Project News Headlines
Solid State Logic's ORIGIN Brings Renowned SSL Sound Quality and Advanced Workflow to Sweden's Yellow Brick Studios, Part of Eslövs Folkhögskola
Transformation Church upgrades worship service production with Ayrton Levante fixtures from SES Integration
Heritage of Faith Ministries International adds StreamWorks end-to-end streaming capabilities for cross-continent communication
Berlin-based Producer Sascha Busy Acquires Solid State Logic UF8 and UC1 Controllers, 'Diving into the World of SSL' Again
Sonic Craftsman and Sub Pop Recording Artist Nicholas Galanin adds Flock Audio's PATCH to his Production Toolkit
Eleftheri Ekfrasi Theatre Keeps Zero 88 in the Family
Greece – Award-winning Eleftheri Ekfrasi Theatre in Athens, is a lively and proactive family owned and run business, benefiting from the passion and enthusiasm of a compact and dedicated team headed by Nikos Koutsaftis, who is also venue’s chief of lighting.
Producing classics from Shakespeare, Moliere, Carlo Goldoni, and many more, Eleftheri Ekfrasi Theatre is also renowned for offering a great line up of stand-up comedy and is acclaimed for its children’s theatre productions which have won several accolades and European awards.
Recently, Nikos has been busy overseeing a technical refit in the lighting department, which has included the purchase of a brand new Zero 88 FLX S48 console, which he loves!
It was his first Zero 88 product, but: “It certainly won’t be the last,” he declares with pride.
Nikos was recommended to look at Zero 88 by his friend, Antonis Panagiotopoulos, who is one of the most popular and prolific lighting designers in Greece. For many years he was the chief lighting designer of the Athens Concert Hall (Megaro Mousikis Athinon).
Antonis and Nikos are long-term family friends, and Antonis has been entwined with the origins of Eleftheri Ekfrasi Theatre since the beginning 21 years ago. He knows Zero 88 from his own extensive work with and in many venues and theatres in Greece.
Nikos wanted a high-quality professional brand to replace their previous lighting console, and one with a solid reputation for user friendly and cost-effective products, so Zero 88 and their FLX range ticked all the boxes.
It is controlling approximately 80 lights at the theatre which includes ten moving heads (soon to be increased) plus a mix of LED sources and conventional fixtures.
As an experienced lighting professional working on a wide range of different productions, Nikos was impressed generally by the features and functionality of the FLX range, especially for the small size. “I like the simplicity of the console, the power and the flexibility,” he stated, adding that he finds it “extremely easy to use,” as well as quick and logical to programme and use to create fluid sequences, cues and scenes.
“Like most LDs, I am often under time pressure, so anything that can assist the process and make it quicker and easier is just fantastic,” he declared.
In addition to being delighted with the FLX S48 itself, Nikos appreciates the excellent service and technical support from both Zero 88 and Greek distributor Bon Studio, which is also based in Athens.
Nikos looks forward to having a chance to properly utilise his FLX S48.
Everyone at the Eleftheri Ekfrasi Theatre, including Nikos’s mother Mairy Igglesi and sister Eirini Koutsafti, both well-known actresses, is looking forward to creating great shows again and, most of all, to performing to live audiences.
A new work for children written by Eirini Koutsafti is in the pipe, addressing the benefits of recycling and the importance of helping the planet survive in the global warming crisis, and there is a constant stream of ideas and many other future plans, all based on their collective love for the theatre and the influence and stimulation that can be produced from intelligent and entertaining performance.
photo: Eleftheri Ekfrasi Theatre
30th July 2021
A futuristic Odyssey for Robert Juliat Dalis 860 at Scottish Ballet
UK – Scottish Ballet has recently taken possession of a second consignment of Robert Juliat Dalis 860 cyclorama lights bringing its total inventory to 26. The award-winning Dalis 860 fixtures were supplied quickly and efficiently by Adlib’s Glasgow branch to provide Scottish Ballet with a versatile tool that can adapt to many environments and design requirements.
The upgrading of Scottish Ballet’s lighting systems began with a focus on cyclorama fixtures. “Cyc lighting is a fairly constant requirement at Scottish Ballet, and we don’t anticipate models to change dramatically. We wanted an LED replacement for our existing fixtures that looked the part as well as doing a great job,” explains Scottish Ballet’s technical director, Matt Strachan. “I have been looking at Robert Juliat’s Dalis at trade shows for several years but never had a chance to use them in anger and discover what they are capable of. Then we hired them for our world premiere of Christopher Hampson’s The Snow Queen for the winter season 2019/2020, lit by Paul Pyant, and our experience was enough to convince us to buy them.
“All it took was a quick phone call to Barclay Dakers at Adlib and the process was put into action. We have known Adlib for many years and always receive good service from them.” Robert Juliat is distributed exclusively in the UK by Ambersphere Solutions whose Ian Green supported Adlib and the Scottish Ballet in this project.
Scottish Ballet’s curved cyclorama is 15m wide with a 6m deflection and 7.5m high. “That’s a big swathe of cloth to light but we were able to position the Dalis units just 1.5m behind the cloth and they belted straight up and covered it beautifully. I remember thinking ‘that is superb! We need to start buying these!’.”
The RJ Dalis 860 cyclorama lights were purchased in two batches in early and mid 2020 to fit budget availability, and each unit was supplied with Quick Rig fittings and a flightcase set up with link cables, DMX, etc as a complete package. “We can just wheel them out individually as they are, where and when we want them,” says Strachan. “The low profile and slim dimensions mean they are so neat you can squeeze them into very tight environments, and they don’t need a great throw distance either. They are silent and give out very little heat which is much safer for the dancers. The Quick Rig system is very sleek! It’s very well thought through and straightforward in how it can be deployed.”
The additional Dalis 860 fixtures gave Strachan and his team the opportunity to ‘future-proof’ the Ballet’s full scale shows, which will start with The Nutcracker during the winter season tour 2021/22, and will be followed by The Scandal at Mayerling, Coppelia, and a revival of The Snow Queen in 2022/23. “Next year the Dalis will hardly be in their cases,” says Strachan. “Not only can we now populate the top and bottom of cyc entirely with Dalis for maximum coverage in a traditional setting, but we also have the flexibility of the kind that arose when we filmed Odyssey.”
Odyssey is a new work choreographed by Scottish Ballet Soloist, Nicholas Shoesmith. Directed by Ciaran Lyons, it was a high-octane short dance film that took viewers on a journey through a gaming landscape inhabited by otherworldly beings, where the real and virtual collide.
Filmed during lockdown in a 20m2 by 8m high pop-up performance space in Scottish Ballet’s production area, Odyssey’s futuristic design proved an unconventional setting for Dalis 860. Strachan rigged 26 Dalis units vertically on the set truss, in full view of the cameras, where they became an integral part of the structure within the virtual area. “Our initial assumption was that we would have to cover them with frost and conceal the units,” explains Strachan, “but the Dalis is so beautifully crafted they are pleasing to look at, even when they are switched off, so the TV lighting director asked for the covers to be removed as he wanted to see the lights themselves. We ended up making a feature of them on the structure for the camera looks and the TV team just loved them, happily replacing the lighting they brought with them. It was great to use Dalis in a completely different way from what we actually purchased them for.”
Scottish Ballet’s house MA2 lighting programmer, Kieran Kenning was excited to discover the potential Dalis offered when creating a series of designs to run up and down the face of the fixtures, making full use of their range of colours and programmability, to enhance the space-age ‘holodeck’ effect and create transition scenes as actors ‘transferred’ from one environment to the next.
“Kieran loves the Dalis for the flexibility that they give him. He came up with the designs for the effects for Odyssey and there is a lot more he can do there going forward,” says Strachan. “He can quickly create states to show a film company or a designer as they give him so much scope. We now have a tool that can adapt to most environments and requirements, and, being Robert Juliat, we would expect them to last at least ten years.
“We’ve only just started to use Dalis; as time goes on we will develop our understanding and how much more usage we can have of them. Initially, I honestly cannot fault them in any shape or form.”
30th July 2021
Stage Electrics Begins Installation at The Shakespeare North Playhouse
UK – Stage Electrics has begun work on site at Kier Construction’s latest theatrical project, The Shakespeare North Playhouse in Knowsley, Prescot.
The “Playhouse” will be a 350 seat theatre, modelled on the cockpit-in-court design that was popular during the Elizabethan era, and will complete the UK's “Shakespearean triangle”: London, Stratford-upon-Avon and Prescot.
Secured as part of a competitive tender process, the project will see Stage Electrics deliver the infrastructure for lighting, sound and communications throughout the purpose-built venue, including custom patch panels designed and manufactured by the company’s in-house specialist teams.
Karl Formstone, technical project manager for Stage Electrics commented: “When complete, the Shakespeare North Playhouse will be a stunning, state of the art, attraction, and a new standout landmark for Prescot and the surrounding area.”
Working to designs by Architects Austin-Smith:Lord and technical design consultant Arup, the project is expected to be handed over to the Shakespeare North Trust, the operator of the landmark venue on behalf of Knowsley Council, in 2022.
30th July 2021
PSI and Doughty team up on Grand Opera House, Belfast
UK – Doughty Engineering and PSI have teamed up to deliver the design and installation of specialist infrastructure at the Grand Opera House in Belfast. PSI was contracted by Tracey Brothers to facilitate the design and installation on the project which included a complete rewire of the production lighting and control, dimmers, audio, comms, stage management desks, show relay and foyer paging, as well as providing a new house lighting system and additional elements to the in-house stage engineering system. All packages were specified by Charcoalblue.
