and many cast members on stage at any one point in time. The substantial prep facilities at PRG XL Longbridge were great, helping us to get everything ready before we arrived at the venue, meaning we could maximise the time we had there before going into previews.”
Richard worked with lighting programmer Vicky Brennan, they used an ETC Gio @ 5 to plot and program the show, before transferring the show file onto the theatre’s own ETC Ion lighting control console for the main run. PRG XL Video account manager John Pauls commented: “Working with The Wild Party team was a really pleasant experience, they all knew exactly what they wanted to achieve, but had a realistic approach to making it work with the products and budget available. Richard’s lighting design was absolutely perfect for the show, Neil’s vast experience of working on major theatre productions ensured the prep and fit-up went without a hitch, and Stuart is an excellent production manager; working with the team around him to help produce a technically brilliant show.”
21st April 2017
BroadWeigh provides a little something for The Weeknd
Worldwide – The Weeknd embarked on the first phase of his "Starboy Legend of the Fall" world tour in February. The Canadian musician kicked off the 46 date tour in Sweden and will stop off in some of Europe's biggest cities. The tour supports his latest studio album "Starboy" which sees the singer collaborate with the likes of Daft Punk, Lana Del Rey and Kendrick Lamar.
The tour's production manager Robert DeCeglio brought rigging company THiNC Worldwide on board to handle the rigging elements of the tour. Head rigger Chris Wilson specified the BroadWeigh system which consists of 46 active BW-S325 load cells. He explained: “A significant portion of the Starboy tour system is suspended over the audience with a dynamic load. We knew very early that having the load cells and monitoring the loads daily was going to be very important to maintain the safety of the audience, band and crew. The tour currently has 120 conventional motors that rig to the venue roof. There is a 70,000lb super grid that supports an additional 55 Tait Nav Hoists, all of which move during the show. We use the BroadWeigh system every day to balance the super grid to ensure that the loads are distributed as they were designed to be. Being wireless, the BroadWeigh system is perfect, making this process very fast and efficient."
The total weight of the Starboy tour is just over 130,000 pounds (approximately 60 tonnes) and as such receives a lot of attention from the reviewing engineers. "One of the most common questions we receive from the engineers is 'How were the weights calculated and were they calculated accounting for the dynamic loads'," said Chris. "They love hearing that the weights were verified using a load monitoring system. They love it even more when they learn we are travelling with a load cell system. Having the BroadWeigh kit on tour with us has minimized a lot of the engineering challenges."
The wireless nature of the BroadWeigh system makes it extremely fast and efficient to deploy both on touring shows and one off events. Chris loves the modularity of the system and the mapping function. Having multiple base stations and a visual map makes it quick and easy to deploy and navigate the system. This flexibility allows the rigging team to have multiple departments managing loads at the same time during installation."
Chris added: "Wireless load cell monitoring is not only growing in popularity but is growing into a must have. For the Starboy tour, preliminary loads were calculated while many of the flown elements were still being fabricated. As the elements were delivered and designs evolved, the load cells provided a level of accuracy that allowed us to make the needed adjustments to safely tour this show. It is a significant piece of mind, knowing precisely the load that each motor is receiving. We can all sleep better at night."
He concluded: "We can't say enough great things about the BroadWeigh system. It is wireless, dependable, intuitive, accurate and cost effective. BroadWeigh has developed a product that removes all the objections that we have faced in the past about using load cells. Having BroadWeigh kit on tour with us has truly become one of the best tools that we have and we use them every day."
21st April 2017
Polish Metal Legends on Tour with Dlive
Poland – Polish heavy metal giant, Hunter, has been touring the country carrying a dLive S Class digital mixing system by Allen & Heath.
Formed more than 30 years ago, Hunter is still writing and producing music, and regularly touring. The band’s sound engineer, Marcin "Marcel" Płoński, first tried out dLive last summer, and one of the earliest outings with the system was at the renowned Jarocin rock festival. When the band embarked on a new tour, Marcel decided to carry a Dante-enabled S3000 surface with DM32 MixRack, supplied by Konsbud Audio. The system has completed over 30 dates since touring commenced last November.
“dLive is very easy to manage, and the surface is very clear and logical, allowing you to arrange functions for quick access to suit the individual. The most important feature of the system for me is undoubtedly the parallel compression, of which I am very fond, as well as the new Dyn8. The simple virtual sound check is another great feature," says Marcel.
21st April 2017
Soundbag invests in L-Acoustics K2
Italy – Italian dry hire company, Soundbag, has recently taken delivery of a substantial K-Standard L-Acoustics K2 system, adding to its existing stock of ARCS WiFo.
Owned by Francesco Trentin and formed in June last year, Soundbag is a subsidiary of Business Made Srl, which made the original L-Acoustics investment. The new company offers a dry hire service for professional audio and lighting products for the entertainment markets, including concert touring, theaters, conventions, sport events and temporary installations.
“We started Soundbag because we saw a real need for a dry hire solution in the Italian market and we wanted to have a facility that is completely focused on audio,” says Francesco. “We knew that we would need to offer the very best audio solutions and, as far as we are concerned, that is L-Acoustics. We had purchased an Arcs WiFo system two years ago for Business Made and it has worked extremely well for us, so when the opportunity to make a further investment in K2 arose, we were certain it was the right addition to our inventory.”
As Soundbag provides a dedicated dry hire solution, the company needed a system that is substantial enough to support big events, but that can also be reduced in size for those companies that require smaller systems.
“Before we made our final decision, we met with L-Acoustics’ Tim McCall, who explained the advantages and business potential we could develop with K2 on an international basis,” Francesco continues. “We purchased the system with the valuable assistance of SISME – L-Acoustics distributor for Italy – who also oversaw the system training for our engineers.”
Soundbag’s K-Standard K2 system comprises 36 K2, 24 KS28, 12 K1SB, eight LA-RAK II, 24 LA12X amplifiers, plus associated rigging, accessories and cables.
“Since the financial crisis, funding and finance for rental companies in Italy has proven difficult,” comments Tim McCall. “But there is a very strong demand for high quality, flexible and industry-standard equipment in the market. With Soundbag, our growing Italian network can now supplement its existing L-Acoustics systems with the latest standard of K2 system, which benefits from the incredible low frequency performance of the KS28 sub and the flexibility of the LA-RAKII.
“L-Acoustics system training is now also available in Italy (and Italian) through SISME, so that engineers and rental companies can ensure they have the requisite knowledge and skills to get the best from this and all our systems.”
Since its acquisition, Soundbag has seen a good uptake for its K2 system.
“We are very happy with our purchase on both the technical and commercial sides,” Francesco concludes. “K2 is the best system in the world and being able to supply it gives us a real edge both in Italy and further afield.”
21st April 2017
Bandit Illuminates Andy Wood at Bijou Theatre
USA – Guitarist and mandolin player Andy Wood recently gave a special performance at the historic Bijou Theatre with a lighting package provided by Bandit Lites. The special, one-night only show was recorded and featured guest performances by fiddler Brian Arrowood, singer-songwriter Kendra Chantelle, bassist Todd Parks, musician Travis Toy and Ben Lacy.
