Project News Headlines
Chauvet Professional and DJ Pump Up Intensity at London’s Cargo
UK – Underneath the Victorian railway arches of the overground line in London’s trendy Shoreditch district lies Cargo, one of the capital’s edgiest late-night bar and club venues. While the venue’s genuine Banksy graffiti art-filled courtyard is a magnet for art aficionados and tourists alike, the club itself has been busy building up a formidable reputation of its own thanks to an eclectic music programme. To install an appropriately multifaceted lighting rig, Cargo recently approached London-based installation specialists, Halo lighting, which specified a number of Chauvet Professional and Chauvet DJ fixtures.
“Cargo approached us wanting a lighting rig capable of supporting a wide variety of dub, house, techno and electro events,” commented Yann Guenancia, director of Halo Lighting. “The combination of Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 Wash and Legend 230SR beams, in addition to Chauvet DJ COLORband Pix and Par Quad 12s provided excellent versatility at an excellent price point.”
Six Rogue R1 Wash and four Legend 230SR Beams were flown from overhead truss to provide the central core of the install. While the R1 Wash’s saturated colours, powerful light output and gobos were specified for their atmosphere inducing qualities, the Legend 230SR fixtures provided the ultimate counterpoint with punchy beams to cut through the dance floor.
“The combination of the Rogue R1 Wash fixtures and Legend Beams are essential for creating the look and feel of an exciting and progressive venue,” commented Guenancia. “Both fixtures provide the energy and drive necessary for a whole range of music styles.”
As the club is also regularly home to intimate showcases of big-name artists ahead of their record releases and hosts label parties, it was essential that the installation incorporate several more subtle options for eye candy and atmosphere. To achieve this, Halo positioned 14 Chauvet DJ COLORband Pix fixtures to line both walls of the club, with ten Par Quad 12 fixtures dotted around overhead ceiling truss to provide a blanket wash of colour as and where necessary.
“The linear pixel mappable effects of the COLORband Pix are a great tool to give an expanded feel to the dimensions of the club, and simultaneously ensure great all round wash to provide atmosphere,” continued Guenancia. “To fill in the gaps, the Slim Pars work particularly well in conjunction with the Rogue R1 Wash fixtures.”
With versatile and wide-ranging looks assured, there was just one more crucial factor to address: reliability throughout the venue’s relentless nightly schedule. Given Chauvet’s proven history with previous Halo club installs, Guenancia didn’t have any second thoughts when considering fixtures for the rig.
“While the fixtures are bound to be given a tough time day in day out, our experience with Chauvet demonstrates the fixtures are more than capable of the most grueling of conditions,” concluded Guenancia. “As a result, Cargo can now confidently provide versatile lighting for all manner of events without ever missing a beat.
23rd May 2017
Historic Dutch Castle Goes for a Yamaha CIS Solution
The Netherlands – One of the most historic buildings in Goes, Netherlands, Slot Oostende is a former castle located in the old centre of the city. It opened to the public in April this year as a multi-purpose venue, with a Yamaha Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS)-based audio system meaning its spaces can be used for many different purposes.
Some original parts of Slot Oostende survive, while others have recently been rebuilt following excavations in 2009. This mixture of ancient and modern architecture provides a unique and pleasant atmosphere, which was ideal for a restaurant, meeting venue and brewery producing the venue’s own beer.
Slot Oostende officially opened to the public on 19th April this year, with a planned programme of varied entertainment, as well as meetings, presentations and speech events. To ensure every activity enjoyed high quality sound, Peter de Graaf of AV installation specialists Geluid & Beeld NU! sat down with Leo de Klerk of professional audio dealer Bloomline to design a truly multi-purpose audio installation, suitable for every application.
They chose a system built around a Dante network, controlled and managed by a Yamaha MTX5 matrix mixer/signal processor and a pair of XMV8280-D multi-channel power amplifiers. The advantages of a Dante solution were immediately obvious, as it allows one of the amplifiers to be located 80m from the system rack, on the other side of the building, with no issues.
Throughout the building there are six locations, each with Omniwave loudspeakers and a Yamaha DCP1V4S surface-mounted control panel. At each location the user can select Background music A, Background music B, two wireless microphones (with an advanced active antenna system that means they can work throughout the building) or a local audio input connection. The system can also be controlled using Yamaha’s ProVisionaire Touch iPad app.
Slot Oostende co-owner Anita Maas is very happy with the audio system, thanks to its flexibility and ease of control.
“The main purpose of the system is for background music, but it can be used for any kind of occasion. Thanks to the local inputs, we can host several different events at the same time,” she says. “We hope the versatility and quality of the system will mean Slot Oostende becomes a real ‘go to’ venue for the people of Goes.”
23rd May 2017
MIPRO helps spread the word at Redemptoris Mater Seminary, Dundalk
Ireland – The Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary in the Archdiocese of Armagh, Ireland, was founded in 2012 by Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, to form priests who are both diocesan and missionary for what is known as the New Evangelisation. Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, recently presided at the official opening of the Seminary’s new premises, the former De la Salle brothers’ residence in De La Salle Terrace, Dundalk. The buildings have been completely refurbished to provide housing, worship and study areas for the sixteen young priests from eight different countries currently in training.
While the Seminary is based in Dundalk, celebrations and meetings take place all over Ireland and involve people and volunteers from all over the world. As a result, the Seminary decided to invest in a portable simultaneous translation system to improve communication in multilingual environments. After evaluating a number of different systems and brands, the Seminary’s technical advisory team finally decided on MIPRO as the optimum solution for their needs. The equipment was supplied by AV integrations specialists AVworx in Bedford via MIPRO’s UK distributor, CUK Audio.
“We wanted something that was compact, reliable and portable as we have meetings all over Ireland involving people from many different nationalities,” explained Nicola Ondei who is himself Italian and advised the Seminary on their technical needs. Redemptoris Mater’s system comprises three MTS-100 digital wireless 16-channel transmitters that are based in the main building at De La Salle, four MTG-100T ultra-compact portable transmitters for the meeting leaders/speakers and 35 MTG-100R portable receivers for participants along with the requisite dedicated storage and charging cases for outdoor or remote celebrations.
“All the equipment is very easy to transport and, more importantly, extremely easy to use, even for the non-skilled operator,” continued Ondei. “The digital encryption guarantees confidentiality and the license-free ISM bands (EU MHz 863-865) allows us to operate legally three or four transmitters both in Ireland and the UK at the same time. We are also very impressed with the battery life of MIPRO products, we can manage on low/medium RF power for a full day conference without having to recharge at all, which is fantastic. Finally, the ability to set the RF power to 10mW (which is the high setting) is particularly useful in difficult acoustic environments like big churches. In short, we’re delighted with our investment and wouldn’t hesitate to expand the system with further MIPRO equipment when the need arises.”
23rd May 2017
A Little Night Music for Robe at RADA
UK – Award winning lighting designer Paul Pyant returned to London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) to light a production of the Steven Sondheim classic, A Little Night Music directed by Edward Kemp and staged at RADA’s Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre in central London.
Robe enjoy a close ongoing working relationship with RADA, making its latest technologies available for students to use across the three main venues. Paul’s design for this production utilised Robe’s DL7S LED profiles and the new Spiider LED wash beam moving lights, together with other moving and conventional fixtures.
Paul’s acclaimed career started at RADA – he is a 1973 alumnus of the Academy’s technical training course – and features extensive work across the genres of theatre, opera, ballet and dance. It’s earned him recognition for lighting a diversity of shows from large-scale West End and Broadway extravaganzas to incisive performances at venues like the National Theatre, Donmar Warehouse and the ENO, to the bleeding edge of independent fringe.
Although this impressive CV has included many Sondheim masterpieces, mainly at the Donmar with director Sam Mendes, this is the first time A Little Night Music has received his touch, and he was very excited to be able to return to RADA.
Paul collaborated with a student team on this show, all of whom benefited from his fund of experience and knowledge. The Academy’s head of production lighting Matt Leventhall oversaw the process which was one of the most technically ambitious musicals RADA has produced to date.
Designer Jane Heather and Edward Kemp wanted the narrative to feature both projection and lighting in its visual treatment, and the need for the two media to coexist and work fluidly together was a key starting point for Paul’s design. Projection content was created by acclaimed projection artist and video designer Nina Dunn.