PSI, which is a dealer for Doughty in both Northern Ireland and Ireland, brought Doughty on board very early on in the project. David Mckeown, project manager explained: “Work commenced on site in January 2020 and then the pandemic hit in March. Initially the programme was ten months to hand over at the end of October 2020, but this was then extended to March 21.”
He continued: “Then, in January 2021, Brexit, along with the NI Protocol made the project even more difficult to manage than the pandemic and hence the programme was extended yet again to accommodate for this. Everything from delivery of goods to the wearing of additional PPE, a one-way system around the theatre and having to separate trades into designated areas proved difficult at first but like most, it became normalised.”
Working with Doughty, PSI specified a range of bespoke kit as well as a huge number of standard clamps and brackets, over 100 facility panels, standard clamps, truss brackets, boom arms and internally wired bars. Brian Reilly, director at PSI said: “We actually had an amazing, curved bar for the front of house position. This curved IWB proved a challenge as when we first carried out a 3D survey of the fixing points it was discovered that while all looking plumb, they were all at slightly different heights. Therefore, not only did the IWB have to curve to match the geometry of the balcony façade, but also the differential in mounting position heights, so a very complicated piece of geometry was required during fabrication. When the IWB came to site, it fit like a glove to the fixing positions, but, then again, did we expect anything less from Doughty?”
Dan Phillips and the Doughty team worked through the complete package of requirements with PSI to deliver the new system. “This was without doubt one of the most challenging projects we've ever worked on with Doughty. Working through a pandemic is one thing but add an insane amount of government red tape and you can see how we had our work cut out. Fortunately for us, Doughty is made up of a great team of people who never fail to deliver even though they had to contend with a shortage of raw materials on top of everything else, but they were always accommodating and worked to best achieve our large requirements. As a result, the relationship between Doughty and PSI is stronger than ever.”
29th July 2021
Nigeria’s BossFM Radio Station goes Pro Virtual with Lawo RƎLAY
Nigeria – BossFM 95.5, a leading contemporary FM radio station operating out of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, serves a wide audience base with a unique blend of talk shows and music genres. Following the decision to make the talent’s mission as straight-forward and intuitive as possible, BossFM’s on-air studio has been equipped with Lawo’s IP-based RƎLAY virtual radio software, which replaces their former digital console.
With this important upgrade, BossFM 95.5 becomes the first genuinely virtual radio station in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.
The talent-first design and immediacy of the on-air studio’s desktop layout are provided by Lawo’s professional and affordable RƎLAY software suite, which offers a full-blown broadcast mixer and more: mixing, processing, and routing can be performed on a touchscreen connected to an off-the-shelf PC, or on a laptop for on-location shows.
RƎLAY allows BossFM to mix 24 audio sources as well as AES67-compliant AoIP signal streams directly on the station’s PC, for pristine audio production and output.
BossFM 95.5’s owner especially appreciates the fact that: “Showing our on-air talent and staff the basic functionalities of this novel tool took just a couple of hours. The first show presented with our new virtual setup went live that same afternoon.”
RƎLAY’s seamless integration with third-party hardware and applications has allowed BossFM to turbocharge its capabilities, with enough resource capacity to expand even further, in line with future needs. Other members of the RƎLAY product family, like VPB Virtual Patch Bay, VSC Virtual Sound Card and AES67 Stream Monitor software, provide comprehensive tools that make it possible to have an all-in-one radio station right on a PC.
Opeyemi Ogunsaju of Mega Cyber Plus, Lawo’s partner in Nigeria, who was in charge of system integration and service support, confirms: “RƎLAY’s simple and straight-forward looks are deceptive. This virtual radio suite brings professional radio production to any radio station, complete with Audio-over-IP and internal routing.”
29th July 2021
Sonosphere collaborates on immersive mix room at Metropolis
UK – Immersive audio and live streaming specialist Sonosphere, in conjunction with Metropolis Studios, has created a new mix room at its home, the Power House, Chiswick, London. The Munro Acoustics- designed, Dolby certified studio has a centrally located mix position, with comprehensive immersive audio monitoring designed to cater for all surround formats. The control room pursues an ambitious and flexible new ‘hub studio’ approach.
“The plan was to make the studio as versatile as possible,” states Sonosphere commercial director Jamie Gosney. “We started out looking at building a room for podcasting and immersive content creation for games and other VR simulations. However, in terms of the music market, Dolby Atmos is very much the standard. So we decided to ‘have our cake and eat it’, and build a room to fully meet the Atmos specifications: an immersive monitoring environment capable of 11.1.8 Dolby Atmos, currently the highest Dolby resolution in the country. The room has been equipped for all possible formats, including having a Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite server.” Three Neumann KH 420 tri- amplified monitors are soffit-mounted to the front wall (with one KH 420 horizontal, beneath the video screen). Twin Neumann KH 870 subwoofers flank the three-way monitors, with low frequency response down to 18Hz.
A key mission was to ensure clean and extended low frequency from the twin subwoofers, with the required isolation to accurately judge tone-shaping a full octave below the effective range of many monitoring systems. Part of the mix room construction involved nearly two tons of sand to isolate the back wall, which adjoins another studio at Metropolis. Surround monitoring is handled by 17 Neumann KH 120 compact bi-amplified studio monitors, renowned for uniformity between units, and with a ± 1.0dB linearity deviation between 100Hz–10kHz.
A key member of the Sonosphere studio team is mix engineer Phil Wright, well known as an expert in mixing live concert sound; his credits range from Paul McCartney, the RPO, Brian May and Benny Andersson, through the English National Ballet and Katherine Jenkins, and include broadcast mixes for Children In Need and Comic Relief 2020, Lianne La Havas and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. “The whole point of Atmos is that it is loudspeaker system agnostic,” Wright explains, “you mix one master file, called a Dolby Atmos Master File (DAMF). This is used to deliver the content to the end- user and then the end-user’s equipment plays a version of the content suitable for the equipment attached. You might have a completely discreet 7.1.4 cinema system – or a soundbar – the Atmos file can be decoded to best reflect the gear you own.”
Wright explains a design philosophy aimed at enabling mix work not only for Dolby Atmos, but for any immersive format. “We decided on three loudspeakers across the back wall, with all the loudspeakers around the room arrayed at 30° of separation to each other, so the setup was completely symmetrical for doing third-order [high-order Ambisonic] work. Atmos is more ‘front-centric’ so one of the rear loudspeakers will not be in use, and two of the others will be electronically adjusted for Dolby using a DAD (Digital Audio Denmark) AX32 monitor controller. The AX32 enables any number of virtual room presets to be optimised for different immersive formats.”
Part of the new ‘hub studio’ approach includes freedom from dependence on any particular mix hardware. “Jamie has designed this beautiful DAW workstation that’s on a three-metre umbilical to the wall,” reveals Wright, “so for a DAW-based workflow, you can sit with Pro Tools, Logic, Reaper or the client’s DAW of choice in the sweet spot in the centre of the room. When we have a ‘live’ job, or a client whose preferred workflow is a mixer, then we take the locks off and wheel the DAW to the side of the room at 90° to the engineer.”
“One of the other reasons we decided not to put a permanent console in is because there's been quite a bit of interest from theatre designers who would bring their own desk in,” adds Gosney. “When we designed the room we consulted with a number of live sound engineers, concert system and theatre designers who normally have not been able to set up or program their immersive systems until they are in a rehearsal room or venue. As a result, we’ve focused on creating benchmark acoustics with a central immersive listening position served by 22 loudpseakers. This means that any designer of almost any show can set up in the room and program their show on our system. They can work ‘in-the-box’, or on any digital console for theatre, broadcast, studio tracking, mixing or post-production project.”
The new studio adds an immersive dimension to Metropolis’s comprehensive array of four recording studios and five mastering rooms. The facility is already well known for music, with two thirds of 2021’s domestic Brit Award Winners having recorded there. There are many opportunities in the pipeline for the new studio, with streaming and delivery options provided by the Sonosphere team.
Sonosphere commercial director Jamie Gosney concludes: “There is already a significant order book for the room in terms of record labels, who want well-known catalogue content remixed in Atmos so they can add it to HD streaming services. We are also in talks with a number of live venues, production companies and promotors as the studio can be very easily attached, via fibre, to virtually and venue in the country and used as a live broadcast and streaming hub, thus eliminating the need for production companies to park large OB vehicles outside their venues. We also have the ability to handle soundtracks and post-production for the film industry. The possibilities are truly endless.”
29th July 2021
Xi’an Olympic Sports Center Team Up with Allen & Heath to Form a Winning Partnership
China – Purpose-built to host the upcoming 2021 National Games of China, Xi’an Olympic Sports Center is the largest sports venue in the north-western province of Shaanxi.
Completed in July 2020 with a total build cost of $1.12 billion, the centre occupies an area of 866,667 square meters and houses three distinct venues: a 60,000 seater athletics stadium with track and field facilities, a gymnasium capable of seating 18,000 people and a swimming and diving hall that accommodates 4,000 spectators. After the 14th National Games draw to a close, the centre will transition to hosting international sports events, exhibitions and conferences in addition to acting as a multi-function sports centre for nearby cities and towns.
As the plans for the ambitious project were put into action, the contract to design and supply the audio system for the Xi’an Olympic Sports Center was awarded to distributor and installer EZPro, who were tasked with delivering a reliable “always-on” solution that was also flexible and easy to use.
“The challenges we had to overcome in the system design of Xi’an Olympic Sports Center included long-distance digital audio signal transmission, D/A signal switching and audio signal delay,” explains EZPro’s Zhang Xianjun, the project’s technical designer. “But when it came to specifying the six digital mixers for the project, we knew we wouldn’t have to look beyond Allen & Heath’s range of digital mixers, with Dante cards enabling the scalable redundant audio transmission”. All three of the Allen & Heath product families deployed in the install – dLive, Avantis and SQ – are built on the XCVI 96kHz FPGA engine, delivering a consistent standard of high-resolution low-latency audio across the main and backup systems, regardless of their form factor.