While Wood had been playing mandolin since the age of five, winning the World Championship Mandolin championship at the age of 16, Wood picked up an electric guitar as a teenager, only to find himself beating 3,400 guitarists at the Guitar Center Guitarmageddon contest at 22. Over a decade later, Wood has performed with Rascal Flatts, Sebastian Bach, and formed his own band, in addition to releasing a double album in 2015, Caught Between the Truth & a Lie.
Using Bandit supplied VL 2500s, Martin Atomic Strobes, Bandit’s exclusive GRNLite moving washes and GRNLite pars and Source Four Lekos, lighting designer Alex Becker fashioned a powerful lighting presence for the acclaimed musician.
“As I was listening to Andy’s music, there were points where I thought the strobes would work well, such as hard drum hits,” said Becker. “I used the VL 2500 as a pattern wash and to create big beamy looks, while the GRNLite pars provided back light and GRNLite moving washes were used to light the audience during certain points during the night, along with creating more movement on top of the VL 2500.”
With Bandit being well versed in providing lighting at the Bijou Theatre, Bandit knew how to work with the 600 pound limit on the house’s line sets, placing everything that is usually hung on battens into four truss towers placed upstage of the performers.
“Another challenge that I ran into the day of show was balancing the LED fixtures with the video, so that the looks translated both on stage and on camera,” said Becker. “After tweaking the focus and intensity, both I and the video director were happy with the look the audience was seeing and what was being seen on camera.”
"When Andy called, I told him Bandit was happy to be on board,” said Bandit production manager Allison Burchett. “We consider Andy Bandit Family, as both he and Travis (Toy) play with Rascal Flatts who have been Bandit clients for several years. Andy had an all-star line-up of both musicians and crew, with his FoH being Turbo from Lo' Cash, his current band, and a couple guys from Sam Bush's band, who we work with frequently at Blackberry Farm. It felt like one big family reunion of a bunch of extremely talented folks. We were thrilled to be a part of it, and I can't wait to see the video.”
“With the limited time we had the day of the show, I was very happy with the way the show turned out, and it couldn't have been done without the help from my fellow bandits Chuck Hastings and Jamie Sullivan,” concluded Becker.
20th April 2017
Meyer Sound Leo Family Boosts Ed Sheeran's Solo Global Conquest
Worldwide – With his effervescent hit "Shape of You" topping the charts across dozens of countries, Ed Sheeran continues to single-handedly conquer the world of pop music. Now in the midst of a three-continent, 108-show ÷ ("Divide") Tour, Sheeran takes to a stage unaccompanied by bands, backup singers, dancers or orchestras. Supported only by his acoustic guitar and a custom loop pedal, Sheeran relies solely on his infectious music and an innocently electrifying persona to sell out cavernous A-level arenas months in advance.
Though working solo on stage, Sheeran is ably supported by an off stage crew headed by production manager and FoH engineer Chris Marsh, who has held both posts since the earliest arena-touring days. Also on board, at Marsh's behest and for the fifth consecutive year, is a Meyer Sound Leo Family linear reinforcement system supplied by UK-based Major Tom, Ltd.
"Ed pretty much entrusted production to me since the beginning of our relationship," says Marsh, "and one thing that we've proven over the past four years is that the Meyer Sound Leo Family is the way forward."
As FoH engineer, Marsh depends on the system's long throw and uniform response. "Consistency is absolutely key with Ed, and with the Meyer system I am entirely confident it will sound the same everywhere. For example, in Barcelona, where it was a 105-metre throw to the back seats, it sounded the same there as at front of house."
Wearing his production manager hat, Marsh also appreciates how Leo Family's rigging accommodates the tour's up-tempo schedule: "My guys load in the PA and it's up and out of the way inside an hour, and it's loaded and on its way in 40 minutes."
In most respects the main Meyer Sound system is similar to past tours, with a couple exceptions to deal with managing bass frequencies.
"As production manager, I was able to specify a stage only 40-feet wide," he says. "That's plenty of room for Ed, but it gave us space to place end fire arrays with three by three stacks of 1100-LFC [low-frequency control elements] at either end. With Ed, I need frequencies around 50Hz to be really punchy and uniform everywhere, and this design works extremely well with the 1100-LFC. They are fast and responsive where some other subs can get slow and 'phasey' in that region."
Another departure for this tour is running the main arrays full range, rather than splitting bass off into a separate aux send. "I've discovered that letting the Leo boxes go all the way down really assists in delivering a tighter low end consistently around the auditorium."
The tour's typical configuration comprises twin front line arrays of 14 Leo loudspeakers flown over four Lyon loudspeakers, with extended wide-angle coverage provided by – per side – 16 Milo line array loudspeakers and eight Leopard compact linear line array loudspeakers. Twelve flown 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements supplement the 18 in the end-fire floor arrays, and eight UPA-1P loudspeakers supply front fill. The rig is optimised before each show by Major Tom system engineer Charley Alvin, another veteran of multiple Sheeran tours.
Foldback on stage is via MJF-212A stage monitors augmented by two 900-LFC low-frequency control units, while at FoH Marsh listens in the nearfield with a pair of Amie monitors.
Although the relatively new Leopard arrays play a secondary role in the current arena tour, Marsh has found them a welcome addition. "I'm blown away by what comes out of such a little box," he remarks. "Last year we did private charity shows with Ed in smaller, conference hall venues using Leopard as the mains in ground-stacks. They were phenomenal, and perfectly matched to the 900-LFC."
At FoH, Marsh mixes behind a DiGiCo SD7 console supplemented by an Avalon VT-737 input channel for vocal plus a pair of Bricasti M7 reverb units, one each for vocal and guitar. Ed's primary vocal mic is a Sennheiser 9000 Series with a 9235 condenser capsule, while a secondary 9000 mic – expressly for vocal loop-building – is equipped with a 945 dynamic capsule.
Working with Sheeran has been a dizzying ascent for Marsh, a situation he finds gratifying if somewhat perplexing. "I'm still impressed every day that we're selling out these huge venues," he says, "but we don't take it for granted. We are trying our best to give audiences the same exciting and intimate-feeling experience as when Ed was still out trying to prove himself. We have that same energy, though now it's not trying to impress people but rather demonstrate that they were right to be impressed in the first place."
The ÷ Tour launched in Turin, Italy on 16th March and, after winding across Europe (34 shows), Latin America (14) and North America (60), finally wraps up, barring extensions, in Nashville on 7th October.
20th April 2017
Trime lights up for Event Crew
UK – Events Crew, the Somerset-based event support and service provider, has extended its range of equipment with the recent purchase of a fleet of Trime lighting towers. The company has opted for the Trime X-Eco LED product which will be used to provide bright, safe lighting on a multitude of event applications throughout the country.
Events Crew was particularly drawn to the X-Eco’s LED lamps which combine a brilliant light spread with energy efficiency. The company was also impressed with the X-Eco’s simple manoeuvrability, enabling their site staff to operate and manage the unit remotely, saving time and manpower, which is particularly relevant on early morning starts.