Before compiling his fixture lists, Paul visited the Robe factory in the Czech Republic and saw both DL7Ss and Spiiders in action at the demonstration facility. Once he decided he wanted to use these for the show, Robe assisted in making them available. They were used with a number of house fixtures in residence at RADA which include Robe LEDWash 800s and 600s, DL4S Profiles and CycBar 15s.
Rigged above the stage, the DL7S Profiles created different areas of lighting and were used to define locations or suggest different spaces in-between two mobile projection screens that were used as ‘walls’ and moved around. This allowed action to run simultaneously in different areas and locations.
“As the screens were moved, the idea was that the DL7S Profiles could ‘morph’ using their very accurate shutters to denote the different areas seamlessly between scene shifts,” explained Paul. The fixture’s ability to create straight shuttered edges at full zoom was a big asset in achieving this objective. The DL7S Profiles also provided “useful gobo work” for the more atmospheric scenes in Act 2.
Matt adds that the seven colours of the DL7S can produce accurate temperature and quality matches to the tungsten sources being used. Its excellent dimming, combined with the ETC EOS console’s curves, could also replicate this characteristic in tungsten very authentically.
The DL7S Profiles are now part of RADA’s moving light stock for use across its venues, and this production was their first show. Matt thinks they are: “The best LED moving light available on the market right now,” and is certain they will be used for all shows staged in the Jerwood Vanbrugh from now on.
The four Spiiders came from CEG and created an intense backlight effect together with a bright, highly saturated blue wash onto which the video content was layered.
Matt said they all enjoyed the brightness and the thick beam at minimum zoom, and he could see that the flower effect would be impressive in a live music context.
Being a musical, there was plenty of call for saturated colour, an area where most LED luminaires excel, and the six LEDWash 800s and ten LEDWash 600s all had their fair share of ‘moments’.
The DL4S Profiles were primarily used to augment the gobo looks and to add texturing, using the standard gobo set with the addition of a custom Alpha Ray gobo.
Paul thinks that LED technology has advanced quickly and that these newer fixtures in particular have been proved to have the best dimming qualities he has seen to date, as well as being “reliable, easy to programme and quiet”.
Matt’s take on the noise issue is that with upwards of 30 Robe LED sources on the rig, the venue was absolutely silent, which is fundamental for theatrical productions.
Having LED luminaires readily available to light shows also saves RADA considerable hassle in not having to constantly re-lamp fixtures, assists in general heat management, as well as empowers students to learn how to maintain the lights and get the most out of them creatively.
Paul’s biggest overall challenge on this production was to ensure that the lighting complemented and balanced the projection. Working in the traverse format is always galvanising, as having an audience on three sides and close to the action limits the visual impact of directional lighting. However, the intimacy and sense of involvement this brings is a big boost to the viewer experience.
He also comments that it was a massive project to deliver in a very short space of time, and had he been in a standard ‘outside world’ scenario, he would have had to pick his team extremely carefully to achieve results.
As it happened, his core student team dealt brilliantly with the pressure and the circumstances: “This was way beyond my expectations! I genuinely wanted for nothing as we achieved so much in a short space of time, to very high standards,” he recalls.
Working alongside Paul were assistant lighting designer and followspot captain Teresa Nagel, lighting programmer Daniel Smith, stage manager Emily Melville-Brown, DSM Danni Haylett and projection programmer Cameron Affleck.
Both chief electrician Simi Majekodunmi and the production electrician, Ariane Nixon also worked tirelessly on the physically realisation of Paul’s design. “They were all extra brilliant,” he declares.
Running concurrently to A Little Night Music was a studio performance of Blues for An Alabama Sky in the GBS Theatre for which RADA student lighting designer Richard Heappey used four Robe CycFX 8s, four LEDWash 300s and six DL4F fresnels.
photos: Linda Carter
22nd May 2017
GDS ArcSystem Brightens Brighton Dome
UK – Brighton Dome is an ornate multi-arts venue that was built in 1803. Constructed as the Prince Regent's Stables and Riding House, it became a cavalry stables before finding a new purpose as a concert venue and assembly hall as long ago as 1867. In the 1930s the building underwent an art-deco refit overseen by the architect Robert Atkinson. It is this incarnation that remains and features an 1800 capacity concert hall that stages a varied programme of top class international entertainment, including contemporary and classical music, theatre, dance, visual arts and comedy. In recent years the Dome's technical team had earmarked a new house lighting scheme as a priority. Its existing dimmers were obsolete and channels were failing, energy consumption was high and maintenance very difficult. Integrator Stage Electrics was awarded the works to supply, install and commission an entire new house lighting and following a site visit, made an immediate suggestion that a GDS solution would be best.
Integrator Stage Electrics was to design an energy efficient house light system, with an increase in lux level, that retained the aesthetic of the auditorium without compromise. Maintaining a warm tungsten colour temperature was vital as was the capacity to take control of different areas of the auditorium via the lighting desk and Paradigm system. A low maintenance solution was essential due to challenges with high level access around weight restrictions on the auditorium floor.
The time frame for the installation was tight, strictly limited to four weeks and co-ordinated around other routine maintenance works. Ensuring the least possible disruption to the venue's busy programme of events would require meticulous planning and co-ordination ahead of the shutdown.
Having successfully installed GDS ArcSystem schemes at a number of large and prestigious venues such as Glyndebourne Opera and Sadler's Wells, Stage Electrics was familiar with its exceptional light quality and environmental benefits. GDS visited and surveyed the site in the early stages of the project and produced detailed Dialux design detail with 3D rendering based on a final design developed between Stage Electrics and GDS. Cost comparisons carried out by GDS further underlined ArcSystem's credentials and it was duly selected as the solution.
More than 240 ArcSystem fixtures from across the whole range (including GDS's latest award-winning ArcLamp) were retrofitted on a like for like basis throughout the hall. These covered the stalls, circle and immediate backstage area and included emergency lighting. The install was part wired and part wireless because the listed status of the Dome limited the running of cabling in certain areas and the wireless option controlled by GDS's ArcMesh protocol enabled the least possible intrusion where heritage issues intervened. GDS applications engineer John Blamey assisted with the completion of the system commissioning and with end-user training at handover.
The install was completed within the allocated time frame to the satisfaction of the Dome's authorities and the system now draws a mere 4.5kW tungsten equivalent from its previous level of 18kW, reducing energy consumption to just a quarter of its previous level. The attendant cost savings will see the scheme pay for itself in 2-3 years and represents a CO2 reduction of 32 tonnes per annum.
Paul Roughton, regional sales manager at Stage Electrics reflects on the installation: "We've worked closely with GDS on a number of projects and our experience meant that we were completely confident that ArcSystem was the best choice for the venue and specification and would meet all the needs of the brief. The team at the Dome now has significantly increased capability and flexibility in terms of setting house light scenes for a vast range of events. We enjoyed working with GDS and the Dome team to bring the project to a successful conclusion. The response from all quarters has been to say that the Dome Concert Hall has never looked so good."
Matt Lloyd, Managing Director of GDS was happy: "Brighton Dome is a stunning venue and we're delighted to have played a part in supplying a house light solution that by common agreement has maintained, if not improved, the beautiful aesthetic of the concert hall. The retention of the tungsten 'look' was a high priority at the Dome and all parties in the project agree that ArcSystem, in particular through the use of ArcLamp -meets this requirement with flying colours. In a practical sense, ArcSystem works on so many levels at Brighton. Its flexibility is important in a venue that stages a highly diverse programme and its low maintenance qualities are especially important owing to the nature of high level access. GDS ArcSystem has made this possible at Brighton Dome whilst reducing its energy consumption by three-quarters. That's an achievement of which we are very proud. Stage Electrics were, as always, exemplary partners, who met every detailed challenge of the project with their customary calm efficiency and expertise."
The installation of ArcSystem at Brighton Dome is another significant marker on a burgeoning list of some of the world's most important entertainment houses. Heritage sites can present many obstacles to the updating and modernisation of technical provision but as the list of its successes proves, GDS ArcSystem is more than up to the task in every respect.
19th May 2017
Floorbox solution a perfect conversion for Saracens
UK – Floorbox, the new online temporary flooring hub, specified and supplied 650sq m of Rola-Trac’s iTrac pitch protection to Allianz Park stadium ahead of Jewish community event Yom HaShoah.
Home to European Rugby Champions Saracens, the £1m Allianz Park pitch combines hardcore, aggregate and carpet with rubber infill. Significant weights applied directly can cause the aggregate to bulge while the top layer, a fibre composite, has to stay upright to prevent it causing friction burns to players.