To ensure no disruption to audio in the event of a single point failure, EZPro implemented redundancy throughout the system, from microphone to loudspeaker and everything in-between. At the input stage, non-redundant analogue sources are patched through passive splitters to deliver discrete signals to the main and backup systems. In each of the three venues, a pair of Allen & Heath mixers are deployed, running simultaneously at all times, allowing seamless switchover in the event of signal loss. Dante outputs from the main and backup mixers feed the primary and secondary Dante networks respectively, with a third independent network utilised solely for control signals throughout the complex. At the output stage, amplifiers with both Dante and analogue inputs were the preferred choice for peace of mind. The Primary Dante network feeds the amplifiers directly, while the secondary Dante network output is converted to analogue via Allen & Heath’s DT168 Dante I/O expanders to provide a redundant signal to the amplifiers.
For the main stadium, a dLive C3500 Surface is partnered with a CDM48 MixRack to form the main system. The dLive C3500 is the most compact dual-screen Surface in the dLive range, enabling the operator to take advantage of dLive’s intuitive Harmony UI, whilst maintaining a compact 24-fader frame size. As with all dLive systems, the MixRack offers 128 channels of input processing, with a configurable 64 bus architecture, allowing the installer to choose a MixRack I/O configuration to suit the application. For the stadium’s backup system, EZPro opted for an Avantis, a standalone mixer offering 24 faders in conjunction with 64 input channels and 42 mix busses, plus a GX4816 I/O Expander to mirror the analogue I/O of the primary system. Both the dLive and the Avantis are fitted with Dante I/O cards to integrate with the Primary and Secondary Dante networks. At the other end, a rack of 34 Powersoft Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D amplifiers connected directly to the primary Dante network, with the secondary network converted to analogue via DT168 feed the 136 EAW speakers located throughout the stadium.
In the gymnasium, the main system is also built around a dLive C3500 Surface, this time paired with the compact CDM32 MixRack, with an SQ-7 employed as the backup system. The SQ-7’s 32 onboard mic preamps mirror the 32 mic inputs on the CDM32, with 33 faders on hand for control. As with the stadium, both systems integrate with the Dante networks via Dante I/O cards to provide redundant Dante feeds to the gymnasium’s Powersoft amp rack and EAW speakers.
The choice of Allen & Heath’s flagship dLive system in the stadium and gymnasium was in no small part down to the modular nature of the system, and the flexibility this offers when it comes to the location of the Surface. “In the main stadium and gymnasium, there is no openable observation window in the control room” notes EZPro’s Zhang Xianjun. “As the dLive audio engine is in the MixRack, we can confidently change the location of the Surface when required. We can effectively reduce the risk of control interface crashing, and at the same time meet the requirements of a flexible tuning position, ease-of-use and fast set up.”
In the swimming and diving hall, where visibility is not an issue, a pair of SQ-6 mixers are deployed as the main and backup mixer, with Dante cards fitted to both for redundancy of the networked audio, again feeding Powersoft amps and EAW speakers. For the natatoriums more modest requirements, the SQ-6’s 24 onboard mic preamps, feeding the 48-channel / 36-bus mix engine, was sufficient to meet current and future requirements.
With the facility now open for business, the design and install of the system was viewed as a resounding success by all involved. “The schedule was pressing, yet the sound system installation and commission were finished on time thanks to EZPro’s efforts,” says Zhou Jun, chief technical engineer of the stadium project. “Third-party experts were invited to provide feedback, and they returned a high recommendation. The delivery was accepted without any doubt, and it meets the high Chinese standards for fabulous technical performance.”
28th July 2021
NEXO Delivers a Personal Audio Experience at Stockton Parish Church
UK – Audiologic worked together with Sound Source AV to deliver a sound system upgrade at the Stockton Parish Church that delivers a well-balanced and personal audio experience for all its attendees.
Built in 1712, Stockton Parish Church prides itself on being a diverse, lively and charismatic church with its attendees and community set at the heart of everything they strive to deliver, led by minister Mark Miller.
As with all historic and complex buildings, delivering an exceptional audio experience is somewhat a challenge. Stockton Parish Church as a project was no different. With its previous set-up, the church suffered audio which was non-uniform throughout the listening area and speech intelligibility was poor due to the acoustics of the space. A level of uniformity was required to ensure all attendees received the same listening experience, no matter where they were in the building.
Sound Source Audio, a small business installing AV solutions to organisations (particularly places of worship) across the North East of England, were commissioned with the project and worked with Audiologic to deliver the right solution. The project was a long time in the preparations and the acoustics in the environment meant the design process was critical. Audiologic worked with Sound Source Audio to help arrange a series of trials which showed the NEXO Array system (two hangs of six GeoM620 cabinet arrays a side, with two ID24 fills and LS600 subs all powered through two NX1AMP4x1 amplifiers.
Mark Miller comments: “We wanted to upgrade the sound system in the church that would deliver the audio experience for all our attendees that we were looking for. It’s important to me that the delivery of our services is inclusive. Everyone should feel like they are being personally spoken to and the NEXO solution did just that.”
Jamie Harvie, owner, Sound Source Audio adds: “As a business, our model is to form long term personal relationships with our customers and a few suppliers. Audiologic is one of those key suppliers and are a large part of what makes Sound Source successful.
The ability to contact Audiologic for advice and support before placing an order is invaluable. They always provide a great service through the order process, and I can depend on them for help if something were to go wrong. Audiologic’s overall support and attention to detail made this project run smoother than we could have imagined. The result was a great sound system and a delighted customer.”
27th July 2021
SLA Warsaw Club / Restaurant Delivers Audio Versatility with BlacklineX
Poland – A new restaurant in the Polish capital of Warsaw has been equipped throughout with Martin Audio BlacklineX series loudspeakers.
The system was supplied by Phono Media, Martin Audio’s Polish distributor, and installed by High Shine, run by Jakub Ołdak, with whom they have worked closely for many years. The entire AV project was under the specification of AV system designer, Michał Malczyński.
SLA Warsaw is situated right in the heart of the city, and combines restaurant, nightclub (with dance floor) and cocktail bar. Hence a potent sound system was required as part of an advanced AV solution that would cater for several different scenarios.
“This is an extremely interesting space, with a design which transfers guests from the centre of the city into the heart of the jungle,” say Phono Media. “The most important requirement from the investor was that the sound system had to provide the best quality possible and perform several functions: hi-fi quality background music during the daytime and after dark a full-on disco sound with sufficient bass. This needed to be distributed evenly between all rooms—the main space in front of the bar and the dance floor, with all communication between the rooms.”
To achieve this Michał Malczyński specified a total of four Blackline X10 and 12 Blackline X8, respectively reinforced with an SX212 subwoofer and a pair of SX110 subs. Infills are provided by six Martin Audio ADORN ACP-55T.
Maciej added that BlacklineX had been the obvious solution and their recommendation was taken on trust and the strength of relationship with designer and integrator. With BlacklineX, the manufacturer has taken the classic Blackline portable / club series and re-engineered it from the ground up.
But the project was not without its challenges. Since this was a new build, with a strong architectural element, care had to be taken with the placement of the equipment so that it enhanced the aesthetic, rather than detracted from it.
Proof of concept was delivered in style over the weekend of 12-13 June, when the club opened its doors for the first time to create precisely the atmosphere the operators had been hoping for.
27th July 2021
Outline adds the sound to “Ashdod Lights”
Israel – The city of Ashdod, one of Israel’s largest international cruise and cargo ports and southern Israel’s only outlet to the Mediterranean through which much of the country’s citrus crop is exported, hosts a number of industries and a petrol refinery, but excavations have traced this vibrant city’s roots back to the 17th century BC.
Funded by the city’s municipality, Ashdod recently launched “Ashdod Lights”, a tour enabling visitors to walk round five key locations hosting high-impact AV art installations, including video art projections on buildings and water screens, projection mapping, lighting and laser effects and holograms.
Tel Aviv-headquartered pro audio company Gidron Levitan, Italian manufacturer Outline’s Israeli distributor, was commissioned to provide the audio systems for this high-profile project and company owner, sound engineer and musician Eytan Gidron, explains the brief received.
“It was for crystal-clear powerful sound covering large areas from loudspeakers which had to be weather-proof, as all five installations are outdoors. I therefore immediately suggested Outline STADIA speakers to the audio consultant, as each Stadia 100 is actually four line array elements in one box, specifically designed for this type of application, thanks also to unbeatable weather resistance.”
For the projection mapping on the facade of the Ashdod municipality building, six STADIA 100 and six custom weather-proof DBS 18-2 subwoofers are installed, as well as six OutSIDE-coated VEGAS 12 CX as surround speakers.
The city’s Art Museum is a high impact glass-roofed pyramid hosting contemporary Israeli and international art in its numerous galleries and halls, including the Green Submarine gallery, dedicated to works of environmental art made from recycled materials. In the Museum’s entrance area, four STADIA 28, three STSUB-215 and six VEGAS 8 CX surround loudspeakers are deployed.
Sound at the laser show at the nearby Pisgah is courtesy of four STADIA 100 and three custom weather-proof Outline’s SUB 218 subwoofers. The video projections on a water screen at the Ashdod Sea Park have an even greater impact thanks to two STADIA 100 and four custom weather-proof DBS 18-2 subwoofers.
At Sea Fort, which hosts video projections on the remains of a Roman fortress located on the Mediterranean coast, with a spectacular 12-minute video narrating the story of Ashdod from ancient times, the soundtrack is fed out by four of Outline’s ARENA 215 CX, two STSUB-215 and four OutSIDE-coated VEGAS 12 CX on surround chores.