Commenting on this latest investment, Brent Mitchell, managing director of Events Crew said: “I was instantly impressed with the Trime X-Eco units, in my opinion there has been more attention to detail on the Trime units then there has been on previously used units.”
Brent continued: “The Trime unit has made it easier to set up, and for a business like ours who transport a number of lighting sets around the country at once, the smaller size makes it easier to fit more onto transport, making them cost effective not only to run, but also to transport.”
“The Trime support has been first class and we look forward to many more years of using our Trime lights,” added Brent.
The X-Eco LED has been manufactured specifically for both the event and construction markets and has a series of safety and environmental features that brings significant benefits to the operator, the owner and the wider geographical area.
Operators will capitalise on energy savings, longer run times between refuelling, instant bright light and the built-in auto start/stop light sensor. Safety is heightened by the X-Eco AMOSS safety system, which automatically lowers the mast if the lighting set is moved whilst the mast is still erected.
Events Crew is primarily an event support and service provider, initially involved in supporting outdoor sporting events. Over time the company has developed its services and now they provide a complete solution for an event manager regarding their infrastructure, logistics, power, lighting and more.
Trime is a new company with significant experience in the lighting tower market. The company is headed by technical director, Andrea Fontanella and the UK operations are managed by Paul Hay. The CEO of the Trime Group is Ray Caulfield. Andrea, Paul and Ray bring together 50 years of experience in developing and marketing environmentally sustainable lighting sets for the construction and event markets. The Trime manufacturing plant is based in Cassinetta di Lugagnano, near Milan and Trime UK is situated in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
20th April 2017
Creative BackStage Lights Legendary Bands with Chauvet Professional at Ostrich Festival
USA – Back in the late 19th century, chic women wore hats with huge plumes of feathers. To meet the demand for this fashionable flourish, the enterprising citizens of Chandler, Arizona turned their town into a thriving ostrich farm centre. Eventually, the rise of the open air automobile blew the lid off the fancy hat business, leading most of those farms to close, but the world’s largest bird lives on in the town, thanks to its annual Ostrich Festival.
A crowd of over 250,000 typically turns out for the festival, which has been held every year since 1989, to enjoy games, rides, ostrich races and evening concerts by big name stars. This year’s event, which was produced by Steve LeVine Entertainment for the City of Chandler Chamber of Commerce, was no exception. Legends like Gin Blossoms, Spin Doctors, Los Lobos, Eddie Money and Starship with Mickey Thomas performed on stage, illuminated by an all-LED rig of Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Creative BackStage.
“This is about the ninth time we’ve lit this festival, which is a source of pride for us, because it’s in our hometown,” said Creative BackStage owner John Garberson, who designed the rig. “Unlike in previous years, this year we went with all-LED fixtures, which made the rig very easy to set and strike.”
Garberson used 24 Rogue R2 Wash fixtures, eight Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures and four Strike 4 multi-formatted fixtures on the festival’s main stage. The collective output of these fixtures created a “lightbox effect” on the rectangular stage, which was open on the sides and back, save for backdrop scenic elements.
“We relied on the output of our fixtures to help define the stage and focus attention on the artists,” said Garberson. “There were a lot of nice bright back washes and side lighting throughout the festival to fill in space. We also used audience lighting to engage the crowd.”
Providing the bulk of that audience lighting were the four Strike 4 warm white fixtures that Garberson flew on downstage truss. Also on downstage truss directly below the Strike 4 units were 12 of the Rogue R2 Wash fixtures, which were used for washing the lip of the stage and the crowd in the front row.
To add depth and texture to the stage, Garberson positioned six Rogue R2 Wash fixtures and four Maverick MK2 Spots on mid-stage truss. He used the same fixture assortment on the upstage truss, but configured the units differently. At mid-stage, two of the three fixtures on either end of the truss were Mavericks, whereas at upstage, two of the three were Rogues.
Alternating the fixture configuration slightly gave Garberson more flexibility to create different looks during the festival. “Any time you do an event like this, with a variety of artists, you want to be able to change things up,” he said. “We did a lot of spotting of individual performers during this festival; the tight zoom of the fixtures helped. We also mixed spots and washes in different ways to convey different personalities on stage. My lighting programmer Matthew Berg did an excellent job keeping up. We’re happy with the response our lighting and the festival itself received. People are very exciting to be here during the event.”
So, while the ostrich may no longer be a factor in the local economy, the festival named in its honour is definitely a feather in Chandler, Arizona’s cap.
20th April 2017
DiGiCo SD10s tour the world with Biffy Clyro
USA – Having completed a hugely successful tour at the end of last year, Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro are on their way to the US. Both front of house engineer Jonny Lucas and Dan Speed on monitors rely on the power of DiGiCo SD10s for their mixing requirements. They deploy three separate rigs around the world, with two duplicate systems which includes, in some instances, the more compact SD10-24. For the 2016 UK tour, all audio requirements were supplied by Skan PA Hire.
Jonny has been working with Biffy Clyro for almost a decade. “I did my first show with them supporting The Who at Marlay Park in Dublin in June 2007,” he recalls. “There was no sound check and only a 20-minute changeover. It was a baptism of fire!”
This intense introduction has, no doubt, prepared him for the band’s continually hectic schedule. His use of DiGiCo consoles has given him the reliability he needs, helped him refine his workflow and allowed for a relaxed approach to his front of house duties, a welcome adjunct given the scale of the shows he is working on – the band is well-known for packing out arena and stadium sized venues, including London’s The O2 at the end of the UK tour.
“DiGiCo is renowned for its support and the stability of its consoles,” he says. “I like the workflow and flexibility they give me, as well as the ease of integration for MADI with Waves servers and multi-track record/virtual sound check facilities. I used an SD9 as my first touring DiGiCo on a theatre run I did while the boys were recording their current album, Ellipsis. I had it triggering scenes from timecode and mixing nine sets of IEMs from FoH with minimal prep time and it was great. Ideally, I would have liked to have used an SD5 for the 2016 tour, but budgetary restrictions meant the SD10 was the best option, and it’s been great.
“Dan and I use the gain tracking facility with up to 72 inputs from stage. There are several output configurations which can involve L/R/Sub, either analogue or AES, and incorporate up to 14 sub-mixed stems for broadcast feeds in various scenarios.”
Jonny finds Macros a particularly useful feature and has them programmed to switch gain tracking on or off, switch groups of input channels to ALT input, change the view, save or switch fader positions on extra vocals, etc.
“I use the notes window on my overview screen for my scenes to remind me what is scoped, when there’s a mute state change or fader ride that needs attention,” he says. “This is also useful if the boys have a vocal position swap planned. Copy audio/listen to copied audio makes virtual sound check recording and playback super easy. And the console’s offline facility has saved me a couple of times when I’ve doubted the saved state of a scene I’m about to fire, or some news comes in over comms that changes the outlook.
“The ability to take the console offline, fire a scene, edit and store the scene and return to audio while the show is in full flow is also really useful. I’ll be honest, it still raises my heart rate if it’s ever necessary, but it’s not caused any issues so far.”