With a big LED screen and a heavy stage coming in for Yom HaShoah, the Remembrance Day for victims of the Holocaust, iTrac was the perfect means to maintain the surface.
John Davy, founder/managing director of Floorbox, says: “We work with a range of manufacturers and the core value of Floorbox is its independence. So our advice, qualified by years of experience, is impartial and our goal is to help clients get the right product for the job and get the best out it.
“i-Trac is a quick and easy system to use. It’s equally effective on hard or soft ground, it’s incredibly strong and provides proper protection for Saracens’ state-of-the-art pitch.”
Stadium director, Richard Gregg, comments: “Allianz Park is a great stage for all sorts of events, inside and out. Looking after the playing surface is of paramount importance of course and I was delighted with the Floorbox solution ahead of Yom HaShoah. The i-Trac will serve us very well going forward too.”
Built to serve the community rather than simply Saracens, Allianz Park hosts athletics competitions, fun runs, NFL training days and a spread of cultural events alongside the European Champions’ 16 home games a season.
19th May 2017
Alcons is a New Hollywood Star
USA – Levels Audio prides itself on being the best and most luxurious post-production / mixing studio in the heart of Hollywood. Founded and run by multiple-Emmy award winning engineer Brian Riordan, recently the 14,000ft2, state-of-the-art facility added Mix 9, a bespoke Dolby Atmos mix stage, where an Alcons CRMS mkII Cinema Reference Monitor System is making a big impression on the Hollywood elite.
Brian established Levels Audio in 1999, with the studio complex now including nine mix stages, an ADR/Foley stage, five audio editing suites, two visual effects suites, conference room, two kitchens/lounges and a guest apartment.
“As part of our latest expansion we built two new mix stages and an additional edit bay. The idea of building a Dolby Atmos stage was a matter of future-proofing so, when designing the room, I did the design and build for it now,” says Brian.
“Levels Audio is unique in that we can be mixing a full multi-track concert one day and, on the next, a scripted series. But the speakers found in most dub stages do not lend themselves well to music production. Similarly, the systems in most music studios do not typically translate well theatrically or for broadcast. So it became my passion to find a music mastering-quality speaker that could handle theatrical and broadcast equally well.”
Having checked out a demo by David Rahn of Alcons Audio US, which so impressed Brian that he worked with David to organise another one specifically for Levels Audio, Alcons became the only choice for the new studio.
“I did not intend to purchase and install all of the speakers for the Atmos system right away. However, after choosing the Alcons CRMS mkII Cinema Reference Monitor System for the screen channels in Mix 9, I went for it and put in the whole system,” he says.
The system comprises three CRMS mkII three-way, pro-ribbon screen systems with two CB362 high-output full-size subwoofer systems, six CRMS SR reference pro-ribbon surround loudspeakers and six CCS6 small-format surround loudspeakers. The system is powered and controlled by six Sentinel3 amplified loudspeaker controllers.
“There were no real challenges with installing the system,” says Brian. “Tuning it was a breeze! Dolby came down and set up their microphones to tune all 17 speakers and, after the first pass said ‘These things are incredibly flat and true!’”
Since the new room opened for business, word about it quickly got out in Hollywood. “We are getting an incredible amount of interest from the mix engineers, directors, producers and TV networks in town. It’s a bit ahead of the curve, but the demand is there and it’s only going to build,” says Brian.
“I knew after hearing the Alcons CRMS system for the first time that the speakers were exactly what I was looking for. At last there is a speaker/amp setup which is just as musical as it is theatrical! The pro-ribbon drivers provide such a pleasing, brilliant top end and the subs are the tightest I have ever heard. This system is simply unbeatable.”
From one of Hollywood’s top mix engineers, a four-time Emmy winner (and 20 times nominee), that is acclaim indeed.
18th May 2017
Robe for Icelandic National Theatre
Iceland – Robe moving lights are making a big impact at the Icelandic National Theatre (Þjóðleikhúsið) in Reykjavík since they became an integral element of the available house lighting rig, a process that started in 2014 and has recently been continued with the addition of DL7S Profiles, LEDBeam 1000s and Actor6s.
The Robe fixtures were specified by head of lighting Halldór Örn Óskarsson (Halli) and his team of colleagues.
Halli is an award winning LD and also a primary production lighting designer for this high profile venue, which has five separate performance spaces and a busy and diverse programme of shows and events. This includes new Icelandic and international works, Icelandic and foreign classics, musicals, dance pieces and children’s productions. The theatre creates around ten new productions each year and also collaborates with independent theatre and dance groups.
Halli chose the new Robe luminaires after having a great experience with their original units, 14 of the first generation DLSs, which were acquired to replace their old FoH lights. The specification was exactly what they wanted, an LED moving head with shutters.
He was extremely impressed with the service from the support team from Robe itself and also from Icelandic distributor Luxor, so when the DL7S was launched there was no hesitation in choosing it as part of the next round of purchasing, which was for new overhead rig lights in the Main Stage venue.
Seventeen DL7Ss, 25 LEDBeam 1000s and 16 Actor6s joined the rig, replacing a quantity of older tungsten and HMI moving lights from competitor brands.
Halli thinks that the DL7 series addresses most of the major issues that were making some theatre LDs reticent about using LED fixtures.
“The DL7 fixes both the smoothness of the colour mixing and also the brightness of the fixture,” he commented. He also appreciates the near-silent operation, the excellent colour rendering and the good range of gobos in the profile and spot fixtures in the series.
When it comes to LEDBeam 1000s, he likes the excellent zoom range and intense brightness and feels that the colour range is good, even though it’s an RGBW system as opposed to the seven-colour LEDs of the DL7 series.
For him, the Actor6 – a static version of Robe’s legendary LEDWash 600 – has: “A great punch,” and its controllable zoom makes it ideal as a side light.
The National Theatre is extremely pleased with the new lights which have opened up a whole range of colour palettes and possibilities to light a diversity of productions at the Theatre.
Halli has been following the course of Robe’s progress for some time. “It’s one of the biggest names in entertainment lighting right now! Great fixtures and a brilliant team who listen to buyers and end-users and react quickly.”
Recently he lit a production of Shakespeare classic Othello (Óþelló) directed by Gísli Örn Garðarsson completely with the Robe LEDs plus a few metres of RGB LED ribbon. It was his first fully LED lighting design.
Börkur Jónsson’s interesting contemporary set was largely constructed from clear plastic sheaths, so it was a challenge to find the right colours to work with this surface and to create effects that would transform the plastic from transparent to opaque and solid with the lights.
There was also a square plastic box that was moved around the stage, so Halli’s starting point was this box being a place of warmth and safety, which was contrasted to the unknown of the outside world, presented as a more dangerous, cold and edgy environment.
All the DLS Profiles were positioned on the two FoH lighting bridges and balconies and used for front lighting.
The DL7S Profiles were rigged overhead on the lighting fly bars and used as specials, for highlighting set pieces and actors in various places around the stage. They were also utilised for effects like rotating gobos on a tree to emulate its movement in the wind and as green laser lines for a construction site look.
The LEDBeam 1000s were rigged on the overhead bars and used for general colour washes on the plastic and as very narrow beams for the gripping end sequence.
The Actor6s were on 1.7 metre high side booms and on the floor along the back of the stage, where they could wash the entire stage floor and highlight the actors from the side perspective.
The black gloss floor completely covered in plastic sheeting was always going to be difficult to light!
The wide angle of the LEDBeam 1000s assisted with colouring these expanses of clear plastic efficiently, while the range of hues available from the DL7 Profiles really worked well. The overall very low heat emissions from the lighting rig also helped with the physical installation of the plastic and keeping it in place without stretching.
“I felt I was completely covered in all creative and technical aspects using this rig to light this demanding show,” Halli comments. He also programmed it himself, using a grandMA2 light.
17th May 2017
Triple E gets Butlins’ Centre Stage back on track
UK – Triple E Ltd beat the odds and the clock to provide Illuminate Design with a custom-built, motorised track for the Centre Stage venue at Butlins, Skegness.
AV specialist Illuminate called in Triple E Ltd when an existing tab system failed just before the start of a new Centre Stage show.
To follow the shape of the stage Triple E Ltd’s design had to incorporate a double-S set of curves. Illuminate sent a sketch across late Thursday evening and MD David Edelstein quoted it immediately. On Friday, Triple E drew the design up, assembled the Erail system and the 25m TDRIVE six-curve track was collected just after lunch.