Outline’s unique OutSIDE weather-proof three-layer elastoplastic coating material ensures IP55 protection, resulting in systems that are impervious to weather conditions and therefore the ideal choice for this type of application.
As well as this fundamental aspect, premium audio quality was also obviously indispensable and on this matter Gidron concludes, enthusing, “When my technical support specialist Nadav Yarkoni visited all five locations for the audio routing and fine tuning audio he said all five had great sound quality and consultant Amir Etkin also said he too was very happy with the Outline systems’ sound quality!”
26th July 2021
Solid State Logic's ORIGIN Brings Renowned SSL Sound Quality and Advanced Workflow to Sweden's Yellow Brick Studios, Part of Eslövs Folkhögskola
Sweden – Folkhögskola, Scandinavia’s version of the arts and science community college, can trace its origin to a social movement at the turn of the twentieth century to provide farmers’ children with a higher education. Now, one of those schools, Sweden’s Eslövs Folkhögskola, has a new origin story, with the installation of a Solid State Logic ORIGIN 32-channel analogue inline mixing console and an integrated UF8 advanced DAW controller at its Yellow Brick Studios.
The studio facilities are housed in a new building at the school, which was established in 1897, that includes a multi-purpose room accommodating music and musical theatre, dance and art gallery spaces, known as the Multihuset, or multi-room. The new studios encompass a 280 square foot control room featuring the SSL ORIGIN plus two recording and songwriting rooms, each 323 square feet. The adjoining 1,723-square-foot multi-room, used for teaching and performances by various arts disciplines, serves as the main recording room and offers a ceiling height of over 25 feet.
Joakim Barfalk, who owns and operates Chromophone Records & Studios, consulted with the school on the new studio project and, alongside Swedish pro audio equipment provider ARVA, provided guidance on technology choices and recording room acoustics and also wired the rooms and integrated the equipment. Barfalk has built and outfitted numerous facilities across southern Sweden since 2005 through his Audios design and integration firm.
Following consultations with the school, Barfalk says: “We found that the SSL ORIGIN was the audio console that fit both the client and space the best. ORIGIN provides, among other things, great and well-renowned SSL sound quality via its preamps, EQs and mix busses, and the number of channels is well suited to the client.” Because the new multi-room is used to record large acoustic ensembles and choirs, he says, “Finding an audio console where all channels have the same dynamic range and transparency was another contributing factor in making this choice.”
The school also needed a DAW control surface for the main studio. SSL’s UF8 controller was also a perfect choice, Barfalk says. “Considering that it could be fully integrated into ORIGIN, and that it was adapted to all the DAWs that the studio was going to be kitted-out with, we chose to fit a UF8 in the middle of the console right from the start. It has been greatly appreciated by both students and staff.”
Because Yellow Brick Studios is primarily a learning environment, the school wanted all of the equipment to be from recognisable brands and to include a complement of microphones, monitors and other equipment typically found at professional facilities. “We put together an impressive mic locker which more than covered the school’s needs and also offers a great collection to anyone renting the space. After deciding on SSL ORIGIN, we selected a pair of Thomas Barefoot’s MM 27 speakers plus a Bricasti M7 as the studio's main reverb,” he says.
Barfalk’s Audios firm interconnected all the rooms with analogue audio tielines plus Ethernet cabling for Dante transport, musician foldback and video links. “We did all the installation including the full patchbay, which included wiring for outboard. We connected traditional copper wires to and from all the recording spaces,” he says, using the shortest possible runs.
“Channels 1-16 are connected to recording room 1 and channels 17-32 are connected to recording room 2 in normal mode. In simply switching over in the patchbay, some or all of channels 1-32 can be accessed from the multi-room” at the ORIGIN console, he says.
“Aside from using ultra high-end conversion to and from the computer, we also equipped the Mac Pro with Dante networking. The wiring makes it possible to simultaneously record 32 channels from the multi-room via the SSL ORIGIN as we record 64 channels via Dante with external preamps or a digital console.”
As things turned out, Barfalk was one of the first clients to use Yellow Brick Studios’ new facilities, tracking strings for Dreamland, a new musical by composer Chris Miller and lyricist Nathan Tysen, an American songwriting team, and choirs for two other projects. Having previously worked on a variety of SSL consoles at Peter Gabriel’s Real World facility in the UK and studios across Sweden, Barfalk is ideally positioned to comment on the new desk’s performance. “ORIGIN’s EQ works just as expected from having used other SSL gear,” he says. “The EQ is capable of moving seamlessly between soft, sweeping brushstrokes to accurate, almost surgical procedures.”
He continues: “When I work with strings, I want to capture the acoustic sound as naturally as possible, and therefore always choose spaces where the instruments sound good. Choice and placement of the microphone is the only flavour I wish to add. It is also important that the preamp and other parts of the sound-chain are as dynamic and transparent as possible. SSL ORIGIN was set with as short a signal path as possible, which delivered the expected clear and dynamic sound with high separation and good integrity.”
Barfalk captured room ambiance with a pair of Jörgen Thuresson CM501 microphones, which offer extended low frequency response. “ORIGIN reproduced these sub frequencies so well that we had to adjust the high-pass filter to cut out the lowest bass sounds to avoid recording any disturbing sounds from the far outside of the house.”
He also used a pair of passive Royer ribbon microphones, which typically require a lot of gain at the mic preamp. “As always, I also connected a Cloudlifter to see if the signal-to-noise ratio and frequency reproduction changed. I can honestly say that the difference, if any, was so unnoticeably small that I chose to record with the SSL as the only amplification,” he says.
During his career, Barfalk says, he has mixed hundreds of live performances at front-of-house where he often has to quickly dial up a mix, whether using an analogue or a digital console. “Both have their obvious advantages and disadvantages, and the workflow tends to be a bit different based on the different console layouts. But I am often surprised by how fast I can put together a sound image when I have simultaneous access to all faders, knobs, switches and EQs on an analogue console,” he says.
“Much of this is based on the console providing you with a clear layout, that the EQ and mic preamp deliver good dynamics and that it responds swiftly to any changes that you make,” Barfalk says. “The fact that Yellow Brick Studios, with the SSL ORIGIN, now has the same ergonomics and overview, I believe, can contribute to teachers and students being awarded great opportunities to develop efficient workflows.”
23rd July 2021
Transformation Church upgrades worship service production with Ayrton Levante fixtures from SES Integration
USA – Transformation Church (TC), a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, mission-shaped community outside Charlotte in Indian Land, South Carolina, has added Ayrton Levante fixtures to its inventory of equipment used in producing worship services.
TC acquired the Levante fixtures from SES Integration, a division of Special Event Services located in North Carolina. Levante fixtures are a dramatically miniaturised version of Ayrton’s Bora wash light offering outstanding performance capabilities in an ultra-compact format. Levante’s optics produce an extremely uniform flat beam with no hot spot, ensuring a perfect colour mix regardless of the colour combination selected.
Jeff Cranfill, owner and lighting designer at Special Event Services, recommended the Levante to TC. "The entire line of Ayrton fixtures is very well constructed with high output and great features,” he says. “I have had great results using the Levante wash fixtures in concert and video settings. The beam is very smooth edge to edge, and the framing shutters make it easy to create a video-friendly wash across the entire stage down to a single spot. Colour temperature adjustments are very consistent fixture to fixture, and the range of colour temperature is large. This makes the fixture very usable in many environments. All of the Ayrton fixtures have very good optics along with even colour mixing and a great variety of gobos. They are some of the best LED source fixtures I have worked with, and I highly recommend them for touring and installs.”
Zach McCrorey, lighting designer and production director at TC, admits that he arrived “slightly sceptical” at the Levante demo set up by SES Integration since he’d never used an Ayrton product before. “But after being introduced to the product line, my scepticism was a thing of the past. I was blown away by the features housed within the Levante and left the demo deciding that the Levante was a top contender among the fixtures we had researched” for the church, which was delivering its services online during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ultimately, McCrorey removed all incandescent fixtures to make room for seven Levante units. “What a world of difference these fixtures have made,” he declares! “The Levantes have been an absolute game changer, and the quality of our online experience has been raised tenfold. In conjunction with our most recent broadcast camera upgrades, our key lighting infrastructure had to be enhanced as well. Now, our team on stage is lit so incredibly well in person, and that translates beautifully through the camera lens to those watching from home. Also, there are multiple broadcast locations within our auditorium – from the main stage to the broadcast host location to our baptistery area – and utilising the very smooth framing shutters has made highlighting any area within the auditorium a breeze.”
McCrorey believes the Levante would be an asset to any house of worship, regardless of its size. “They would be impressed by the performance and features that the Levante effortlessly delivers,” he says. “The output is superb, the beam is incredibly flat, and there are absolutely zero hotspots thrown from the lens.
“As our community is multi-ethnic, being able to light diverse skin tones quickly and correctly is important,” he notes. “Levante’s colour palette mixes very well, and the colours displayed are crisp. The fixture is quiet and quick in response. But what is truly mind-blowing is how compact it is! We utilise a single-man lift for all strike and installation of lighting fixtures, so weight was an important factor in deciding which fixture to purchase. We were thrilled to learn that this awesome fixture came in right under 50lbs.”
McCrorey reports that TC is “incredibly pleased with the purchase we made and the powerful performance delivered by the Levante fixtures. It’s a phenomenal light. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a few more Ayrton products very soon!”
ACT Entertainment (formerly ACT Lighting, Inc.) is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton products in North America.