Jonny’s SD10 is running on DiGiCo’s Stealth Core 2 software upgrade.
“I hadn’t quite maxed out the previous version, but now I don’t need to think about how much processing is left with Dynamic EQ, multi-band comps, etc. it is available everywhere,” he smiles. “I also prefer the flattened appearance of the GUI. I haven’t tried it yet but, in theory, itmeans I could mix our show on an SD11, although I like having the number of faders there are available on the SD10.”
Jonny also appreciates the support he gets from both DiGiCo and Skan.
“From the demo room in at HQ in Chessington to telephone support on the road, DiGiCo’s support is always good. And we know there’s always someone available on the phone at Skan, so between Skan and DiGiCo, any issues are always dealt with swiftly. We’re all very happy with our console choice and haven’t looked back since we changed to using them.”
Biffy Clyro’s US tour runs from the end of March to the end of May 2017.
photos: Lee Allen
20th April 2017
Production value from Elation rig on 2017 Tesla Tour
USA – American heavy rock band Tesla has cultivated a loyal fan base over the last 30 years, playing an unpretentious, blue-collar style of music that hard rock audiences love. For an ongoing tour that started in January, band lighting designer and creative director Ignacio “Iggy” Rosenberg is using an Elation rig to complement the band’s big rock sound and surprising (to some) long list of hits.
“The main thing was they were venturing into having more of a production for the first time in years, so we were trying to be cautious about spending too much, but also giving them as much of a show as we could,” commented Iggy, who has been working with the band for the past three years. “This was a great tour to understand the concept of providing something that was inexpensive, but not cheap.”
Working from a short production timeline, Iggy chose Platinum FLX hybrid moving heads, ACL 360 Matrix LED moving head panels and Protron 3K Color strobes to light the show, along with other gear. “They’re a straight up rock band, so much of the lighting tends to follow the drive of their songs,” he says. “That being said, the more they saw and liked, the more freedom they gave me to keep pushing things. They’re a fantastic group of guys and definitely know what they don’t like or don’t want to see.”
What the band does like are the high impact looks from Platinum FLX hybrid movers that Iggy has located about seven feet off the ground on amp carts. “They really have been a surprise since I had never seen them before,” the LD says of the 20,000-lumen multi-functional fixture that can operate as a beam, spot or wash light. “I think they are incredible lights. I am really happy with the light quality coming out of them and they have a really crisp beam and flat field of light.”
Teamed with the Platinum FLX fixtures on the amp carts are Protron Color LED strobes, which have a varying role in the show. “I pick the moments when I want impact,” Iggy says. “I don’t want to abuse the audience the full show and exhaust them so they live in a pocket at 25% most of the show as a set piece. They just glow with some colour to fill in the negative space and tie in the flown rig with the floor lights. But then they pop up at full intensity as blinders and strobe every now and then.”
Located behind a rather expansive drum kit on riser boxes along with some of the Protron strobes are Elation ACL 360 Matrix LED moving head panels, which the LD says he uses more as a set piece than lighting. “We couldn’t pixel-map them because of the fast turnaround, but it’s in the books for the future,” he explains. “They produce these nice fat beams and fill out a lot of the space in between.”
Supplying the Elation gear for Tesla’s shows is production services company Sure Sound & Lighting of Grand Island, Nebraska, whose Larry Suhr and Jeremy Wann the LD thanks “for putting up with my endless demands.” Tesla will be playing dates across North America through the rest of the year.
19th April 2017
Robe for The Young Renegades
Europe – Boston, Massachusetts-based lighting designer Jeff Maker once again chose Robe as his main moving lights for the most recent UK and European tour for US rockers All Time Low which was a teaser for their upcoming “Last Young Renegade” album release, scheduled for 2nd June.
The band combine their high-energy, in-the-face mix of gritty pop punk rock with a relentlessly busy touring schedule and are renowned for their live performances. Europe is an ever popular destination and on this tour they played a whole range of venues encompassing academies, town halls and arenas.
Lighting was supplied by Zig Zag Lighting from Leeds, UK. Prominent on the rig were 15 Robe Spiider wash beams, part of a batch newly purchased by the rental company for this tour, together with other Robe luminaires like BMFL Spots, Pointes and CycFX 8s.
Jeff has lit All Time Low for eight years, so he wanted this design to look totally different from anything that they have done in the past, and decided that some interesting truss architecture was the way to go.
One inspiration for developing the stage environment and look was the new album. Also, eight years of experience in knowing what the band like aesthetically helped inform the initial ideas that were presented to lead singer Alex Gaskarth, who enjoys being involved in the stage design process.
Jeff sent his renderings to Alex together with a series of video links to some of the products he wanted to use.
He’d already heard through the LD grapevine that the Spiider was an awesome light, and was very keen to use some on the tour!
Alex studied the videos and other materials and was particularly impressed with the Robe Spiider, which sold him on Jeff’s idea that these should form a central feature upstage.
Jeff then modified this centrepiece from a circular structure into a pentagon shape to give it more of an edge. It was flown and measured at 3.5 meters wide by 3.5 meters high.
Either side of this, above and below, were four 4.5 metre truss sections arranged in an X shape, two flown and two partially flown / ground supported. All of these and the pentagon were suspended from black painted truss which made it look like they were floating in mid-air.
The structural elements were completed with a triangular truss piece flown midstage with a slight rake that provided further lighting positions.
Ten Spiiders were arranged around the pentagon with five in the centre, positioning them right at the core of the show. They produced high-impact beams and Jeff also made expressive use of the pixel mapping capabilities which allow ring and pattern effects, all of them used for pulling the audience into the action plus comprehensively washing the stage.
The Spiiders were utilised in all 18 songs in the set and Jeff by no means exhausted the possibilities!
Now that he’s used them for this and has realised their full live show potential, he’s also keen to do the same on future projects. “I really liked the fact that a Spiider's appearance can be made to look like five different fixtures,” he commented, “I absolutely love them!”
The 18 BMFLs were deployed as three each of the four X trusses, with the other six on the floor downstage left and right. “They were the workhorses of the show because they are so blisteringly bright,” enthused Jeff!
Their hard edges and potent beams contrasted and complemented the Spiiders and the incredible BMFL intensity reinforced the rambunctiousness and attitude of the band’s incendiary shows.
The 16 Pointes were all rigged on the trussing triangle and used for additional beams as well as to augment and support the BMFLs.
Six Robe CycFX 8s highlighted two vertical drops that framed the stage, printed with the instantly recognisable ‘eye’ of the ATL logo. As the main back line across the stage was open, the CycFX 8s were also able to blast through the gap, creating more depth and highlighting the trussing art.
Jeff programmed and ran the lights using an Avolites Sapphire Touch console with Titan 10.0 software.
The main design challenge was creating something that was scalable and versatile enough to be optimised in a number of different configurations to suit the varying size of rooms to ensure that Jeff could always deliver the right show. He also needed the capacity to ensure that the new album songs could have stand-out moments in the show.