Robin Shephard-Blandy, owner/director at Illuminate Design, comments: “The deadline was particularly tight because there had been difficulties with other ideas for the replacement track. Triple E’s solution enabled us to carry out the installation over the weekend and be ready for doors on Monday.
“We have worked with Triple E a couple of times in the past, on complex projects such as lighting over and within tanks at the London Aquarium, so knew they were used to a challenge, and the response to the Butlins job was fantastic.”
David Edelstein, managing director at Triple E, says: “Illuminate could only work at Centre Stage between 10:00pm and 10:00am. At the client’s request they spent Friday night trying to get the original system operating properly before installing ours, which worked straight out of the box!”
17th May 2017
Community Loudspeakers Make it Clear for the Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Trinidad and Tobago – Inspired by the record-breaking batsman Brian Charles Lara, many young cricketers in Trinidad and Tobago dream of playing their national sport at international level. This dream has been brought a step closer to reality for many by the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (UDeCOTT) with the completion of the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, a state-of-the-art competition venue and training facility for the development of world-class cricketers.
Just north of the city of San Fernando, the Brian Lara Cricket Academy is the first state-of-the-art cricket training facility to be constructed by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The Academy includes a 15,000 seating capacity stadium, club seating, lounges and executive boxes as well as exhibition space. The equally impressive field comprises a quick-drain professional grade cricket pitch and a 70-metre radius playing field, encompassing six pitches on the main playing field. The Academy also incorporates 12 outdoor practice pitches, official and team locker rooms and a gymnasium.
A request for quotation for the audio systems for the new venue was released in May of 2016 and the directors of Streamline Systems, who had worked on four other stadiums in the Caribbean, were quick to respond. With a window of just one month to audit the stadium and design a modern system to meet the Academy’s needs, the team went straight to work.
To get the design done on schedule, Streamline Systems’ directors Michael Pereira and Clifford Beckles met with the client to ascertain the requirements and to make their own recommendations based on their industry experience. Streamline Systems was assisted by Community’s Technical Applications Group (TAG), who supported the short timescale by reviewing EASE plots, direct sound pressure level mappings and auralisation files as needed.
After several meetings and presentations with the client, Streamline was awarded the contract with a strict deadline of 110 days for completion and commissioning of the system. Considering the manufacture of all components, shipping, customs clearance, installation, testing and commissioning of the system, this would have been a tight deadline but, to make matters worse, the original system then had to be completely redesigned. The original proposal was for a distributed system, using the leading edge of the canopy trussing to fire back to the seating areas, but this was deemed a problem due to lack of catwalk access.
Streamline Systems, again supported by Community’s TAG team, worked fast to design a new system that would meet both the original requirements and the 110-day deadline. Still following a distributed configuration, the loudspeaker locations were all moved to positions behind the listeners where access was more practical for the installation and maintenance. Care was taken to ensure that coverage was optimized for the new locations and that audio projecting across the playing field was kept within acceptable levels.
This final system required more, but smaller, cabinets than the original design and the team selected Community’s R.5 and R.35 loudspeakers for the mainstay of the system. A total of 120 R SERIES loudspeakers were used for the spectator and playing areas of the project, with a further 52 C SERIES ceiling loudspeakers for the indoor areas.
Community R6-51MAX loudspeakers were chosen for the long throw from the main stands over to the grass areas, which also required coverage. “The R6 packs six 12-inch for LF, six 2-inch for MF and six 1-inch for HF, with a total power of 4,710W,” commented Michael Pereira. “That really gets the power across to the field with excellent pattern control to below 100Hz.” A total of 16 Community R2SUB subwoofers were used for low frequency reinforcement for the system.
Manufacture of the speakers was started immediately by Community while 45,000 feet of cables were air freighted to Trinidad so that work could begin on site. Streamline turned to Electro-Voice for amplification and audio processing. With the stadium split into a North and South stand, two Electro-Voice NETMAX N8000 units were linked to allow for crystal clear audio over the OMNEO/Dante network. Linking of the two units was done over fibre optic cable and a Cisco managed network.
Basic system control is done using EV’s TPI-5 5.7” touch screen controls which allow each stand to be turned on and off independently, with more advanced control via a full-sized touch screen computer. This feature is facilitated by ten Furman ASD120 sequential switchers with five per rack location, which means that each amplifier rack can be switched on via the touch screen units without having to be on the other side of the facility. While the stadium was outfitted with a standard fire alarm system, Streamline took the audio system a step further with automated system override and voice evacuation.
The full-size touch screen computer allows the system to be zoned so that the end user can turn on and off an area at will, depending on how each area is being used. Additionally, a few spare inputs and outputs are available allowing for further scaleability of the system should the need arise. 3-phase voltage monitoring was included so that the user would be able to monitor system line voltages locally to further ensure longevity of the system.
A simple analog mixing unit was used on the front end of the system. Pereira explained the reasoning for this, “There was method to what some may construe as madness. This was done so that basic operation of the system would be very simple for the end user or commentator as need be. A much larger and more robust feature set is available via the touch screen computer but not all operators would need to utilise this set on a regular basis, as such a much simpler interface was provided for day to day use.” Professional grade Shure wireless microphone systems were used to allow for free use of the wireless microphones throughout the playing field by officials and commentators alike.
Pereira concluded: “Every detail was put in place to ensure that a fully operational system was delivered to the client and this was fully achieved, while keeping 10% below the agreed contract sum and on time. The Community loudspeakers provide outstanding intelligibility and uniform coverage and the system combines excellent flexibility with ease of use.”
17th May 2017
Audient Heritage: Teaching Tomorrow's Engineers at SAE Zurich
Switzerland – “Our students really like the new desk and are even more keen to get into the studio since its arrival,” says Thomas Frei (pictured), director of the Swiss SAE Institute in Zurich, where one of the first ASP8024 Heritage Edition consoles to come off the production line was installed. If its mere presence motivates the students, the Audient console is bound to impress the staff. “Our teachers love the desk and the many possibilities that the EQ section offers,” he confirms, having heard the line: ‘Finally, a well thought through in-line concept,’ from a number of them over the past months.
The fact that the Heritage is an analogue desk was a strong factor in choosing Audient, as Frei considers teaching the analogue signal path very important. “If you really understand the concept of analogue, you will do much better in the digital domain, too. You can still run into analogue desks at live gigs nowadays,” he says. Before taking the plunge, Frei sought counsel from his counterparts at SAE Institutes around Europe, many of whom have the flagship ASP8024 consoles and are “very happy with them.” Further research revealed that the Heritage was in the pipeline – essentially a reimagined, improved version of the original ASP8024 – and his mind was made up. “I knew that was the one we were going to get.
“We really like that it features the all new variable mix bus technology Retro Iron, which adds punch and ‘vibe’ to the consoles’ mix output,” says Frei impressed with the circuits, which although unique to the Heritage, are a homage to the finest in late 60s' American and British console technology. When engaged, the Retro Iron output card also provides subtle low bump and high lift mix EQs inspired by classic mastering equalisers of yesteryear.
“The integrated compressor on the master track is an excellent tool, it makes it quick and easy to check how it’s going to sound on your mix,” continues Frei, listing some other features that have stood out to him. “I really like the metering too: you can see both input and tape return at the same time, so you don’t have to switch the meters.
“All Audio Diploma students will get the chance to get their hands on our beautiful desk,” continues Frei. Over the course of a year that number will total well over 100 budding engineers. “I can already say that we don’t regret our decision going for the Heritage desk.”
The Audient console is located in Studio 2, and completes an equipment upgrade which began back in 2012. “The set-up in this studio includes Pro Tools HD Native running on a Mac Pro, and three sets of monitors. We currently use a pair of Genelecs, a pair of Blueskies and a pair of Fugus speakers, which provide students three sets of different sounding monitors,” explains Frei, adding that it is solely for students’ use. “What better way could there be to master your skills than with this set-up?”
SAE Institute Zurich is just one of some 56 SAE Institutes around the globe. “Our admissions are growing in number and we love to teach new students every year, it really is our passion.” In addition to the original audio courses, the facility also offers web design, film and game art/programmming.