22nd July 2021
Flexible Seating with the Wow Factor at The Globe, Stockton
UK – Stockton Globe Theatre recently underwent a magnificent renovation, with a fresh look that recaptures the essence of the 1930s. But how did the theatre balance authenticity of design with operational needs when it came to the seating? Nina Parmenter from Audience Systems explains.
A major live entertainment destination in the north-east of England, Stockton Globe has a capacity of up to 3,000. Used as a bingo hall for many years, this beautiful art deco theatre eventually fell out of use in 1997.
The auditorium was brought back to life as part of an overhaul of the whole building by Stockton Borough Council. In terms of seating, authenticity was important, but the auditorium also needed to be a flexible and manageable space for new operators Ambassador Theatre Group.
Audience Systems worked with theatre consultant Chris Baldwin to create a two-part seating package. The seats on the balcony are based on an Audience Systems Icon chair; however, with a few special design touches, the chair has become something quite distinct. Bespoke elements include a timber rail above the seat upholstery, a full depth back, a soft close seat return, and, as a final unique flourish, a triple routed seat number recess inspired by the 'O' in the Globe’s iconic logo.
In the stalls area, the design challenges were operational. Some events in the auditorium will be all seated, some part-standing. So Audience Systems was given the brief of creating a removable seating layout that could be stored under the stage. Working with the client, they engineered a solution with seats that can be removed in groups and stacked on low trolleys. These trolleys are then lowered to under-stage level by employing the hydraulically operated orchestra pit as a lift.
To set out the seats again, the crew lay out floorbars, and simply drop in groups of seats. The floorbars are held in place using stud locators, which keep the seating firmly in place on the sloping floor. Given the gradient, good brakes on the transportation trolleys are a must too!
All the seats enjoy a stunning backdrop with the whole of the auditorium sumptuously restored in a striking but authentic colour scheme. The venue will truly provide a unique – and comfortable – experience for all who visit.
photos: Sally Ann Norman
22nd July 2021
Christie projection will help students take performances to the next level at Douglas College
Canada – The Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre at Douglas College has undergone a significant upgrade, which includes a Christie Crimson 3DLP laser projector, and most recently, the installation of a Christie D4K40-RGB pure laser projector.
Douglas College educates close to 25,000 students a year, with two major campuses in Metro Vancouver. The Muir Theatre, located on the New Westminster Campus, is a fully equipped 350-seat facility used by students from the theatre and stagecraft programmes who produce a production each semester in the theatre, as well as the music department for performances and classes, and by other departments for lectures and conferences. The College also rents the theatre for dance and music performances, as well as conferences.
The upgrade to Muir Theatre was completed in two phases and began in 2016 with lighting, video distribution and projection. Working with Scott Miller, Ryley Pynn and George Davidson of DWD Theatre Design and Sapphire Sound, the first phase included the installation of a Christie Crimson 3DLP laser projector for rear projection on the stage, which is used for conferences and events that require a smaller screen. The second phase, which began in 2019, saw the installation of a Christie D4K40-RGB pure laser projector.
“The primary objective of this second phase was to provide the Muir Theatre with the capability of showing cinema-grade movies and to be used during performing arts events and classes to provide dynamic backdrop images on the existing cyclorama or on our new screen,” says Brian Pratt, theatre and stagecraft technician supervisor, Douglas College.
DWD Theatre Design and Consulting specified the D4K40-RGB pure laser projector after evaluating both the needs of the college and other projectors available on the market. “It met all the parameters: we wanted a large-format projector that had a combination of features and lenses and would work in a hush box. This was the one that ticked all the boxes,” says George Davidson, DWD Theatre Design.
The projector also had to be bright enough to cut through the front lights and light up the performers during a performance, while maintaining high-contrast, vibrant images. “Douglas College wanted a laser projector, so they didn’t have to replace lamps. And looking at the specs, the D4K40-RGB provided the best colour rendering,” adds Davidson. The college uses the projector with two different lenses, which allows them to fill a smaller presentation screen, a cinematic projection screen or the entire stage.
“The projector was installed in a Tempest projector enclosure. Although the Christie D4K40-RGB is very quiet, the projector is installed above the last couple rows of seating and any additional noise would be distracting during live performance, so the goal was zero added noise,” says Pratt. The projector and enclosure are installed onto a lift, which allows the projector to be stored completely out of the way when not in use and brought down for maintenance or lens changes.
While COVID caused some delays, the installation largely went as planned. “We had to ensure that the equipment would fit through the hallways, and we did renderings,” says Steve Klassen, Sapphire Sound. “The flexibility of the college, and the leadership of DWD Consulting, as well as the right manufacturers, ensured a smooth process. Everyone was committed to making this project work.”
Says Davidson: “It was really nice to work on a project that was done right. Douglas College wanted this to be a showcase project, and this will last them for years. It meets every spec today, and likely will for a decade.”
22nd July 2021
Ritsumeikan University Upgrades with CDD
Japan – Located in the north-west of Kyoto, which is known as the city of culture, Ritsumeikan University’s Kinugasa Campus recently installed a Martin Audio CDD system in two of its halls.
Ritsumeikan is a historical university founded in 1900 by Kojuro Nakagawa, originating from former prime minister Saionji Kinmochi's private school. Surrounded by famous temples, its quiet atmosphere makes it perfectly suited for academic and research.
It was in the Igakukan (Institute of medical learning), located within Kinugasa Campus, that the upgrade took place in the two halls. The building itself contains various classrooms, common rooms and offices, as well as a cafeteria and a multi-purpose hall.
CDD12 was adopted as the main speaker due to its wide coverage and clear sound which can be heard even directly in front of the stage. Several ADORN ACS-55T ceiling speakers were installed under the balcony on the second floor to cover the depth, adopting advanced FIR filter tuning.
The overall aim of this renovation was to expand the user base by providing a professional infrastructure, and Dante was selected for the main signal routing within a Symetrix DSP environment. Touch panel control which is provided at the side of the stage for users who are not familiar with sound system technology, facilitating easy adjustment of levels and playback of microphones and presentation materials. Even for larger events that require a more advanced approach, Dante signals are distributed to the control room, allowing professional operation via the mixer.
Since Halls 101 and 102 are both connected via Dante, they can be combined, as well as share activity via video. For example, an event taking place in one venue can now be fully shared with another hall. Speakers using wireless mics can be heard equally in both halls, and communication with the hall during, say, a web conference is possible simply by connecting a USB.
Stated Mr. Kengo Kurashina of Ritsumeikan’s Office of Information Infrastructure, Information System Department: “Because of Covid-19, we still have to maintain social distance. However, I want our students to learn just as if they are present.
“I hope to have created those kind of conditions. Martin Audio's speakers are as attractive as the sound is accurate and rich. I have used it previously in another campus and succeeded in achieving the quality of sound that is usually difficult to realise in the classroom.
“This hall is used for a wide range of student activities such as ceremonies, academic classes, theatre, dance performance shows and traditional performing arts. Therefore, I set a goal to be able to express not only speeches but also audio and music from the web, with overall consistency.
“Also, since the audience needs to keep a distance, I wanted to expand the sweet spot as much as possible and so I made the decision to tune the speakers with FIR."
21st July 2021
Heritage of Faith Ministries International adds StreamWorks end-to-end streaming capabilities for cross-continent communication
South Africa – Founded in 1998 in Witbank, Heritage of Faith Ministries International (HOFMI) started out as slab of concrete, four walls and a tin roof. The intervening years have seen the church grow and develop into an auditorium that can seat up to 500 people for a high quality in-person experience, and more recently implement technology solutions to enable broadcast capture and play-out. Stage Audio Works has been a key partner in the technological development of HOFMI for the last several years, the most recent being the implementation of a StreamWorks end-to-end streaming solution to allow direct communication with HOFMI’s associate church in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. The experience was completed with a 5760mm x 3360mm Pixel Plus Xcell-i LED wall which forms an impressive backdrop to the stage.
HOFMI technical director Matt Ratcliffe takes up the story: “Our first engagement with Stage Audio Works was when we upgraded our consoles at our Johannesburg and Witbank locations to Yamaha CLs. Over the years our relationship with SAW has developed beyond basic equipment supply to utilising their immense technical expertise to design and build custom solutions to help us achieve our goals. Nathan and I have worked fairly closely over the last couple of years talking through our specific needs and how we could cater to them. One of our main goals is to use the Witbank building – principally the auditorium – as a broadcast campus facilitating the capture and broadcast to several campuses simultaneously via web or TV broadcasts, with either live or post play-out.”
A major part of this project was the setting up of a low latency, bi-directional stream with an associate church in Fort Worth, Texas. The first stage was to transition HOFMI’s broadcast setup from the OBS (Open Broadcast Software) platform which they used to stream directly to YouTube to the StreamWorks platform. “This gave us the reliability of SRT and the benefit of StreamWorks support in the event of any hiccoughs,” explains Ratcliffe. “We then deployed a Kiloview E1 encoder that removed our reliance on Apple computing power behind OBS.” The E1 is a compact, low-cost solution that provides easy encoding from a single SRT stream and two channels of audio. “Once we’d stabilised the broadcast campus stream, we built a mobile ‘streaming box’ containing a Kiloview E1 encoder and a Kiloview DC220 decoder for sending and receiving video from a remote location, two Radial Stagebugs for connecting external devices (laptops, MP3 players etc.) to the PA, and a small router for remote access via VPN should it be required.
“All of this was packed into a Stage Plus 3U flightcase designed and built by SAW’s manufacturing division, with a custom-built drawer to allow for easy access from the back and a properly labelled patch panel at the front for easy I/O. We then shipped the streaming box off to Fort Worth where, with the help of StreamWorks, we were able to implement the bi-directional stream between Witbank and Fort Worth, or wherever the box happens to be! In essence, this system offers a plug-and-play solution for reliable, low-latency bi-directional streaming to and from remote locations using HOFMI Witbank as the production centre. Furthermore, it is capable of being scaled to multiple campuses. It’s a fantastic solution and one that we couldn’t have implemented without Nathan and the Stage Audio Works team’s help. The cherry on the cake is the great-looking Pixel Plus LED wall at the back of the stage which brings the whole project to life in the Witbank auditorium.”