Everyone was pleased with the results and reactions on this highly successful short burst of live activity which underlines a hectic year ahead!
photos: Louise Stickland
19th April 2017
Robe Helps Slovenia on its Way to Eurovision
Ukraine – It is Eurovision selection season, and one of the 43 hopefuls for this year’s event in Kiev in May is Slovenia’s Omar Naber whose song “On My Way” was chosen at a spectacular Eurovision Melody (EMA – Evrovizijska MelodijA) show staged in Hall A2 of the Gospodarsko Razstavisce exhibition centre in Ljubljana.
A stunning lighting design by Crt Birsa amazed audiences – both on screen and live – for which Crt utilised over 200 Robe fixtures on the rig including Spiiders, BMFL Blades, Pointes, MMX WashBeams, Squares, LEDBeam 100s, PARFect 100s, CycFX 8s, LEDWash 600s, ColorSpot 1200E ATs and a single Robin 600E Spot, all supplied to the show by Slovenia’s largest rental company, Event Lighting.
Crt worked closely with set designer Greta Godnic to create a striking visual environment for this high profile show, which was broadcast live on Slovenian national TV in 3 parts – two semi-finals and a grand finale – each attended by a live audience of around 1000.
Crt is one of the country’s leading LDs and gets involved in many of RTV’s (Slovenian National TV) largest and more complex shows. When Greta and Crt were initiating the designs, they wanted to involve the whole room in the show rather than separating the stage and set from the venue. One big harmonious performance space was a key aesthetic goal.
Then there had to be enough variety on the lighting rig to create unique settings for each artist. For Crt, once the overall design was in place, the programming process started by familiarising himself with the music for each performer, then drawing up some basic atmospheric instructions. These were pondered for a day or so, after which an intense period of programming started.
With this show, while there was a reasonable amount of time on site, that is never enough, so Crt did plenty of previsualisation, allowing him to come to the expo centre prepared with most of the basic lighting building blocks. Then it was a case of finessing, which can be an long, drawn-out process.
The imposing set comprised three giant grey industrial style crosses each side of stage that resembled huge hammers laid on their sides.
Far upstage was a 40 by eight metre grey scenic projection mesh with a number of lights hidden behind, including Sunstrips and LEDBeam 100s, and this was fed with images from four high powered projectors.
Fourteen BMFL Blades were right at the core of the rig, two used as followspots, controlled via the TV lighting operators’ console, positioned on towers at the back of the Hall.
Four of the remaining 12 BMFL Blades provided centre-back for the cameras and eight on the floor upstage for those huge beamy looks, strong contra-lighting and nice gobo effects into the cameras.
Crt’s many comments on the BMFL Blades include: “The dimming is very precise” and “the blades [shutters] are incredibly useful”. He utilised them to isolate and treat parts of the stage and to strategically limit the backlight for some looks. “The fixture is very bright, the zoom angle is great; actually it is nonsense to talk about ‘good’ features on the BMFL, because everything is exactly where it should be – everything is excellent”.
Twenty-four MMX WashBeams were on the front trusses and also under the control of the National TV operators. They were picked due to the blades and positioned as they were, could light both the stage and the green room areas immediately in front of it.
Crt likes the fact that BMFL and MMX are compatible in colours and CT, so it’s very easy to combine the two sources. While they mixed a bit of CTO into the whites for the faces, they were able to drop the colour temperature, so the backlight colours looked exactly as they wanted on camera.
The 36 Pointes were the main show effects lights. The trussing design formed three main diagonally orientated squares (like the diamond in a pack of cards) with 16 Pointes in the outer squares and eight on the inner one which they dubbed ‘the chandelier’ due to it having the greatest concentration of lights. The other 12 were around the front and to the sides of the stage.
“As the main FX lights, as always, Pointes did a fantastic job and I didn’t run out of options,” enthuses Crt!
Twenty Spiiders also made their presence felt. Sixteen Spiiders formed the middle square and were used as secondary effects lights. Usually Crt combined them with LEDBeam 100s and Squares. The other four were used to wash the venue ceiling with colours to match the set. Crt was pleased that he decided to group the fixture types together and this, his first experience with Spiiders, exceeded his expectations!
“It’s a great LED wash – fast with nice saturated colours, and if playing with the sub-elements like circles and pixels is not enough, you can turn on the flower effect in the middle and have a whole new array of eye-candy!”
He commented that having them right in the middle of the rig enabled a break-up of the beam looks and enabled a more intimate style of lighting that brought a completely different mood. “They are truly multi-functional,” he stated.
Continuing on the LEDWash theme, 22 LEDWash 600s were on the rig, 14 dedicated to keeping the audience lit and coloured at all times, divided evenly down each side of the venue. Six more were hung on the inner two squares and used to illuminate the prominent structural pillars in the centre of the Hall, while the other two assisted the Spiiders with the ceiling wash.
A total of 31 little LEDBeam 100s made their presence felt! Sixteen formed a 4x4 matrix right in the centre of the lighting rig. They produced a really cool wide shard of light right at the epicentre.
Fifteen LEDBeam 100s were concealed behind the projection mesh at the back in a three wide by five high formation. Staying mostly hidden, they made massive impact when fired up and flashed. These were Crt’s "secret weapon" effects lights, and made up the third element of show effects lighting.
The LEDBeam 100 has long been a favourite in Crt’s design toolbox. Being very close together on this show, the ones in the centre worked really well as one large multi-point source.
The set was painted in a medium grey shade, a strategy Crt and Greta decided on to allow the scenic elements to be smoothly and beautifully illuminated in any colour.
The 32 PARFect 100s fitted with 10 and 20 degree lenses were instrumental in this role, positioned anywhere a compact LED fixture could be squeezed in: in the pillars and all over the floor. They were used in conjunction with the 12 CycFX 8s, six of which were under the stage at the front, carefully applied to give the impression that the stage was floating in the air! The other six lit the inner surfaces of the large pillars.
When Crt and Greta were evolving the look of the show, they already had the CycFX 8 in mind as lighting tools.
Four Robe Squares were rigged between the eight Pointes in the inner trussing square, positioned in close proximity to each other to accentuate their role as a centrepiece and they looked particularly good combined with the pixels of the LEDBeam 100s and Spiiders. Crt likes the effect of the Robe Squares on camera and also the pixel effects. “They were made for cameras,” he comments.
Eight out of 16 ColorSpot 1200E ATs were rigged above the stage for performer backlight, with another eight on the other side of the hall to backlight the Green Room and colour this area between the songs, matching to the colours of the audience and the set.
A single 600E Spot was rigged centre-back for rear silhouetting performers.
Crt ran the lighting on a Chamsys console. He had to programme for 26 live performances and create a wide range of general and signature looks for the show to help with atmospheric tasks like ramping up the tension when awaiting the results, razzamatazz for the winner announcement, plus looks for all the ad breaks, stings, jingles and other sound, vision and time fillers used during the broadcast.
The biggest challenges were ensuring that the show replicated the design visualisations exactly, and a huge amount of accuracy was necessary when building the set and installing the lighting rig. Everything had to be symmetrical and in the right place. In some places, set elements and the lights were very close together, so a few millimetres out and the set could have blocked lighting positions, etc.