16th May 2017
Chroma-Q Inspire House Lights at Petersfield Festival Hall Provide Truly Immersive Experience thanks to A.C. Special Projects
UK – Petersfield Festival Hall, the versatile multi-purpose venue in Hampshire, can now create a truly immersive colour experience as well as great white light for its audiences, events, and galas thanks to its new Chroma-Q Inspire lighting system installed by A.C. Special Projects Ltd. (AC-SP).
Because of the wide range of productions held at the Festival Hall, the venue wanted new colour-changing LED house lighting that could provide a full range of colours, from deep saturates to smooth pastels, all with smooth, theatrical grade dimming. Similarly, it was important to provide quality white light for day to day use and corporate functions. Ultra quiet running, low energy consumption and low heat generation were other important considerations.
Having enquired about Chroma-Q’s Inspire fixtures to meet these criteria, John Tucker, the Festival Hall’s technical manager, was introduced to Andy Holmes, senior project manager at AC-SP, to talk through the practical details of the installation. Andy was not only able to demonstrate different lighting options, but also to advise on control systems that would work equally well with the Hall’s new as well as existing technology.
The final system selected incorporated 16 Chroma-Q Inspire RGBW LED house lights, controlled by DMX through an easy to use Pharos TPC wall mounted touch panel controller. The Pharos allows easy transition between direct finger-tip control, scenes and timelines. Control signals were routed through a Luminex Ethernet-DMX8 node, allowing the fixtures to be controlled in a variety of different groups according to the lighting effects required. All cabling, both power and signal, were supplied by Tourflex Cabling.
The AC-SP Team were responsible for all aspects of the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the system, which was completed in March 2017.
John commented: “The Inspires are already making a big difference to the events we hold here at Petersfield; AC-SP have provided excellent support throughout the whole process and their assistance in selecting, supplying and installing the right equipment means we now have a system that everyone attending the venue will really benefit from.”
Andy Holmes of AC-SP said: “The combination of Chroma-Q Inspire fixtures coupled with Luminex and Pharos control was ideal for this project; having the ability to select from such a wide range of different products and technologies means AC-SP can always select a highly suitable option for the project.”
16th May 2017
Turkey’s National TV Racing Channel Selects Allen & Heath Solution
Turkey – Turkey’s national horse racing TV channel has invested in a new audio system as part of a digital upgrade based around Allen & Heath’s dLive S Class and GLD mixing systems.
Established in 1950, Turkey Jockey’s Club (TJK) is based in Instanbul, founded and endorsed by the Ministry of Argriculture as the only official horse breeding and racing organisation in the country.
“We really needed to upgrade our current analogue mixing desk to improve total system latency, network audio options and expandable input/output options,” explains Mr. Nizamettin Korkmaz, sound director at TJK.
The dLive system comprises a S7000 Surface with DM48 MixRack fitted with a Dante network card, plus a DX32 expander rack for AES inputs and another one for AES outputs. The Club also has two GLD-80 mixers with AB168 Racks for smaller studios, which are also Dante-enabled to enable connection to the main audio system.
“All the Station’s sound engineers are very comfortable with the Allen & Heath mixers during live broadcasts or on daily routines, such as talk shows. The complicated audio routing and monitoring requirements of the studios are easily handled by the systems,” concludes Korkmaz.
15th May 2017
No Strings Attached for Robe
Estonia – Robe’s DL4S Profiles and DL4F Fresnels, 52 in total, have been specified and installed at the new Nuku (Puppet) Theatre in Tallinn. This world famous theatre has just opened a completely new space which was formally an outside courtyard, at its theatre complex in the heart of the picturesque and vibrant Estonian capital.
The project is one of the latest in a number of high profile theatre installations of Robe DL series LED moving lights around the world. The luminaires have been specifically designed for performance applications, combining all the benefits of LED technology with the refined features and functionality expected from a theatrical fixture.
The new Ferdinand Stage at the Nuku Theatre now becomes the main venue. Its development includes a brand new entrance and foyer which have been seamlessly and stylishly integrated into the existing building. The space itself offers seating for 420 people and a 14 metre wide by nine metre deep stage area.
Now, with the relative luxury of decent headroom, wing space and upgraded production facilities, they can cater for the abundant audiences who flock year-round to enjoy a series of acclaimed performances.
The decision to pick the Robe LED moving lights was made by head of lighting Madis Kirkmann and the fixtures were delivered by Robe’s Estonian distributor E&T.
They had already been using Robe LEDWash 600s and 300s together with 600E Spots in the old theatre and were extremely happy with their reliability and performance, so it was a logical step to stay with Robe. “That, plus the great service and support we receive from E&T,” confirmed Madis, who has personally been using Robe for various applications for over ten years.
Sustainability is important in Estonia and a principal that all arts organisations fully embrace, so LED was also a good and practical choice.
The 30 DL4S Profiles and 22 DL4F Fresnels, due to their power and versatility, are also a cost efficient solution. While the Ferdinand Stage lighting system does also include large and small Source Four profiles and several other conventionals, having the DLs in the system has reduced the need for many additional fixtures.
“They are really excellent lights, powerful, light in weight and highly flexible,” says Madis.
The Robe units combine an exceptionally smooth shutter module, high precision dimming, seamless colour mixing and quiet operation. The DL4S fixtures were the first that E&T has delivered to a theatre project, to which they also supplied a new lighting console.
Considerations like focus are crucial when lighting a genre like puppet theatre as good lighting is essential to deliver any show convincingly to audiences young and old – revealing as well as concealing – and generally the ‘art of illumination’ is often taken to extremes.
Tasks like pinpointing the puppet character and the actor have to be achieved very specifically and that’s why they need a lot of profiles.
“The DL4Ss will being massive variety to our shows with the great selection of gobos and the shutters – all of these are vital tools for us,” commented Madis who is delighted to be working in the new space with all the new kit.
The Nuku Theatre’s new Ferdinand Stage is a government supported project that has been almost three years in the making. Named after legendary Estonian puppeteer Ferdinand Veike (1924 – 2015), also founder of the first Veikest which became the Estonian independent puppet theatre, its first show onstage was the 2016 Christmas production, and now it will be in use almost every day.
The busy and ever-popular Nuku theatre now has three stages and produces around ten completely new own productions per year as well as hosting one-off shows and events.
photos: Madis Kirkmann
12th May 2017
Altman Lighting brings house lights to the worship experience at Cascade Hills Church
USA – Located in Columbus, Georgia, Cascade Hills Church is a congregation filled with parishioners from all walks of life who wish to come together for a spirit-filled worship experience. Like many other churches worldwide, the technical elements behind that worship experience, including the architectural house lights, are becoming an important component to the overall sanctuary design. With an aging house lighting system of their own, Cascade Hills Church recently worked with the integration division of their longtime partner Morris, and renovated their house lighting design with Chalice LED Pendant and Recessed LED downlights from Altman Lighting.
“This was actually our third technology installation at Cascade Hills Church where we have previously retrofitted their theatrical lighting, video and audio systems,” began Dustin Burggraff, Morris integration division project manager. “While working with them on the other projects, we noticed the sanctuary was very dark to the point where the congregation would have difficulty in reading from their bibles, so we started having discussions on how updating the house lights would really help the space take on a new life. Once we started looking at the fixtures on the market, our local manufacturers rep pointed us to the Chalice family of LED house lights from Altman Lighting which were the right choice for the lighting design renovation.”
For energy-efficient house lighting needs, the Chalice LED Series is a line of low-energy and low-heat downlights that provide high-output and high-colour rendering white light. With an on-board power supply, the Chalice LED Series is either DMX controlled or mains dimmable, and is also available in 50W, 70W, 100W or 150W options with pendant, wall, yoke mount or recessed configurations.
Burggraff continued: “The centre atrium of the sanctuary is about 35 feet wide with a trim height at the apex of about 60 feet, but with the previous house lights many of the areas were measuring as low as one footcandle. Additionally, due to the high trim height, the church was spending about $8,000 a week anytime they needed to rent an atrium lift to change bulbs. In the redesign, we needed to get everything down to an even trim height of about 30 feet for an even coverage, but then flanking the centre atrium on each side there was also a lower drop ceiling, plus we had an under-balcony location too. We actually needed three fixtures but they had to have a similar color temperature, look, control type and dimming curve.”
As the team at Morris continued their search for the specific products which could solve their design challenges, it was the form factor of the Altman Lighting 100 Watt recessed house light that first caught their attention and lead them to the complete Chalice family.