SAW’s Nathan Ihlenfeldt is pleased to see the project come to fruition. “It’s been a pleasure working with Matt on his various projects over the years and to see how HOFMI’s technical resources have developed as a result,” he says. “Matt’s passion and enthusiasm is infectious, and it pushes us to find solutions we may not have imagined otherwise. We’re already looking forward to his next project, whatever it may be!”
21st July 2021
TiMax immersive spatial audio solution adds vital dimension to St Michael’s Cave, Gibraltar
Gibraltar – Pixel Artworks’ recently completed, immersive visitor experience at St Michael’s Cave on the Rock of Gibraltar, features a TiMax SoundHub-controlled spatial audio solution to complement the intricate projection-mapped visual show.
The spectacular mixed-media show, created deep within the caves themselves, vividly charts the formation of Gibraltar, for visitors to the country’s most distinguishing feature, the rock itself. The ambitious project was commissioned by WrightTech Media, a local digital marketing solutions company.
Viewing the final project before the attraction’s June opening, WrightTech Media director, Christian Wright, underlined the vital dimension audio adds to the visual element of the project, commenting: “The lighting is amazing, the projection is incredible, but the audio takes it to another level. There has never been anything like this in Gibraltar.”
The audio aspect of the project was specified and installed by Raven AV’s Dan Roncoroni, who worked closely with content producers, Zelig Sound, to create the emotive and reverential soundtracks which work with the video content. Dan advised Zelig on the content styles that would work most effectively through the system of caves. Dan credited Zelig’s Matthew Wilcock and Connor Duin, as a huge asset to the project: “They very quickly adapted to creating content for a TiMax installation and coped superbly with the challenging acoustical environment the cave presented.”
Audio content was zoned to highlight and focus on individual features of the cave, such as a huge area of stalactites that resemble an angel with stretched out wings. Dan explains: “I needed a spatial audio processor that could treat these zones independently whilst also allowing content to flow through them all on a cue-by-cue basis, which singled out TiMax as uniquely capable of this.”
TiMax outputs via Dante to a total of 35 EM Acoustics loudspeakers throughout the five zones of the attraction. Zone one hosts 16 EM Acoustics EMS61s and three S12 sub bass units with the four smaller zones each featuring one S12 sub and EMS41s. EM Acoustics provided bespoke weatherproof versions of their standard loudspeakers to ensure they would last in the challenging space the cave presented.
The system is fully Dante-based with Linea Research installation amplifiers in the rack room and Powersoft’s half-rack sized Mezzo amplifiers located within the waterproof projector enclosures in the field. Supplementary inputs to the TiMax are provided by the disguise media server, also via Dante.
A Medialon show controller converses with TiMax, alerting it to each cue trigger. Extra TiMax inputs have been provisioned for events to be held at the venue, with programming accessible via a Medialon-controlled screen that allows the projectors and lighting to be switched to an ambient beauty state and TiMax to background music mode.
Dan concludes: “It was a tricky design but TiMax simplified the process and the sound design really does work in there.
21st July 2021
PMC Monitors Provide Exception Clarity at Dorian Gray’s New Studio Complex
Germany & Austria – Since 1989, Dorian Gray Studios has been delivering high quality music recording services to commercial clients as well as providing equally high quality training to the next generation of audio professionals. As part of the Music Support Group (MSG) GmbH, it also offers additional services such as CD duplication and graphic design, thus allowing customers to access a turnkey service that takes them from initial recording to a finished product.
With facilities in Munich, Vienna and Hamburg, Dorian Gray Studios all have excellence in common, regardless of whether they are used as commercial or training facility. They also have PMC monitors in common, as most studios are equipped with PMC products ranging from the largest MB2 XBD systems down to the smaller DB1 and TLE monitors.
In recent months, the original Dorian Gray Studios in Eichenau, near Munich, has been moved to a new location in the city centre as part of a larger MSG plan to consolidate all its Munich operations into one location (previously the company had offices and studios in four different places). Three main control rooms, a mastering suite that doubles as a fourth control room and various recording areas have been built, all under the watchful eye of Gerhard Woelfle, head of Dorian Gray Studios and senior audio engineer.
“We dismantled our main control room in Eichenau and rebuilt it in the new location,” he explains. “This is now Studio 1 and it has a 96-channel SSL C200 Digital Production Console, a 5.1 monitoring system featuring PMC MB2 XBD fully active monitors with Bryston amplification, ProTools HD3 and lots of outboard gear, microphones and tape machines.”
Studio 2, the first Dorian Gray studio to open in Eichenau in 1989, was also dismantled and moved. In its new location it is mainly used by students from the Deutsche POP academy (MSG’s training arm), but can also be rented for commercial projects. This room has a 24 channel SSL Duality, PMC IB1 monitors and ProTools.
The final control room, Studio 3, is used by junior students and can also be used as a recording space. There are two other recording rooms, a large space that is directly connected to Studios 1 and 2 and a second, smaller space with visual access to Studio 2 and audio and video links to Studio 1.
“Our separate mastering suite is connected to the largest recording room, that can be used as a spare control room for smaller recording sessions,” Gerhard adds. “This is equipped with PMC IB2 monitors, SADiE and ProTools DAWs, a customised Crookwood console and high end analogue and digital mastering outboard.”
Gerhard, who joined MSG in 2003, recommended PMC monitoring after been impressed by their clarity while working as a freelance engineer at various PMC equipped studios in Germany and Austria.
“I used them several times at MSM in Munich where some of my productions were mastered, and as a customer I was always very pleased by the fact that I was not confused by any unknown sounds coming out of the speakers,” he says. “All I heard was my original mix. The fact that the speakers were so accurate made the mastering process a lot more fun to listen to. Precision, transparency, perfect imaging, flat frequency response and minimal distortion, plus the fact that I could listen to them for hours without getting fatigued, were PMC’s key attributes. When you are listening to the same music for many hours, your ears do get tired and that’s when you can get poor results. Knowing that what you hear in the studio will translate well on any consumer system allows you to feel safe and work faster. This is what I get from PMC, plus immediate feedback on what I’m doing to the signal in terms of EQ, compression, etc.”
Dorian Gray’s new Munich facility is now up and running and is already being used by students and for a variety of commercial projects.
20th July 2021
Oporto’s Teatro Nacional de São João accesses Robert Juliat Dalis technology
Portugal – The prestigious Teatro Nacional de São João (TNSJ) in Oporto, Portugal has increased its inventory of Robert Juliat Dalis Access 863 cyclorama lighting with the addition of a further 20 units after a comprehensive tender process which saw the Dalis Access fixtures hold their winning position against a number of alternative options.
The purchase brings TNSJ’s total complement of Dalis Access 863 units to 34. This is more than sufficient to cover the theatre’s 12m x 9m cyclorama cloth and back wall from floor- and grid-mounted positions, plus fill in as ‘ribalta’ lighting when required.
“Dalis Access is a very versatile tool which can be used as both cyclorama and footlight,” explains TNSJ’s lighting department co-ordinator, Filipe Pinheiro. “This is a real advantage for multi-purpose theatres with an eclectic programme of shows, conferences, debates and dance, and at a price that makes it accessible to all budgets.”
The Dalis Access 863 were supplied by NAN AudioVisuals, Robert Juliat’s exclusive distributor for Portugal and the project supplier for TNSJ. The fixtures were chosen by TNSJ’s tender jury – lighting department co-ordinator Filipe Pinheiro, stage director Emanuel Pina and stage director assistant Filipe Silva – following several demo sessions with similar products organised by NAN AudioVisuals. “The lighting team was unanimous in its decision that Dalis was by far the best product,” says NAN’s Jorge Santos.
“Our decision was based on the dimensions, brightness and colour mixing of Dalis Access,” explains Pinheiro, “all of which are key features for our type of application.” Teatro Nacional de São João runs a varied programme of theatre, dance and music, so flexibility in its lighting products is vital, and with just 460 seats, the low profile and fanless cooling of the Dalis units are especially valuable assets.
Dalis Access 863 is a 150W LED fixture designed to give first access to RJ’s award-winning Dalis technology. It offers a four-colour mixing system (red, green, royal blue and warm white 2200K) and 24 patented asymmetrical micro-reflectors which deliver powerful, smooth coverage with a variety of pastel and saturated colours.
Inspired by the Dalis 862 Footlight, Dalis Access 863 combines the same technological advantages as original Dalis 860 cyclight with body shape of Dalis Footlight. Its low profile and aesthetically-pleasing finish enables it to merge into its surroundings almost unnoticed.
“Our new Dalis Access units have blended in seamlessly with our existing Dalis fixtures and really elevate the quality of the final result in any of our lighting designs,” says Pinheiro. “Our technicians are very happy with them, and with the service we have received from NAN. The team there consistently takes great care of us.”
TNSJ has been an advocate of Robert Juliat products for more than 20 years, with an array of RJ dimmers, profiles, PCs, Fresnels, fluorescents and followspots in its lighting inventory. “We can truly say it’s our brand of choice,” confirms Pinheiro. “We are currently testing the Sully module for our SX profiles with a view to converting all our tungsten profile range into LED fixtures.”