Den Baruca created the video content for most performers, with a few providing their own, and Crt enjoyed working with Event Lighting and their crew, chiefed by Uros Faganelj. “They are one of the best lighting rental companies in Slovenia, and did a great job! Everything ran smoothly over the three week period, and their team has all the technical knowledge needed to do this complex job.”
Event Lighting’s large stock of Robe kit has been supplied by Slovenian distributor, MK Light Sound d.o.o.
photos: Crt Birsa and Jani Ugrin (RTV SLO)
18th April 2017
Hunter Hayes Hits the Road with Bandit Lites
USA – Five-time GRAMMY nominee and multi-instrumentalist Hunter Hayes is kicking off Spring 2017 by bringing his impeccable musicianship and hit sound to audiences across the nation with a lighting package provided by Bandit Lites. Hayes is best known for his three No. 1 hits, including the multi-Platinum single “Wanted,” double-Platinum “I Want Crazy” and “Somebody’s Heartbreak,” and recently release three new songs from his highly anticipated forthcoming studio album including “Amen,” “Young Blood” and “Yesterday’s Song,” which has already crossed more than ten million streams on Spotify.
Lighting designer Mike Marcario noted he and Hayes both share a love of lighting, which resulted in a close collaboration to craft a bold lighting production that would be unique and thematic to Hayes’s vision, while still allowing for trailer space, various design integrations and power draws.
“The lighting package needs to be used consistently whether we are playing an arena or a club,” explained production manager Todd Wines. “With all these considerations, Hunter and Mike have done most of the design work, and I do the facilitating: making sure their vision is realised every day.”
“We are limited by a fixed amount of space and weight for lighting in our trailers, and the prep team and Todd approached every situation trying to be as mindful of that as possible, even down to building custom cable to cut down on the amount of adapters I would be carrying,” said Marcario.
The result was a dynamic design consisting of eight pipes arranged in an arc around the stage, with half the pipes in bases fixed at 30 degree angles and turned 45 degrees on stage, and the other half hanging from house truss upstage. Four of the pipes are fitted out with GLP X4S and Phillips Nitro 510C fixtures, allowing Marcario the ability to both wash the stage and throw big beam looks from the same location. The other four pipes contain Chauvet Rogue R1 FX-B and Phillips Nitro 510C fixtures, while Chauvet Rogue RH1 Hybrids fill upstage gaps on the ground.
“Hunter and I saw the Rogue RH1 Hybrids at a show last year, and I loved the looks I was able to get with them,” said Marcario. “These have truly become my workhorse: feature packed, bright, low power draw and versatile. Amazingly, all of this fits into a small space when packed, but gets a truly huge look on stage.”
In addition to providing the gear for the tour, Bandit also prides itself on supplying the industry’s best people in support and service, an element that Marcario refers to as ‘the most important aspect of a touring production.’
“Bandit’s staff, from top to bottom, has been top notch,” he said. “They found an email in their inboxes at the start of business on a Monday morning saying our rental was confirmed, and by the end of that day, I had power to, and was communicating from the console to my entire rig. Turnaround time like that is remarkable.”
Bandit’s team was also instrumental in providing a solution to how to efficiently and safely hang the four pipes from each venue’s truss, as the angle varied based on the proximity of the venue’s back wall/curtain and fixtures on the truss.
“Thanks to the knowledge of the shop staff and some experimentation, this process went much better and faster than I thought it would,” Marcario adding: “as always, Bandit’s shop and prep team continue to be the best I have ever worked with.”
Marcario was also able to utilise Bandit’s spacious on-site rehearsal facility, Venue One, for programming, saving time and resources before the tour hit the road.
Bandit’s business development officer, Brent Barrett, grew to know Marcario through Bandit’s partnership with Belmont University’s Showcase Series, and in addition to enjoying the fact Marcario joined the lighting side of production, Barrett found himself impressed with Marcario’s creativity, positive attitude and approach.
“When we began looking for vendor options, Mike suggested Bandit, and once I spoke with Brent Barrett, we instantly had a connection beyond the gig,” said Wines. “I’ve really enjoyed working with him, even beyond the lighting parts of it, and I am very impressed with his understanding of the way the tour needs to operate. I know I can depend on Bandit which takes a lot of strain off of me in my daily duties as PM, it’s one less thing for me to think about.”
“Todd and I seemed to be on the same page concerning client/vendor relationships from the start, which has proved very positive in our business dealings,” said Barrett. “I am appreciative of the opportunity to further develop our relationships with both Mike and Todd.”
“Bandit was willing to work with us to achieve both financial and production goals, it’s been exciting to work with these guys because I feel like it is more of a partnership where we both benefit,” concluded Wines.
“Brent Barrett is a long-time friend and mentor, and it’s always a treat to work with him,” echoed Marcario. “Bandit’s project manager Jimmy Hatten, technical service director Jake Tickle and his team, general manager Mark Steinwachs, along with Aaron Swetland and Andy French in the shop made this rig happen and I’m thankful for their experience, advisement, and continued support for us on the road.”
18th April 2017
Brandon Baruch Dramatizes Bataré Tour with Chauvet Professional
USA – When Brandon Baruch first heard from a friend about Nick Wylie’s plans to produce the Bataré tour, he realised pretty quickly that this innovative show was something he would like to light. “I tend to gravitate towards projects that require an unconventional design approach,” he said. “So when Nick told me the concept of the piece, I was immediately drawn in by the fusion of styles and genres. I was also intrigued to learn there was a narrative arc for the performers, because it speaks to my theatre background as well.”
After an exciting meeting with Wylie of Testu Productions, Baruch got his wish. Designing for the current Bataré tour, he has skillfuly conveyed the emotional flow of this multi-faceted acrobatic Taiko rock show with a colourful and flexible lighting design, using a collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Kinetic Lighting.
It’s a really fun production. There are many elements that feel typical to a modern rock show, but I get just as excited by the solo Taiko interstitial sequences, because they carry historical and traditional significance,” said Baruch. “The first time I stepped into a rehearsal room with all the drums, I quickly realised that each drum has a very distinct personality. I try to respect that in my design. From a lighting perspective, my design ricochets between high-octane rock-and-roll and subtler theatrical gestures that support the storytelling of the drums. So my rig was put together with flexibility in mind.”
Baruch uses nine COLORado 1-Quad Tour fixtures, as well as four Rogue R1 Washes and three Rogue R2 Spots, in his rig. The quick color changing capability of these fixtures plays a crucial role in his flexible design.
“I use colour to accent the changing moods that characterise the performance,” he said. “I believe context is everything, so having good whites and pastels is as important, if not more so, than having crisp, saturated colours. The COLORados have given me great options for both. For this design, I keep my whites balanced between 3500K and 5000K. The warmer tone simulates an incandescent glow, which feels more honest for the traditional moments. Then when I blast into rich colours, it has a nice impact that changes the emotional quality of the stage picture.”