“For the under-balcony fixture, we wanted a 100 Watt recessed fixture but we only had about ten inches of clearance,” explained Burggraff. “Since the Altman Lighting 100W Chalice recessed can offers an eight-inch clearance this got us looking at the entire Chalice family and Altman was also able to provide the 150W recessed and 150W pendant fixture as well. They did a great job working with us to provide custom drop lengths for the pendant fixtures with hard-wired tails so that we could hit the 30-foot trim height and have DMX control throughout the entire system, which was something we could not find with any other manufacturer.”
With the product solution now identified, Morris installed a total of 86 Altman Lighting Chalice LED house lights into the Cascade Hills Church sanctuary. The complete project included 22 150W pendants for the center atrium, 34 150W recessed fixtures for the areas flanking the center atrium, and lastly 30 100W recessed fixtures for the under-balcony with all the lights controllable by either the lighting console or a wall-mounted architectural control station.
“Looking at the before-and-after of Cascade Hills, the transformation is pretty remarkable,” concluded Burggraff. “The look and output of the Altman Lighting Chalice fixtures is some of the best that we have seen from an architectural standpoint. Our goal at Morris is to always help our clients achieve the worship environment desired, and the Chalice house lights were instrumental to this project by providing a lot of data control flexibility with a great output and dimming curve.”
11th May 2017
“96 - DIE AKADEMIE” equipped with Kling & Freitag
Germany – At the end of 2016, the completely redesigned youth training centre was officially opened under the name “96 - DIE AKADEMIE”. 96 president Martin Kind and Hanover’s mayor Stefan Schostok gave the go-ahead for this together. With this large-scale project, Hanover 96 is investing a total net amount of 18 million euros in the black-white-green future. The second part should now be implemented by July 2017. In addition to more seating, the former main stand of the stadium, in which the administration rooms of the youth training centre were previously located, will be completely gutted and renovated.
The sound amplification on the two new stands was also planned and implemented by Christian Martin, the technical director at Hannover 96. Six GRAVIS 12+ W units are used in each stand and are installed in the roof structure. The loudspeakers are operated with the K&F D 80:4 system amps, which are based on the four-channel amplifiers of the same name from Lab.gruppen. The difference compared with the Lab.gruppen amplifiers is that the K&F models are activated for processing the K&F library. The library contains all modules for the system equalisation of the Kling & Freitag loudspeakers. With the Lake Controller and Dante interface, the K&F system amps offer everything an amplifier needs to offer.
Over the past year and a half, a lot has happened at Eilenriede – an area covering some 130,000 square metres in the city of Hanover. In the new administration and boarding house, in addition to eight player cabins for the teams from U10 to U17, there are various office and meeting rooms with all possibilities for video analysis and scouting. “With this new building, we have achieved the last building block to fully compete in German professional football,” said Martin Kind.
10th May 2017
The New Legend Palace Hotel in Macau Uses 504 Channels of Ashly Amplification
China – The Legend Palace Hotel is a new five-star hotel in China’s autonomous Macau, among the world’s wealthiest and most densely populated cities. The Legend Palace features over 200 rooms, six diverse restaurants, a conference centre, health and spa facilities, myriad recreational activities (including, of course, gambling!) and breathtaking views of Macau’s famous Pearl River. The sound system that supports the Legend Palace is worthy of so much luxury and relies, heart and soul, on 76 Ashly amplifiers with 504 separate channels powering 700 ceiling loudspeakers.
DC Systems Digital Communications Limited designed the sophisticated system to the exacting standards of the hotel. Although there are several zones (notably the conference centre) where DC Systems provided microphones and user-controlled auxiliary inputs, the system is largely a high-fidelity music playback system that sets the right atmosphere for the Legend Palace.
“Meeting the high standards of the Legend Palace and yet keeping the project on a reasonable budget was a value-engineering challenge for us,” explained TC Chiu, project manager with DC Systems. “Perfect fidelity was very important; the hotel did not want anything that would sound cheap. Because so many amplifier channels would be required, we also needed something that would be absolutely reliable. Ashly was a natural choice. Ashly’s products sound great and work reliably right out of the box.”
In total, the 100V distributed ceiling speaker zones feature 46 Ashly ne8250. Ten eight-channel network amplifiers, 22 ne8250. Ten four-channel 250W network amplifiers. Low impedance loudspeakers are powered by four ne8250 amplifiers, and four nX1.54 four-channel 1,500W multi-mode amplifiers. The amplifiers power 644 four-inch ceiling loudspeakers, four six-inch ceiling loudspeakers, and 62 eight-inch ceiling loudspeakers.
“The Ashly-based system at Legend Palace Hotel is everything the client had hoped for,” Chiu said. “It is stable and reliable, 24/7 services and the sound quality is excellent.”
9th May 2017
Borås Stadsteater Invests in KLANG:technologies 3D IEM Mixing System
Sweden – Located in the city of Borås, 60km East of Göteborg, the Borås Stadsteater is a municipality-owned theatre. Founded in 1964, it moved to its current building in 1975. A typical 1970s-style provincial venue, the theatre features a 500-capacity main auditorium with raked seating and a balcony. The main focus is conventional theatre, for the most part reinforced by lavalier microphones, but the theatre also hosts musical productions and occasional concerts. The programme of events includes both in-house productions and visiting acts.
By 2016 the ageing PA system had become too small and outdated to meet the demands of modern audiences, so the management team worked with the local authority to find a solution. An Alcons LR7 system was installed, along with a new Allen & Heath dLive digital mixing system.
Borås Stadsteater’s head of sound, Tobias Walka, explained the choice of in-ear for monitoring: “Since the need for in-ear mixing was becoming more and more prominent, we started looking at solutions that would fit our resources. For the most part, sound engineering for our productions is a one man gig. It's very seldom we have the personnel to do a separate monitor mix, which we feel is a must when it comes to IEM, so we turned to personal monitoring. We looked at the integrated solutions within the digital mixing system and after a bit of research we came across the KLANG system, distributed in Sweden by Electrosound, and instantly felt that this was the solution we wanted.”
“Apart from our friends at Electrosound talking very enthusiastically about the system, there was a lot of buzz around the KLANG solution online so we downloaded the demo KLANG:app and were instantly hooked,” said Walka.
“Our mixing system was already fitted with Dante, so we used that to connect to our KLANG:fabrik unit,” continued Walka. “Apart from the curve of learning Dante, the set-up was very simple. The KLANG:app is very intuitive and easy to navigate, especially when used on a larger iPad or Mac/PC. We hooked it up, patched it, assigned channels to users, added names etc. and it all worked on the first try. The KLANG outputs are connected to six Sennheiser EW300 Wireless IEMs and we premiered the system on our production of the musical Cabaret, using IEMs for the four-piece band and the two lead actors.”
Walka received an enthusiastic response from the band: “Most of the band members were familiar with working with IEMs, but all were extremely impressed with both the sound quality and the ease of use of the KLANG system. They all loved being able to adjust their levels on the fly during the gig. Since the band was seated during the whole show they loved the 3D aspect of the mixer as they could each place the sound of the other instruments where the person playing the instrument was physically situated. They all felt that it also helped greatly with both separation and clarity. The band commented that this was the first time in-ears has truly worked for them. In the past they felt IEM was a necessary evil, but with KLANG 3D IEM they loved it.”
The two lead actors both had their first experience with IEM on Cabaret and Walka felt that by controlling their own mix via the KLANG:app, they had an easier time adapting to the sonic landscape that is singing with in-ears.
Walka concluded: “For me as a sound engineer, the KLANG system was a life-saver. Set and forget. I listened in on the systems from time to time, for example when musicians wanted EQ adjustments, but other than that I could leave it up to the people using it and concentrate on doing the house mix. The ‘engineer mode’ was really simple to understand and use, so no worries there either. I would say that with outstanding sound quality, ease of use and improved working conditions for all involved, KLANG 3D IEM is a big win-win for us.”
9th May 2017
Scrub supplies ProTools | S6 console and Genelec monitoring for new audio suite at ITN Productions
UK – ITN Productions is the creative and commercial arm of the well-known news organisation, producing bespoke content for broadcasters, businesses, brands, rights holders and digital channels. With a huge and growing output spanning TV programme making, commercials, sport, corporate and branded content, in-house post-production facilities at ITN Productions have grown to 60 edit suites in just five years, most recently with the addition of a new audio suite with equipment supplied by Scrub.