TNSJ Administrative Council comprises Pedro Sobrado, Sandra Martins and Susana Marques.
photos: João Tuna, official TNSJ production photographer
20th July 2021
Hollywood Record Producer ‘Astounded at the Fidelity’ of Portable Audio Interface
USA – A couple of months ago, songwriter, producer and mixer Mike Pepe was in the market for a studio monitor controller for his Studio C, part of Barefoot Recording (formerly Crystal Industries) and got himself an Audient Nero.
Mike has a long list of rock/pop audio engineering credits including Taking Back Sunday, As It Is and Sydney Sprague and spent a while looking for a desktop monitor controller with a decent feature set that didn’t sacrifice fidelity. Nero fit the bill exactly. He describes it as “Masterful at what it does. High quality audio with all the options I want in a little sturdy box that can sit right in the studio and not be in the way. I love the assignable headphone sends and all the routing options it has. Also it’s a completely transparent box that feeds my monitor setup which is all I want!”
Whilst Nero was his main requirement, Mike also mentioned that he was after a quick and easy, travel-friendly audio interface. Specifically for his mobile rig, for when he’s doing production or recording work away from his main setup at Barefoot. Audient’s Tim Jones was quick to recommend the EVO 8 audio interface. This turned out to be an instant hit! “It’s been just awesome,” he says.
“It’s very typical as when I do pre-production with a band I’m going to do a record for, we’ll get together at their rehearsal space or another location to start nailing down the songs and completing any re-writes we may want. My EVO 8 and my laptop with Pro Tools go with me and I can capture performances of any changes or pre-pro I may need in the space with them. I bring the pre-pro back to my larger studio and am astounded at the fidelity the EVO 8 achieves every single time.
“After running some of the raw signal through some choice outboard gear at my studio there’s many times a vocal or guitar, etc that I’ve cut on location with a band will be almost indistinguishable from if I had cut it here at my larger studio,” he explains. Indeed, it’s not unusual for some of these location recordings to make it into the final record. “I have also on multiple occasions kept certain elements from the EVO 8 pre-production recordings and used them in the final productions and it sits so nicely next to anything else cut at my larger space.”
High praise indeed from this golden-eared producer. Yet it’s not only the sound that makes EVO 8 so appealing to Mike. “I enjoy its ease of use and quick setup, too. I can get a Pro Tools session going in next to no time,” he says. “That way I can move on to the more important things, like talking with the band about parts and songs, knowing I’m ready to capture an idea at any time!”
Clients seem to love the aesthetic of the 4 in/4 out audio interface as well. “Often the artist will think it’s a Bluetooth speaker and they’re amazed when I hook up one cable and it lights up, boots up Pro Tools and we’re ready to record.”
Happily EVO 8 has also been invaluable for his recently launched YouTube channel, a project he’s been working on in his free time for fun. Taking deep dives into aspects of recording, production and mixing and drawing on his 15 years of experience he uses his channel to connect with people who’ve asked him about his process. “It’s pretty in-depth nerd talk,” he says, and adds that EVO 8 is “by far the best interface I’ve used for doing the videos.”
In the interim, Mike is unlikely to be far away from his trusty EVO 8. “I also use it at home when I want to tune vocals or edit drums and feel like doing that in my living room rather than going to my main studio. It’s the first mobile interface I feel comfortable using at home to edit important pieces of productions.”
19th July 2021
Light artist Herman Kuijer celebrates Dutch national treasures with Elation
The Netherlands – The new Collection Center of The Netherlands, or CC NL, is one of the most extraordinary repositories anywhere. Four different museums in The Netherlands, including the world-renown Rijksmuseum, use the new facility as a storehouse for a large proportion of their collections. The art archive is celebrating with a piece of art of its own, a permanent light installation across multiple façades of the building created by light artist Herman Kuijer using Elation Proteus Rayzor 760 luminaires.
In 2018, Kuijer, known for light installations around The Netherlands since the late 1970s, visited the Elation booth at the ISE fair in Amsterdam, where initial discussions of the project took place with Elation key account manager for Benelux Bert Schmeits. During a subsequent visit to the Elation showroom in Kerkrade, it became clear to the artist that he could realise the creative ideas he had in mind for the building using Elation lighting. After various tests and demos on location at the CC NL facility, the project was realised using 28 Proteus Rayzor 760 moving heads, a 7,200-lumen wash light housing seven 60W RGBW LEDs and 5- to 77-degree zoom.
The four-storey, nearly 25-meter high storage facility, often referred to as the physical memory of The Netherlands, is located in the city of Amersfoort. The building’s façade, made of Kalzip aluminium with vertical seams that create extra shades, proved an excellent canvass for Kuijer’s art. Lined along multiple sides of the building and mounted on steel bases produced by CMS (Custom Made Steelproducts) of the Netherlands, the Proteus Rayzor 760 fixtures project beams of soft white light that move very slowly in random directions across the building’s exterior. Variations in the direction and intensity of the light, as well as the expanse of the beams and the slow speed of their motion, give rise to subtle, ever-changing compositions.
“The good thing about the Proteus Rayzor is that they are able to withstand the Dutch weather without any protection,” Kuijer comments. “And secondly, they are capable of making these very slow movements which are crucial in this work I only use moving white light of which the intensity and the size of the beams are changing through a random program. Because of the random programming, the images that appear on the walls are permanently changing and always unique. The light casts a soft shroud over a hard building.”
He continues; “The four different museums that store their collections inside the building are trying to slow down time by conserving their art pieces. On the outside, the light represents ever-flowing time.”
The art installation, which debuted on 20 January 2021, is visible every morning and evening. The Elation lights were supplied via Output of Den Bosch (Netherlands) and installation was realised by Vidi-Square from Zandhoven in Belgium. “I was very lucky to work with Vidi-Square who delivered excellent service,” the light artist said. “They put me in contact with Painting with Light whose Jeroen Opsteyn did the programming for me. We first prepared the programming on screen in their studio then executed the final programming on site.”
Collection Center of The Netherlands also stores works of art from the Holland Open Air Museum, Paleis Het Loo Museum, and the Cultural Heritage Agency of The Netherlands. The 31,500 square meter archive is a unique collaboration among the four cultural institutions and includes facilities for administration, conservation and research. Some 3,700 square meters of solar panels make the building completely energy self-sufficient, an energy source that also powers the light art installation.
photos: Rijksmuseum/Cris Langemeijer
19th July 2021
Berlin-based Producer Sascha Busy Acquires Solid State Logic UF8 and UC1 Controllers, 'Diving into the World of SSL' Again
Germany – Grammy-nominated music producer, mixer, remixer and mastering engineer Sascha 'Busy' Bühren recently added Solid State Logic’s UF8 advanced DAW controller and UC1 hardware plug-in controller at his new home-based facility, which is located just off the Kurfürstendamm, one of Berlin’s most elegant boulevards. The relocation came after Busy and his partner Laura, who together own and operate TrueBusyness Musicproductions, were driven out of their former two-storey studio facility in the city by gentrification.
The previous TrueBusyness complex housed not only Bühren’s mastering room and production and edit suites (not to mention the couple’s private apartment) but also a music production and mix room equipped with a 48-input SSL AWS 948. “My dream was always to have my own SSL board,” he says. “The day it arrived was like 45 years of birthdays and Christmases all in one.” The room soon attracted a lot of business, including major hip-hop artists such as Waka Flocka Flame and Swizz Beatz, he reports.
Bühren says he missed having faders available to him when working in his mixing room at the old facility. He had to sell the AWS 948 when he and Laura moved into their new apartment, which was built in 1899 and has 13-foot ceilings and original parquet floors. But he still missed the familiar feel of SSL fader caps under his fingers, so much so that he bought a bunch to replace the caps on the controller he installed in his new studio, which is just off their living room. Then SSL launched its UF8 controller and it was game over, he says: “What I always needed was a control surface to dive into the SSL world again. It’s just an amazing piece of gear that I’ve really missed through all the years.”
The UF8, which he purchased from Audio Pro, SSL’s distributor in Germany, effectively bridges the gap between his former separate mastering/mixing and production rooms, he says. “Now I have one studio with everything in the center of the room. I have my Sterling Modular studio furniture with outboard. Everything is reachable from where I’m sitting; I don’t have to move.”
Bühren, who started as a DJ in the late-1980s, is a longtime hip-hop fan and was bitten by the mastering bug when he took an early major label band project to Tony Dawsey at Masterdisk in New York City over 20 years ago. He has since garnered Gold, Platinum and Diamond certifications for his mastering projects across multiple music genres for a long list of clients including Seeed, Paul McCartney and Helloween.
With his focus now on mastering and mixing, Bühren also purchased a UC1 as soon as it was available. “It’s really changed the way I mix in-the-box. Now, I can go on location and just pack my Macbook, my interface, some nice headphones and the UC1 and UF8,” he says. “I just need these little boxes and I’m free!”
Most importantly for his workflow, Bühren says, the SSL controllers are his gateway into the mix. “I just press the 360° button and the mix pops out. I have all the channels in view and I’m sitting in front of a real desk. Just like on a board, you put your compressor on the master bus, the new Channel Strip 2 on each channel, and you’re good to go. And it’s almost latency free.” The UF8 and UC1 run under a single instance of SSL’s new 360° software; the UF8 stores all pertinent information, user setups and preferences.
The UF8 controller enables a user to quickly switch between different DAW platforms. “Some days I do four or five mastering jobs in Pro Tools and I also do a lot of mixing jobs in Logic. The great thing is that you can switch between layers,” he says. “Pro Tools and Logic are running in parallel in the computer and my faders control it all.”
Obviously a fan of the SSL sound, Bühren also has an outboard SSL XLogic rack outfitted with a variety of E and G series EQ modules in addition to an SSL Fusion multi-processer, racked within arm’s reach, both of which he purchased with his AWS 948 console. “I have always loved the E series EQ,” he says. “There’s nothing comparable. It was a surgical EQ from the first moment.”