The Rogue R2 Spot fixtures in the Bataré tour rig are positioned 10ft above the stage and are used for architecture, aerial effects, and audience lighting. “For the rock elements of the performance, we put lights in the air and on the crowd,” said Baruch. “I try to keep the performers’ vantage point in mind when I design a show like this. By painting the audience with dynamic textures and colours, I get to pull the musicians and audience into a shared universe where the performers can feed off of the crowd’s energy.”
Baruch accents Bataré’s 800-pound Odaiko drum with pastel washes from the Rogue R1 Wash fixtures. He also highlights different performers with uplighting from Chauvet DJ SlimPAR 64 RGBA fixtures that are owned by the touring company.
“The SlimPARs are embedded under clear plexi panels distributed around the platforms of our stage,” he said. “They let me uplight and isolate individual musicians with saturated colours, and they also create excellent architectural columns when we pump the haze.”
Dramatic moments and their progressive revelation are at the heart of Baruch’s Bataré design. “The lighting slowly builds as the show grows,” he says. “I don’t even fire up the Rogues until we’re a few songs into the performance. They come to life when the Odaiko drum is played for the first time. The Bataré performance is about storytelling – and our lighting is part of the narrative.”
18th April 2017
Penn & Teller Theater Upgrades with Solaspot Pro 1500S
USA – Penn & Teller’s outrageous blend of magic and comedy has remained one of the hottest tickets in Las Vegas for over 20 years, and when the production team decided to upgrade the show’s set and scenery, it was also time to invest in new stage lighting technology. Lighting designer Jeff Croiter specified eight High End Systems SolaSpot Pro 1500s, purchased through 4Wall, for the Penn & Teller Theater in the Rio Hotel.
Croiter explains: “I was in Las Vegas during LDI, at meetings in preparation to do the Penn & Teller show renovation. I had a day off and went to the convention, and I ran into Al Ridella from 4Wall. He said ‘you have to come over and see this light – I’m thinking about buying some’, and that light was the SolaSpot Pro 1500. Al introduced me to Bobby Hale and the High End team, and they ran the light through its paces. I was very impressed, and started thinking about how I could use this fixture.
“When it came time to put the new Penn & Teller show together, I thought the SolaSpot would be the perfect light to specify for that application. Since we were planning to purchase fixtures, we did a number of shoot-outs, and the SolaSpot came out on top. I knew I wanted an LED source in order to reduce fan noise and for ease of maintenance. And the shuttering feature was also a necessity. In the Penn & Teller show, as in most shows that I do, it’s as much about what you aren’t lighting as what you are, so I really needed the control to be able to frame the light.”
Croiter says the 1500s are the first LED profiles in the design, adding that “The Penn & Teller rig is an eclectic mix of all kinds of lights, and we purchased the SolaSpots to replace old profile fixtures. This show has been running for many years, and when we updated the set design, the lighting rig was upgraded as well. We wanted to purchase some modern technology, and it didn’t make sense to go with conventional or metal halide sources. The SolaSpot Pro 1500s are super bright, and really cut through a conventional rig when you want them to, as well as blend in superbly. I like that you can create a tungsten balance. With the CTO we could get them to match the tungsten lights in the rig, and also show off the vibrant colour options in the SolaSpot. I found it to be an incredibly bright fixture that satisfied our needs for colour specificity and colour dynamics.”
Matt Staniec is Penn & Teller’s lighting supervisor, and runs the legendary show six nights a week. Lighting programming was handled by Marc Polimeni.
18th April 2017
Avolites Rolls With The DICE Awards
USA – Avolites recently helped set and control the scene at the 20th Annual D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Awards ceremony held at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Presented by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, the event celebrated the best in interactive entertainment in the video gaming industry for 2016.
As one would imagine, a production honouring video gaming designers must incorporate video in order to display the work being honoured. Show designer Chris Wu of Hatch.IM once again created the set, which consisted of various sizes of video screens to provide a more immersive environment, while Joshua Schultz returned to reprise his role as the event’s lighting designer, operator and programmer.
“The concept for the show and key look is to take all the trailers played on the big screens and feed them back into the server and out to the entire lighting rig so that it comes out as one giant canvas,” describes Schultz, who used two Sapphire Touch consoles tied into two Titan Net processors with two Ai RX8 media servers to drive the video content.
Schultz has been a long-time Avolites devotee, citing the Sapphire Touch as his “go to” desk. “I love the Sapphire’s ease of use and being able to jump on it and go without having to think where I have placed or patched anything, it’s all right in front of me. The pixel mapper and key frame generator are powerful tools I constantly use for building shows.”
Morpheus Lighting supplied the consoles, processors and lighting gear. As the video-centric rig also featured new LED technology, including the Aryton DreamPanels and Chauvet Epix Bars and Strips, the number of required DMX Universes rose in number.
“I had 56 Universes,” Schultz says, “so the Titan Net processors allowed me to take the load off the console and put all of it on the processors.”
He chose the Ai RX8 media server for several reasons. “It’s a powerful server that lets me do whatever I want,” he explains. “If I want custom content, I drop it in and go. If I have specific looks I need to happen non-video, it’s all in the way I designed my map. Brad White from Group One came out to help out a lot. We were able to space all our fixtures in a 3D world and see what was happening in real time. For me that was key – being able to see if pixels were off and spacing was correct. I could not have done it without him.”
Schultz says his experience with Ai has always been good. “The RX8 media servers are so powerful with so many different features that once you really start to dig into them it opens a whole new platform for you to explore. I chose the Ai so that I could integrate the whole front end as one Avolites network with everything communicating seamlessly. Anything that changed from one end to the other would change throughout the entire system, so it made my job that much easier.”
The LD says he appreciates Avolites’ support. “Avolites has always supported me in any endeavour I’ve dived into and it’s the continued support that allows me to push the boundaries of their software, whether it be Titan or Ai,” he says.
That’s another reason why he continues to use Avolites. “It’s hard to not use a product you love,” he points out. “And that’s what Avolites is to me. I know the product inside and out, and I learn new things every time I’m on them, finding the little hidden things or new additions in each update. The ease of use and powerful features are what drive me to their products.”
He adds: “Whether it’s Sapphire Touch, Tiger Touch, Arena or Quartz, it all works the way I need it to.”
Schultz has also used Avolites consoles on other recent projects, including programming Las Vegas’ latest production of Raiding the Rock Vault at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
18th April 2017
Bandit Brings Lights to Brian Wilson’s Tour
USA – With ardent fans still clamouring to see the living legend live, musical genius Brian Wilson extended his 50th anniversary tour of Pet Sounds, an album hailed as one of the world’s greatest musical endeavours. Bandit Lites provides the lighting package for the tour, which features Pet Sounds being performed in its entirety with band members Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin along with other hits from the Beach Boys and Wilson’s more recent albums.
“When I was a kid, there was magic in music,” said lighting designer Chris Stuba of working with Wilson. “When I started studying Pet Sounds last year, I realised these pop songs are true, pure music magic, full of honesty and heartbreak. The audiences have been so incredible going on this journey with us every night, and the music is so full of joy, it makes people who hear it happy. I am very fortunate to be a small part of this production.”