“We supplemented our original D-Command audio-suite with a new S3-equipped room back in 2015,” comments head of post-production Olly Strous. “Adding an Avid Dock last year really supercharged the S3 but the new 24-fader S6-equipped room takes our production efficiency to a whole new level.”
But for Olly, it’s not just about speed: “A lot of our work is fast turnaround, so we often have to work quickly. Critically, the S6 gives us the capacity to produce so much more than simply a competent, R128-compliant mix, empowering our operators to do their best and most creative work, even in the short time available.”
For ITN Productions, the choice of a third Avid audio console was an easy one. “We’re heavily invested in Avid technology across the facility.” continues Strous. “It’s what the talent wants and expects to work on, so the S6 made perfect sense.”
The same is true of the monitoring. “We rely on the uncompromising performance and consistency of Genelec monitoring across every edit suite. And although the new audio suite is an acoustically designed space, the auto-calibration feature of the new 5.1 Genelec DSP system really helps to optimise performance.”
On the choice of supplier, Olly has high praise for Scrub, the Soho-based and post-focused division of HHB Communications. “Fantastic. The team at Scrub knows everything there is to know about audio technology, and we’re very confident in giving them our custom. From spec’ing the system through to installation and on-going support, Scrub are always helpful and very thorough. A few months into using the new S6, they were happy to reconfigure the console slightly to fit precisely with our way of working, and also recalibrated the speakers to ensure that no reflections had moved. Working with Scrub is always a positive experience.”
In addition to the S6 M40 24-fader console and Genelec 5.1 DSP active monitoring system, Scrub also supplied ITN Productions with a range of plug-ins, microphones, storage, video-capture cards and ancillary equipment.
9th May 2017
Community Provides Ideal Coverage for Christ the Redeemer Church
USA – Built in the 1980s, Christ the Redeemer Parish Church is a thriving part of the community in Atco, New Jersey. From more humble beginnings, when Deacon Charles “Chick” McAleer was part of the team that helped wire the original Church, the initial sound system used just six pendant style loudspeakers distributed down the sides of the congregation seating. Localisation, intelligibility and overall sound quality were lacking for today’s worship services, which can be attended by over 800 people. Music now also plays a much greater part in many services.
The Church found JD Sound & Video through an internet search and, after seeing the work they had done for other local churches and Catholic high schools, invited them for a consultation. JD Sound & Video designed a system using Community’s E SERIES ENTASYS loudspeakers, having previously used them with great results. They also set up a demo to enable the choir director, priest and other parishioners to hear exactly what the system would sound like.
Fully satisfied by the demo, the installation proceeded. The columns that flanked the altar provided the perfect location for the ENTASYS loudspeakers to cover the entire church. On each column, JD Sound & Video installed a double stack of full-range ENT-FR for the congregation, with ENT212 for the choir and ENT206 for altar fill. Additional low frequency reinforcement for music is provided by Community VLF208LV subwoofers at the base of each column.
Joe DiSabatino, president and lead design engineer of JD Sound & Video, commented, “The big selling point of ENTASYS was that we didn’t have to fly any large cabinets or install delay loudspeakers. The entire congregation is covered by the double stack of ENTASYS, and gain before feedback is great. With a ceiling height of 48-feet at its centre, the narrow vertical and wide horizontal dispersion of ENTASYS minimised room reflections and provided even coverage of the room’s 103-foot width and 68-foot depth with ease.”
The entire system is powered by QSC CXD-series amplifiers and is processed and controlled by a QSC Q-SYS system. The Core250 also provides control of the power sequencer and video system. A seven-inch touch panel provides users with simple mode selection and operation of microphone levels. Control is also available from any location using the Church's iPad. Four channels of Shure QLXD wireless microphones were installed and feature both handheld and bodypack transmitters.
JD Sound & Video also upgraded the Church’s video with a Barco 7,500 lumen projector and two 164-inch Da-Lite fixed screens. A ClearOne PTZ camera allows for streaming services and events live, while a 55-inch monitor provides the choir with a video preview. In addition to mass, the big screens are used for readings and songs, and also for musical events, presentations and movie nights throughout the year. The system also has the capability to stream audio and video from the parish hall next door.
DiSabatino concluded: “The even coverage and high intelligibility of the audio are very impressive. Designing it in combination with the video upgrade, we’ve been able to provide the church with a system that really communicates and involves the congregation.”
9th May 2017
Renkus-Heinz for New York City Parks Commissioner
USA – Holding stately court near the entry to the Central Park Zoo, the Arsenal is one of only two buildings on the park grounds that predate Central Park itself. Built between 1847 and 1851 as a storehouse for arms, the building's history has been rich and varied, including serving as a temporary home to the Museum of Natural History, and stints as a police precinct, art gallery, and weather bureau.
These days, the Arsenal is home to the offices of New York City's commissioner of parks and recreation. The facility hosts administration offices and service facilities, as well as a large gallery that serves as a conference room for meetings and press conferences. As Leo Garrison, senior designer for Metro Sound Pros (Washingtonville, NY) explains, the gallery space has long been problematic for those presentations.
"It's not a large space, but it's very, very reflective, with tile floors, hardwood walls, large windows and high ceilings," Garrison relates. "Normally, we'd recommend some acoustical treatment, but the room doubles as an art space, so they didn't want to have any fabric on the walls."
The building's historic status also limited their options. "In designing a sound reinforcement system for the space, it was important for us to have minimal visual impact on the room's aesthetics," adds Garrison. "The meant not only drilling as few holes as possible, but also matching the room's white colour scheme."
Garrison recommended a single Renkus-Heinz TRX82 loudspeaker system to cover the space, He cites the system's tight coverage pattern as being ideally suited for this application. "The TRX82's output dispersion is perfect for the space," he offers. "It's got more than enough power and a nice tight coverage pattern, but it's compact enough to have minimal visual impact. And Renkus-Heinz matched the paint to the walls perfectly, so it really blends in well. They're thrilled with the system."
8th May 2017
A DiGiCo S21 Gets the University of Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena Ready for The Long Game
USA - The University of Iowa knows how to maximise value. Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the 15,500-seat multipurpose indoor venue located in Iowa City that is home to the school’s legendary Hawkeyes basketball team — as well as the university's wrestling, women's basketball and volleyball teams — opened in 1983 and the sound system that was installed there then was the same one that fans listened to up until 2016.
When the school decided to upgrade the venue’s sound, its technology rep company, Sound Concepts, which is also the systems operator for the venue, knew that the school would be expecting that same kind of longevity from the next system, so it specified a DiGiCo S21 digital console knowing that DiGiCo reliability can be expected to see this new mixer through many upcoming years of unwavering service. In addition, the school also purchased DiGiCo's Purple Box MADI/Optical converter and a D-Rack, both housed in a single deployable case.
The DiGiCo S21, which was installed by AV systems integrator Parsons Audio, solves more than just the issue of durability. Marvin Smejkal, president of Sound Concepts, noted that the budget for the sound system’s renovation was cut substantially from initial estimates. That made the choice of the S21 — a marvel of value engineering — even more critical to the success of the project.
“Nothing comes close to what the S21 can offer at that price point,” Smejkal states. “I knew I wanted a DiGiCo console for this project” — Sound Concepts has specified or installed them for numerous other projects, including for the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium and the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, as well as several in the company’s rental inventory — “but the budget wouldn’t have allowed for one of the SD series consoles. However, the S21 delivers so much functionality for an incredibly cost-effective price.”
Smejkal cites the inclusion of the Purple Box fibre interfaces with the S21 and the D-Rack, this was important because the project required the use of existing limited cable conduit between the FoH position, the racks and the arena floor. “We needed to use fibre because of the limited amount of conduit and the long length of the cable runs,” he says. “The S21 package addressed that.”
The Purple Box MADI/Optical converter brought the new system even more signal-transport flexibility. Smejkal enumerates a few of the S21’s capabilities, such as its 40 Flexi Input channels, 10x8 full processing matrix, 16 assignable graphic equalisers, and Dante connectivity (which allowed the S21 to interface with the Q-SYS network connecting the PA system’s amplifiers at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena), concluding: “So much of what the S21 can do — and that’s a lot — is included in the price. For a situation like this, with a limited budget but high expectations, the DiGiCo S21 is the only real solution.”
In picture: University of Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena, home to a new DiGiCo S21 digital mixing console; Carver-Hawkeye Arena’s DiGiCo Purple Box MADI/Optical converter and D-Rack are housed in an easily transportable case; Sound Concepts’ Jay Ratcliff mans the new DiGiCo S21 for events held at the arena; Another view of the arena’s production booth.