He reports that he started using plug-in recreations of SSL hardware as soon as the company began licensing third-party developers about 15 years ago. Then, earlier this year, SSL introduced a special price in Europe for its SSL Native plug-in collection, which includes the new Version 2 of the Channel Strip and Bus Compressor. “That has replaced all my other plug-ins for SSL,” he says. If he needs to introduce alternative tones and character using any of his other outboard hardware, he inserts it via his audio interface. “Just like a real board,” he says. “And I’m still here with my control surface and channel strip.”
Having worked over the years on a succession of hardware mixing desks and controllers, including the AWS 948, Bühren advises any engineers and mixers who have only worked in-the-box to try out the UF8 controller. “It gets you away from the mouse,” he says. “And it will help you be a better mix engineer.”
Sitting at his Sterling console with the UF8 under his left hand and the UC1 under his right hand, he says: “With these, new features come up as I’m working on them. That makes it very interesting. A lot of the music that we work on is static. You’re moving the mouse; you have your routines. I like working on stuff and discovering something new. You can scroll through your arrangement window. I have a mouse on the right side and the Channel knob,” (which controls the position of the DAW playhead) “on the left side. So it’s interactive now, like playing a keyboard.”
19th July 2021
GLEIS4 Cultural Centre Reaches Out with Allen & Heath dLive
Germany – Since opening in 2014, the GLEIS4 cultural centre in Frankenthal has become an integral part of the region’s cultural scene with around 150 events per year, ranging from rock concerts to poetry slams, passing through the 200-capacity venue.
With Covid bringing attended events in the venue to a halt, GLEIS4 saw the opportunity to expand its offering to include streaming in various formats, allowing the organisation to reach out and provide a programme of cultural content to an audience stuck at home. With the help of the federal government's NEUSTART KULTUR funding scheme, the venue invested in a dLive system, consisting of a C3500 Surface and a CDM48 Mixrack, to bring this idea to life.
The venue’s dressing rooms were repurposed to become a control room, built around the 24-fader C3500 Surface and a pair of KS Digital studio monitors, while onstage the CDM48’s 48 inputs and 24 outputs handle the required analogue I/O for performances. When restrictions lift and audiences can once again attend events at the venue, the C3500 will be moved to the main room and used as the FOH system for live events.
"We currently use the dLive system for streaming live music, conferences and seminars, among other things," explains Philipp Hahn, GLEIS4's technical manager, "but we also plan to use it as an FOH console for our city festival stage, should that take place, depending on the pandemic situation."
The GLEIS4 previously used an older digital mixing console to handle live performances, but the choice of a more up-to-date system was influenced by Hahn’s experience as a live engineer. "I do a lot of live sound work myself, and you see dLive systems more and more often. The opinions about them are consistently positive, and in its price range it's simply the most flexible console. We are very happy with the choice." Hahn concludes.
16th July 2021
Sonic Craftsman and Sub Pop Recording Artist Nicholas Galanin adds Flock Audio's PATCH to his Production Toolkit
USA – Indigenous Alaskan artist Nicholas Galanin hails from a small island community of just 8,000 people, but the impact of his multi-disciplinary work has resonated all around the world in prominent art installations; most recently on his latest Ya Tseen indie-based music release for Sub Pop Records, entitled Indian Yard. Using his native Tlingit and Unangax̂ languages throughout his work, Galanin communicates provocative ideas about identity, the active ignorance of indigenous history, and how these topics are perceived and often misunderstood across a range of visual, performance and sonic mediums.
As an artist, Galanin's work is part of permanent collections at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Art Institute of Chicago, the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts and the Humboldt Forum in Berlin, among many others. His new album release on Sub Pop is mostly synth based, with a healthy dose of intimately recorded acoustic instruments. Musically, it is melodically engaging with haunting vocals, pulsing electronic beats and plenty of interesting synth droning and otherworldly effects. It sounds both ancient and forward-facing, casting an open invitation for discovery.
His fully featured studio has an enormous range of sonic options at the ready and has recently been mostly geared toward synths. "My earlier albums were heavily based on acoustic instrumentation, but this has since shifted to a more synthesiser-based sound," Galanin explains. "I design the sonics with my synths, and I have quite a collection." While he uses Ableton as his primary recorder, his compositions feature primarily analogue based synths so he can 'move the sonics in different ways.' His recent acquisition of three Flock Audio PATCH units help him work more seamlessly and creatively than ever before.
As a cutting edge, international artist, Galanin is constantly studying and re-evaluating his creative tool kit; this applies to his sonic art as well, both for his own installations and his work with other musicians: "I am always researching sound technology and trying to make better sense of the studio space that I am building right now," he says. This pragmatic approach ultimately led him to Flock Audio's PATCH: "For me, just having everything accessible and interchangeable in a clean, swift way was something that PATCH presented," he says. "There something I love about the artistic potential that PATCH presents. I have three of them running now, so I can access everything at the computer's fingertips. I can experiment with inputs and outputs, loop sounds and change them, or try them out with different instruments and settings and effects. Once I hear something I like, then I can capture it on the spot." Galanin says that since acquiring PATCH, he has ditched his older traditional patch bay.
Interestingly, he uses PATCH primarily to connect his synths and effects, so any sound source can be accessed as and when inspiration hits. Some of the instruments connected directly to his three PATCH units include two Moog Music DFAMs, a Mother32, a Subharmonicon, a Spectravox as well as an Arp 2600, a Prophet 10, a Moog One and a Moog Matriarch among many others. "I have a big collection of Moogerfooger pedals, and this is one reason the Flock has been incredible for my system," he adds. "I can drag and drop any of these Moogerfoogers in my signal chain and get a completely different effect. That's really useful." Other effects and processors he has connected to his PATCH units include several drum machines, a Roland Space Echo, an Echo Fix an a Rupert Neve Portico II Master Buss Processor.
Galanin further explains his routing set up: "Each synth has its own I/O and I can run multiple synths through the different channels and then run them directly to my interface. Using the Flock PATCH app, I can send anything to any channel on my interface, and I've got eight open slots in case I want to patch in vocal mics, drum mics or something else."
Galanin is focused strictly on creating sonic art and songs, rather than mixing or audio engineering: "I am not a sound engineer as far as mixing goes and that sort of thing, we work with other studios to do a lot of that stuff," he explains. My space is for capturing ideas and songs. With the way it is currently set up, I feel like I can really land on ideas very fast, in part, thanks to the Flock Audio PATCH."
The most recent album, Indian Yard, was approximately three years in the making. "We started prior to lockdown and I ended up spending a lot of time building out my studio workspace during Covid," he says. "My studio space and workflow is constantly evolving, as is my understanding of what is necessary in the space." Some of Indian Yard was conceived while he was on an artistic residency at the Rockefeller Foundation in Italy. Once he returned to Alaska, he invited several artists to his studio to collaborate and capture ideas.
"PATCH has had a major, positive impact on my workflow," Galanin concludes. "Once I figured out the interface and the language of it, it made things so quick and swift. It is highly efficient to use and now I can spend more time exploring and working instead of doing other things. I am definitely all-in at this point, there's no looking back!"
Looking ahead, Galanin has no shortage of upcoming projects: "Now that the new record is done, we are getting ready to perform it at festivals, we have a seven-piece performance band right now that is primarily all live instrumentation," he says. He says he's also started working on several other projects including another new studio album and an art project for the Anchorage Museum.
15th July 2021
Alcons Supplies Power and Clarity to Expanded Hope Church
USA – Created in 2015 by the merger of two churches, worship at South Carolina’s Hope Church ranges from high energy music to spoken word sermons. A recent enlargement of its Simpsonville campus provided the opportunity to upgrade its audio system. An Alcons Audio pro-ribbon system provided the perfect blend of power and clarity.
The expansion of the single-story Simpsonville building enlarged the room’s depth by around 70ft (21.5m) and added gallery seating at the back, providing a total of 700 seats. The existing audio system was not adequate to cover the newly enlarged space with high quality sound for all styles of worship, so the church contacted AVL Solutions (AVLS), based in nearby Greenville, for help.
“A challenge for the sound design was the pitched roof, which ranges from 15ft (4.5m) at the sides to more than 18ft (5.5m) in the centre,” says Chris Craine, AVLS designer / director of sales. “We discussed the benefits of Alcons’ pro-ribbon audio technology with the client and, having worked with them before, they were happy to trust our recommendation.”
AVLS installed an Alcons pro-ribbon system comprising L-C-R arrays of two single 12” RR12 point-source array modules at each side and four in the centre, to provide the congregation with a full stereo image. Three horizontally-mounted VR12 mid-size 12” versatile monitors were suspended from the building’s main overhead beam to cover the new gallery seating, with three SR9 ultra-compact double 5” in-fill monitor for altar lip fills. The church’s existing subwoofers were tied into the Alcons system, with Sentinel10 (4 x 2500w) and Sentinel3 (4 x 750w) amplified loudspeaker controllers installed for power and system management.
“This was the first time we had installed RR12s and the deployment was extremely easy. We simulated the system through EASE and it performed exactly as expected,” says Chris.
Church technical advisor Trey Moran adds: “We considered both distributed and line array approaches. The hybrid approach suggested by AVLS, working with our existing subs, turned out to be a winning combination. And there is no shortage of power from the Sentinel amplified loudspeaker controllers!
“We are very happy with the result. Our front of house engineer is covered by the main array to feel connected with the room, while just one row behind is evenly covered by the VR12 delays. The control is amazing and the intelligibility of the pro-ribbon is just what we needed. We are excited to consider Alcons and AVLS as the preferred choice for our future campus locations.”
photos: Sidney Seiber