Stuba recreates the magic of the 1960s on stage with the lighting, when Wilson was in his 20s and creating the album and sounds that would become ‘the soundtrack to peoples’ lives.’
“I get to try and express his art into lighting,” explained Stuba, “Brian Wilson is still teaching everyone about being creative and working to make us all better each day. The band and the crew are the best.”
As the tour relaunched in 2017, Stuba took the opportunity to refresh part of the design, specifically adding the new SolaSpot Frame 2000 from High End Systems to solve what had been a distracting buzzing from old amplifiers due to moving light transformers.
“I really like the light: they are super bright, the optics are very good, and no more buzz!” said Stuba.
Bandit also supplies VL 3500s, Martin MAC Viper Profiles, VL 500s, Martin MAC Auras, Chroma-Q Color Force 72 fixtures and a grandMA 2 full console for control.
In addition to the gear Bandit provides, Stuba also refers to himself as ‘lucky’ to work with the Bandit crew.
“The personnel assigned to these tours and the home office have been top notch,” finished Stuba. “Thank you Mike Golden and thank you Bandit!”
“Anyone that knows Chris Stuba knows he is one of the finest gentlemen in our industry as well as one of the best LD’s out there,” added Mike Golden. “I have been honoured to know Chris for close to 20 years, and I sincerely admire his work ethic, vision, focus and just as importantly, the positive attitude he exhibits in everything he does.”
18th April 2017
Arena Group at Aintree’s £3million Randox Health Grand National meeting
UK – Arena Group was once again pivotal in supporting The Jockey Club’s transformation of Aintree Racecourse for the 2017 Randox Health Grand National with temporary event structures and seating.
Watched by a sell-out 70,000 crowd, One For Arthur became only the second Scottish winner of the world-famous race, the highlight of the prestigious three-day event, where the prize money hit the £3million mark for the first time.
Arena UK & Europe CEO Grahame Muir states: “This was the first Grand National meeting within Arena Group’s new three-year multi-venue contract with The Jockey Club and for the first time we were delighted to extend our remit by supplying all of the temporary infrastructure across the whole course for this historic event.”
Within the 7,737 sqm of temporary structures were The Jockey Club’s double-decker Amberleigh House hospitality facility and the owners and trainers pavilions. Arena Structures also supplied all the public areas, including the ever-popular clear-roofed Red Rum Garden and the bars at the Embankment viewing area, the stylish Moet & Chandon pavilion and the large covered area where horses were taken to cool down and undergo medical check-ups after each race.
In a 2017 first, Arena created a temporary ‘ Southport Sand 4D beach’ in front of a giant video screen showing specially created footage of the beach at Southport where Grand National legend Red Rum was trained, on behalf of experiential agency Banana Kick. Racegoers were able to take a break from the action and have their picture taken relaxing on the beach.
Arena Group event interior specialists Spaceworks supplied a range of furniture styles for the dining and viewing areas, alongside sister company Well Dressed Tables providing tableware.
Arena Seating once again supplied the West Tip Grandstand, with 2,750 clearview tiered seats under a curved roof, offering great views over the home straight. A further 1,206 clearview seats were located alongside an Arena Deck hospitality platform in front of The Chair Pavilion, with 1,512 clearview seats creating an embankment/steeplechase viewing facility looking over the Melling Road.
18th April 2017
Coldplay and L-Acoustics headline at Global Citizen India
India – At the end of last year, over 80,000 people descended on the MMRDA Ground in Mumbai for the first ever Global Citizen Festival India. This was the biggest music festival ever produced in the country and required the biggest L-Acoustics systems ever seen or heard in India. In fact, its sheer scale dictated that India’s most prestigious rental companies join forces to supply the required 200-plus loudspeakers.
The Global Citizen Festival is organised by Global Poverty Project. Based in New York, it has been running since 2012, bringing together the biggest international stars to raise awareness of extreme poverty across the world, its goals being closely aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Global Citizen Festival India was produced by Wizcraft India and featured international artists including headliners Coldplay – lead singer Chris Martin is the Festival’s creative director for the next 15 years – A.R. Rahman, Jay Z and Demi Lovato, as well as Bollywood’s brightest stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Arijit Singh.
Pulling something of this magnitude together requires precise coordination and cooperation between all parties, as Rajan Gupta of Hi-Tech Audio Systems Pvt Ltd, L-Acoustics Indian distributor, explains. “I heard about the project through Manish Mavani of Mumbai-based Sound & Light Professionals (SNL Pro), who is a K1 owner and was working on securing the project, as was K2 owner Electrocraft. However, it became clear that no single company had the inventory and technical expertise required to take on this mammoth job. Collaboration between various L-Acoustics owners was needed, I got everyone talking and we realised that, by pulling together as a group, we would have everything.”
Electrocraft, led by Roger Drego, took on the role of lead supplier, working alongside SNL Pro. Additional partners were Delhi-based Audio Design and J Davis Pro Sound of Bangalore.
“One other hurdle we had to face was that Coldplay usually uses a different brand of loudspeaker,” Rajan continues. “However, Roger visited them in New York and convinced them that L-Acoustics would work well for them, particularly as their usual brand wasn’t available in sufficient quantity.”
The final system, which was tuned and calibrated by Michael Wirth, tech support for L-Acoustics, a total 232 cabinets, comprising 36 K1, 12 K1 subs, 40 SB28s, 72 K2, six KARA and 16 dV-DOSC and 54 V-DOSC, all powered by LA8 amplifiers.
“The main hangs were arrays of 12 K1 per side positioned left and right of the stage, with four K1SBs each side hung next to them and 12 K2 per side as side fills,” explains Roger Drego. “Front fills were four stacks of four dV-DOSC. Eight cardioid sub configurations were sited beneath the stage, with a further two as sub side fills, each comprising four SB28s, one in each configuration reversed. Twelve K2 per side made up the first set of delays, with three pairs of nine V-DOSC for the subsequent delays, with the final delay being six K1 with three Kara hung below them as down-fills per side, thus ensuring consistent coverage across the entire site.”
“This was undoubtedly the most technically advanced single stage concert that India has ever seen,” recalls Manish Mavani. “The audio team ran cable lines that stretched over a kilometre to cater for the live, broadcast and recording audio. The delay towers proved to be a challenge, because of their sheer numbers and the distances we had to cover, and the organizers wanted a pure L-Acoustics sound signature to be maintained across the entire site.
“It was up to us to ensure that we achieved this by precisely tuning and time aligning the delays with FoH. L-Acoustics supported us in this, and their team played a vital role, contributing key inputs that enhanced our system designs and achieved the perfection the organisers were after. We also had the support of the various acts’ personal engineers – local and international – and they all did justice to the sound system that we had worked so hard on, with each act sounding every bit as amazing as it deserved to be.”
“This was undoubtedly the adventure of a lifetime for all of us.” Says Manish. “The show was a huge success and Tony Smit, Head of Audio for Coldplay, said how easy we had made everything for him.”
“To work on a gig of this scale was amazing,” concludes Roger Drego. “As a team, we pulled together the biggest and best live audio system that has ever been seen for any single concert in India.”
photos: Pip Cowley