8th May 2017
Meyer Sound Announces 21st Century Audio for Repurposed 14th Century Leiden Church
The Netherlands – A Meyer Sound system comprising 36 self-powered loudspeakers and integrated AVB audio networking has been installed in Pieterskerk, a 14th century Gothic cathedral in Leiden, now re-purposed as a community events centre. The scope and intent of the project as announced by Pieterskerk Leiden managing director Frieke Hurkmans and Eric Mattijsen of Audio Electronics Mattijsen (AEM), Meyer Sound's Dutch distributor and the system integrator chosen for the project.
"I know Meyer Sound is always looking to develop long-term relationships by providing the highest quality products and support," said Hurkmans. "At Pieterskerk Leiden we take a similar approach in striving for excellence, which means we take corporate social responsibility seriously both in restoration of our historic structure and in our business practices. This shared philosophy makes Meyer Sound the perfect partner for upgrading our audio capabilities."
Built more than 500 years before the invention of the PA system, Pieterskerk poses obvious acoustical challenges for effective sound reinforcement, a situation compounded by the need for exceptional flexibility in reconfiguring the system for various events.
"Large, reverberant rooms are always a challenge, especially if you want the high levels and excellent speech intelligibility specified by Pieterskerk," says Mattijsen. "Also, they have five different set-up configurations for the space, which means five different sound source locations. The best solution by far was the CAL™ beam steering loudspeaker working with an instantly reconfigurable distributed system of small, self-powered loudspeakers."
The completed installation features a CAL 32 column array loudspeaker with advanced digital beam steering, two UPM-1P and two UPJunior loudspeakers, plus 12 UPJunior-XP and 20 UPM-1XP IntelligentDC loudspeakers. Meyer Sound's exclusive IntelligentDC technology, employing remote 48 VDC power supplies, combines the installation ease of low voltage systems with the sonic superiority of self-powered, bi-amplified loudspeakers. A Galileo GALAXY network platform will be programmed by AEM to handle signal processing and matrixing for the various system configurations.
"The venue has been setting up a mobile system for every event, which is time-consuming and costly for labour," notes Mattijsen. "With the new Meyer Sound system, they can set up the optimum system configuration with the touch of a button on a touchscreen and it will be ready to go, tailor-made for the occasion."
The Pieterskerk project was first announced at ISE in Amsterdam by Hurkmans and Mattijsen along with Meyer Sound co-founders John and Helen Meyer.
Situated in the heart of Leiden, about 35 km southwest of Amsterdam, Pieterskerk was built over a period of 180 years beginning in 1390. A Dutch national heritage site, it was deconsecrated in 1974 and is now operated by a non-profit foundation.
5th May 2017
Stage Electrics takes University of Huddersfield students to the industry standard in live sound
UK – Stage Electrics has supplied the University of Huddersfield with a raft of live sound equipment to allow students on its BA (Hons) Music Technology, BA (Hons) Music Technology and Popular Music and BMus (Hons) Creative Music Technology courses to get hands on experience with the latest digital products.
“Working with digital consoles for live sound is something we have wanted to develop into our courses for quite some time,” says the University’s Stewart Worthy, who teaches the courses along with fellow lecturer Alex Harker. “The other part of the university already runs music technology courses with industry standard analogue consoles such as Allen & Heath and Avid, but we wanted to do something different in our area, offering two different consoles with different operating principles to give our students a more diverse experience. We’re delighted that we’ve been able to do this for the first time this year.”
Stewart worked with closely with Stage Electrics’ Rob Beamer on the tender to supply two industry standard consoles, a DiGiCo SD8 and a Yamaha CL5, along with stage racks and other associated equipment, including Sennheiser radio mics and a rack of Radial eight channel mic splitters.
“The Yamaha console is very useful because you come across them in a lot of different types of live sound activities,” Stewart continues. “The DiGiCo has become an industry standard for theatre productions, as well as other live sound applications. DiGiCo consoles also have different features and flexibility in terms of set-up, which gives our students an additional perspective. The combination of the two consoles also allows our students to work with two digital protocols, as we use Dante for the Yamaha and MADI for the DiGiCo.”
The university has integrated the new equipment into its courses through a combination of lectures and workshops. The ultimate goal is to use them on productions with students from performance modules, allowing everyone to work together and providing a real-world experience, but in a controlled environment.
“The students really enjoy using both consoles,” says Stewart. “In live performances, they have to work at both FoH and monitor, with the consoles also alternated between the two positions. Some students develop a console preference, so we give them a choice of which one they want to use for their final assessment, which is a multitrack mixing test.”
The University’s aim is, of course, to equip its students for a career in the live sound industry.
“To that end, they all have option of doing an industry placement year between their second and third years,” says Stewart. “We also participate in the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, part of which is held at the University. We like to offer students on these modules the opportunity to work on that as well, to link our courses to the real world as much as we can.”
This approach has been a great success, with former students going on to work at companies such as Wigwam Acoustics and HHB.
“We have no doubt that having digital equipment in our inventory is going to help our students immeasurably,” Stewart concludes. “We know that we are now giving them all the skills they need.”
photos: Jake Holdsworth
5th May 2017
Alcons Improves the Quality of Praise in Greer
USA – Praise Cathedral in Greer, South Carolina, is a Pentecostal church with a blend of traditional and contemporary worship styles. The recent replacement of the cathedral’s audio system has seen a newly-installed Alcons LR7 micro line-array system earn high praise from the cathedral staff.
Built 19 years ago, the cathedral has a 2,600-strong congregation, which is led each Sunday by a 150-piece choir and orchestra in music ranging from hymns to modern worship choruses. With many elements of its original audio system still in use, in 2016 it was realised that a major upgrade was needed to fulfil the expectations of present-day services.
“After consulting with the senior pastor, a committee was set up to oversee the upgrade,” says Daniel Scarbrough, Praise Cathedral media pastor for the past six years. “We brought in a specialist consultant, who suggested a range of options. We fell in love with the sound of the Alcons L-series when our local installer, Audio Solutions of Greenville, demonstrated it in our auditorium. One of the most important things was that the performance in the vocal range had to be exceptional and the pro-ribbon drivers delivered great speech intelligibility and a crisp, clear sound.”
Once the committee had chosen Alcons as its preferred solution, Alcons Audio USA provided EASE data and a variety of other technical information for the L-Series, which showed that it actually provided better coverage than the committee had specified.
“Another advantage in selecting Alcons was knowing that, as both member of the Alcons Pro-Ribbon Network and the exclusive regional dealer, Audio Solutions can provide excellent support with their extensive backline of Alcons products and their great relationship with the company,” says Daniel.
The chosen system comprises a main system of 27 Alcons LR7 micro line-array modules, three LR7B micro line-array bass modules and a pair of dual 18” BF362mkII high-output subwoofers, with three VR8 compact versatile monitors for the choir. The whole system is powered and controlled by three Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers. The main system is painted white, to better blend into the cathedral’s décor.
Along with new microphones, cabling and front of house mixing console, the new installation took only five days to complete, including tuning the Alcons system. This meant that no Sunday worship was disrupted.
“The LR7 with LR7B makes for an outstanding array, both in sound and in appearance,” says Daniel. “Adding the LR7B has allowed us to roll off the LR7s, delivering a nice blend of the low-mid frequencies and allowing the LR7s to operate in the upper frequencies for which they are best suited.”
“We are sending the extreme lower frequencies to the BF362mkII subs via an auxiliary send, which allows us to tailor the level of the subs from the mix position with ease. The choir also loves the VR8s; pushing sound to a 120-voice choir clearly and evenly from overhead has been a challenge in the past, but the VR8s have given them sound clarity like never before.”
Compared to the original audio system at Praise Cathedral, the Alcons installation has not only improved the audio quality and coverage, it has made the workload for the cathedral’s technical staff noticeably easier.
“With our old system, it felt like a rush of sound. We were having to monitor channels and continually turn things up and down to highlight a solo or to feature sections. With the Alcons speakers, if we need to feature an instrument or soloist, minor adjustments are all that are required,” says Daniel. “The sound that the pro-ribbon drivers produce is unbelievably natural. The elements that need to sit on top of the mix, like voices, sit there with ease and don’t come across as forced. This smoothness of sound makes it so much easier to mix, we don’t have to constantly ride faders to get a good overall balance.”